1 February 2012

Primaries and Reagan Conference

The fight for the 2012 GOP nomination continues. Newt Gingrish crushed frontrunner Mitt Romney in South Carolina on 21 January 2012, while Romney regained momentum by a massive win in Florida ten days later.

In South Carolina Gingrich won 40,4% of the votes, while Romney got only 27,8%. Rick Santorum came third with 17%, while Ron Paul was the last of the pack with 13%. Rick Perry had already quit the game prior to the primary. But Florida is a less conservative state than South Carolina, and Romney won as much as 46,4% of the votes. Gingrich ended second with 31,9%, Santorum got 13,3%, while Paul didn't manage to follow up his good results in the previous primaries and only got 7%. Gingrich has promised to keep on, even after Super Tuesday on 6 March, but most experts seem to believe that the race in reality is over. Nevada and Maine will get some attention when the caucuses take place on Saturday 4 February.

I am sure the members of the Monticello Society and others who are interested in US American politics will have plenty to talk about when they meet up for the traditional Reagan-seminaret - the Reagan Conference - on Sunday 5 February 2012 at Litteraturhuset (the House of Literature) in Oslo. I will of course be there!

Checking out the program, we are told that the conference will be opened by the president of the Monticello Society, George K. Gooding, who replaced Jon Henrik Gilhuus last year. For those of you who are interested in the (former) Norwegian noble families, I could add that Gooding's mother, née Knagenhjelm, can be found in Danmarks Adels Aarbog (Yearbook of of the Danish Nobility) 2006-2008 on p. 241. But that will not be among the topics on Sunday!

Arve Øverland, senior consultant at Gambit Hill & Knowlton, has the honour of giving the first lecture, and his chosen topic is social media in the election campaign. Øverland has worked in the USA with Internet marketing since the 1990s. After Øverland's contribution the members of the Monticello Society's committee will discuss the status of the nomination campaign in form of a panel debate.

After lunch, Anders Gieæver, who used to be the Norwegian daily VG's correspondent in the USA, will look back on the 2008 election as he witnessed it. Committee member Bjørn Christian Finbråten is going to talk about the international marking of the Reagan Year - last year it was 100 years since former President Ronald Reagan was born.

Another committee member, Christopher Rødsten, will then talk about the American gas adventure - potential and political disagreement. Traditionally enough there will also be a film break, and this time the topic is Ronald Reagan's relationship with Margaret Thatcher. Dag Inge Fjeld and Bjørn Christian Finbråten will make the introduction. The last man out is chief economist Jan Andreassen of Terra Markets. His contribution will be the handling of [a] financial crisis and its significance for the outcome of a election - Obama vs. Reagan.

In other words, there are plenty of topics to look forward to!

Updated on Wednesday 1 February 2012 at 23.20 (typos corrected).

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