Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Youth Noise

Read this article posted by a twenty-one year old in North Carolina. This story is about the political apathy of today's youth, generation Y, or "Ygen." The author is writing as a member of her generation, about her generation. The ideas within this article is really the driving force behind my blog. I write about the issues going on in politics, the people that have been making headlines lately and the fringe topics that spin off from there, but at the core there is a need to know, and a need to share information with others. Some of the "Ygens" she interviews say they don't watch the news, they don't understand politics and they certainly don't have any idea what is going on in the race for president in 2008. She asks fellow "Ygens" about the Iraq war as well and some of the responses are incredible. I don't think people give the younger generation much credit. Many complain grassroots involvement and leadership is dead. I ask, "Y" is that?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Video Clips

If you click here, it will take you to a great website that has clips of various presidential campaign ads that the candidates have released so far. One interesting one is to check out McCain's ad against Clinton's proposal for a museum dedicated to Woodstock. The end is rather funny..."John McCain says, if you want to relive Woodstock, buy the record." According to a report by CNN, TV advertising could reach over $3 billion this time around, and there are still over two months to go until the first few primary elections in the country.

Listen to Local College Students

College students speak out about their voting habits and what they think about the coverage of the presidential elections of 2008 so far. Click on the above link to listen to my podcast!

Baseball and Politics

Republican presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, is the epitome of the "new yorker." The favorite former mayor of New York that led his city through the devastating aftermath of 9/11 has done the unthinkable. Giuliani has publicly announced his support of the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankee's arch rival, in their quest for the World Series Title. Giuliani defends his support by saying he supports any American League team in the post season. Is this going to alienate him from Yankee fan voters? It certainly has been somewhat of a blunder and other candidates have picked up on it. I won't name any names, but a certain female U.S Senator of New York and fellow presidential candidate, has used this against him.

Not Just a Restaurant

I talked earlier in one of my posts about local people getting involved in politics and making a difference. Well, getting involved can happen in various ways. These sisters from Manchester, New Hampshire have become like local celebrities in their town by offering candidates over the years, a platform for their campaign messages - and a bite to eat! Click below to watch a video I produced on this topic.

Colbert Meets the Press

To follow up on my post about Stephen Colbert joining the race for president, Colbert has released his book, I Am America, And So Can You and has also made headlines in TV News station reports' throughout the country. One appearance that seems to be getting the most attention was Stephen Colbert's spot on NBC's Meet the Press. Tim Russert, the show's host, grilled Colbert about everything, from his new book, to his stance on issues and seemingly attacking the legitimacy of his presidential run. If you do not watch The Colbert Report, one might not get that the response to Russert's questions are heavily laden with sarcasm. Colbert's sense of humor is so dry and he delivers it so seriously, its hard to tell when he is kidding and when he isn't. It is obvious throughout the interview that Russert becomes increasingly irritated by Colbert's witty responses. Watch here.

Some say that Colbert will hurt the race by taking attention away from the more "serious" republican contenders. Others say it is comic relief for the coverage of the presidential race that has dominated the media's attention thus far. Is Stephen Colbert making a mockery of our political system? There are many people that are fed up with politics in America and still others that don't completely understand why Colbert is doing this, how serious he really is, and don't know whether they should laugh or be offended. This entire situation reminds me of that movie with Robin Williams, Man of the Year, except in that movie, at least Robin Williams' character was a little more sincere.

Bill Couldn't Make Ladies Night

The First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, wife of Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, held a conference with the wives of the presidential candidates in Long Beach, CA. The event was an attempt to bring together the families behind the candidates and have a discussion of what it is like when a spouse runs for president and the impact being on the campaign trail can have. In an interview with CNN, Shriver told Wolf Blitzer that the "ceremonial days" of the first lady were over. I think this was a bit of an understatement on Maria's part as one of the presidential candidates is a former first lady has already made history by becoming the only first lady in history to go on to hold an elected office in government. It would have been funny to see what former president Bill Clinton would have said if he attend the "wives" discussion group last week. Like he needs the advice of Maria Shriver! In any case, click here to watch a clip of the interview on CNN.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Happy Birthday, Mrs. President"

There are very few people in this world that have a 60th birthday bash quite like Hilary Clinton's. With the famous comedian, Billy Crystal as the host, a rendition of "happy birthday" by Elvis Costello with Jakob Dylan and his band, The Wallflowers as back-up, and people such as Magic Johnson and Bob Dylan as guests, Senator Clinton's celebration of her sixth decade on this planet was certainly one for the history books. Among the celebrity guests there were die hard democrats, many with very deep pockets, and of course former president, Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea. The party that was held at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre last week was one that won't be forgotten soon, especially for Rudy Giuliani, who wasn't present, but who took a hit from Clinton on his own turf. According to an article in the New York Times, during a speech at her party, Clinton had this to say about New York Yankee's fan and Republican presidential candidate, Giuliani's public support of the Boston Red Sox in their post season.

