by Steve Beynon
130 days ago
The battle for Iowa and New
Hampshire kicked into high gear at Thursday’s Republican debate, featuring a
smaller cast of candidates. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz,
John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush took the stage and engaged in one of
the debate’s bloodiest battles as the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus looms.
Yes, this election starts in two
Bromance Between Trump and Cruz Is Over
Some of the debate’s most
electrifying moments are when these two went head-to-head exchanging blows to
win over the Iowa’s Republican base. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas came out on top in
this battle, towering over a seemingly desperate Donald Trump. However, polls
indicate Trump might still win the war for the early primary states.
The Texas senator’s citizenship has
been in question lately, however this is more of an attempt to resurrect the
birther movement than any real questioning of the Constitution. Let's not forget
Trump was a major player in the birther movement against President Obama.
Section 1 of Article Two of the U.S.
“No Person except a natural born Citizen,
or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this
Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any
Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of
thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United
Cruz was a Canadian citizen born to an American mother and
most interpretations would consider him “natural born.” However, there are some
arguments against Cruz’s eligibility. The Constitution does not clearly define
what natural born is.
Trump started using this against the Texas senator once he
started gaining in early states, positioning himself as a heavyweight. However,
to clear the air, the Fox Business moderators started the citizenship topic.
This virtually cleared the stage; the only thing that mattered was Trump and
“You know, back in September, my friend Donald said that
he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way, and there was no
issue there,” Cruz said referring to his Canadian birth. "There was
nothing to this birther issue … Now, since September, the Constitution hasn't
When Trump was asked by a moderator why he was bringing up
the citizenship issue now, Trump fired back with the kind of honesty we seldom
get: “Because now he's going a little bit better [in polls]. No, I didn't care.
Hey look, he never had a chance. Now, he's doing better. He's got probably a
four- or five-percent chance.”
The Texas senator continued his fire against the
real-estate giant, saying he “embodies New York values,” suggesting Iowa and New
Hampshire voters should think twice about the billionaire’s roots.
“Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan,” Sen.
Cruz said. He has also suggested Donald Trump is a New York liberal pretending to have
Trump defended his hometown, reaching for a very cringe-worthy use of 9/11.
"We took a big hit with the World Trade Center —
worst thing ever, worst attack ever in the United States, worse than Pearl
Harbor because they attacked civilians," Trump said. "They attacked
people having breakfast. And, frankly, if you would've been there, and if you would've
lived through that like I did with New York people — the way they handled that
attack was one of the most incredible things that anybody has ever seen."
While the bromance might be over going into Iowa, both
candidates suggested they might pick the other one to be their vice president
if they take the White House. Perhaps a Cruz/Trump is on the table for the
Sen. Rand Paul Goes Down Honorably
The Kentucky senator didn’t qualify for the main stage
debate. However, he was invited to the undercard debate along with Carly
Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Rand Paul refused to be seen as a
second-tier candidate and didn’t show up to the lesser debate only to share a
stage with reject candidates.
Sen. Paul hasn’t dropped out, but you might have had a
better chance of winning the Powerball than getting a President Rand Paul.
This didn’t stop Paul’s fangirls from showing up in the
chanting “WE WANT RAND!” in the
middle of the main debate.
Instead, The Daily Show was kind enough to offer the
senator his very own “Singles Night” debate. Host Trevor Noah and
Sen. Paul drank bourbon for 20 minutes and talked policy.
You can read CityBeat’s profile of Sen. Rand Paul here.
Dr. Ben Carson Is Over
When asked his first question on Thursday night, Carson
responded, "I was going to ask you to wake me up," which might have
been funny if he wasn’t the candidate known for looking like he is sleeping all
The famous neurosurgeon has been an oddity this entire
race. I covered Carson’s visit to Cincinnati last year and even had the
privilege of meeting him. However, something felt off about him.
I’m less referring to the man’s politics and more about
his mode of thinking. His arguments are typically muddled, and myself and most
others covering this election are commonly left scratching our heads wondering
what exactly Carson is talking about.
