Blogs > HNN > June 16, 2008: It's the economy again, stupid as both candidates tout their plans

Jul 17, 2008 8:20 pm


June 16, 2008: It's the economy again, stupid as both candidates tout their plans



PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

THE WEEK THAT WAS....

The week that was....

  • June 16, 2008: Former Vice President Al Gore endorses Obama.
  • June 15, 2008: McCain cancels a fundraiser in Texas after questions concerning the host Texas oilman, Clayton"Claytie" Williams' 1990 jokes about rape. Many black conservative consider voting for Obama because he is making history as the first black to capture a Presidential nomination.
  • June, 14, 2008: John McCain publicly opposes the Supreme Court decision that would allow suspected terrorist detainees the right to appeal for their release in federal courts.
  • June 13, 2008: Obama proposes taxing incomes above $250,000. The McCain, Obama camps fail to agree on the town hall sessions, McCain wants ten, Obama wants just one around July 4th.
  • June 12, 2008: The Obama campaign creates a website http://www.fightthesmears.com to debunk campaign myths after Michelle Obama was accused of using the racial slur"whitey."
  • June 11, 2008: at the start of the general campaign, Obama is the favorite to win Iowa in the election. Obama's adviser and top vetter for Vice Presidential candidates, Jim Johnson resigned amid calls of a loan scandal.
  • June 10, 2008: McCain, Obama criticize each other's plans to rejuvenate the economy, jabs traded on taxes.
  • June 9, 2008: Nominees John McCain and Barack Obama negotiate to meet for 10 hall meetings in the next couple of months, but reject NYC Mayor Bloomberg and ABC's offer to host the first one on grounds that they do not want just one network airing it.
THE STATS

The Stats

  • June 12, 2008: Gallup Poll Daily reports Barack Obama leads John McCain 48 percent to 42 percent.
HISTORIANS COMMENTS

Historians Comment

  • Blair Kelley a historian of social movements at North Carolina State University in Raleigh on"How Clinton and Obama boosted feminism, civil rights The primary contest helped both of the historical causes, though some tensions erupted":
    "Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have transformed what people, from all walks of life, believe is possible." - Christian Science Monitor, 6-17-08
  • Norman McRae on"Obama's candidacy is writing history":
    Obama, win or lose, will become the symbol. But Detroit historian Norman McRae wants more."I think that every African American should go to the polls and vote for Barack Obama," he said. McCrae, who first voted for Harry S. Truman in 1948, is 82. He said that Obama"validates all the activities from Frederick Douglass to Jesse Jackson, from Ida B. Wells to now. It validates all of them." - Detroit Free Press, 6-15-08
  • Jeremy Varon, a historian at Drew University on"McCain ad asserts his hatred of war Senator shifts tone to draw moderates":
    "To me, the ad is much more playing off Bush than playing off Obama," said Jeremy Varon, a historian at Drew University in Madison, N.J., who has studied antiwar movements."The point of this is for McCain to say: 'I'm very different from my predecessor even if I want to fight the same war.'" - Boston Globe, 6-11-08
  • Robert Dallek on"Obama rebuts rumors on new Web site":
    "There is a line between scurrilous nonsense and serious discussion, that laps over, especially in this day and age, when you've got all this electronic media and these blogs and this kind of fanatical impulse to bring down the opposing candidate.... You never know what's going to take hold... Dallek, the historian, said it was not surprising to see the latest swirl of political rumor and innuendo."There have always been rumors," he said:"That Andrew Jackson was a polygamist, that Grover Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child, that James G. Blaine was a corruptionist." Some claims - such as those in 1960 that John F. Kennedy was a womanizer - were even true, he added. - International Herald Tribune, 6-11-08
  • Robert Dallek, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles on"Historians See Little Chance for McCain":
    "These things go in cycles. The public gets tired of one approach to politics. There is always a measure of optimism in this country, so they turn to the other party." - Politico.com, 6-15-08
  • James Campbell, a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo who specializes in campaigns and elections on"Historians See Little Chance for McCain":
    "Open-seat elections are somewhat different, so the referendum aspect is somewhat muted. McCain would be in much better shape if Bush's approval rating were at 45 to 50 percent. But the history is that in-party candidates are not penalized or rewarded to the same degree as incumbents." - Politico.com, 6-15-08
  • Sidney Milkis, a professor of presidential politics at the University of Virginia on"Historians See Little Chance for McCain":

