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Social Media Becomes a New Battleground for Obama and Romney

Nearly two-thirds of all Americans are using social networking websites, a study from the Pew Research Center revealed in May 2012. As the amount of social media users continues to grow, so does the question of whether or not social media will play a crucial role in this presidential election.

In order to express their message and to gain support from the American public, presidential candidates in recent years have chosen to not only use, but to embrace social media as their method of engaging voters in the election process.

Former presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt mastered the radio; John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon made use of the television; President Barack Obama put the spotlight on social media in his 2008 presidential victory, establishing Facebook and Twitter’s status in the political election process.

After President Obama’s victory, the 2008 presidential election came to be known as “the social media election,” because of the Obama team’s use of the Internet to both raise money and engage in grassroots networking.

Since that time there has been an explosion in the variety and reach of the digital tools made available to voters, campaigns, and the candidates themselves, providing powerful and significant new ways to lobby for both finances and votes. Today, Republicans and Democrats alike are engaging in all-out social media war over the attention of the American public.

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American Presidency Class Comes to Campus

Political Science Class that Comes Every Four Years is Getting Rave Reviews

patten picture
The 2012 Presidential election is only two and a half months away which means it’s time for the University political science department to again offer a class that runs every four years. The American Presidency, being taught this semester by Dr. Joseph Patten. Chair of political science department.

The class is now underway and is discussing not only this year’s election but also what the presidency means in a broader context. To try to begin to understand what the presidency does to someone, just look at before and after pictures of most presidents. President Barack Obama, not yet done with his first term, has more than a few gray hairs. No one can truly understand being the President unless they have the job.

But this class will be able to show how the commanderin- chief has evolved from the very first person to hold the job, General George Washington, to 223 years later President Barack Obama.

Everyone knows the president and what he stands for. However does the president really have many powers? What kind of chief executive did the founding fathers envision?

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Life After College: Jobs in Political Science

Degree Offers Opportunities to Graduates

Amid the current economic uncertainties plaguing the job market, it is hopeful that students enjoy clear advantages over much of their competition. For students majoring in political science, the broad scope and varied nature of the discipline readies them for a multitude of diverse career paths which are not strictly limited to the realm of politics or government.

The obvious job choices for many political science majors certainly include office-holding positions such as becoming elected officials, city managers, committeemen, or federal employees, but the broad focus of the discipline also readies students for careers in many other areas.

William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services spoke about some of the more popular career choices of political science graduates. “The fields political science graduates have gone into include law, government, higher education, financial services, and non-profit organizations. Examples of jobs they have gotten include paralegal, media specialist, admission counselor, research interviewer and policy assistant to name a few.

According to literature available from the Department of Political Science and Sociology, other career options available to political science majors include business, marketing, the military, public relations, education, law enforcement, lobbying, systems analysis, journalism, and international diplomacy.

Today’s employers seek to hire motivated, skillful, and dedicated personnel irrespective of specific areas of expertise and this fact is at the very forefront of efforts made by University to instill these traits in its students.

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Booker Bouts for Obama at DNC

New Jersey Mayor Becomes Rising Democratic Star at Convention

Newark Mayor Cory Booker took the Democratic National Convention stage on Tuesday, September 2. Booker was selected by the Democratic Committee in an attempt to energize the party’s base. Booker was one of two New Jersey politicians to take the national stage at a political convention. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke at the Republican National Convention last week.

He spoke about the Democrats’ platform and explained why incumbent President Barack Obama was the best person to lead the country.

The main point of Booker’s speech was differentiating President Obama’s economic vision and Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s. “We choose American economic might and muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class,” said Booker. Booker also advocated for small businesses. “It is our most fundamental national aspiration— that no matter who you are, no matter what your color, creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are an American— first generation or fifth—one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your God-given talents— that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills,” said Booker.

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Christie Brings New Jersey Attitude to Florida GOP Convention

chrisNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered the keynote address for the 2012 Republican National Convention on Tuesday, August 28. While the overall convention theme was “A Better Future,” Christie focused on leadership, choosing respect over love, giving Americans the unvarnished truth, and why Mitt Romney is the right man for the job and for America.

Standing in front of the backdrop of a New Jersey postcard, the same one used on Bruce Springsteen’s album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J, Christie began his speech explaining how unbelievable it was for him to be on the stage of the Republican National Convention in the first place, as he is “from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.”

Expressing his pride in his party, his state, and his country, Christie explained how the lessons his family taught him throughout the course of his life have impacted his everyday life.

