The yoga class I took just before last night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address wiped me out. I fell asleep immediately afterward. Which is good because I had a chance to think overnight about the parts that resonated most with me.
I’ve been tough on the president in the past, disappointed with his timidity and unwillingness to set a big bold agenda.
The other good thing about writing the day after is that others have fact checked. And the de rigeur liberal critique as well as Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) really awful other-party rebuttal have been duly hashed and rehashed.
With the benefit of reflection, here are my three favorite parts of the speech.Read More
As we sing the last hoorahs of 2012, young politicas and politicos everywhere may feel a bit of uncertainty over where the next year is headed. We’ve seen many victories for our interests, but what will newly elected policy makers do to ensure that they earn their keep?
And what’s next for us?
Here are my five hopes for young people and politics in 2013.
1. For young people to go from special report to necessary demographic in national media.
It seems that the results of the November election came as a shock to the media and pollsters. We have proved that we swing elections and that we here to stay. And our age group piques the interests of many demographics.
I hope that instead of getting a special write up in Huff Post College, we will make it to the front page.
2. For young people to remain politically active.
In the coming year, young people must remain engaged with the political process in order to remain relevant. Just as the media remembered us in the 2012 election, they can as soon forget about us in 2013!Read More
Since the U.S. reached the debt ceiling in late 2012 and the country’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history, talks of reaching a fiscal cliff have loomed.
The fiscal cliff is a term used to describe what will happen after the start of the new year if there is no budget reform. If Congress does not reach a deal extending tax cuts by the time the Budget Control Act of 2011 goes into effect, taxes will be raised for anyone in the workforce. The result may be another recession.
How can it affect you?
If congress does not reach a deal, $661 billion in new tax hikes will start affecting your first paycheck (a two percent increase) after January 1st. On January 2nd, $78 billion in sequester hikes will begin cutting on some government and private sector workforces, likely causing layoffs and budget cuts.
How can this problem be solved?Read More
A friend posted a photo on Facebook of a long line at her polling place this morning with the comment that “it’s a good sign when voters are treating an election like Black Friday at Walmart.” Now we have to wait all day to learn which of the candidates brought forth this outpouring of interest: do voters think Obama or Romney is the better bargain?
Both campaigns have made mistakes galore, balancing each other out in about the same horserace numbers as the daily polls have recently shown the race to be. Romney’s worst was hoisting himself on his own petard of Etch-a-Sketch positions, thus eroding voter trust, then nailing his coffin with the deliberately false Jeep ad.
Obama’s worst mistake was four years in the making. He failed to run, as Harry Truman successfully did, against the “do nothing Congress” that is more at fault for the lack of economic progress than the president who at least put forward some ideas. He had to re-energize many discouraged 2008 supporters as a result. But thanks to the Republican War on Women which Romney could not separate himself from, Obama was able to seize a set of issues that resonate with progressive women who make up almost 60% of the Democratic base.
Romney’s mistakes were mistakes of character and likability; Obama’s were mistakes of leadership style.Read More
At this point in the presidential race, students like myself do not have time to sift through crooked statistics and tired rhetoric. We have enough of those things on our plate already, considering that we’re reviewing for midterms.
Romney and Obama could have saved us the trouble. Most of the students I spoke with at New York University, which I attend, were already informed about the policy issues addressed during the televised train wreck. And those who were undecided said that they were still thinking through both policies because the debate offered little to them.
“I thought both candidates did an excellent job at talking their way around some key issues,” John Facey, a junior studying creative writing, said.
The candidates were just picking on each other like boys in the school yard. One friend likened Jim Lehrer’s authority to that of a high school substitute teacher: only after the fifth warning did the kids eventually settle down.
And just like almost every American who watched the debate on Wednesday, the student voter population was left scratching their heads once Lehrer finally called it a night.Read More
The bright spot is that the recall process has forced Walker to moderate his language if not his actions and if the numbers hold out, he will be faced with a Democratic majority in the state senate to slow down his union-busting, tea-party sponsored initiatives.
But I see an ominous cloud of Obama’s making for the national elections in November. Will he learn from this that it does no good to try to deflect controversy from yourself and let other people take the fall?
Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker has survived the gubernatorial recall election against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Associated Press reports. The victory comes after Walker divided Wisconsin by making changes to state laws governing collective bargaining for public employees. Though Obama won the state by 13 points in 2008, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is expected to be more competitive in the state this fall.
Does this victory put Wisconsin in play for the GOP in 2012?Read More
Politico Arena asked:
Evangelist Franklin Graham yesterday called President Obama’s religious views into question, stating he does not know if Obama is a Christian. http://huff.to/xEEBXb
Are Graham’s comments a sign that religious voters are questioning Obama’s faith? Or will the comments lose steam before the election?
My Response: As I watched that interview with Franklin Graham yesterday, I felt I was seeing the worst of fundamentalist arrogance unfolding for all the world to see. Republicans are going to regret ever letting this man open his mouth on their behalf. Every sound bite in his disgusting attempt to create doubt about the President’t religious beliefs made Graham look more bigoted and less like the moral beacon one expects a man of the cloth to be.
His hypocritical endorsement of Santorum (and even Gingrich!) while damning Obama with faint praise showed Graham to be the morally compromised person.Read More
I’ve been critical of the President’s leadership in the past, and wrote this about a previous State of the Union address. But I’m rooting for him to be at his rhetorical and persuasive best tonight, not so much for his re- election prospects as for the good of the country.
Candidate Obama had a large vision during his campaign and it called us to our higher selves. In part his decisive 2008 victory was due to America’s exhaustion with George W. Bush. But a big factor was Obama’s vision and his promises to lead a progressive agenda once elected.
Instead, once elected, he focused on small vision projects and on doing deals rather than articulating the ideals that had propelled him into office. Tonight’s speech gives him a new opportunity– the last such chance he’ll have during this term–to give people that bigger vision and not just to say things that are safe. To come out swinging at the RepublicansRead More
Thanks to Victoria Pynchon for this excellent cross post, originally published on Forbes.com — it’s jam packed with advice Congress really ought to take before the next seemingly intractable debate.Be sure to read down to recommendation #8. Seems like great minds think alike 😉
As the Charlotte Observer noted this morning, with six days remaining before “expected economic chaos,” our leaders “not only can’t agree on a grand vision for how to get America’s debt under control, they can’t even take the basic steps needed to pay all the bills and avert financial panic.” Until the crisis is solved, we will continue our series of negotiation advice for the Democrats and the GOP from some of the leading lights in the negotiation world.
Today, I’ve posed eight questions to author, lawyer and negotiation trainer and consultant Carol Frohlinger, co-author of Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success and co-founder of Negotiating Women, Inc, which provides practical skills training women can use immediately to be more successful at work.Read More
Arena Asked: Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) is drawing comparisons in her Republican presidential bid with another longshot candidate – Howard Dean, for a few months in 2003-04 the leading Democratic contender to challenge President George W. Bush. Both have drawn big summer crowds by pledging to confrontRead More