Episode #25: High House hopes, low Obama numbers

So how do you run your campaign in 2014 if you’re a Democrat and your president’s job approval numbers are not so good?  That’s the question host Ken Rudin put to Democratic pollster and strategist Anna Greenberg in the latest installment of the Political Junkie.  Greenberg acknowledges the weak numbers, the disappointing foreign policy and the history of the party …

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Episode #24: Ranking presidents, facing frontrunners

In most cases, we know the difference between a good president and a bad one.  We re-elect the good ones and we send the bad ones packing.  But how do historians see them?  How does Harry Truman, for example, leave office with an anemic 23% approval rating and wind up as a “Near Great” president?  And …

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Basil Paterson & The Rise Of Black Politics In New York

In nearly every obituary for Basil Paterson, the longtime Harlem political powerbroker who died at age 87 last week — and usually in the first sentence — it said he was the father of former Gov. David Paterson.  While that is true, it doesn’t begin to describe the role he played in establishing and nurturing …

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Episode #23: Wild politics in LA & ME, LBJ’s comeback

With the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — and with the revived reputation of President Lyndon Johnson — comparisons between LBJ and Barack Obama are being made.  Johnson, who left office in 1969 with the cloud of Vietnam hanging over him, is remembered as a master tactician who, with huge Democratic majorities in Congress, pushed a …

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Politics And The 2014 Rock ‘N Roll Hall Of Fame

An exciting week for music, as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame got some new inductees:  Brian Epstein, Andrew Loog Oldham, Kiss, Cat Stevens, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt and The E Street Band. Everyone knows their influence on music.  But we shouldn’t forget the influence on politics that …

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Episode #22: Big decisions for SCOTUS & Jeb Bush

The Supreme Court, in its McCutcheon v. FEC decision, has eliminated even more restrictions on the amount citizens can contribute to federal political campaigns.  Now, says SCOTUSBlog.com editor Amy Howe, the question is what is next to fall.  And North Carolina’s got the most expensive Senate race in the country this year.  University of North Carolina professor Ferrel Guillory talks about …

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Last Week’s Trivia Question – 3/27/14

It goes without saying that listeners to the Political Junkie show are a pretty smart bunch.  So it was a surprise that last week’s trivia question stumped nearly everyone. The question was … before Scott Brown, who was the last defeated Massachusetts statewide elected official who then moved to New Hampshire to seek another statewide …

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The Mayor Of Chicago … For President?

Let’s make it clear from the outset:  not many people have gone directly from Mayor to President.  I think the actual number is zero. Not that there haven’t been those who tried.  Think Democrats Sam Yorty of Los Angeles and John Lindsay of New York in 1972.  And there was Larry Agran, the mayor of …

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Episode #20: Congress on Crimea, DC on corruption, & Kennedy v. Carter

Russian President Vladimir Putin has done his thing in Crimea, and U.S. President Barack Obama has responded with sanctions.  Now Congress will have its say, with perhaps a bill calling for stronger sanctions against Moscow and more aid to Ukraine.  Kate Hunter of Bloomberg News joins Political Junkie host Ken Rudin to talk about how anxious Congress is to be heard with a unified voice …

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Episode #19: Scott Brown moves, the ’97 Newt mutiny, & mourning Reubin Askew

Scott Brown’s likely entry into the New Hampshire Senate race livens up a campaign that Republicans had thought was a lost cause … though he still has his work cut out for him in his battle to unseat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Ken talks about Brown’s hurdles in his new state with New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Josh Rogers. And …

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