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US Election 2012

Analysis and Comment (91)

‘Corporations are people’ – and so, apparently, is Mitt Romney. ‘Corporations are people’ – and so, apparently, is Mitt Romney. Gage Skidmore

With Mitt, Netflix shows human side of a hamstrung candidate

Mitt, a newly released documentary about former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, provides an up-close look at the exhausting presidential election process in the U.S. This is no House of Cards when…
The American people have spoken in favour of climate change by re-electing Barack Obama to a second presidential term. The American people have spoken in favour of climate change by re-electing Barack Obama to a second presidential term. Flickr/350.org

Obama’s second term challenges must include tackling climate change

In his acceptance speech of November 6, Barack Obama at long last reaffirmed the need to address global warming. But unfortunately he also reaffirmed the spurious goal of US oil independence, which can…
US President Barack Obama meets with his soon to be Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this year. US President Barack Obama meets with his soon to be Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this year. EPA/Martin H. Simon

Heeding the echoes of history as global leadership shifts

CHINA IN TRANSITION: As China goes through its secretive but widely anticipated leadership transition, the rest of the world is watching. This week, The Conversation takes an in depth look at the National…
Gay marriage advocates in Australia would have watched last week’s US elections results with interest. Gay marriage advocates in Australia would have watched last week’s US elections results with interest. AAP/Dean Lewins

The same-sex marriage implications for Australia from the US election and abroad

The main stories coming out of the recent elections in the United States have of course been that Barack Obama won a second term, and which party controls the House and the Senate. However, the election…
Iranian students demonstrate in Tehran to mark the 33rd anniversary of US Embassy takeover. Iranian students demonstrate in Tehran to mark the 33rd anniversary of US Embassy takeover. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Obama’s legacy could lie in the Middle East, but will he go for it?

The re-election of Barack Obama to a second term will have significant ramifications for an America struggling with economic and social difficulties. But will it have the same impact on residents of the…
Now that Barack Obama has been re-elected for a second term, what are the implications for Australia? Now that Barack Obama has been re-elected for a second term, what are the implications for Australia? EPA/Shawn Thew

Australia and Obama’s return

All the world has a stake America’s presidential election. Barack Obama has seen off a surprisingly strong showing from Republican candidate Mitt Romney and now has four final years in the executive office…
President Barack Obama, pictured here with Chinese President Hu Jintao, will continue to ‘pivot’ to Asia. President Barack Obama, pictured here with Chinese President Hu Jintao, will continue to ‘pivot’ to Asia. EPA/Alex Wong

Foreign affairs: what can we expect from Obama’s second term?

Sitting in New York, in the aftermath of an American election dominated by a domestic agenda, it is easy to lose sight of both the pressing external problems that the US continues to face, and the impact…
The party may be over for right-wing republicans. The party may be over for right-wing republicans. sobyrne99

Tea Party goes cold as US voters reject the far right

The Tea Party Movement appeared to have become a major force in American politics in the 2010 mid-term elections, sweeping 87 new Republicans into the lower house, biting into the Democrats' lead in the…
Obama’s victory tweet set Twitter records. Obama’s victory tweet set Twitter records. @BarackObama

‘Four more years’: that Obama tweet and the politics of intimacy

It’s been quite a year for tweeters. First we had the Twitter Olympics. Now, Barack Obama’s first impulse, on hearing of his re-election as President of the United States, was to tweet out thanks to the…
President Obama cut through the campaign spin in delivering his acceptance speech in Chicago: President Obama cut through the campaign spin in delivering his acceptance speech in Chicago: EPA/Tannen Maury

‘That’s what politics can be’ – US winners and losers speak

One of the standout characteristics of the 2012 campaign was the candidates’ conspiracy of tedium. Barack Obama’s research had shown him that voters are deeply suspicious of his rhetorical brilliance (even…
Newly re-elected President Barack Obama reaped the benefits of a broad demographic appeal, and an increasingly irrelevant opposition. Newly re-elected President Barack Obama reaped the benefits of a broad demographic appeal, and an increasingly irrelevant opposition. EPA/Shawn Thew

