Americans depend on energy for everything from driving their cars to powering factories, homes and offices — and of course our smartphones, laptops and tablets. How that energy is produced and where it comes from affect jobs, the economy and the environment.
Where they stand:
President Barack Obama proposes an “all of the above” strategy that embraces traditional energy sources such as oil and coal, along with natural gas, nuclear power and renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydropower. Obama has spent billions to promote “green energy” and backs a tax credit for the wind industry that his Republican rival Mitt Romney opposes. While production of renewable energy has soared, critics point to several high-profile failures, including Solyndra, a California solar company that went bankrupt, costing taxpayers more than $500 million.
Romney pledges to make the U.S. independent of energy sources outside of North America by 2020, through more aggressive exploitation of domestic oil, gas, coal and other resources and quick approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas. Obama blocked the pipeline because of environmental concerns but supports approval of a segment of it.
Why it matters:
Every president since Richard Nixon has promised energy independence — a goal that remains elusive. In 2011, the U.S. relied on net imports for about 45 percent of the petroleum it used, much from Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Still, U.S. dependence on imported oil has declined in recent years, in part because of the economic downturn, improved efficiency and changes in consumer behavior. At the same time, domestic production of all types of energy has increased, spurred by improved drilling techniques and discoveries of vast oil supplies in North Dakota and natural gas in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia. Production also is booming in traditional energy states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
The natural gas boom has led to increased production, jobs and profits — and a drop in natural gas prices for consumers. Natural gas, a cleaner alternative to coal, has generally been embraced by politicians from both parties.
Still, there are concerns. Critics worry that popular drilling techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which allow drillers to reach previously inaccessible wells, could harm air, water and health. Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, involves blasting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to stimulate the release of gas. Environmental groups and some public health advocates say the chemicals have polluted drinking water supplies, but the industry says there is no proof.
Similarly, the Keystone XL pipeline could help make the nation more energy secure — or pollute the environment in the event of a spill. Developer TransCanada says the 1,700-mile pipeline from western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast would pipe more than 1 million barrels of oil per day, more than 5 percent of the nation’s current oil consumption.
Opponents say the pipeline would bring “dirty oil” that would be hard to clean up after a spill.
Wind and solar power have grown, thanks in part to support from Obama, but their success is tenuous. Besides Solyndra, several solar companies have declared bankruptcy in part because of Chinese competition. Wind companies are laying off workers while Congress dithers on a tax credit crucial to the industry.
The changes aren’t likely to have an immediate effect on the cost of the energy source Americans are most familiar with: gasoline. Gas prices are dependent on crude oil prices, which are set on the global market.
Unless Congress acts, the trust funds that support Social Security will run out of money in 2033, according to the trustees who oversee the retirement and disability program. At that point, Social Security would collect only enough tax revenue each year to pay about 75 percent of benefits. That benefit cut wouldn’t sit well with the millions of older Americans who rely on Social Security for most of their income.
Where they stand:
President Barack Obama hasn’t laid out a detailed plan for addressing Social Security. He’s called for bipartisan talks on strengthening the program but he didn’t embrace the plan produced by a bipartisan deficit reduction panel he created in 2010.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney proposes a gradual increase in the retirement age to account for growing life expectancy. For future generations, Romney would slow the growth of benefits “for those with higher incomes.”
Why it matters:
For millions of retired and disabled workers, Social Security is pretty much all they have to live on, even though monthly benefits are barely enough to keep them out of poverty. Monthly payments average $1,237 for retired workers and $1,111 for disabled workers. Most older Americans rely on Social Security for a majority of their income; many rely on it for 90 percent or more, according to the Social Security Administration.
Social Security is already the largest federal program and it’s getting bigger as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. More than 56 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security benefits. That number that will grow to 91 million by 2035, according to congressional estimates.
Social Security could handle the growing number of beneficiaries if there were more workers paying payroll taxes. But most baby boomers didn’t have as many children as their parents did, leaving relatively fewer workers to pay into the system.
In 1960, there were 4.9 workers for each person getting benefits. Today, there are about 2.8 workers for each beneficiary, and that ratio will drop to 1.9 workers by 2035.
