With both Republican and Democratic conventions approaching, the American presidential campaign is getting nastier day by day. As it happens, most of the scandals in the campaign circulate around the opposition GOP. In fact, any minor slip on the part of any minimally-noticeable Republican politician causes hell in the media. Whilst on a trip to Israel, a group of GOP lawmakers drank heavily, and they went skinny-dipping in the Red Sea. They weren’t debauched, they weren’t on an official mission… they didn’t even offend anybody nor did they desecrate a holy place. They were enjoying themselves in their leisure time. However, the row following the incident went as far as getting the FBI involved in the investigation in order to determine whether there was any impropriety. As a means of defence, GOP House leaders reprimanded their own members.
Then, Todd Akin, a Republican congressman running for the US Senate in Missouri, made a remark about “legitimate rape” (whatever he meant by that). This blunder gave a pretext to all kinds of feminists and other liberals to launch a massive attack on all the basic principles the GOP stands for… including the issue of abortion, which was the context for Akin’s unfortunate remark. Despite requests for him to step down from prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney, Todd Akin defended his right to go on with the Senate race, saying, “The good people of Missouri nominated me, and I’m not a quitter”. The fact that the whole Republican campaign, and not only his personal Senate race, can easily be (and already is) pictured as a “war on women” doesn’t seem to bother him.
These are just two of too many examples showing how eager the liberal media community in the US is to grasp on any silly blunder made by the Republicans… and this definitely works. All the recent polls… both on the state and national level… give little grounds for Mitt Romney to hope for election. The choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate only highlights Romney’s predicament Romney. During the primaries, Romney underwent attacks from the right; he had to put up an intense struggle with Tea Party-leaning contenders. This even produced the impression that, in November, Republican right-wingers would lack enthusiasm, and Romney’s feared that they’d simply sit out the election. Obviously, such considerations must have been behind the choice of conservative darling Paul Ryan as the vice-presidential candidate. However, the problem is that, in November, it’s not Tea Partiers that’ll matter, but rather independent voters. To this end, the choice Romney and his team made is hardly helpful. All the polls show that choosing Ryan had little, no, or even a negative impact on Romney’s ratings.
Nevertheless, there’s still one aspect that may seem inexplicable in such circumstances. For a third month in a row, Romney’s outpacing Obama in fund-raising, and, by the time of November elections, is likely to break Obama’s record of 2008. Nevertheless, one must note that Obama was running on a wave of strong anti-Bush sentiment and his own popularity, and his victory was predetermined long before the election. The current situation is far from that of 2008. Obama lost some of his popularity, but not to the extent George W Bush had by the end of his tenure. Romney doesn’t possess even half of Obama’s personal charisma. Therefore, if anything IS predetermined in the current race, it’s Obama’s re-election. Then, why should one invest in the probable loser? One simple explanation, which is hardly an explanation at all, is that Romney’s supported by the richest segment of society; therefore, he’s able to raise more money than his opponent does. However, this is hardly the case… even big business, which generally favours Republicans, wouldn’t spend so much without any hope of getting something in return.
The only plausible explanation is that American presidential campaigns aren’t simply sponsored by big businesses, they’re part of big business, which evolved in full compliance with the Olympic (Olympics, by the way, also have nothing to do with sports, being part of big business, too) motto, l’important c’est de participer (It’s [more] important to participate [than to win]). The very fact of big money’s participation in the campaign is a matter of PR and commercial advertising, therefore, it doesn’t really matter for the sponsors whether the particular candidate wins or not. Their mission is different… it’s to keep him in the spotlight as long as possible, and scandals like the ones surrounding GOP lawmakers in Israel or Todd Akin’s silly remark, whilst ruining Romney’s chances for election, raise the stakes of his campaign’s investors.
21 August 2012
Voice of Russia World Service