Tag Archive: Events


Let me first start out by saying I was on Nationwide Radio in Kingston, Jamaica promoting an expo. I am the Event Officer for the expo. I didn’t want to appear on the programme but I eventually did. People who listened to the broadcast expressed that they were impressed and liked the delivery.

I have a personal issue that I will be working on. My demeanour does not speak of my potential and abilities. I hope I am expressing myself well. Most people who know me do not really KNOW ME. I appear to be reserved, laid back, unenergetic and conservative. Although that may be true, I have the ability to turn on the energy when needed. Some folks today call it an alter ego. I may be reserved but when the opportunity presents itself I turn into a total different person full of energy and life. It causes people who will offer opportunities to hold back because they don’t know what I am truly capable of.

I am a talented young man who is really underutilised in my job. So today, when I turned on the alter ego (no name for that person yet) my boss was really overwhelmed and seemed particularly impressed with my delivery. I want to get to the place where I turn it on all the time. I just hope I won’t turn people off.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, I guess.

Dancing with the Stars

Last night I watched the finale of the Dancing with the Stars. It was an entertainment night, filled with excitement and of course the revelation of the winner of the season. It was a surprise to see Donny Osmond win over Mya. I really think with all my heart that Mya would have taken the trophy home. I wanted to see her win. Her dance routine not ignoring her partner were always excellent and it reflects the perfect scores she received in the season.

However, the point must be noted that the core target audience may just have voted more for the winner. Clearly, if the winner was decided on the fact of delivery over the season then Mya would have won. Some people would argue that Kelly should have won based on the fact that she was the most improved. The fact is voting process was used and sometimes it isn’t fair.

 

My Favourite MYA

 

 

So of course, with Donny winning someone else would have taken the night. Whitney Houston was simply fantastic. I will only say this – her addictions may have affected her voice but she certainly can still deliver a great performance. Her songs on the night, I am still on cloud nine over it. Sorry! The videos are posted below for your viewing. The last song on the first video is one of my favourites from Houston so you could imagine my excitement and jumping in the house when she started to sing it. I have also posted a video of the song “I wana dance with somebody” from Whitney Houston back in the days. I have posted it because this is the real performance of the song. Enjoy.

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Celebrities and Drugs

The life of a celebrity is by far no means easy. Apart from being talented, entertaining, attempting to balance their own lives and being role models to those who look up to them there are other sides to the life that makes people wonder why they crave that lifestyle. There are hardly any celebs today that appear to be leading balanced lives and if they are they become unpopular and are not recognized as such. Mind you, there are some exceptions because they have not built a career based on being frivolous.

Recently, celebs have been making rounds in the news in the worst ways possible – end results drugged deaths. Michael Jackson, DJ AM, Keith Ledger just to name a few, all celebrities who have ended up dead because they abused drugs in their lives. We must be cognisant of the fact that they are humans and they do make mistakes. That out the way, why drugs? Celebrities today are forced by the media, paparazzi and fans to constantly make the headlines. The more ridiculous or entertaining their actions the more they are talked about and the longer they live in the media. When you make your career making entertainment headlines you better top the last act to remain alive – like releasing a nude picture or leak a sex video.

The monies these celebs are demanding and controlling are vast. Not only are they commanding this wealth, they set up their own world around them – hospital, school, mall (homes) etc. In their world shut off from normalcy they command doctors, have access to illegal/banned substances and perform crazy acts to remain on a high.

MJ

MJ

If being a celebrity will cause you to end your life using drugs then it is not worth the journey. For many of the fans who laud these people finding out their favourite person in the world was taking propofol to sleep is not comforting. I think M Jackson was an idiot, his doctor must be charged but he also should carry some of the blame. He was acted stupidly to say the least. Taking drugs not only places one on a high for the moment it does what these celebs fail to understand it kills. For many of the young today who find prescription drugs hip they are treading a path to destruction – which can be led privately.

We all have a right to privacy and we all must respect one’s right. The popular saying ‘what is in the dark must come to light’ certainly is true when it comes unto celebrities and the private lives they lead. I am tired of hearing of celebrity deaths caused by drugs. They are adults and they should therefore act as such – mature with responsible behaviours. Fans should really think twice before worshiping some of these celebrities. The standards we hold them to, quite frankly, they don’t make the cut. Maybe looking in the mirror is the best solution.