Nevertheless, Social Security is ripe for congressional action in the next year or two, if lawmakers get serious about addressing the nation’s long-term financial problems. Why? Because Social Security is fixable.
Despite the program’s long-term problems, Social Security could be preserved for generations to come with modest but politically difficult changes to benefits or taxes, or a combination of both.
Some options could affect people quickly, such as increasing payroll taxes or reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments for those who already get benefits. Others options, such as gradually raising the retirement age, wouldn’t be felt for years but would affect millions of younger workers.
Fixing Social Security won’t be easy. All the options carry political risks because they have the potential to affect nearly every U.S. family while angering powerful interest groups. Liberal advocates and some Democrats oppose all benefit cuts; conservative activists and some Republicans say tax increases are out of the question.
But Social Security is easier to fix than Medicare or Medicaid, the other two big government benefit programs. Unlike Medicare and Medicaid, policymakers don’t have to figure out how to tame the rising costs of health care to fix Social Security.
Social Security’s problems seem far off. After all, the program has enough money to pay full benefits for 20 more years. But the program’s financial problems get harder to fix with each passing year. The sooner Congress acts, the more subtle the changes can be because they can be phased in slowly.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the vast majority of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance.
The 5-4 decision means the huge overhaul, still taking effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.
The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call “Obamacare.”
“While no legislation is perfect, more people will now have access to affordable health insurance, and that is a good development for patients and the hospitals that serve them,” said Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association President and Chief Executive Officer Laurie Liles. “This is a pivotal time in our history, and hospitals are transforming the way healthcare is delivered, making care safer and more affordable for patients,” she said. “Arizona hospital leaders look forward to partnering with policymakers to achieve the goals of better care, better health and lower costs.”
Stocks of hospital companies rose sharply, and insurance companies fell immediately after the decision was announced that Americans must carry health insurance or pay a penalty.
Breaking with the court’s other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.
The justices rejected two of the administration’s three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Roberts said.
The court found problems with the law’s expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states’ entire Medicaid allotment if they don’t take part in the law’s extension.
“Now that the Supreme Court has removed the uncertainty surrounding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it’s time for employers to get to work,” said Sheldon Blumling, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm that represents employers. Blumling, an employee benefits attorney who counsels clients on how to comply with the law, continued by saying: “Employers must focus on how the employer “play or pay” mandate and other aspects of the law will impact their plan design and costs beginning in 2014. In addition to the long-term strategic concerns for employers, there are numerous new compliance obligations that must be addressed immediately. In the next 18 to 24 months, employers will be extremely busy getting their healthcare houses in order.”
The court’s four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.
Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
Kennedy summarized the dissent in court. “In our view, the act before us is invalid in its entirety,” he said.
The dissenters said in a joint statement that the law “exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding.”
In all, the justices spelled out their views in six opinions totaling 187 pages. Roberts, Kennedy and Ginsburg spent 57 minutes summarizing their views in the packed courtroom.
The legislation passed Congress in early 2010 after a monumental struggle in which all Republicans voted against it. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Thursday the House will vote the week of July 9 on whether to repeal the law, though such efforts have virtually no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has joined in calls for complete repeal.
After the ruling, Republican campaign strategists said Romney will use it to continue campaigning against “Obamacare” and attacking the president’s signature health care program as a tax increase.
“Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause,” said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. “This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history.”
Democrats said Romney, who backed an individual health insurance mandate when he was Massachusetts governor, will have a hard time exploiting the ruling.
“Mitt Romney is the intellectual godfather of Obamacare,” said Democratic consultant Jim Manley. “The bigger issue is the rising cost of health care, and this bill is designed to deal with it.”
More than eight in 10 Americans already have health insurance. But for most of the 50 million who are uninsured, the ruling offers the promise of guaranteed coverage at affordable prices. Lower-income and many middle-class families will be eligible for subsidies to help pay premiums starting in 2014.
There’s also an added safety net for all Americans, insured and uninsured. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage for medical treatment, nor can they charge more to people with health problems. Those protections, now standard in most big employer plans, will be available to all, including people who get laid off, or leave a corporate job to launch their own small business.
