MJS Strategies Limited Company Blog

Insights to MJS brands and strategy 2.0, thought-leadership and cross-cultural observations

2008 U.S. Campaign Trail- Iowa Caucuses January 4, 2008

2008 is a very significant year in politics in that United States will be electing a new President. Whether we like it or not, THAT sets a agenda and tone for the rest of us. Case in point, the Mortgage Crisis that has affected all of us. So none of us should take it lightly who will run the big economic and political giant next.

I have had the pleasure of being a witness and participant on and off the campaign and election processes of the United States for a few years. Being based in Europe now (still offering services to US candidates of course), it is very interesting to get varied points of view outside looking in as well as from the U.S. insiders.

Today will make or break a Presidential candidate as we will find out the results of the Iowa caucus. It is significant because since 1972, the Iowa Caucus has become the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. It has served as an early indication of which candidates for President of the United States might win the nomination of their political party at that party’s national convention. Recently there has been frustration in having it moved up to January 3 and ruined everyone´s holiday celebration (at least according to a friend, Howard Kurtz of Washington Post and CNN which I agree). Iowa moved it up so they maintain to be the “first” in status and beat New Hampshire. So we are looking into having several primaries move up soon, but it is frustrating because this year, it will be the longest Presidential campaign in the history of the United States.

But let´s do a little American Politics 101 first for those who are not familiar with this first process:

Since Iowa became a state in 1846. The people who wrote Iowa’s Constitution chose to use caucuses — a grass-roots approach — rather than a primary election to nominate candidates. Iowa precinct caucuses are meetings where members of political parties gather to make policy decisions, elect leaders and select candidates. The Iowa caucus operates very differently from the more common primary election used by most other states. It can be defined as “gathering of neighbors.” Typically, these meetings occur in schools, churches, or public libraries. The caucuses are held every two years, but the ones that receive national attention are the presidential preference caucuses held every four years. In addition to the voting, caucus attendees propose planks for their party’s platform, select members of the county committees, and discuss issues important to their local organizations.

At the caucuses, those in attendance indicate their support for the candidates competing for each party’s presidential nomination. In the Democratic party caucuses, votes are cast by raising hands, a sign-in sheet or by splitting into groups supporting each candidate. In the Republican caucuses, votes are cast by secret ballot (each eligible voter in attendance is able to select the candidate of his or her choice on paper without others in attendance knowing how he or she voted). It is much more elaborate when it comes to the Democrats

The results of the caucus voting, however, do not directly determine which candidate will win the support of Iowa’s voters for the presidential nomination. In fact, the caucuses are just first step in the process. Each caucus selects delegates to send to each of the 99 county conventions, which are held in March. At the county conventions, Democrats select delegates to district conventions where delegates to the state convention are chosen. Republicans bypass the district convention stage, choosing delegates to their state convention at the county conventions. Both party’s state conventions are held in June. Only then, when state convention delegates cast their votes for delegates to the national party conventions, that Iowa’s preferred presidential candidate’s in each major party will be determined.

So what is it this little state of 2.9 million so important for candidates and the media? First, Iowa represents a cross-section of America in terms of ideology and party preference. Perhaps more importantly, the Iowa caucuses traditionally provide the candidates with their first real test. These caucuses will reveal unexpected strengths and weaknesses of presidential candidatesCandidates focus their energies and attention on Iowa because a win or even a better-than-expected performance there can provide or sustain the critically important early momentum all presidential hopefuls crave.

But there is also a negative side in that Iowa does not really represent the country because 38% are in rural areas and only 5% are minorities. On a national scale, there are 25% minorities in the US, mostly African-Americans and Hispanics. So with candidates spending $200 per Iowan, it is not cost-effective as far as business thinking goes.

Moving on. Let us present the contenders:

Republicans: John Cox, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson.

Democrats: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson.

The Iowa caucuses mean different things to these different candidates.

As expected we have the top three Democrats Obama, Clinton and Edwards, and Huckabee and Romney, for the Republicans, all vying for a win today. But there are separate sub-primaries going on as well: Obama vs. Edwards for the position of chief challenger to Clinton, McCain vs. Giuliani for the right to wear the “moderate” Republican mantle, and Fred Thompson vs. Oblivion for the right to stay in the race. For those of us who are not familiar, this might get a little confusing, but an interesting battle for the Whitehouse, so hang on.

So let´s play some political strategy game theory here and make a small scorecard to keep track of what each candidate needs and compare them in later today with the results.

Hillary Clinton

If she scores a decisive triumph, HANDS DOWN, the race for the nomination is almost over.

A victory here would likely propel her to a win in New Hampshire and the nomination would be hers. But she doesn’t need to win. Her national base is so strong that she just has to stop anyone else from winning.

If there are no clear winners, nevertheless the results show, instead, a three-way tie with Obama and Edwards, or a two-way tie between herself and either of her challengers, she comes out the winner. However, if she clearly loses by a good margin or finishes third, she has blown a major opportunity and is in for a long cold winter of primaries. She won’t be knocked out in Iowa no matter what, but she could be knocked down. She will then be penetrable.

Barack Obama

He need to win Iowa. He is quite far behind Hillary in the national standings that he needs a decisive victory to give him the momentum to prevail in New Hampshire and to compete in Florida and on Super Tuesday. He also needs to really work on shaking John Edwards offhis trail anf get him far behind so he can consolidate the anti-Hillary vote behind his candidacy.

John Edwards

This one is simple: To finish close to or ahead of Obama so he can show that he is still electable. With pro- and anti-Hillary sentiment so strong, Edwards risks being excluded. He needs to make sure Hillary does not win decisively so that he can stay in the race. He has a decent shot in New Hampshire if he can stay in the race.

