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2008 Conservative Presidential Candidates

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posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
My reference to Fox News zombies refers to the popcorn chewing viewers who don't question what Fox News tells them.


I know this isn't a media discussion, but I must say that FOX definitely makes its fair share of errors, but as a whole IMO the most fair news available in this country. The left-wing dominates so much of the other media, it's refreshing to get another perspective reporting from them. And they do certainly make an effort to always bring in both sides to an issue, something that other news outlets rarely do.

I don't know how I lived before FOX!




posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 04:55 AM
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You're not wrong when you say that there are double-standards in play. I watch four different news networks every day as part of my job. If somebody isn't lying, I'd be amazed.

You're also spot on when you say that McCain is trying to ride the wave. He's asssociated himself too closely to the war, and the troop surge. He now must back off, or be seen to moderate, or...he's toast.

On the plus side, he has another seven months to do a slow dance in the direction that he needs to go to woo the largest number of Republican voters. It's not hard at all to presage what his stumbling blocks are going to be. If he can get past ,them, and modify his image so that when people go to the polls...all they remember is what he watns them to. It's not kind, and it's certainly not clean, but it is politics.

He's not the only candidate shuffling to a different stance on some things.



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 05:18 AM
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Ok now that we have established the existences of double standards how dose McCain answer this question.

Dosnt your criticisms of members of the Bush admin put you in the same category as Hillary and Kerry a bunch of flip flops ?

Now I know that society is getting dumber and that McCain is slowly changing his position to avoid this question. But surely at least some of the Dems voters who are/will consider voting for McCain will ask the question or a Republican voter who isn't totally sucked in by the Republican spin machine . Well I sure hope that someone asks the question I would love to see McCain answer.


[edit on 26-2-2007 by xpert11]

[edit on 26-2-2007 by xpert11]



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 09:30 AM
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Politics is a lot like gambling. It's all about betting to win. I've seen my own Senators vote forthings I know for a fact that they didn't like. They bet to win. So did McCain when he came out so strongly for the war. As the poliitcal wind changes, he must bend like the reed or be broken.

It's a real nightmare for the Republicans because most of them bet on the war to be a success. Giulliani saved his political ammunition until it became 'obvious' things were going wrong. that's one of the reasons he's testing so ghigh in the polls just now. He "appears" more critical of the Bush administration than McCain does, even with the Senator's mild bad-mouthing of Rumsfeld.

Make no mistake. There will be more double-standards to boil your blood. Mitt Romney is busy soft-shoe-ing away from many of his old positions so that he can be more right-wing in the primaries.

You will note that Hillary refuses to apologize for her vote on the war. In part, she's acting tough so that her competition will not make the mistake of thinking that she's too soft. She's also taking a page from Bill's playbook. Apologies make you sound weak, so don't make them until forced. Nothing has yet happened to force her in to contrition, and it probably won't.



posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 07:07 PM
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Update
Here is a leak or a rumour .


Setting aside any doubt about his presidential aspirations, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona announced Wednesday he would seek the GOP presidential nomination.

McCain, who has had a presidential exploratory committee, made the declaration on the "Late Show with David Letterman," taped earlier Wednesday.


Link

Were just going to have to wait and see about this one.
We get the David Letterman show here in NZ . If I remember I will watch the show a bit closer to the date were usually a couple of days behind so I should get a heads up in advance.

Found a 2nd update.



Tom Ridge on Wednesday endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain, one of several candidates for the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nomination. Ridge is a former governor of Pennsylvania, which has lots of convention delegates, and, maybe more to the point, he's the former head of the Department of Homeland Security.
So when does an endorsement matter? When it's a surprise because it comes from an unlikely source. For example, if Bill Clinton were to back Barack Obama, that would be a pretty big deal.


Link

What effect will Ridge endorsement have on McCain 2008 bid ?
The first impression would point to little impact . No doubt people will quite happily harp on about Ridges comment about duct tape. We may even see TV adds that link McCain to securing the US with Duct tape.

[edit on 28-2-2007 by xpert11]



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 03:29 AM
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I was able to watch McCain on Letterman tonight. Dave was uncharacteristically kind to the Senator, which tells me they had some rules laid out before hand. Even so, I thought the line of questioning was productive.

those of you who saw it may have noticed that McCain went out of his way to say that he'd work with the Dems to make things happen. this would be more of that "play nice" thing that the RNC leadership is having a hard time justifying to its donors. I'd like to think that the Senator won a few hearts and minds with tonight's outing.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 08:39 AM
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posted by xpert11

Update: Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona announced on the Wednesday "Late Show with David Letterman" he would seek the GOP presidential nomination.

Tom Ridge endorsed Arizona Sen. McCain, one of several candidates for the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nomination. Ridge is a former governor of Pennsylvania, which has lots of convention delegates, and, maybe more to the point, he's the former head of the Department of Homeland Security. [Edited by Don W]



John McCain has been described as a “converted” Neo Con. Although we call him a “Hero of Vietnam” he served 7 years as a POW. I admit that entitles him to something - I’d vote for $1000 a day - but it does not necessarily make his service “heroic.” Of the 670 aircrew who were captured by the NVA, about 640 survived. That tells me the conditions were not at all like what the British found in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

As for endorsement by Tom Ridge, if this is the “best” McCain can do, then he is already in deep do-do. For those of you who don’t recall, it was only Tom Ridge that gave the steamroller Bush43 2000 primary campaign any static. Ridge is one of those rare Republicans who believe in the Right of Privacy. Most Republicans believe in the Right of Intrusion. Not at all consistent with their other claims of wanting a smaller, less intrusive Federal government. Tom Ridge got the HS job because Bush43 did not want to face him again in a possible rough and tumble race in ‘04. Like we do to our incompetent generals and admirals, the solution is to “bump them upstairs.”

The best I can say for Ridge as Sec of HS is that he has proved - as has the current occupant - that the ambition behind the consolidation of so many disparate groups under one head was a great mistake, equal to the poor conceptualizing and dumb planning of the Second Punitive Expedition to Iraq. Launched March 18, 2003. Shock and awe! Claimed Victory on May 1. Presumably the next president will have her work cut out for her and she will spend the first term undoing all the crazy things Bush43 has done in his 8 years of non-stop disaster.



“Iraq, abortion and campaign finance reform.” McCain has said several times the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years . . the senator said Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the "worst" defense secretaries in history. The price we are paying is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously. McCain had complained that Rumsfeld never put enough troops on the ground to succeed in Iraq.



Straight out of the Neo Con play book! Learn nothing from Vietnam. You cannot win a war when you cannot win the hearts and minds of the civilian population. Iraq has 25 million people. They can provide cover for the 10-15,000 estimated “insurgents” and “militias” as long as is needed for Iraq to expel the foreigners. Why must we always fight the last war? Hubris, to answer my own question. Hubris.



McCain recently said Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, referring to the 1973 Roe v. Wade SC decision that gave women the right to have an abortion.



The kindest thing I can say about this is he is completely disingenuous. Old rich Republicans don’t give a dam about a young woman facing an issue which includes aborting an unwanted fetus. She counts only if she can be exploited for a few votes. He is demagoging an issue that ought to have been put to rest decades ago. McCain is playing to the 10% hard core religious right wing - good in primaries - and hopes to get a smattering of votes from the 70% of the population who are ambivalent over the issue in the general election. A cheap trick. Typical of GOPs. Every GOP since Reagan has promised to end abortions. Hmm?





McCain's fund-raising will likely be closely watched. According to the Post story of February 11, FEC campaign and IRS records show several of McCain's finance co-chairmen have given or raised large donations for political parties or 527 groups. have given at least $13.5 million in 527 donations to McCain since 1998.



