American Politics

American Politics

Unlike Some, Newt Knew When To Quit

Until last Friday, when House Speaker Newt Gingrich resigned, one could rightfully ask, "Whatever became of the fine art of resignation?" 

Until Friday, the leader of the Republican majority in Congress and the second most powerful political leader in the land, was clinging to his office in the face of growing rebellion among his own supporters upset by his roller coaster leadership and failure at the polls on Nov. 3. 

'Big Sky' primary would shift power

If the 10 states of the Intermountain West (including the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest states) can agree on a common date for a year 2000 Western regional presidential primary -- what my colleague Rick O'Donnell and I call the "Big Sky" primary -- then a new and more influential role for the New West in national politics will be firmly established as we enter the first decade of the 21st century. 

The West wields expanding power

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rapid population growth in the West and unprecedented gains by the Republican Party in the region are dramatically changing America's political landscape and will greatly expand the influence of the Western region on national politics. This is one of the punchlines of "Western Political Outlook," a new report released today at the National Press Club by the Denver-based Center for the New West. 

Presidents Day a poor substitute

In the old days, Americans celebrated the birthday of the man who is regarded as the "Father of his Country," owing to his service to our nation - as commanding general during the Revolutionary War and as our founding president. His name was George Washington and we celebrated his birthday on Feb. 22. 

For more than 100 years, most Americans in most states also celebrated the birthday of the man who "saved the Union" when he served as president during the American Civil War from 1861-65. His name was Abraham Lincoln and we celebrated his birthday on Feb. 12. 

Despite spin, truth matters

Despite the White House sex scandal, President Clinton's poll numbers are soaring. One new poll shows a record-high 72 percent of the American people approving the way he is "handling his job as president." At the same time more than half think the president had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. 

Have the American people gone bonkers? Have they thrown truth and morality to the winds? Perhaps, but there may be alternative explanations. Consider:

New Majority Shows Its Might

The culture of Washington is dominated by questions of "who's up, who's down; who's in, who's out," to which most normal Americans say, "Who cares?" 

Polls' accuracy turns on turnout

Public opinion polls have dominated the 1996 election cycle. One reason: There are simply more polls. Example: According to the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, there were 10 presidential "trial heats" between September 1 and election day in 1968. This year that number will exceed 125. 

Hope, fear fuel Clinton campaign

With less than 50 days to go before the presidential election on November 5, the Dole campaign is in trouble. National polls continue to show President Clinton with a commanding lead -- most around 15%. 

The outlook in the state-by-state electoral vote -- the one that really counts, where it takes 270 out of 538 votes to the win the presidency -- is even more bleak. According to Sunday's "Electoral Scorecard" compiled by the conservative Washington Times, there are 13 Western and Southern states with 96 electoral votes solidly in Dole's column. 

Dole makes all the right moves

All of a sudden, this autumn's presidential contest is looking more competitive. One reason is the reality of the broad foundation of core votes for any truly conservative candidate. Another is that voters are beginning to pay attention -- and will really tune in after Labor Day. And, finally, Republican hopeful Bob Dole has made all the right moves during the past two weeks. 

Tried-and-true campaign themes

Former Colorado governor Dick Lamm's race for the Reform Party's presidential nomination adds a new thematic dimension to the 1996 presidential campaign. And, make no mistake about it, thematic coherence is important. Reason: Leaders communicate best by telling stories and by linking their messages to one or more of four dominant themes in American culture -- including:

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Reboot

Reboot!

It’s better to wear out than rust out.”  That is the message of Reboot!  While American culture glamorizes the “Golden Years” of endless leisure and amusement, Phil Burgess rejects retirement, as he makes the case for returning to work in the post-career years, a time he calls later life.

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