On a macro level the last few weeks of the Ron Paul Presidential campaign have been a little bumpy. The turbulence was provided by a much publicized exchange with WHO Radioâ€™s Simon Conway and rough national television interviews with MSNBCâ€™s Chris Mathews and Fox Newsâ€™ Chris Wallace. The fact that the Mathewâ€™s interview would be contentious was likely known, but having Chris Wallace, on Fox News Sunday, aggressively infer that the â€œgeneral welfareâ€ clause was valid justification for unlimited Federal government involvement had to come as a shock (I know I was shocked).
If one thought that would dampen his supportersâ€™ enthusiasm, a few minutes spent at the Paul campaign headquarters in Ankeny on Monday would be enough to prove them mistaken. In fact the effort in Iowa seems to be humming along at an impressive pace. In less than two weeks, over a 110 County co-chairs have volunteered, 8 District co-chairs have signed on, and Mr. Paul has picked up his first Iowa legislative endorsement in Glenn Massie (R-Des Moines).
Due to this progress, for the second time in two weeks the candidate himself was on hand to personally thank these volunteers and to take a few questions from the media. During the Q and A session Paul spoke on Israel, reiterating his stance that their dependence on the U.S is effectively making them weaker and not stronger. He also happily acknowledged that more and more Republicans are coming around to his position against our involvements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In his view, this shift in thinking is the result of a mixture of disenchantment with realities on the ground and the fact that itâ€™s easier for Republicans to be less supportive now that these conflicts can be seen as â€œObamaâ€™s wars.â€ On the domestic front the only thing worth noting was his comments regarding Mike Huckabeeâ€™s decision not to enter the race. He called this development â€œsignificant,â€ adding that he thinks there is a good chance that he will appeal to Huckabeeâ€™s supporters.
The more time one spends covering the Ron Paul presidential run the more one understands the reasons for his supportersâ€™ legendary levels of enthusiasm. Chief among these [. . . ]
Photo courtesy of TEApublican.
The story of Presidential candidate Herman Cain begins and ends with personality. That is not to say that the middle doesn't contain a large amount of substance, because it does, but his emotive presence in a sea of dry politicians refuses to be overlooked. He, and his presence, were on hand to address a group of about eighty people Monday at The Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Des Moines.
As he gave a brief opening statement and took questions from the crowd one could quickly come to the conclusion that his personality, and not his impressive business experience, may be his biggest weapon moving forward. The current world of Presidential politics is one in which the media can conjure up a negative narrative on a candidate faster than a State Fair artist can draw you a self-portrait. When it comes to Herman Cain, this will not be so easy.
His personality is a rare mixture. I would call it one part warmth, one part energy, and two parts forcefulness. Though we wonâ€™t find out unless he raises his profile, if the media is able to demonize this manâ€¦then nobody is safe.
However inescapable it was, this campaign stop was about much more than [. . .]
For generations the biggest criticism of politics, and one that drives millions of Americans to â€œtune out,â€ is that politicians say one thing then do another. This is the sentiment expressed by our friends who hate politics, and we all have them, when they say various forms of the quotes listed above. The sad truth is that even for those of us who love it, itâ€™s a point that proves hard to argue.
If the problem was this simple I would say that the solution would be equally so, but there is more at play here. The surest and quickest way to remove political hypocrisy and gamesmanship from the landscape is to stop electing and re-electing career politicians. There are certainly potential downsides to electing less experienced political leaders, I wonâ€™t go into them here, but dishonesty and duplicity are not among them. By both nature and definition it stands to reason that politicians will play politics, and that you have a much better chance of getting principled leadership and conviction from those who are not. While far from groundbreaking this logic is undeniable and the beauty of it is that it would work equally well for both sides of the aisleâ€¦a true bi-partisan solution. So whatâ€™s the catch?
While this addresses the much complained about problem of political hypocrisy, it leaves untouched a problem that no one ever seems to talk aboutâ€¦voter hypocrisy. Thatâ€™s right, itâ€™s time to turn the lens on the American voter and call them out for being [. . .]