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the men who want obama’s job

The race to become the Republican Presidential nominee is heating up in America with only four candidates left to battle it out in the remaining primaries. But who exactly are the contenders? Not much is known about these men in Australia and being a politics nerd myself, I think it is only right that I give you the 411 (that’s right, we are going all American here) on these men, whose sole mission is to defeat the “socialist, European-loving, religion-hating, gun-stealing Obama.” Their words, people, not mine.

So, candidate number one, former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

Labelled as a “moderate” by fellow competitors, Romney is often chastised for his immense wealth, which was acquired during his years at Bain Capital, a private equity firm. It is his tenure at Bain that has voters concerned. Anti-Romney voters label him a “vulture capitalist” and this is a big problem. People don’t like knowing that their President was responsible for firing Americans – not even staunch capitalist Republicans. Furthermore, Romney has a severe case of foot and mouth disease. He has openly stated that he likes being able to fire people and that he is “not concerned about the very poor because we (Americans) have a safety net there”. As you can imagine, these are not statements that Americans want to hear in a volatile economy. Romney is also noted as being a flip flopper most notably for his changing views on abortion, climate change and health care. All in all, people can’t relate to him because he is mega rich and seems like he will say anything to get the popular vote. He was once the forerunner but one other candidate is currently matching him in the polls and that is Rick Santorum.

Introducing candidate number two, representative for Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

Priding himself as “a champion of traditional American values”, Rick Santorum is most definitely the most socially conservative of the four candidates. He is staunchly pro-life (even in cases of rape and incest), against contraception and, unsurprisingly, against gay marriage, likening it to polygamy and incest. He is also eager to tame Iran through military intervention, echoing the preemptive foreign policy of the Bush administration. He is known for being a loving family man and father and by all accounts he is just that;  people idolise him for being a traditional, all-American family man, who prides himself on being a Christian and who unappologetically believes in American exceptionalism. This speaks to many American voters who believe that their conservative voices are not being heard in modern day politics, where traditionalists are labelled ignorant. Conservatives like seeing a candidate who expresses their views and is unapologetic about it. This could explain why the Washington Post recently labelled him as being virtually tied with Romney nationally and why he could potentially be the dark horse in this race.

Candidate number three,  former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich was the Republican Speaker of the House during the Clinton administration and assisted in writing budgets. However, it is his personal life that is constantly under fire. Gingrich has been married three times, divorcing his first wife whilst she had cancer. His second states their reason for divorce as being her refusal to participate in an open marriage – something Gingrich desired. Like Romney, Gingrich also has a bit of foot and mouth disease. He has stated that it would be better to get troubled children out of school and into work in order to prevent them from becoming pimps and prostitutes. He has also labelled Spanish “the language of the Ghettos” – not something that went down well with the hundreds of thousands of potential Hispanic voters. To top it all off, Speaker Gingrich wants a US colony on the moon. If that doesn’t scream ambition then I don’t know what does!

Candidate number four, representative for Texas, Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is big with young voters. They are always there to cheer him on and rave about their favourite candidate. But why are so many young republicans drawn to Paul? Possibly because of his views on American Foreign Policy. Paul believes that it is not America’s responsibility to be the policeman of the world and wants ALL American troops to return to the States. He is also the only candidate who seems to acknowledge that America has made mistakes in the past and that the possible reason for the hatred towards America is their imperialistic foreign policy over the decades. As you can imagine, this has been the complete antithesis of the Republican party’s policy over the past 15 years with Paul even getting boos from crowds who refuse to acknowledge his claims. This can explain why so many young Americans like the guy. He is against the norm and we all know how youngsters are drawn to anything unconventional. However, some of his ideas have not gone down so well with voters. He wants to get rid of the Federal Reserve and a majority of governmental departments, like the department of education, which is a scary prospect for Americans. All in all his campaign has experienced steady growth over the past few months. Will he get the nomination? Most likely no, but he is shining a light on a new branch of republican voters. Young, idealistic conservatives who want limited government, a strict adherence to the constitution and above all, an isolationist foreign policy.

So these are the men who are are vying for Obama’s job. Hopefully he will be maintain his seat as the President come November but until then, let’s just enjoy the US’ intriguing show of democracy at work.

By Nayree Mardirian

(Image credit: 1)

 

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