Seniors also benefit from the law through better Medicare coverage for those with high prescription costs, and no copayments for preventive care. But hospitals, nursing homes, and many other service providers may struggle once the Medicare cuts used to finance the law really start to bite.
Illegal immigrants are not entitled to the new insurance coverage under the law, and will remain one of the biggest groups uninsured.
Obama’s law is by no means the last word on health care. Experts expect costs to keep rising, meaning that lawmakers will have to revisit the issue perhaps as early as next year, when federal budget woes will force them to confront painful options for Medicare and Medicaid, the giant federal programs that cover seniors, the disabled, and low-income people.
The health care overhaul focus will now quickly shift from Washington to state capitals. Only 14 states, plus Washington, D.C., have adopted plans to set up the new health insurance markets called for under the law. Called exchanges, the new markets are supposed to be up and running on Jan. 1, 2014. People buying coverage individually, as well as small businesses, will be able to shop for private coverage from a range of competing insurers.
Most Republican-led states, including large ones such as Texas and Florida, have been counting on the law to be overturned and have failed to do the considerable spade work needed to set up exchanges. There’s a real question about whether they can meet the deadline, and if they don’t, Washington will step in and run their exchanges for them.
In contrast to the states, health insurance companies, major employers, and big hospital systems are among the best prepared. Many of the changes called for in the law were already being demanded by employers trying to get better value for their private health insurance dollars.
“The main driver here is financial,” said Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, which has pioneered some of the changes. “The factors driving health care reform are not new, and they are not going to go away.”
Justice Ginsburg said the court should have upheld the entire law as written without forcing any changes in the Medicaid provision. She said Congress’ constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce supports the individual mandate. She warned that the legal reasoning, even though the law was upheld, could cause trouble in future cases.
“So in the end, the Affordable Health Care Act survives largely unscathed. But the court’s commerce clause and spending clause jurisprudence has been set awry. My expectation is that the setbacks will be temporary blips, not permanent obstructions,” Ginsburg said in a statement she, too, read from the bench.
On Wednesday, February 22, the Republican party held their primary debate here in Arizona. I ventured out into deep Mesa to cover the debate, but since I couldn’t actually get into the building, I decided to walk around outside the Mesa Arts Center, where a large, outdoor viewing party was being held. There were plenty of journalists there reporting on the debate, so instead of writing a conventional news story, I decided to record a running diary of my time at the event. Pics are at the end of the post.
5:02 pm – Paul supporters out in full force today.
5:12 pm – Political events have the best people watching.
5:16 pm – About 50 percent of the crowd is vocal Ron Paul supporters. So far I have only seen a small number of people #SpreadingSantorum or showing support for the other two candidates.
5:21 pm – There is a large number of protesters here to support the DREAM Act, a legislative proposal that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. For the rest of this piece, I will refer to these protestors as “the DREAM Actors.”
5:25 pm – The city of Mesa hired a band to perform on stage before the debate starts. They’re trying really hard, but no one is listening.
5:40 pm –The DREAM Actors are now marching, while chanting “Sí se puede” and “We’re not afraid.” I have a feeling that immigration is going to be a hot topic at tonight’s debate.
5:45 pm – I just came across some demonstrators imploring the candidates to, “Please free Syria.” Sorry bros, maybe if you guys had more oil …
5:41 pm – There are also a small number of people here to support the #Occupy movement. I wonder if they know that Warner Brothers (a major corporation, man!) gets a cut from every single Guy Fawkes mask they buy.
5:51 pm – “Tonight we will get clear and concise answers from the candidates…” HAHAHA! Good one, J.Brew!
5:53 pm – Arizona Republican Party Chairman Tom Morrissey comes up on stage to ask us if we love our country, and then to lead us through the Pledge of Allegiance. But before we begin, he reminds us that there is no pause between the words “one nation” and “under God.” Thanks for the tip, Tom!
5:55 pm – The MC for the outside crowd instructs us to cheer wildly whenever they point the camera at us. “Get up, cheer, jump around, send gang signs… I mean, no, HAHA, don’t do that!” Are you sure you don’t want to see my gang sings, CNN outside party MC? I want to represent my crew. #westside
6:00 pm – “This is CNN.” LET’S DO THIS.