Today, July 30, 2009 is Cheesecake day.

Cheesecake

Cheesecake

If you have not had cheesecake, half of your life is gone. Today is dedicated to cheesecakes, oh how we love them. Whatever the type you like cheesecakes have brought families together and many special moments. There is something special about this wonderful and divine cake.

If you want to be my friend, let’s have an evening out and have cheesecake. Many people associate cheesecakes with gaining weight, breakouts on the face (zits), fat, calorie intake etc. All of this may be true but there is something very appealing about the presentation and aesthetic of a cheesecake.

They come in a variety of flavours and once you try one that you like. You will forever be having them as desserts.

My top five flavours are:

  1. White Chocolate
  2. Vanilla
  3. Cherry
  4. Blueberry
  5. Run and Raison

Sound off. What is your favourite flavour and what makes a cheesecake special to you?

Leadership

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter F. Drucker

leadership-risesmart

Universities and work places are trail blazers in regards to team work. Many companies have teamwork as a pillar of success in their organizational structure. One cannot leave undergraduate school or any school at all these days without taking part in teamwork activities. I have been on many teams in and since leaving university. Working with others can be a hard deal for some people. This happens because a team member may want to complete all the tasks and not share the duties to accomplish the goal. Teams can be misguided and can lose focus on the end result. That’s where leaders come in. They take charge and lead the team in delegating roles and duties and ensure that deadlines are met. If budgets are involved, a leader is critical to ensure that funds are allocated to specific areas and that spending isn’t out of hand.

The absence a real leader can be felt by those who know the purpose of one. When a leader is not on a project the team members are left to their own discretions. This can be fatal to the success of a project. There is a fundamental gap that a leader fills. When a leader is present, his/her presence is felt and if the leader is effective, the project will be successful. But not all leaders are effective. This drives the discussion whether a leader is born or made. I cannot decide because leaders are born with characteristics that makes them great leaders while proper leadership skills can be taught. Education plays a critical role and education changes attitude and people’s lives.

In the life of any project, there is a period known as ‘crunch time.’ Crunch time is that period where all the different aspects should now be coming together to make one, to achieve that one objective. At this point, no mistakes can be made. If mistakes are made and are hard to be corrected then it puts the purpose, the project in limbo, great jeopardy. Projects sometimes face this critical moment and having a leader is important. That one person who can remain calm when the storm is at its peak, that level headed individual who can call the shots and ensure team members remain focused on the gaol. It isn’t easy as a leader because at this moment you can lose it and become angry at team members who are slack and are not pulling their weight. There is a thin line to tread because leaders should know how to communicate to team members so that team morale isn’t lost and the synergy remains at its highest point.

The attitude a leader shows to the success of the project speaks volume. Team members want to know that the same passion they have for the success of the project the leader has that or even more. There is a popular phrase that says, attitude determines your altitude. That is relevant for a team because the attitude, that drive, the positive energies shown towards the project by the leader and some team members will inspire those who haven’t got the idea that hey I should be working hard to make this a success. Within the attitude of team members there is an important variable called personality.

Each team member is different and must be treated differently. Team members all show different qualities; some are shy, introverts, extroverts, creative etc. A leader should be able to create that balance that will allow the group to feel like one team. The leader’s role is very crucial as the team member who is shy should be able to express him/herself so that the team can benefit. Who knows? That shy individual could have a creative mind that will make the concept amazing. The leader cannot isolate persons because of his/her attitude. That may turn people away or restrain them from playing a positive role. Conflict resolution is an aspect of teamwork that is a pain. Members of the group should not always have conflicts but apparently if conflicts don’t arise there is no group. Traditionally, we have come to expect that at certain moments team members will be upset with each other. Leaders should never have to comment on every conflict that arises but those that will develop into bigger issues must be tackled from the start and resolved.

