The Good in the Bad

by Ty Erb

Widener University American Government Student

Many weeks have passed since the election, and by now everyone knows President Obama is back in office for another four years.  His opponent, Mitt Romney, has nearly been forgotten after the loss.  Even though it was a loss for the Republicans, they search for the positive things that happened during this race.  One thing Romney did well was raise money.  Surprising, Romney matched Obama in the fundraising department and even had more money at his disposal the last two weeks of the race.  For the Republicans to ever think about winning, raising money like Romney did needs to be repeated.  Another positive aspect of Romney’s campaign was his debating techniques versus President Obama.  Romney held his own against the President and at time even defeated the President during their several debates.  It is necessary for the next Republican candidate to have strong debating qualities, similar to Romney’s.  The final aspects Romney achieved in was the economy voters.  Exit polls revealed about 6 out of 10 voters said the economy was the major issue in the United States.  Out of the voters Romney received 51% of their votes to Obama’s 47%.  Overall, Romney had positive aspects to his campaign but there was also negative.  For the Republicans to win the next race, the candidate needs to do the things Romney did well but also appeal to a larger voting group, mainly the minorities in America.

Just Go Away Romney

by Frank Heleniak

Widener University American Government Student

Before the election Mitt Romney was “the man,” “America’s comeback team,” and the next president. The GOP suddenly and blindly stood behind their candidate as the answer to the Obama question. Well now they just want him to go away. Post-Election sounds like the primaries all over again. Republican strategists will liken Romney to that of McCain who never established a strong foothold in the party and not seen by Republicans as one of their own. So why did those who did vote Romney ever vote for him in the first place?

Maybe 2012 wasn’t much unlike 2008. Another lame duck candidate? Or that the GOP is at fault and is too extreme and needs to change? Honestly, I think the real issue might be the general Republicans. It’s fair to say the Rs threw away the election in 2008. So 2012 could have been different, instead we allowed the candidates to destroy each other giving fuel for the Democrats. I’m sure some of the moderates like myself even hated the idea of voting for Romney then come election time offered our full support. That’s why it’ll be so easy to forget this election and Romney. Does the GOP need to rethink strategy and campaigning? Sure. But without regular Republicans demanding more from the party itself, the presidency is going to stay blue.

Romney’s Loss?

by Bridget Hicks

Widener University American Government Student

Election day is tomorrow and voters seem to be siding with President Obama, at least on the east coast. In the aftermath of Sandy’s tragic visit, Obama seems to be the only feasible candidate for to help the country. After the hurricane, the east coast, especially in my home state of New Jersey, was devastated. How is it possible for Governor Christy to spearhead the state’s recovery alone?

Obama paid a visit to the places destroyed by Hurricane Sandy to present his support for the recovery of the towns and people who were distraught by this storm. He came to lend a helping hand to Governor Christy. Where was the other candidate? Where was Governor Romney?

Romney is staying strong with his word. Romney supports more state power, with smaller federal government power. He believes the states should be in charge of disaster recovery. As an in-land resident of New Jersey I was fortunate not to experience the complete and utter destruction in the coastal areas. However, my home, as well as others around me, also experienced destruction. Seeing President Obama going around to New Jersey citizens and offering his support was comforting. Obama is someone I would want to see leading the country. He is a man who is here to help in times of need and does not just assume his role to give states powers that he should also take responsibility for. With the election so close, this trip to New Jersey for Obama was a huge help not only to gain support from the people of the east coast but everywhere. When people hear of this, they think “what would I expect if I were in that situation?” They would want a president who is there for them and ready to come help. Romney seriously damaged his campaign by not coming over to the east coast and acknowledging this disaster while Obama capitalized on this opportunity.

Where is Obama’s Charisma?

By Ryan Devine

Widener University American Government Student

Jim Rutenberg recently penned an article depicting President Obama’s current campaign headquarters, strategy and enthusiasm.  Rutenberg’s article paints a picture of a very methodical, down to earth campaign committee that is working feverishly and with a slight air of desperation due to the recent surge by Governor Romney.  This stands in stark contrast to his 2008 campaign that became as much a pop-culture movement as it did a political one.  The boardwalks up and down the coast were littered with “Yes We Can” t-shirts and the iconic “Change” posters of Obama infiltrated every walk of life.  These gimmicks that then Senator Obama employed fueled him to a convincing win that never really seemed all that close in the waning weeks of the 2008 election.  However, this time around the possibility of defeat appears to be very real.  President Obama lived and died with the charismatic showman persona throughout his first run at presidency and, due to his natural talents, beat Senator John McCain.

