WBEZ | Rick Santorum http://www.wbez.org/tags/rick-santorum Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The GOP votes against international disability accord http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/gop-votes-against-international-disability-accord-104204 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5134_AP120317161830-scr.jpg" style="height: 220px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Former Sen. Rick Santorum was a leading voice behind the scenes against passage of an international treaty to protect the disabled. (AP)" /></div><p>In the midst of all the headlines about how the cold-hearted GOP won&rsquo;t pass a middle-class tax cut until the president agrees to a tax cut on the rich, on Tuesday the Senate came up short on the two-thirds vote required to ratify the <a href="http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml">Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities</a>, a United Nations treaty aimed at securing rights for disabled people around the world.</p><p>The vote was <a href="http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00219">61-38</a>,&nbsp;and all 38 votes against setting international standards to protect and accommodate the disabled were cast by Republicans.<br /><br />The treaty, based on the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, is a non-binding international standard &mdash;&nbsp;as opposed to law or requirement &mdash;&nbsp;and demands <em>no change whatsoever</em> to U.S. law. The ADA, if you&#39;ll recall, was signed into law by GOP president George H.W. Bush in 1990, and was renewed by Barack Obama in 2009.<br /><br />This treaty has eight guiding principles: respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one&#39;s own choices; non-discrimination; full and effective participation and inclusion in society; respect for difference; equality of opportunity; accessibility; equality between men and women; respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.<br /><br />Because the treaty is designed as an international agreement that must also accommodate the resources and abilities of its complying countries &mdash; many of whom, like Afghanistan and Uganda, don&rsquo;t necessarily have the money to do all they might want to do&nbsp;&mdash; it goes out of its way to ease compliance. For example, it only requires &ldquo;reasonable accommodation&rdquo; of the disabled, what the treaty calls &quot;necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden.&quot;<br /><br />In fact, the treaty provides a great deal of flexibility to its signers. So much so that a number of countries &nbsp;&mdash; understanding that the treaty is in great part about <em>intent</em> &nbsp;&mdash; adopted it with exemptions and conditions. Both Malta and Poland interpreted the agreement without a right to abortion, in accordance with their constitutions; the Netherlands interpreted the right to medical treatment as also including the right to <em>refuse</em> medical treatment. And so on.</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;">Eight Republicans did vote for the treaty, including all three outgoing senators, plus John McCain, Susan Collins, John Barraso, the ever more independent Lisa Murkowski and that other presidential candidate in the wings, Kelly Ayotte.&nbsp;</span>So what was it that made 38 Republican senators, including all-but-announced presidential candidate Marco Rubio, vote against it? Here&rsquo;s an explanation from GOP Sen. <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/un-treaties/270831-senate-rejects-un-treaty-for-disabled-rights-in-vote?tmpl=component&amp;page=">Mike Lee, who led the floor fight </a>against the treaty: &ldquo;I and many of my constituents who home-school or send their children to religious schools have justifiable doubt that a foreign body based in Geneva, Switzerland, should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah.&rdquo;<br /><br />Setting aside the ungrammatical use of &ldquo;I,&rdquo; who is Sen. Lee talking about? The UN is an international body based in New York.<br /><br />Sen. Lee&rsquo;s partner on the quest to defeat the treaty was former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the father of a special needs child, who&rsquo;s been <a href="http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/protecting-the-rights-of-parents-and-their-children/">crusading</a> since at least July on this issue.<br /><br />Their big complaint, besides fear of all things outside the Great 48, is anxiety that the treaty could somehow undermine parental rights over disabled children, especially those in home schools.<br /><br />But the treaty, which requires nothing and merely sets aspirational standards, does no such thing. And, even if it did, the U.S. Constitution&rsquo;s federal supremacy clause would trump any international agreement&rsquo;s particular clause.<br /><br />I shared the news of the treaty&rsquo;s defeat Tuesday on my Facebook page and my brother Mario responded with what I think is the best rejoinder to these very ignorant and shameless lawmakers: &ldquo;As a parent who homeschooled their kids, I&#39;m confident my kids would understand the phrase &lsquo;<em>nonbinding</em> treaty&rsquo; and know how to spot xenophobia.&rdquo;</p></p> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/gop-votes-against-international-disability-accord-104204 Former Illinois Santorum delegates help Romney clinch nomination http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/former-illinois-santorum-delegates-help-romney-clinch-nomination-102040 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/7883210482_b44d57631b_o.