Posts Tagged ‘ election 2012 ’

Woman Names Twins Born on Election Day Barack and Mitt

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

After Tuesday’s election, both candidates expressed a desire to reach across the aisle and set aside partisan differences. Two other guys named Barack and Mitt can just reach across the crib. Millicent Awour delivered twin boys on Tuesday and named them after the incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the NY Daily News reports. The twins were born in Slaya, Kenya, close to the town where President Obama’s relatives live.

Image: Babies’ feet via Shutterstock

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Obama’s Re-Election: What it Means for Health Care Reform

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

After a hard-won fight in numerous battleground states, incumbent candidate Barack Obama defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in yesterday’s presidential election. How will Obama’s second term affect families? For one thing, the President’s re-election eliminates the possibility of a full repeal of his healthcare reform law, Reuters reports.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2012, aims to offer benefits to 30 million uninsured Americans by 2014. Under the ACA, states will participate in insurance exchange programs, and families will have access to immunizations, pre- and post-natal care such as folic acid supplements, and preventive screenings such as mammograms without co-pays or out-of-pocket costs. The controversial reform is still facing approximately two dozen lawsuits, many of which seek to overturn a mandate requiring church-affiliated institutions to cover the cost of employees’ contraceptives.

Governor Romney vowed to repeal the act if elected. Now, “There’s sort of an immediate acceptance that this law will stay in place in some meaningful way,” explained Chris Jennings, a top healthcare adviser to former Democratic President Bill Clinton. “It’s sort of like a big barrier has been removed.”

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, read our exclusive interview with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Image: Map with stethoscope via Shutterstock

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Skipping School for Democracy (OPINION)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The editors of Parents.com have been reporting on hot-button election issues that American families face today, from healthcare to education. In the spirit of offering diverse perspectives on the election, we chose three moms from across the political spectrum to be guest bloggers on Parents News Now. Each one of them offered a unique take on the topics that they–and you!–are most passionate about. (Read the entire blog series.)

By Nancy French

“My eye itches,” eight-year-old Camille said one morning as she rolled out of bed.

“Scratch it,” I said without looking at her. It was a cool March morning, and my husband and I were headed out of town for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis, where we were “working” the first Presidential straw poll of the 2008 season. Even though it was two years before the election, I’d spent the last few months trying to get people to vote for Mitt Romney. No, not Matt.  Mitt. And yes, he’s from Massachusetts. People hadn’t heard of him, so I’d tried my best to persuade them to vote for him instead of any of a number of southern politicians.

“But it hurts,” she protested. I put down a bag of buttons that read “Romney – Yankee Governor with Southern Values,” and looked at her. Her eye was swollen shut.

My stomach sank. Pink eye? I’d planned to take the kids to school, and the babysitter would pick them up afterwards. I didn’t have childcare during the school hours, and I couldn’t send her to school looking like she’d been hit in the eye.

“Well, I guess you’re both coming with us,” I said, as I dropped medicine in her eye.

The next day, my husband and I found ourselves standing in a convention center, handing out tee shirts, pamphlets, and talking to anyone who’d listen about the guy we hoped would be the next President of the United States. “Mitt,” I’d say. “Like a glove.” The kids happily played behind our table, laughing and putting Romney stickers on their faces.

“Want to help me hand these out?” I asked my six-year-old Austin, who dutifully stood at a busy intersection near the main hall and handed out buttons. Because it was the first straw poll of that election cycle, the press corps was out in full force, and soon Newsweek had a camera on him.

“Who are you supporting, young man?” the reporter asked.

“Mitt Romney,” Austin nervously responded.

“Are you skipping school to do this?”

“Yes, he is,” I interrupted, “but Romney believes in education.”

That was when my kids were thrust into the political realm in which our family has lived in for the past seven years. In an amazing upset, Gov. Romney came in second place in that straw poll, causing a media frenzy. Other straw polls followed, and this time we made sure the kids were with us. They skipped school to help us work the 2007 Values Voter Conference straw poll in Washington, DC (which Romney won), and the next 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference (which Romney won), and the 2012 Conservative Political Action Committee (which Romney won). We also created an organization called Evangelicals for Mitt, and our Romney advocacy work has appeared in almost every major news publication, including the New York Times, USA Today, NPR, and FoxNews. At every turn, the children were with us — with a bag full of buttons ready to distribute.