Obama forges winning coalition as GOP faces electoral irrelevance

After an expensive, unenlightening, and interminable campaign, Barack Obama overcame a weak economy, high unemployment, and a lacklustre performance in his first debate with Mitt Romney, and was re-elected…
Mitt Romney had everything in his favour heading into the election, but still managed to lose. Mitt Romney had everything in his favour heading into the election, but still managed to lose. EPA/Matt Campbell

The revenge of the 47%

This was Mitt Romney’s last best chance to be president of the United States of America. Romney had a relatively easy primary contest. All the other Republican candidates shot themselves in the foot by…
The next four years in office for Barack Obama (and VP Joe Biden) will define his presidency and historical standing. The next four years in office for Barack Obama (and VP Joe Biden) will define his presidency and historical standing. EPA/Shawn Thew

Forward for four more years: how Obama won his second term

Barack Obama’s re-election won’t generate the same exuberance as 2008. The lofty rhetoric of “Hope” and “Change” has been replaced by the much more sombre message of “Forward”. And while four years ago…
America has spoken: Barack Obama has won a second term as president. America has spoken: Barack Obama has won a second term as president. EPA/Steve Pope

Obama wins on the economy and the auto bailout

Barack Obama has won a second term as President of the United States. For months we were told this would be a close election. The received wisdom was a spluttering economy would play badly for the incumbent…
Follow the money: the US may not be perfect, but Australian campaign finance laws need tightening. Follow the money: the US may not be perfect, but Australian campaign finance laws need tightening. EPA/Erik S. Lesser

Think the US electoral system is flawed? Check out Australia’s …

In the run-up to today’s presidential election, President Barack Obama received just over $632 million in candidate contributions. Want to know who from? These direct, individual donations (known as “hard…
The stage is set for the Romney/Ryan election night event in Boston, Massachusetts. The stage is set for the Romney/Ryan election night event in Boston, Massachusetts. EPA/Matt Campbell

The insider: what’s really happening inside the campaigns on election day

It is now election day in the United States. You can compare being on an American political campaign on this final frenetic day to spawning salmon giving their all to leap waterfalls before they die. Media…
Face off: finally Americans will go to the polls to decide between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president. Face off: finally Americans will go to the polls to decide between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

The ‘empty chair’ election: those who turn up will decide

While haranguing an empty chair at the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood stumbled upon the central metaphor of the 2012 election. The election has been, on the whole, about people who were…
Slogans such as “Real Change On Day One” have featured heavily during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Slogans such as “Real Change On Day One” have featured heavily during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. EPA/Shawn Thew

Mitt Romney’s ill-fated last stand

In these last days of the United States presidential election, the images from the campaign trail document the confusion of the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan campaign. The unclear Republican message is no match…
Streets are covered by debris caused by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. How will it affect the presidential race? Streets are covered by debris caused by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. How will it affect the presidential race? EPA/Michael Reynolds

Race to the White House: Tim Lynch, Nick Bisley

Welcome to part nine of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, we ask…
Mitt Romney stands to become the first Mormon President, but his religion has barely rated a mention in the campaign. Mitt Romney stands to become the first Mormon President, but his religion has barely rated a mention in the campaign. EPA/Win McNamee

Should we be worried about a Mormon President?

There is a long and dishonourable tradition of religious prejudice in American presidential elections. Catholics running for office have borne the brunt. Democratic candidate Al Smith was subjected to…
Volunteers work the phones to “get out the vote” for the Romney/Ryan campaign in Virginia. Volunteers work the phones to “get out the vote” for the Romney/Ryan campaign in Virginia. EPA/Shawn Thew

How ‘getting out the vote’ might decide the US election

Hurricane Sandy will leave more than physical destruction in its wake. Arriving just days before the US presidential election, the storm could have a political fallout as well. Sandy has affected the key…
Mitt Romney outside 10 Downing Street during his gaffe-plagued trip to Europe earlier this year. Mitt Romney outside 10 Downing Street during his gaffe-plagued trip to Europe earlier this year. EPA/Neil Munns