His supporters at the rally weren’t attracted to any
specific policies of Carson’s, but literally everyone I interviewed said the
same thing: They liked that he wasn’t a politician.
Wanting someone who isn’t a politician is attractive, but
sometimes you need a politician to do politician things: like make a good case
for why they should be president. Donald Trump isn’t a politician, but he is an
excellent communicator and doesn’t fall asleep during debate.
Carson’s campaign has been a disaster. He was a GOP star
for part of the summer, but his own staff says he’s difficult to work with and the brain surgeon has had issues
with senior-level staff leaving.
During the debate, Carson described an ominous string of
threats and fantasized a doomsday scenario of terrorists detonating a nuclear
bomb, eliminating our power grid, setting off dirty bombs and unleashing ground
attacks in the streets.
While that sounds like a plot to a Michael Bay movie, that
scenario is technically possible but sounds a little off-the-rails. Perhaps
doomsday scenarios should be debated in the Pentagon, not a mainstream debate.
“The fact of the matter is, [Obama] doesn't realize that we now live in
the 21st century, and that war is very different than it used to be before,”
Carson said. “Not armies, massively marching on each other and air forces, but
now we have dirty bombs and we have cyber attacks and we have people who will
be attacking our electrical grid.”
Carson might have had his 15 minutes of fame, and his
polling has been in free-fall since the Paris attacks. This candidate isn’t
just weak on foreign affairs — he is quickly losing relevance and will fade into
Where is Sen. Marco Rubio?
Marco Rubio has virtually forgotten he is a senator of Florida and debate viewers may have forgotten he
was a contender.
Rubio wasn’t talking policy and was largely overshadowed
by the boxing match between Cruz and Trump. However, the junior senator tried
to bring attention his way with attacking Obama.
“I hate to interrupt
this episode of Court TV. But I think we have to get back to what this election
has to be about. OK? Listen, this is the greatest country in the history of
mankind. But in 2008, we elected a president that didn’t want to fix America.
He wants to change America. We elected a president that doesn’t believe in the
Constitution. He undermines it. We elected a president that is weakening
America on the global stage. We elected a president that doesn’t believe in the
free enterprise system.”
the debate came to its conclusion, Rubio engaged his competition on tax plans.
As both Cruz and Rubio got lost in the weeds, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
reminded the senators the topic was about entitlements.
Rubio said he would be happy to talk about entitlements.
already had your chance Marco,” Christie responded. “You blew it.”
Florida senator had a quick rise in the fall, but has lost all of the polling
support he gained. He is almost back where he was at the end of the summer
coming in at a distant third with 12 percent average among national polling.
by Steve Beynon
Posted In: 2016 election
at 02:53 PM | Permalink
Jeb Bush isn’t his actual name, his first name is an acronym
for his full name, John Ellis Bush. Oh, and as of right now JebBush.com
forwards you to Donald Trump’s official campaign site.
with the campaign?
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush was to be the Republican
front-runner. Going into this election, everyone assumed it would come down to
“Bush vs. Clinton.” He was a little late to announce his candidacy, but he
still entered the race largely before the nation knew who Dr. Ben Carson was
and before Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) was considered a heavyweight.
The majority of Republican primary voters seem to have an
appetite for an outsider candidate, someone who hasn’t already been poisoned by
the wells of the Washington machine. Nothing in the GOP field is more
establishment than a candidate from the Bush family, which is one of the most
well-connected families in the country. Bush has been suffering in the polls,
fighting for scraps at the bottom with Chris Christie.
can govern! Jeb Bush served as the governor
of Florida from 1998 to 2007.
need Latino support in this election and that demographic’s importance only
grows with time. Jeb speaks fluent Spanish and has
used it on the campaign trail. He’s also for
is a conservative in the sense that he values a limited government, but he is a far
cry from the unorthodox rhetoric from the far-right. He acknowledges climate
change, isn’t disruptive and doesn’t build a platform out of heated rhetoric.
