11/6/12

Old Glory

Whatever your political beliefs and whatever the outcome, make sure you vote this Election Day. (Photo credit: hunter1828)

The campaigns are finished. It’s time for America to speak.

After countless campaign events and untold billions of dollars, it’s all down to this. Whatever the outcome, voters should remember that the nation and world will go on come November 7th. A party shift in Congress will not destroy the federal government, nor will Barack Obama or Mitt Romney forever end American greatness. Election Day is more than a political victory or defeat, it’s living proof that the republic established over 200 years ago survives today. So cast your vote, make your voice heard, and may the best men (or women) win.

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THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

The Candidates:

President Barack Obama (D, incumbent): Elected in 2008, Democrat Barack Obama is the first African-American President of the United States. As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in response to the 2007-2009 recession. Other major domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, Obama ended US military involvement in the Iraq War, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and authorized the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In May 2012, he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support legalization of same-sex marriage.

Our verdict: Outside(r)LookingIn has endorsed Obama for reelection as President.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R, challenger): The 70th Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney is the 2012 Republican candidate for President of the United States. If elected, he would be the first Mormon to hold the office. Prior to holding office, he served as the successful chief executive officer of private equity firm Bain Capital. Romney would later rescue the failing 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City, an achievement that relaunched his political career. As Governor, he enacted a first in the nation universal health care law (“Romneycare”) and presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and the closure of corporate tax loopholes. After a failed 2008 presidential bid, Romney won the Republican nomination for the 2012 elections and chose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Our verdict: While a capable businessman, Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s record and policies ill suit the Oval Office or America’s future challenges.

 

Third party candidates:

Libertarian Party: Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson

Green Party: Physician and candidate for Governor of Massachusetts Jill Stein

Constitution Party: Former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode

Justice Party: Former Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah Rocky Anderson

 

Outside(r)LookingIn’s analysis:

Four More Years: Endorsing Barack Obama for reelection as President of the United States

The 47%: Mitt Romney’s unfortunate remarks and class war in America

A Tale of Two Cities: The Democratic and Republic nominating conventions

Game Change 2.0: Will Paul Ryan be a game changer for Republicans or another Sarah Palin?

Romneyshambles: The Republican nominee stumbles in the United Kingdom

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MASSACHUSETTS

Candidates for U.S. Senate:

Senator Scott Brown (R, incumbent): Elected in 2011, Scott Brown currently serves as the junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. He previously served as a member of the Massachusetts state legislature, first in its House of Representatives (1998–2004) and then in the State Senate (2004–2010). A Republican, Brown faced state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election to succeed the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. While he initially trailed Coakley by a significant margin, Brown saw a  late surge to post a surprise win as the first Republican Senator from Massachusetts since 1972. Brown is currently seeking election to a full Senate term in 2012.

Our verdict: Scott Brown has proven himself a capable Senator, though he overstates his commitment to bipartisanship when Republican causes are at stake.

Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren (D, challenger): An American bankruptcy law expert and Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. Warren came to national attention following the late 2000s financial crisis, when she served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She later served as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, proving instrumental in the creation of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in September 2011, challenging Republican incumbent Scott Brown, and won the Democratic Party nomination in June 2012.

Our verdict: Elizabeth Warren has a commendable record of consumer advocacy, though she lacks Brown’s prior legislative experience.

 

Massachusetts Statewide Ballot Questions:

Question 1: “Right to Repair” (auto repair reform)

Question 2: “Death with Dignity” (physician-assisted suicide)

Question 3: Legalization of Medical Marijuana

 

Outside(r)LookingIn’s analysis:

Democracy in Action: There’s still time to study up on the state’s ballot questions

Clash of the Titans: Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren go toe-to-toe in their first debate

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