Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From the Giuliani Campaign Trail

I'm in New Hampshire this week, and one of the cool things about New Hampshire this summer is the fact that all the presidential canidates show up if you wait long enough! So today my family and I decided to act on a moment of opportunity and went to the nearby town of Rochester, New Hampshire to a campain stop for Mr. Rudy Giuliani.

As covered in The New York Times (man, it's always so cool to say you were somewhere the Times was!), his main speech at this stop was covering the issue of health care. It ends up- and I didn't realize it until I went online and searched for what reporters were saying- that this was Giuliani's unveiling of his plans for national health care in the United States, which explains the seemingly disproportionately large amount of media present!
You can't see it, but the back rows were completely filled with important-looking journalists typing away on laptops and the whole room was standing room only- it reminded me quite a bit of the 2004 Vice-Presidential Debates at CWRU.

Essentially, Giuliani's health care plan comes down to arguing that American health care is one of the greatest in the world (which I agree with- no one can argue the great quality of health care in this country for those who have insurance) and the main problem is the fact that there are people who can't afford insurance since truly poor people qualify for Medicaid. So he decided that the "American way" to do all this was to get more people to buy into health care plans on an indavidual basis (read: no longer through companies, and with tax incentives on it) so they could choose what plans they want, and the economy would thus make the prices decrease and make it more affordable. He also said he wanted to go through with tort reform (read: get rid of rediculous lawsuits) which excited me more than anything else he said today because I hate, hate, hate the current ligitous system in the United States for reasons that merit their own blog post in the future.

(Complete aside here, what's with the candidates referring to themselves by their first names this year? You know, "Rudy," "Hillary," etc. Yeah, it took me awhile to figure out how to spell Giuliani, but I already know that in the voting booth it's going to say "Rudolph Giuliani" and then where will all the "Rudy" supporters be?)

After the health care speech, Giuliani then had a "town hall" style forum in New England tradition, in which he took questions from members of the audience. I didn't get my own question out despite practically waving my hand around (I had a great question on civil liberties lined up too, hmph!), but the posed questions were all quite interesting and ranged from topics such as education and immigration and legalizing pot and whatever else you can think of... it's kind of hard to summarize such things, but the best I can do is by saying he got ovations from the (slightly para-)phrases "education should be in the hands of the parents, not the government" "we need to stop illegal immigration," and "I am for legal immigration, but assimilation of new immigrants should require the ability to read and speak English." Tort reform earlier also got an ovation, just to give you an idea of what ideas were successful.

Oh, and then afterwards Giuliani walked through the crowd a bit in order to shake hands and kiss babies and all that stuff politicians do. The thing is though, my sister and I stood right in front of him for a good minute, but he never shook our hands once! This was even after we sucked up a bit and thanked him for speaking and all that... hmph, the meanie. Let it be noted that the blogger is not amused.
In conclusion, I guess I should say something about what I think of Giuliani right? Well I must admit I was impressed- the man spoke very well and very rationally, something you don't often hear from politicians and thus made a good impression. Further, he took a very nice, libertarian stance on most things and I rather liked that as well... so I guess a good way of summing things up at this point is Giuliani is my favorite Republican because he really harks back to the Barry Goldwater type of Republican (you know, what the party is supposed to be when not taken over by religious nuts), but I can't act on it as I am a registered Independent, meaning I can't vote in party primaries in Ohio. Ah well, these things happen, but it was nonetheless interesting to go check out.