Tag Archives: 2012

Love him or hate him, MITT is going to be an epic documentary

It seems like in every US presidential election since Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President 1960, there’s one ‘definitive’ piece of journalism that captures the essence of the election — and that demonstrates to the rest of the world the inner workings of politics in the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. USflag

In 1972, it could have been Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, an acid trip that revealed the emptiness of Republicans like Richard Nixon and Democrats like Hubert Humphrey.

In 1988, it was Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes, a 1072-page sextuple biography of the leading presidential contenders, including the winner George H.W. Bush and future vice president Joe Biden.

In 1992, it was the documentary, The War Room, about the campaign team that propelled Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to the presidency.

In 2008, it was Game Change, the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin that transformed Barack Obama’s legendary presidential victory into a thrilling page-turner.

But despite at least two major blockbuster books on the 2012 presidential race, including a second volume from Heilemann and Halperin, I haven’t seen anything that really captures the race in an extraordinarily compelling way.  Enter MITT, a documentary that Netflix will debut in January 2014.  If the trailer (embedded above) is any indication, it could become the definite media chronicle of 2012.  In the trailer alone, you can see Romney’s real-time reaction to the news that he’d lost the presidency.

Greg Whiteley followed Romney for six years in order to shoot the documentary — starting just after Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, through his unsuccessful primary campaign to become the 2008 Republican nominee and the grueling 2012 campaign.  Romney ultimately lost that race to Obama, the incumbent, by a margin of 51.1% to 47.2% (an electoral vote loss of 332 to 206).

Rudd-Gillard showdown looming in Australia

It’s been an extraordinary day in Australian politics, where Julia Gillard has called a leadership vote for Monday in the latest showdown of a long-simmering feud with foreign minister and former prime minister Kevin Rudd that has undermined the Labor Party almost since it took over government in 2007.

Rudd, who’s been visiting Washington, DC, resigned as foreign minister today in a press conference outside of Washington’s Willard Hotel, announced he will return immediately to Australia, indicating that he would stand for the leadership against Gillard:

I do not believe that Prime Minister Gillard can lead the Australian Labor Party to success in the next election. That is a deep belief, I believe it’s a belief also shared right across the Australian community…. Their overall argument to me is that they regard me as the best prospect to lead the Australian Labor Party successfully to the next elections, to save the Australian Labor Party and those next elections and to save the country from the ravages of an Abbott government.

One commentator said earlier today that the feud has left them both “screwed” — Rudd unable to win the leadership and Gillard unable to win the next election.
Meanwhile, Labor voices are already coming out loudly and strongly — mostly against Rudd.

Ten years later, could another Le Pen sneak into a runoff?

Ten years ago, the left was so divided in the first round of the French presidential election that none of the left’s candidates, including then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, made it into either of the top-two wholesale mlb jerseys slots. The result was a nearly-farcical faceoff between then-President Jacques Chirac against longtime far-right Front national leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. 

In addition to Jospin, who finished just narrowly in third place with 16% of the vote, five additional leftists pulled between 3% and 6% of the vote, including Jean-Pierre Chevènement, a former Parti socialiste minister (minister of defense from 1988 wholesale nba jerseys to 1991 and minister of the Interior from 1997 to 2000), who took 5.33% of the first-round ballot. Chirac won the resulting runoff with 82% of the vote, including most of those frustrated voters ranging from center-left to far left, whose only alternative to Chirac, recently convicted for corrupition, was the xenophobic Le Pen. Continue reading Ten years later, could another Le Pen sneak into a runoff?