May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
July 21, 2008
/ 18 Tamuz 5768
Ghosts of 1976 in today's campaign
Looking back over the last 40 years, the presidential campaign that most closely resembles this year's is the contest between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in 1976. The Republicans were the incumbent presidential party that year, as they are now, but the Democrats had a big advantage in party identification on the order of 49 percent to 26 percent then, far more than today.
The Republican president who had been elected and re-elected in the last two campaigns, Richard Nixon, had dismal favorability ratings, far lower than George W. Bush's. His name could scarcely be mentioned at the Republican National Convention. The Democratic nominee was a little-known outsider, with an appeal that was based on the idea that he could transcend the nation's racial divisions. Jimmy Carter, a governor from the Deep South, had placed a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. in the state Capitol in Atlanta.
Ford's political situation then was far more parlous than McCain's today. An early summer Gallup poll showed him trailing Carter by 62 percent to 29 percent. He had barely limped through the primary contests against Ronald Reagan, who continued his campaign up through the mid-August national convention. His political ads had been disastrous, and on Aug. 1 he did not have a general election media team in place.
Yet by November, the race was about even. Ford ended up losing by just 50 percent to 48 percent. A switch of 5,559 votes in Ohio and 3,687 in Hawaii 9,247 votes out of 81 million would have made Ford president for four more years.
How this came about is an interesting story, and one of obvious relevance to the McCain campaign this year. Much of it is told in a book two copies of which are currently available new and used on amazon.com, "We Almost Made It," by Malcolm MacDougall a professional advertising man, still active, who had played no significant role in presidential campaigns before 1976 and has not done so since.
MacDougall was brought into the Ford campaign on Aug. 7 (!) by Douglas Bailey and the late John Deardourff, whose political advertising firm then worked mostly for liberal Republicans. Bailey Deardourff produced the national advertising, while MacDougall, headquartered in New York, prepared the dozens of ads aimed at specific states and regions, all under the supervision of a former under secretary of commerce from Texas named James A. Baker III. They almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of American politics.
How did they do it? First, by filling in the blanks on Gerald Ford. Voters knew that he had pardoned Richard Nixon and that he tended to bump his head when exiting airplanes. The Ford ad team told them more how he had grown up in Middle America, played football for the University of Michigan (the name of the team was omitted in ads aired in Ohio) and served in the military in World War II. There's an assumption this year that voters know John McCain pretty well. But my sense is that there is still a lot of filling in the blanks that the McCain campaign can do.
Second, they filled in the blanks on Jimmy Carter. Most voters wanted to support a Democrat, and one who had smoothed over the nation's racial divisions as they do today. The press up through early summer was giving him mostly adulatory coverage. But voters didn't know much about Carter. He made, as most candidates do and as Obama seems to be doing now some mistakes along the way.
The Ford ad team honed in on his record, with man-on-the-street ads, some filmed on the streets of Atlanta. It was risky, going against the grain of public opinion. But the Ford campaign persisted, and it worked. The McCain campaign needs to take the same risk and to persist in the face of media disapproval.
Finally, the Ford campaign altered the mood of the nation. Voters then, as now, thought the nation was off on the wrong track. The Ford campaign, with a catchy song, "I'm Feeling Good About America," and upbeat ads starting off with shots of Air Force One, argued that their candidate was leading the nation around the corner, making Americans feel proud again. The McCain campaign needs to do something similar, to argue that their candidate can help the nation turn the corner and lead us into better times.
Exactly how they can do this I'm not sure. They might give Doug Bailey, Mal MacDougall or Jim Baker a call.
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The New Americans
Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. Sales help fund JWR.
JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.
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