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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Political History Reports

1948 Election

     In 1948 the presidential election between Dewey and Truman was held. Everyone across America was sure that Dewey would win, its said only Truman believed he would win and be re-elected. All the polls predicted Dewey was far ahead in the lead, including George Gallup's organization. Roper was so sure that he ceased polling in September. Even a poll asking how good of a job Truman had been doing said only 36% of people thought he was doing good as president. However, the polls proved wrong and president Truman was re-elected for another term. He beat Dewey 49.6% to 45.1%. Most likely the polls were wrong since their main source was the telephone, like it is today, and then it was still rare to be able to afford a phone. Therefore, only the rich mostly answered polls.
     Because of the error many papers and magazines published with headlines of Dewey winning. A famous picture shows Truman holding the Chicago tribune with the title "Dewey defeats Truman". This just added to the embarrassment of being wrong.
     The 1948 polling error is the main example used that polls aren't always right. This massive error in election history has taught America that only the election day really matters. Polls should be used more generally as a guideline.
     It showed to not give up hope even if the polls say there is none, and to not take it easy if your the one winning. Dewey had a low-key campaign due to overconfidence. So Truman took advantage of that and ran his campaign the best he could despite the overwhelming polls.
     the 1948 polling error showed to not completely trust polls. Polls can easily be miscalculated or subjected to just one group. Polling organizations have also tended to be more careful at how they go about it.
- Karisa

Dwight D. Eisenhower

             Dwight D. Eisenhower was an American war hero and a shoe in for president.  Eisenhower was a five-star general for the United States Army during World War II, and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe.  Also, he was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch, and the successful invasion of France and Germany, from the Western Front.  Eisenhower became the first Supreme Commander of NATO.

            Both the republicans and the democrats wanted Eisenhower to run for president with their party because they knew he was going to win the presidency.  All of America looked up to Eisenhower and trusted his ideas and judgment calls.  However, even though both political parties wanted Eisenhower to run for president, he showed little interest in politics.  Finally, after months of consideration, Eisenhower decided to run for president as the Republican candidate in the 1952 election.  Some people believe that Democratic President Harry S. Truman offered to stand aside in favor of Eisenhower at the 1948 presidential election, but Truman denies this from ever happening.  One of the main reasons Eisenhower decided to run as a republican was because the democrats had held office for 20 years and he thought the country needed a change.

                Leading up to the election, Eisenhower ran as a non-politician and allowed the other republicans to run a Cold-War campaign accusing the democrats of being “soft on communism”, while he kept his genial  public image.
- Riley

1952 Election Nixon & Checkers

During the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon was Dwight Eisenhower’s vice-presidential running mate for the Republican Party.  Previous to Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech he was accused of taking illegal gifts.  He was the first politician to use the television to defend himself to America. The reason that many refer to this speech as the Checker’s speech is because in this he reflects back to his family’s cocker spaniel dog, that is black and white spotted (hence the name Checkers).   The story that Nixon explains about Checkers is that a man had heard Nixon’s wife proclaim on the radio that the children had always wanted a dog. Days later The Union Station from Baltimore called Nixon saying that he had a packaged.  In this crate was the dog, and Nixon knew he was not supposed to keep this gift from a voter but his daughter instantly feel in love with it.  Nixon then said the famous words, “And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”

            In this speech he addresses Americans and explains that he is an honest man but his integrity is questioned.  He states that most politicians in his position would have either ignored the accusations or denied them.  Nixon, however didn’t do either, he made a public speech on the television. After making his speech he thought that it would not affect Americans the way it should and he was disappointed in himself.

            However, after the speech thousands of telegrams were coming in and the American people loved it, they thought that Nixon was a companionate man that was falsely accused.  Also, along with gaining the respect from many Americans, Nixon’s speech proved to many  people that the power of media has a huge influence on how the public views the politicians.  Now all the debates and important events are played on television simply for the fact that more Americans will watched if it is on television. 



1960 Eleiction- Kennedy-Nixon Debates

The 1960 election was the closest presidential election held in the 20th century. The Democratic candidate was John F. Kennedy, senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon was the Republican candidate. Kennedy won the presidency with 0.1% more votes than Nixon. Many said that without the debates Kennedy would have lost, but we will never know. If the debates were never televised Nixon could have been president.