Jeb is calm, cool and collected.
background governing could also be his biggest weakness. Republicans are
aggressively anti-government in this election. Anyone who has so much as ran
for dog-catcher is suspect.
is pro common core. In Boston he lashed out against common-core opponents
saying, "criticisms and conspiracy theories
are easy attention grabbers." Conservatives often view common core as
destructive and as government overreach. Other candidates like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey that
originally supported the controversial education standards have retreated to the opposition.
is also really, really boring. Jeb’s performance has been subpar at best in the
debates. It might be more of a commentary on the media and America’s
shallowness, but this election has exclusively rewarded showmanship. Look no
further than Donald Trump.
One of the only concrete proposals by Jeb Bush is
entitlement reform. His campaign rolled out plans on raising the retirement age beyond 67 by increasing the
age by one month every year starting in 2028. He also wants to eliminate the
6.2 percent payroll tax to seniors who work beyond their retirement age.
Bush wants to intensify the war against the Islamic State by
using conventional ground troops, saying in a speech at The Citadel, a military
college, “We need to
intensify our efforts in the air — and on the ground."The
primaries are elections in which the parties pick their strongest candidate to
run for president. In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Go here
for more information on primaries. CityBeat
will be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in
by Steve Beynon
Posted In: 2016 election
at 02:47 PM | Permalink
Everything you need to know about the primaries
What are the
They are elections in which the parties pick their strongest
candidate to run for president. For instance, if you are a Republican, you will
pick from your field of candidates (Trump, Rubio, Carson and so on) to
challenge the Democratic candidate.
When are the
In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The
overall election starts in February with Iowa, and each state votes at a
different time. Some states don’t vote until the summer.
about caucuses, what are those?
Ohio doesn’t have a caucus. You only need to worry about
that if you live in a state like Iowa. Essentially, a caucus is a gathering of
a bunch of citizens in a room, and they physically stand on each side of the
room and debate which candidate to pick. All the sides of the room represent
support for a single candidate. The physical number of people in on the sides
of the room is counted at the end to decide to victor.
Some states have closed primaries, meaning only official
members of a political party can vote. Don’t worry about this, Ohioans — you
live in an open primary state, meaning anyone can vote for any candidate.
At the polls, you will be asked which party you want to vote
for and given a ballot with those respective options. If you are voting for a
different party than you did last election, you’ll fill out a simple form
declaring party affiliation. You can of course easily change this next
Your right to vote in a primary is not guaranteed in the
law. This is why these rules vary and are dictated by parties. This also put
some standard voting regulation up in the air. States like Ohio allow 17-year-olds
to vote in the primary so long as they turn 18 on or before the general
What are the
The Democratic and Republican parties have been the meat and
potatoes of American politics for centuries. You can look into the Green or
Constitution Party, but the U.S. has been a two-party country since day one.
When do I
have to be registered?
Ohioans have to be registered 30 days before primaries to
participate. Let's set Valentine's Day as your deadline. CityBeat will
be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in March.
by Andy Brownfield
Mayor Mallory to join Qualls in official campaign kickoff
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls will be formally announcing her run for the top spot in Cincinnati on Thursday.
Qualls’ campaign site has been up for some time already,
and the vice mayor’s team had a meeting with political writers and
bloggers on Nov. 26.
The vice mayor will be joined by current term-limited Mayor Mark Mallory, implying his support for her mayoral run. The event is taking place at 10 a.m. at Core Clay, Inc., a small women-owned business in Walnut Hills.
Qualls, who is endorsed by both the Democratic Party and
Charter Committee, previously served as mayor from 1993-1999 after
serving in Cincinnati City Council from 1991-1993. She returned to
council in 2007.
Former city councilman John Cranley, also a Democrat, is
also running for mayor. Cranley served on council between 2001 and 2007.