A Romney presidency: the implications for Europe

There is less than a week to go in the US presidential race, and the candidates are coming agonisingly close in various battleground states. Imagining Mitt Romney in the White House might turn a few Democrat…
As New York City firefighters look over two houses struck by trees in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, both Republicans and Democrats worry about the impact on voter turnout. As New York City firefighters look over two houses struck by trees in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, both Republicans and Democrats worry about the impact on voter turnout. EPA/Justin Lane

Why Sandy could be the ‘October Surprise’ of the 2012 presidential election

On November 4, 1979 when Jimmy Carter’s presidency depended on gaining the freedom of the US hostages held by Iranian student militants, he was unable to achieve this goal even when it looked like the…
Mitt Romney campaigns in the crucial swing state of Ohio, one of a number of states which will decide the presidency. Mitt Romney campaigns in the crucial swing state of Ohio, one of a number of states which will decide the presidency. EPA/Shawn Thew

A guide to the must-win states for Obama and Romney

With eight days until the US presidential election, Mitt Romney seems to have a very slight edge in the national polls. However, every respectable poll aggregator, along with all the betting and futures…
“I Voted”: but in many American states, the winner-takes-all Electoral College system renders some votes wasted. “I Voted”: but in many American states, the winner-takes-all Electoral College system renders some votes wasted. EPA/Erik S. Lesser

Electoral College system gears up again amidst rumblings of reform

Every four years, bemused Australians endeavour to come to terms with the Electoral College voting system for the President of the United States. While Americans vote directly for most political officeholders…
President Barack Obama would be well advised to catch some sleep on the plane during his whirlwind tour. President Barack Obama would be well advised to catch some sleep on the plane during his whirlwind tour. EPA/Michael Reyonds

Obama’s all-nighter: fast, furious and foolish

Politicians of all persuasions often claim they need little sleep to lead their nations. Thatcher, Hawke, Abbott, Rudd, Berlusconi and Clinton are all examples of this “on the job 24 hours per day” club…
President Barack Obama casts his vote in Chicago. President Barack Obama casts his vote in Chicago. EPA/Brian Cassella

Race to the White House: Joe Siracusa, David Malet

Welcome to part eight of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. And as election day…
President Obama’s sporting prowess has helped his popularity among the wider American electorate. President Obama’s sporting prowess has helped his popularity among the wider American electorate. EPA/Kevin Dietsch

Presidential politics: the true US national pastime

For many Americans, it seems, politics is the ultimate sport, the true national pastime. Like athletes, political candidates are written about and widely seen as heated rivals – for popularity, power…
Voters in Florida casting their votes through electronic voting, introduced in the wake of 2000’s “hanging chad” controversy. Voters in Florida casting their votes through electronic voting, introduced in the wake of 2000’s “hanging chad” controversy. EPA/Rhona Wise

A foreigners’ guide to US election technology

Elections in the United States are run by state authorites that use a wide variety of voting technologies, often with newsworthy results. Some computerised elections have even awarded the election to the…
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney finally discussed the war in Afghanistan during the third debate on US foreign affairs. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney finally discussed the war in Afghanistan during the third debate on US foreign affairs. EPA/Michael Reynolds

The third debate and the nagging Afghan-Pakistan question

For a war that has gone on for more than a decade, cost the American taxpayer some US$500 billion, claimed the lives of more than two thousand GIs and inflicted many more thousands of wounded, the conflict…
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama face off in the third and final debate on foreign policy. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama face off in the third and final debate on foreign policy. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Round three to Obama – now it’s a race to November 6

In the heavyweight clash of the presidential candidates, round three went to President Barack Obama on points – not by knockout. This means the incumbent won two out of the three match-ups. Interestingly…
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney share the goal of US “energy independence”. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney share the goal of US “energy independence”. Neil Kremer/Flickr

US elections and environment: The dubious goal of US ‘energy independence’