Using the best talents on a project can be an equation for failure. But leaders should be able to use these resources at their advantage to create a wonderful outcome. If the project is to perform, produce a presentation etc the final output must be flawless. Group work is designed to get the best out of more. Majority of persons will admit working in a group is certainly better than working on your own. However, a group can be a disaster. Groups must believe that achieving perfection is important.

Leadership isn’t for anyone. It takes a great deal of work to be good at it. Your communications ability, organizational skills, leadership, analytical skills are all tested to produce a product that all can be proud of. The best leaders for sure are those that are able to take directions. If your attitude is always against those in charge, leadership may not be for you. If your attitude is to see things run in order, achieve perfection you may want to improve on your skills to make outputs greater.

This article was inspired based on prior experience working with people on various projects. It is not easy and can be very difficult. Team members all have a role to play in a project. But one cannot isolate the effectiveness or the relevance of having an effective leader.

You’re on the Internet

angelina_jolieAs an individual who is on the internet everyday, I can’t seem to ignore the fact that most people nowadays are determined in their life to be popular. We are obsessed with how celebrities live, being popular, always having eyes on us. This constant crave has caused the popularity of websites such as www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com to skyrocket. The desire to constantly have people around the world following us and keeping a tab on our lives is attractive to some. Thus, making some people popular without a real purpose or background.

The growth of technological gadgets has also taken off with everyone having a recorder or the ability to take pictures. These are on the many gadgets we use on a daily basis. Whether it is on our phones, or by itself we are constantly recording our lives. Although recording events may not be a bad thing, having moments recorded can come back to haunt us in the future. We have seen this on many occasions where persons record private moments in relationships or even solo. To make this worse somehow these moments never remain in the dark they always come to light. Nothing is wrong with recording these moments, some people believe in having a record but being very careful is very critical. Sometimes people enter relationships and things happen we record the intimate moments and then in the future it comes to light with some embarrassing a partner.TerrellCarter-01-big

The next time you check your inbox, you may get an email from someone sending a link to a story of someone being disgraced on the internet. The world is very open with persons internationally able to see what you might not want them to see. This is such a risk. I am sure you have ‘googled’ yourself.

Things will forever advance, next year this time www.twitter.com or even the top social networking sites will be history; something new will come along and grab our attention. Can we ever ignore higher technologies or stop recording ourselves. The constant love of being in the spotlight may not end this drive to be in a still image or being video taped.

The internet is a good tool, very educational, very entertaining but it could also be our biggest nightmare when something hits the internet that we really didn’t intend to. The next time you take a picture or even record yourself, are you thinking of the risks?

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I have written many Michael Jackson articles, I hope my readers will not get weary. I keep writing about him or referring to him because he did a lot for many people and he touched many lives as well. Most persons only know of the various accusations against him. I wanted to write an article about people giving back and what better man to refer to than the Entertainer of all time, the king of pop – who gave back to so many charities worldwide – Michael Jackson.

The Guinness Book of World Records in the 2000 edition listed Michael Jackson as having the record for supporting the most charities – all of 39. These donations have come in the form of monetary donations through sponsorships or by participating in their silent auctions. Below is a list of all the charities that benefited from Michael Jackson.

  • AIDS Project L.A.
  • American Cancer Society
  • Angel Food
  • Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
  • BMI Foundation, Inc.
  • Brotherhood Crusade
  • Brothman Burn Center
  • Camp Ronald McDonald
  • Childhelp U.S.A.
  • Children’s Institute International
  • Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
  • Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Dakar Foundation
  • Dreamstreet Kids
  • Dreams Come True Charity
  • Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • Love Match
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Minority Aids Project
  • Motown Museum
  • NAACP
  • National Rainbow Coalition
  • Rotary Club of Australia
  • Society of Singers
  • Starlight Foundation
  • The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
  • The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
  • Transafrica
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
  • Volunteers of America
  • Watts Summer Festival
  • Wish Granting
  • YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw
  • This is a man who could have squandered his earnings on women or the many other things that were around him but he found the time and heart to donate part of his earnings to the various charities worldwide. Even on his will part of his earnings will go to the work to keep doing good in our communities. How many people do we know that when they die stipulate in their wills that charities should benefit from their lives? This is what some people refer to as having a ‘good heart’.