Addressing a packed Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton noted that both she and the evening’s M.C., Billy Crystal were devoted to the Yankees.
“I have been a fan, and I remain a fan of the New York Yankees — no changes, no looking to curry favor with anyone else,” she said to much laughter and applause from the audience of mostly New York Democrats.
Senator Clinton, according to many polls, is considered to be the front runner of the democrats in the race for president. With the "nosebleed" sections of the theater costing about $100 per seat, the entire night raised about $1.5 million for the senator, according to several different reports. Unfortunately, with all the excitement, it doesn't seem that Hilary Clinton was able to kick off her shoes and relax, as she got back to work, ending her night with a speech highlighting the main points of her campaign - as if she had to convince any of her guests!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Every one likes a good laugh and I have to admit I find myself watching the Comedy Central shows, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, but what is Stephen Colbert doing? Is he seriously running for president?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Local People

The people in New Hampshire really know how to get involved. Beth Roth, a local resident in Salem and her daughter Lexi, opened up their home to Barbra Richardson, the wife of Governor Richardson, a democratic presidential candidate, to talk to other Salem residents. The Roths believe by inviting various presidential candidates and their families to their home, it creates a more intimate setting so people get to know who the candidates really are. In fact, this isn't the first time Beth and Lexi have hosted such an event. The most famous example was during John Kerry's campaign when Carol King came to the Kerry meet at greet at the Roth's home and entertained the crowd by playing Beth's piano.

This is a great example of a local resident getting involved and making a difference for her neighbors and her community. This type of active involvement in politics allows for a small, intimate venue for candidates to share their message with people while also giving the voters a chance to ask their questions directly and get to know the candidates on a more personal level. I think this is the heart of the American experience, to get involved, to have a say, to express yourself and listen to others debate issues, talk about problems and how to fix them. This is democracy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nashua Historical Society

History plays an important part in our lives and in politics as well. There have been many great leaders that were influential in their time and continue to be so now. They have all left a unique mark and in some form helped to shape the world today. In Nashua, New Hampshire, the Nashua Historical Society is home to a rich local political history of many great leaders such as President Bill Clinton and President John F. Kennedy. Click on the window below to watch a video I produced and see what the Nashua Historical Society has to offer.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Celebrities Get Involved

Sometimes in our political system, celebrities get involved as we have seen with more famous cases like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey teaming up to get Obama's campaign messages out. Celebrities also are active when it comes to causes. Locally, the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, held a press conference to address the issues heath care workers in the city are experiencing. Many caregivers are being intimidated by higher up hospital executives not to organize themselves, suffer through low wages and poor health care for themselves. During the press conference, many of these hospital workers and their supporters advocated for better benefits to support their families. The interest group, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been working to help these individuals. However, at a local level, Mayor Menino has worked the influence of his office onto the issue as well. While this is all well and good, sometimes even a local, well respected and well liked elected official does not create as much of a media frenzy as say, a celebrity like Ben Affleck who was also present at the press conference. The room where the press conference was held was packed with reporters and the fact that Ben Affleck was there seemed to generate more power then all the hospital workers and union supporters combined. Affleck isn't even in the health care industry, as many of us already know - I don't think he has even played a doctor in a movie, but the sheer fact that he is a celebrity, helped to push the hospital workers' issue to the forefront and commanded a high demand for attention.

Monday, October 15, 2007

No Issue Left Uncovered

If we all only had the foresight in matters of policy, the courage to ask original questions, and the level of concern this little boy had when addressing a certain republican candidate by asking a "tough" question. I think Rudy Giuliani did a relativly good job of answering an inquiry that seemed to come from left field. Way to keep 'em on their toes!

