This week I wanted to introduce the newest candidates to join the race. In addition I found an interesting website with a quiz that I feel fairly accurately represents where I stand, and I think it can for you as well. It shows which parties and presidential candidates you most closely align with. It covers all the major issues and gives interesting facts and statistics.
George Pataki is a Yale educated former New York Mayor, State Assemblyman, State Senator and Governor. He hails himself as a conservative with the power to blur party lines in order to achieve the greater good. Unique from his other Republican counterparts however, Pataki supports abortion rights and gay rights- though he has voted against gay marriage in the senate.
While serving as Governor of New York he raised the states credit rating three times. He also passed a ban of smoking in the work place which was applauded by many. He is also known for his support of clean energy.
George met his wife Libby while surfing during a hurricane; the two have been married for forty-one years. Palaki practiced law before entering the world of politics. He is also known for leading the Empire State Building throughout the terror attacks on 9-11.
CNN reported that Pataki commented that, “the bottom of the pack is the best place to start.” George encourages us to ‘fall in love with America again.’ He hopes that while ‘America has a big decision to make about who we’re going to be and what we’re going to stand for’, that we choose to stand with him and decide that he will be the next president elect.
Rick Santorum already has his own theme song. This unique tactic, entitled ‘Take Back America’ is just one way Santorum is hoping to set himself apart. Santorum is also a published author and co-founder of an online community called Patriot Voices.
Rick, while new to this race (and a bit of an underdog at that), is not new to the process. During the 2012 presidential election Santorum gained wide support winning 11 states in the Republican primaries and 4 million votes. This attributes those successes to, “His grassroots approach to campaigning – including visiting every one of Iowa’s 99 counties”. He hopes that his past forays and recognizable name will help give him an upper hand during this election.
The building blocks of Santorum’s platform include his outspoken foreign policy views,- including a plan to fight radical Islam, support Israel, and preventing Iranian nuclear capabilities- his ’20/20 tax reform’, immigration reform and the idea that he is a champion for the working class, not the investor class. He is also anti pro-life and against same sex marriage.
Right winged Santorum hopes to earn the approval of citizens on both sides of the fence as he vies for a spot in America’s history as the next President.
This week Hillary focused on small business. She even started a LinkedIn account to share her advice for making Main Streets across the country thrive. Additionally, she’s rallying support by hosting a ‘Meet Hillary’ contest where the winner and one guest will win the opportunity to meet the candidate. Clinton continues to gain the support of numerous famous personalities such as Kelly Clarkson among others. She’s also gearing up for her upcoming official campaign announcement.
Get excited: Hillary will be making her official campaign announcement speech at the first big event of her campaign on June 13th.
This week Sanders has been focusing largely on his most recent congressional battles especially his disapproval of the Trans Pacific Partnership bill and making college educations free and raising the federal minimum wage. Bernie brands the controversial legislation as ‘anti-worker’ and ‘job killing’. Sanders continues to sell himself as an advocate for the voiceless and is an outspoken opponent of big business. He is relying on the notion that Americans are ready for a significant change in out current economic environment.
Carson took an innovative step this week by creating a Vine account. While he has yet to post a 6 second looping clip it is an interesting appeal to younger voters. The effectiveness of the decision and the way it will be used (IE if his platform will be promoted or if it will be used for short bits of rhetoric or recognition) remains to be seen. He is also promoting the hashtag #runbenrun, encouraging supporters to post their approval. As of May 20 Carson’s camp has ‘gathered some 120,000 donations amounting to over $6,200,000.00’.
Cruz is persistent in his efforts to make voters aware of his campaign ‘to reignite the promise of America’ as he defends the constitution. He has certainly gained the support of many influential donors raising far more than any candidate from either political persuasion. Ted spent some time with 600 pastors from around the country speaking to attacks against religious liberties. This is a clear play to his conservative Christian base. His consistency in voting also continues to be a point of emphasis for Cruz. Ultimately, he hopes that his core values and faith in God will engender America’s faith in him as the next POTUS.
