Tag Archives: George HW Bush

This Week’s Campaign Ad — Ross Perot ’92

The following is an ad from the Ross Perot (I) campaign for President in 1992.  Perot finished third to then-Governor Bill Clinton (D) and the incumbent President, George HW Bush (R).  What are the highlights or lowlights of this ad? Critique it.

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Why Polls Don’t Matter At This Point

The polls listed below should demonstrate to everyone why surveys regarding Presidential hopefuls mean little at this point.  For example, even though then-VP George Bush won his party’s nomination in 1988, Senator Howard Baker who was third in a 1987 poll never ended up running for President.  In 1999, Elizabeth Dole and former VP Dan Quayle dropped out of the running before the January 2000 Iowa Caucus.  The country never had a President Rudy Giuliani or a Republican nominee by the name of Giuliani.  Sarah Palin did not run in 2012.  Neither did Chris Christie nor Mitch Daniels nor George Pataki for that matter.  So why take a poll at this time?  Do they matter?  Do you see any of these candidates emerging as the front runner for the GOP nomination?
Polls

Who Paid For That Ad?

A common misperception from the 1988 Presidential campaign between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis is that Bush team produced and ran ad that prominently featured Willie Horton.  The “Willie Horton ad” is it was to be called, featured a criminal (Horton) and how he was allowed out of prison on weekends by a Massachusetts Governor (Dukakis) in part to that state’s prison furlough program.  The ad mentions that while Horton was out on one weekend pass, he kidnapped, stabbed, and raped a woman and brutally beat that woman’s boyfriend.  The ad struck a nerve with the public, hurt the Dukakis campaign, and Dukakis never recovered.  Many who watched the ad would reference it as “Bush’s Willie Horton ad” when in fact the ad was created by the National Security PAC (Political Action Committee).  This PAC ran an ad, by federal law, independent of the Bush campaign.

How would the public know if the ad was paid for and produced by an outside or independent organization?  Sure, there was a disclaimer at the bottom of the “Horton” ad that disclosed the source.  The disclaimer was about the size of the type of disclaimers that you see in a car commercial.  A magnifying glass is a necessity for proper reading.  In the last twelve years, identifying a commercial’s source became a bit easier for the public.  With the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) (2002), candidates at the federal level who run ads from their own campaign coffers must say, “I am so and so and I am approve this message.”  Most campaign commercials are run by outside organizations, so this BCRA requirement is not applicable.

What are your thoughts on the amount of ads that you have seen in the last few months?  Now that the elections are over, you perhaps can fully process what has been transmitted over the airwaves in this election season.

 

Who Wants To Be Vice President?

Dr. Patrick Cox of the University of Texas at Austin had this to say about former Vice President John Nance Garner regarding the position of Vice President.  “When it comes to commentary about the office of vice president of the United States, no statement is more repeated than John Nance Garner’s observation that the office “is not worth a bucket of warm spit.”  Garner served Franklin D. Roosevelt as Vice President during Roosevelt’s first two terms.  Garner never became President of the United States.  Only 14 Vice Presidents have become President of the United States.  The last being George HW Bush, who served as Vice President under Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).  Bush became President in 1989 and served until 1993.  He lost to Bill Clinton for re-election in 1992.  Clinton’s Vice President, Al Gore, was the last Vice President to unsuccessfully run for President.  Gore lost to then-Governor George W. Bush in 2000.

Why haven’t there been more Vice Presidents who have become President?

 

Electoral College Results Since 1964

There are 538 available Electoral College votes in this year’s Presidential election.  That total has remained the same since 1964.  Below are the Electoral vote totals for each Presidential election since 1964.

1964:  Lyndon Johnson (D) 486, Barry Goldwater (R) 52

1968:  Richard Nixon (R) 301, Hubert Humphrey (D) 197, George Wallace (I) 40

1972:  Nixon (R) 520, George McGovern (D) 17, John Hospers (L) 1

1976:  Jimmy Carter (D) 297, Gerald Ford (R) 240

1980:  Ronald Reagan (R) 489, Carter (D) 49

1984:  Reagan (R) 525, Walter Mondale (D) 13

1988:  George H.W. Bush (R) 429, Michael Dukakis (D) 112

1992:  Bill Clinton (D) 370, Bush (R) 168

1996:  Clinton (D) 387, Bob Dole (R) 151

2000:  George W. Bush (R) 271, Al Gore (D) 266

2004:  Bush (R) 286, John Kerry (D) 251

2008:  Barack Obama (D) 365, John McCain (R) 173

What do you think this year’s Electoral vote total will be for the 2012 Presidential Election?