Obama -v- Romney: America decides
The most talked about feature of the US presidential election was the demographic and spatial divides long suspected but suddenly very clearly in view.
David Taylor in his article Republican White Guys Don’t Jump highlights that only 690 of more than 3000 counties on the US went the Obama’s way on election night, meaning essentially that the cities - younger, more ethnically diverse and more educated - chose Mr Obama. The rural areas - older, whiter, less educated - went for Mr Romney.
A glance at Australia suggests that we have the same issues in play. The heavily divided and often bitter political debate is a reality. Our sparsely populated rural areas continue to favour the conservative side of politics while the inner city votes progressive. Regional areas are also less culturally diverse, less educated and ageing faster than our metropolitan areas.
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Back in March, when the US presidential election campaign was in its early stages, the Washington Post newspaper awarded Barack Obama four Pinocchios.
This signified that, in the eyes of the newspaper’s full-time political fact-checker, the president had been caught out telling a blatant porkie.
Obama had claimed that Grover Cleveland, who served two terms as president in the late 19th century, disliked technology and was opposed to the telephone.
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Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott will be closely looking at how Barack Obama won the US election as they lock in their strategy for next year’s federal poll. It is not about winning the most votes as Kim Beazley found out the hard way in the 1998 GST election.
It is about winning enough votes in the right seats.
The key to Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney was winning the battleground states, such as Ohio. Not by big margins but by enough. In Australia, it’s battleground seats that matter. Abbott’s focus is on specific seats in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania. Gillard’s targets are in Queensland and Western Australia and to hold what she’s got in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. The focus will be on less than one-third of the 150 seats being contested.
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There was plenty for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to reflect on yesterday, as US President Barack Obama dramatically clinched a second term.
A little stability at the top of America is a good thing for Oz when it comes to a number of issues.
Gillard’s Treasury boffins will welcome the fact that Obama’s laws cracking down on Wall St will remain in place - and will help ward off future financial crises in the vein of 2008.
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President Obama has dramatically clinched a second term in the White House.
FOX News and CNN called the result for the president minutes ago, after crucial swing states fell into the President’s column.
The candidates needed 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. Here’s Puncher Paul Toohey’s explainer on how the electoral college system works.
For all the latest, follow the rolling coverage over at News.com.au. We’ll be here with you with our take on it as we get a clearer picture of what’s happening.
Tell us what you think below!
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Roseanne Barr is just one of the third party candidates standing at the US election, the votes of which are being tallied today. She’s standing for the Peace and Freedom Party. Chances of winning? Not high.
We should have some idea of how things are looking as results start to flow in around 11:30am AEST. Live rolling news coverage on News.com.au and all the best perspective here at The Punch.
It’s Wednesday. What’s on your mind?
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Mitt Romney should not be president, period. To suggest so is to flagrantly ignore the long list of gaffes, missteps, and contradictions that have characterised Romney’s campaign, and to further ignore the dangerous and destructive force that both he and the Republican Party represents. Romney’s substance consists of nothing more than scapegoats, bad policy and poor charisma.
Conservatives have heavily criticised “the liberal media” for portraying Romney as an extremist, but how much of that is true?
Take women’s reproductive rights, for example. Romney has flip-flopped on the issue of abortion since 1994, ranging from completely pro-choice, to completely anti-choice, and now he lies somewhere in-between.
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Mitt Romney is not a stylish politician. He will never match the uplifting rhetoric or easy charm of current US President Barack Obama. But if this week’s presidential election were to be decided purely on substance, Romney would win in a landslide.
For months, Democrats have depicted Romney as an extreme, uncaring plutocrat who wants to steal from the poor and give to the rich. President Obama, who promised to change the tone of politics for the better four years ago, has made the personal destruction of his opponent the centrepiece of his reelection strategy.
There’s just one problem. Romney doesn’t fit the caricature. In fact, his policies would do far more to help disadvantaged Americans than anything Obama has offered.
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The US Elections and the railways are long-standing bedfellows. No campaign during the 1800s would be complete without a ‘whistle stop tour’ – when candidates would charter trains to take them to the voters they hoped would carry them into office. This month I set out on my American Quest, travelling by train into the heart of some of this election’s most contentious issues, via some of its most keenly contested states.
Amtrak’s California Zephyr is one of the US national rail operator’s most famous services. This double decked train, with its iconic 1970s carriages, takes 48 hours to travel from Chicago to San Francisco. On the way it rolls from Obama’s Illinois heartland, through the critical swing state of Iowa and into rural Nebraska. It travels on via independent and unpredictable Colorado, to Romney’s Mormon base in Utah, and the beautiful Sierra Nevada. Finally, 4000 kilometres later, it arrives in California, and one of the world’s most liberal cities: San Francisco.
You would be hard pushed to find a more diverse slice of America, and that is precisely what we discovered on our trip.
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Natural disasters can be horrific and Australians have suffered our fair share over the years. Australians generally have a big heart when it comes to large scale calamities and are often the first to reach into their pockets following disasters locally and around the world.
However the cold political reality is that a hurricane like the one battering the US East Coast is often the saviour political operators within the ranks of the incumbent party secretly hope for.
It’s not some cynical commenter’s view but rather a historical political fact. Times of civil upheaval on a local, national and often global level generally favour the incumbent.
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The way the American media reported it, the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during the week was a bruising, bare-knuckle affair—the roughest and most aggressive presidential debate ever. Crocodile Dundee comes to mind. “That wasn’t aggressive. THIS is aggressive.”
The Democratic president and his Republican challenger presented their arguments forcefully, and there was plenty of needle in the contest. But, compared with what we’ve become used to in Australia in recent times, they were remarkably respectful towards each other in the language they used.
The most offensive term I heard during the 90 minute telecast was “offensive”. Although each man was out to convince the massive TV audience that his opponent was telling untruths, neither uttered the word “lie”.
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Obama is weak and has made America timid. Obama is more a follower than a leader; a passive figure lacking clarity, lacking purpose and lacking resolve. He has deserted past and potential allies, and is guilty of allowing the Middle East to become a more dangerous region than when he took office.
It’s less than a month to the US Presidential election, and as the focus turns from domestic to foreign policy, these are the charges being levelled against the incumbent by Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Speaking at the Virginia Military Institute in Washington recently, Romney prevailed on those gathered that the country couldn’t afford another four years of failure, passiveness and receding influence. That its best hope for realising a so-called ‘American century’, securing its dominant economic, political and cultural influence, is his elevation to the oval office. It’s a message he reiterated in yesterday’s town hall debate in Hampstead, New York.
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So the sleepyhead woke up. Whassup, Barack?
Lefties in the US were about to jump a fortnight ago, when the president lamely waffled his way through the first debate. Obama had his large cappuccino this time around. With his back against the wall today at the second “town hall debate”, the prez was the clear winner of a duel that featured questions from undecided Americans.
That’s not to say Romney didn’t sell himself well. He always sells himself well. He certainly has one flash haircare regimen to keep it grey only at the temples. He was especially convincing, and perhaps befuddling, when reeling off a string of stats about how Obama’s economy is down in the dumps.
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The US election is going to be a squeaker. An absolute squeaker, if the presidential debate today (mostly about the US economy and the president’s health care reforms) was any indication.
Obama sounded like he needed a strong cup of coffee. Maybe with a double shot of something much stronger.
He was lethargic and mathematical - sometimes incomprehensibly so. That was particularly the case in the first half of the debate, which focused on the economy.
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