Carly has had a strong talk radio presence this week. Ms Fiorina is focusing on the idea that she is not a career politician but rather a philanthropist and sharp business mind. She hopes to sell a narrative that she will be a refreshing change to Washington. She prides herself as a ‘citizen leader’. While she has received some criticism from past staffers, Carly has largely kept her head down and focused on gaining supporters in key states. She hopes that her personable demeanor and Christian values will win over potential voters and allow her to be a successful dark horse in this race.
Huckabee’s efforts this week have centered around the clarification of major platform issues. Some include a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, abolishing the IRS, supporting pro-life legislation, repealing the Affordable Care Act and funding Social Security. Mike hopes that history in the public eye will give him an edge in connecting with the public. Huckabee is encouraging Americans to ‘hope for higher ground’ in order to secure its future for upcoming generations. He has also been outspoken about his disapproval of trade promotion authority. Huckabee hopes that his clear political stances will provide for a clear voting decision in 2016.
Rand Paul made one of the more significant ripples in the political world after an impressively well publicized ten and a half hour filibuster. The hashtag #StandWithRand trended on various social media platforms. The bold move came as the result of the expiration of the highly contested Patriot Act comes up on its expiration date. Rand’s camp sold a filibuster survival kit to donors and were actively promoting the move in the media. The numbers indicate that Paul certainly made this week’s most significant PR move among the candidates.
Marco’s 44th birthday is on May 28th and he’s celebrating with a fundraiser/birthday event in Las Vegas hosted by Pawn Star’s personality Rick Harrison. Rubio’s camp is offering one donor the opportunity to attend the event, all expenses paid, and meet with Marco. Rubio is also prioritizing building American strength through a strong economy and robust foreign policy along with a reprioritization of the putting family first. In doing so Marco will continue to focus on younger voters. This is evidenced in his strong social media presence- including his latest addition, snapchat (marcorubio16).
As always, please comment about what you’d like to hear about, your thoughts on the candidates and get an early start on your 2016 vote by participating in the poll!
This week, while bit less eventful that in weeks past has provided some interesting developments. Many candidates are encouraging citizens to join ‘grassroots’ efforts to fund their extremely expensive campaigns, platforms are being more clearly defined and the competition is becoming more heated. Let’s get started:
Hillary spent quite a bit of time this week, just like her competitors, fundraising. Time reported that famous faces such as Beyonce, Sharon Osbourne, Meghan Trainor and LA Reid attended one event in New York which paints a valuable picture of influential support. That evening Clinton earned $1.1 million from those who attended.
Hillary Continues to sell the message that she is a woman of the people who is a champion for minorities and millennials.
Sanders continues to paint the picture that he is the anti-politician. While addressing the Senate about the proposed TPP legislation he continued to mention his ideas to stop America’s ‘race to the bottom’. Indeed, it seems as though Bernie will use this statement as a key slogan in his campaign.
He also continues to call out Wall Street and major corporations. Some of those companies include: Nike, Verizon, Sprint, and the like. He’s also expressed his disappointment in America’s international trade deficits and criticized the War in Iraq. Sanders hopes to convince voters that he is the man to rebuild main street and take down Wall Street while limiting international conflict and economic dependence.
We must rebuild American manufacturing and rewrite our trade agreements so that our largest export is not our jobs. #TPP
Carson spent some of his week returning to Baltimore, Maryland. He met with religious, community leaders and government officials. This paints the picture that he’s down in the trenches, finding out what American’s really need from their government. It also happens to be an effective Public Relations tactic.
Most of his week was in this same vein. He spent time with American’s across the country, gaining supporters, hosting rallies and earning contributions. He’s also launched a social media campaign where supporters are encouraged to post #ImWithBen. If the week’s goal was to have a strong Public Relations week that rallies support and positive recognition, then he has succeeded.
Ted Cruz is taking an innovative approach to rallying. This week he used the platform Periscope to stream rallies live to the internet. This is a new technique that could provide a cost effective way to involve potential supporters, no matter where they live.
He also expanded a bit on his platform. Ted was on Fox with Megyn Kelly and discussed foreign policy, among other things. He expressed his belief that foreign relations should be based in protecting American’s wellbeing and safety rather than to establish democracy in corrupt societies.
