Keeping up with the Kandidate: An Ode to Newt

Despite his stay-puff cuddliness and his Dwight Shrute-like work ethic, Newt Gingrich, the 2012 republican primary kandidate, just could not KEEP UP with Mitt Romney.

Last Wednesday, Gingrich representatives said he will soon announce his concession, ending his bid to become president of the United States.

Before you read anymore, you must open your ears to the soundtrack of Newt’s campaign. Please listen to this song while you read my heartfelt goodbye to Gingrich.

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Keeping up with the Kandidates: So what’s next?

I said it last week, I know. Romney vs. Obama will probably contain the most smear of any two smear campaigns ever. Talking heads have been saying it, personal acquaintances agree: It will hit the fan in coming months.

Step back for a second, though, and examine reality.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are two human beings. They both have parents, they are both a certain age and one day they will both die. They are no different than you and me.

As with all humans they come from different walks of life, both, in their own particular way, are minorities. The president is half black and the challenger practices Mormonism.

Both have different backgrounds. Obama’s father was a Kenyan scholar who died young; Romney’s father was a presidential kandidate in a Republican primary.

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Keeping up with the Kandidates: So long, Santorum

Heartbreak is not a feeling that’s exclusively tied in with love. It’s better to associate it with loss. We’re heartbroken when we’re missing pieces of who we are, pieces we have lost.

Today, Rick Santorum, his staff and all of his supporters are heartbroken. People who once believed Santorum was going to be the next president are now left with doubt and insecurity; they broke their own hearts.

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Keeping up with the Kandidates: Oh Maryland, My Maryland (and D.C. and Wisconsin)

Yesterday, residents of two states and a district flocked to the polls to give out some Republican delegates. The district, obviously, was Columbia. The states were Wisconsin (the state that my Dad wanted me to go to school in because of my scholarship to Marquette) and Maryland (the state I obviously go to school in).

Mitt Romney won in all three places that were up for grabs, inching past the halfway point of needed delegates to secure the nomination.

Rick Santorum finished second in both states, but was not on D.C.’s ballot. His camp was asked their plans on CNN, and they claimed they’re eyeing delegate-rich Texas and are campaigning hard in Pennsylvania, where the former senator served.

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Keeping up with the Kandidates: Ron Paulooza

Students await Ron Paul's arrival yesterday outside Ritchie Coliseum. TJ Root/For The Diamondback

The shirt I purchased for $15 had paid off. Not only was I in Ritchie Coliseum to see Ron Paul, but I was in the third row. If I had a good enough shot I could probably spit on Paul from where I was sitting.

The place was packed. People were looking around and waving their hands to get the attention of others that they knew. It took until 6:43 p.m. for people to start chanting. One guy, donning a brown Ron Paul sweater, was running up and down the center aisle leading the cheers.

He yelled, “Ron Paul revolution,” for the crowd to respond, “Legalize the Constitution.”

He screamed “President,” for the crowd to respond, “Paul.”

He began a lingering, simple chant, “End the Fed,” (referencing Paul’s belief that the Federal Reserve has to go).

The crowd was getting wild. They were stomping on the bleachers as if they were waiting for a kickoff in a football game. I could see Paul behind the glass doors in the back of Ritchie. First a student came out to introduce him.

I recognized this student. It was the tan, black-haired fellow who had gotten me to sign the petition to bring Ron Paul to campus who I wrote about in my first post. It was then I realized the petition I signed brought me to that moment right there. Everything had come full circle.

After the student thanked everyone who helped bring Paul to campus, he introduced the man himself. The crowd stood and roared, not even giving Paul a chance to speak.

Finally he said his first words, “Sounds to me like freedom is popular in Maryland.” The crowd roared again.

Paul referenced that this university had one of the highest, if not the highest most signatures to bring him to campus. The revolution had come to College Park.

Then Paul went about his platform. He trashed mandates, said that nobody on “the hill” reads the Constitution, criticized selective service and he referenced America’s “way too many unwinnable, undeclared wars.”

He spoke of hypocrisy — that America was being an aggressive nation in order to spread kindness.

It was the most serious I had ever seen him when he asked, “Why don’t we just mind our own business?” The crowd stood and went crazy. At that moment I got chills.

Using the collapse of the Soviet Union as an example, Paul put forth the notion that more can be achieved in peace than in war. He also talked about how the country should begin trading with Cuba.

The crowd was responsive the whole time: cheering when he made a stern point, booing when he made a reference to something that the crowd disliked and laughing when he cracked a joke. Eventually the audience broke into an “End the Fed” chant.

Paul responded, “That will be one of the first things on my agenda.”

The crowd went nuts, and Paul went into why he dislikes the Federal Reserve. He also talked about how he would repeal the Patriot Act with a bill that he would call the Restore the 4th Amendment Act.

Although the crowd loved him, for me, time dragged on as he spoke.

Finally, at 7:55, he mentioned delegates — the main reason his campaign has any hope. The crowd erupted in chants of “President Paul.” This was just about the end of his speech.

He stepped down from his podium and I participated in a rush to the front. I had my memo book out for an autograph, my camera out for a picture and my hand out for a shake. I wanted to cap my night of journalistic work with the man’s blessing.

All for naught, though, as he stopped shaking hands and signing things when he was about five people away from me. I did not leave Ritchie disappointed though. I saw the revolution first hand. I was on the trail.

Juan Cervantes is a junior history major and student blogger for The Diamondback

Keeping up with the Kandidates: Super Duper Tuesday

Before I get to the results of Super Tuesday, let me first send my congratulations to foreign kandidate Vladimir Putin, who is once again president of Russia. He retains his reputation as the second-most famous Vladimir in Russian political history.

Now, for Tuesday’s events:

The first state unofficially rewarded by the CNN pundits Tuesday evening was Georgia, which was won by Newt Gingrich. Georgia may have been Gingrich’s only victory of the evening, but the state the former Speaker of the House represented in carried 76 delegates — the most of any state participating in Super Tuesday.

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Keeping up with the Kandidates — Rocky Mountain High

My experience with the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, watching and waiting until 3 a.m. for the final tally to be decided, was unreal. Last night at 1 a.m., flashes of Iowa were reflecting out west in Colorado.

The night had grown weary. I sat in darkness in the center of an apartment where three others rested comfortably their respective beds. I longed for my precious mattress and my eyes began to slowly lose a battle with gravity.

I listened to the Talking Heads and I listened to what the CNN analysts had to say. I did that for more than four hours.

But at last, at 1 a.m. (11 p.m. mountain time), Colorado’s GOP Chairman appeared on CNN saying Rick Santorum has won Colorado’s Republican primary.

Feb. 7, 2012 belonged to Rick Santorum.

Across the country, Santorum supports are raising their brooms high above their heads. This was a sweep that nobody but them saw coming.

If you told me that Santorum would win all three states yesterday, I would have looked at you in the same way that I would have looked at someone in September telling me the New York Giants were going to win the Super Bowl this year. I would’ve laughed in your face.

However, on any given Tuesday, anything can happen.

Santorum did it. And he did it with a frothy mix of hard work, dedication, patience and support.

According to CNN, he also did it by pulling a strong Evangelical vote (which these days in Colorado now includes a certain outspoken football player.)

Santorum is steaming. There may not be a happier person in the world right now then him. Can he keep it up or is this just a premature reaction to a lucky day?

Maine finishes up their week long voting period Saturday. Get your lobster ready.

Juan Cervantes is a junior history major and student blogger for The Diamondback.