Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Mark Russell’ Category

Mondale-Ferraro

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

1984 was almost unfair to the Democrats because they had no one who can beat Ronald Reagan and they probably knew that going in. If you look at where the country was in 1980 and where it was in 1984, it certainly wasn’t good, but the country was feeling much better than it was in 1984 than in 1980. Imagine waking up with a head cold or the flu and then waking up the next morning with a cold. You aren’t feeling great, the next morning with the cold and perhaps a stuffed nose and cough. But at least the headache is gone and you’re no longer vomiting every hour were able to sleep the whole night. Well that is how the country felt in 1984 with Ron Reagan compared with 1980 with Jimmy Carter.

1984 was what the what the hell year for Democrats. “Hey I can’t win so I might as well run for president, because what do I have to lose”. Which I believe was one of Walter Mondale’s campaign themes that year. “Vote for me, what do you have to lose?” 1984 was for Democrats what 1964 and 96 was for Republicans. The country not feeling great, but much b
etter off than it did four years earlier. And when that is the case the party in power tends to get reelected. And if that party holds at least one chamber of Congress as well, they not only hold their majority in the House or Senate, but tend to add to it as well. Which is what Senate Republicans did in 84.

It is too bad for Democrats in 84 because they had at least two good candidates. And if Gary Hart was just able to communicate what he believed in 84, the Mondale line of “where’s the beef” doesn’t play as well or is even used. Because Democrats tended to like Gary Hart and did other Americans, but with Mondale they knew him and knew where he was on the issues. He was the safe choice especially considering they knew he wasn’t going to win anyway, but at least Fritz wasn’t going to embarrass them. Ron Reagan was something special as a politician and when things were going well under his leadership or at least perceived that way, he was almost impossible to beat. Which is what Democrats found out in 1984.

Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Looks Back at Campaign 84

 

Read Full Post »

img_0424Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times

1987 a year that I was eleven years old for the most of it, there you have it my age, now see if you can add 24 years to that and come up with the right answer on your own. I finished fifth grade in 1987 and started 6th grade. But enough about me, this blog is not my autobiography, not enough time and I would like you to read the whole blog before you fall asleep.

1987 was a fascinating year politically and I actually remember some of those stories as a eleven year old. Democrats took over the Senate, I don’t remember hearing about that, but I knew we had a Republican President and a Democratic Congress that year. Which was a very common arrangement in the 1970s and 80s, like an unhappy marriage. That stayed together for the sake of the kids.

I remember hearing about Iran Contra and even having some idea about what that was. I remember hearing the names Col. Oliver North, Admiral John Poindexter, Bud Macfarline who was President Reagan’s Director of National Security. I remember even seeing parts of the Iran Contra hearings that were held I believe both in the House and Senate on TV. I remember hearing that Vice President George Bush was going to run for President.

I remember hearing names like Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Paul Simon all Democratic members of Congress who were going to run for President. I remember hearing the name Bob Dole and knew he was the Senate Minority Leader. And what that job was and knew he was going to run for President as well. I obviously wasn’t a political junky yet, but my parents were and got to here these stories.

1987 wasn’t a fascinating year because of these things that were happening and the people who were involved. But what was going in these people and their lives. You have two major Democratic presidential candidates, both strong liberal voices in the party, having to drop out because of personal scandals. Gary Hart a former two-term Senator Who did not run for reelection in 1986 because he wanted to run for President full-time in 1988.

Gary Hart came close to winning the Democratic nomination in 1984 and was probably going to be the frontrunner in 1988. But then dares the media to follow him around. Because as he said he had nothing to hide. Well if he had nothing to hide, he must of had an open marriage. Because he was caught having an affair with Donna Rice who was a federal employee at one point. Their love affair could probably make a good porno movie on Cinemax, or well MSNBC.

You have Joe Biden a three-term Senator and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee who presided over the Bob Bork’ Supreme Court nomination, that’s a story by itself, have to quit his campaign because of a plagiarism scandal. No wonder Joe Biden talks so much, he has so much material to use from other people. Way to go Joe! I could get to the rest of 1987, but I already here some snoring so I’ll spare you for now. Perhaps in a future blog.

In 1987 you had great political stories inside and outside of Washington relating to the Federal Government. The Administration with Congress and of course presidential politics outside of Washington with Dick Gephardt doing well enough with his 1988 presidential campaign, that he gets elected Leader of the House for the next Congress, the 101st Congress.

And this is four years before 1992 with Bill Clinton, Ross Perot and the rest of the gang. Where you have a President go from a 90% approval rating to losing reelection in 1992 with just 37% of the Popular Vote. How time flies when your approval rating is dropping like an asteroid being dropped from a bridge. But that is American politics for you with our ups and downs. We love you until we don’t.

Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Special- 1987

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: