The Winds of Change

What do the 1976, 1980, 1992, 2000, and 2008 Presidential elections have in common? In the General Election, the candidates that were most able to position themselves as the candidate of change won the Presidency.

In 1976, there was still the Watergate hangover and Americans were upset with Gerald Ford over the Nixon pardon. Jimmy Carter promised change and won an extremely close election partially due to his use of the misery index. The misery index was created by adding inflation numbers with the unemployment numbers. Carter promised to lower the misery index and bring positive change to the Presidency. Unfortunately for him and the U.S., the only change he brought was for the worse.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan positioned himself as the candidate for positive change. Fortunately for us, he was the real deal. His message and policies of “Peace Through Strength” won the Cold War and changed the world for the better. It was “Morning Again in America”. He was rewarded with a landslide victory in 1984.

1992 was probably the most interesting of these elections because you had two candidates that successfully positioned themselves as the candidates of change, Perot and Clinton. Perot was successful at that because he was simply far different than any candidate the American public had seen in recent memory. Clinton was ultimately successful because he hammered Bush with “It’s the Economy, Stupid”, implying that he would change the emphasis from foreign affairs to the economy, marking a change from the previous administration. Having two candidates for change created insurmountable odds for Bush to overcome. (Bush had won the 1988 election because exhaustion with eight years of Reagan/Bush had not yet completely overtaken the general public and Mike Dukakis ran a horrendous campaign. Public exhaustion clearly existed in 1992 and it cost Bush the election.)

2000 is a little different story, because the true results of the election were muddled as a result of the various TV networks decision to call Florida before the polls actually closed. My thinking is that Bush’s victory would have been significantly larger, because it has been reported that many intending Bush voters went home in the Florida panhandle and in other parts of the country because it seemed that their votes would not matter as Florida, a key state had been one by Gore. Nevertheless, Bush won significantly more states than Gore mostly due to his exploitation of the electorate’s natural desire for change after having the same administration in power for eight years. Part of Bush’s message was an argument for tax cuts and an end to nation building. He also vowed to return dignity to the Oval Office. He won because he marked a departure from the past eight years.

2008 is no different from the rest in that the fact that the Obama won because he positioned himself as the candidate for change and the anti-Bush. He was a fresh face and the average person did not know a whole lot about him, similar to Jimmy Carter. Furthermore, he is now about to become the first Black President of the United States. While he is was Senator, he had not been in Washington long enough to be labeled a Washington insider. 

Those of you who are depressed about this election, take heart. These election results are in line with the march of history. 2010 and 2012 have the potential to be great years for Republicans if we get back to basics and take on the change mantle. We as Republicans need to return to our conservative ways and force our party to innovate. If we are successful, we’ll be fine.


2 Responses

  1. […] Read the rest of the story at Hampton Roads GOP. […]

  2. This was a very interesting read. One thing that I find is of critical concern is ACORN and any other organizations out there who are run in a similar fashion. I know most people must have heard by now how ACORN is under investigation by the FBI in at least 15 states. Tonight, I hear that Al Franken may actually take Minnesota because of a box of 32 votes for Franken found in a car and another couple thousand that they say were not counted — amazingly enough, these 2 thousand votes were all for Franken. This is corrupt and stealing votes from honest citizens. In addition, MN’s Secretary of State, Richie, is another ACORN linked politician as is the Sec. of State in OH. Richie will be leading the recount of votes for this senatorial race between Coleman and Franken in MN. Should honest people be worried? I believe so. The Republican Party, the Conservatives, need to make ACORN a non-issue by 2010 because they are completely corrupt. Regardless of which persons run for office on the Conservative tickets, ACORN and the State politicians tied to it are insuring Democratic wins. This misuse of our political electoral system must cease. Conservatives better get this under control soon. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: