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Walter Mondale

For Carter and Ford - Read Capitalism (pt.2)

Arch-reactionary Barry Goldwater, who was for all-out war in Vietnam in 1964 when Johnson was still regarded as a “dove”, is supporting Ford. This is taken as an indication of how far to the “right” Republican sentiments have moved. The lines of demarcation between so-called “liberal” and “conservative” are entirely imaginary. Those who fondly regard themselves as liberal regard Carter as a liberal, and the conservatives think he is one of them. The balancing trick of appearing to be all things to all men is the essence of the capitalist politician.

    "All the polls indicate that people vote on the candidate’s personality rather than his policies. They want to know how steady his finger would be on the button. . . ." (Sunday Times 22nd August 1976)

Making of a Candidate

President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) is widely credited with having democratised American politics. Reforms initiated about this time led to party conventions taking over as the vehicle for the selection of presidential candidates. Each state sends delegates, mostly pledged to vote for a particular candidate although some are uncommitted. In fact this was not as successful as had been hoped. Control of state delegates fell into the hands of party bosses, the most notorious of whom were those who ran Tammany Hall, the headquarters of the Democrats in New York. This put into a key position another class of professional politicians who expected and received patronage from political hopefuls whose path to power they smoothed. A major reason for the advance of the primary system was that it struck a blow at these state bosses.

God Returns to the White House

The 1984 US Presidential Election campaign, which seemed to have been going on for ever, is at last over. For some of the hopefuls who fell by the wayside, such as Gary Hart, the run up to 1988 has already begun. (The BBC 9 o'clock News on October 29 called this Life after Mondale — where was the life with Mondale you may ask!) The overwhelming victory of Ronald Reagan had appeared inevitable all through and there is little evidence that the alternative strategics suggested for the Democrats (Jesse Jackson’s “rainbow coalition" being the front runner) would have produced a better result.

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