Monday, September 14, 2015

POLITICS - Andrew Jackson vs Donald Trump

"What Andrew Jackson has in common with Donald Trump" PBS NewsHour 9/8/2015


SUMMARY:  Of the nearly two dozen major candidates running for president, the ones getting the most attention are the political outsiders.  Is this a rare situation, or have American voters seen this before?  Gwen Ifill talks to presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith and Lara Brown of George Washington University.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  There are nearly two dozen major candidates running for president this year, and the ones getting the most attention are not all elected officials.  They are the outsiders, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Carly Fiorina, using YouTube, Instagram and other social media to build huge followings and get onto debate stages.

But is this really brand-new?  Or have we been here before?

We turn to three political historians, Lara Brown, who directs George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and NewsHour regulars Michael Beschloss, the author of nine books, and Richard Norton Smith, whose most recent book was on the life of Nelson Rockefeller.

So, Michael Beschloss, a lot of people are running.  We seem to be paying attention to them.  But the ones catching fire are not necessarily the politicians or at least seen or perceived as being the politicians.  How unusual is that?

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, Presidential Historian:  Well, it has happened before a lot in history.  And maybe the best example of that would have been Ross Perot in 1992.

What he basically said was, I’m a businessman.  I have never held public office.  And that means I’m not implicated in these party establishments that have taken the country the wrong way.  So he went on “Larry King” in February of 1992.

GWEN IFILL:  Remember.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS:  And he said, if you Americans want me to run, I will run as a third-party candidate, and I will attack the federal deficits, which neither party is doing anything about.

He allowed himself, at least in his language, to be recruited.  He ran, and at one point early that year, at least in the late spring, he was running ahead of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the two major-party candidates.

GWEN IFILL:  And he was a third-party candidate.

But we have seen people even from the establishment parties, Lara Brown, who have broken out of this and changed up the whole feel of an election race before Ross Perot.

LARA BROWN, George Washington University:  Well, I think that’s right.

What we really have to do is make a distinction.  And that distinction is those who call themselves outsiders, who really mean they’re just outside Washington (DC), vs. those who call themselves outsiders because they’re outside of politics altogether.

GWEN IFILL:  For example?

LARA BROWN:  For example, we can see the governors who run.

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