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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Darrell M. West
When an important social issue intersected with business in Arizona, Corporate America decided it was time to take a stand.
Bill de Blasio's win in New York City's mayoral race has put the Democrat in charge of the nation's largest city and smack in the middle of the nation's largest media market —giving him an unmatched platform both to pursue liberal policies and to cause all sorts of headaches for his party's leaders in Washington.
The Republican Party's 2012 election postmortem concluded it needed to do a better job reaching women, minorities and young voters. They are failing on each score — and the government shutdown set them back even more.
While the world's attention is fixed on the race for president and second-in-command, the fate of the third person in the line of White House succession also will be decided Tuesday, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hopes her Democratic Party defies the odds to recapture the chamber.
Baseball great Hank Aaron is a Barack Obama guy. Golf legend Jack Nicklaus is in Mitt Romney's camp.
Democrats have vilified super PACs since the Supreme Court deemed the murky megamoney-spenders legal in early 2010. And leading that charge has been President Obama, who, during his State of the Union speech that year, famously chastised the PACs' power for unlimited political spending with little transparency.
Call it the built-in gravitas gap: President Obama flies the country in a grand 747, cruises in plush limousines adorned with American flags, and speaks from the White House Rose Garden, while his campaign opponent, Mitt Romney, flies in a smaller MD-83 passenger jet, rides in nondescript SUVs and makes speeches at factories and strip malls.
After this, politicians everywhere should surely get the message. Mitt Romney's secretly recorded remarks at a Florida fundraiser — and the uproar that has followed — reinforce a key reality of the digital media era: the power of viral video and the unauthorized audio to disrupt and potentially alter a high-stakes political contest.
Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign are invading living rooms in key states across the country through a barrage of television ads that aim to convince voters that their economic well-being hinges on a change in the White House.
Congress is heading into the final stretch of its summer work period having passed none of its annual spending bills. What's more, with the start of the next budget year some 70 days away, it's unlikely that any of the bills will reach the president's desk for his signature.
While some Democrats have made it clear that they would rather not be seen with President Obama on the campaign trail this fall, likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney doesn't appear to face the same problem.
It's no longer just the economy, stupid. Social issues such as gay marriage, abortion and religious freedom have elbowed their way back into the political debate in the 2012 presidential race.
Mitt Romney's above-the-fray campaign strategy will be put to the test this week in Iowa.
House Speaker John A. Boehner has preached the need for Congress to have "an adult conversation" with the public. President Obama, when he was running for the office, promised to bring greater transparency to Washington.
In a world where corporations and unions have growing influence over political races - thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last year - some lawmakers and fiscal hawks worry that the lack of restraints on these groups could cripple efforts to revamp the nation's tax system.
But Darrell M. West, director of Governance Studies at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, said the tea party may find it hard to maintain its influence if the economy continues to improve and the national deficit continues to shrink.
"The tea party is in decline because the issues that have propelled it have abated," Mr. West said. "There is less raw anger about government than a few years ago."