6:01 pm – THIS DEBATE COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!! At least that’s what CNN says could happen. CNN gives all the candidates a pro-wrestling style intro. Ron Paul’s is by far the lamest.
6:01 pm – During the introductions, Newt gets some polite applause; Romney and Santorum get a few cheers from the crowd outside. Paul has the loudest supporters.
6:04 pm – In the first answer of the debate, Rick Santorum says that he would cut Medicaid and food stamps, but not military spending. But hey, don’t criticize him. Rick is a good Christian man, and I’m pretty sure he’s just following what it says to do in the Gospel.
6:11 pm – Right now, Santorum is getting hammered on his voting record. It must be hard to get elected president after spending many years in Congress. Even the smallest and most routine votes can come back to haunt you.
6:12 pm – People outside keep applauding the comments like the candidates can hear them. Inside the Mesa Arts Center, Newt Gingrich has just informed the crowd that today is the 280th birthday of President George Washington. #historian#knowledgeBombs
6:14 pm – Gingrich’s big stumping point for this debate seems to be energy and gas prices; he has already mentioned it a few times. Also, there is a large man in a chicken suit standing right behind me. I don’t know what he wants.
6:16 pm – The chicken man is standing so close I can feel his breath on the back of my neck. #veryuncomfortable
6:17 pm – Ron Paul continues to get the loudest cheers. He tells the audience that we need to stop all foreign aid because it is a waste of money and it helps our enemies. But what about programs like the Peace Corps, or emergency food/medical services? That might make a good follow-up question, John King.
6:21 pm– Romney is bragging about deporting illegal immigrants while he was Governor of Massachusetts. The DREAM Actors protesting outside do not like this. Also, I have to wonder why the moderators allow the crowd inside the Mesa Arts Center to cheer/applaud during the debate. This has happened at every single Republican debate. It makes the candidates to pander to the crowd and it wastes time.
6:37 pm – Wow, a good follow-up question about the managed bankruptcies and the auto industry by John King. See I knew you had it in you! Still, I’m pretty disappointed with the types of questions I’ve been hearing throughout the Republican Primary. <rant> It seems like the reporters/journalists are covering the campaign like it’s a horse race; they’re not concerned with the actual issues. The news media is only searching for buzz-worthy, marketable, thirty-second soundbites; they let the presidential candidates spout of the same talking points, over and over again, unchallenged. No one ever asks the candidates about how that will actually make their plans happen, or speculates about the possible ramifications if the Republicans succeed </rant>.
6:42 pm – We’re still on the topic of the auto bailouts. Ron Paul is insisting that politicians shouldn’t meddle in corporate bankruptcies, because they can’t figure that kind of stuff out. Are politicians stupid? Does that mean we should start electing smarter people?
6:50 pm – All the Republican challengers seem to agree that President Obama has launched a vicious attack on religious freedoms in America (via contraception). Is Obama the next Maximilien Robespierre? #reignofterror
7:03 pm – Santorum and Romney keep blaming each other for causing Obamacare. Santorum says that Obamacare was based on Romney’s state healthcare plan in Massachusetts, while Mitt claims that Obama’s bill never would have passed through Congress if Santorum hadn’t indorsed Senator Arlen Spector (who voted for the bill after he was re-elected). Which Republican presidential candidate do you think deserves the credit for overhauling the American healthcare system?
7:04 pm – The crowd outside lustily boos Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio when he is introduced during the debate. They must have had a bad experience at tent city or something.
7:13 pm – Newt Gingrich loves Ronald Reagan. He loves Ronald Reagan more than you ever could. He wants you to know that.
7:14 pm – During commercial breaks, the CNN crew keeps asking us to cheer when they put us up on the big screen. Why do they need our cheers so badly? Are they terribly insecure, to the point where they need constant reassurance that they are doing a good job?
7:20 pm –The DREAM Actors and Ron Paul supporters have crowded around the CNN cameras. Their signs are partially obscuring the big screen, which is angering other people in the crowd.
