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Fisher, July 31 in The Fourth Estate
Vice President Baudin?
Early Republican Support Makes Confirmation Likely
WASHINGTON D.C. -- President Harrison LeClavers' decision to nominate U.S. Senator Marc Baudin of Ohio to succeed former Vice President Revan Bennett may already be paying off. Numerous prominent Republicans have announced their support for confirming Senator Baudin. United States Senator Calvin Coburn of Kentucky, a prominent conservative in Republican circles, praised the pick. "Senator Marc Baudin has demonstrated middle of the road ideological beliefs that span from his pro life convictions to his belief in raising the minimum wage among other issues... He has demonstrated a desire to cross the aisle and has shown a thoughtful and thorough consideration of the issues."
Joining Senator Coburn are Senators Christopher Donnelly and Kyle Fitzgerald in their support for the confirmation of Senator Baudin. With more Republicans backing the President's nominee, it appears more likely than ever that Marc Baudin will join the LeClavers Administration in the coming weeks.
The news of bipartisan support for Senator Baudin's confirmation has many political pundits speculating on the ramifications of his selection as vice president. "This move was clearly an attempt by President LeClavers to appease the Blue-Dog base he depended upon in 2016," declared MSNBC's Chris Matthews. "What we have here is the president recognizing the importance of party unity and finding an individual who can expand the Democratic Party's tent in 2018."
Sean Hannity of Fox News had a somewhat different take on the matter. "We all now know who runs the Democratic Party. It isn't Harry LeClavers. All this time, it's been Jackson Clay who no doubt handpicked his own lieutenant in the Blue Dog caucus to serve."
Presidential historian John DuBois offered his opinion, meanwhile, on what picking Baudin would do for the LeClavers legacy. "Tapping someone like Senator Baudin gives the president the chance to not only unite his party now but slow down the retreat of the Democrats in the Midwest. Remember, this president got swept in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. And if the Democrats had not done so well with Blue-Dog Democrats down south, we wouldn't even be discussing a LeClavers presidency right now. Selecting Baudin not only gives the moderate Democrats someone to root for, but may also help flip Ohio in future elections."
The Senate is expected to vote on Senator Baudin's nomination in the coming days. We will keep you posted on the developments as they happen.
Education Reform Bill Divides D.C.
WASHINGTON D.C. -- The U.S. Senate is presently debating two major pieces of legislation that have split the chamber. The Fresh Start Educational Attainment Act is up for debate and attracting a great deal of attention as it follows in the footsteps of Washington rolling back mandatory minimum sentences for drug violations. Perhaps most surprising of all is that party lines may not end up determining the totals. The Fresh Start Act, a surprise bipartisan venture by Democratic Senator Osiris Storm and Republican Senator Diego Zamora, would eliminate the indefinite ban on federal financial aid for students with drug offenses. However, Senator George Maynard of North Dakota came out against the legislation. “This policy change merely tells abusers of illegal substances that their government is fine giving them chance after chance to maybe one day get their act together. Call me old fashioned but I cannot in good conscious support a bill of that nature,” declared Maynard.
Senators Storm and Zamora, however, responded on the Senate floor. These children in our nation’s most urban and rural communities became victims of a social war that they did not ask for,” argued Storm. “The over-policing of communities of color, the disproportionate sentencing of minorities, and school to prison pipeline which prevents children who were convicted of drug offenses from achieving their full potential but instead to rot away in jail and in our society for a decision they made as children.”
Senator Zamora, meanwhile, said, “Mr. President, neither you nor I want to see our youth addicted, and I know that I firmly stand behind rehabilitative programs to turn people away from drug use and substance abuse. But education is an important step to raising individuals out of the cycle of drug use. This bill, I am convinced, will help our students who are abusers of controlled substances to develop the skills needed to turn away from their addiction.”
While most analysts agree that the bill will likely pass the Senate, there is still a great debate over its plausible passage in the House and overall effect on the political landscape going for.
Democrats Rally in OhioRare Show of Party Unity for Healthcare Reform
CLEVELAND, OH -- Senate Democrats turned out in Cleveland, Ohio, to push their new healthcare proposal “MediChoice.” After weeks of party infighting over the vice presidential nomination, reproductive rights, and the direction the caucus, an array of top level Democrats spoke at the Forest City. Among notable speakers were Ohio’s own senator and vice presidential nominee Marc Baudin, U.S. Senator Jackson Clay of Indiana, and U.S. Senator Osiris Storm of New York. All three emphasized the party’s new proposal to expand Medicaid and Medicare. Despite being a decidedly liberal proposal, both Baudin and Clay, prominent Blue-Dogs, rallied to praise and push for their agenda. “Health care is a right. It is a human right,” declared Baudin. “With the continued prosperity of a further globalized and capitalistic society, the government finds itself with the responsibility to provide for care.”
Senator Clay addressed the concerns of his fellow Blue-Dogs head-on. "There are many out there who are saying, ‘Jackson, isn't it dangerous for you to come out with a policy like this when you're running for re-election in a traditionally conservative state like Indiana. To them I say, I'm doing it because it's right, I'm doing it because everyone in this country deserves health care and because this bill just might get us there.”
Senator Storm, meanwhile, played a more pragmatic card while maintaining an uplifting pitch to his liberal base. “We believe that all Americans should be guaranteed an affordable and quality healthcare system that meets their everyday needs. With the Democrat-proposed “MediChoice” Healthcare Reform, we believe in putting everyday Americans back in control of what matters most, You. With MediChoice, we will continue to build upon our promise of building a healthcare system that works for all Americans no matter who they are.”
While the rally undoubtedly helped raise awareness and increase support for the proposal, most pundits agree the appearance felt awkward. With Senator Storm’s opposition to Senator Baudin’s confirmation as vice president looming over the event, as well as the surprising Blue-Dog support of such a progressive proposal, many analysts agree the overall event felt staged and a bit forced. “It’s a good sign that perhaps the party is coalescing around common policy goals, but the clear and evident divisions within the Democrats still made this whole thing feel a bit strange,” said pundit Ken DuBois, political analyst. “It’s a step forward. Shaky, strange, but a step forward.”
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