Monthly Archives: October 2014

Clip from the Past: Teddy Roosevelt

The following is a recording of Teddy Roosevelt from 1912 who was looking for a third term as President against sitting President William Taft (R) and New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson (D).  Roosevelt was running as a Bull Moose candidate in 1912.

Here is a transcript of the recording:

“The difference between Mr. Wilson and myself is fundamental. The other day in a speech at Sioux Falls, Mr. Wilson stated his position when he said that the history of government, the history of liberty, was the history of the limitation of governmental power. This is true as an academic statement of history in the past. It is not true as a statement affecting the present. It is true of the history of medieval Europe. It is not true of the history of 20th century America. In the days when all governmental power existed exclusively in the king or in the baronage and when the people had no shred of that power in their own hands, then it undoubtedly was true that the history of liberty was the history of the limitation of the governmental power of the outsider to possess that power. But today the people have, actually or potentially, the entire governmental power. It is theirs to use and to exercise if they choose to use and to exercise it. It offers the only adequate instrument with which they can work for the betterment, for the uplifting of the masses of our people. The liberty of which Mr. Wilson speaks today means merely the liberty of some great trust magnate to do that which he is not entitled to do. It means merely the liberty of some factory owner to work haggard women over hours for underpay and himself to pocket the proceeds. It means the liberty of the factory owner to crowd his operatives into some crazy death trap on the top floor where, if fire starts, the slaughter is immense. It means the liberty of the big factory owner who is conscienceless and unscrupulous to work his men and women under conditions which eat into their lives like a maggot. It means the liberty of even less conscientious factory owners to make their money out of the toil, the labor of little children. Men of this stamp are the men whose liberty would be preserved by Mr. Wilson. Men of this stamp are the men whose liberty would be preserved by the limitation of governmental power. We propose on the contrary to extend governmental power in order to secure the liberty of the wage worker, of the men and women who toil in industry, to save the liberty of the oppressed from the oppressor. Mr. Wilson stands for the liberty of the oppressor to oppress. We stand for the limitation of his liberty thus to oppress those who are weaker than himself. ”

What is your take on Roosevelt’s speech?  What is your definition of liberty?

Evaluating the Ads: Nunn (D) vs. Perdue (R)

In this week’s installment of Evaluating the Ads, Georgia is on our mind.  There’s an open seat for the United States Senate involving Michelle Nunn (D) and David Perdue (R).  The reason for the vacancy is due to retirement of Senator Saxby Chambliss (R).  Republicans are hoping to hold on to the seat.  Nunn is the daughter of former United States Senator Sam Nunn (D).  Perdue is a cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue (R).

The first ad is from Perdue’s campaign.

Does a biographical ad resonate with you?

The following ad is from Nunn’s campaign.

Does an endorsement from former Senator Nunn make a difference to you?

The Influence of Polls

Top 2 Elections

When California voters show up to the polls this November, they will have a limited number of choices at the ballot box for Governor, other statewide races, and races for US House.  Known as the “Top 2” Primary, the top two candidates in the primary advance to a run-off in November’s general election.  Traditional open/closed primary elections guarantee a nominee from each political party who holds a party primary.  Therefore, if three parties hold primary elections, then each party will have a nominee on the ballot in the general election.  In a “Top 2” system, no party is guaranteed a nominee in the second round of voting. You could end up with the top two primary winners from the same political party.  The Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom Parties will not have a candidate in November’s statewide and national races in California.

What are your opinions on a “Top 2” Primary?  Do you favor such an election? Do you favor the traditional open/closed primaries that most states have where each party will have some form of representation on Election Day?

How Have The Parties Been Doing?

Courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics, this chart demonstrates how much money has been raised and spent by the Democratic and Republican Parties in the 2013-2014 election season (as of October 16, 2014).  Is there anything that stands out to you in this chart? Fundraising Data

Clip from the Past: Ellen McCormack for President

In 1976, a housewife from New York, Ellen McCormack ran for President.  In 18 states, her name appeared on primary election ballots as a Democrat.  Her platform was strictly based on a pro-life approach to the issue of abortion.  Even though she did not win any primaries, McCormack’s campaign was successful enough to have raised money for federal matching funds and for Secret Service protection.  The extra campaign dollars also allowed for the creation of television spots that would promote McCormack’s pro-life beliefs.

Would a commercial, such as this one, work in today’s political climate?

Evaluating the Ads — Quinn (D) vs. Rauner (R)

In this week’s installment of “Evaluating the Ads”, we’ll take a look at two ads from the race for Governor of Illinois.  The incumbent, Democrat Pat Quinn is looking for a second full term of office.  His opponent, Republican Bruce Rauner, is trying to unseat Quinn.  In both of the ads that you are about to see, Quinn and Rauner present both a negative and a positive message in 30 seconds.

Here is Quinn’s ad.

Here is Rauner’s ad.

Which of the two ads is more effective?