The election race has been hotting up with the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Ryan was not one of the favourites for the nomination as the Veep candidate but he is a strong fiscal and social conservative who will appeal to the right wing of the Republican party who thus far have not been enamoured with Mitt Romney.
Ryan took to the stage at the Republican Convention last night and attacked Obama’s record. Although his speech was overshadowed by Condoleeza Rice his message was warmly received by the Republican faithful.
The issue of abortion came to the fore again in the US this summer with the furore of Todd Akin’s discussion of ‘legitimate rape’. Abortion has been a key wedge issue in US politics since the 1960s and overturning Roe v Wade (1973) is a key aim for many social conservatives within the Republican party. Paul Ryan has repeatedly stated that he is opposed to abortion.
Gun control also came to the fore following the tragic shooting at a screening of the latest Batman film. The right to bear arms is enshrined in the US constitution and it is defended by many Americans including the powerful pressure group the National Rifle Association (NRA).
http://http://www.channel4.com/news/calls-for-action-on-gun-controls-after-aurora-massacre However public sympathy for the right to carry guns is tested by massacres such as the one in Colorado.
The other story that has rumbled on this summer is the issue of electoral funding and how this is impacting the campaign.
A good introduction to the nature of the campaign funding battle can be found on Matt Frei’s Channel 4 blog http://blogs.channel4.com/matt-frei-on-america/us-elections-can-money-buy-victory/1489. What is certainly clear is that American politics is bigger, glitzier and more expense than its UK counterpart.