Political Column: Changing Times

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Dan Caccavale

 

2011 was a year filled with turmoil, the fall of tyrants, and political challenges. As 2012 moves in, it does not seem like it will be much different. January is almost over and already it has been a suspenseful year.

As the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues, things have become extremely unpredictable. The primaries began in Iowa where Mitt Romney originally won by a mere eight votes, but was then overcome by Rick Santorum. Not only is an eight-vote difference as close as they come, it was from a candidate who just a few months ago was barely on the radar. Of course this was challenged, and a recount found that Santorum actually beat Romney by thirty-four votes. Oops, does not seem to cover how big of a mistake that truly was considering it took away the strong lead Romney had. Yes the margin of thirty four votes is still very slim, but it pulls Romney down in the polls by a lot even with his clear win in New Hampshire. He was hurt more this past Saturday when Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary. So in the first three states of the primary election, three different winners have emerged and in two of them, candidates have dropped out of the election. Rick Perry dropped out, and endorsed Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Bachman dropped out after a crushing defeat in Iowa. All of this combined proves that it is going to be a very long and stressful primary season for all the Republican candidates.

Of course it would not be an election without some mudslinging going on. Mitt Romney was thrown under the bus when it came out that he had been hiding a bit of a small fortune. Apparently Romney is worth a lot more money than he had originally let on. This may have led to his defeat in South Carolina and has also caused him to have to release his last tax return to hopefully quiet some rumors. Newt Gingrich had to sit back and watch as his second wife went public with information about their relationship and their divorce. A few years ago, Gingrich publically denounced former president Bill Clinton for his alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky, even though for six years Gingrich was supposedly having an affair. His ex-wife also claimed, during an interview with ABC News, that he asked for an open marriage so that he could be with the woman with whom he was having an affair. He divorced his second wife and married the woman with whom he was allegedly having the affair. When asked about these open marriage accusations, Gingrich completely denied that they ever occurred. However, if they ever did occur, the American public will never know. This story still hits hard at the sanctity of marriage position that Gingrich maintains. It is unclear what kind of toll this will take on the Gingrich campaign since there are still a lot of states left that need to hold primary elections.

The primary election season is nowhere near over and as it progresses things are only going to get more stressful and more surprising. Only one thing is clear, in a few short months the race for President will officially be underway and the leadership of our country could be changing.

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