The evolution of the US presidential campaign ad, 1952 to 1996... 1952: Eisenhower-Nixon (We Like Ike, The Man from Abilene) vs Stevenson-Sparkman (I Love the Gov [apologies for the intro], Ike... Bob..., Vote Stevenson/The Music Man, (Remember the Farmer, Back to the Days of '31). Bonus: Newsreels dealing with the campaigns. 1956: Eisenhower-Nixon (Eisenhower Answers America: The Cost of Living [excerpt], Corruption (california spot)) vs Stevenson-Kefauver (How's that again, General?, The Man from Libertyville [same annoying intro], Ad-lee, Ad-lie). Bonus: Election Day newsreel, including a santa Claus arriving in a flying saucer; Eisenhower, Suez, and hungary in 1956. [more inside]
At the risk of heresy, let it be said that setting up the two presidential candidates for religious interrogation by an evangelical minister -- no matter how beloved -- is supremely wrong. [more inside]
Rhetorical Questions. "Who will win the presidential debates? What does each candidate’s use of words say about how he would govern as president? Can Obama’s rhetorical skills lift him to the heights of Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan—or will his speechmaking do him in? After watching all 47 (!) of the primary season’s debates, our correspondent has the answers—and some harsh criticism for the moderators."
Humorist and candidate for the US Senate for Minnesota Al Franken draws a map of the United States from memory.
2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
A three-and-a-half minute video explaining the American electoral process. As a Canadian, I've also found the American electoral system a little baffling. Electoral colleges? Maine and Nebraska do it differently? I thought this video by the smart folks at Common Craft did an excellent job of explaining how somebody gets to the White House.
Andy Grove on Our Electric Future - "Energy independence [viz.] is the wrong goal. Here is a plan Americans can stick to." Perhaps some infrastructure spending1,2 is in order? [etc., &c., cf.] [more inside]
Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Withdraws MDC From 'Sham' Poll. Apparently he agrees with Mugabe's claim that only God can remove him from office. Prev Zim.
Like it or not, religion is at the forefront of the 2008 US Presidential elections. The Pew Forum On Religion & Public Life previously cited in MeFi threads examines many of the current intersections of religion and politics, domestic and abroad.
It's official. Obama has won the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency. In response, McCain has launched a "verbal sortie" against him and the media has already begun disecting Hillary's campaign.
"People are talking, but no one is really listening. For all the fun and fantasy that can be had following this election on the internet, the overriding impression it gives after a while is of tuning into thousands of people as they sit in their cars and complain about the traffic." David Runciman on "The Cattle-Prod Election."
Canadian freelance writer and comic-book vandal Chris "MGK" Bird surveys the field of Obama's potential running mates.
Party Like It’s 2008 [SLNYTOE] Almost every wrong prediction about this election cycle has come from those trying to force the round peg of this year’s campaign into the square holes of past political wars. That’s why race keeps being portrayed as dooming Mr. Obama — surely Jeremiah Wright = Willie Horton! — no matter what the voters say to the contrary. [more inside]
Bill Moyers interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in his first broadcast interview with a journalist since he became embroiled in a controversy for his remarks and his relationship with Barack Obama [more inside]
The Confederacy of Dunces. The Village Voice's comprehensive election-season guide to right-wing political bloggers, by Roy Edroso of alicublog.
The hidden factor in Hillary Clinton's rebound: committed Republicans voting in open primaries who want to prolong the messy battle for the Democratic nomination, encouraged by right-wing radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh. Or is Hillary just suddenly more palatable to conservatives than multi-culti Obama?
David Mamet: Why I am no longer a 'Brain Dead Liberal'. "The right is mooing about faith, the left is mooing about change, and many are incensed about the fools on the other side—but, at the end of the day, they are the same folks we meet at the water cooler. Happy election season."
Derrick Ashong A camera-wielding interviewer collars Mr Ashong in the street and starts to pepper him with questions. The interviewer assumes that his victim's casual appearance—he is wearing a baseball hat, a shell necklace and is chewing gum—betokens an equally casual approach to politics. “Do you have any specifics?” he demands aggressively. “What are their policies?” Mr Ashong delivers a series of carefully argued replies that could form the basis of an editorial in a serious newspaper. Emotional responses count too.