            The first debate was held on September 26, 1960. The debate was credited with erasing Nixon’s lead over Kennedy. Kennedy entered the debate looking sharp and well prepared. Ted Sorenson, Kennedy’s aid, said that Kennedy spent the day before the debate going through notecards on the roof of their Chicago Hotel for hours while working on his tan. Kennedy was well dressed and near perfection on camera. He made eye contact with the audience through the camera and answered all questions thoroughly. Many said that he handled difficult questions effectively; he was thoughtful and charming.
Nixon, on the other hand, looked sickly on camera; just days before the debate he was discharged from the hospital. Nixon had a serious knee injury and was in the hospital for two weeks after surgery. He was unbelievably pail on camera and was dressed in wrinkly clothes. At the debate he was 20 pounds underweight and his five o’clock shadow showed on screen. Nixon refused to wear makeup because he wanted people to see him as he was; he looked like a ghost as he sweated under the lights. Unlike Kennedy, he failed to engage the audience, but was still an intense debater.

Over 70 million people viewed the debate on television; it gave the viewers a chance to actually see the candidates, not just hear them on the radio. This caused people to then focus on what they saw instead of what they heard. Those who heard the debate on the radio thought of Nixon as the winner, but those who saw the debate on television clearly announced Kennedy as the debate winner.  Without this debate being televised Kennedy may have never been the 35th President of the United States, it could have been Nixon.
- Tori

Kennedy - Nixon Debates
The Kennedy - nixon Preidantial Dabates, 1060
How the Nixon - Kennedy Debate Changed the World

The Election of 1964- Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson

            After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president in 1963 just 99 minutes after JFK was assassinated. After he finished the rest of Kennedy’s presidential term, he decided to run again in 1964. Put against him for the republican nomination was Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a very conservative senator from Arizona. He was ecstatic to debate against Kennedy across the country, but when he heard the news about his murder he was devastated. Goldwater still went on to run for president but had to face Johnson instead. Their ideas differed not slightly but on total different ends of the spectrum. It seemed that not on one thing did either candidate agree on. For the first time since 1932 had that happened before to where people could choose a candidate that had total different views on subjects than the other. Johnson manipulated the media to give the better coverage, and had them televise commercials making Goldwater look bad. One of the most famous commercials is the “daisy girl”. What happened in it was there was a little girl picking petals off a daisy and she was counting the petals. All of a sudden in the background there’s a countdown for a nuke to be launched, then a huge explosion happens. This basically said if Goldwater’s elected there will be a nuclear war. Even though Goldwater was getting bad publicity he still went on with what he believed in and his views on what to do as president. He believed in them so much that he was kicked out of the convention by Senator Rockefeller. Seeing all of the commercials and bad publicity he was getting people decided to not vote for him. When the voting was done Lyndon won by a landslide by getting over 60% of the popular vote and 90% of the electoral votes.
- James
Sites used:

1968 Election- Hubert Humphrey

Hubert Humphrey was a versatile politician through out his life. From being the United States Senate majority whip to being Vice president it seems like hes done it all. Humphrey is most well known for being Johnson's vice president He was also the nominee for the democratic party against Nixon in 1968. Although he did lose, he went on to be a senator once again for Minnesota.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. was born on May 27th 1911 in Wallace, South Dakota. His family moved to Doland, South Dakota where Humphrey eventually attend public school. Humphrey went on to graduate from Capitol college majoring in Pharmacy in 1933 then graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1939. Hubert /Humphrey then went to complete graduate school at Louisiana State University.

In 1936 Hubert Humphrey married a bookkeeper at the local college named Muriel Buck. They went on to have four children, Hubert Humphrey III, Robert, Douglas, and Nancy. In 1943, Humphrey ran for mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He, however, lost a close race. Humphrey's campaign was not well funded but he still grabbed 47 percent of the votes. After WWII ended, Hubert Humphrey ran once again for mayor of Minneapolis in 1945 and won. He was then re-elected in 1947.

Humphrey gained fame from being mayor of Minneapolis because of his anti-communist beliefs. Minneapolis was even called Anti-Semitism capital of the country while Hubert was in office. Humphrey gained more publicity when he spoke at the 1948 DNC about the minority's plank radical views for Civil Rights. Many say because of this, he helped Truman tremendously into being re-elected into office.

In 1948, Hubert Humphrey was elected US senate for the state of Minnesota. He was re-elected in 1954 and 1960 and was named the majority whip in 1961. Many do not know this, but Hubert Humphrey ran for presidency twice before being Vice President. He was beat out by JFK the second time in 1960. In 1964, Humphrey was named Lyndon B. Johnson's running mate for the presidential election. Johnson eventually won and Hubert Humphrey was named the next Vice President of the United States. While in office, Humphrey was very skeptical about the war in Vietnam but he stuck behind Johnson and all of Johnson's policies.