President Obama seems to have abandoned that approach for the most part though and I have to believe it is a major factor in his inability to put Romney away before the debates and played a key role in his embarrassing performance in the first debate.  Essentially, he is playing a game that suits Mitt Romney’s strengths.  This year’s election seems to be a more classical campaign from both sides without the fanfare that Obama drew in ’08.  This has been a he advantage for Mitt Romney who comedian and political talking head John Stewart described as what you would get if you asked for a president to be shipped to you in a box, in terms of his appearance and his actions, while speaking with Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly factor” in 2011.  Barack Obama’s inability to make himself the biggest celebrity in the world for a second time has clearly held back his ability to take control of this election.  Unless he can turn back the clock and really energize the nation around his image in the next two weeks, he is going have a very difficult time beating out Mitt Romney.

The Impact of Images in 2012 Presidential Advertising

by Amanda Raimer

Widener University American Government Student

A New York Times article, “Images, Themes and Props in Presidential Campaign Ads”, listed statistics about the kinds of subjects that were contained in the different ads for each party and how they were used in the ads. While many of the statistics were similar between the parties, there were a few that were glaringly different. For instance, only 1% of Obama’s campaign ads show “tears or visually sad” subjects, while 21% of Romney’s ads focused on this pertaining mostly to unemployment and taxes. This makes sense in that Obama is attempting to focus on the positive parts of his past four years and reminding people of their hardships will remind them that it was under during his presidency that these things happened; Romney is using these hardships against Obama to convince voters they don’t want another four years like the past four.

Another drastic difference showed in the number of ads that focused on the elderly, with Obama having 38 ads and Romney only having two. I thought this was interesting because senior citizens are normally thought to be majority Republicans, so then why didn’t seniors appear in more of those ads? It is possible that the Romney campaign believes they have already secured the vote of the elderly and don’t want to waste money, but the Obama campaign is trying to sway more elderly to vote Democrat and so includes more seniors in their ads so that this population feels included under the Obama administration.

One statistic that I thought was interesting was that Obama not only used the American flag in his ads 5 times as much as Romney, but he also made the flag appear in a positive light, while Romney sometimes showed the flag as damaged or burning. In this case I think that Obama has the right idea on this strategy. Romney is trying to show that under Obama we are not safe and the country is disintegrating, but at the same time he should try to also use the flag in a positive light while talking about the American future under his presidency. I feel like positive and progressive outlooks are more effective than just looking at the past and only talking about what went wrong in the past.

Overall these statistics showed me how the candidates use different subjects to evoke certain emotions in their audiences. Even the same subject matter can be utilized to provoke very different reactions depending on the context. This article gave me insight into what the candidates are most concerned about and their strategies for dealing with those issues.

Romney Didn’t Watch Democratic Convention Either

by Frank Heleniak

Widener University American Government Student

As I’m sure is the case with many students around the US right now, many professors/teachers have harped on their students to watch both the Republican and Democratic conventions – especially to the speeches of the two candidates. Instantly the thought of bypassing both broadcasts popped into my head, and apparently Republican candidate Mitt Romney agreed with me. He claimed to not watch the DNC either.

As a 20 year old Engineering student, maybe my main reason for not watching President Obama’s speech is because I (and maybe the country) would be better off finishing homework and reports. However it could also be my preconceived notion of endless rhetoric from the President over the last four years and that creates a bond between myself and Presidential hopeful Romney. The Republican nominee cites another series of “new promises that [President Obama] is not going to keep” as his main reason for not watching the President’s speech, that Romney “saw the promises the last time.”

My opinion on the President aside, at first glance this doesn’t seem tremendously intelligent. If I was going up against anyone, I’d like to have as much information on them as possible. But maybe there is more to his public announcement. It very well could be a ploy to appeal to conservatives as a stance of action against the President’s “promises he did not keep.” For Mitt’s sake, hopefully a lot of voters on the bubble followed his example.