Episode #186: Declaration of Independents

There’s no way we can celebrate Independence Day without hearing about significant independent presidential candidates of the past half century.  Ron Rapoport of the College of William & Mary takes us on a tour, starting with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in 2016 and traveling to 1968 with George Wallace.

A new book chronicles the relationship between Dr. Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy, and it shows how JFK started his political career almost ambivalent when it came to civil rights … and how his views changed during those turbulent times.  The book is “Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor and the Battle Over Civil Rights,” and author Steven Levingston walks us through Kennedy’s fascinating transformation.

Bob Shrum, the Democratic strategist who ran John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, among others, talks about the decision, for better or worse, to name John Edwards as Kerry’s running mate that year.

And Jeff Shesol, author of “Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court,” reminds us of FDR’s ill-fated scheme to pack the Court with liberal supporters following Roosevelt’s landslide re-election victory in 1936.

Photo via Richard Drew/AP

Music used in this podcast:

Wooly Bully by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs

Freedom Of Choice by Devo

If I Had A Hammer by Pete Seeger

You Cheated by The Shields

My Way by Frank Sinatra

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