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The Misery Circle
March 29, 2008 9:26 PM   Subscribe

The Misery Circle An article about the remaining 13 also-rans in past US presidential elections.
posted by idiomatika (17 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know it sounds shallow, but I'd like more photos to really bring this to life. The description of Mondale really begs for some visual aids to accompany the text:

Mondale's staff tried frantically to reform him, to drag him into the television age. They urged him to change his hairstyle, his shirt collars, his hand gestures, his voice, even his smile, so as to come across better on TV. The Norwegian in him hated it. (bolding mine)

Yes, but how did Mondale feel about it?

Also - 'The Misery Circle' is now a top contender for a musical project I'm working on. So thanks!
posted by cosmonik at 9:59 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's an amazing article. Very poignant.

This, though:
"I remember sitting there and watching Reagan's colour, red, filling the map. It just kept coming at you," Mondale says.


I was under the impression that until the 2000 election red was the Democratic color and blue was the Republican one. Is Mondale just confused?
posted by nasreddin at 10:03 PM on March 29, 2008



I was under the impression that until the 2000 election red was the Democratic color and blue was the Republican one. Is Mondale just confused?


2000 is when it essentially became 'standardized' Before then, TV Networks would just pick colors willy nilly, but almost always red and blue.
posted by delmoi at 10:08 PM on March 29, 2008


its really nice to read an article like this that actually has transitions and is one coherent body of work. I clicked the link thinking it would be some puff piece Cracked-style bullet list with only a little bit of background info. I was pleasantly surprised. Excellent find idiomatika.
posted by grandsham at 10:31 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting article, but I still do not understand what makes people put themselves in the way of so much abuse to win an office that will put them in line for even more abuse.
It is a horrendous thought, but imagine yourself in Dumbya's place. Is power enough to balance the responsilbility for the awful, endless war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, the destruciton of a country, and the genuine hatred of millions of citizens?
Could you enjoy the total loss of privacy? The indebtedness to your supporters?
posted by Cranberry at 10:50 PM on March 29, 2008


I actually really wanted to read about Perot. It's a shame he's not included.
posted by escabeche at 11:14 PM on March 29, 2008


Amazing article. Thanks for posting.

You have to wonder weather the process of electing our leaders doesn't take something out of them they need to do a good job.
posted by phrontist at 11:22 PM on March 29, 2008


No Gore? Seems to me he suffered the most humiliating loss of all.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:44 AM on March 30, 2008


Yeah it seems like every president has aged five years for each year he's been in office. I remember a history teacher pointing this out to me.

Bush in 2000, Bush in 2002, Bush in 2004, Bush in 2006, Bush in 2008.
posted by churl at 12:58 AM on March 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


(above was re: Cranberry's comment)
posted by churl at 12:59 AM on March 30, 2008


wow, churl, thanks for those pics.

Time has not been kind to SeƱor Peligro!
posted by cosmonik at 1:17 AM on March 30, 2008


...or any president, really. I tried to find pictures of Bill Clinton over his two terms, but news articles more than a year or two old seem to be stripped of their pictures on most news sites.
posted by churl at 1:27 AM on March 30, 2008


I know it sounds shallow, but I'd like more photos to really bring this to life.

I bought the print edition of The Guardian, which is where I originally read the article. It had quite a number of images, none of which have been used on the website version.
posted by idiomatika at 6:44 AM on March 30, 2008


Recently I was looking for something else and found this video of a recent speech by Michael Dukakis. The man has a Boston accent! He's also emphatic, funny, engaged; he makes a good point and he's convincing. I think: A guy like this could be president. But I also remember the sluggish, tiny-looking man who bumbled through that 1988 campaign. What happened?

Then, in this article, he talks about the presidency:
My God! Let me have it. Give me the keys to the White House and let's get on with it. People come up to me and say, you must prefer it without all that pressure. I say, you don't understand guys like us. We love pressure. We want to be there to make decisions.
If he had sounded like this, even for an instant, in 1988 people would have liked him.

Something about campaigning just drains the blood out of all but a very few people, I suspect.
posted by argybarg at 8:14 AM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


argybarg: Dole, too. And Gore.

It seems that maybe the theory behind most American presidential campaigns is that the candidates want to make themselves out to be the least offensive candidate. As a result, advisers encourage them to take as few risks and show as little color as possible.

I thought this was silly until I saw what happened with the Dean scream in 2004.

Apparently, showing enthusiasm or emotion or cracking jokes is something that can easily turn into a media disaster and turn people off.

A shame, really.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:30 PM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


McGovernomics.
posted by Eideteker at 12:47 PM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was under the impression that until the 2000 election red was the Democratic color and blue was the Republican one.

As long as I can remember, networks avoided using red for Democrats because it edged uncomfortably close to labeling them as, uh, Reds. (I don't know when the first color broadcast on election night was, but it must have been in the 1960s.) Also, "union blue" for the labor vote has been a color association for decades.

What started in 2000, pace delmoi, was the discussion about red and blue states, i.e. semi-permanent party associations. It wasn't new to think of these, but it was new to label them by color.

A guy like this could be president. But I also remember the sluggish, tiny-looking man who bumbled through that 1988 campaign. What happened?

Going through that experience is in its own way liberating. The article mentions Gore and Dole in this respect. It's something like Churchill's "Nothing is more exhilarating than to have been shot at, and missed." You've had the worst thrown at you, attacks and abuse during and humiliation and pity afterward, yet you've survived. What can they do to you that's worse?

Yeah it seems like every president has aged five years for each year he's been in office.

There's a similar effect (referring to this and my paragraph above) to leaving a difficult presidency. Clinton (B.) bears this out. I'll personally never forget the photographs of Carter greeting the hostages, after he'd passed the reins of power to Reagan. (A great, conciliatory gesture by the incoming president, no matter what else you think of him.) It looked like a half ton of weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
posted by dhartung at 5:19 PM on March 30, 2008


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