Energy policy featured only briefly in the first debate between President Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney. As became evident in the second debate, Romney’s case for restoring strong economic growth…
Republicans have dragged the US energy policy debate, on issues like foreign oil independence, far to the right. Republicans have dragged the US energy policy debate, on issues like foreign oil independence, far to the right. micheleoneill/Flickr

US elections and environment: the politics and the policy fundamentals

That Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is locked into such an unalloyed pro-oil stance is not so surprising, given the alignment of the core Republican states with oil producers' interests. However…
Barack Obama, pictured with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been accused of throwing Israel “under the bus”. Barack Obama, pictured with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been accused of throwing Israel “under the bus”. EPA/Aaron Showalter

Why Obama and Romney are both supporting a particular Israel

At the same dinner party that Mitt Romney infamously told his $50,000-a-plate supporters that 47% of the American public are slackers, he also delved into foreign policy. Romney told his audience that…
Obama gets his game on for the second presidential debate. Obama gets his game on for the second presidential debate. AAP

Race to the White House: Stephanie Brookes, Tim Verhoeven

Welcome to part seven of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, we discuss…
Hands up who wants to go to a private school? Barack Obama visits an elementary school in Silver Springs, Maryland. Hands up who wants to go to a private school? Barack Obama visits an elementary school in Silver Springs, Maryland. EPA/Chip Somodevilla

US elections: do school vouchers work?

Most Americans agree that public education in their country is broken. The infrastructure of thousands of schools is decaying, scores on standardised tests are stagnant, and roughly 1.2 million students…
President Obama gave a much improved performance in the second of three presidential debates. President Obama gave a much improved performance in the second of three presidential debates. EPA/Win McNamee

US presidential debate: Obama gets his game on

The president probably wished he could have taken the shot again after his listless debate performance two weeks ago. There are no do-overs in politics. But then, in the second debate in New York, he just…
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has promised a tougher stance on China, but his policy responses have left a lot to be desired. Republican candidate Mitt Romney has promised a tougher stance on China, but his policy responses have left a lot to be desired. EPA/Bryan Bedder

Mitt Romney’s China policy could be yet another flip-flop

With less than a month to go in the presidential campaign, the next two debates provide President Barack Obama with a chance to be more assertive against Republican candidate Mitt Romney following his…
President Obama is mobbed like a rockstar wherever he goes, but how well do his public statements connect with the electorate? President Obama is mobbed like a rockstar wherever he goes, but how well do his public statements connect with the electorate? EPA/Michael Nelson

The art of the campaign gaffe: what we learn when candidates stuff up

Speaking to a room full of wealthy donors at a private fundraising event in May, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said 47% of American voters believed they were “victims” and “entitled” to…
Vice President Joe Biden’s nonverbal cues did him no favours. Vice President Joe Biden’s nonverbal cues did him no favours. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Biden laughs and loses the vice presidential debate

With more 67 million people watching the first debate between President Barrack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the pressure was on Vice President Joseph Biden and Representative Paul Ryan to perform well…
Can Paul Ryan match Mitt Romney’s achievement and score a win in the debate against his Democratic opponent? Can Paul Ryan match Mitt Romney’s achievement and score a win in the debate against his Democratic opponent? EPA/Shawn Thew

US vice presidential debate: Ryan and Biden square off

A vice president is usually brought in to complement the president’s vision and policies. However, this year, it was the Republican presidential candidates who had to tailor their own platforms to the…
The administration of Barack Obama - seated here with South African President Jacob Zuma - has been criticised for not focusing more foreign policy attention on Africa. The administration of Barack Obama - seated here with South African President Jacob Zuma - has been criticised for not focusing more foreign policy attention on Africa. EPA/Olivier Douliery

Africa and the US presidential campaign

This year’s US presidential election has been notable for the lack of focus on foreign policy issues by either candidate. Certainly Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, has attempted to gain traction…
Will Mitt Romney’s performance in the first debate boost his previously flagging campagin? Will Mitt Romney’s performance in the first debate boost his previously flagging campagin? EPA/Rick Wilking

Romney’s return: can one debate change the campaign?

