US Elections 2012 – The battle begins in earnest

On Tuesday November 6th, 2012, the American people will take to the polls to decide who will become the 45th president of the United States of America.

The world will watch on in anticipation to see whether or not the incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama, America’s first African American president who rose to power in an unprecedented manner in 2008, will be re-elected for a second term.

Or, will President Obama be a one-term president, to be ousted by a Republican? With Newt Gingrich suspending his bid for the presidency today, it is looking increasingly likely that the Republican contender will be Mitt Romney whose style and values are vastly different from Obama’s.

I was in the US, watching and writing about the 2008 election. It was a fascinating and exhilarating time to be in the country. Much has happened over the past 4 years – including a recession which has hit America and the world hard, global uprisings, widespread questions about the nature and indeed future of capitalism and public anger about corporate behaviour and failings of leadership. Class and economic inequality have become much-debated and discussed topics in the US, while the Occupy and the Tea Party movements have become high profile features on the social and political landscape.

I believe that at the heart of all of this is a shift in American values. America is grappling with what this country is really about and what it really stands for now and going forward. Over the next 187 days we will chart the course of the US Presidential Election 2012 looking at the key issues and topics and analysing and observing the trends and direction in which voters are leaning. I’ll also be looking back over the past 4 years under the first African American president. Watch this space.

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