Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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Emotional Obama

At Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago on Wednesday, the President got a little teary-eyed.

Addressing his young staff, he recollected his experiences as a community staffer in Chicago, saying “It’s not that you remind me of myself; it’s that you’re so much better than I was.”

I appreciate moments like these–the public gets a glimpse at the personal side of our Commander-in-Chief. While so many speeches are manufactured to feel personal, this moment’s emotion is actually palpable in watching the video. This emotional Obama is in stark contrast to the distant, almost cold President we saw in the first debate of election season. Presidential elections consist of so much effort that winning one moves one literally to tears.

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The Clash in Ohio: A Battle Over Senate

Taking a cue from the currently nail bitingly close Presidential election, election battles of the same nature rage across the country. One unique battle that sticks out the Ohio Senate race between incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Treasuer Josh Mandel.

Sherrod Brown, who has been an Ohio Senator since 2007, is relatively well liked and has a good track record with Ohioans.This year he is challanged by young Ohio Treasurer Madel, who has waged an unrelenting campaign against Brown.

Though he was expected to fizzle out early in the race, Madel has done the opposite, and is “defying political gravity”, surging ahead in his bid for Senate, narrowing the margin between the two.

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Oh Snap!: A Look At Last Night’s Best Debate Zingers

Last night Obama and Romney came out swinging, eager to make their last joint appearance on television a memorable one.

With polls showing a virtual tie in the electorate, both candidates had different goals going into the debate. With Romney wanting to maintain his slight lead  and Obama needing to increase momentum, the fight was on.

Here’s a look as some of last nights best one liners!
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Romney’s Weekend Rhetoric in Florida Targeted at State’s Key Constituencies

Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, has spent the last three days campaigning in the crucial state of Florida. He had rallies in St. Petersburg on Friday, Apopka on Saturday, and Port St. Lucie on Sunday, reaching a total of 19 campaign events in the state since the Republican National Convention.

While in Florida, the presidential hopeful focused on three large constituencies within the state: the elderly, Latinos, and Jews.

Each site along his campaign swing was an area comprised of large Puerto Rican constituencies, a group whose overwhelming support lies with President Obama.  Thus, it seems as though Mr. Romney is trying to chip away at the president’s advantage by targeting places where their numbers are high.

Romney has remained a steady courtship of the more conservative, Cuban American voters, including his stop at a well-known Cuban restaurant in Tampa on Friday night. The presidential hopefuls has shied away from publicizing his immigration platform in Florida for the sake of preserving the Latino voters he already has, and instead, hammered home economic issues.  Despite the Latino community claiming that economic issues are their highest priority, this has yet to heed any headway for Mitt Romney in the Latino community, as immigration is still a very important issue as well. Continue reading


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Unemployment Rate Changes Romney’s Rhetoric

September’s jobless rate fell to 7.8%. While still not ideal for the Obama campaign, this figure has forced Romney to alter how he attacks the President’s management of the economy.

Romney has touted the statistic of living with “43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent” under the Obama administration in many of his speeches. Unfortunately for the GOP ringleader, September broke that streak. Instead, Romney turns to belittling the improvement and flipping the argument that the unemployment rate is so low now because people have just quit looking for work.  Continue reading


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Humorous Debaters: Reagan, Bush, Obama…and Romney?

In the 1984 presidential debate, incumbent Ronald Reagan was asked the pointed question of whether or not he believed his old age would hinder his job as president. In a brilliant aversion, Reagan responded with a line that would make history.

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign.  I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth an inexperience.”  The crowd burst into laughter and it was at this point that Reagan’s opponent, Walter Mondale, said he had known he had lost the race.

With the ever-rising presidential expectations, humor is perhaps one of the most important and powerful tools for a candidate to manipulate in public discourse.  Not only does it convey that sense of “normality” and charisma that we all know the public yearns for in their presidential candidate, but it can also be used to diffuse attacks made by the opponent and soften otherwise ruthless attacks the candidate makes against the opponent.  Humor, especially quick-witted humor, can also allude to high levels of intelligence and ability to think in the abstract.

Ronald Reagan was not the only presidential candidate to ever use humor in a debate, however. Continue reading


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Conservative “October Surprise” Fizzles Hours Before the Debates

With only 5 hours until the Presidential Debates and punches are already being thrown.

A video released today by conservative news channel Fox News, has been touted as the “October Surprise” that the Romney campaign has been looking for.

The video is of an event in 2007, when then candidate Obama spoke to a black audience and mentioned that race relations in America still had a long way to go.

Despite the fact that Fox News and other conservative outlets are saying that this video contains new never heard before content that will impact President Obama’s campaign.

The only problem is- it doesn’t.

In response to the video’s release, numerous other media outlets, including CNN, have reported that the information in the video is, in essence, old news. Back in 2007, the video was widely covered by these outlets, but after a view days coverage ended because, well, it’s content wasn’t that controversial.

Take a look at the video and decide for yourself if this is the “October Surprise” touted by Fox News.