Mitt Romney’s victory in the first presidential debate has given his campaign a much-needed lift with four weeks remaining until the election. But can the strength of Romney’s debate performance really…
The challenger and defender: the first US presidential debate has changed the game for Romney and Obama. The challenger and defender: the first US presidential debate has changed the game for Romney and Obama. AAP

Race to the White House: Dennis Altman, Nick Bisley

Welcome to part five of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, Romney…
The US is no longer off-limits for Australian politicians. The US is no longer off-limits for Australian politicians. AAP/The Treasury

Cranks, crazies and globalisation – US politics is fair game for Aussies

Wayne Swan’s remark last month that the US Republican Party had been taken over by “cranks and crazies” is notable in two respects. First, it is true. Second, it marks a further move towards a globalised…
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigning in the battleground state of Ohio last month, one of the states the Republicans need to fall their way in November. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigning in the battleground state of Ohio last month, one of the states the Republicans need to fall their way in November. EPA/Shawn Thew

US elections: battleground states

It is about five weeks before the election and, overall, President Obama seems to hold a small but steady margin over Mitt Romney. However, predictions regarding the popular vote are not as important as…
President Barack Obama address the United Nations General Assembly this week. President Barack Obama address the United Nations General Assembly this week. AAP/Jason Szenes

Race to the White House: Binoy Kampmark, Geoffrey Robinson

Welcome to part four of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, Binoy Kampmark…
Do lawn signs like these have any effect on prospective voters? Do lawn signs like these have any effect on prospective voters? Flickr/Animantis

My yard, my candidate: the social psychology of lawn signs

As the November elections draw nearer, front yards across America are sprouting campaigns signs broadcasting their chosen political candidates. These lawn signs have been a traditional part of politics…
It’s been a tough week for Mitt Romney. Can he turn it around? It’s been a tough week for Mitt Romney. Can he turn it around? EPA/Brian Blanco

Race to the White House: Tim Verhoeven, Joe Siracusa

Welcome to part three of our Race to the White House pod cast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, Tim Verhoeven…
Mitt Romney has said that 47% of households pay no federal income tax, but something about the statement doesn’t add up. Mitt Romney has said that 47% of households pay no federal income tax, but something about the statement doesn’t add up. AAP

Doing the math on Mitt Romney and the ‘47%’

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s comment that 47% of households pay no federal income tax is true. (It’s actually closer to 46%.) But when you dig beneath the bumper-sticker headline, his…
Mitt Romney’s 47% comments portray a man out of touch with most American lives. Mitt Romney’s 47% comments portray a man out of touch with most American lives. EPA/CJ Gunter

Mitt’s 47% gaffe: the Romney shambles rolls on

At a certain point, Mitt Romney will have to pony up for the monocle and top hat if he wants to heighten his similarities to Rich Uncle Moneybags. Rhetorically, he’s topped out. Romney filled his gaffe…
Burdened by expectation: Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House aboard Marine One last weekend. Burdened by expectation: Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House aboard Marine One last weekend. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Obama or Romney? The choice of the 1%

On November 6, US voters will make a choice between two very different candidates with very different visions, policies and approaches. Well, that is the official version, at least. The reality is rather…
Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech to his party’s convention last month attracted heavy scrutiny from political ‘fact-checkers’. Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech to his party’s convention last month attracted heavy scrutiny from political ‘fact-checkers’. EPA/Justin Lane

The lost cause of American political fact-checkers

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. – Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Political fact checkers seem to perform a vital public service for American democracy. Websites such as FactCheck.org…
Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrive at a press conference for the death of the US Ambassador to Libya. Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrive at a press conference for the death of the US Ambassador to Libya. AAP/Michael Reynolds

Race to the White House: Dennis Altman, David Malet

Welcome to part two of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, Dennis Altman…
With the rise of “SuperPACs”, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a fundraising advantage over President Barack Obama. With the rise of “SuperPACs”, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a fundraising advantage over President Barack Obama. EPA/CJ Gunther

Explainer: what is a Super PAC?

