Wednesday, April 27, 2011

History of the Democratic Party and the Birth Certificate

Over at Travel and History I've written a short "History of the Democratic Party", focusing mostly on presidents and briefly tracing the history of the democratic party from inception in the late 1700s to modern times with the election of our latest Democratic President, Barack Obama, who coincidentally just released a better copy of his birth certificate ... today.

Although the "birther"arguments have always been pretty dumb, it was also been odd that the Obama camp worked so hard to avoid releasing the "vault copy" or original certificate. My working hypothesis about that was that the original birth certificate probably was lost or defaced or contained something compromising which might have made greater trouble than simply stonewalling, but the release of this latest long form birth certificate official copy from Hawaii suggests that was wrong and there was nothing at all to hide. One would think the Obama election team would have waited until closer to the election to let the frothy nonsense continue, so perhaps they have decided this was eating into his popularity enough that waiting any longer was unwise.

In any case, it looks like the 2012 Presidential Election will now be pretty much in full swing, though as David Brooks suggested recently it's very hard to imagine anybody in the current field of candidates giving Obama much of a run. I think Romney is the most likely nominee and arguably has a shot, but a lot can happen in the coming months as Republicans work the dreary Iowa farms and fields to line up early support, effectively copying the brilliant strategy of the Obama 2008 early campaign juggernaut.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Obama v. Romney in 2012 ?

As the Republican presidential primary contenders start to shake out from the field of many to a few, two names seem to stand out conspicuously: Donald Trump and Mitt Romney. Readers of President Picker will note that we thought Romney would win last election's Republican Primary, and we'll stick with that prediction for this one. McCain's nomination and predictably weak candidacy was a surprise to us though the outcome was not. Romney is a far more formidable opponent to Obama, and we'll see a close 2012 race if he's the nominee, a race that will reflect the increasing level of political polarization in the USA.

The other conspicuous Republican is Donald Trump, the bombastic star of real estate and TV. It's remarkable to see how well Trump's doing right now in polling, though most likely this simply reflects the growing frustration with America's arguably obsolete two party focus - a system that largely requires a tribal approach to thinking and politics rather than the flexible and compromising strategies that would serve us better.