Money is the milk of politics. Real CFR - Campaign Finance Reform - means the public pays 100% of the cost of elections and electioneering. It must be unlawful for private money to be found in public elections. We must find ways to shorten the campaign. Americans seem to enjoy these long campaigns. This is the earliest in my lifetime that a presidential race has gone public. Unfortunately for people like me, I hear no objections from the public. If this “works” then we will see year around campaigns until we grow weary, as in Rome and the Colosseum’s games. This bodes ill for the Republic.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 07:19 PM
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So very true. A dark force is upon the land. I just completed my "homework" for the day, and I must say that I've encountered some interesting observations.

In my role as political commentator, I listen to many different news streams in an average day. Seems there's a new tactic being unleashed by many of the conservative talking heads. during this week, Limbaugh and otehrsh ave been easing into a new form of attack on the GOP Presidential hopefuls. They're now being called "other than conservative."

This would be the tantrum of the Old School as they deny what's happening right in front of the. The Grand old Party as we knew it is dead. it's remains can be found in slow decay on the electoral battlefields on 2000 and 2004. Republicanism as we knew it may be gone forever.

In his own way, John McCain is feeling his way through the dark like a veteran Mason, looking for the right handshake. His performance on Letterman makes it clear that he wants that job so badly that he can tell you what it tastes like. As I predicted months ago on this and other sites, the old guard is about to eat its own. Sociologically, I do think the nation is moving to the right. This move is not happening fast enough to save or satisfy the Republican party as we know it.

those of you who follow American history will know that in times past, the Dems and Republicans have traded places when it comes to the issues that drive government. That's what we're seeing now, with a twist. I hope Senator McCain has a taste for lemonade.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 07:37 PM
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IMO due to the cupboards being bare a late wild card entry could upset the apple cart for both party's. For the Dems someone like Gore springs to mind as for the Republicans who knows ?
I guess that is the point of a wild card candidate. If played right a wild card could gain support without there being time for the established candidates to hit back. A late entry might avoid a lot of the mud slinging and the VP ticket could be available as well.

Much would depend on the polls and a candidate maintaining public interest without declaring there intentions. This is something Gore has done well no matter what his intentions are. Potential Republican candidates take note.



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 03:19 AM
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New Gingrich has been skulking around in the shadows for a while now. If he thinks that none of the candidates have their act in gear, he might jump in.



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham
New Gingrich has been skulking around in the shadows for a while now. If he thinks that none of the candidates have their act in gear, he might jump in.


That's my feeling too, but Giuliani is really building a head of steam, even in socially conservative venues such as South Carolina.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Giuliani ends up with the Republican nomination. And that I think is great, since he's probably the most likely to thwart any dem candidate.

[edit on 3/2/2007 by djohnsto77]



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 08:05 AM
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As formidable is Giulliani's current poll numbers are, it's important to remember that the majority of American voters don't trust the Republican "brand" like they used to. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that part of Newt's battle plan involves cashing in on Rudy's nostalgia potential, as well as his own.

Okay, then. I've been right about everything else, so let's move on to antoehr minor miracle. the House and Senate are gearing up for a budget battle. president bush ahs submitted a 2.9 trillion dollar budget for FY 2008.

Where do the conservative candidates need to stand on this?



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 04:33 PM
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Beyond what I have already said on this thread the budget needs to put into terms that people can understand. Most people cant comprehend spending a billion little alone a trillion dollars. It has nothing to do with IQ when people bring home the average wage there mind isn't geared to spending more then a number with three figures next to it.

For example a Republican candidate could say .
It costs $30,000 a term to educate a child in the public school system.
$25,000 goes to Federal bureaucrats .



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 06:32 PM
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Okay, let's run with that. When I worked for a Senator, it was h-a-r-d to get anyone in D.C. to admit costs. This happens when bureaucrats try to hide from official scrutiny, and it happens when politicians want to avoid accountability.

There are a few things I can suggest right off that might help steer things in the direction you want to go. a) Watch dog groups need to make better use of FOIA and publish what they learn. b) Agencies need to have transparancy laws written for them that will encourage cost disclosure. c) The OMB needs to develope new budget disclosure guidelines that will make the actual documents easier to read by the average person.

