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The United States: The Quadrennial Contest PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 01 September 2012 19:18

At last the primary season for the Republican Party came to an end, the Republican National Convention which convened on Monday, August 27, 2012 in the international meeting center in Tampa, Florida officially nominated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as their choice as president and vice president to stand against president Obama on the 6th of November presidential elections.  In a roll call of the states on Tuesday, the Wyoming’s 29 presidential delegate put Romney over the top with 28 votes with the other going to Ron Paul, thus giving the ex-Massachusetts giving him the prize that eluded him more than five years.  Romney who has selected the 42 years old congressman Paul Ryan the chairman of the house budget committee on August 11 as his running mate.  Romney is scheduled to accept his party's nomination in a speech Thursday night.  Mitt Romney had effectively clinched the nomination in May.  All of his former GOP competitors have endorsed him, with the exception of Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

The election of the President and Vice President of the United States is an indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots for a slate of members of the U.S. Electoral College; these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President.  Presidential elections occur every four years [quadrennial], they take place on the first Tuesday of November. The most recent the 2008 presidential election was held on November 4 that year. The next, the 2012 election is going to be held on November 6.  The process is regulated by a combination of both federal and state laws. Each state is allocated a number of Electoral College electors equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives in the U.S. Congress.  Additionally, Washington, D.C. is given a number of electors equal to the number held by the smallest state.  U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College.

The modern nominating process of U.S. presidential elections currently consists of two major parts: a series of presidential primary elections and caucuses held in each state, and the presidential nominating conventions held by each political party.  This process was never included in the United States Constitution, it evolved over time by the political parties to clear the field of candidates.  The primary elections are run by state and local governments, while the caucuses are organized directly by the political parties.  Some states hold only primary elections; some hold only caucuses and others use a combination of both. These primaries and caucuses are staggered between January and June before the federal election, with Iowa and New Hampshire traditionally holding the first presidential state caucus and primary, respectively.  Like the general election, presidential caucuses or primaries are indirect elections. The major political parties officially vote for their presidential candidate at their respective nominating conventions, usually all held in the summer before the federal election. Depending on each state's law and state's political party rules, when voters cast ballots for a candidate in a presidential caucus or primary, they may be voting to award delegates "bound" to vote for a candidate at the presidential nominating conventions, or they may simply be expressing an opinion that the state party is not bound to follow in selecting delegates to their respective national convention. Unlike the general election, voters in the U.S. territories can also elect delegates to the national conventions.

Along with delegates chosen during primaries and caucuses, state delegations to both the Democratic and Republican conventions also include "unpledged" delegates who can vote for whomever they want. For Republicans, these include top party officials. Democrats have a more expansive group of unpledged delegates called "superdelegates", who are party leaders and elected officials. Each party's presidential candidate also chooses a vice presidential nominee to run with them on the same

As powerful tropical storm Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico, Republicans opened their nominating convention on Monday with a knock at President Barack Obama's record on spending and a Hollywood-style video message from Mitt Romney.  Moments earlier, Republican National Committee Chairman had presided over the shortest convention session in history, scarcely 33 seconds, the result of a schedule shortened amid concerns Isaac could have hit Tampa.  The convention resumed Tuesday, a session anchored on Ann Romney's evening speech. The convention opened with Romney and Obama in a dead heat much as the race has been for months. Republicans had announced Sunday that they were essentially scrapping the first session of the four-day affair, trimming their sails as Isaac churned its way across the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida.  But at 10 a.m. the National Hurricane Center formally discontinued the tropical storm warning affecting Tampa.

In the early stages of the race for the Republican presidential nomination in the early stages of the primary campaign included: Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Governor Mitt Romney, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich but later on the field swelled into about a dozen which included former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Rep. Michele Bachmann and with businessman Herman Cain, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and others but after a long succession of debates  Romney emerged as the frontrunner after securing more than half of the delegates allocated in March. On April 10 ex-senator Santorum suspended his campaign, leaving Mitt Romney as the undisputed front-runner for the presidential nomination and after all the others still remaining in the field withdrew, the Republican National Committee (RNC) declared Romney the party's presumptive nominee Paul officially remained in the race but stopped campaigning on May 14. On May 29, Romney won the Texas 2012 Republican primaries; the subsequent accumulation of the state's 155 delegates was enough for him to clinch the party's nomination.

The Republicans must have been very happy to put the primary season behind them, it was not always a very friendly and civilized affair, very nasty words were very frequently exchanged between some of the dozen contenders who were fighting for their party’s nomination for the big prize.  The whole thing has started 16 months ago but it was very clearly that by May 2012 Mitt Romney was the front runner a position which was clinched by the republican’s national convention which assembled in Tampa in Florida on august 27 and confirmed him as their standard bearer and opened the way for next fall’s final clash with president Obama who was assured of his position on the head of the democrat’s ticket.  An incumbent president by a very interesting tradition of American politics an incumbent president is always assured of an unchallenged opportunity to head his party’s ticket in a presidential election to have a second term of office.  The Republicans arrived in Tampa Florida on Monday August 27 they met in the Tampa international meeting center where 50,000 man and woman gathered  to what was supposed to a full four days of convention activities, there which included 51,000 credentialed media , assorted elected officials, lobbyists 4,411 delegates and alternates, but the proceedings were cut short by one day after a 33 second talk by the chairman of the republican national committee because of the threats imposed by the approaching of tropical storm Isaac which was churning through the gulf of Mexico. On Tuesday they met again and gave the nod to Mr. Romney when he reached the magic number of 1144 when the Wyoming delegates voted for him, the delegates voted also on a conservative party platform. During the remainder of Tuesday and on Wednesday and Thursday they heard speeches from a number of people the most notable of the was Mrs. Romney’s wife on Tuesday night, the one by ex-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice And the one by the vice-president nominee on Wednesday night and on the last night they listened to Mr. Romney’s acceptance speech which practically initiated the fight for the oval office. Then they went home.

Mr. Romney’s acceptance speech was the climax of the three day republican convention, it was the most important speech of his political life, it was an attempt to show the human side of a candidate who is sometimes accused of being opaque and distant, in his speech which lasted 37 minutes he pledged to restore the promise of America and talked about his plan to make this country energy independent, to cut the sprawling deficit and create a 12 million jobs. The long awaited speech by Mr. Romney was received by those inside the convention center by great cheers and applause and with thousands of balloons and confetti filling the place, but I suppose one has to wait and see how the American people are going to respond to it.

Next fall’s contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney is promising to be an extremely interesting match, at the moment they seem to be neck in neck, their chances of success are almost equal, the result of the coming election is impossible to predict.  From now until November 6th there might be some unexpected surprises, this is American politics, you can never tell.

Najeeb Hanoudi

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Southfield, MI

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