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Post-WWII Presidential Politics. A quick note Presidential election years are ALWAYS evenly divisible by 4 Presidents assume office the following January.

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Presentation on theme: "Post-WWII Presidential Politics. A quick note Presidential election years are ALWAYS evenly divisible by 4 Presidents assume office the following January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Post-WWII Presidential Politics

2 A quick note Presidential election years are ALWAYS evenly divisible by 4 Presidents assume office the following January 2008 – Obama elected 2009 – Obama’s presidency began

3 Harry S Truman (D) Missouri Ascended after FDR died in Warm Springs Was POTUS last months of WWII Badly unprepared –FDR was secretive Start of Cold War Korean War (50-53)

4 Harry S Truman (D) Missouri VERY UNPOPULAR while president –Approval rating 36% in spring of 1948 Won a miracle come from behind election over Thomas Dewey (GOP Gov of NY)

5 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) Kansas Served as Supreme Allied Commander in WWII Universally beloved in post-war era Had no known political affiliation Both parties wanted him, GOP won

6 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) Kansas Easily won elections in 1952 and 1956 Democrats put up token opposition Adlai Stevenson (Dem Gov of IL) lost both elections

7 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) Kansas First elections that used TV Neither candidate knew how to do it Very unsophisticated use of media

8 John F. Kennedy (D) Massachusetts Elected in very close 1960 race Defeated Richard Nixon, who was Eisenhower’s VP First campaign that understood impact of television

9 John F. Kennedy (D) Massachusetts Berlin Wall (1961) Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) Assassinated in Dallas in Nov 1963

10 Lyndon B. Johnson (D) Texas Ascended after JFK was shot in Dallas Civil Rights Era Vietnam War Moon Landing

11 Lyndon B. Johnson (D) Texas Won 1964 election easily over Sen. Barry Goldwater (R, AZ) –Goldwater threatened nuclear war in Vietnam

12 Lyndon B. Johnson (D) Texas But 1 st time most of the south voted GOP Final southern shift would take abt 20 yrs

13 Richard M. Nixon (R) California Had been Ike’s VP in 1950s Before being VP had strong reputation as anti-communist Lost to Kennedy in ’60

14 Richard M. Nixon (R) California Won two comfortable elections 1968 defeated Hubert Humphrey –LBJ’s VP (D, MN)

15 Richard M. Nixon (R) California 1972 soundly defeated Senator George McGovern (Dem, SD) Won 49 of 50 states, only lost MA and DC

16 Richard M. Nixon (R) California In 1972, campaign workers broke into McGovern’s campaign HQ in Watergate Hotel White House covered up the break-in After conspiracy revealed, resigned in disgrace

17 Gerald R. Ford (R) Michigan Was All-American center for Michigan Wolverines Drafted by Packers, decided to go to Yale Law School instead

18 Gerald R. Ford (R) Michigan Served in US House from Michigan Became replacement VP when Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973 –Scandal totally unrelated to Watergate Only POTUS never actually elected to any national office

19 Gerald R. Ford (R) Michigan Pardoned Nixon after ascending American public never forgave him Lost close 1976 race to relatively unknown southern governor

20 James E. Carter, Jr. (D) Georgia Pretended to be a simple peanut farmer Nuclear physicist from Naval Academy Depressing time period: –Iran Hostage Crisis –Bad economy –Disco

21 Ronald W. Reagan (R) California Won 1980 race over Carter easily Oversaw period of general prosperity Strong on defense, hardline against USSR Big tax cuts, big spending increases Beginning of massive budget deficits

22 Ronald W. Reagan (R) California 1984 – defeated Walter Mondale (Carter’s VP), Dem from MN Mondale argued against deficit –He promised to cut spending & raise taxes to balance budget Bad idea when you’re running for office

23 Ronald W. Reagan (R) California Largest # of electoral votes ever (525-13) Won 49 of 50 states, only lost MN & DC

24 George H. W. Bush (R) Texas Had been Reagan’s VP Easily won 1988 race vs. Michael Dukakis (Dem Gov of MA)

25 George H. W. Bush (R) Texas End of Cold War 1 st Gulf War Bad recession in 1992 Lost close 1992 race to relatively unknown southern governor

26 William J. Clinton (D) Arkansas Oversaw period of general prosperity Republican Revolution –GOP took control of Congress (1994) –1 st time since 1954 GOP controlled the House

27 William J. Clinton (D) Arkansas Reelected in 1996 over Sen Bob Dole (R, KS) Ethics problems dogged presidency

28 William J. Clinton (D) Arkansas Accused of perjury & obstruction of justice Impeached by HR 1998 Acquitted by Sen 1999

29 2000 Election Bush – GOP Gov of TX Gore – Clinton VP One of closest elections in US history Gore won popular vote Bush won Florida by 537 votes Bush won Electoral vote

30 George W. Bush (R) Texas 9/11 attacks Iraq & Afghanistan Katrina Reelected in 2004 over Sen John Kerry (D, MA)

31 2008 Election Senator Obama (D, IL) Senator McCain (R, AZ) Obama—1 st African American president 1 st election since 1952 without sitting POTUS or VP running 1 st POTUS election between 2 senators

32 Barack H. Obama (D) 2009– Illinois TBA


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