Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Mitt Romney Chooses Economic Conservative Paul Ryan as his Running Mate

11 Aug

Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, is the latest GOP running mate who is probably an unknown to the majority of the Amerian voting populace.  To policy wonks, Tea Party faithful, and those who follow conservative economic politics, Ryan is well-known and, if you are an economic conservative, quite popular.  However, to the majority of Americans, who right now are probably more attuned to the Olympics, summer camping, and the new NFL season, news of Paul Ryan’s pick is more likely akin to prior news of Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle as running mates.  In other words, a big “Who is that?”

Paul Ryan and his Family (note the Green Bay Packers sweatshirt!)

Paul Ryan and his Family (note the Green Bay Packers sweatshirt!)

So, who IS Paul RyanPaul Ryan is a young (born in 1970) handsome family man (one wife, three kids), who lives in a town where his parents and grandparents are all buried (Janesville, Wisconsin), and he is an avid Green Bay Packers fan. Paul Ryan is also Catholic, which may be a helpful aspect for the Morman Romney.   In Paul Ryan’s Political Career, he has risen quickly through the ranks of the GOP through his work on the budget and his “Roadmap to Prosperity,” an economic blueprint that bears the intellectual handprint of the dean of Conservative economists, Milton Friedman.

In the days and weeks leading up to Mitt Romney’s VP announcement, speculation arose around such Republican luminaries as Condoleeza Rice and Marco Rubio, among others.  Either of those two would have provided Romney with an instant inroad to traditionally Democratic constituencies (African-Americans and Hispanics), but instead he chose a white midwesterner with no foreign policy exprience.  If the world experiences a major crisis in the weeks leading up to the American presidential election, the choice of a domestic economic expert rather than someone experienced in foreign policy, could come back to bite Romney.  It is quite likely that the war in Syria could easily get worse and engulf the U.S. into some sort of military intervention, and/or, an Israeli attack on Iran (which this writer thinks is very likely to occur before the U.S. elections), could highlight the lack of foreign policy experience on the Romney-Paul ticket.

One thing is for certain:  The U.S. Presidential election will be interesting.


$400 haircuts while appealing to the Average Joe

29 Apr

Just wondering how it is that we always seem to have candidates who say they want to appeal to the average voter, and who say that despite their relatively immense wealth, they are really just like the rest of us.

What malarkey!  When John Edwards spends $400 to get his hair cut by a Hollywood hair stylist (not a barber, but a "stylist") how on earth are we to take him seriously when he blathers on about understanding the problems that poor people suffer?  And compared to him, most folks are poor.

Edwards often recites the story of how his dad was a poor millworker, and they all grew up in poverty.  He made his money as a trial lawyer, so, yes, he did make his money by earning it, unlike the Kennedy and Bush clans.  And, yes, he has the right to spend or waste his money as he sees fit.  But this man is running for President, and he is running with a campaign theme of "help the poor."  I don’t think he gets it.  He is contradicting himself by acting like a rich man with money to burn while at the same time he is bemoaning the state of this nation’s poor.

Bill Clinton, for all of his personal faults, came from basically a middle-class background, and was not a wealthy man until after his presidency was over.  For most of their marriage, his lawyer wife made more money than he did.  The $200,000 presidential salary was the most he had made up to that point in terms of salary.  When  he said that he understood people’s pain, it was believable.  John Edwards can’t get away with that one.  And neither can Romney, nor most of the candidates from either party.

A good column to read on the Edwards haircut issue is written by Leonard Pitts, Jr.  He is a columnist for the Miami Herald, and  he usually writes common sense articles on politics, culture, and life in America.  Read his column on the $400 haircut at


Kucinich-Up Close and Personal

02 Apr

Dennis Kucinich, probably the most liberal/progressive candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, visited Tacoma, Olympia, and Aberdeen (in Washington State), on Friday, March 30, and I had the opportunity to see and hear him speak.

Now, let me say out in front that his politics are a bit far to the left for me on several issues, but I did come away very impressed by his demeanor, intelligence, and his sense of humor.  The event in Aberdeen, held at the Bishop Performing Arts Center at Grays Harbor College, was free to the public.  Between two and three hundred people attended, and, given volume of applause, and the lack of hecklers or even critical questions, (yes, he took unedited questions from the audience!), I assume most in attendance were favorable to his comments and opinions. 

He criticized President Bush, as expected, but some of his harshest comments were directed at his fellow Congressional Democrats!  He basically accused them of being no better than Republicans when it comes to dealing with the War in Iraq.  Kucinich called the debate on the Iraqi "surge" a fake debate, and a waste of time.  He informed the audience of a vote in Congress the day before which basically gave President Bush enough money to carry on the war through July, 2009, well past the end of his presidency.  The next day, I saw that CNN reported on that same information.

All in all, while I don’t think Kucinich has much chance to overtake Hillary, Obama, or Edwards, if we had a vote on intelligence, honesty, and "normal human beingness," he would get my vote.  He speaks his mind, and to heck with whether or not it is politically correct.  He does not pander to his audience, like many office-seekers do, and that will cost him a chance to truly win.  Issues and politics aside, the American people DO need more candidates at all levels who are as open and forthright as Congressman Kucinich.

Oh, and his British-born wife, Elizabeth, also spoke, talking about the 9/10 Forum, a plan to discuss how people viewed the world before the 9/11 attacks.  She is quite striking, a tall redhead who contrasts sharply to her much shorter husband, and it is obvious that she could hold her own in a speaking forum with the other candidates wives (plus Bill, of course).

Links to articles on Kucinich’s visit to Aberdeen, Tacoma, and Olympia:



02 Apr

Welcome to "Politics, Presidents, and Elections..Oh My!", a new blog on, you guessed it, POLITICS!

My goal is to be a fairly unbiased observer and commentator on American politics and government.  So, what do I mean by "unbiased?"  I am not going to rant and rave about how one party is great, and the other party (or parties) are basically the spawn of the devil, or anything like that.  I do have opinions, and you will see those opinions, but I see positives in almost all of the current crop of presidential candidates. I like to think of my writings to be political, but not overly partisan.

So stop on by and check out my postings and comment on them as you wish. 


Roger Lee

p.s.  In case you wondered, the title refers to a comment by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  Her comment was "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears..Oh My"  And, did you know that the original Wizard book was, in addition to being a children’s tale, an allegory to the politics of the Populist Era?