With money out of reach
On late afternoon on the 1 of May I got the opportunity to sit down with Professor Ned Lebow to talk about the American presidential elections. It was an interview about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the two politicians that will face each other in the presidential election this autumn.
Interview made by: Fredrik Sundqvist
Mitt Romney is after a long primary election the Republican Party presidential candidate. What kind of vice presidential candidate is Romney in need of to be able to beat Obama? What kind of vice presidential candidate do you think Romney will choose?
“Presidential candidates, who are smart, try to pick persons who are different from themselves. In order to be able to attract voters that wouldn’t vote on them otherwise, but it is a difference in what smart politicians do and what people do. Just take John McCains and Sara Palin four years ago. I think you can agree that that was a bad choice. John F. Kennedy on the other side did a great choice in nominating Lyndon B. Johnson, because with Johnson on his side Kennedy could win the key state Texas.
Though I must say that being a Vice Presidential candidate and a Vice President is two completely different things. While the candidate can have a big role to play in an election the actual Vice President has basically no role at all to play.
You also asked me who I think Mitt Romney will choose… there is no way I’m going to predict that!”
Mitt Romney recently made a comment about Iran and why he should be elected: “Look, one thing you can know and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you elect me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon” With this comment as a background what kind of foreign policy do you think Mitt Romney will have?
“About the same as Obama who is just about the same as Bush, there are only rhetorical differences. It is the same with US policy towards other parts of the world. I don’t think we will he have a different approach towards North Korea? Or a different approach in the Middle East either? Maybe a little but not a significant difference. The thing with US foreign policy is that the politics that different president use is the same but the rhetorical way they talk about it is extremely different.”
It is my understanding that in America it is important with politicians that truly stand up for the family values, meaning that it is important for the voters that the politicians have a “happy family”. What role will Michelle Obama and Ann Romney play in the presidential election?
“I don’t think it’s that important. As long as they do their duty, appearing in schools and do charity work, it does not have that big of an influence on the voters. The voters that this is important to are the conservative rights, and that is the people that still think of family values the same way they did in the 40s and 50s… so maybe it is a little more important for Romney with a solid family than it is for Obama.”
What role do you think Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith will have on his presidency if he wins the election?
“As I see it politicians such as Kennedy, Bush and Romney might talk more about god and faith than the rest but in office, behind closed doors, they are the same as the rest of them. Due to Romney’s Mormon faith he is a victim of a catch 22 scenario. If he talks about his faith too much he scares people of, just because he of his Mormon faith. But at the same time he has to talk about it otherwise voters think he isn’t true to his religion.”
Ned then started to talk about Romney’s wealth: “Romney’s big problem is not that he is extremely rich but that he gives an impression that he is extremely rich and out of touch.” Ned Lebow used following quote said by Mitt Romney as an example of this “I love this country. Actually I love this state … This feels good, being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height. The streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered.”
“The difference between George Buch and Mitt Romney is that Bush was smart enough not to talk about his money and that is more than you can say about Romney.”
What are President Obamas biggest strengths?”
“He should definitely talk about what he has done for our economy. He should talk about the future, about how to make the education better, use of solar energy etc. and most important he should compare his stands in these questions with Mitt Romney’s. Last but not least he should tell the voters about how much he has achieved during his first term as a president even though the congress has been republican.”
Who do you think will win, and why, the election – Obama or Romney?
“Barack Obama! Unless something catastrophic happens, such as another economic breakdown, Obama will be president for another four years. Obama is the president which is always good, he has no skeletons in the closet that can bite him in the back, he has a well funded campaign and of course the Republican Party is extremely separated.”
By: Fredrik Sundqvist