I have limited experience with Federal budgets. Reading the documentation can be a skill. Agencies have people on staff who do nothing but read the budget. Until bureaucrats are required to come clean about what things actually cost, you won't see any headway on this. My experience has shown me that real costs and actual costs are not the same thing. Until they are, we the taxpayers will always get shafted.



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 06:56 PM
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Rudy Giuliani - NY
John McCain - AZ
Mitt Romney - MA
Condi Rice - CA (she says no, but we're still hoping?)
Newt Gingrich - GA (another ?)
Tom Tancredo - CO
Ron Paul - TX
Mike Huckabee - AR
Sam Brownback - KS



posted by Julian Oldham

Giuliani's formidable poll numbers make it important to remember the majority of voters no longer trust the Republican "brand" . . I wouldn't be surprised Newt's battle plan involves cashing in on Rudy's nostalgia potential, as well as his own. I've been right about everything else, so let's move on to another minor miracle. The House and Senate are gearing up for a budget battle. President bush has submitted a 2.9 trillion dollar budget for FY 2008. Where do the conservative candidates need to stand on this?



I believe a truly conservative Republican would demand taxes to put that budget in the black, very quickly. I proposed a 75 cents a gallon gasoline tax from Day One, for the duration of the war. It would generate popular support for the war and to make everyone feel he and she is doing a part, albeit small and safe. Desirable side effects would be reductions in fuel consumption. A prepaid credit card for the working poor would give them 15-20 gallons a week without the tax.



posted by xpert11

Beyond what I have already said on this thread the budget needs to put into terms that people can understand. Most people cant comprehend spending a billion little alone a trillion dollars. It has nothing to do with IQ when people bring home the average wage there mind isn't geared to spending more then a number with three figures next to it.

For example a Republican candidate could say. It costs $30,000 a term to educate a child in the public school system. $25,000 goes to Federal bureaucrats . [Edited by Don W]



OK, Mr X-11. The entitlement part of the budget is probably 60-65% of the total. Social security. Medicare. Highway Trust Fund. Airport Trust Fund. Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund. And maybe more trust funds I don’t know the name of. (“Trust funds” were created before we throughly understood high finance and macro economics at the Federal level. We now know that “trust” is a misnomer.) In any case the discretionary budget is rather small if you deduct the #2 item, interest on the national debt. Most of what remains is in the DoD. Add to that the VA and DoJ and you are almost broke!

I’m sorry so many people feel it necessary to gratuitously bad mouth the institution of government. I attribute the rise of Hitler in part to this grand disillusionment with government when in reality “government” is itself neutral. It is the managers of the institution who commit the crimes. We cannot live without government. Whether it is good or bad is up to us. The US once had the best large bureaucracy in the world. It has been under constant assault - primally by Republicans - since Eisenhower was elected president. One of these days, we will regret shooting ourselves in the foot.

[edit on 3/2/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 07:27 PM
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posted by Justin Oldham

When I worked for a Senator, it was h-a-r-d to get anyone in D.C. to admit costs. This happens when bureaucrats try to hide from official scrutiny, I can suggest : a) Watch dog groups to make better use of FOIA. b) Agencies need to have transparency laws to encourage cost disclosure. c) The OMB needs budget disclosure guidelines that will make the actual documents easier to read by the average person. Agencies have people on staff who do nothing but read the budget. Until bureaucrats are required to come clean about what things actually cost, you won't see any headway on this . . experience shows budgeted costs and actual costs are not the same . . Until they are, we the taxpayers will always get shafted. [Edited by Don W]



Again, as I critiqued X-11 above, I must complain here. Bureaucrats are government employees who answer the phone, type the memos, and sort the mail. It is the 3,000 odd appointees by the President - whoever he is - that make the decisions we are constantly be-moaning and constantly mis-labeling as “the bureaucrats.” We need to be more precise about what we are complaining about and who is really the person causing this to happen. It is not the fault of the career civil service.

[edit on 3/2/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 06:31 AM
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It's true that the political appointees drive the agenda, and they do have a lot to say about reforms. I am in full agreement that selecting civic minded appointees would result in positive reforms. Even so, the civil service has to be held accountable.