On February 19, Armenia hosted a presidential election. The winner with 52% of the vote was (as expected), current Prime Minister and BFF to the current president, Serge Sargsyan. The runner-up with 21.5% of the vote was former president (taken out by the current president in 1997), Levon Ter-Petrossian. The elections were flawed, lots of people protested over the past week, the protests have gotten violent, LTP is under house arrest and the government has issued a 20 day state of emergency. At least 3 (including a police officer) have been killed. [more inside]
Youtube Political Post Mike Nelson of Rifftrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame riffs on six political ads.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan surrounded himself with economic thinkers that challenged the prevailing Keynesian doctrine with supply side economics. In the same way that Arthur Laffer and Milton Friedman drove Reagan's thinking. A new generation of economists from the University of Chicago are advising Barack Obama. Will behavioral economics change politics the way supply side economics did a generation ago?
Obama Reggaeton from the Tejanos wing of the Viva Obama movement. Love the big, white hats! [more inside]
In trademark style, Lawrence Lessig today announced the creation of a congressional exploratory committee. If in the next few days he decides to officially enter the race, he'll be running in the special election on April 8th to fill the CA-12 seat recently vacated by the death of Tom Lantos. A run by Lessig would likely be seen as a new front the the technocratic, post-partisan movement Barack Obama is attempting to catalyze; Lessig was a colleague of Obama at the University of Chicago law school, helped to draft Obama's technology plan, and is describing his potential run (his first attempt at public office), and the larger Change Congress project he also announced today, as an attempt to save Congress as an institution from the corrupting influence of money. [more inside]
"We have the chance to accomplish two other things: to provide a model for what a truly sincere, forthright, and courageous Presidential candidate might look like, and to demonstrate how desperate America’s voters are to see one." Jesus in 2008!
20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack. A very thoughtful and eloquent comparison (transcript) of the core differences between Obama and Clinton - by Creative Commons CEO and Professor Lawrence Lessig.
A little lost coming up to the Presidential Primary? The Electoral Compass is a brief set of questions that matches your choices with the candidate whose positions are the closest to yours. Discover your position in the political landscape for the US presidential election 2008. [more inside]
Kucinich Asks for New Hampshire Recount in the Interest of Election Integrity. A little earlier in the election cycle this time around, many people are worried about serious discrepancies between pre-election opinion polling and exit polls, which both had Obama winning by a substantial percentage, and the official results. Obama also appears to have won in hand-counted precincts while Clinton seems to have dominated in precincts which counted the votes with the Diebold Accuvote TSx optical-scan machines, which have been shown to be susceptible to a memory card hack. [more inside]
Dr. President: "The next president of the United States of America will control a $150 billion annual research budget, 200,000 scientists, and 38 major research institutions and all their related labs. This president will shape human endeavors in space, bioethics debates, and the energy landscape of the 21st century." With the coming election, the AAAS has created a new website and devoted a section of their journal Science to the Democratic and Republican candidates' positions on science and technology issues. But to help further clarify their positions, some people are calling for the candidates to have a presidential debate on science and technology. [Via The Intersection and Wired Science.]
“I’m an old computer nerd,” Diener said. “I can do anything with computers. Nothing’s wrong with computers. But this is the worst way to run an election.” NYTMag piece on electronic voting, voter confidence, and the impact of old-fashioned problems like printer jams, befuddled voters and volunteers, and interface design flaws. By Clive Thompson.
The Iowa Scam. Christopher Hitchens confronts a system where "only 124,000 Democrats voted last time, less than a quarter of those eligible. So if Barack Obama, say, edges Hillary Clinton by 2,000 votes, he'll be hailed in headlines as a giant-killer despite the tiny margin."
Candidates on executive power: a full spectrum. Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on presidential signing statements, surveyed the major 2008 presidential candidates about their views on the limits of executive power. [BugMeNot, via Huffington Post.] [more inside]
This Flash tool from the New York Times shows you how many times each candidate has named each of the other candidates, suggesting which candidates the others perceive as worthy of addressing. It's a very neat and efficient visualization tool. Guess who everyone can't stop mentioning?