In 1968,Johnson surprisingly dropped out of the campaign for re-election. This caused Hubert Humphrey to immediately announce his run for presidency. While, Humphrey did win the democratic nomination he was still trailing behind Richard Nixon in the polls. After announcing his plans to halt bombing in Vietnam, his lucked began to change. Unfortunately, he ended up losing to Nixon by approximately 510,000 votes, one of the smallest margins ever seen in the presidential election in the united states.

After his time in office, he went to teach at a few universities before running again for the democratic nomination multiple times. Hubert Humphrey died on January 13, 1978 of bladder cancer at his home in Minnesota.
- Emily

1968 Election- Richard Daley

The hall that the Democratic convention of 1968 was in, was surrounded by a steel fence topped with barbed wire. Inside the fence, clusters of armed and helmeted police mingled with security guards and dark-suited agents of the Secret Service. At the apex of the stone gates through which all had to enter was a huge sign bearing the unintentionally ironic words, "HELLO DEMOCRATS! WELCOME TO CHICAGO."Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley, was very important in the 1968 and 1960 election. In 1960 Richard helped the democrats elect John F. Kennedy but in 1967 his helpfulness ran out and he continued to talk about the disappointment he had for the president and did not give him a good word. The speech was later leeched into the local newspaper, including the Chicago tribune, this speech made Illinois a swing state.  The 1968 democratic convention had the party split between the middle on the presidens war policy. The opposition to the vietnam war was the main catlyst behind the convention riots. Many people wanted to move the convention to Chicago, where the republicans had theirs, but Richard J. Daley would not let the convention move from Chicago. He threated to stop suporting Humphfry if the convention was moved. The president also wanted the convention to stay in chicago. Johnson also said that Mami is not an American city. Humphrey easily won the nomination by more than a 1,000 votes, with the delegation from Pennsylvania putting him over the top. On March 20, 1969, a Chicago grand jury indicted eight police officers and eight civilians in connection with the disorders during the Democratic convention. The eight civilians, dubbed the "Chicago 8," were the first persons to be charged under provisions of the 1968 Civil Rights act, which made it a federal crime to cross state lines to incite a riot.
- Stephan

1968 Election- Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph McCarthy was born in Watkins, Meeker County, Minn., March 29, 1916. Eugene was a democrat. The war in Viet Nam was spreading throughout the Democratic Party, On November 30, 1967, he announced that he would run against President Lyndon Johnson for the nomination of the Democratic Party. McCarthy won 42 percent of the vote in the Demoratic primary. Eugenes antiwar position won the support of many liberals and his strong showing in the primaries persuaded Johnson to leave the race. McCarthy never served as a president. Eugene McCarthy died on December 10, 2005, in Woodville, Virginia.
- Kelsey

Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick

            On July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, passenger of  U.S. Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, was involved in a tragic car accident resulting in her death.  The two left a party together because Ms. Kopechne wanted to get home and since her driver was still engaged with the party at the time, Kennedy insisted he take her home.  Kennedy accidently drove his car off a bridge into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts.  He was able to swim free from the submereged car.  It's said that he dove back into the water countless times to save Kopechne, but gave up hope.  He then fled the scene.  Kopechne died in the car and her body was found the next day, July 19, in the early morning. 

            By this time, Kennedy hadn't reported the accident witchin 10 hours. On July 25, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, received a two-month suspended sentence, and had his license suspended for a year.  Based on his age, character and prior reputation he got the minimum for the offense.  That evening, in a televised statement, he stated that the delayed reporting of the accident was "indefensible."  He also asked his constituents to help him decide whether to continue his political career. Receiving a positive response, he resumed his senatorial duties at the end of a month.

            Whether or not this incident left Kennedy totally doomed is arguable.  One might say yes because not only did he handle this situation rather poorly, he made his family name look bad and he had to live with the awful memories from the night of the accident. Also, Kennedy's wife,  Joan Bennett Kennedy, was pregnant at the time of the accident, but miscarried the child after attending Kopechne's funeral and standing by her husbands side in court.  Mrs. Kennedy blamed the accident. However, one might say no because Kennedy was able to keep his position as U.S. Senator and held that position for about fourty more years.  He was the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history.
- Allison

1972 Election- George McGovern

George McGovern, a Representative and Senator from South Dakota, has played many roles in democratic politics throughout his life.  First he joined the military and served as a pilot in WWII.  When returning from war McGovern received his PhD from Northwestern University.  After receiving his PhD he taught as a professor of history and government at Dakota Wesleyan University.  When he got involved in politics he was not always successful.  When losing the election for the senate seat in South Dakota 1960, McGovern then served two years as the director of the Food for Peace Program.  Later he was elected to the US Senate in 1962 and was reelected again in 1968.

