The way presidential candidates are chosen

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The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby Eldo » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:39 pm

Well, I have to be honest and say that I know very little about how the American government system works (my source of American news is really from The Daily Show and Colbert Report), but all I know is that a presidential candidate for each respective parties are chosen based on ballots and votes and campaigning and everything. So yeah, Obama and McCain was chosen to be the nominees to represent their parties. But does anyone have a problem about how they're chosen?

In Australia, the heads of the parties are chosen internally, and not by the people in the country. That means no campaigning, no (vast amounts of) money thrown around, no fuss. I'm only asking whether people have a problem about it because when they're campaigning, they're throwing away millions of dollars that could possibly be well spent on other resources and such. Is it really an equal process when other people running drops out because they don't have enough money as the next guy? And the internal fighting and biting that occurred with Obama and Clinton was pretty nasty stuff, I thought. They were tearing at each other and could have potentially harmed their party's chance of winning. Which is why the Democratic debate was so damn lame.

Feel free to correct me with any terms or if I got your system mixed up, because I don't live in America and I don't believe it's worth my time to research it. From what I've read in the papers, I really don't quite like the system you guys have there (for argument's sake, let's say the way presidential candidates are chosen), and I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby Starnum » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:57 pm

Heh, well I don't know much about it and I do live in America, heh. Though it doesn't really bother me too much. I mean it's not like they're using tax money to campaign. At least I don't think so, heh.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby MsNomer » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:37 am

Ok, let me splain... no, is too much, I sum up.

Basically, other than the funds donated through the checking a box on your tax return (an amount of like $3 last time I checked) to be used in the presidential campaigns (divided evenly between the two parties to support their individual presidential nominee), no tax dollars are used for the presidential race to the White House.

The majority of the funds used by those candidates seeking the nomination of their party comes from fund raising events, private donors, loans and the candidates themselves. There are specific limitations set on how much an individual can contribute to a campaign. this is to protect the American people from choosing between two candidates that have been purchased by big business, a special interest group or some other faction.

In the case of the crazy amount of money used to get Obama elected, it can be examined in two ways. First, it was a lot of money and you could posit that he "bought" the election. that is generally how it is looked upon when an individual far out spends his opponent; however, in this particular instance it should be viewed differently. In the case of Obama, his primary source of fund raising was through the internet. Very few of his donors contributed anything close to the limits that are set. Most of the contributions to his campaign, in fact, were in amounts like $10, $25 and $50. In this instance, you can examine the dollars raised by the Obama campaign as having a direct correlation to the level of enthusiasm the general public has for him. Consider each dollar raised a vote of confidence. He did not have a lot of corporate contributors, rich billionaire friends or draw on his own vast wealth as Hillary Clinton did when making a loan from her private funds to her campaign.

As for there being better uses for that money... if a candidate is not soliciting donations, that money would go to what it generally goes to. In the case of a corporate donation, it would simply go to the stockholders who have more money than God and would likely just stuff it in a stock market that trades on imaginary cash and commodities. In the case of the smaller donors that supported Obama, those dollars may have gone to a fast food dinner, pizza deliveries, books, clothes, cosmetics, the gas bill, water bills, or credit card interest payments... and other little household expenses... trickling around the economy. Instead, the majority of it went to purchasing advertising and other media marketing. It paid the salaries of camera operators and other production support staff, copy machine operators, the cost of paper, ink, campaign office staff were paid out of this money, buttons, pins, bumper stickers, lawn posters, marketing firms and their employees, fast food and pizza deliveries for all those people might likely have come out of that money. In other words... it all got spent supporting the economy and probably more directly affecting people's jobs and the continued profitability of the companies they work for. Do you think that if people had held onto their money instead of donating it to a campaign that they would have pooled their resources and stamped out world hunger?

As for the American system not being very good... or there being objectionable things about it... I think I would rather have a direct voice in selecting the nominees for the party I align myself with than have some backroom deal made in which I have no say... and ultimately it still beats the shit out of an armed insurrection or military coup.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby The Prince » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:33 am

MsNomer wrote:
As for the American system not being very good... or there being objectionable things about it... I think I would rather have a direct voice in selecting the nominees for the party I align myself with than have some backroom deal made in which I have no say... and ultimately it still beats the shit out of an armed insurrection or military coup.


Laughable statement considering Obama's roots and rise in politics were engineered and nurtured amongst an Illinois-Chicago political landscape that has redefined corruption. Until it was politically expediant, Obama had no problems befriending and brokering deals with likes of Tony Rezko, and if reports are true (which even Axelrod attests) Obama had a "working" relationship with a governor currently charged with selling the seat of the Senate, among other things.

Backroom deals.......Care to reconsider who you choose to align yourself with?

And I guarantee you in the last six months of the campaign, the monthly 50+ million dollar campaign contributions weren't coming off the backs of the working poor. Though its doubtful true disclosure will be brought forth to the eyes of the public, it will be intertesting to see what insitutions and organizations will be compensated in the early days of the incoming administration. With the billions from the bail out at his disposal (without any threat of disclosure), Obama will have plenty of deserving candidates to reward our tax payer money to. Just as he rewarded all those to have scored political points with him over the years with appointments to key staff positions (qualified or not), alongside the host of Clintonistas back from the dead to carry out the status quo.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby MsNomer » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:09 pm

...alongside the host of Clintonistas back from the dead to carry out the status quo.


To use the phrase "status quo" is to imply that the new appointees will continue the policies and operating style of the current administration... I'm sure that's NOT what you meant. If you in fact meant that we would see a return of the prosperity, status and trust as enjoyed during the Clinton administration... I'll take it.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby Buzkashi » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:00 am

In the end almost all politicians have to cater to the likes of the AARP, AIPAC, and the NRA just to name a few.

I believe it was Jimmy Carter who once said that its impossible to win the presidency without the support of AIPAC. I'll go look for the quote.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby Starnum » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:25 am

Well I can only imagine how much money it takes to become president, especially for Obama. However, if people don't contribute to their campaigns, then only the rich can win the presidency. So in a way I think its worth it, but I don't know, its kind of a complex situation, even though I hate that companies have to get involved. However, without some of that support it's probably impossible to run a campaign, so with this setup its almost impossible to avoid at least some lobbyist. I think its better that we have a say though, about who our candidates are, rather than just letting the government decide for us. That's what I mean when I say it's complicated. I can't help but be kind of torn about it. Speaking of which though, don't most of the president's appointees have to be approved by congress anyway, or something? I know he gets to directly appointee a few people, but some have to be voted in by the senators as well, right? Unfortunately my knowledge of politics is fairly limited, so you won't hear me arguing much around here, except for my own beliefs. :P
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby MsNomer » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:56 am

Starnum wrote:Speaking of which though, don't most of the president's appointees have to be approved by congress anyway, or something? I know he gets to directly appointee a few people, but some have to be voted in by the senators as well, right?


The President Elect and his transition team select candidates to fill the positions on the Cabinet, Those candidates are then subjected to a vetting process to make sure they meet the criteria and have no unsightly skeletons in their closets. Then the President Elect announces his nominees. In January, I think after the swearing in, the Congress holds Confirmation Hearings. If those go well and the Senate is satisfied, the nominees are confirmed and take their posts. If not, the President must select a new nominee for the Cabinet post.

The same process applies to the President's nominees to District courts and the Supreme Court and I believe to any other posts he may have the power to appoint.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby Starnum » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:15 am

Well then I think we've got a due process that will work, so I say let Obama pick whoever he likes. He's far more qualified then I to pick the people, and I trust he's in a position to know the right kind of people for the job. If his choices are found lacking then that will come into question when the senate takes a look at his candidates. Ultimately I trust Obama's decisions until he gives me a reason not to. I've liked what he's said so far, and I like the way he thinks. Hell, if I became president I'd probably appoint people I know too. If any of my friends were in even a remotely political position I'd probably put them in my cabinet. I highly respect my friend's opinions though, but I'd probably make a horrible president. :P
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby The Prince » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:36 am

MsNomer wrote:
...alongside the host of Clintonistas back from the dead to carry out the status quo.


To use the phrase "status quo" is to imply that the new appointees will continue the policies and operating style of the current administration... I'm sure that's NOT what you meant. If you in fact meant that we would see a return of the prosperity, status and trust as enjoyed during the Clinton administration... I'll take it.


Clinton sat on a host of shit (don't get me started) and passed the buck.

Are you really so partisan and short-sighted to think the underpinnings and climate of fiscal irresponsibility amongst institutions such as Freddie and Fanny Mac, the decline of our automotive industry, the housing bubble, were not all in place before Bush took office. You could just as easily blame the very people appointed by Clinton and, now Obama, being directly tied into all this mess we're in, in the first place.

BTW "status" and "trust".... don't exactly go hand in hand when it comes to the Clintons.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby Starnum » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:47 am

Meh, I liked Clinton, but as I've said, I don't know much about politics. So all the problems we're having now were already in place over eight years ago, eh? Okay, well maybe so, but to me that's like saying what we do now can have unforeseen repercussions in the future. If it's like that, then who can say what'll happen, and crisis is unavoidable. Either way, it's just too much of a mess for me to handle I guess. That's why I don't even try to pretend to be a figure on political issues. If some person wants to go learn all about it and become a senator or whatever, then I can only hope they know what the hell they're doing and aren't trying to scam me, which more than likely is one or the either most of the times. >.>
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby War Machine » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:12 am

I won't pretend I know much about the Clinton years as I was in elementary school during, but I believe Bush supporters are simply trying to pass the buck when they try to blame the recession on the Clinton administration, especially considering it happened after almost 8 years of the Bush administration. That said, I don't believe it's entirely the Bush's fault as much as the companies themselves that simply crumbled under their own stupidity.
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Re: The way presidential candidates are chosen

Postby The Prince » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:52 am

War Machine wrote:I won't pretend I know much about the Clinton years as I was in elementary school during, but I believe Bush supporters are simply trying to pass the buck when they try to blame the recession on the Clinton administration, especially considering it happened after almost 8 years of the Bush administration. That said, I don't believe it's entirely the Bush's fault as much as the companies themselves that simply crumbled under their own stupidity.


People blame Bush for what has been going down in regards to our economy, but I don't recall anyone else on the other side doing anything on their end as far as offsetting or even taking anyone to task about tempering the storm before it had already hit. All I recall is Harry Reid, speaking on behalf of the House, that they had no clue what do about fixing the problem.

No one is blaming Clinton for the recession, but policies put forth encouraging/forcing banks to provide loans to unqualified parties that could never be paid back have played a direct role in the current mortgage crisis that have bankrupted mortgage lenders and banks across the country. In regards to Wall Street and institutions such as Fanny M and Freddy Mac, it was the Republicans (including McCain) who were the first to voice concern years back in regards to these companies and the their spending practices. Where we had the likes of Schumer and Barney Frank making the case that all was well. Who both had stake in these companies at the time.

What leaves me shaking my head, is how the same people heading up these companies are now the same people that have been advising Obama and chosen to serve key roles in his administration.
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