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As of Tuesday, Mitt Romney has all the nominating votes from Illinois&rsquo; delegation at the Republican National Convention &mdash; including some from supporters of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.</p><p>State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who heads up Romney&rsquo;s Illinois campaign, had what he wanted when he took to the convention floor yesterday. Illinois cast 69 votes unanimously for Romney&#39;s presidency.</p><p>Unanimously is the key word: 12 of those votes were originally promised to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who later dropped out of the race.</p><p>But delegate Jon Zahm, Santorum&rsquo;s Illinois campaign chair, said he now supports Romney.</p><p>&quot;Because it&rsquo;s all about the best opportunity to beat Barack Obama,&quot; said Zahm. &quot;I don&rsquo;t wanna distract from that. I&rsquo;m not somebody who casts protest votes.&quot;</p><p>Illinois&rsquo; unanimous vote came as some supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul refused to cast their votes for Romney&rsquo;s nomination.</p></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/former-illinois-santorum-delegates-help-romney-clinch-nomination-102040 Common and uncommon gay American icons http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/common-and-uncommon-gay-american-icons-100610 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/839067120_09b7533711_z.jpg" style="height: 201px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="Lewis and Clark, secret icons of the gay community. (Flickr/Heather M)" />In 1997, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/9712/24/teletubbies/">CNN reported</a> the following phenomenon in from London: &quot;The Teletubbies...have a following among the gay community. Tinky Winky, who carts around a red handbag but speaks with a male voice, has become something of a gay icon.&quot;</p><p>The hubbub roared on far past those mild statements, as religious leaders like&nbsp;Reverend Jerry Falwell&nbsp;spoke out against the&nbsp;&quot;role modelling [of] the gay lifestyle [which] is damaging to the moral lives of children.&quot;</p><p>But there are many other gay icons that have gotten far less publicity, like Jan Brady,&nbsp;Amelia Earhart and even Lewis and Clark.&nbsp;Writer and performer Rob Anderson explained his favorites&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/432094046811581/">a special&nbsp;<em>Paper Machete</em></a>&nbsp;performance&nbsp;and says &quot;it just keeps getting better.&quot; Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>America&#39;s getting gayer and gayer. If you told the queens at the Stonewall riots that there would be a big gay Oreo on their Facebook newsfeeds, they wouldn&rsquo;t have believed it. Well they actually wouldn&rsquo;t understand what that meant, but that&rsquo;s not the point. As we submerse ourselves into an American culture that celebrates same-sex love, booty shorts and deals on craft supplies from Michael&rsquo;s, we can be thankful for those who have been such a pillar of strength in the American LGBT community. Some of these sources of support are very local, such as a parent or close friend and other signs of support come from broad places and touch and inspire many gay men and women, sometimes without even realizing it. These figures are gay American icons.</em></p><p><em>Gay American icons stand in the spotlight, maybe known for their art like Andy Warhol, possibly famous for their music like Cher, film work like Judy Garland, or their commitment to activism and gay causes, like Heidi Montag. Some may not know they are gay icons or and some didn&#39;t have the intention of being responsible for a drag queen&rsquo;s rise to the top, but they were.&nbsp; Before we celebrate with two bottles of Skinny Girl and blast En Vouge from our Mini Coopers, we need to take some time to appreciate and respect some of the most influential and prominent gay American icons.</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 06 Jul 2012 08:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/common-and-uncommon-gay-american-icons-100610 Rick Santorum suspends campaign for president http://www.wbez.org/news/rick-santorum-suspends-campaign-president-98101 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS5135_AP120317178008-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) -&nbsp;Bowing to the inevitable, Rick Santorum&nbsp;quit the presidential campaign Tuesday, clearing the way for Mitt&nbsp;Romney to claim the Republican nomination.&nbsp;The presidential race "is over&nbsp;for me," Santorum said.</div><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Santorum, appearing with his wife and family in his home state&nbsp;of Pennsylvania, told supporters the race for him was over, but the&nbsp;fight to defeat President Barack Obama would go on.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Santorum made no mention of Romney, and stressed that he'd gone&nbsp;farther than anyone expected, competing "against all odds."</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The delegate totals told the tale of Santorum's demise. Romney&nbsp;has more than twice as many delegates as Santorum and is on pace to&nbsp;reach the number needed to clinch the nomination - 1,144 - by early&nbsp;June. Still in the race, but not considered a factor: former House&nbsp;Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:22:06 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rick-santorum-suspends-campaign-president-98101 Presidential campaign hits Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/presidential-campaign-hits-illinois-97373 <p><p>Let the hand shaking and baby kissing begin.