As voters prepare to cast their ballots in Iowa this week, the candidacy of former Governor Mitt Romney will be a centerpiece for Republican hopes. His campaign is well funded since he has the necessary money to present his views, but more important is the continual ethical issues presented by his candidacy. While Rudy Giuliani is frequently attacked for bombastic boasting, Romney increasingly raises eyebrows for his tendency to say whatever will please voters, regardless of the fact the day prior he said something different. As governor of Massachusetts, he supported Bush tax cuts, and never came out against legal or illegal immigrants. Last week, when asked if he would attack Senator John McCain on immigration, Romney indcated he would hold off, but yesterday his ads blasting away at McCain on immigration were being shown all over Iowa.
Earlier this year, Romney claimed to be a hunter all his life, but investigation revealed he had only hunted three times and didn’t even possess a rifle. He claimed to have support from the National Rifle Association in his gubernatorial campaigns, but later admitted that mainly consisted of a few NRA members doing pone calling. There is no question Romney is a clean-cut man who has never been involved in any scandals, but the continual petty distortions and and switching of positions will undoubtedly doom his chances for obtaining the Republican nomination. He is a man for all seasons, he is a man for all voters, he is a man for all viewpoints, he is a pandering man, and he has now run smack into a Huckabee whose humor and refusal to alter views will probably lead to victory over Romney this week.
In a sense, Mitt Romney’s campaign has run into the same problems as has Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of the nomination. Both come across as seeking votes rather than as presenting views in which they believe even if sticking to principles loses votes. This year, the American voter seeks candidates who adhere to principles and are willing to place the interests of the nation before anything else. Perhaps, a loss in Iowa will give Romney some additional time to go out hunting with his non-existant rifle in a forest of lies and distortion. Mitt, you had a good shot at the nomination, but you just fired blanks.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Conservatives, Fred Thompson, George Bush, Human Rights, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, United States, World News
Tagged Iowa primary, Mitt Romney, pandering politician
Kenya conducted a democratic election which was supposed to produce a president who had clearly gained a majority of the vote. Unfortunately, there are widely different vote results at this point in time. The opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement, claims the vote results are 4,215,000 for its candidate Raila Odinga and 3,715,000 for the incumbent President KIbaki. However, the Election Commission is offering a different set of numbers claiming the vote is 3,880,000 for Odinga and 3,842,000 for President Kibaki. There are some reports of violence in Nairobi although, overall, the election was conducted in a fair manner.
One problem about the Election Commission results is that at least 20 top level ministers in the current government were defeated for seats in parliament. Ordinarily, when a government suffers such dramatic loss among its top leadership it is indicative that the electorate is voting for the opposition. The nation of Kenya waits anxiously for final figures and if they reveal a victory for President Kibaki, one can expect justifiable complaints from the opposition.
Last week, the African National Congress selected Jacob Zuma as its leader, which ordinarily, given the party’s domination of South African politics, is a first step toward becoming president of the nation. However, South African prosecutors yesterday levied new charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and racketeering to go along with and earlier indictment of fraud and corruption. President Mbeki, a political opponent of Zuma, had fired him as the deputy leader of the nation after he was acquitted on rape charges, but his financial advisor was sent to jail for soliciting bribes. The new indictment was denounced by many sectors of the African National Congress as stemming from a vendetta by President Mibeki.
Ironically, all players in this crime drama belong to the same political organization– the African National Congress. Zuma’s trial will begin in April, 2008 and he has promised to step down from running for the presidency if he is convicted. Although, he has made that promise not all observers believe he will carry it out. Jacob Zuma plays the role of radical reformer who is on the side of the average African. This performance has gotten him popularity, but along the way, there are simply too many charges and indictments to make him other than a dubious leader of a nation that holds the mantle as conscience of the African continent. A true leader would retire gracefully from the scene, don’t hold your breath for this happening in the near future, regardless of the outcome of his trial.
Pakistan continues to experience chaos in the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. New reports indicate the original belief she was killed by bullets and shrapnel from the explosion were incorrect. The latest version is the shockwave fro the blast threw her body against the reinforced sunroof of the car and that led to her death. Bhutto supporters are still marching chanting slogans like “General Killer” since they believe the president of Pakistan was somehow responsible for the death of their leader. The Pakistan army has orders to fire on sight against any violent demonstrators and these encounters so far have resulted in the death of at least 31 people.
Acting Prime Minister Mohammedian Soomoro insists the elections “stan as they are” and there are no plans to cancel them. Nawaz Shariff, a past opponent, but recently an ally of Bhutto has threatened to boycott the election, but his final decision has yet to be made. Foreign leaders like England’s Gordon Brown and President Bush are urging no delay in the election. The issue of a delay is vital. The Pakistan Peoples Party is not ready at this moment to offer a full slate for the election and its leadership is in turmoil. Certainly, waiting a few weeks will not alter the democratic process. Shariff should have an opportunity to have discussions with PPP leaders and work out an electoral strategy. Bush and Brown are making a mistake in urging continuation of the election. If Musharraf’s party gains a large majority it will only lead to future riots. It is time to take a deep breath and allow the PPP an Shariff to decide when they wish the election to occur.