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How Far Have We Come in 11 Years?

Arab/Muslim Relations With the United States Continue to Be a Struggle

9.11The United States continues to find itself at crossroads with Arab and Muslim relations 11 years after the September 11 attacks and leaves the better majority of individuals thinking: can this all be just a dream?

Dazed and startled at the dizzying height of its power, the United States responded to the attacks by changing itself.

Policy changes continued throughout the past decade and singled out Arab and Muslim communities as groups of interest. There is always a group that suffers as consequence where emotional strife negates a standard for human etiquette, as in any period of war.

Dr. Frances Trotman, professor of psychology at the University, discussed his take on the relationship between the United States and Arab and Muslim communities.

“Many have begun to get past it, while others hold on to the animosity, often reflecting some ignorance and some scapegoating because of other difficulties. A complete answer that is more than just a generalization would require volumes to try to attempt a comprehensive explanation.”

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Debate Hawks Travel to California for Last Tournament of Season

default article imageThe Monmouth University Debate Team, the Debate Hawks, received seven trophies at the Western National Novice Debate Championship at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California, on the weekend of March 911, 2012.  Brandon Karkovice and Arielle Giordano made it to the semifinal playoff, which means they made it to the Final Four before losing a split decision (21) against a debate team from Cal Poly.  Brandon and Arielle went 42 in the tournament before winning two playoff rounds. It was a controversial decision; had it gone the other way, Brandon and Arielle would have made it to the final round where they would have debated for the Western Conference tournament championship.

Olivia Mills and Miriam Peguero went 42 during the six round tournament and won their first playoff round against a team from Cal State before losing a close decision to Fresno State, thus winning a trophy for making it to the quarter finals (final eight). Lexi Todd and Dan Roman also made it to the playoff rounds after going 42 at the tournament.  They lost in their first playoff round (21) to a team from Cal State Fullerton.  Kelly Craig and Sam Maynard were one of two 33 teams to make it to the playoff round, which means they made it in over other 33 teams because of their high speaker points. Kelly and Sam started out the tournament 03, before roaring back and winning their final 3 rounds, a testament to their perseverance and grit.

 Monmouth University had four teams make it to the playoff rounds more than any other school at the tournament.  Lianne Kulik and Jennifer Sime and Tyler Breder and Brad Landau also did a great job and scored impressive victories during the tournament. 

The Debate Hawks also won three individual speaking awards, again, more than any school competing in the tournament.  Olivia Mills received the fifth place individual speaking award, Miriam Peguero received the 6th place speaker award, and Alexandria Todd received the ninth place speaker award.  Speaker awards are only given to the top 10 individual speakers at the tournament.

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Women Taking it to “The Man”

default article imageDemocratic lobbyist Hillary Rosen dismissed Ann Romney's credibility behind advising Mitt Romney’s economic agenda as a result of Ann Romney’s lack of real work experience, driving a deeper wedge between stayat- home moms and working ones. 

Rosen described Romney as “never [working] a day in her life.” She further went on to comment that Romney does not know the needs and concerns of women who work outside of the home. She was later rebuked and apologized for her disparaging statement. 

Although Rosen did not criticize Ann Romney again, she continued to discuss Mitt Romney’s view of his wife as his economic adviser for women. “I think the issue that I’m focusing on is, ‘Does Mitt Romney have a vision for bringing women up economically, and can he himself stop referring to his wife as his economic surrogate?’ That’s an important thing. He’s the one that keeps doing this. Not me,” she said in an interview on CNN. 

NPR released “Rosen’s Words About Ann Romney Fuel ‘Mommy Wars’” late last week in response to the upheaval.

The 10 minute story briefly featured three moms with Michel Martin, a host from NPR daily news and talk show, “Tell Me More.” Trending topics all circulated around stay-at-home moms versus working moms and the deepening wedge forced between the two. 

All three mothers agreed that the initial comment by Rosen caused push-back by listeners, but went on to discuss how Rosen’s following sentence about Ann Romney’s lack of experience regarding the needs and concerns of women outside of the home perfectly legitimate. 

“Women can’t seem to stop being judgmental of each other, which is a tragedy because ‘divided you shall be conquered,’” Ann Crittenden, author of “The Price of Motherhood,” released in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. 

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Early Polls Have Obama Over Romney

default article imageWith six months until Election Day, President Obama has taken a slight lead over his likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney. Although there is much time before November, this shows how the race will begin to take shape before the summer. Real- has President Obama with an advantage of 3.2 points nationally over Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. That calculation takes into account national polls from various polling institutions.