7:26 pm – We are now on the topic of Iran and nuclear weapons. If you listen, you can hear the drums of war beginning to beat. This is getting the Ron Paul supporters and traditional Republicans fired up, but for very different reasons.
7:31 pm – You can tell people are into the debate when they loudly muttering their own personal commentary. It isn’t the least bit annoying. #sarcasm
7:47 pm – During the last commercial break, two men start chanting Romney’s name. No one else joins in and they quickly stop.
7:52 pm – Gingrich and Romney refuse to answer John King’s final question. They instead use the time for a closing argument about why they should be president. When John King tries to protest, Romney slaps him back down #WHO’SYOURDADDY
7:55 pm – It’s over. Time to get out of here.
Final Take: During the debate, new frontrunner Rick Santorum boxed himself in by pointing out that he voted for large bills and packages that he didn’t believe in, such as Title X, which is not popular among the Republican electorate. He portrays himself as a principled Washington outsider, but by admitting and trying to defend the fact that he played the political game, Santorum lost a lot of his credibility. Honesty gets you nowhere in these debates. I expect Mitt Romney will get a boost over the next several days.
Although the New Hampshire Primary is scheduled to be held on the second Tuesday in March, it hasn’t been held in March since back in the ’70s. New Hampshire is proud to hold the first Presidential Primary Election every four years. By state law, the New Hampshire Secretary of State has the authority to schedule the primary as early as is needed to ensure it will be the “first in the nation.”
Occurring one week after the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire primary is considered to be another important litmus test that can make or break a candidate. Like Iowa, winning isn’t everything, and outperforming expectations are a better gauge of success. In the modern era, it is almost as common for the New Hampshire second place finisher to go on to be their party’s nominee as it is for the winner.
At times, this process can seem silly. In New Hampshire this year, Mitt Romney won the Primary and declared victory. Ron Paul took second place, and then declared victory. Jon Huntsman got third and also declared victory. The only people not declaring victory were claiming either, “I didn’t campaign in New Hampshire so it doesn’t matter,” or “This result won’t make me drop out of the race.”
So the Republican Primary after New Hampshire has the same plotline; Governor Mitt Romney is the front-runner, and the rest of the candidates are competing to see if anyone of them can rise up out of the pack to be the sole contender against him. Their problem is that they are already running out of time.
Rick Santorum barely missed winning in Iowa by eight votes and seemed poised to be that main contender. One week later in New Hampshire, he finished in fifth place. The talk-show pundits barely mentioned him in the post-primary analysis. It is a good example of how these early primaries can build you up and then break your heart.
Romney’s win is impressive because he is the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Next up in the process is the South Carolina Primary on January 21 and then the Florida Primary on January 31. If Romney wins South Carolina, he will pretty much be unstoppable. The race for second place is meaningless, and then there is even more good news for Romney. If he does well in South Carolina and Florida, the series of primaries that follow in February are Maine, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona and Michigan. Of those six, Romney won five of them in 2008, only losing to John McCain in Arizona, McCain’s home state.
The real story to keep watching is the “nasty” factor. Newt Gingrich has been very vocal about the attacks that have come at him from Romney and his supporters. There are some very hard feelings between these two, and Gingrich is vowing to fight. He is reported to have 3.5 million dollars to invest in the South Carolina Primary and is expected to spend a good chunk of it going after Romney. The Republican attacks on each other could be extremely harmful for the eventual nominee. The mud they sling at each other doesn’t go away and is being seen by the president and his campaign team. It has happened before. In 1988, republican nominee George Bush Sr. defeated democrat nominee Michael Dukakis. A work furlough program that Dukakis supported as Governor was the most incriminating attack against him and inspired the infamous Willie Horton television ads. This issue was originally raised by then candidate Al Gore in the Democratic Primaries. The Republicans remembered the issue and used it to their advantage.
The Republican contest hasn’t changed much in the last twelve months, but the hopes are fading for an anti-Romney candidate to rise up and unify the far-right.
Last year was a busy year for the Republican candidates for president; it seemed as if they had a thousand debates. There was all the talk about who was running and who wasn’t. Polls began showing Governor Mitt Romney as the front runner, and then a series of other candidates rose up to Romney’s level only to eventually fall back ― with the last of those surging candidates has been Senator Rick Santorum. Despite all of this, the start of the presidential race didn’t officially occur until the January 3rd Iowa Causus.