Our military’s job isn't to transform foreign nations into democratic utopias — it's to hunt down & kill terrorists pic.twitter.com/lbIl5CZnrr
Carly has been making the media rounds spending much of her time this week on various news programs. She used those opportunities to discuss White House transparency, the economy and her issues with fellow female candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, she was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from SNHU. That’s a busy week.
She also posted several videos on Twitter expounding on her platform and letting the public get to know her. Such issues include: Tax reform, her thoughts on leadership and why democrats should vote for her.
Mike Huckabee has been using his Twitter account effectively this week as a tool for educating voters about his platform. A new comer to the race, Mike is using his consistent presence to make up for any lost time.
The subject of those posts varied but his hope was to establish a clear concept of who Mike Huckabee is. He promised that, if elected, he would abolish the IRS and secure the fund of those drawing social security. Huckabee would also stop common core education standards, veto any legislation that would raise taxes, and fight for the sanctity of life.
As President, I will always stand for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception until the grave. http://t.co/Dr3t68JpUv
Rand Paul started to heat up the race this week. This week, in an interview with POLITICO, Rand openly criticized many of his competitors- more specifically, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton. Paul wants to be very clear about what he stands for. He’s been clear. He will not support foreign aid, eliminate ‘government spying’, and he will limit America’s international footprint- Paul believes the Iraqi war was a mistake.
As before, it’s clear that Rand is shooting for the younger deomgraphics by running a technology heavy campaign and by recruiting college students to be part of his team. It is clear that Paul will continue to be an assertive presence in this race.
Marco continues to be a family oriented who is proud of his heritage and faith. This week he also released a comprehensive foreign policy plan. He wants citizens to draw upon their greatness to usher in another American Century. Marco encouraged voters “to state boldly what we stand for and why it is right.”
Rubio has also been working on funding, making time for key constituents and connecting with citizens. Rubio is doing his best to convince Americans that he is the man to secure and protect the safety and wellbeing of families. His verbiage is indicative of a man who wants a renaissance of American prosperity and pride. That’s the message he has to sell voters.
Why are there so many candidates announcing their presidential bid so early? There are a whopping 550 days until election day and yet there are eight officially announced contenders and the competition is already heating up. The rationale is that the longer they’ve announced the longer they have to gain public approval and acceptance as the next POTUS.
Larry Jacobs, Political Science professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs is quoted as saying, “The harsh reality? It makes sense, it just takes so much time to put together these campaigns.”
Another reality? It gives them more time to raise funds.
CBS Minnesota reported that, “With more relaxed campaign finance laws on the books experts now say candidates must raise $75 million just to compete in the primaries. That’s $175,000 a day for a little over a year.”
Staggering. Overwhelming. Impossible. All words that come to mind. With that being said, it makes sense that one of their most valuable commodities is time.
It also allows them a greater opportunity to sell their narratives. On the liberal side of the aisle, the front runner is already a household name for most, but she has some public blunders she’s trying to overcome while selling herself as a legitimately qualified, bonafide president. On the other hand you have a massive republican field where candidates are going to have to fight tooth and nail for recognition and support. This all happens at a time of hyper media-saturation, short public attention span and record low voter turnout. The tumultuous battle these candidates are engaged in is an uphill one.
Why are candidates announcing their presidential bid so early? The simple answer is this: They have to.
The New Candidates
Another post will help more formally introduce you to the newest runners but here’s a snapshot of who they are and where to find out more:
Dr Ben Carson
This republican, retired neurosurgeon is hoping to fix what ails Americans by encouraging us to ‘heal, inspire and revive’. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and an accomplished academic who holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees.
A former HP executive, Carly Florina announced her candidacy on May 5th. She prides herself in her rise from a secretary to being one of the most esteemed women in business.
Her website tells us that, “Growing up, Carly’s mom taught her an essential lesson: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.” She hopes to earn your vote in 2016.
Mike is a well known conservative talk show host and the former Governor Arkansas. He finds popular supporters in TLC;s Christian poster children, the Duggars. His term as Governor “left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on the less expensive approach of prevention than the costly big-government approach of intervention.”