</p><p>The Republican presidential candidates are out in full force in Chicago suburbs ahead of Tuesday's primary. Mitt Romney kicked off Friday's campaign madness with an early visit to diner Pancakes Eggcetera in Rosemont, IL. Romney shook hands, told some jokes, posed for pictures and even kissed a baby.<br> <br> "I always [take the] chance to hold 'em and kiss 'em," Romney said to nearby diners, "Particularly if the diapers are dry."</p><p>As supporters ate pancakes and scrambled eggs, Romney spoke about how the high gas prices are hurting families and&nbsp; touted his experience in the private sector, calling President Barack Obama a "lightweight" on economic issues. He also encouraged the audience to help get their friends and neighbors to the polls next week.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332755252-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-march/2012-03-16/webromneyraw316.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>"I need you all to vote, and by the way, you're allowed to vote multiple times by getting a friend to go with you - I know this is Chicago I had to clarify," he said.</p><p>Romney wasn't the only presidential candidiate hitting the pavement in Illinois on Friday. Rick Santorum is scheduled to speak to high schoolers in Arlington Heights, IL, in the afternoon, as well as lead a rally there later in the evening. Even President Obama was in town--he held two fundraising events in downtown Chicago. Candidates New Gingrich and Ron Paul were spotted shaking hands around the state earlier in the week.<br> <br> But it's not all fun and games on the campaign trail.<br> <br> Democratic US Rep. Jan Schakowsky protested with women outside the Romney event Friday morning, holding signs that said, "Keep Your Mitt(s) off birth control. Romney has said he'd get rid of Planned Parenthood if elected. Schakowsky called the pledge "unacceptable."<br> <br> The Republican candidates are expected to continue their campaigning next week, before Tuesday's primary election.</p></p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 18:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/presidential-campaign-hits-illinois-97373 Poll: Romney ahead of Santorum in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/poll-romney-ahead-santorum-illinois-97198 <p><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; ">A new poll says that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a slight edge over Rick Santorum in Illinois.</span></p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">The Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll published Sunday shows 35 percent of likely GOP voters favored Romney to Santorum 35 percent to 31 percent.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">Newt Gingrich had 12 percent, Texas Congressman Ron Paul had 7 percent and 16 percent were undecided.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">However, the poll says 46 percent of voters said they could still change their minds before the state's March 20 primary election.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">The poll of 600 registered likely voters was conducted March 7-9. It has an error margin of 4 percentage points.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">The poll shows that Romney is doing well in Chicago's suburbs, but Santorum has a 35 percent to 29 percent advantage in the 96 counties outside the Chicago area.</p></p> Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/poll-romney-ahead-santorum-illinois-97198 GOP hopefuls look South for next contests http://www.wbez.org/story/gop-hopefuls-look-south-next-contests-97197 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-11/AP120310176272.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The raucous Republican presidential contest rolls into the Deep South this week with a pair of suddenly pivotal and tight races in Alabama and Mississippi.</p><p>The twin primaries on Tuesday follow a pair of weekend contests in the long, bruising fight to pick an opponent to President Barack Obama this fall. Setting the stage Saturday were Rick Santorum's romp in the Kansas caucuses and front-runner Mitt Romney's&nbsp;win in Wyoming.</p><p>Polls show a close race in the two upcoming contests, particularly in Alabama, where Romney, Santorum and Newt Gingrich all added to their TV advertising for the race's closing days.</p><p>Gingrich, whose campaign is struggling for survival, can ill afford a loss in either Mississippi or Alabama.&nbsp;Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is seeking a Southern breakthrough to show he has the ability to win the support of evangelical voters.</p><p>Santorum hopes to knock Gingrich out of the contest and finally emerge as Romney's&nbsp;sole challenger from the right.</p><p>Speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Santorum said his grassroots campaign has done very well against the better-funded&nbsp;Romney&nbsp;in one-on-one matchups. Still, he didn't call for Gingrich to quit the race.</p><p>"I didn't ask Speaker Gingrich to get in, I'm not going to ask him to get out," he said.</p><p>A Gingrich aide has said the former House speaker must win both Southern primaries to justify continuing in the campaign. But Gingrich strongly suggested otherwise on Friday as polls showed a tight contest in Alabama.