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The Carletonian

Romney, Clinton lead Michigan primary: Unconventional practices leave Obama and Edwards off ballot

<nuary 15, the Michigan primary occurred earlier than previously scheduled against procedural guidelines. Democratic candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards withdrew their names from the ballot in protest. The Democratic National Committee plans to penalize the Michigan Democrats by preventing state party delegates from attending the national convention. Similarly, the Republican National Committee plans to penalize the Michigan Republicans by preventing half of the state party delegates from attending the national convention as reported by the New York Times.

The results of the primary saw Hillary Clinton as the Democratic leader. Senator Clinton gained 55.3 percent of the votes. Mitt Romney won the Republican vote with 38.9 percent of the votes. While the significance of the Michigan primary is open to debate and interpretation, it is clear that the Republican Party still seeks a leading candidate.

Former Governor Mitt Romney secured the votes of his home state of Michigan in what the New York Times labeled a “must win” victory. “Tonight is the victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism,” Romney said in his victory speech. As a candidate who advocates a strong commitment to traditional family values, Romney runs under the banner of “True strength for America’s future.”
Throughout his campaign, Romney emphasized his historical and personal connection to the state of Michigan and promised, if elected, to attend to the suffering economic conditions of the state.
The events in Michigan reflect a particularly long campaign season for the 2008 presidential election. Long since the subject of the national media, the campaign trails of all leading Democratic and Republican candidates have endured for over a year. “Second those Emotion,” printed in the Talk of the Town section of the New Yorker considers the effects these exhaustive campaigns have had on the candidates.

The column cites Senator Hillary Clinton’s emotional discussion with her constituents. As cameras rolled, she became tearful as she expressed her gratitude for her political career; “You know, I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don’t want to see us fall backwards.” In a moment that broke from her public persona, viewers witnessed what author Hendrik Hertzburg considers “human ordinariness.”

Emotional displays have become leading headlines in the press during this particular election. The Michigan Daily ran “Mitt Romney gets emotional” on January 13, 2008. The article discussed Romney’s “softer side” during his Michigan campaign.

Political pundits argued that Senator Clinton’s tearful televised appearance might have helped her win the New Hampshire primary. Others claim that she manipulated the moment to her advantage. Still others like Hertzburg believed the moment genuine, unrehearsed and likely the symptom of a highly stressful campaign season.

The United States will officially announce the Democratic and Republican candidates this summer; but as the campaign continues, so too will speculation.

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