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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Bill Clinton

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September 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Rep. Marko Liias and Joe Fitzgibbon share excitement about Democratic National Convention

Rep. Marko Liias and Joe Fitzgibbon mingled with other WA delegates on Monday’s reception at Mac’s Speed Shop. (Photo by Ilona Idlis/UW Election Eye) CHARLOTTE – On Monday, the Washington State delegation held a reception at Mac’s Speed Shop, a Southern cuisine restaurant and bar, to celebrate the beginning of the Democratic National Convention. Amid…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, DNC

June 1, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Political rock stars hit the ground in Wisconsin recall

Usually, Republicans label Democrats as celebs because of their Hollywood support base. In Wisconsin, the tables have turned, and this time, Republican Gov. Walker is the “rock star.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) campaigns on behalf of Gov. Scott Walker (WI-R).

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) campaigns on behalf of Gov. Scott Walker (WI-R) (Photo courtesy of Scott Walker Facebook page).

MILWAUKEE — Tom Barrett, Milwaukee mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the Wisconsin recall, has taken a page out of the Republican playbook. Republicans have repeatedly labeled President Barack Obama as a “too coolcelebrity with one too many Hollywood supporters. Flipping the script, Barrett has frequently called Republican Governor Scott Walker a “rock star.”

At the May 25 debate, Barrett ramped up the line of argument. He said the purpose for the recall was because Wisconsinites “wanted an opportunity to get a governor who would put this state first, a governor who would focus on creating jobs in this state and not traveling around this country trying to enhance his national image.”

Lately, though, it’s been the rising stars of the Republican Party traveling to Wisconsin to support Walker. And in an attempt to keep pace, Barrett now has his own political tour de force coming to town.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Bill Clinton, Governors supporting Walker, Recall Walker

May 19, 2012 at 7:18 AM

Obama is many things, but First Gay President?

Newsweek cover of Barack Obama

Newsweek cover of Barack Obama

In the political arena, words and images are powerful. They can make or break campaigns and administrations. Media outlets leverage these words and images which inject them into a national conversation and historic chapter. But words and images that sell magazines are often exaggerated and should be viewed through a critical lens.

SEATTLE — By now, many Americans have seen the Newsweek cover touting that Barack Obama is the “First Gay President.” Author Andrew Sullivan has publicly stated that the title was not meant to be taken literally. But the title, and the accompanying photo, have nonetheless been much fodder for public discussion.

In case you missed the discussion, The Daily Beast has conveniently rounded it up. They noted how Obama has been called the “First Female President” because of his compassionate ways, and how this relates to Bill Clinton being called the “First Black President.”

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, First Gay President

April 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Philadelphia’s Mayfair Diner is the place for Sunday breakfast and presidential visits

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue, taken April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue on April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

It’s Sunday at the Mayfair Diner in Philadelphia and it’s game day: The Philadelphia Phillies have a 1:35 p.m. start at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets, so half of the tables are decked out in red Phillies swag. It has the feel of a relaxed pre-party with pancakes.

PHILADELPHIA — If you visit this city’s iconic Mayfair Diner on a Sunday, entering through well-worn stainless steel doors, there is a good chance that hostess Nancy Cienskowski will greet you and escort you to an open booth, menus in hand.

Cienskowski has worked at the Mayfair since the Nixon administration — also known as the early 1970s. She’s seen her share of U.S. presidents dig in to a plate of eggs and hashbrowns: Bill Clinton visited the Mayfair on election day 1992 and Barack Obama stopped by in 2008.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton

April 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner is the place for Sunday breakfast and presidential visits

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue, taken April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue on April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

It’s Sunday at the Mayfair Diner in Philadelphia and it’s game day: The Philadelphia Phillies have a 1:35 p.m. start at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets, so half of the tables are decked out in red Phillies swag. It has the feel of a relaxed pre-party with pancakes.

PHILADELPHIA — If you visit this city’s iconic Mayfair Diner on a Sunday, entering through well-worn stainless steel doors, there is a good chance that hostess Nancy Cienskowski will greet you and escort you to an open booth, menus in hand.

Cienskowski has worked at the Mayfair since the Nixon administration — also known as the early 1970s. She’s seen her share of U.S. presidents dig in to a plate of eggs and hashbrowns: Bill Clinton visited the Mayfair on election day 1992 and Barack Obama stopped by in 2008.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton

March 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM

If Lehigh and Norfolk State can do it in the NCAA tournament, can Rick Santorum upend the Republican presidential contest?