David Weisbrot of the University of Sydney explains where the money comes from with the rise of Super PACs in the US presidential elections, in collaboration with SBS Online.
Barack Obama is running for his second and final term as US President - but what do Australian experts make of his presidency so far and the election to come? Barack Obama is running for his second and final term as US President - but what do Australian experts make of his presidency so far and the election to come? EPA/Jason Reed

US presidential elections: the view from Australia

Ahead of the US presidential election in November, five prominent Australian thinkers give us their view on what they would like to come out of the contest. Joshua Gans, Professor of Strategic Management…
US President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Julia Gillard on his first trip to Australia in November last year. US President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Julia Gillard on his first trip to Australia in November last year. AAP/Alan Porritt

Explainer: foreign relations and the US elections

Brendan O'Connor from the University of Sydney discusses the foreign policy implications for Australia, Iran and China ahead of the US presidential elections, produced in collaboration with SBS Online…
Locked out: many Americans may find it harder to cast their vote in the upcoming presidential elections in November. Locked out: many Americans may find it harder to cast their vote in the upcoming presidential elections in November. EPA/Jay Laprete

The right to vote the right way – how voter ID laws hurt the poor

With Mitt Romney getting only a small bounce from the Republican National Convention, the polls are currently showing a virtual dead heat between Romney and President Barack Obama just eight weeks from…
Barack Obama needs to impress undecided and unlikely voters at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Barack Obama needs to impress undecided and unlikely voters at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. EPA/Tannen Maury

In Charlotte, preaching to the choir may be wise for Obama

“You know there is something wrong with the kind of job he has done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.” It was the best line of Romney’s convention speech and highlights…
President Obama addresses the American Latino Heritage Forum in Washington last year. President Obama addresses the American Latino Heritage Forum in Washington last year. EPA/Olivier Douliery

Explainer: the Latino vote in the US

In the first of The Conversation’s video explainer series - produced in collaboration with SBS Online - Dr David Smith from the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney discusses the importance…
Who will occupy the White House next? Our experts give their insight. Who will occupy the White House next? Our experts give their insight. Matt Wade Photography

Race to the White House: Tim Lynch, Nick Sharman

Welcome to the first of our weekly podcasts dissecting US politics in the run-up to the presidential election. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the Romney…
Barack Obama is regarded as one of the greatest political orators of the modern era. Barack Obama is regarded as one of the greatest political orators of the modern era. EPA

American election rhetoric: great 2008 speeches cast long 2012 shadows

With the Democratic National Convention taking place this week in Charlotte, North Carolina, and noted orator Barack Obama set to speak on Friday (Australian time), The Conversation looks at the art of…
Mitt Romney and wife Ann greet the Republican convention. Mitt Romney and wife Ann greet the Republican convention. EPA

Mitt Romney, the next President of the United States? Maybe

Today in Florida, Mitt Romney formally accepted the Republican nomination for President of the United States. In and of itself, this changes nothing. Since May we have known that Romney had the nomination…
Some Republicans may be yearning for a return to the gold standard, but the idea has lost its lustre among the vast majority of economists. Some Republicans may be yearning for a return to the gold standard, but the idea has lost its lustre among the vast majority of economists. Image from www.shutterstock.com

The gold standard of truthiness: a bad idea that feels good (to some Republicans)

A few years back, mock-conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert famously introduced the notion of “truthiness” into the political lexicon. As Colbert put it, truthiness pertains not to whether beliefs are…
Coronations or conventions? Barack Obama and Joe Biden salute the masses at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Coronations or conventions? Barack Obama and Joe Biden salute the masses at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. EPA/Matthew Cavanaugh

As the American party conventions begin, don’t write off their relevance

Delegates and media are gathering this week in Tampa, Florida, for the Republican National Convention. With the threat of Hurricane Isaac forcing a one-day delay to the start of the convention, political…
President Obama’s intervention into the “legitimate rape” controversy may spell danger for the Republicans. President Obama’s intervention into the “legitimate rape” controversy may spell danger for the Republicans. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Akin, Obama and how the ‘legitimate rape’ disaster could cost Romney the election

It’s not often a little-known candidate for the U.S. Senate changes the dynamics of a presidential race. But in an interview released on Sunday morning, Missouri Representative Todd Akin did just that…
Mitt Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, has articulated a bold - if perhaps inefficient - vision for the US economy. Mitt Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, has articulated a bold - if perhaps inefficient - vision for the US economy. AAP

Paul Ryan’s path to recovery – or renewed financial crisis?