</p><p>"I think there's a fair chance we'll win," he told The Associated Press about the contests in Alabama and Mississippi. "But I just want to set this to rest once and for all. We're going to Tampa," sight of the GOP's national convention this summer.</p><p>Romney&nbsp;had no campaign appearances Saturday. He won six of 10 Super Tuesday states earlier in the week.</p><p>Final returns in Kansas showed Santorum with 51 percent of the vote, far outpacing&nbsp;Romney, who had 21 percent. Newt Gingrich finished with 14 percent and Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman, trailed with 13 percent.</p><p>Santorum picked up 33 of the state's 40 delegates at stake, cutting slightly into Romne's&nbsp;overwhelming's advantage.</p><p>In Wyoming,&nbsp;Romney&nbsp;won seven of the 12 delegates up for grabs, Santorum three, Paul one. One delegate was uncommitted.</p><p>The contests in Kansas and Wyoming left&nbsp;Romney&nbsp;with 454 delegates in the AP's count, more than all his rivals combined. Santorum had 217, while Gingrich had 107 and Paul had 47.</p><p>Romney's totals included 22 that he picked up in the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.</p><p>A candidate must win 1,144 to clinch the Republican presidential nomination at the national convention in Tampa next August.</p></p> Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gop-hopefuls-look-south-next-contests-97197 Illinois GOP primary seen as increasingly relevant in presidential race http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-gop-primary-seen-increasingly-relevant-presidential-race-97063 <p><p>A top Illinois Republican says the state's primary could play a significant role in the GOP presidential race after Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich all claimed victories in the Super Tuesday primaries.</p><p>Speaking before the results trickled in Tuesday night, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said the continuing close race for the presidential nomination could make Illinois' upcoming primary more nationally relevant.</p><p>With the state's Republican primary scheduled for March 20, common thought was the race would be all but over by mid-March.</p><p>Brady said that's not the case any longer.</p><p>"They [the candidates] want to win our primary," Brady said. "There are 69 delegates out there, so I think it's important they come here and win in Illinois."</p><p>Illinois has 54 delegate votes up for grabs, plus another 15 awarded by state party officials, including Brady.</p><p>Romney currently leads all candidates with 415 delegates, more than double Santorum, who trails Romney with 176.</p><p>Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas and Hawaii are scheduled to hold primaries prior to Illinois'.</p><p>Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are all scheduled to visit Illinois before the state's March 20 primary.</p><p>Ron Paul is also on the Republican ballot.</p></p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 22:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-gop-primary-seen-increasingly-relevant-presidential-race-97063 James Finn Garner on educating his children to become snobs http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-07/james-finn-garner-educating-his-children-become-snobs-96982 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-06/5445950855_23374656ef.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-06/5445950855_23374656ef.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 400px;" title="The hallowed halls of Yale University, just another liberal institution (Flickr/Adam Jones)">Last week, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum caused some controversy with the following statement:</p><p>"President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college,"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-santorum-defends-calling-obama-a-snob-over-education-20120226,0,4191252.story?track=rss&amp;utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed:+latimes/mostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29">Santorum said</a>. "What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor that (tries) to indoctrinate them."</p><p>Santorum has since <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-04/politics/politics_santorum-obama_1_rick-santorum-college-degrees-backtracks?_s=PM:POLITICS">altered his position</a> on getting a college education a bit, but Santorum's original sentiments hit home with author James Finn Garner, who says there's no way <em>his </em>kid is going to be a snob. Read an excerpt or listen below:</p><p><em>"I'm going to take a position that will not be popular. Rick Santorum is a socioeconomic genius. I'll repeat that: He is a socioeconomic genius.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Wait for the rest of the argument.</em></p><p><em>He did us all a tremendous favor last week when ridiculed President Obama for pushing Americans to go to college. What a snob, the guy with the law degree from Penn State said about the guy with the law degree from Harvard. With that little phrase, Santorum made me question my own assumptions; he made me open my eyes. Because right now, you see, my son is 17 years old and we've been making those long weekend drives to visit colleges every chance we get. And I can tell you right now, that is going to stop."</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332746046-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/james finn garner.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>This Saturday at the Horseshoe, expect performances by Colleen Doyle and friends, Monica Reida, Eric and Andy, Paul Oakley Stovall, Vallea Woodbury, Josh Zagoren as Chad the Bird and music from Maria McCullough as well as the Bama Lamas. Featuring&nbsp;<strong>Dr. William Ayers</strong>&nbsp;with a story about his most recent Super Bowl party, attended by the late Andrew Breitbart.