Mike Huckabee

This one is interesting because he is compared to Howard Dean´s surge in September 2004. It´s all or nothing for him. So, even if Huckabee wins in Iowa, he’ll probably lose in New Hampshire. His team will regroup and will come back to another game-set-match point in Michigan the following week.

Mitt Romney

This must be the richest candidate I know. He doesn’t have to win, place, or show. He’s got so much in his political war chest that he can survive any kind of showing and stay in the game. Nevertheless, a defeat in Iowa might make him vulnerable to McCain in New Hampshire. A loss in the first two states would cost him Michigan and he would limp into Super Tuesday with ONLY his checkbook to protect him. (FYI: Super Tuesday refers to a Tuesday early in the presidential election year where most U.S. states hold their primary election and the single day when the most nominating delegates can be won).

John McCain

He needs to at least finish third or, in other words, beat Rudy. If he does, then he has a good shot at winning New Hampshire and still be in the game. If he doesn’t, Romney will win New Hampshire and McCain will be out of the race. Huckabee has to hope McCain does finish third so Romney doesn’t win New Hampshire and, therefore, doesn’t win Michigan. Got it?

Rudy Giuliani

The Republican frontrunner is in a parallel situation with Hillary. He won’t be knocked out no matter how badly he does. But finishing below McCain means that he has to split the moderate vote with the charismatic Arizona senator and could weaken his chances in Florida and on Super Tuesday.

He can lose Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina and still survive to compete in the big states that follow. But he lost a golden chance to avoid a fight by winning in Iowa.

Here´s an interesting twist: If Hillary wins big in Iowa, it will help McCain and hurt Romney in New Hampshire. Why? All the independents who would have voted for or against Clinton in New Hampshire will pile into the Republican primary and may boost McCain to victory (if he survives Iowa).

And . . . by the same token, Rudy needs Hillary to win in the early rounds so he can draw independents into the Republican primary to vote for him rather than the religious right crowd.

Yes, that is the world of politics. Whether they admit it or not, they are all in need of each other´s wins and defeats. So, place your bets. In a matter of hours we will know which horse will race in the long run.

- Michelle J. Santos, CEO

 

THINK BIG, DO BIG and DO IT WELL! January 3, 2008

As a company, MJS Strategies Ltd has been practicing political strategy for a few years. However, due to the world changing through new advance technologies, we found that there are new untapped resources that needs to link both business and governmental activities.

It is therefore the vision of our CEO, Michelle J. Santos to expand the company and make it more agile to the changes. She sees that there are industries that are lagging behind because new technologies are always evolving. Our company´s name has never been more appropriate to the changing times: MJS Strategies.

Our new mantra: THINK BIG, DO BIG and DO IT WELL!

Per July 2007, MJS Strategies Limited added diverse services and has three core service divisions to keep up with the demanding digital era:

Our strategy consulting services are the following (but not limited to):

* Management and Leadership
* Brand Management and Marketing
* Public Relations
* Public and International Affairs
* Political Campaign Management
* New Media Strategy (Online and Mobile)
* International Intelligence

Our Business Services (but not limited to):
* Web/WAP Design and development
* Mobile value added services
* UI/UX design
* Animation
* E-Learning
* Multimedia

Our upcoming brands/products:

* Blu:kastr – digital proximity marketing software
* iCampaign.tv
* Mikala.tv
* RESQME
* Myfestivents

We have connections in almost every country in the world and no problem is too big or too small for our team of experts. Our experts have at least 20-25 years have handled discreet projects for celebrities, European royalty, corporate CEOs, and wealthy jet setters just to name a few. We got a low key group and tend to operate in the background when it comes to this segment of our company, whether it is an International situation or a client with an emergency financial issue. All transactions are handled discreetly and confidentially.

GOVERNMENTAL LOBBYING

NEW ISSUE and SEASONED Medium Term Notes and Bank Guarantees.

COMMODITIES. We broker buy/sell select transactions only.

RESEARCHER AND FINDER: Worldwide In-depth Research and Locating.

DISCREET NEGOTIATIONS: Expert negotiations. Any problem. Anywhere. With anyone.

DISCREET REPRESENTATION: We help you to remain anonymous in that special situation.

UNIQUE BUSINESS SERVICES: In an uncertain world, you may have a unique business need and we have the methods and professionals to get the job done.

PROFESSIONAL LIAISON: Let us be the go-between in those special and frustrating situations.

INTERNATIONAL INTELLIGENCE and FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Please inquire for more details.

As we move along 2008, we hope to release a handful of start up brands under our company as well as launching our Exclusive Global Executive Club, Speakers Bureau and MJS Leaders Institute. So stay tuned.

While a lot of our services are geared towards established organizations, we are also going to make room for start ups and entrepreneurs who are in need of our assistance. We will offer affordable design and development as well as incubation in exchange for equity.

We view the world with no boundaries and therefore the awesome surprise and changes that are in store for us is that we have managed to utilize the virtual world to do our business. We feel that since we are preaching new media, we need to walk the talk. So brace yourself, as the new MJS Strategies Limited, while still a baby in this venture, we have strategically formed a global mindset company that is able to be everywhere and one place at the same time. Our consultants and developers can be found in literally all the different continents. With that in mind, we can help you to expand your business anywhere in the world.

We are very excited to let everyone know, that we are launching our first product soon. So we hope that you subscribe to us and feel free to share your ideas and comments.

Feel at home.

 

MJS Strategies Ltd finally launches its blog December 13, 2007

Filed under: Company News,Training — mjsstrategies @ 6:53 pm

MJS Strategies Ltd as a company finally launches its blog. It´s been long overdue, but it is better late than never, right? The intention of having this as addition to our company, is mainly due to the necessity to express our minds and have it as means to give you an insight to what our company offers and does. Hope you visit often. Feel free to let us know your thoughts.

 

 
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