However, looking at the Electoral College gives President Obama even more reasons to be optimistic. No matter what the polls say about each candidate or their approval rating, you still need 270 electoral votes to become the Commander-in-Chief. Taking a look at the electoral map shows that the President currently has a distinct advantage. Counting states that are ‘safe’ for each candidate, (winning by 15 points or more); Obama already has 161 electoral votes to Romney’s 131. Add the states that are leaning for each candidate (15 to eight point advantage) Obama increases his lead 227-170. That only leaves the toss-up states, or those that are within eight points for either candidate, left to determine the winner. 11 states currently fall into this category. They account for 141 votes each with Obama needing only 43 of those to win.

A closer look at the toss-up states sees Obama with a lead in a majority of them. Florida’s 29 votes are currently in the president’s column with a 4.2 point lead over Romney, taking the vote count to 256. Obama is also leading in Pennsylvania by six. A win in Pennsylvania and Florida will see the President going over the 270 threshold and winning reelection. Romney could win the remaining nine toss-up states and still lose. In fact, the only toss-up states that are currently red for Romney are Arizona by 5.4 and Missouri by three. The President also sees a 5.3 point lead in Ohio, a traditional battleground state. There are many different ways Obama can win from the tossups while Romney would need to steal many of the states that are currently blue.

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Pushing Back Against Bullying

Anti-Bullying Laws Top the List of Political Stories

The Outlook concludes the school year with a continuation of the top 10 political stories of the school year. In this issue are the top five.

5. Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Congress

politics-obamaDuring President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union speech, Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords returned to Congress. On January 8, 2011, Giffords was shot by an assassin during a “Meet your Congressman” event in Tucson. Giffords was shot in the back of the head and was placed in critical condition. Giffords has since made great strides in recovery but it is far from over. During the State of the Union she handed in her letter of resignation to a cheering Congressional chamber.

In the time following the shooting, Republicans and Democrats put aside differences and became Americans. At the time of the shooting, the groups were split on how to fix the debt ceiling. President Obama made a speech in Tucson in the days following the shooting. “As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together,” he said.

Dr. Michael Phillips–Anderson, communication professor, is not as convinced. “I don’t think that the Gabby Giffords shooting will have any substantial change to help politicians treat each other. On a human level House and the Senate were certainly happy to see her return, but the story is already largely been forgotten by both the politicians and the media.” He also believes this did not bring the parties together as some other events have. He said, “The only thing that seems to have brought the parties together in recent years is fear of a common enemy following 9/11 and preceding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

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Santorum Suspends Presidential Bid

default article imageRick Santorum officially dropped out of the presidential race last Tuesday in a speech in front of supporters in Pennsylvania. The Republican hopeful had spent the previous few days tending to his ailing daughter, Bella, who was hospitalized for a rare genetic disease. Bella was discharged from the hospital Monday night.

Trailing Romney in his home state of Pennsylvania, the Santorum campaign has seen little chance to be able to make up the delegate difference with Mitt Romney. Realclearpolitics. com has Santorum trailing Romney in delegates by 272-656. Santorum would need 872 delegates to win the nomination. National polls, however, show Santorum trailing by an average of 19.5 percentage points according to RealClearpolitics. com.

Santorum is most likely to still play a pivotal role in politics. According to, Santorum has already talked to his staff about the possibility of running again in 2016. The day he dropped out of the race he spoke with James Dobson in a “Conversation on faith, family and American values.” His suspension of his campaign for 2012 may have just ended as the 2016 election run began. The also believes Santorum has switched to 2016 mode “I think he has been planning his run based on 2016 all along. Santorum won two elections in a swing state.” If Santorum thought Mitt Romney would be the victor in the next presidential elections, he would not be thinking of 2016.

With Santorum officially out of the race, many presume that Romney will now easily obtain the necessary delegates to win nomination. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, the only other alternatives to Romney, have 140 and 67 delegates respectively. The Romney campaign has switched into general election mode this past week as the former governor of Massachusetts has ramped up attack on the Democratic candidate, President Obama. Dr. Michael Phillips-Anderson, assistant professor of rhetoric and political communication, believes that the transition from primary mode to general will be an easy one for Romney. “Before the succession of Republican candidates challenged Romney for the nomination, Romney spoke almost exclusively about President Obama, and so he’ll be returning to a playbook his team has already worked on.”

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151