</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-07/james-finn-garner-educating-his-children-become-snobs-96982 Five takeaways from yesterday’s primaries http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-02-29/five-takeaways-yesterday%E2%80%99s-primaries-96838 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-29/AP120228058166.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-29/AP120228058166.jpg" title="GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at his election watch party in Novi, Mich. after winning the Michigan primary. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)" height="338" width="512"></p><p>1. <strong>The margins</strong><br> <br> Mitt Romney did what he was supposed to do in Arizona, winning by almost 20 points and pocketing all 29 delegates in the winner-take-all primary. That gives him a commanding lead over his nearest rival, Rick Santorum, for the GOP nomination, <a href="http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/primaries/delegates">145 to 82</a>.<br> <br> But in Michigan, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/mitt-romney-michigan_n_1308485.html">Romney topped Santorum</a> just 41 to 38 percent, an embarrassment by all accounts except Romney’s, who’s calling a win a win after playing down expectations all week long. In reality, if Romney’s playing the delegates-are-what-counts game in Arizona, then it’s a tie in Michigan: He and Santorum look to get 11 delegates each from that state.<br> <br> Ultimately, both these Romney victories may prove pyrrhic: To get them, he veered dramatically anti-immigrant, which won’t help him in the generals in Latino-heavy Arizona and elsewhere. And in Michigan, he ended up having to defend his position that the auto industry should have been allowed to go bankrupt.<br> <br> I thought that Santorum could weather a close loss in Michigan (he didn’t really campaign in Arizona) but his <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/santorums-misfire-on-obama-colleges-and-religion/2012/02/27/gIQAl5KWeR_blog.html">motor-mouth</a> may have killed him in the last few days, particularly <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rick-santorum-takes-heat-for-snob-comment-against-president-obama/2012/02/27/gIQADiXteR_story.html">calling the president a snob</a> for wanting every American to go to college. Besides just plain getting it wrong -- the president’s position is for every American to have a chance at some sort of advance training, including the kinds of vocational training that Santorum’s Michigan audience might appreciate -- I think he just plain misread blue collar aspirations, if not for themselves, then for their children, to pursue higher education and do better in the job market. If wanting to go to college makes you a snob, he’s probably lost Ohio.<br> <br> 2. <strong>Romney remains incredibly weak</strong><br> <br> See all of the above. Significantly, Romney continues to be unable to break the 50 percent bar in a single Republican contest. Even when he wins by large margins, as he did in Arizona and New Hampshire, there’s still a greater vote <em>against</em> him than for him.<br> <br> 3. <strong>The Latino vote</strong><br> <br> I haven’t been able to find Latino totals in Arizona yet (Michigan only has a 2 percent Latino registered voters and I suspect their presence in the GOP primary is minimal) but the <em><a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/feb/29/numbers-behind-romneys-win/%20">Washington Times</a></em> reports that Romney “won only 28 percent of the Hispanic vote, which was well behind his share of the overall vote. Both former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who have taken the least restrictive stances on illegal immigration, did better among Hispanics.” That doesn’t bode well for the fall.<br> <br> 4. <strong>Turnout/Democrats</strong><br> <br> Both primary contests last night had slightly higher turnout than in 2008 but, at least in Michigan, it’s probably attributable to high Democratic crossover. In Michigan, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/democrats-shake-up-michigan-primary-exit-polls-show/">1 in 10 voters was a Democrat</a> -- and most of those folks will be in President Obama’s column come November. In addition, there’s little good news for Romney in their presence: they tilted to Santorum 53 to 17 percent.<br> <br> 5. <strong>Paul Babeau</strong><br> <br> I screwed up on this one. Last night’s Arizona contest was strictly presidential. The Arizona congressional and state primary is <a href="http://www.politics1.com/calendar.htm">August 28</a>. Besides the fallout of being outed by his ex lover, Babeau is now <a href="http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/fallout-after-babeu-allegations-including-a-call-for-him-to-step-down">implicated in a second scandal</a> involving abuse at a reform school in Massachusetts that he used to run. His GOP primary opponent, naturally, is calling for his resignation. I suspect Babeu, who had a chance to challenge the GOP on its homophobia in brutally butchy form, may not make it. My apologies, though, for the mistake in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-02-28/five-things-look-today%E2%80%99s-primaries-96811">yesterday's blog</a>.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 17:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-02-29/five-takeaways-yesterday%E2%80%99s-primaries-96838