    This giving is even emphasized by companies; they dub it ‘Social Responsibility’. The many companies who keep giving back must be congratulated for it. It is so ironic that companies who give back to communities always want a huge media following to report on the little good they do. It is all a stunt. Companies who give to charities in silence are the real heroes of our time. I hate to see when businesses fail to sponsor events, failing to see the benefits they can gain long term.

    Michael Jackson’s song Man in the Mirror is an amazing song that underlines this point of starting with the man in the mirror, me. The song invites listeners to analyze themselves asking ‘Who am I to be blind?’ to today’s problems.

    We are all one people. Oops! Some people see the world differently, some people see races and classes but we are all one. Some persons cannot give cash, or items but if we cannot afford that we can share love to those who need it.

    Companies who make billions and millions of profits annually all celebrate and watch as people beg a little bit more, while the poverty level continues to rise. We have a responsibility to the world and the environment. Michael Jackson who some may only know him to abuse drugs in his death will be remembered as man who gave willingly to the less fortunate. He looked on the man in the mirror and made that change. So as we move on with our lives and join companies and even start our own, remember the lyrics of one of my favourite MJ Hits – Man in the Mirror.

    Below is a video I found on http://www.youtube.com with the co-writer of the song Man in the Mirror Siedah Garrett giving a tribute to Michael Jackson. Take a listen….The song is touching as she reflects on the life of Michael Jackson.

    I had to include this other video, the original, nothing hits home better.

    Many times we see politicians on the job and wonder what it is like to be there to experience the moments. Recently I was invited to share in the festivities at our parliament in Jamaica. The experience was spectacular.

    parliamentAs I entered the doors I was greeted to security systems beeping clearly signalling what kind of possessions I had on me. There was security all around clearly you could tell security is a major issue when so much power comes together. No alarms rang; I walked up to the gallery. In the gallery clearly there were sections outlined. One section had high profile persons; managers, CEOS, investors all ready to hear what the minister had to say. Dr Christopher Tufton would be presenting on recent developments in the Ministry of Agriculture.

    All my life the proceedings, all the pictures I have seen of parliament were aerial shots focusing on the speakers on any particular day. Clearly sitting in the gallery I had a bird’s eye view of the proceedings seeing all the politicians who appear to be at the helm of the country.

    As I sat I was in awe the entire time, couldn’t believe I was granted this experience to see parliament in action. I looked around seeing the power of the people in the gallery, the media section etc. The media area shocked me. There were not a lot of media personnel covering the event. I found it amazing but daunting. I believe the more journalists covering events like these and even working in the industry the more objectivity and coverage regular citizens will have of what is really happening at the highest level of government.

    From watching parliamentary proceedings on television as well, one cannot ignore how noisy the politicians are. Most of them on television would be gyrating and chatting away as the speakers made their points.  Found it embarrassing. Well, the same greeted me. The politicians showed no regard for those who were speaking. Most were reading documents, shouting across the isle, signing documents, sending messages continuously, the constant walking in and out etc. I was amazed but not impressed. I feel that when a presentation is being made your duty is to listen with the intention to make suggestions or ask questions at the end. This was not so in parliament. However, I do not feel that persons must sit throughout presentations for over two hours without even commenting on an issue with the person near you, but the constant chatting and disrupting behaviours must not be condoned.

    p3_2 When I entered the gallery and looked down at the seats I noticed that some seats were empty but documents were thrown all over the area in front of the chair signalling that someone was sitting in the seat. Later, former Miss World winner now turned politician Lisa Hanna walked in with another member of the Opposition. I have not fell that feeling in a long time. Her beauty mesmerized me, I was shocked, amazed, even flabbergasted.  Even years after winning the title Lisa Hanna is able to look refreshing, great and constantly keeping up with fashion and style. She truly added to the excitement of the afternoon.

    As the speech went on, more members walked in clearly they took breaks, some even conducting business on the floor while the speech went on.

    Later the leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, Phillip Paulwell etc walked in to take their seats. What was interesting was that most members of the governing party were present while most of the Opposition were evidently missing in action.

    Joke of the day

    roger-clarke-pointingRoger Clarke former Minister of Agriculture when his party ruled was present for the proceedings. There has been characterisation of him in the media as a negative famer who opposes everything the ruling government does. Recently he was portrayed as a fat rice eating famer who eats everything on a farm. In the minister’s speech, he referred to the successful rice testing done by the government and brought into parliament packaged rice products for his demonstration. This was seen as a positive movement for the government because previous governments have not been able to achieve this level of success where they are able to produce value added products for the international and local market.

    There was a huge uproar by politicians on the floor who sought to ensure that the minister gave Roger Clarke all the rice he brought to parliament. This was a light moment but everyone had a moment to laugh and take it all in.

    The speech was very long but the time was allotted to Dr Christopher Tufton to complete his speech.

    peter-bunting-gen-secAfter his speech ended Opposition member Bunting gave a speech on his constituency and even commenting on changes that should be made to Jamaica Constabulary Force. What was amazing the ruling party teased him before he began his speech calling him ‘Facebook’.

    Recently, after the Opposition lost two bi-elections Bunting made remarks on his Facebook page about a leader not searching for consensus but a molder of one. This was seen as controversial and was reprimanded by some for his comments. The teasing I found very alarming because I think he was ashamed in the moment.

    This teasing was obvious right through the proceedings with members from both sides shouting defaming slangs at each other. I found it disgusting at times but I guess people can have fun.

    So my day ended with me experiencing parliament. Not many citizens will ever get to go through the doors at our parliament but this day will always be treasured by me. I enjoyed my day, while some parts were horrible to digest I was able to take it all in and see what parliamentary proceedings were all about.

    Corve DaCosta

    After leaving university graduates are normally on edge waiting for that faithful call to invite them to an interview. I was interviewed for a job recently and it went well. I was further invited for a second interview, which I was thrilled about.

    But, there are certain tips that any interviewee can use to help them ace their interviews. Below I will mention some tips that individuals may use to be successful.

    job-interview

    Research

    Companies want to know that you know the relevant information about the company. This shows your interest and also proves the fact that you did prior preparations. In the interview I was not asked about specific details as to what areas the company operated in but with my answers to different questions I highlighted the different areas the company focused on and this will prove you clearly know the company’s operations.

    Be Relaxed

    Being nervous in an interview is most times inevitable. However, practice mock interviews with friends or in mirror to get you acquainted with responding to the interview questions. We are in 2009 and information is at your fingertips. Check videos on tips on answering interview questions at www.youtube.com and www.google.com. It is important to add your own dynamic to the answers to make them your own but it helps for interviewees to have an idea of how to respond to a question. Ensure you communicate well, this will show you are able to bring across your points clearly.

    For example: When the interviewer says ‘tell me about yourself’, it is not the time to mention what are your likes and dislikes.

    Be inspiring

    Job interviews can be dreadful so ensure the panel is interested in you. You can achieve this by being charismatic, cheerful, emotive and inspiring. Therefore, show interest in the position and show them that ‘wow-factor’. If you studied Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, Insurance this should not be difficult.

    Punctuality

    There is no given rule on how many minutes you should arrive before an interview. I would advise applicants to arrive at the establishment at least 20 minutes before your interview is slated to begin. Punctuality shows your employer great business skill and your respect for time.

    Dress Code

    Depending on the job you are applying for will determine in some way how formal you will be dressed. For middle to upper management a suit in my view is a must. For entry level employment your attire (shirt, tie, pants – for men) will be accepted. Dressing professionally for any interview is critical, first impressions typically last and you will want to introduce your best image to the panel.

    Non Verbal Communication

    When at the business location please note that you are judged the moment you step in. Please show respect to the receptionist, and any other employee you encounter. When I arrived at the business place I greeted the receptionist even other interviewees in the lobby area. You never know who is sitting where and who is watching. More than ever companies are equipped with CCTV cameras so be very careful. In the interview remain focused, keep eye-contact and have an interest in what you are doing.

    An interview is the closest you will ever get to the actual job. You will have one moment to show the panel interviewing you that employing you will make their company so much better affecting its bottom line – profits. I hope the tips offered above will make you more prepared. I followed those tips and I was granted a second interview.