This week’s post will be a bit longer than the ones to follow, but I wanted to introduce you to the candidates. With that said, I’ve tried to be as concise as possible. In coming weeks there will be a brief summary of the most notable news and activities for each candidate. Get ready and make sure to comment about what you’d like to see, what your thoughts are and update your vote for the poll at the bottom!
Two weeks ago, on April 12th, Hillary Clinton announced her long-expected bid for presidency on YouTube. Since then, the video has garnered nearly 4.5 million views.
From April 22-April 29 Hillary personally tweeted 6 times. They typically addressed current events like earth day, the Nepali earthquake and the Baltimore Riots.
This week’s most popular tweet, by far, was:
Every loving couple & family deserves to be recognized & treated equally under the law across our nation. #LoveMustWin#LoveCantWait –H
Clearly, Hillary is capitalizing on the topic of gay marriage this week in light of the Supreme Court’s hearing on the matter. Her logo is currently displayed with a rainbow pattern, a clear reference to the LGBT community’s famous rainbow flag.
She continues to hammer in the idea that with her help, she can help American’s get back on top and stay there. She ‘s branding herself as a champion for the underdogs and is clearly working to gain the support of young voters- as evidenced by her recruiting of college interns and active social media presence.
Clinton is working to capture an image of a down to earth woman’s woman. Her twitter bio reads, “Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate.”
Current Social Media Followings:
Facebook: 785,542 likes (up 4.4% from last week) Twitter: 3.45 million followers YouTube: 23,833 subscribers, 4,502,328 views
Brooklyn born Bernie Sanders, a 73-year-old Independent from Vermont announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential bid on April 30th. He is the longest serving independent congressperson in history. He also boasts over 1,000 YouTube videos, the most robust channel of the candidates.
I am running for President of the United States because America needs a political revolution. Join our campaign: https://t.co/e7qc6g5Qwf
Bernie refers to himself as a democratic socialist who champions a hard left platform including income redistribution, breaking up Wall Street banks, and antiwar efforts. He hopes to win the support of devout democrats who favor his views over the more moderate Clinton.
CNN reported: “Sanders is well-recognized for his principled leadership and has consistently stood up for middle class families,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in the statement. “Throughout his service in the U.S. House and Senate, Bernie Sanders has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the values we all share as members of the Democratic Party.”
The question he poses, along with many Americans and media sources, is can a man who refuses to take the money of billionaires and super PACs win a major election? He plans on running a clean campaign, free of any negative ads, with an ‘issue oriented campaign’.
He’s doing his best to convince Americans that he is the humble, conflict free politician who wants to reset income disparity in the US. He also spoke to concerns about racially charged police brutality. He certainly has more tenure in civil rights than his opponents; he even took part in the infamous March on Washington.
Among his more notable actions in the senate was his 8 hour filibuster on tax reform. This will surely be one of the staples to his presidential platform.
While an underdog, Sanders insists that he wouldn’t have run if he didn’t believe he could win.
Facebook: 323,091 likes (up 9.4% from last week) Twitter: 19,000 followers YouTube: 27,212 subscribers, 7,442,957 views
On March 22nd, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy, calling on a ‘new generation of courageous conservatives to help make America great again’, raising jaw dropping contributions of over 1 million dollars during his first 24 hours. His YouTube announcement has just over 131,000 views and his accompanying tweet racked up 14 thousand retweets with a comparable number of favorites.
The senator is focusing on his all-American Christian family upbringing, telling a tale of rags to riches. Cruz grew up with a Cuban father who, at one time, was imprisoned and fled to the US for a better life. His father went from job to job, making less than a dollar an hour, learned English and rose the social ladder to be where he is today.
Current Social Media Followings:
Facebook: 1,230,153 likes (up .5% from last week) Twitter: 403,000 followers YouTube: 6,039 subscribers, 2,003,947 views
On April 7th Dr Rand Paul called on Americans to “Defeat the Washington Machine. [And] Unleash the American Dream”. Since then he has unleashed what is easily the most aggressive social media presence of the competitors. He is relying on that following, especially from young voters- he’s even hosting a t-shirt design competition- to help get him into the Whitehouse.
