Some random thoughts about presidential politics

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Some random thoughts about presidential politics
By RAY HANANIA • Friday, January 27, 2012
Voters in South Carolina apparently don’t think its that wrong to cheat on your wife, but they do think it’s wrong to cheat on Jesus.

That’s the message I got from the trouncing Newt Gingrich gave former Republican front-runner Mitt Romney there this week.

Gingrich has a documented history of mistreating his former wives. The accusations by his last wife that he wanted an “open marriage” didn’t seem to undermine the boost he received when Rick Perry withdrew from the election and urged his voters to back Gingrich.

In reality, Mitt Romney received more votes in South Carolina than he did in his prior contests. Gingrich though consolidated the Evangelical Christian vote, the hard right, that dominates South Carolina politics.

We’ll see what happens in Florida.

Both Gingrich and Romney released their income taxes. Romney got the spotlight. Romney earned more than $42 million while Gingrich only earned about $3 million.

And that means something? Romney’s money came from his businesses while Gingrich’s money came from investments. Are they really any different?

Most national politicians are millionaires who spend their time trying to tell average Americans like you and I that we can achieve our American Dream by working hard, too.

But in today’s economy, working hard still doesn’t even pay your mortgage. And the truth is 2012 isn’t that much different from 1960. Voters today just don’t like Romney’s Mormon religion, just as they disliked and feared the Catholic religion of John F. Kennedy.

Have we really changed in 52 years? I don’t think so.

I can’t get past the real problem in our political environment. My real disappointment is in President Barack Obama.

Obama is just not tough enough. He’s trying to change that, but the truth is I wonder if he really has what it takes to be our president. He doesn’t seem to want to fight with the passion it requires to achieve his lofty goals of change.

Where is the change today? The economy is worse than when he came into office three years ago. Of course, the poor policies of former President George W. Bush set the stage for today’s tragic recession, a recession that has being on far too long.

* * *


The 23rd Ward was, at one time under former Congressman and Democratic Committeeman, one of the most powerful wards in Chicago next only to the 13th Ward and the 14th Ward.

This week, it was turned into milk toast, redrawn to satisfy the demands of the growing Hispanic community. Even though Hispanics were the strongest cohesive population in the old 23rd Ward, Hispanics do not vote as intensely as do the minority white population. So, they had to add even more Hispanics to make it easier to elect a Hispanic alderman.

Even with the increase, it won’t change. But will change is that the ward has lost its cohesiveness. It stretches like a snake from the far west to the far east in Chicago.

That will make representation weak and the people who live in that ward will suffer for it.

Sadly, this isn’t about representation at all. It’s about power politics in a city that is in a mess, to put it mildly speaking.

Who’s going to change all that?

Likely, no one.

(Listen to Ray Hanania every Sunday on WSBC AM 1240 radio from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania