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Choosing the Candidates

  • John Kenneth White

Abstract

Yogi Berra and Will Rogers are fondly remembered for their famous sayings. Managing the New York Mets back in 1973, Berra coined the phrase, “It ain’t over’till it’s over.” And Rogers liked to tell audiences: “I belong to no organized party. I’m a Democrat.” These aphorisms have frequently been applied to commentary surrounding the often divisive and legendary battles among the Democratic presidential contenders. In 1972, Democrats did not choose their candidate until the party’s convention, when South Dakota senator George McGovern beat former vice president Hubert H. Humphrey; in 1976, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter clinched the nomination in June; in 1980, Carter and Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy carried their rivalry into the convention hall; in 1984, former vice president Walter Mondale spent several months running against ex–Colorado senator Gary Hart; and in 1992, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton secured the nomination in the late spring after a long battle with former Massachusetts senator Paul Tsongas and former California governor Jerry Brown. Only in 1996 did Democrats have an easy time of it with Clinton, as president, running unopposed. That is, until now.

Keywords

Democratic Party Bush Administration Republican Party Exit Poll Midterm Election 
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Notes

  1. 3.
    See Michael Barone, “Life, Liberty and Property,” in Michael Barone and Richard E. Cohen, The Almanac of American Politics, 2004 ( Washington, DC: National Journal, 2003 ), 21.Google Scholar
  2. 16.
    See especially James MacGregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox ( New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1956 ), 274.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004 ), 117.Google Scholar
  4. 19.
    Quoted in E. J. Dionne, Jr., Stand Up and Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004 ), 64.Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    See Aaron Wildavsky, “The Goldwater Phenomenon: Purists, Politicians, and the Two-Party System,” in Norman L. Zucker, ed., The American Party Process: Readings and Comments ( New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1968 ), 445.Google Scholar
  6. 30.
    For more on this see Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001), passim.Google Scholar
  7. 31.
    See Howard Dean, Winning Back America ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003 ).Google Scholar
  8. 32.
    For more on this see Joe Trippi, “Down from the Mountain,” speech, February 9, 2004.Google Scholar
  9. 43.
    See Robert Caro, The Power Broker (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1966), especially 196–197.Google Scholar
  10. 44.
    Quoted in Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor, American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago ( Boston: Little Brown and Company, 2000 ), 105.Google Scholar
  11. 47.
    Theodore H. White, The Making of the President, 1968 ( New York: Atheneum, 1969 ), 376.Google Scholar
  12. 48.
    George McGovern, Grassroots: The Autobiography of George McGovern ( New York: Random House, 1977 ), 137.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kevin J. McMahon, David M. Rankin, Donald W. Beachler, and John Kenneth White 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Kenneth White

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