Tag Archives: Barack Obama

President Obama’s Inauguration!

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I was one of the 800,000 who attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration for his second term! After missing out on the historical experience in 2009 due to law school I was so excited for the opportunity to attend this year. We were some of the lucky ones with tickets to the event. Not the great seated tickets but the “close” standing room. We headed into the district via the train at about 6:30am from Maryland for an 11:30am event mind you and were herded like cattle to the back of our section to the far left. We were essentially late. If we gotten there a little earlier I think we would have gotten the prized area right smack dab in the middle were we would have had views of figures moving across the stage and perhaps figures that were in the zoomable range. Through the barren trees we were able to see the TV monitors. The cheers and jeers of the crowd also gave us a good indication of who was entering. Beyonce, Queen B as I like to call her, received the loudest cheers after the President of course. Representative Boehner and Representative Cantor were mercilessly booed as expected. Then there was the President’s speech. Despite not being able to make him out with my naked eye, I loved that I was there to hear all of it in real time. Then being surrounded by likeminded supporters of the President made it even better.

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-Side view of the Capitol as we made our way to our ticketed area.

After Beyonce blessed us with her beautiful recorded voice we left . Going to the parade sounded good in theory but really after standing on my feet for six hours all I could think was lunch and then back home to bed. Oh and let me just tell you, I’ve never felt more like cattle in my life! Capitol police would close off gates at a moments notice to push people in another direction and like cattle you wouldn’t know where you were going until you were stuck. In fact they almost tricked us into moving into an area further back, by herding you in the direction of the closer standing room area but then cutting that side off and pushing you back 100ft. Since we played it smart, we were able to move up closer. Still not close enough to really see but closer.

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– The best view we got. I assume that portion with the Presidential seal is where the speakers stood although I couldn’t make them out.

Would I do it again? Probably not. A hilarious guy next to us said this is that thing you do once to say you did and never do it again! If I ever made the trip back to DC for another inauguration I will only partake in the the parade and a nice inaugural ball where the President is expected to make an appearance. Still seeing the first African American President being sworn in for his second term was an AMAZING experience! Still very glad I made the trip!

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-Our view through the trees, LOL and someone’s hat!

Oh and in a moment of what could of been… On Tuesday after the inauguration my family and I went on a tour of the Capitol led by a staff member from my Congressmen’s office. If you have the choice, the staff led tours see more than the standard tour from the Capitol Visitors center. Well during our exclusive tour we made our way to the door that President Obama entered the Inauguration stage from. There was a line forming for visitors to step out onto the stage and take pictures and take in all of the Inaugural exclusivity! We were SO excited. As we waited in line we thought about what angles we would take our pictures from. Who we would send the pictures to, to make them jealous of course. We were literally next in line to head out onto the stage when Capitol police told us we are sorry, we just got word that only Congressional staff are allowed out on the stage from this point on. Talk about a let down!! But I was able to get this little view from inside :(.

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We were SO CLOSE!

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We Do Not Need More Guns!

Just a week ago our nation joined together in mourning the loss of twenty-six people to gun violence at an elementary school. Yes an elementary school one of the most innocent places in our society. Twenty of these victims were just six and seven years old, children lost to gun violence. Following this horrific tragedy our nation’s largest second amendment advocate, the National Rifle Association, remained silent. No press releases, no tweets nothing. They even went as far as deleting their Facebook account.  Then earlier this week they released a small statement saying they were committed to helping curb gun violence in America.  For a split second it seemed like NRA was going to have responsible and realistic contributions to the gun violence discussion in America. Oh were we wrong.  Today, in a mind boggling press conference the NRA laid out there plan to stop gun violence in America, essentially more guns.

The NRA is pushing forward with an idea to have armed volunteers in America’s schools.  They picked armed volunteers because they would not put any additional budget pressures on the federal government or local governments.  Armed volunteer.  That sounds a lot like George Zimmerman, an armed neighborhood watch captain who thought a young Travyon Martin was suspicious.  When all was said and done Travyon Martin was dead and an armed volunteer was to blame.  I do not trust armed volunteers. They often have not received the adequate training that is needed to carry a gun in a policing capacity.  An idea like this, without a doubt could lead to killing people who did not pose a threat to the school. I also find the idea of having armed volunteers policing schools ironic.  From the description it sounds an awful lot like a police state.  Is the NRA really advocating for a police state at our schools in order to defend the second amendment?  I just don’t think that is what our founding fathers had in mind.

In this same argument we have heard a push for more police in schools as well.  Although it is generally outside of the realm of gun violence, the school to prison pipeline raises other concerns. In short, there are students across America who are leaving school for the juvenile and adult justice systems. Often times their “crimes” are things that students for generations were disciplined for in the school through detention or suspension not jail. More police in schools could easily raise the number of students being funneled into the criminal justice systems.  Yes I realize the goals of the additional police are to ward off violent threats but lets be honest school shooting are rare. All these additional police are going to keep busy in the schools by policing students as well.  The current level of police in American schools has made the school to prison pipeline a national issue.  More police will only serve to aggravate this already troubling problem.

In so many words the NRA told Americans that they are okay with the homicidal maniac getting a gun as long as there is an armed teacher or volunteer there to stop him.  Sometimes I wonder if the NRA has a romanticized idea of “how the west was won”, the OK Corral or even when our founding fathers settled arguments with duels. More guns will not stop this problem in fact it likely could lead to more blood shed. When I think about this argument I think about Nancy Lanza an owner of several guns. I think about the armed police officers who patrolled Virginia Tech’s campus everyday. I think about the armed security guard that was present at Columbine High School on that fateful day. There have been more guns present in America and it has not stopped these mass shootings. I refuse to accept a bad guy getting a gun as long as a good guy is there to stop him. No, we need to stop this long before it gets to that point.

Our country lost little innocent children last week.  We cannot ignore this as we did with other tragedies. I will not lie, I would love to see the second amendment changed but I know that is not realistic in America today.  What I do believe can and should happen is another ban on military like assault rifles. At Sandy Hook elementary school, the good guys with guns, as the NRA calls them, arrived quickly after receiving reports of shots fired at the school.  In the short amount of time before the first responders closed in on him, the perpetrator was able to shoot and kill twenty-six people, shooting each victim multiple times. Some victims were shot as many as eleven times. No gun with these capabilities should be in the hands of an average citizen. In my mind they serve no legitimate purpose for everyday use.  I hope that Congress and the President really stand up this time and get this done!

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Mitt Romney thinks he’s the President

My first hint that Former Governor was a little delusional about his current role in American Government came when he and his wife went to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.  The Romneys had a horse competing in the Olympics, because yes they are just that wealthy, but what was interesting was the Opening Ceremonies.  President Obama was not present at the Olympics but he sent his wife Michelle Obama in his place.  During the Opening Ceremonies  as the American athletes paraded in Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney stood up and waved and saluted the delegation of athletes as if they were receiving them.  I sat there and thought this man really thinks he is President in his mind!! It is not the role of the candidate to receive or welcome the American athletes.  In the President’s absence that was the role of First Lady Michelle Obama.  The Romney’s seemed completely oblivious to this protocol. Fast forward to now and Mitt Romney’s delusions are even more prevalent.

During the last debate, which focused on foreign policy, Romney continued to make statements related to the goings on in other countries, including enemies like Iran, as if he talked to insiders in these countries daily or received briefings from the CIA. Statements such as Iran’s true feelings about our government to which Obama rebuffed as an untrue statement.  I had to sit back and say once again this man believes he is the President and is taking the rumors his campaign drudged up as intelligence reports that he then presents to the American people as truth.  If Romney was a current senator on important homeland security committees than maybe I would give him a little leeway here but he is not.  At this point Mr. Romney is just an American citizen like you or I who happens to be running for President. He does not receive official security briefings and to pretend as if he does is flat out delusional.

As the East Coast prepared for Hurricane Sandy this weekend, his delusions became even more evident.  The President is in a unique position where he campaigns but still has a job that he cannot abandon for full time campaigning. With the election only a week away and the thought of President Bush’s fumbling of the Katrina response not such a distant memory, it was important that Obama make being the President his number one priority.  So as any good President would do, Obama postponed his campaign events and sent surrogates like Bill Clinton and Joe Biden instead in order to focus on preparing for the hurricane and the necessary relief efforts after the Hurricane.

Well Romney decided he needed to do the same, also postponing his campaign events during the hurricane. Keep in mind that Mitt Romney does not currently hold an office and has no role in the response effort.  So why would he postpone his events?! Because he thinks he is the President that is why.  To make matters worse, Romney called the Republican Governors in the path of the storm. This is what the President does! The current President of the United States calls the Governors to offer federal support and talk about a game plan. Candidates do not do this! I think Mitt Romney avoided calling the other Democratic Governors in the impacted area simply because that would look too much like being the President and frankly those Governors may have laughed and refused such a political call.  So on top of overstepping his bounds as a candidate Mitt Romney also appears extremely partisan while he has lambasted President Obama for the hyper partisan behavior that has troubled this administration. It was a truly unnecessary step to take.

Mitt Romney did not stop there though today appearing at an event in Ohio which his team has labeled a storm relief event where he accepted donations for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and also campaigned. I honestly do not knock Romney for continuing to campaign.  What else he supposed to do since he is not the President. What I do take issue with though is his attempt to label the event as something it was not. This was not a relief effort event, it was a campaign event, in a major swing state mind you, where you happened to be accepting money as well. Pretending to be President seems to be getting a little messy for the Romney team.  So to Mr. Romney I say in 2008 you lost to John McCain in the Republican Primaries who then lost to President Obama thus making him President and not you!  We are only a week away from the end of this of election and it cannot come soon enough but if we see Romney visiting the areas devastated by Sandy before election day next Tuesday I will have a conniption!

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Debate Night 2012

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Tonight is the first Presidential debate between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. For a politics nerd like myself this is like the first round of the playoffs leading up to the superbowl, election day. Here are a few things I think both sides should do in the debate tonight in order to win over more voters.

Former Governor Romney

Be easy on the zingers

Reports are that Mitt Romney is practicing several zingers for the debate tomorrow. I am concerned. Let’s be honest. You need a certain level of coolness to really make a zing work and Romney just does not have it. It is going to be corny mark my word. He does need the zingers because those are the lines that people remember and discuss the next day at the water cooler. That is what Romney needs, he needs a positive comment replayed by the “liberal” media as he calls it. He needs to win here so treed lightly governor.

We need details sir!

The biggest substantive critique of Romney right now is he has failed to give us details on his plans specifically his tax plan. Specific details rather than what he claims the overall impact will be of his tax plan! When these issues come up Romney needs to balance attacking what Obama has done with a sprinkling of blanket statements but a large amount of details! That is what we are all waiting for even the Republicans are waiting on details.

Be genuine

Romney needs to appear that he genuinely cares and lets be honest that is nearly impossible for him. The democrats have played up this out of touch rich white man from the beginning and the recent leak of the “47% video” fell right into that only difference was that the elitism came from his mouth not the democrats! So how does he do that? Well what he should not do is be too empathetic it will come of as fake. I have heard that there are some great anecdotes that highlight a softer Romney that he refuses to use because he did not do these things to win an election they were just out of the kindness of his heart. Well Romney you are losing, it is time to bust those stories out and the debate is a great time for it.

Women, minorities and the poor

Romney is polling extremely low among women, Hispanics and African Americans and it does not seem like he cares. I do not think Romney can win the general election with only older white men voting for him. He is going to need to pull from another demographic. I will be surprised if Romney makes it through all of the debates without a question regarding women’s health issues ranging from abortion to birth control. Romney needs to find some balance between the male conservative, who has an odd need to control the reproductive organs of women, with the rights and desires of women to have their own autonomy when dealing with their bodies! He also needs to find a more attractive stance on immigration, which is another question that will be brought up in one of these debates. Advocating for self-deportation is not going to garner him any Hispanic votes. Although he needs to find a better solution here, I don’t see him doing it because the opposing side to this debate falls squarely among his supporters. He’s probably not going to win a majority of these groups over but a few percentage points would not hurt.

President Obama

Be cool you are winning!

Now is not the time for a Romney level debate gaffe, like the “wanna bet $10,000” comment made during the Republican primary debate. Obama needs to be cool as a cucumber and well thought out in his answers. Republicans are praying for a slip up because it could be a huge momentum changer in this race and that is exactly what Romney needs. Cool is what Obama does best so I am not too concerned. I will be surprised if there is an Obama gaffe in the debate, now Biden on the other hand that is a different story.

Add some zingers!

Leaders of Obama’s campaign have made it seem like zingers are beneath him. They’ve indicated that he will be highlighting the issues and speaking directly to the American people without the applause lines. Honestly I hope this was just bluffing because zingers are what make Presidential debates fun and there is so much material with Romney! An attack on “Obamacare” a zinger about “Romneycare” would fit right in. A line about his flip flopping would also be good! I hope Obama goes for it.

Don’t be to professorial

President Obama is a smart man. He actually was a professor at one of the top law schools in America. I think this is a strength and a negative all in one. He knows the issues well and can break them down but maybe not plain enough for all the American people. So I hope Obama takes a page from Bill Clinton’s book and just makes it plain to the American people. Speak directly about issues that they understand impact them. I think he can do this.

This should be a fun debate to watch!

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