Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Barack Obama

Mitt Romney loses

Willard Mitt Romney lost U.S. Presidential election. This election did not have a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) or anyone who had served in the military as presidential or vice presidential candidate from Democratic or Republican side.

It is said that the proportion of whites in American population is decreasing. It is 72%. If it had been 76% Mitt Romney would have won. The counter-argument is that in 2008 the white percentage was 74% and Barack Obama won with higher percentage.

Mitt Romney had offended the British when he went to London when Olympics were nearby. Prime Minister David Cameron said hosting Olympics in London was different and it is easy to run an Olympics in the middle of nowhere referring to Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 which Mitt Romney had organized. London Mayor Boris Johnson addressed a crowd and asked “There is a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes we are.” The crowd said “Yes” every time.

Mitt Romney offended Russians by saying Russia is America’s geopolitical enemy number one. The Chinese where apprehensive about the trade policy he will follow. The Palestinians were offended about the statement about their culture.

Barack Obama was more popular in USA and abroad. In a poll conducted in 21 countries Pakistan was the only country that did not want Barack Obama to win.

Mitt Romney changed his position on issues. When he was governor of Massachusetts he was seen as liberal. When fighting for Republican nomination he was seen as a hardliner. During presidential debate he seemed moderate. Someone said “Mitt Romney is not pro-choice. He is not anti-choice. He is multiple choice.” That was in the context of his changing stance on abortion.

Before the counting began many analysts said the contest was too close to call. The election day may turn into election week or election month. Some talked of the possibility of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney getting 269 electoral votes each and U.S. House of Representatives electing Mitt Romney and President and Senate electing Joseph Biden as Vice President. It was an anti-climax. For sometime Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had a close race. Barack Obama won Ohio. Then at 11.18 p.m. Eastern Time Wolf Blitzer on CNN declared Barack Obama the winner.

Mitt Romney’s statement that he did not care about 47% damaged him. Two Senate candidates created more problems. Todd Akin talked of legitimate rape. Richard Murdock talked of a child conceived due to rape as a gift of God.

Mitt Romney had tried for nomination in 2008. This time he got nomination but lost the election. Republican hardliners may have been miffed at his changing positions. Some may not have voted for him because he was a Mormon.

Herman Cain, Rick Perry, John Huntsman, Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were Mitt Romney’s competitors for Republican nomination. Ron Paul did not concede defeat. It is of academic interest what would have happened if Mitt Romney had chosen Rick Santorum as his running mate.

Some are concerned about the money spent on presidential election. The president is not directly elected by the people. It is better for U.S. Congress to elect President and Vice President for 4-year terms whenever the vacancy arises.

Downgrade of US Treasury Bonds

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the rating of US Treasury Bonds from AAA to AA+ on 5/8/2011 (In India and some other countries 6/8/2011) and that shocked many. It is the first downgrade since 1917. The downgrade followed wrangling in US Congress over raising debt limit, which used to be a routine matter, from 14.3 trillion dollars. Since 1960 USA had raised debt limit 78 times without any problem but this time it was different. S&P stood out from Moody’s and Fitch which continued with AAA rating. Treasury Department criticized S&P. S&P justified its decision and said that if matters did not improve further downgrade to AA was possible.

China criticized USA and called for a new global reserve currency. China has US Treasury Bonds of more than one trillion dollars and foreign exchange reserves of more than three trillion dollars. China had not allowed yuan to appreciate to keep its exports to USA cheap. It has itself to blame. India and many other countries have done like China. For them the unthinkable has happened.

The downgrade should have happened in 2008 when the crash occurred and USA went on giving bailouts of billions of dollars. AIG alone had bailout of 163 billion dollars.

Many people blame Tea Party members in Republican Party for the prolonged negotiations. Tea stands for Taxes Enough Already and those members stood by their commitment to oppose new taxes. Deficit reduction is a problem but there was a solution in 2010 when Bush-era tax exemptions were to expire. Barack Obama wanted tax exemptions to continue for people with annual income upto 250000 dollars and the rich to pay taxes. Republicans did not agree. They wanted the rich to be exempt. So Barack Obama extended the exemptions to all for two years.

Some months back China and Russia had entered into an agreement to use each other’s currencies in mutual trade. Eurozone is in trouble and so euro is not desirable as global reserve currency. Following the example of China and Russia is an option for many countries.

Barack Obama and Golden Temple

Barack Obama is due to visit India and visit to Golden Temple proved a problem because of the headgear he was required to wear. Wearing a headscarf is asking for trouble as 18% of Americans think he is a Muslim and his wearing headscarf would have been seen by many as proof of his being a Muslim, an unacceptable risk. Baseball is not acceptable to temple authorities.

Some Americans are hostile to Barack Obama. They find fault with him for various reasons. Some blamed him for not showing emotion during BP oil well crisis. People who want emotion should see movies with emotion. Barack Obama cancelled his visits to Australia, Indonesia and some other countries to handle the crisis. When Pakistan had flood crisis Asif Ali Zardari went ahead with visits to UK and France.

Some question Barack Obama’s citizenship even though Barack Obama’s citizenship has been proved. Though such people are not large in numbers their mischief making potential is great. American economy has not improved to a satisfactory level and with about 10% unemployment Barack Obama’s popularity is low in USA.

After 9/11 many Americans mistook Sikhs for Muslims and some Sikhs were attacked. Osama Bin Laden and men close to him wore turbans and had long beard. Sikh men wear turbans and keep beard. Most Americans could not differentiate between Sikhs and Muslims. For them Sikh and Shaikh are one and the same. The photograph of Barack Obama at Golden Temple with Sikhs would have been interpreted by his opponents as Barack Obama at Golden Mosque with cousins of Osama Bin Laden.

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