The biggest part of McGovern’s political career was when he won the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party in 1972.  However he did not necessarily follow the traditional elements of the Democratic Party and was not able to unify the Party and was defeated a very large margin by the Republican Party nominee Richard Nixon. In the election Nixon won 520 electoral votes while McGovern only won 17 votes in the electoral college.  Nixon even won in a landslide with the popular vote winning 23.2%.  This was the biggest margin ever in a US presidential election.

McGovern’s main platform that he campaigned on was putting an immediate end to the war in Vietnam.  Which was one way that he did not follow the traditional elements of the Democratic Party since the Democrats are normally pro war advocates.  If it weren’t for the Party being so separated from the views of McGovern, he may have received a better margin in the election of 1972.
- Sami

1972 Election- Thomas Eagleton

Thomas Eagleton was the democratic vice presidential candidate for George McGovern in the 1972 election.  He was the candidate for about 18 days, before he dropped out of the race.  Prior to the nomination, Eagleton was a liberal Missouri senator, and not widely known.  He had also been hospitalized on three separate occasions due to depression and stress, and undergone electric shock therapy.  This particular piece of information had not been mentioned to the democrats before his nomination.  Shortly after his nomination, the rumors about Eagleton’s hospital stays began.  He confirmed the rumors just thirteen days after his nomination. After Eagleton left the ticket, Sargent Shriver, the director of Peace Corps and the ambassador to France during Nixon and Johnson’s administration, was selected to replace him.  Despite Eagleton’s dismissal from the Democratic ticket, McGovern still suffered a horrific loss to Nixon in the end.

Prior to the fiasco that occurred because the information concerning Eagleton’s health had been withheld initially, presidential candidates didn’t thoroughly investigate their running mates before the election.  Now, because of the 1972 election, potential vice presidential candidates must go through lengthy screening procedures to determine if they have anything in their past that could be used against them.  They have to submit to deeply personal questioning about themselves and their families (both immediate and extended), and submit any and all forms related to their medical history, tax returns, financial statements, and court records, anything that would otherwise be considered private or confidential.  Basically, vice presidential candidates today are not allowed to keep any secrets from their running mates.  According to an article by Paul West of the Los Angeles Times, in the 2008 election potential Republican Candidates had to answer questions concerning “’…infidelity, sexual harassment, discrimination, plagiarism, alcohol or drug addiction, delinquent taxes, credit history, and use of government positions or resources for personal benefit’” (West).  Nothing is too personal when it comes to selecting a vice presidential candidate.

Spiro Agnew

Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 9, 1918. Spiro was educated in the public schools of Baltimore as a child and continued his education. After graduating from the University Of Baltimore Law School 1947 he served in the United States Army during the Second World War and the Korean conflict. When he was discharged from the Army he practiced law in Baltimore. After many years surrounded by the court system he was elected county executive of Baltimore County 1962. From county executive he moved up and was elected Governor of Maryland 1966. After only seven short years in politics, Agnew was elected Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket with President Richard Nixon on November 5, 1968 and resigned as Governor of Maryland in 1969. He was inaugurated 39th Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1969 the same year.

Agnew was only known in Maryland until Nixon insisted his nomination for Vice President. Nixon and Agnew won the election over the democratic candidates. Agnew became well known. He accused television and newspapers of being prejudice against his republican demonstration. In 1972, Nixon and Agnew won a landslide victory over their Democratic opponents, George S. McGovern and Sargent Shriver.

In 1973, federal officials began to investigate charges that Agnew had accepted bribes from contractors in return for helping them get state government work in Maryland. The investigation covered the period Agnew had served as Baltimore County Executive, governor, and vice president.

Agnew repeatedly denied any wrong doing. But on October 10, he resigned as vice president under an agreement with the Department of Justice. Agnew pleaded nolo contendere (no contest) to a single charge. He had cheated the government of $13,551 on his federal income tax payment for 1967. The judge said that the plea was "the full equivalent of a plea of guilty." Agnew was fined $10,000 and sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation. House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford succeeded Agnew as vice president. Ford was sworn into the office on Dec. 6, 1973.