Much ink has been spilled over the budget proposals advanced by Mitt Romney’s choice as Vice Presidential running mate, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan. Acting as Chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan…
Mitt Romney introduces Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. Mitt Romney introduces Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Saving Privat(izing) Ryan: Mitt Romney selects a running mate

On Saturday, August 11, “before the press and just about everyone else” was notified, the Mitt Romney campaign used a mobile phone app to inform supporters that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would be…
Sheriff John Edwards addresses the Sikh community in Oak Creek in the wake of the shooting. Sheriff John Edwards addresses the Sikh community in Oak Creek in the wake of the shooting. AAP/Kamil Krzaczynski

Guns, Sikhs and Obama’s political inertia on domestic terror

Immediately after the Oak Creek massacre, many suspected the killings were a continuation of the post-9/11 wave of attacks on Sikhs who were mistaken for Muslims because of their turbans and beards. The…
Mitt Romney’s comments about Israel parroted the US Zionist lobby. Mitt Romney’s comments about Israel parroted the US Zionist lobby. EPA/Abir Sultan

A one-state solution is the only way forward for Israel and Palestine

How should the world react when a supposedly democratic state can’t acknowledge a 40-year-old occupation? When US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel during a visit…
Presumptice Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney managed to offend his British hosts on his recent visit. Presumptice Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney managed to offend his British hosts on his recent visit. EPA/Neil Munns

Romneyshambles: how not to win foreign friends and influence important people

On its trip abroad, the Mitt Romney campaign would have done well to heed the advice US presidential candidates are given in a selecting a VP: “First, do no harm.” Upon arrival in the United Kingdom, however…
President Obama outlines his tax policy at the White House on Monday. President Obama outlines his tax policy at the White House on Monday. EPA

It’s not the economy, stupid: Obama pivots to tax in attempt to wedge Romney

On Monday afternoon, President Obama delivered what sounded like a speech on tax policy. In reality, though, the speech dispensed more politics than policy - politics carefully crafted to secure Obama…
Romney’s faith leaves him open to political attacks. Romney’s faith leaves him open to political attacks. EPA/Kamil Krzsczynski

Will Obama use Romney’s mormonism against him?

Five months before the American presidential election, one thing is clear: Obama wants this to be a referendum on venture capitalism. Last week the Obama camp sharpened its attack on the business record…
They politics is show business for ugly people? Either way, types like Mike Huckabee have completely blurred the line between the two. They politics is show business for ugly people? Either way, types like Mike Huckabee have completely blurred the line between the two.

Obama is a Muslim Black Panther! Republican candidates and the conservative media

Last week marked the launch of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s conservative talk radio program, The Huckabee Show. It also marked a sea-change from this time last year, when Huckabee topped national…
President Obama addresses of the White House Forum on Women and the Economy on April 6 this year. President Obama addresses of the White House Forum on Women and the Economy on April 6 this year. EPA/Pete Marovich

Obama the only winner of the Republican ‘war on women’

When former Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of the Republican nomination contest earlier this week, the race for the presidency took a sharp turn toward the general election. For presumptive nominee…
A sign spray painted on snow indicates a polling station for Alaskan voters on Super Tuesday. A sign spray painted on snow indicates a polling station for Alaskan voters on Super Tuesday. EPA/Michael Dineen

The stand-off between Mitt Romney and the Republican base continues

For Democrats, the Republican presidential primaries remain the gift that keeps on giving. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, once hoped to seal…
Republicans today went to the polls on Super Tuesday, but no clear candidate for the presidential nomination emerged. Republicans today went to the polls on Super Tuesday, but no clear candidate for the presidential nomination emerged. EPA/Ryan Stone

