Jessica Mondillo’s Blog


Hurricane Gustav and the Republican National Convention

31 August 2008

Hurricane Gustav is churning in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to United States within the next few days.  Political analysist have said that the storm could overshow the coverage of the RNC or give it a negative impression by showing the two events simultaneously.

Republicans and McCain have been considering options for the convention.  One is to keep the covention exactly as planned and only doing minor alterations to the speaker schedule.  Another option McCain mentioned to FOX News is that they may delay the RNC.  If they do not delay the RNC, spokespeople have commented that they may turn it into a telethone to give money to the Red Cross and other organizations to help hurricane victims.  As a political move I think one of these ideas is really good and the others really bad.

To continue on without paying attention to possible devistation in the southern part of the United States would hurt Republicans because it would make the people feel like they are being ignored.  This would be especially problematic for the Republican party because southern states often lean toward the Republican side.  This could lead voters to feel disheartened and vote for another candidate or not vote at all.

Delaying the RNC is a bad idea.  I think it would show self centered motives on the part of the Republican party.  It would show the Republican party as attention seeking and I think many people, not just Democrats, would speculate and attack them for that.  Southern voters also might be upset that although the Republican party delayed the event, they then proceeded to go on with what many people consider a “celebration” instead of given added focus to assist people in the area where the hurricane hit.

The final choice, to make the RNC into a telethone is a great idea.  This would help people feel like the Republican party is more connected to the average person and also to help blur some of the party lines.  Donating to help fellow human beings, especially fellow Americans is something that both parties generously do.  Also, by comparison the Republicans would make the Democrats and the DNC appear to be wasteful for spending money on a celebration while the RNC was to help raise money for needy Americans.

Hurricane Gustav could be devastating to the RNC, but through crafty ideas could be used to help both needy Americans and also gain additional support for the Republican party.  It will be interesting to see if Republicans use Hurricane Gustav to their advantage.

For more information on possible RNC changes visit:  http://news.aol.com/elections/conventions/republicans/article/gustav-may-alter-republican-convention/154340?icid=100214839x1208199597x1200493945

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Palin: An Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses

29 August 2008

96.9 WTKK in Boston has had callers all day arguing whether Palin was a good choice for McCain’s VP nominee.  I did some research on her past record.

If McCain was looking for a running mate who would have high conservative ideals to help draw in conservatives, Palin is a great choice.  She is a Republican but is not afraid to fight against corruption.  She has lowered taxes in Alaska and favored many Republican ideals including bans against same sex marriage, working for ethics laws, pro-life, and pro-gun.  This will help swing Republicans who were uncertain about McCain’s allegiance a bit more towards his side.

Palin went to the University of Idaho and got a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in political science.  I have heard a lot of people make comments about this making her unqualified.  Personally, I am not big on Master’s Degrees.  I have sat in on some classes for some of the Boston University Master’s Degrees and felt that not only could the work be done by an undergrad, but unless you are going in to be a doctor or possibly a lawyer you could learn as much if not more from real life experience and by keeping up on the literature of the topic.  But the fact that she didn’t have a masters wasn’t the only thing they picked on.  It was what her bachelor’s degree was in–Journalism.  Although my major is film, I have taken several journalism classes and believe that a Journalism degree is actually an advantage.  First there are many nuances of news reporting that politics relate to.  Second of all many communications related classes have a section that focus on politics because the two are so closely interrelated.  Since Palin also has a minor in Political Science, I feel that she has a pretty good understanding of politics from a theoretical stand point.  I do not think her education really works against her.

Experience is another concern people have about Palin.  Although she doesn’t have US Senate experience, she has held an elected office for more time than Barack Obama.  Also others who have run for president including Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney had the majority of their experience as governor not a US Senator.  Besides this, Palin has proved to be a quick learner in her past positions and I am sure would be able to do the same in the VP position.

Her family has come up and has mainly been seen as an advantage.  She grew up with humble beginnings as the daughter of a teacher and a school secretary.  Even now she has similar links, her husband is a union worker and has worked in the Alaskan fishing industry.  This helps create a link between her and the common person.  The concern that I do see with her family is that she has five children.  One of them is my age (19), and most of them are in their teens but her youngest one is 4 months old.  The child has Down Syndrome, which although it supports her pro-life stance, could be seen as a distraction if something were to happen to McCain and she became President.  This may not be a problem if Palin’s husband is the primary care giver of the children, but at this point it seems unclear.

