@Samra_ Khawaja

Journalism Student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

https://samrakhawaja.wordpress.com/

cnnnselections:

If back-and-forth of the final battleground blitz of the 2012 presidential campaign amounted to too much negativity, how does a third party candidate running on a platform of “friendship, fun and happiness,” sound?

Yes, it’s true. Sanrio’s beloved Hello Kitty character has thrown an adorable plush hat into the ring at the last minute.

According to campaign manager Dave Marchi, the Hello Kitty campaign is something fun for those have become a little weary of partisan politics, or who are simply too young to cast a ballot themselves.

Visitors to Hello Kitty’s campaign headquarters in Washington’s Chinatown can get a free make-over after browsing a gallery of artwork documenting the Hello Kitty campaign odyssey. A photo booth allows visitors to snap photos with the candidate and upload them to social media. Voters can also play the “fun claw” machine and browse the memorabilia in the gift shop, which sells limited edition bows, t-shirts and bags.

It’s a unique branding strategy, and the team worked for six months to build the campaign. They wanted to introduce the third-party candidate concept right when the election was at its peak.

Aside from all of the cute, happy fun, there’s a serious side too. A partnership with Washington’s Georgetown Cupcake will support the non-profit 826DC, which encourages creative writing among young students. 

The campaign is welcoming supporters to their headquarters through Election Day.

(Source: nspolitics)

cnnnselections:

As this election season prepares to wrap up, voters are making decisions, standing up for what they believe in, and voicing their concerns. And why shouldn’t they? Every vote matters, right? But no matter how you feel about foreign policy, healthcare or the debt ceiling, there is one topic that gets unanimous support here in Washington. And that’s food.


Restaurants throughout the nation’s capital are serving up festive meals and beverages to lighten up the political atmosphere. The only choice one really has to make is, “Sweet or savory?”

Right down the street from the White House, the Occidental Grill has retrieved the cookie recipes submitted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, for Family Circle magazine’s quadrennial presidential bake-off.

According to Chef Rodney Scruggs, the cookie poll is tracking very close to the actual presidential polls. Ann Romney’s cookie pulled its first lead after the first presidential debate, when her husband made some gains in the polls. It’s fluctuated since. Whether guests base their vote on the taste of the cookie or on their actual presidential preference will become apparent after both the cookie contest and the White House race wrap up.

To follow the results, check out the cookie poll on Occidental’s Twitter feed or Facebook page.

At Good Stuff Eatery it’s a debate with more red meat. The “Prez Obama Burger” made it’s first appearance on the menu during the 2008 election when it was running against the McCain burger. The Obama burger won by a landslide. After Obama’s presidential win, the restaurant also introduced a health-conscious turkey burger called the “Michelle Melt” that reflects the First Lady’s fitness mission. 

Now, as one of the restaurant’s most popular burgers faces another election year, a different competition has been initiated. Good Stuff Eatery started a competition with burgers inspired by the famously bipartisan couple of Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matalin. The burgers will be grilled until Election Day, and results of the poll are updated daily on a board set up inside the restaurant.

And what happens to the Obama burgers if the President isn’t reelected? Good Stuff says they’ll stay on the menu.


Winnette McIntosh Ambrose has dubbed her shop near Capitol Hill, The Sweet Lobby, the District’s “political pastry polling headquarters.” She’s offering vanilla bean French macarons emblazoned with elephants, donkeys, Obama and Romney campaign logos and, for those who don’t want to take sides, a simple “Vote 2012” message.  Sweet Lobby has been updating the sales tally on Facebook and Twitter throughout.

And if you needed any extra incentive to get out and vote Tuesday, McIntosh Ambrose says those sporting an “I Voted,” sticker will be rewarded with a free dessert. Pretty sweet.

(Photos & text by Samra Khawaja & Karin Caifa)

(Source: nspolitics)

Students abroad: Is voting worth it?

2012swingstates:

Millions of college students will head to the polls on Nov. 6 to cast their vote in the 2012 presidential election, but Ricardo Adams won’t be one of them. By then, his vote will already be cast.

Adams, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., is currently studying abroad in Vina del Mar, Chile. He’s a part of a bloc of U.S. students overseas whose potential impact on the election is seldom discussed.

Turnout among youth voters overseas has traditionally been inconsistent. Despite improvements made to the absentee registration and voting process, Americans who choose to vote abroad face the prospect of an extended ordeal that begs the question: Is it worth it?