I am a former Federal civil servant. A hundred times, a thousand times, I was placed in a position where I could've done what was good for me...or what what was good for the taxpayer. The rules are just ambiguous enough to be left open to interpretation, but the civil service culture is not. The pressure to do what's good for you instead of what might be called "civic responsibility," is intense.

Late in my career, I had limited spending authority. On time and under budget was not acceptable when it denied my superiors or my co-workers the opportunity to line their pockets. time and time again, I found it necessary to give them a small taste, rather than a full dose, to satisfy my cnscience while at the same time keeping my enemies at a distance. The same culture of corruption that infects civil service also poisons Americna politics.

having said that, I do blame the bureaucrats and the politicians in equal measure. They are mutually complicit.

Having said all this, I'd like to tie it in with my earlier question to the panel. As the economy turns downward in the second half of this year, what will the conservative Presidential candidates need to advocate?

Bernanke's strategy seems to be one of trying to outrun inflation. His Fed policies have the government printing more money and lying about the 'real' rates of inflation. I don't think it's going to be enough for any Presidential hopeful to sound a warning. I do think they're going to need some subtle strategy. This could be a simple skirting of the issue until they get in to office to try things their way, or. it could mean talking real numbers with the voters now.

The advantage to talking real numbers now is political. All the conservative insiders in D.C. already know that the economy will tank on the Democrat's watch, and they like it enough to stay quiet. Any conservative who is bold enough to be hoenst with the American people might be seen as a minor prophet. Even if they lose the '08 race, they could be well positioned for 2012.

This is not a trick quesiton, but it has the feel of one...because...it's a matter of choosing individual tactics over party tactics.

What says you?



posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 12:54 PM
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posted by Justin Oldham

It's true . . political appointees drive the agenda . . I am in full agreement that civic minded appointees would result in positive reforms. Even so, the civil service has to be held accountable. [Edited by Don W]



I’m not talking about whether a GS3 or GS10 Civil Servant completes 100 tasks in a day when he could have - or should have - done 200, but I’m talking about the decision to invite private lumber companies into the National Forests to “clear the underbrush” but at the same time allowing them to clear cut a 100 yard wide “access road” and to keep the good wood they cut down in the process of reaching the interior of the forest. And keeping all the profits! It is political appointees who do us harm, not the lazy CS we can fire and easily replace.

With the advent of the Super Grades (GS-16 - GS-18) in the late 1970s, this line of authority is somewhat blurred and to the extent those SGs are hand picked by the party-in-power to reflect their own agenda, they are also culpable but the majority GS 1s to GS 15s are not. IMO.



I am a former Federal civil servant. Late in my career, I had limited spending authority . . under budget was not acceptable when it denied my superiors or co-workers the opportunity to line their pockets. The same culture of corruption that infects civil service also poisons American politics.



This bad habit - stealing - is found in the private sector as well. Fudging on expense accounts. Yes, I’ve bought receipt pads at the dime store to include in my expense account, claiming payment for meals I never ate, at prices that were consistent with my eating habits, however. I did not want to get caught. $3 at McDonald’s passed ok, but $30 at a hotel would raise eyebrows. So you include 10 of the McDonald’s bills. I have learned over the years that no one can prevent two co-operating people from stealing if either of them handles money not his or her own. A few bucks here and there. It’s the cost of doing business. But it is a totally different matter when the VP orders the DoD not to make further inquiry into 500,000 missing MREs claimed to have been delivered by Halliburton.



Having said all this, I'd like to tie it in with my earlier question to the panel. As the economy turns downward in the second half of this year, what will the conservative Presidential candidates need to advocate?

[Fed Chairman] Bernanke's strategy seems to be one of trying to outrun inflation. His Fed policies have the government printing more money and lying about the 'real' rates of inflation. All the conservative insiders in DC already know the economy will tank on the Democrat's watch and they like it enough to stay quiet. Even if they lose in '08, they would be well positioned for 2012.