This part of history was significant in the fact that if Agnew hadn’t resigned from office than Gerald Ford wouldn’t have been the vice president. I think that the only reason that Ford was elected president in 1974 is because he was elected vice president when Agnew resigned, and he also got Richard Nixon to support him. If Spiro Agnew never would have resigned as vice president Nixon would have never got pardoned, and we wouldn’t have had offered clemency to the people that left the war or dodged the draft for the Vietnam War. Although we might not realize it, everything that has happened in the past, politically or not, has shaped the way of our future.
- Katie



       The Watergate scandal involved five men who were arrested at 2:30 a.m. on June 17, 1972 trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Convention at the Watergate hotel and office complex. The five men were James W. McCord Jr., Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, and Eugenio Martínez. McCord was a former CIA officer; the others were veterans of anti-Castro operations. Hundred-dollar bills found on the burglars were easily traced by their sequential serial numbers to a Miami bank account of burglar Bernard Barker, and were subsequently traced to the Committee to Re-Elect President Nixon. However, a white house spokesperson denied any involvement and dismissed the incident as a "third-rate burglary attempt."Watergate did not stop President Nixon from winning the 1972 presidential election against Democrat George McGovern. Nixon won with a landslide victory with 60 percent of the popular vote, winning in every state except Massachusetts.

        The unraveling of the cover-up started on March 23, 1973 when one of the burglars, James W. McCord, informed U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica that he was pressured to remain silent. Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after admitting he had destroyed Watergate evidence under pressure from Nixon aides on April 20. Then four of Nixon's top officials resigned ten days later. On June 17, former Presidential Counsel John Dean testified that Nixon had been personally involved in the payment of hush money to the five burglars and two other operatives involved in planning the Watergate break-in. Then another Nixon aide revealed the President had ordered hidden microphones installed in the Oval Office in the spring of 1971 and had recorded most conversations since then on audio tape. Nixon did not want to hand over the tapes which resulted in the "Saturday Night Massacre".The minute-by-minute events of the "Saturday Night Massacre" were covered live by stunned reporters on network television starting about 8:30 p.m. and sent a political shockwave throughout America that led to immediate calls for impeachment. Nixon responded by initially agreeing to turn over some of the tapes. However, the White House then revealed that two of the tapes no longer existed and later revealed there was an 18 minute blank gap on a crucial recording of the President and H.R. Haldeman taped three days after the Watergate break-in. On Saturday, July 27, the house judiciary committee approved its first article of impeachment. Then on August 9, Nixon resigned and avoided the likely prospect of losing the impeachment vote in the house and a subsequent trial in the senate.

        The events of Watergate left of lasting effect on America and American politics. Voters who were disgusted by Nixon became disgusted with the Republican party. In the upcoming senate election and house race, Democrats gained 5 seats in the Senate and 49 in the house.The Watergate scandal caused many changes in campaign financing. The scandal led to amending the freedom of information act in 1974, and laws requiring new financial disclosures by important government officials. Releasing income tax forms became expected. Presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt recorded many of their conversations, but after Watergate that practice ended. The public opinion of lawyers were severely damaged, so the American Bar Association replaced their Moral Code of Professional Responsibility with the Moral Code of Professional Conduct in 1989. Many scandals now are labeled with the suffix "gate" because Watergate left a lasting impression on the national and international consciousness.
- Savannah

1976 Presidential Election: Jimmy Carter

                James ‘Jimmy’ Carter won the 1976 Election against Gerald Ford with his Vice President, Walter Mondale. Before running for his presidency, Carter served as Governor of Georgia form 1971 to 1975. He was known as an outsider President from Georgia. Why he was known as an outsider is still a mystery to some people. But, he was still known to people as a “people’s president” and not an “imperial” one.

                To people, outsiders did not hold important positions in administration. Carter had no real experience in presidential campaigns unlike all the other 38 presidents before him. He wasn’t part of any political families and or has had any experience. He was just a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia. In 1972, he started to become involved in presidency. He was still very little known, but he fought hard to become popular with the public.

 Carter presented himself as an outsider that wasn’t corrupted by Washington. He was favorably marked and committed by morality but he disliked economic crisis, incomplete domestic programs and a bit of foreign policy crisis. He was more down to earth and he was great at keeping a low key image upon himself, wanting to stay an outsider.  Despite not being on the list of potential presidents, Carter’s identity of an outsider was what the people liked. While running essentially as a moderate to conservative Democrat, Carter emphasized his message of honesty, integrity, and character over specific issues. "I will not lie to you," he said, and he meant it. "The fact that he was unknown was part of his appeal," remembers Carter’s speechwriter, Hendrik Hertzberg. "And he brought simple verities to the campaign trail: a promise not to lie to the American people, a promise to be good, and a promise to love. And this was enough to bring him through the early primaries."

After leaving office, Carter and his wife Rosalynn founded The Carter Center, a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that works to advance human rights. He has traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, observe elections, and advance disease prevention and eradication in developing nations. He is also a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity project. Carter also remains particularly vocal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As of 2008, Carter is the second-oldest living former president and still remained the only president that was an outsider. Being an outsider helped him become a famous president by concealing his identity, but it didn’t help that some people didn’t like it because they didn’t know what they would be voting for.
- Lexi

The 1980 Election
Ted Kennedy’s Challenge

In the 1980 Election, Ted Kennedy had a challenge.  Ted Kennedy was a powerful man and had a very different personality.  He was a United States Senator.  Ted Kennedy was also a a part of the Democratic Party. 