Now to me one of the big issues is if she is pro-gun or anti-gun.  From some research I found that not only is Palin pro-gun, she has a life time membership to the National Rifle Association (NRA).  I think this is important because it shows that she supports what I believe to be one of the most important and controversial amendments of the Constitution and likely supports the entire document.

Another issue is her patriotism.  I personally have no doubt about her patriotism.  Not only did she applaud McCain’s service record, she has a son who is being deployed on September 11th and is in the United States Army.  In addition to this, she is the head of the Alaskan National Guard.  Palin has also taken trips to Iraq to meet with the troops and build moral.

Although she has some flaws, Palin seems to have many strengths that make her both electable and a decent VP candidate (although not perfect — and no one is).  Palin is patriotic, knows the struggles of the common man, holds conservative ideals, and has political experience.


Obama’s “Change” not Evident with Biden

29 August 2008

Although I do not support Barack Obama, I do know a bit about his platform.  I have heard lots of claims about Obama but the more I learn about him the more false the claims seem to be.

Barack Obama promised change.  Although it is unclear what change he is trying to accomplish, I do not believe he really stands for that.  He may stand for change of racial standards, but not of the political system. 

First of all he is a product of the corrupt US political system, just like Clinton, McCain, Romney, and just about every other politician to ever exist.  Granted he has not been in office long and therefore there may be hope that he could be different.  But then he picked Biden as his adviser and right hand man. 

Biden, has spent longer in the US Senate than even McCain.  Biden has been a US Senator for 35 years, while McCain has been for only 22 years.  Considering Obama attacks McCain for his long standing political background and claims that it will not create change, it seems hypocritcal to pick a man who has been in the US Senate even longer than McCain has.

I have heard speculation that Obama chose Biden because Biden has more experience and has a stronger foreign policy background.  This would lead to the idea that this experience is suppose to help build on the weak points that people criticize about Obama.

My question is, if you are looking for change away from modern corrupted politics, wouldn’t more experience in the United States Senate be a drawback not helpful?  To me Obama has contradicted himself.  It makes me feel as if Obama is just saying what the people want to hear and people pleasing to get into office, regardless of if what he will really do.


Election 2008: An Election for the History Books & A Mockery of the US Political System

29 August 2008

This election year is proving to be one for the history book.  Senator Barack Obama is the first African American male to be the Presidential nominee for a US political party and has a chance to be the first African American President of the United States.  Governor Sarah Palin has the chance to be the first woman Vice President of the United States (and also the first woman President of the United States if McCain is elected and something, God forbid, happens to him).

Despite what will be a historic event no matter which party wins, the media and the people are putting too much store in this.  Although not all voters do this, many people are excited by the idea that they can help make history and are basing their vote on that instead of a candidate’s qualifications.  Hopefully with both parties now have a chance at history this will not be an issue, but I fear that it will be.

The media, and the candidates should not pay attention to the race, sex, or any other unique factor about a candidate’s personal life but instead what Americans NEED to hear about, the policies.  Having the first African American President or female Vice President would be great progress for the United States but not at the expense of putting a person into power who does not have the skills or qualifications to do the job.

I have heard people make the claim that if you are against Obama you are racist and that Senator John McCain is running ads against Obama because he is racist.  Both of these ideas seem absurd to me.  Political elections always have ads about the other candidate, not to discriminate but to try to increase poll numbers and give facts to the public.  I heard a similar claim was made about Senator Hillary Clinton, if you didn’t vote for her you were sexist. 

Disagreeing with a politician’s views should not earn people derogatory titles such as “racist” or “sexist.”  Everyone needs to get over the history of this election and look at issues.  I honestly believe that although the majority of people are probably doing that, the most obvious people, the media and politicians, are not and are instead promoting records that go against the ideals of what the United States political system was suppose to be.


Sarah Palin is John McCain’s Vice President

29 August 2008

McCain announced that Alaskan governor Sarah Palin will be his vice president.  This may have come as a shock to many, especially since Palin was not on the short list of people McCain was considering for VP.  The question is was this a good choice?