    Now it is on to the second!

    Corve DaCosta

    Carrie Prejean

    Carrie Prejean

    “I’ve done my best under the difficult circumstances to handle the vicious attacks with integrity and show respect to others, even those who don’t agree with me.” – Carrie Prejean

    Carrie Prejean was crowned Miss California and was declared 1st runner-up in the Miss USA pageant. After being in the news for her comments on gay marriage, yet again she is back. Carrie Prejean was fired from her position to represent the state of California for breaching her contractual arrangements by Keith Lewis pageant head. However, she is crying foul over the treatment who up to this post had not contacted Prejean of her firing.

    Keith Lewis who heads the Miss California pageant agrees with gay marriage and has been fighting with Carrie Prejean since her open stance on the matter. It was agreed after the press conference with Donald Trump that all parties will return to the normal operations of the pageant. This was not meant to be as Shanna Moakler Miss California Co-executive who served on the team at Miss California handed in her resignation from the position she held; which left Keith Lewis to battle it out with Carrie Prejean.

    So could all these events be a set-up? Well that is what Prejean is now claiming after Lewis gave her offers from Playboy and a reality series. Prejean also claims that she has been solely responsible for soliciting appearances as the holder of the crown. Who does that?

    This is shame on Keith Lewis, for under a month of the last press conference with Donald Trump to not step up and show great management of Carrie Prejean. Shame on him as well for offering her offers such as Playboy and an appearance offer at an event which promotes gay marriage; Doesn’t he consider her safety in all of this?

    Apparently not. All the events that have led up to this were to oust Prejean as the queen to have Tami Farrell step in. Isn’t it surprising that Shanna Moakler is considering working for the organization again after the firing?

    Prejean remains graceful not bashing anyone in this ordeal; appreciating the decision by Donald Trump who was caught between a rock and a hard place. Carrie Prejean will continue to blaze the trail for other who look up to her for the inspiration to fight for what you believe in. Whatever side you may agree on the matter of gay marriage, we should be able to accept someone’s opinion. That is the way we are going to grow and it is a pity what has transpired here.

    To Keith Lewis grow up; Carrie Prejean will now open a new chapter of her life and watch her blaze. This is just the beginning of a new chapter, one filled with new opportunities that are certainly bigger than California.

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    If you happen to be reading this blog you might already know about Twitter, Twittering and Tweets.

    There is a new buzz around, it is called Twitter. Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send and read each other’s updates, known as tweets. This service was made popular by normal everyday users but was plummeted to popularity by celebrities, even politicians. The service allows users to have followers who receive these updates instantaneously. These followers can also update their friends with these tweets, thus making twittering all the fun.

    But why would politicians get in on twitter?

    In an age where voters are not interested in politics, any way to help in the process cannot be that bad. Politicians in the United States of America on all sides are using Twitter to connect with their constituents. There is no way constituents can keep track of what representatives do while their in office. However, twitter opens the door for politicians to inform, entertain and connect with voters immediately. Clearly, users must be very careful of the information they share on twitter. There is no way it will be cool for politicians to tweet private information that the public isn’t privy to see.  Politicians can also use this tool to break news. If you are a news junkie like me, I am not always tuned into CNN, MSNBC, NBC, FOX etc. If you happen to be in Jamaica, you might be listening Nationwide, RJR or Power 106.

    Here are some tips for politicians who decide to use Twitter:

    1. Keep it Simple

    To help in this aspect tweets are limited to 140 characters so be brief and to the point but with content.

    2. Dedicate some tweets for Entertainment

    Constituents do not expect you in anyway to be locked in on Parliament/Senate/ or Ministerial duties 24/7. So inform your followers when you are relaxing or even at a social event. Politicians who can show both a hardworking image and an image that you can chill and have fun are always pluses for voters. Keep in mind, not too many tweets about fun though!

    3. Never share private information.

    4. Be engaging

    Reply to questions that are asked. Refer correspondents to sources for more information. This will show that you care.

    5. Grow your follower base

    This is what assistants are for. Use personal assistants to grow and expand your popularity. In an era where connecting to the youth vote is a must, this is a great tool for any politician who is seeking re-election.