Read More

(via alison-noon)

cnnnselections:

Campaign Countdown: Friday, October 26
Tumblr is back up and so are we! Here’s today’s (belated) campaign snapshot.
Just as President Obama wrapped up a battleground blitz, his campaign announced he’ll embark on another swing state swing next week. The President will hit Wisconsin, Ohio and Colorado in his Tuesday-Wednesday tour. 
Today, in an effort to drum up youth support, the President makes an appearance on MTV. Obama previously appeared on MTV back in 2007 and in 2010. Tonight’s half-hour interview airs live on all of MTV’s networks at 5 p.m. EST. MTV correspondent Sway Calloway hosts the interview. 
MTV has also invited Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for a similar live special. They hope to conduct a sit-down interview with him before Election Day on November 6.
While Obama makes the final push on television, Vice President Joe Biden is on the ground campaigning in Wisconsin. Biden will deliver remarks at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and Parkside.
In the meantime, Romney delivers an economic speech in Ames, Iowa on Friday. He joins running mate Paul Ryan later in the evening in North Canton, Ohio, for a joint rally.

cnnnselections:

Campaign Countdown: Friday, October 26

Tumblr is back up and so are we! Here’s today’s (belated) campaign snapshot.

Just as President Obama wrapped up a battleground blitz, his campaign announced he’ll embark on another swing state swing next week. The President will hit Wisconsin, Ohio and Colorado in his Tuesday-Wednesday tour.

Today, in an effort to drum up youth support, the President makes an appearance on MTV. Obama previously appeared on MTV back in 2007 and in 2010. Tonight’s half-hour interview airs live on all of MTV’s networks at 5 p.m. EST. MTV correspondent Sway Calloway hosts the interview.

MTV has also invited Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for a similar live special. They hope to conduct a sit-down interview with him before Election Day on November 6.

While Obama makes the final push on television, Vice President Joe Biden is on the ground campaigning in Wisconsin. Biden will deliver remarks at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and Parkside.

In the meantime, Romney delivers an economic speech in Ames, Iowa on Friday. He joins running mate Paul Ryan later in the evening in North Canton, Ohio, for a joint rally.

(Source: nspolitics)

cnnnselections:

There are 10 days until Election Day. Do you know where you’ll be spending Election Night?

Here in DC, Election Night is potentially bigger than New Year’s Eve. After all, it only happens every four years. Add to the mix the number of DC denizens with a stake in one of the hundreds of House and Senate races, and you’ve got a huge night on tap.

Those looking for a place to politically party, may look to some of the places that have been doing it for weeks already. October proved to be an exciting month in the capital city, both in the sport and political arena. Some bars televised Washington Nationals playoff baseball. Others brought in crowds to watch the presidential debates.

Capitol Hill’s Lounge 201 reopened its doors as the 201 Bar, just in time for the election season. With a modern look and a brand new list of cocktails, the lounge satisfies political thirst with drinks like the “GOP-Punch” and the “Liberal-Tini.” There are 17 flat screen televisions mounted on the walls, and all were tuned to the four debates. They’ll be tuned to Election Night coverage as well.

One might think that debate night brought in rowdy, outspoken crowds, especially since 201 is conveniently located near the Capitol Hill, however Paige Farrell, marketing and events director at 201, told us you couldn’t even hear a pin drop.

But what if you just can’t stop yourself from expressing your political discourse?
Despite its outwardly relaxed setting, Busboys and Poets on 14th Street attracted a much more high-energy crowd during the debates. The restaurant’s statement says it’s “a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide.” Although the 14th Street location appeals to a more liberal crowd, the television screens are there for all eyes. In fact, the restaurant has a television set facing the street so pedestrians didn’t miss out on the Debate Night action!

Inside the restaurant, viewers talked back to the TV and bounced their opinions off of one another, according to Pamela Pinnock, Busboys and Poets director of marketing and events. She says the first presidential debate was the best attended, but the second debate had the most lively crowd.

Both Lounge 201 and Busboys and Poets will host Election Night festivities on November 6.

Whether you choose to watch from the comfort of your home, online or at a local pub, there are many options to choose from. So, where will you tune in? Tell us so we can share!

(Photos & text by Samra Khawaja)

(Source: nspolitics)

cnnnselections:

Campaign Countdown: Wednesday, October 24

Election Day Countdown: 13 days

With under two weeks to go, the campaign has truly entered its home stretch and President Obama and Mitt Romney are stepping up their game as they near the finish line.

The candidates continue to make rounds to hit those crucial swing states and – hopefully – win over some undecided voters in the process. On the campaign trail Wednesday, both tickets tackle the same states.

President Obama kicks off a multi-state tour that will take him through Iowa, Colorado and Nevada. In the midst of the Western swing between Denver and Las Vegas, the president will stop in Los Angeles to tape an appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (Also of note on the TV circuit: President Obama will join MTV for a live special focused on young voters on Friday. See more from CNN’s Political Ticker here.)

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden wraps up a three-day trip through Ohio with a campaign rally at a high school in Marion.

The Republicans are on a similar path Wednesday. Mitt Romney also makes stops in Nevada and Iowa while his running mate, Paul Ryan, delivers a policy speech at Cleveland State University in Ohio.

We all know Ohio is important to each ticket’s presidential ambitions, but do you really know why? The Buckeye State has picked the winner in each election since 1960 and is a must-win once again in 2012, with many of the issues Right now, it’s too close to call. CNN.com takes a look at why: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/23/politics/ohio-voters-swing-state/index.html

(Source: nspolitics)