Yesterday, I heard about a poll that pick former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as the person on McCain’s “short list” that would have most benefited him.  Romney would have helped McCain gain at least 1 out of every 5 voters (all over the country as well as across party lines) that were not already committed to McCain.  In addition Romney would have helped McCain almost definitely secure Michigan and many of the Midwestern states.  Romney would also be able to help McCain fill in gaps on economic issues, which McCain admits a lack of expertise.  So why not pick Romney?

McCain obviously felt that Palin would be more beneficial and pull in more voters.  After listening to her speech, she does have many accomplishments including fighting government corruption, having an average family life, and crossing party lines.  Despite these accomplishments, Palin was relatively unheard of before today and will not draw many people in on name recognition.

In her speech Palin acknowledged New York Senator Hillary Clinton and the cracks she made in the “glass ceiling.”  She also reminded people that this week is the anniversary of women receiving the right to vote.  Palin then commented that we can “finish breaking the glass ceiling.”  This makes it seem like Palin was not selected for her credentials (or at least not entirely), but instead because she is a woman who may be able to attract female voters from both parties, especially former Hillary supporters.

Obviously no one will know how this affects McCain in the election, but I truly do NOT believe that Palin was selected merely on credentials.  Beyond having an impressive story and her ability to reach across party lines to work against government problems, I feel that by ignoring certain issues in her speech Palin may lack expertise on issues such as the economy.  I guess the next 2 months and the RNC will tell.


The Democrats to Split to Win the Election?

22 February 2008

I was online and found a political site that said they though John McCain would win the Presidential Election because democrats were split between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That doesn’t make sense because we are still in the primaries, meaning the Democrats are up against themselves not McCain.

Although some Democrats or Independents are only for one of the two candidates, I have heard many people say that they would vote for either Clinton or Obama in the November election. Especially with the majority of Democrats, it is like holding up two of the same kind of cookie and asking which one they want.

Although people may prefer one cookie over the other, in many cases they will still take either one. This is the same with Obama and Clinton. They have very similar policies and ideas so when push comes to shove a voter will chose either one of them.

Just because McCain does not have a highly divided party right now does not mean that he will be able to easily win the election. Clinton or Obama will give McCain a run for his money once November is closer. The Democrats can find many issues to pick at that could be seriously detrimental to McCain’s campaign.

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Nails in McCain’s Coffin

19 February 2008

Quite simply put: I don’t think John McCain has any chance of winning the presidential election. More and more things keep adding nails into McCain’s coffin.

NAIL #1: McCain has publicly made one of the most detrimental comments to his campaign. He will not pull the troops out of Iraq. As much as people like the idea of being tough on terrorism, they want out of Iraq. Iraq is turning into a Vietnam—impossible to win but the US can’t turn back without people looking down on them.

NAIL #2: President George W. Bush endorsed McCain and called him a true conservative. President Bush has the lowest approval rating of any president (and it is fresh in people’s minds). You don’t want him endorsing you when people hate and do not trust him, especially swing voters.

NAIL #3: Not only were there once rumors of McCain considering switching parties, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (D) claims that McCain’s people approached him about putting McCain on the ticket as Vice President. This claim can be found at:
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/4/3/11936/97033

NAIL #4: McCain’s stance as a conservative is often questioned, and instead of not bringing it up, Bush decided that people needed reassurance that McCain is a conservative. This brings up the questions for independent voters: Was it necessary to state that McCain was a conservative? And does that mean people doubt that he is?

NAIL #5: To go along with bringing the question up in people’s minds, McCain also worked on a bill with Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy (D) called the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. Although there were some parts that the majority of Republicans would agree with (i.e. and English test), it would allow the over 10 million illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. Although this is the only bill that sticks out in my mind, I am sure there are more in McCain’s past.

NAIL #6: McCain does not fall into the pro gun category that is a major part of the conservative ideal. Gun Owner’s of America has not rates McCain about a C– in the four years that they have done their ratings. Their site has a complete list of not only their ratings but also bills that McCain has voted for. You can visit their site:
http://www.gunowners.org/mccaintb.htm

McCain keeps having nails pounded into his coffin that will stop people from voting for him. If these facts become well known, I do NOT think McCain has a chance of winning.

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President Bush Backs McCain and Comments on the Election

11 February 2008

Yesterday President Bush told Fox News Sundaythat he supports McCain and feels like McCain is a “true conservative.”

I am sure Bush had good intentions but if anything he may have just hurt McCain in the eyes of many independents who are undecided about who to vote for.  I am not trying to speak negatively about the President and regardless of whether you support him or not you have to realize that he has low approval ratings.  Maybe he hasn’t noticed this or the fact that many people blame him for the war and feel he lied.

By endorsing McCain, Bush may make people believe that by electing McCain they will get four more years without change and with a war that they despise.  So instead of helping McCain, I honestly believe Bush’s support will hurt him.

I also feel that if the President decides to back you and call you a “true conservative” there is obviously a question of how conservative you really are.  Personally, I have not followed McCain’s career very closely but I do know that some of the bills he has voted for make me question how conservative he really is.

But one thing President Bush said I have to say I mostly agree with.  He said, “If the Democrat party feels like they can win an election by focusing on me, I think they’ll be making a huge tactical mistake.”

I can understand Democrats bringing up Bush’s shortcomings, which many people on both sides of the fence agree with.  By saying that they will behave differently from him will most likely gain them support.  This is the same for the Republicans as well.

I do believe that in a race where you do not have the President or Vice President running, it is foolish to focus ONLY on their policies and shortcomings.  As much as a candidate wants to offer change, they need to remember that they are not running against Bush but instead a variety of other people who may also disagree with Bush.


AOL Straw Poll has Ron Paul in Second. McCain in first.

28 January 2008

As of right this very second Ron Paul is in second to McCain on the AOL Straw Poll with 24% (McCain has 27%).  Ron Paul is winning 24 of the 50 states and Washington DC.  McCain only has 12 states.

Using the electoral college method, Ron Paul would actually be winning the election so why are the votes so far so drastically different than what it says?

Ron Paul didn’t get first in New Hampshire in the primaries, yet in the Straw Poll he is winning NH.  Is every person not voting for Ron Paul also not participate in on-line polls?

It is also ironic to me that on-line Ron Paul keeps topping polls as does McCain, yet up until recently McCain was not even considered a front runner.  I hate the way the media has been paying so much attention to Romney and Giuliani when they are not the front runners.  I feel like the media is pushing the candidate they want to win.

At one time the media was suppose to give equal time coverage to all the candidates but it does not seem like that is happening anymore.  I open the newspaper and I very rarely read about Ron Paul but there are plenty of long articles on Giuliani and Romney.

I really wish the media would start covering candidates equally.  The media has such a large influence on everyday life that on a major life effecting decision I think every candidate should get equal press time regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sex, or party affiliation.


Ron Paul ’08:The people’s choice.

08 November 2007

According to CNN Political Ticker, not only has Ron Paul move up in the standings to second place, he is winning debates.  When you look at his policies it is not surprising why.

Ron Paul is what people would consider an ideological candidate.  He wants quick withdrawal from Iraq that would take 2 to 3 months as opposed to figures by the Democrats that said it would take until 2013 (6 YEARS).  He wants to stabilize the economy and reduce government over spending.

It is expected that Ron Paul will come in a respectable place in the primaries if nothing changes.  A slip up by Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney could potential raise Paul’s standings.

Personally I hope they do.  Change for America is what he is offering and that’s why he is getting so much support.  People are unhappy with politics as usual.  Ron Paul is getting his money from the people not from companies.

Ron Paul is a huge movement not because he is targeting people with TV ads (or at least not yet) but because he has supporters making their own signs and putting them up in businesses, on street corner, at rallies and on overpasses.  This is how politics should be, focused on the people.  Politics isn’t for the betterment of companies, hitting you through mass communication but it should be personal and that’s what Ron Paul’s campaign is.  Personal.

Ron Paul has big campaign goals and maybe he won’t be able to achieve all of them.  But success in just half his goals would revolutionize America. 

For the full CNN article go to: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/11/07/flush-with-cash-ron-paul-now-eyeing-new-hampshire/#more-2958