North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


October 24, 2012

Our Views: Debates give insight into candidates, but do they sway voters?

AN NJN EDITORIAL — Monday night’s presidential debate, the last of three scheduled for this year, featuring President Barack Obama and challenger Gov. Mitt Romney, pointed out the stark differences between the candidates. They have often provided for great theater, if not necessarily giving voters something to really chew on.

But the big question: Do these debates actually do anything to move the needle one way or another in the election itself?

The final answer will come on the first Tuesday in November, of course. But there is ample evidence that, at least in this election cycle, the debates — particularly the first one, which even most liberals agreed that Romney won — have mattered.

Before the first debate, Obama was ahead by about 2 percentage points in most major polls. Afterward, Romney had a pronounced bounce, with Monday’s Gallup poll of about 3,500 likely voters showed a seven-day moving average of 51 percent of voters favoring the former governor, and 45 percent for the president. (Other polls had a smaller Romney lead or a dead heat.)

The challenger largely kept his lead after the second “town hall” debate, which was widely regarded as either a draw or a slight win for Obama. Opinions after the final debate are still being sampled.

The most important thing that these debates provide are an unfiltered view into the two candidates. No editorial opinions (like ours), no campaign commercials, no barrages of attack ads funded by so-called super-PACs, no spin. Just two men duking it out politically — though it seemed at times they would duke it out physically in the town hall debate.

It is political discourse in its purest form, if not always its finest.

So now they’re done, and we’re left with a sprint to the finish. A week from Tuesday, and we’ll vote to keep our current president, or to replace him. We hope you are earnestly considering your choice.

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    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

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    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

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    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014