Paul, the father of 3 sons is described by his family as high energy and passionate. It was this passion that led him to become a philanthropic Ophthalmologist after spending years as his ‘grandmother’s eyes’.
Growing up he would spend time collecting coins with his grandmother, who’s failing eyes required him to make out the engravings on the coins. Rand’s camp hopes this family man image will endear him to the American public.
This moderate conservative candidate is aiming to balance the budget, limit congressional terms, reform the tax codes and increase national security efforts. Paul also offers an interesting perspective on healthcare because of his time as a physician.
This perspective also helps him politically because of his desire to ‘diagnose problems and provide practical solutions’.
He’s set apart by too by his foreign polices. In fact, his views are more liberal than his dominant democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. This is mainly because of his views against American military intervention.
Ultimately, he hopes that his fairly independent platform will attract voters from all political persuasions to make him the next president elect.
Current Social Media Followings:
Facebook: 1,907,797 likes (up .3% from last week) Twitter: 608,000 followers YouTube: 4,386 subscribers, 863,565 views
On April 13th Marco Rubio addressed a crowd at the Freedom Tower in Miami announcing his candidacy for president. He instantaneously made headlines when he urged us to ‘remember that it is the family, not the government that is the most important institution in our society’ and called on voters to help create ‘a new American Century’.
This Cuban American in aiming to win in order to usher in an America that he would be proud to pass down to his children. Rubio also holds pro-life and pro-state defined marriage stances. He is proud of his religious roots and wishes to protect God-given rights.
Rubio is young and energetic, a candidate who aspires to unite his party and the rest of the country. His charisma may carry him to the most contested office in Washington. He considers himself a standard-bearer for the next generation of conservatives.
Marco will draw on his Cuban heritage and paint a story of rags to riches. He often speaks about the massive student loan debt he racked up while working toward his American dream and hopes to offer better options for higher education and job preparedness.
Many know him for giving the Republican response to the 2013 State of the Union Address.
Rubio is trying to balance a moderate platform with many whose party devotion may make them unwilling to support a man who is famous for bipartisan deals.
Recently, he has been outspoken about his disapproval of the current version of legislation regarding Iran. He is championing an amendment that would require Iran to recognize Israel’s statehood.
He also vows to vote against any legislation that raises taxes, a major part of his message. His congressional term is set to end in January of 2017, when he hopes to take office as the next President of the United States.
Current Social Media Followings:
Facebook: 837,352 likes (up 4.3% from last week) Twitter: 732,000 followers YouTube: 3,340 subscribers, 2,144,848 views
Perhaps this is the result of a personal renaissance of political awareness, or maybe, if I’m being honest, it’s because I’m actually a viable voter now, but this presidential circuit seems to be heating up sooner than I’ve ever seen. My invitation to you, the reader, is rather simple. Join me on the campaign trail. I will provide you with a weekly virtual travel log of sorts, giving you concise (hopefully), relevant information for each candidate.
I will be as unbiased and fair as possible. My purpose is not to persuade you of nor inflict upon you, my personal stance. Rather, I wish to document, in one convenient location, the weeks developments. From official press releases, platform clarifications, valid critiques and other pertinent information, I will try to cover it all.
As a millinial I recognize the frustration of feeling like we’re drinking from a firehose of biased political opinion. I am, just as you are, capable of making my own opinion. Rather than telling you mine, I’ll give you the resources to make your own.
While I recognize the overwhelming nature of modern politics, I vehemently assert that we have a responsibility to be active participants in politics and government. We cannot afford to be anything but involved. We’re blessed to be part of a representative government (idealistically speaking), and as such we need to give our representatives voices to represent.
The log will include the major information for those who have officially declared their candidacy. If I do choose to be editorial, or provide my personal opinions, or feature anyone else’s, I will explicitly tell you up front. I look forward to going on the road (even if the road we travel is the information super-highway) and working together to be active participants in writing our country’s history!
For now, who has your vote? Also, comment below about what you’d like to hear!