    "I can't think of an upset where the underdog faced quite the odds that McCain faces in this election." Even"Truman didn't face as difficult a political context as McCain." - Politico.com, 6-15-08
  • Allan Lichtman, an American University presidential historian who ran in a Maryland Democratic senatorial primary in 2006 on"Historians See Little Chance for McCain":
    "This should be an overwhelming Democratic victory." Lichtman, whose forecasting model has correctly predicted the last six presidential popular vote winners, predicts that this year,"Republicans face what have always been insurmountable historical odds." His system gives McCain a score on par with Jimmy Carter's in 1980. - Politico.com, 6-15-08
  • Joan Hoff, a professor at Montana State University and former president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency on"Historians See Little Chance for McCain":
    "McCain shouldn't win it," said presidential historian She compared McCain's prospects to those of Hubert Humphrey, whose 1968 loss to Richard Nixon resulted in large part from the unpopularity of sitting Democratic president Lyndon Johnson. - Politico.com, 6-15-08
  • Allan J. Lichtman's KEYS TO THE ELECTION in"Political patterns favor Obama, scholars say":
    Historian Allan J. Lichtman is renowned in political circles for his “13 keys to the White House.” Over nearly a century and a half, no candidate from the incumbent party has won the presidency if six or more of the keys are going against him. Key 1: Party mandate. After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House than it did after the previous midterm elections.
    Key 2: Contest. There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination.
    Key 3: Incumbency. The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president.
    Key 4: Third party. There is no significant third-party or independent campaign.
    Key 5: Short-term economy. The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
    Key 6: Long-term economy. Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
    Key 7: Policy change. The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
    Key 8: Social unrest. There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
    Key 9: Scandal. The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
    Key 10: Foreign/military failure. The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
    Key 11: Foreign/military success. The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
    Key 12: Incumbent charisma. The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
    Key 13: Challenger charisma. The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. - www.signonsandiego.com, 6-16-08
  • Alan Schroeder: Historian Imagines McCain-Obama Debate - NPR, 6-17-08
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin on"Next for Clinton: Vice President? Senate? Governor?" - NPR, 6-5-08
  • Richard Norton Smith on"Town Hall Meetings for McCain, Obama?" - NPR, 6-5-08
  • Mary Frances Berry, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and former chair of the Civil Rights Commission on"Obama: History in the Making" - NPR, 6-4-08
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL...

On the Campaign Trail....

    Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Change That Works for You, June 9, 2008 ...I've often said that this election represents a defining moment in our history. On major issues like the war in Iraq or the warming of our planet, the decisions we make in November and over the next few years will shape a generation, if not a century.

    That is especially true when it comes to our economy....

    We will begin this general election campaign by traveling across the country for the next few weeks to talk about what specifically we need to do to build a 21st economy that works for working Americans. I will speak with economic experts and advisors at the end of the tour, but first I want to speak with you, and hear about your thoughts and your struggles in the places where you live and work. And at each stop, I will take the opportunity to lay out the very real and very serious differences on the economy between myself and Senator McCain....

    This is the choice you will face in November. You can vote for John McCain, and see a continuation of Bush economic policies – more tax cuts to the wealthy, more corporate tax breaks, more mountains of debt, and little to no relief for families struggling with the rising costs of everything from health care to a college education.

    But I don't think that is the future we want. The Americans I've met over the last sixteen months in town halls and living rooms; on farms and front porches – they may come from different places and have different backgrounds, but they hold common hopes and dream the same simple dreams. They know government can't solve all their problems, and they don't expect it to. They believe in personal responsibility, and hard work, and self-reliance. They don't like seeing their tax dollars wasted.

  • Remarks by John McCain at the NFIB and eBay 2008 National Small Business Summit, June 10, 2008

    ...Now that we know who I will be facing in the general election, the real debate over economic policy can begin. And as you may have heard, Senator Obama and I might well be meeting soon in a series of town hall discussions. Just the two of us, in direct conversation with voters. No need to turn it into a big media-run production with process questions from reporters, a spin room, and all the rest of it. To keep things friendly, I also suggested that my opponent and I travel to these town hall meetings together in the same plane.

    Our disagreements in these town hall meetings will be civil and friendly, but they will also be clear for all to see. On tax policy, health-care reform, trade, government spending, and a long list of other issues, we offer very different choices to the American people. And those choices will have very different consequences for American workers and small business owners.

    No matter which of us wins in November, there will be change in Washington. The question is what kind of change? Will we enact the single largest tax increase since the Second World War as my opponent proposes, or will we keep taxes low for families and employers? This election offers Americans a very distinct choice about what kind of change we will have. This is especially true for the small business community.

    Let me speak to you about the change I will seek....

    My goal, however, is not to denigrate government but to make it better, not to deride it but to restore its good name. Government should be on your side, not in your way. It will be hard work, but it is a cause worthy of our best efforts. And if we do it well, in the right spirit, it will be because we have again put our country's interests before the interests of parties, bureaucracies and self-interest. And then we will finally reclaim the confidence of the people we serve.
  • Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore in an email..., June 16, 2008
    Dear Friend,

    A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama. From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States.

    Over the next four years, we are going to face many difficult challenges -- including bringing our troops home from Iraq, fixing our economy, and solving the climate crisis. Barack Obama is clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.



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