By Richard Nathan



A PROFESSOR on the history of U.S. Presidential Elections addresses his class.


                                    Today, class, we will discuss how to win a U.S. 
                                    Presidential Election.  Many people believe
                                    these elections are decided based on the
                                    issues - but nothing could be further from the
                                    truth.  Issues - tissues!!!  Yes, there are many
                                    Americans who do care about issues.  Guess
                                    what?  They don't decide elections!!!  The
                                    people who decide elections are the swing voters,
                                    and they don't give a damn about issues.  If they
                                    cared about issues, they wouldn't be swing voters. 
                                    What these people care about is who seems like a
                                    nice guy, who seems warm and friendly and folksy. 
                                    And the swing voters hate intellectuals worse than
                                    anything.  I will demonstrate.  Eisenhower was more
                                    folksy than Stevenson.  And Stevenson was an intellectual. 
                                    Goodbye to Stevenson.  You may think Kennedy was
                                    an intellectual, but he said his favorite author was
                                    Ian Fleming, who wrote the James Bond novels. 
                                    Kennedy went to Harvard, but he was about as
                                    intellectual as Frank Sinatra.  And Kennedy was
                                    much more warm and friendly than Nixon.  LBJ
                                    was very folksy in a Texas sort of way, and Goldwater
                                    by comparison was an intellectual, with those nerdy
                                    glasses of his.  Without the nerdy glasses, Goldwater
                                    might have been President!  Nixon wasn't warm or
                                    friendly, but he seemed so compared with Hubert 
                                    Humphrey, who reminded everyone of  the fat kid
                                    who the bullies used to beat up at school. 
                                    And McGovern was another intellectual.  Jimmy
                                    Carter was much folksier than Ford, but Carter
                                    wasn't folksier than Reagan.  No one was folksier
                                    than Reagan.  A Norman Rockwell painting wasn't
                                    folksier than Reagan.  Mondale never had a chance. 
                                    Neither George Herbert Walker Bush nor
                                    Michael Dukakis was the slightest bit warm, folksy
                                    or friendly, but Regan was so folksy that enough
                                    rubbed off on Bush to get him elected for one term. 
                                    Stop and think about that for a moment.  Do you
                                    realize how folksy Reagan must have been for ANY
                                    of it to rub off on George H. W. Bush.  Clinton . 
                                    was almost as folksy as Regan.  Bye bye to Bush
                                    and bye bye to Dole.  In 2000, we had a tie. 
                                    That's because Bush was folksier than Gore, but Gore
                                    was warmer than Bush, and Clinton was so folksy, a
                                    little bit rubbed off on Gore, but not enough.  If
                                    Clinton had been as folksy as Reagan, Gore would
                                    been President.  In 2004, Kerry seemed like an intellectual. 
                                    Intellectuals never have a chance.  If you are an
                                    intellectual, don't waste your time running for
                                    President.  Next time around, if the parties are
                                    smart, they won't have political conventions. 
                                    They'll forget all about issues.  They'll hire a casting
                                    director from Hollywood to find someone who
                                    seems warm, folksy and friendly - AND NOT






2004 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

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