This is not a trick question, but it has the feel of one . . because . . it's a matter of choosing individual tactics over party tactics. What says you? [Edited by Don W]



When challenged about his intensity to win at any cost, a coach explained by asking, “Then why do they keep score?” Very few Americans love a loser. Oh sure, you can point to Boston, Green Bay or Chicago, but those are exceptions that prove the rule. Shipbuilding magnate Steinbrenner spares no expense on his “toy” the NY Yankees. US taxpayers share in the Yankees as silent partners because marine shipbuilders get back 50% of the cost of building a ship from the US Government. Welfare for the rich?

With the diminution of the power and influence of political parties, the eliminating of the “smoke filled backrooms” - which I apologize for being on the “democratizing” side - it is generally considered there are 435 races for Congress and 33 or 34 races for the Senate, and not ONE general election. In the old days, the “bosses” placed men where they wanted them and generally ran the country. This system worked well until about 1952 and 1956, when it cracked right down the middle. Then, in 1964 and 1968, the bosses were so badly discredited that they were cut out of the system. Say Thank You Mayor Daley! Nixon was the last American president chosen by the bosses. Iowa, New Hampshire and now Nevada, generally pick our leaders. We cannot get a single national primary election. Which I doubt would produce any better result that we have been getting, unless we use the 50%+1 votes required to nominate or then have a run-off.

We see how this post-1968 system has put the Congress up for sale to the R&Fs. Rich and famous. Poor people do not make bribes. Only rich people commit bribery. Bribery is a wealth-specific crime. Frankly, having spent my life about half and half, I would happily trade the current disgusting mess for the smoke filled rooms of old. Our greatest presidents like Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt were all products of those “closed doors” meetings. The democratic process gave us B43!

You pick!

[edit on 3/3/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 06:20 PM
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I suppose we're going to have to agree to disagree on the civil servant thing ,but you do bring up another good point. From where I sit, the current party structure seems to have broken down. Your historical points are goo, and I'm think you could go back even further if you wanted to with the examples.

There is a lack of civics in today's national-level party leadership. the win at any cost thing seems to have taken over. Both sides give the appearance of not caring about ideology if their stated platforms might get in the way of the win.

I think you might be most long lived person taking part in this discussion. Would you mind elaborating on your points about '64 and '68? I know we've talked about this via u2, but I think the history lesson might be useful here. Party leadership has a very strong effect on the candidates, and it's not always obvious to the outsider. As we ponder what today's candidates might need to do for the win, we shouldn't forget how things used to be done, and how we got started to the point that we find oursleves today.



posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 09:13 PM
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posted by Justin Oldham

I suppose we're going to have to agree to disagree on the civil servant thing ,but you do bring up another good point. From where I sit, the current party structure seems to have broken down. Would you mind elaborating on your points about '64 and '68? I think the history lesson might be useful here. Party leadership has a very strong effect on the candidates, and it's not always obvious to the outsider. As we ponder what today's candidates might need to do for the win, we shouldn't forget how things used to be done, and how we got started to the point that we find ourselves today. [Edited by Don W]



1964 begins in 1960, with the very narrow defeat of Nixon by JFK. That was the election where the plurality was about 110,000 votes nationwide. There were 120,000 precincts, hence the notation that one vote per precinct decided the election. Every vote does indeed count!

1962. Nixon ran for governor of California. He lost in a close race to Dems Pat Brown, Sr. Nixon made the remark that became famous, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” at what was meant to be his “last” press conference. Popular JFK was assassinated in 1963, hurtling LBJ into the presidency. Public sympathy was with the Democrats and LBJ capitalized on that to get the first of his Great Society programs and a civil rights bill passed by a heretofore less than enthusiastic Congress. The 1964 election was generally considered “a given” for the Dems. No one really wanted the Republican nomination.