Ted Kennedy was running for president to get nomination from Carter.  President Carter was put into office in 1978 and was part of the Democratic Party. He was a more conservative democrat, but the Democrats were happy to be back in the political office.  Like today the economics and politics of the time are not the best that they could be. Kennedy and carter fought like cats and dogs and did not get along at all.  Their views were like oil and water they just didn’t get along.  Many people thought that Carter was soft and Kennedy thought that he was beatable.  Ted Kennedy was not a very good man and had morals that not many people thought were very good.  Ted Kennedy when you got down to it was a very weak man and in the 1980 election President Carter beat Ted Kennedy and was put back in office again. 

The teachers of today’s schools have taught their students that history often repeats itself.  This election back in 1980 has many characteristics similar to today’s 2012 election.
- Paul




1984 Election- Geraldine Ferraro

Geraldine Ferraro was has been made famous by being the first woman vice presidential candidate representing a major political party.  She was Walter Mondale’s running mate for the 1984 election.  They were thought to be the winning nominees for the Democratic Party. They gained people’s curiosity and attention with the thought of a female vice president in office.  At the time of the election she was in her third term representing New York’s 9th district in the House of Representatives.  Mondale succeeded in generating encouraging public attention and plenty attention from the media.  They were able to come up even with Ronald Reagan in the polls.  Past the democratic convention Mondale and Ferraro were leading in polls until questions began to grow concerning his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro.  Apparently Ferraro and her husband (John Zaccaro) filed separate tax returns which puzzled many Americans.  They wanted to know what Zaccaro was hiding. He quickly refused to make public his tax information.  Rumors multiplied about tax improprieties and feasible mob ties.  The media was all over it and appeared to make the democrats appeal to workers look rather unfulfilled.  The reaction was caused over revealed information the couple’s two vacation homes and a full time maid.  Ferraro in addition dealt with questions about her inexperience.   She had only been a congresswoman for about five years.  Ultimately, Reagan won over America’s hearts and their trust and became the president.  Overall, Reagan won 55% of the women’s vote. The debate surrounding Ferraro’s taxes and her inexperience turned off many voters.

- Erin


Geraldine Ferraro and the 1984 Presidential Election

Mondale: Geraldine Ferraro was a 'gutsy pioneer'

Geraldine Ferraro's Run For Vice President,,20089573,00.html

Gary Hart’s Failed Campaign

            After losing the Democratic primaries in 1984, Gary Hart tried again in 1988. Hart was the clear frontrunner in 1988 until rumors about affair surfaced. Hart was being accused of having an affair with a model named Donna Rice. This event was one of the first largely publicized political sex scandals.

              When the reports of Hart and Rice first came out, Hart and his allies initially denied the allegations. Hart claimed that Miami Herald, the first newspaper to report the affair, did not have all the facts when it printed the story. Even know Hart denied the reports, his poll numbers started to drop.

            A few days after the Herald printed the original story, more rumors surfaced about Hart spending a night on a yacht called the Monkey Business with Donna Rice. Also, reports of a picture of Hart and Rice sitting together were circulating in the media. The picture would not appear in the media until later, but its effects were still powerful. Hart would then pull out of the race on May 8, 1987, a week after the Herald published the first story.

            One major topic that spawned from this scandal was if the press is unfair to people in Hart’s situation. Hart blamed the media for his spiral downward. Some people agreed that the press needed to back off sometimes. Richard Nixon wrote Hart a letter commending him for dealing with his difficult situation. Other people believed that Hart was wrong and that he should be the only one to blame for what happened. This is an issue that still comes up in today’s media.

            Another lasting effect from Hart’s affair was the introduction of politician’s personal lives. Before Hart, politicians could keep secrets away from the media. It was a turning point when Hart’s personal life got put into question back in 1987. Today, it is hard for candidates to keep these kinds of secrets away from the public.