His campaign will officially launch in January and former mayor Charlie
Luken will serve as the honorary chair.
Republican Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners
President Greg Hartmann is also considering a run for mayor, but hasn’t
made a formal announcement.
Cincinnati has an open mayoral primary, which means that
the top two vote-getters will run against each other in the general
election, regardless of party affiliation.
by Kevin Osborne
Hey, I want to let you in on a secret: There's an election in Ohio today. Super Tuesday is finally here, with more delegates at stake in the race for Republican presidential nominee than any other single day in the 2012 campaign season. There are seven primaries (Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia) and three caucuses (Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota) today. A total of 410 delegates – or 17.9 percent of the total – are up for grabs.Officials at the Hamilton County Board of Elections are estimating that 30 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots today. Turnout probably will be low because the elections board only has received about 8,000 absentee ballots so far, compared to 26,000 by this time in 2010. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. If you're unsure where to vote, click here.City Council is moving ahead with a plan to spend up to $100,000 to introduce priority-based budgeting in Cincinnati. The cash will fund a consultant to survey community leaders and residents to establish strategic priorities. City leaders would then try to align resources with what the community values the most, said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, who heads council's Budget and Finance Committee. Council will convene a series of public forums in the next two months, and attempt to identify five to seven priorities based on the input.Just two days after he said it was premature to ask the federal government for help, Gov. John Kasich has reversed course. A team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will arrive today in Clermont County to survey storm damage and gauge whether the region qualifies for financial assistance. Kasich had a change of heart after he spoke with U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township), who told the guv that local officials wanted immediate federal aid. (So, when exactly is the next gubernatorial election?)Little Miami Local School Board members want to meet with Ohio education officials after a commission rejected their plan to restore some services in the school district. The state Financial Planning and Supervision Commission unanimously rejected the district’s reconfiguration plan for 2012-13. Little Miami was placed in fiscal emergency by the state after several levies failed before a November levy narrowly passed.Reductions to Medicare and other federal health-care programs could total $360 billion over the next 10 years, causing problems for hospitals that depend on the government payments, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. Medicare covered 39 percent of in-patient days at Greater Cincinnati hospitals in 2010, a market overview found. (I don't want to hear a single complaint about this from our conservative Republican readers, as this is what you've sought for years.)In news elsewhere, Iran is starting to feel the impact of international sanctions as demand for its crude oil begins to drop. In January, China, South Korea and Singapore reduced their oil purchases from Iran, and Shipping Corp. of India last month canceled an Iranian shipment because its European insurers refused to provide coverage for the tanker. Traders say Iran's troubles only will increase once an European Union oil embargo begins July 1.Crazy religious dude is at it again. No, not Rick Santorum – we're referring to Pat Robertson, the erstwhile host of TV's The 700 Club. On the program Monday, the aging pastor opined that the recent outbreak of tornadoes might not have occurred if people had prayed for divine intervention. “If enough people were praying, He would’ve intervened," he said. "You could pray, 'Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms.'” He also told viewers who live in areas prone to natural disasters that it’s “their fault, not God’s.” Way to show the compassion of Christ there, Pat.If you're under the impression that the Constitution gives the rights of due process and equal protection under the law to U.S. citizens, Attorney General Eric Holder is going to set you wacky kids straight. In a speech Monday at the Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, Holder tried to defend the practice of using automated drones to kill suspected terrorists overseas who have never been convicted of a crime. "The president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war — even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen," Holder said to a mostly disapproving crowd.Civic leaders in eastern Libya have called for semi-autonomy for the oil-rich region, saying their area has been neglected by the nation's central government for decades. The push for self-government is strong in the region of Cyrenaica, but the governing National Transitional Council says it could lead to Libya's demise as a unified nation.
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Coming into 2008, my priority as CityBeat editor was implementing our “refreshment” project, with new features, an updated cover look, section fronts that made our opinion columns more prominent and a redesigned Web site. My priority as the organization’s lead editorial voice was to help get a Democrat elected president.