Super Tuesday: what we learned about the Republican presidential race

Voting in the Super Tuesday Republican primaries has ended in every participating state except Alaska. The results have been shared: front runners Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all…
Voters elect delegates who pledge support to a particular candidate. Voters elect delegates who pledge support to a particular candidate. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Explainer: Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is billed as the most important day for any US presidential nomination contest, and this year it’s more fascinating than ever. Fewer states are voting than usual and the Republican party…
Mitt Romney has targeted voters in different market segments in his bid to win the Republican nomination. Mitt Romney has targeted voters in different market segments in his bid to win the Republican nomination. EPA/Michael Nelson

Would you like fries with your vote? The rise of political marketing

One of the more interesting techniques emerging from the United States Republican Nomination Primary Contest has been the strategy being used in television advertising by some candidates, in particular…
Mitt Romney is struggling to gain traction with the base of the Republican party. Can the media be to blame? Mitt Romney is struggling to gain traction with the base of the Republican party. Can the media be to blame? AAP/Jim Lo Scalzo

Stuck in the middle: Mitt Romney’s trouble with the media

Despite his solid performances in the early Republican primaries, Mitt Romney’s candidacy for the Republican nomination is still facing a crisis of legitimacy. Social conservatives have questioned his…
Rick Perry failed to distinguish himself among an uninspiring field of contenders. Rick Perry failed to distinguish himself among an uninspiring field of contenders. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Oops … I was wrong: why Perry fell and Gingrich is rising

I stated on The Conversation last August that Rick Perry would become the next President of the United States in 2013. Instead, the Texas governor dropped out of the race last week, unable to establish…
Can the Republican party get behind Mitt Romney despite the misgivings of the base? Can the Republican party get behind Mitt Romney despite the misgivings of the base? AAP/Michael Reynolds

South Carolina primary: can a divided Republican house unite around Romney?

By rights, Mitt Romney should be on the ropes. In the years leading up to the Republican presidential primaries, he supported small-l liberal positions on anything from abortion and gun control to climate…
Mitt Romney’s team hopes that his rivals will turn on each other in the next few weeks. Mitt Romney’s team hopes that his rivals will turn on each other in the next few weeks. AAP

Romney’s divide and conquer strategy hinges on healthy competition

In the aftermath of the New Hampshire Republican primary, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has gone a long way towards securing the nomination. To be sure, he faces continued challenges from an…
Barack Obama’s life may be fascinating, but he isn’t as powerful as we think. Barack Obama’s life may be fascinating, but he isn’t as powerful as we think. AFP/Saul Loeb

The power of personality - why we all follow the soap opera of American politics

Sarah Palin’s voice, both in sound and content, still has the power to stop me dead in my tracks with fear and bewilderment. Her game of will she/won’t she run for the US Presidency has ended, but not…
Governor Chris Christie (far left) with President Obama at a 9/11 memorial service. Governor Chris Christie (far left) with President Obama at a 9/11 memorial service. AAP

A weighty issue for the USA: can a fat man be president?

Of all the many health-related, stamina-centred, role-model unworthy criticisms of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joining the Republican 2012 hopefuls, the most perplexing are allegations of his lack…
Barack Obama’s handling of the economy will be closely scrutinised in the US presidential election campaign next year. Barack Obama’s handling of the economy will be closely scrutinised in the US presidential election campaign next year. AFP/Mandel Ngan

It’s the economy, stupid: The US Presidential elections in 2012

President Barack Obama’s handling of the US economy has come under close scrutiny following the publication of Confidence Men by Ron Suskind - which charts his struggle to contain the Wall Street crash…
Change will again come to the White House. And it will come courtesy of another Texan. Change will again come to the White House. And it will come courtesy of another Texan. EPA/Alex Jones/pool

The next president of the United States will be Rick Perry

We now know the name of the next president of the United States: Rick Perry. The range of poor choices facing Republicans – from the bland Mitt Romney to the polarising Michele Bachman – has been transformed…

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