            Gary Hart’s sex scandal changed the political future. People started wondering if the press was too harsh on famous figures, and candidates’ personal lives started to become public knowledge. The effects of this affair will live on for a long time.
- Jordan



1988 Election- Dan Quayle

                George H.W Bush picked him as a VP.  He picked him because of his age and of his conservative credentials.  He was more conservative than George H.W Bush.  They thought that he would appeal to the conservative base of the party as well as to the women voters.  Others thought he was too young and inexperienced.  Bush-Quayle won the election with 53% of the vote and 426 Electoral College votes.  He also served as a US Representative and US Senator from the State of Indiana.  During his vice presidency he visited 47 countries.  Also during that time he was appointed to the chairman of the National Space Council.  Dan Quayle took the endorsement of single parenting to task for contributing to society’s moral decay. He was in a spelling bee in Trenton, New Jersey.  He gave a kid the word potato.  The kid spelled the word right.  He told him that it was wrong.  He said there was an e at the end of potato. He said that it was on the card like that.  He chided Murphy Brown-the fictional 40-something, divorced news anchor played by Candice Bergen on a CBS sitcom for her decision to have a child outside of marriage.  He said “Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong.”

                What your vice presidential candidate says can have a big influence on if you get elected for president or not.  People think that you and your vice presidential candidate should have the same view.  In reality no two people are going to agree on the same things. In this case everybody thought that Dan Quayle was not ready to be the vice president. In this case it didn’t affect him getting elected.  In some cases though if the vice president doesn’t’ do good than they will not choose the president because of that.
- Lindsay

1988 Election- "Read My Lips..."
  In 1988, George Bush Sr. was elected president of the USA.  Some people attribute his win solely to one of his most famous “catch phrases:” which he first introduced at the Republican National Convention in his nominee acceptance speech.  What he said was; Read my lips no new taxes.  Part of   the reason this comment made such a splash at the republican convention was that he was not only committing to a position on raising taxes which has been a big issue in many elections in the last few decades  but he also showed the American people that he meant business.  Those six little words are believed to have determined the entire election.  Really it was the first three words in the phrase that made such an impact.  When he got up on stage    and said: Read my lips. He reached the American people.  He made the promise to all Americans and he let the American people know that he believed that he could improve the economy without any new taxes and that he was a candidate that they could believe in. The resulting bump that George Bush Sr. received from the 1988 election was approximately ten percent.  In the days leading up to the republican convention the focus of Bush’s campaign committee was to reinvent Bush and reshape public opinion of him.  After Dukahkis’s speech at the democratic convention most Americans had formed a very negative opinion of Bush Sr.  As a result of his opponents successful campaign to destroy public opinion of him,. Bush spent his convention and most of the days leading up to the election reinventing himself.  George H.W. Bush Sr. became the first candidate of the twelve total candidates in the last six elections to manage to improve their image between the days leading up to the convention until the day before the election.
- Jesse




1988 Election- Willie Horton

The Election of 1988 was between George H.W Bush for the Republican Party and Michael Dukakis for the Democratic Party. Between both candidates they centered on social and cultural issues like letting 1st Degree murders go on a furlough program and giving aid to prisoners who got out early. One of the top issues of the 1988 was Willie Horton a 1st degree murder who was let out of prison on a furlough program for 48 hours unguarded and never returned. When Willie Horton was out on furlough he stabbed and gagged a man then when the man’s fiancée came home he pistol wiped her then raped her twice. Why this was a big issue to the American public is that Michael Dukakis at the time as governor had let this happen.

                                      During the first presidential debate George Bush called Michael Dukakis out for what had happened. George bush told Michael that he was soft on crime and why he had let this happen. George bush also authorized an attack ad that linked Michael Dukakis giving 10 weekend passes to Willie Horton that eventually led to crimes happening on those furlough visits. Michael fired back Saying George Bush helped an ex-convict fund and build a halfway house for early released felons in Houston Texas.

                                      During the second debate George Bush asked Michael Dukakis how he would feel if his wife was raped and murdered. Michael did not react with emotion but simply said the death penalty. Since Michael was against the death penalty he basically flip flopped and said George Bush was right. In the end the whole election between George Bush and Michael Dukakis was centered on issues that were social. In the end George Bush won the election and vowed that he would be tougher on crime and ban furloughs.

