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Analysis and Comment (16)

President Obama’s superior organisation outweighed the money stacked against him. President Obama’s superior organisation outweighed the money stacked against him. EPA/Michael Reynolds

SuperPACs and bags of cash fail to halt Obama’s ground game

The fear of Big Money swamping the 2012 federal election cycle in the United States was borne out in sheer dollars, with $US6billion in spending, including $2.7 billion on the presidential race alone…
President Barack Obama hugs Sandra Fluke, who was vilified by the right for her views on contraception. President Barack Obama hugs Sandra Fluke, who was vilified by the right for her views on contraception. EPA/Rick Giase

It’s the women wot won it: Democrat victory was no Fluke

A president’s first act in office carries considerable symbolic weight. After President Obama was sworn in in 2009, the first piece of legislation he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Act, allowing women…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had the edge over President Barack Obama in Wednesday night’s presidential debate. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had the edge over President Barack Obama in Wednesday night’s presidential debate. EPA/Shawn Thew

Round 1 to the Republican: Romney comes out swinging

Verdicts on the first presidential debate of 2012 overwhelmingly favour Governor Mitt Romney. Romney articulated his message with a sense of clarity about the political ideas and principles he represents…
What can Mitt Romney learn from previous candidates that trailed but won? What can Mitt Romney learn from previous candidates that trailed but won? EPA/Michael Reynolds

What can Romney learn from past comebacks?

With Mitt Romney entering October as the decided underdog it seems fitting to revisit some past presidential election comebacks. And while these cases are entertaining in and of themselves, they also offer…
Mitt Romney, flanked by Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul during a Republican candidates' debate last year, needs a strong performance in this month’s debates against Barack Obama to save his campaign. Mitt Romney, flanked by Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul during a Republican candidates' debate last year, needs a strong performance in this month’s debates against Barack Obama to save his campaign. EPA/CJ Gunther

Presidential debates loom as Romney’s last best hope

The US presidential election is almost over before the best part – the presidential debates. With Barack Obama looking almost unbeatable at the beginning of October, Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s…
President Obama’s charm offensive in the Middle East has been overtaken by the Arab Spring and growing instability in the region. President Obama’s charm offensive in the Middle East has been overtaken by the Arab Spring and growing instability in the region. EPA/Khaled El Fiqi

Obama and Romney face off over Middle East policy

When Barack Obama and Mitt Romney commenced their presidential campaigns, Middle East policy was not a top issue. But the Middle East has a propensity to thrust itself on US politics. True to form, the…
Can Mitt Romney form a bond with the American people? Can Mitt Romney form a bond with the American people? Erik S Lesser

The Romney calculation: better to be disappointed than damned

After the success of the Democratic National Convention, with its barnstorming speeches from former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney’s performance at his convention can…
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…