Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?
April 26, 2012
Hey! I’m back with another blog post after what has been four weeks straight from hell. And I mean that literally: I took the MCAT, wrote numerous papers, took tests, and started working on my application for medical school. So I apologize for my disappearance! These same four weeks have been a whirlwind on the domestic political scene. Since the last time I posted, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have both announced the suspension or their intentions to suspend their respective campaigns, leaving Ron Paul as the final but merely symbolic challenger to Mitt Romney. This was coupled with a rocking day for Romney as he swept all the states in Tuesday’s primaries, leaving him 66% of the way to achieving the 1,144 delegates needed to be the Republican nominee. He’s not completely bullet proof though and has been subject to quite a bit of flak, both from the right and the left. Here’s one of my personal favorites from the past month. And yet another one, from April 26th, when Vice President Biden was defending President Obama's foreign policy and made one of his signature awkward moments. Good old Joe. This leaves us on the final road to the elections this November! The barbs are starting and the election has been heated up since we now have virtually have finalized the ballot. Obama’s latest battle has been to push Congress to stop the doubling of student loan rates this summer. He has been actively traveling around the country to swing states like Iowa and Florida to pitch his case directly to students in event very reminiscent of huge rallies that characterized his 2008 campaign. Here’s one of the highlights. In another event, he took his efforts up on stage with Jimmy Fallon for a slow jam in front of a UNC audience. What a boss. He’s been widely criticized by Republicans, though, for his tax-payer covered travel. The RNC filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office alleging that he was misusing public funds for campaign events. There’s definitely some credence to that; there’s a significant grayness to the practice which could be considered unethical. But, fact is, it’s nothing new and has been used by past incumbents to push for their legislative agenda while simultaneously campaigning. As the laws read, the White House can definitely justify his travel, making it a somewhat moot point but a powerful strategic tool for President Obama who can use it to boost youth election turnout, especially in crucial swing states. A lot of these issues will likely surface at one of my favorite political events: the White House Correspondents Dinner, thrown by the journalists that cover President Obama and the White House. There’s always a lot of really funny banter and ‘roasts’, including the President’s hilarious monologue last year with special guest Seth Meyers. This year’s dinner is taking place this Saturday night and will feature the one and only Jimmy Kimmel. Make sure you tune in to watch or at least check out YouTube later! Another topic that caught my eye over the past couple days is the ongoing primaries for Senate and House seats. There has been so much trouble with a hyper-polarized Congress over the past 2 years since the midterm elections. The GOP seems to be pulled more and more to the right, making compromise unlikely. But it seems like the same is starting to happen to the Left as well. Who would have thought that not voting for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (affectionately or not so affectionately known as Obamacare) would get Democrats kicked out from office? Well, two moderate Democrats have just lost primary challenges to more progressive representatives due to their opposition to the health reform and climate change bills. While these representatives have been reliable Democrats, their centrist positions have often grounded the party and enabled for more compromise. The move of the GOP to the right has energized progressives, prompting a move to the left. This really scares me since it foreshadows what could happen if Obama wins the White House but is left with a sharply divided and fractured legislature. Same applies even if Romney were to win. It’s going to be a long four years. Looks like we aren’t going to achieve anything until this country decides one way or the other.