1964. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, was a Western conservative Republican and well known for and highly respected because of his openness and outspoken positions on public issues. He became the Party’s nominee. William Miller, RNC Chairman, was the VP nominee. Goldwater’s acceptance speech became famous for this utterance, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

The Goldwater Miller team was overwhelmed. Not until Nixon beat McGovern was the electoral college vote so lopsided. Domestically speaking everything was going LBJ’s way. Medicare. Civil Rights laws. The Great Society’s war on poverty, all were running full steam ahead. Except the War in Vietnam. America had first helped the French in 1954. We had gradually become more deeply involved, ultimately taking the place of France in an effort to stop what then seemed the inexorable spread of Soviet communism. We had lost China in 1949; we were stalemated in Korea in 1953. We were behind in Africa. Egypt and Syria were looking “Red.” There were “hot spots” in Guatemala and South America. We had lost Cuba in 1959. The US had come to believe we had to stop communism decisively, somewhere. It seemed (in 1964) that Vietnam was the place.

1965. The US had nearly a quarter-million men in Vietnam. We were supporting a weak and unpopular government in Saigon. We had even countenanced the removal in early November, 1963, of the Diem brothers, who were assassinated in the process although it was not established the US had ordered that. Less than 3 weeks later, our own JFK was just beginning the 1964 re-election campaign and was assassinated! LBJ was following the advice of NSA George McBundy, Sec of Def McNamara and military commander on the ground, Gen. Westmoreland. LBJ never went anywhere he did not plan to win. Westmoreland asked for another 125,000 troops after the surprise Tet Offense of January, 1968. LBJ consented. Later, he realized the public had turned against him and the War, and on March 31, 1968, LBJ shocked the public by announcing over tv that he would not run again.

1968. VP Hubert Horatio Humphrey, former senator from Minnesota, known amongst Democrats as the “Happy Warrior” for his feistiness and cheerful demeanor, Humphrey was the probable Dems nominee. Meanwhile in the GOP ranks, Nixon had changed his mind after 1864, sensing he might get yet another run on the presidency. For the next 4 years, Nixon made speeches where other GOPs would not deign to travel. In 1968, Nixon called in his “chips” and won the nomination. He named Gov. Spiro Agnew of Maryland as VP to balance the ticket, himself being from California.

Meanwhile, the first Mayor Daley, Chicago’s iron-fisted boss, got the Dems Convention to come to the Windy City. The Civil Rights movement was running full speed. Little Rock. Montgomery. Selma. And then, April 4,1968, Memphis. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot dead by James Earl Ray. Riots around the country. Dozens were killed. Millions in property damage.

Barely 2 months later the newly found voice of the pro civil rights and the anti Vietnam War movements were unified in one man, Robert Francis Kennedy. RFK had energized the young and the left in America. But, alas, on June 5, at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel, a young Sirhan Sirhan shot and killed RFK! First it had been JFK, then MLK, Jr., now RFK. How many more assassinations could our nation stand? The people of all political persuasions were sickened, all were questioning what has happened to our country. Disbelief competed with despair. 1968 was indeed the “worst of times!” to paraphrase Thomas Paine.

Mayor Daley had 12,000 police and 7,500 National Guardsmen on hand when the Dems Convention opened. The protestors convened across the street in Grant Park. The Mayor ordered the park emptied. A riot ensued which a judge later described as a “police riot. Unprovoked assaults by police on law abiding citizens. Chicago at its worst.

Mayor Daley was telling the world he was the absolute boss of Chicago. As the Democrats were speaking in the Convention Center, tv cameras of the world were focused on Grant Park! It is universally agreed that Mayor Richard J. Daley cost the Democrats the 1968 election then and there. And all that flowed from that. The Dems polled 31.2 million votes, the GOP 31.7 million votes. George Wallace polled 9.9 million votes. A very close election, popular vote-wise. Not close at all in the Electoral College, Nixon, 301, Humphrey, 191, and Wallace, 46.

1972. The next election saw Nixon handily overwhelm George McGovern. Nixon received 47.1 million votes, McGovern 29.1 million votes. The GOP received 520 electoral votes and the Democrats 17. Massachusetts and District of Columbia making the Democrats votes. It also produced Watergate.

The United States passed though an epochal moment in 1968. I do not know how to describe the outcome. It seems to continue. I hope it is never repeated.

[edit on 3/3/2007 by donwhite]



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