Time Capsules

Time Capsule: Jimmie Davis Sings His Way into Voters’ Hearts for a Second Time

Time Capsule: Jimmie Davis Sings His Way into Voters’ Hearts for a Second Time

Country singer and songwriter Jimmie H. Davis, the son of a sharecropper who enlivened the campaign trail by performing with a quartet, won his second term as governor of Louisiana on this day in 1960.  Best remembered as the composer of the hit song “You Are My Sunshine,” Davis, who could not read or write music [...]

Time Capsule: Wilbur Mills Calls for an End to the War in Vietnam

Time Capsule: Wilbur Mills Calls for an End to the War in Vietnam

Wilbur D. Mills, the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee who long opposed congressional attempts to end the war in Indochina, surprised his colleagues forty years ago today by calling for an immediate and total withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Vietnam. The darkest of all dark-horse candidates for the 1972 Democratic [...]

Time Capsule: Phil Crane Calls It Quits, Endorses Reagan in 1980

Time Capsule: Phil Crane Calls It Quits, Endorses Reagan in 1980

Thirty-two years ago today, Rep. Phil Crane of Illinois, a leading conservative firebrand in the U.S. House of Representatives, abandoned his twenty-month quest for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsed conservative rival Ronald Reagan. Crane, who had not actively campaigned since losing badly in his native Illinois primary on March 18th — a race in [...]

Vintage Politics: Gene McCarthy Declares at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall

Vintage Politics: Gene McCarthy Declares at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall

Shortly after Sarah Palin’s magical mystery bus tour arrived in Philadelphia yesterday, the diva of the Tea Party movement and her family took a rushed half-hour tour of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Pavilion. As a crowd of onlookers and a horde of media cameras tracked the former governor’s every step, it reminded me [...]

Worth Reading: Harry Browne Refuses Matching Funds in 1996

Worth Reading: Harry Browne Refuses Matching Funds in 1996

As we get into the full swing of the Presidential cycle in the next few months, many of the candidates will begin to scoop up donations from around the country in pursuit of qualifying for Federal matching funds. In 1996, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Harry Browne qualified for $470,000 worth of government funds, but he [...]

Palin and Ferraro: Trailblazers Struggle in Their Second Acts

Palin and Ferraro: Trailblazers Struggle in Their Second Acts

They are a pair of powerful and universally known figures who made the leap from seeking the second highest office in the land  to success on the small screen. Only two women in America currently know what it’s like to have appeared on a major party’s national ticket. And while former New York Congresswoman Geraldine [...]

Carol Moseley Braun's Unlikely Second Act

Carol Moseley Braun’s Unlikely Second Act

The nation’s first black female Senator, who was defeated in her 1998 bid for re-election, announced in early 2003 that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic nomination for president. Carol Moseley Braun, now a leading candidate for mayor of Chicago, seemed an unlikely presidential candidate because her time in Washington [...]

Vintage Politics: FDR Easily Dispenses of Democratic Opposition in '36

Vintage Politics: FDR Easily Dispenses of Democratic Opposition in ’36

With Ely out of the picture, Roosevelt was virtually assured of his party’s nomination. He faced only token opposition from Col. Henry S. Breckinridge, a former assistant Secretary of War in Woodrow Wilson’s administration. A conservative Democrat, Breckinridge was a prominent member of the rabidly anti-New Deal American Liberty League, a right-wing organization heavily funded by the Du Pont family.

Flashback Friday: Socialist Norman M. Thomas Challenges Willkie to a Debate

Flashback Friday: Socialist Norman M. Thomas Challenges Willkie to a Debate

Seventy years ago this week Norman M. Thomas, waging his fourth consecutive campaign for the presidency on the Socialist Party ticket, challenged Republican Wendell Willkie to a face-to-face debate…