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky was hired as part of the Clinton staff in April 1996 right out of college. She was caught having sexual relations with President Bill Clinton in 1998. The situation became known as "zippergate, sexgate, tailgate, and lewinskygate". Monica Lewinsky confined her relationship with President Bill Clinton with another staff member Linda Tripp. Linda Tripp convinced Monica Lewinsky to save gift that Bill Clinton gave her and not to dry clean the semen stained dress. This would later be used against Bill Clinton.  Linda Tripp later spoke to a literary agent about the incidents involving Lewinsky and Clinton.  This literary agents name was Lucianne Goldberg.  Goldberg adviced Ms. Tripp to record conversations with Monica Lewinsky and to share them with her.  After Tripp shared some of the conservations with Goldberg, Goldberg decided to tell a head news reporter about the recorded tapes.   January 17th 1998 was the day the story first broke after a bunch of reporters have found out the story and built it up.  At first the president didnt respond to questions about him having a affair but eventually after stroies kept becoming bigger and more people started demanding the truth, President Bill Clinton came out and told people that the affair never happened and he stuck to this for awhile.  He was specificly quoted saying "I have not had sexual relations with this woman, Miss Lewinsky.  Also i may add through most of this Bill Clintons wife Hillary Clinton stood by him and stuck up for him.  He choose not to speak of this in his State of the Union address even though most people thought he may of.  Several months went on and people were wondering whether the afair had actually occured or if it had not.  But then later that year on July 28th Moncia Lewinsky came forward in exchange for transactional immunity.  She hand over the semen stained blue dress and also testified that the affair did occur.  On August 17th of that year Bill Clinton admitted on a tape to a grand jury that the affair occured and he also had a nationally televised event saying his affair with Miss Lewinsky was not appropriate.  Later that year perjury charges were brought up but the senate could not end up charging him.  But they did suspend his license to practice law for 5 years and was fined $90,000.  This later lead to the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the House of Representatives but was acquitted byt the Senate.  Many thought he abused his power and should of had a worse punishment but nothing happened.  In later years he finally had a personal acceptance to the oral sex that occured between the too and admitted " I cracked, I just cracked".      
- Nate



2000 Election- Florida
The election between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 was one of the closest in modern history and has reignited the flame to an argument that has existed since the inception of our electoral college system. The election came down to Bush leading in the electoral college with 271 votes to Gore’s 266 votes and Gore leading the popular vote of the country by 543,895 votes. So what does this mean? Well in our system this means Bush has won the election even though it was awfully close because he has the majority of the electoral college votes. This system was put in place to bring more equality to all of the states instead of the candidates focusing on the population centers of the country, they have to appeal to the whole countries voters. So instances like this where the popular vote has gone to another candidate have happened before three other times in our history, each reigniting the flame to get rid of our electoral college. These elections have each had a little bit of their own controversy, and this election was the state of Florida. The night of the election was coming to a close with both candidates still in a close race, and the whole race was depending on the outcome of Florida with its twenty-five electoral votes. The election was so close that it was called in Gore’s favor on major networks, but later declared undecided until late into the night where they declared Bush as the victor, and even later the networks declared undecided again. The vote in Florida came to within a margin of 300( 900 a week later with military votes) to Bush’s favor. This extremely close margin called for an automated recount by machines, and the state’s canvassing board concluded on November 26th with Bush winning by 537 votes. Gore of course contested this, wanting to recount over 70,000 ballots that weren't accepted by the automated machines. The Florida Supreme court reversed the decision to over-rule Gore’s want to recount in certain counties, but a day later the U.S. Supreme Court over-ruled the decision calling it unfair because of different standards in manual recounting. On December 12th, more than a month after the election, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a statewide recount was unconstitutional and that they needed to cease the recounts and that Bush was the victor. There was an extreme amount of controversy over these decisions and the whole election in general, which has lead to many new state and federal laws regarding issues in the electoral college and popular vote. The election has forever changed American politics by causing an event that wasn’t thought of before, which ironically has lead to most of the laws in history and will continue to do so. 
- Sergio

2008 Election

    Barack Obama, the winner of the 2008 Presidential election, was successful in getting more people to vote for him than John McCain did during that election. During the last 3 general elections, 2004, 2006, and 2008, the majority of Democratic votes have come from younger voters. During all of those elections, their age group have been the most supportive towards the democrats. When it comes to young voters, they are more diverse ethnically and racially than older voters. They are also more secular in their religious orientation, which causes them to vote more for the people who agree. According to the exiting polls, young people were not crucial towards Obama’s victory. The voters from ages 30 and older divided roughly evenly between the two candidates, while Obama captured 66% of the youth vote and compared with McCain's 31% of votes. There was a problem with some of Obama’s young voters. One of the voter’s was Kierra Fontae Leache, Twenty-six years old, of Pheiffer Drive in Raleigh. She decided to vote twice, and also some of the people that she knows joined in on the altercation and voted twice, too.

Obama’s organization was called Project Vote. It tried to increase involvement from voters who helped Obama win the White House in 2008, including young voters, seniors, blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and gays and lesbians. Obama's campaign said the project will "drive our campaign strategy, from paid media, to digital outreach, to grassroots organizing and voter registration efforts" just to connect with all of his campaign voters, including all voters who have moved or have not voted in the past. The significance that this election has made in history is that Obama has gotten a lot of young voters to actually vote, which not a lot do, from internet and other ways. Also, Obama of course is the first African American president, which has made a big change in American history.
- Anye

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