Since we began our Romney effort, our family moved two times, went through a deployment when my husband went to Iraq, and adopted a daughter from Africa. Yet, all of this went on against the constant backdrop of a single goal: getting Mitt Romney into the White House.

Instead of sheltering the children from politics, we decided to let them fully engage in the process. At first, this was difficult, and I occasionally had to yank them out of speeches — for example, when Ron Paul talked about abortion or Newt Gingrich spoke about gay marriage. After all, they didn’t need to learn about these topics before memorizing their multiplication tables. But over the years we explained the issues. Just as naturally as shooting basketball in the backyard, we discussed immigration, contraception, terrorism, and education reform. We taught them how the government works… and sometimes doesn’t. Some parents choose not to “indoctrinate” their children about issues of faith and politics. However, we believe it’s our responsibility to transfer our values to our children and to help them think critically about the issues of our time. Democracy, after all, demands engagement.

Over the past few years, they’ve learned not only about politics, but about the world. They’ve witnessed events in person, only to read mischaracterized accounts in major newspapers. They’ve seen their parents maligned in the mainstream media and even in some conservative publications. They’ve experienced little victories, and crushing defeats. My daughter now is taller than I am, borrows my clothes, and can eloquently explain the difference between Romneycare and Obamacare in four easy steps. My son, who was terrified of the Newsweek reporter, has since happily appeared on CBS News. And our newly-adopted daughter fell immediately into our fast-paced political lives. When I took her to an event close to Christmas, she leapt into Gov. Romney’s arms. As a photographer snapped a photo, I was almost overcome. She’d recently been an orphan in one of the poorest countries in the world…now she was being embraced by someone who might soon be President of the most powerful nation on Earth.

What a country!

As I wrote this, my husband and I were on a flight to Boston to the official election night celebration of the Romney/Ryan ticket. The children were in the row behind us, chatting anxiously, playing on their iPhones. Though we thought we were going to a victory party instead of a disappointing concession speech, we’re thankful we’ve done this together, as a family. And by the way, if the headmaster of Zion Christian Academy is reading this, the kids will be back to school on Thursday.

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Looking Forward to Post-Sandy Humanity in a Second Obama Administration (OPINION)

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The editors of Parents.com have been reporting on hot-button election issues that American families face today, from healthcare to education. In the spirit of offering diverse perspectives on the election, we chose three moms from across the political spectrum to be guest bloggers on Parents News Now. Each one of them offered a unique take on the topics that they–and you!–are most passionate about. (Read the entire blog series.)

By Sharon Lerner

The moment has finally arrived and, as with all much-anticipated events, Election Day isn’t what I once imagined it would be. Way back when this race was first getting going, it seemed like we election watchers would stay singularly obsessed with the race to the end. It almost seemed like time would stop on November 6.

But, as with all points on the timeline, the Big Day brought with it a new future, as well as present that wasn’t quite what I expected. I still desperately want Obama to win, of course. I’m already glued to the battleground election results. And I can’t stop checking Nate Silver’s blog, which, as of this writing, puts Obama’s chance of winning at 90.9 percent.

But it’s perhaps because of my faith in Silver that I’m already looking ahead. And there in the post-election tomorrow I see not just a country where we don’t have to discuss legitimate rape, Paul Ryan’s abs, or the idea that 47 percent of the country really doesn’t matter. I see a country where people care for and about the needy in a new way.

No doubt, a large part of this is Hurricane Sandy. While this may be just another election day in parts of the country less affected by the storm, here in the New York area, things are still decidedly not back to normal. Thousands of people are still without power, homes. Food and fuel are scarce. And another storm is on its way.

The beautiful thing, the compelling thing that can’t help but push the election to the back burner once you witness it, is the kind, humane and authentic response real people have to the disaster. All around me, neighbors and friends have jumped in to help, collecting coats, blankets, warm food. During the worst of the storm, a home health aide made her way against all odds from the Bronx to Brooklyn to care for my dying father-in-law. After making her way back through our ailing transit system to her own family, she called to check on him.

Sandy is, of course, a wake-up call about the importance of climate change and the size of government, FEMA in particular. But it’s also a reminder of the ties that bind us to one another and how, despite the ugliness of this election season, they have turned a nation of little folks overshadowed by politicians into one where the actual people clearly matter more.