New Age Politics

Massachusetts former governor, Mitt Romney is one of the republican party's presidential candidates seeking the nomination in the upcoming primaries. He, like all of his other fellow running mates, can be seen every where - not only in person on the campaign trial, but on TV, in newspapers and on the Internet. Nevertheless, the Internet is where a new form of politicking is taking place. Mitt Romney now has his very own "myspace" profile. The website that mostly lent itself to the average person is now home to a presidential candidate. If you venture to his myspace page, you can click through a slide show of pictures, watch a welcome message clip, see who his "top friends" are, get a taste for his preferences in literature, and even write a message on his "wall" if you so choose. The former Massachusetts governor is keeping his profile up-to-date by posting a song from myspace music on his page. Appropriately chosen, it is a number by Elvis Presley, "A Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action." But, Mitt Romney is not alone in his hip political pursuits. Hilary Clinton also has her own myspace profile along with a slew of other presidential hopefuls. So whether you are new to myspace or have a profile of your own, you can now stop by your favorite (or least favorite) candidate's page, write them a message or send them a "friend request."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Climate Change

First an Academy Award and now this - the Nobel Peace Prize. The former United States Vice President has done a lot to help move our country in the direction of "green" energy saving techniques and has helped to make climate change an issue that has forced its way into the 2008 presidential debates. The New York Times has created a comprehensive look at each candidate, where they stand on the issue and what their plan is for combating global warming. It is definitely worth checking out.

If You Don't Know, You Can Find it Here

It has been my experience that many people do not know enough about the candidates running for president. People have told me they don't vote because they don't know enough about the candidates running for office.

Today, with all the technological advances and media being almost omnipresent, it is pretty hard for me to swallow that justification for people not doing their civic duty. Nevertheless, Channel 9 in Manchester, NH has just made getting information about our presidential candidates that much easier. If you click here this will take you to the political section of their web page. At the top, there are pictures of each of the candidates running for president in 2008. If you click on say, Hilary Clinton's picture, you will be bombarded with a wealth of information. There are links to her official campaign site and a biography site. There is also a section dedicated to where she stands on various issues, her date of birth (in case you needed to know her age), her political affiliation (in case you have really been living under a rock), and other news stories, clips of what Hilary Clinton has been doing, and news she has been making.

So try it out, and learn at least a little bit about the candidates, because soon, you will have to select one of them to run our country.

Eye on New Hampshire

The site is called "New Hampshire Presidential Watch" and it is a great go-to site for anyone who is looking to learn more about the 2008 presidential campaigns in New Hampshire. Since New Hampshire has traditionally held the first primary in the country, the granite state is an important stop for presidential candidates. Therefore, what the candidates do there is worth paying attention to. The site is easy to navigate and gives a wealth of information on various topics. There are blogs, summaries of campaign events, the time, date, location and addresses of various candidates' campaign stops, clips of ads from youtube, and a list of endorsements and random facts about the campaigns. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Freedom of Speech at the Highest Degree

The freedom of speech that is granted to all of us through the First Amendment of our Constitution seems to be an easy concept to understand. It is also easy to exercise this freedom when it comes to matters involving ourselves or others of like mindedness, but it is far more challenging to give others a platform to exercise that same freedom when the ideas are the polar opposite of what we hold to be true or important.

This idea became evident when Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran to speak at his university. The article in the New York Times gives a great summary of the events of that day. Many people were outraged by the invitation, considering Iran has been labeled by our government as a terrorist state and because Ahmadinejad has so many radical ideas. I do not believe that inviting Ahmadinejad to speak is in any way condoning his acts or his ideals, but highlights what our country's values are all about. Inviting such a person to speak at one of our most respected institutions speaks volumes about the freedoms we enjoy in this country. I think Mr. Bollinger explained this better then I ever could in his introduction speech that day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Two for the Price of One?

At Dartmouth College, democratic presidential hopefuls took the stage last week. Among the tough questions fired at the candidates was an unfair one to Hilary Clinton. She was asked if she would consider torture to be used with a suspected terrorist to which she replied, she would never condone it. The moderator then sprung his clever comeback saying her husband, the former president, had once said torture would be "appropriate." I thought Ms. Clinton had a perfect response to that question when she sharply pointed out it was her on that stage and NOT her husband. The moderator didn't let it go though, pointing out the obvious; there was a disagreement between her and her husband. I thought here, Clinton did a great job of smiling through it and jokingly saying "Well, I'll talk to him later."

Throughout the debates, there was more tough questions fired at Clinton about policies but not without the baggage of what I like to call, "what would Bill do?" I understand the weight others put on the fact that Ms. Clinton's husband is a former president, but day after day and debate after debate she seems to be running with this shadow of her husband and people can't let it go! There is some consideration to be made for who her husband is, but honestly it is Hilary Clinton who is running for president, not William Clinton.