I could hear the chants of ralliers as soon as I opened my car door in my prime parking place directly across from The Hop, Dartmouth College's Auditorium and host of the Republican Presidential Candidate Round Table debate focusing on the economy. I'd always imagined being outside on the green with a sign making my opinion heard before I grew up and realized true change came from the inside, which was where Heather, my twin, and I were headed to see the debate up close and personal. I consciously tried to open my mind. I tried to erase the distractions of Mitt's religion and the news report that he authored part of the health reform bill or Michelle Bachman's overstep when she attacked Rick Perry for mandating the cervical cancer vaccine by stating the vaccine is unsafe. I couldn't quite shake the idea that Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich were too old to be innovative enough to create jobs specifically in the technology sector. Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Jon Hunstman were safe from preconceived notions since I didn't even know they were running. After checking my contraband blackberry and camera, we wheeled through security to our seats, soaking in the pomp and circumstance. Students with large "usher" or "escort" tags ran back and forth between men dressed in white button-up shirts and suits hobnobbing until it was time for the debate in the form of a round table discussion with a portion of time allowed for candidates to ask questions of each other. To my surprise, no matter what the question, the first time a candidate was addressed they managed to place their major agenda, primary plan of action or strategy for running on the table. Rick Perry made it clear he thinks energy independence is America's ticket to solving our economic woes while Cain touted his "999 Plan," which would impose a 9 percent income, sales and federal tax on all citizens, decreasing the current 16 percent income tax and a complete rewriting of current tax code. Rewriting tax code is part of the plan laid out by Michelle Bachman, while Newt Gingrich is clearly relying on his previous leadership, which is obviously respected among the candidates. I was wrong to have written him off as old and obsolete. Don't make that mistake, when Next spoke all listened. I must have had him confused with Ron Paul who sat looking like a character from a Rockwell picture and did not convey any new, innovative ideas of his own but dropped a long list of names he used to consult on the economy. He even jotted a note when Cain acknowledged his primary economist. Both Cain and Romney agreed on decreasing the Capital gains tax to improve the middle class, but Romney came out of the gate swinging declaring he'd start a "trade war" with China his first day of office for currency manipulation which has contributed to the collapse of the global market, a sentiment seconded by Rick Santorum. Romney kept swinging through the debate coming across eerily hostile in person, squabbling with the moderator and declaring defense as a priority while Michelle Bachman earned my respect with her wealth of knowledge, at times appearing to teach the other candidates regarding job creation, business planning, and tax law while also stating vehemently she would amend current tax code and immediately institute legislation to keep elective officials from "repaying" their campaign donors and repeal damaging previous legislation. Repealing legislation came up again and again as most candidates agreed on repealing "Obamacare" through allowing waivers immediately upon arrival, which spawned images of my empty bank account. Candidates claimed it has stagnated hiring among business owners. However, none offered a solution to the crisis in health care or the impending doom of medicare Instead shifting to job creation. Santorum plans to bring america back to the manufacturing mecca it once was, a thought agreed upon by all, with a plan to remove federal regulations and corporate taxation to lower the cost of production despite insiders claims the weakened dollar has brought back jobs from overseas and quality will keep it here. "Free trade" was the idea heard from Perry to bring jobs back while Jon Huntsman had a lot of great one-line comments on the economy, they lacked substance. Cain at least made his few agendas clear, appearing the most "transparent" of the bunch, a quality he plans to keep as Pres. In the knitty gritty debate of economics, what all agreed on was firing Bernake as chair of the fed and altering the federal reserves role or getting rid of it all together. As most debates go most of the ideas set forth lacked the ability to be upheld among bipartison scrutiny. Gingrich's opening statement called for a leader that could bridge the gap between parties and that is what we need right now which made him, surprisingly, a favorite of mine. My original thoughts had Romney as the best suited for office but now I my sentiments have changed. I Forecast the forerunners will be Bachman, Cain, Romney, and Santorun with the three best prepared being Bachman, Gingrich and Romney. My pick though? Its Too early to tell but I'll be keeping independent on my registration.
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Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."