The impulse to look out for one another is so much more compelling than anything either candidate has said, it’s made the past few months of bickering and lies seem even more heartbreaking than it actually was. Looking at the people lined up at my polling place, waiting for hours to cast their ballots, I’m heartened that, despite everything — the storm, the meanspiritedness, the endless political ads — people remember what really matters.

So on this Election Day, I’m getting on that long line and looking forward to a second Obama administration that, I truly hope, will honor and support the real needs of real people.

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What I Will Teach My Children About Our President (OPINION)

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The editors of Parents.com have been reporting on hot-button election issues that American families face today, from healthcare to education. In the spirit of offering diverse perspectives on the election, we chose three moms from across the political spectrum to be guest bloggers on Parents News Now. Each one of them offered a unique take on the topics that they–and you!–are most passionate about. (Read the entire blog series.)

By Amy Julia Becker

Yesterday, I tried to talk to my kids about the election.

William, who is four, was setting out a game based on Richard Scarry’s Busytown. “So, William, do you know there’s an election tomorrow?”

He shook his head.

“Do you know who our President is?”

“Obama,” he said, without looking up, placing Huckle and Sally into their respective holders.

“Do you know what the President does?”

He shook his head again. “Mom,” he said, finally meeting my eyes. “I’m ready.”

I abandoned the conversation.

When Penny, who is almost seven, came home, I said, “Pen, do you know there’s an election tomorrow?”

She looked at me earnestly but also shook her head.

“Do you know who our President is right now?”

“Barack Obama.”

She went on to tell me that he should be president again because she loves him. She also made it clear that she has no idea what a President does, and when I mentioned that he lives in Washington, D.C., she promptly pointed to the state of Washington on the map of the United States. Clearly our family civics lessons are not up to par.

But then I thought back to my own childhood, and I realized that although I had a vague awareness of the Reagan/Mondale contest in 1984, the first election I can remember with any detail was in 1988, when I was eleven years old. One of my father’s best friends was working for the Dukakis campaign. My father is a lifelong Republican, so I was intrigued by the dinner conversations between these two. Up until then, I recall no interest in or even awareness of the political life of this nation. My kids may well be following in my footsteps.

After months of attending to this campaign, I plan to vote for President Obama today, and I hope I will have occasion to explain my choice to Penny and William in the years to come. I am voting for Obama because I think he is the more credible of the two candidates, given Romney’s history of equivocation on abortion, health care, and clean energy. I am also voting for Obama because I am liberal enough to support (in broad terms) his economic policies and health care reforms, and because I am conservative enough to think a transition will be more disruptive to our economy than a continuation of the past four years. Not only will I vote for Obama, but I think he will win, and I look forward to talking to my children about his victory.

But if Romney wins today, what I want my kids to understand won’t differ much. Although I suspect that Obama and Romney are more similar on many issues than their campaigns and fervent supporters might want, I know they are different men with different backgrounds and different policy positions. The reason my words to our children won’t change is that no matter who holds the office of the President, no matter their policies on economics or education or international relations, we will continue to live in the United States of America. And I will teach my children to be proud and grateful that they are growing up as citizens of this nation, no matter which man becomes the next President.

The wonder of American elections is that we routinely watch power transfer from one party to the next without fear of bloodshed. Sure, politics in America can look ugly. We’ve endured an election filled with attack ads that misrepresent both men’s positions. We’ve heard accusations of communism and racism and elitism. And yet Election Day comes, and each and every adult citizen of this nation has the opportunity to cast their vote, to participate in choosing the one(s) who will lead us for the next four years.

It will be a while before I’m talking with my children about the Constitution, or checks and balances, or the philosophical role government should play in the lives of ordinary people. But as a parent, I am relieved to think that I will go to bed tonight without fear. No matter who comes to power, our country will not erupt into civil war. No matter who comes to power, ethnic or religious groups opposed to the person in power will not be targeted for elimination. No matter who holds the highest office in the land, we will still share in common our constitutional rights, our declaration that each and every human being has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As my children get older, I hope I will do my part to educate them about American history and politics and economics and social issues. I hope they will watch Presidential debates and argue with me and with one another when it comes to defense spending and the minimum wage and abortion rights. But I’m also glad that they don’t need to pay attention to this election. I am grateful to be a citizen of the United States of America, and to rest secure in the integrity of this union, come what may.

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