The Iowa caucas started in 1972 when the Iowa Democratic Party moved its caucus to be the first in the nation. That year, George McGovern performed better than expected. Although he finished second in those caucases behind Edmund Muskie, the momentum slung him forward, and he went on to gain his party’s nomination. Four years later, in 1976, the Republican Party moved its caucus to the same date as the Democrats to join in the prominence that Iowa had gained. Candidates and media alike now view Iowa as the first real test of the presidential campaign.
This year’s caucus was extremely close with Romney barely winning. He finished eight votes ahead of Santorum with 122,255 voters having turned out. Unlike most elections where the winner is the person with the most votes, Iowa is more about expectations. Finishing first is less important than what people will read into it. Both Romney and Santorum finished strong and met or exceeded expectations.
Santorum worked hard and earned it. He personally visited all 99 counties in Iowa, and it paid off. This close second place finish has the media talking as much about him as the winner. Romney put less effort into Iowa this year, but still carried a lot support from four years ago when he ran for president and finished second in Iowa. Both candidates will receive massive media attention going into New Hampshire where Romney is expected to win easy. Having been the governor of Massachusetts and owning a home in New Hampshire, Romney has “home court advantage.”
Newt Gingrich finished fourth but faced heavy negative attacks along the way. After New Hampshire’s primary, the next primaries shift into the South where Gingrich is expected to be his strongest. He didn’t show well but can explain it away. Fourth place is where John McCain finished in these caucases four years ago before he went on to win the nomination. Expect Gingrich to stay in this race for awhile and also expect the negative campaigning to continue to attack him. He will throw a few elbows of his own.
Congressman Ron Paul showed very well finishing in third place but is still being questioned as a candidate that a majority of Republicans nationwide will support. Governor Rick Perry is rethinking his campaign after finishing in fifth place, and it is hard to see anything but disappointment with his showing. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is a native of Iowa, finished in last place of the candidates who campaigned in Iowa. Governor John Huntsman did not put any effort into Iowa opting to go straight to New Hampshire.
So the final outcome of this year’s Iowa caucus is that we are back to where we were before they happened. Mitt Romney is at the front of the pack running neck and neck with Rick Santorum, who is the conservative alternative to Romney. If anything became clear, Iowa has probably knocked a candidate or two off of the bottom of the list, but it is still wide open for the top three or four candidates.
Twitter Political Campaign: Promoted Tweets And TwoSides
By Victoria Fortnum and Alexandra Huskey
Twitter & Political Campaigns
Twitter recently announced they were going to begin selling sponsored ads to candidates and political committees and their political campaign. Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of global revenue, released a statement explaining how the company believes this new idea will allow users to connect with the issues and candidates they care about.
The tweets will appear as Promoted Tweets, identified by a purple check mark. The Promoted Tweets will appear in the timeline of Twitter users who follow a certain campaign and under various search terms. Candidates and political committees will also have the option to pay to show up on search trends and as a suggested ‘Tweeter” for users to follow.
Twitter ran its first political ad on Wednesday, September 21st, from GOP presidential prospect Mitt Romney. Some political figures have already made their mark on the social networking site. Only time will tell how Twitter’s new ad campaign will affect the 2012 elections.
Comparing View Points for Politics
We have already heard how President Obama utilized Facebook for his political campaign in 2008 and still uses it to stay in contact with his followers, but a new site helps you compare the stand points of all candidates.
TwoSides is a site created to compare candidates view points in a more effective way than has been done in the past. This site will cover not only simple issues but more button-pushing stances as well.
Not only does this website want to share the viewpoint of the candidates but also wants the views of the people viewing the site. TwoSides allows you to comment or, according to Jennifer Van Grove of Mashable, allow you to share your ideas of the subject and how you really feel about a political issue. If you agree or disagree with an idea, you may also voice your opinion and see the percentage of others that feel the same.
This site will be a great tool for the 2012 elections and allow people to learn more about issues that they may not have known prior.