For sports fans, this time of the year is known as March Madness. That’s the popular name ascribed to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, in which small schools, serious underdogs, sometimes defeat bigger, far wealthier, steeped-in-tradition programs.

March Madness is the official name of the NCAA basketball tournament (logo by NCAA).

It happened four times yesterday.

Two teams that are #15 seeds (among the lowest in the tournament), Norfolk State and Lehigh, upset #2 seeds and hoop icons Missouri and Duke, respectively. In the history of the NCAA men’s tourney, only four #15 seeds had beaten #2 seeds. It happened twice yesterday.

Further, a #13 seed, Ohio University, upset one of the legendary sports programs in the nation, University of Michigan.  And a #12 seed, University of South Florida, knocked off a #5, Temple.

It was quite a day. Personally, I’m a huge Michigan fan — but I found myself caught up in rooting for the underdog Ohio U. Watching David knock off Goliath is something special.

There are favorites and underdogs in politics, too. And right now, the underdog has got a shot in the Republican Party presidential primary. It’s a long, long, long shot — but it’s still a chance. And when there is a chance, sometimes things happen. Like in 2008.

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Comments | Topics: Alabama, Bill Clinton, Caucuses

February 22, 2012 at 6:30 AM

What do you call a presidential candidate? Names, titles, and the art of political name-calling

Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum

Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum (Photos courtesy of www.ronpaul2012.com, mittromney.com, newt.org, and ricksantorum.com)

Name recognition is big in politics. Amid a field of candidates for various offices, having voters know your name is key.

That’s why we still have the ultimate old school campaign technology: yard signs. They show support, yes, but more importantly they get a candidate’s name in the head of anyone who passes by. And in local races, name recognition, put simply, equals more votes. Think about Washington Congressman Jim McDermott — after more than 20 years in office, the guy’s got name recognition he banks on each election. Half of Seattle can probably spell his name in their sleep and check the box next to it.

At this point in the presidential race, most people know the names of the four Republican candidates: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Mitt, Rick, Newt, and Ron: the GOP’s 2012 Final Four.

All this got me to thinking, what do we average voters call the candidates and why?

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Gender

February 1, 2012 at 6:30 AM

For Romney and Gingrich the fight isn't finished, if history's any guide

It took 35 ballots at the Republican convention of 1880 before James Garfield was finally nominated. He was later assassinated by a disgruntled party member. (Photo from flickr user Cliff1066)

Don’t let Mitt Romney’s win last night in Florida’s GOP primary fool you: the fight for the Republican nomination is far from over, and the delicate dance for delegates is only just now beginning. This detailed graphic from The Washington Post puts things in perspective.

With Romney only at 87 GOP delegates as of yesterday, Gingrich at 26, Santorum at 14 and Paul at 4, all are still nearly two months away from getting to the magic number of 1,144. Especially since it’s not yet clear that he can win the upcoming caucus states, Romney can’t easily dismiss Gingrich’s promise to march on toward the convention in an attempt to replicate Reagan.

Margaret O’Mara, a UW professor of modern-American history, says that Gingrich knows his history.

“He also sees an opportunity, which is that the base simply does not like Romney, and the establishment is lukewarm on him,” she said. “He is paying attention to Barry Goldwater, that is for sure, and he believes he can have a different outcome.”

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Comments | Topics: Bill Clinton, delegates, Election 2012

January 30, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Candidates' campaign song choices about more than the chorus

SEATTLE — Campaign music can often put candidates’ stump speeches to a melody anyone can follow.

Bill Clinton’s campaign song in 1992 was Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.” Running as the challenger against an incumbent, the lyrics were completely on message:

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

In 2000, George W. Bush touted his “stick-to-your-guns” mentality with Tom Petty’s “I won’t back down.” The song’s lyrics played up Bush’s rough-and-tumble cowboy image against Al Gore’s more reserved persona:

No I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from dragging me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won’t back down

That was until, like many things in 2000, Bush’s use of the song was contested. Petty’s publishers issued a cease and desist letter to Bush. And to add insult to injury, Petty later went on to play the song at a private concert in Gore’s home.

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Campaign music