A Glimmer of Hope for Trump? How Bush Mounted a Comeback in 1988 – The New York Times

“George H.W. Bush was in trouble. It was July 1988 and Michael Dukakis, the Democratic candidate for president, was on a roll after his party’s convention in Atlanta. A Gallup poll showed Mr. Bush trailing by 17 points.

But he had a road map to victory.

One month earlier, Mr. Bush’s top aides had gathered at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, deliberately out of sight and away from campaign headquarters, to review a thick binder of polling and focus group data. The campaign’s research showed that Mr. Dukakis’s record was not well-known and that some of his liberal positions, in particular supporting prison furloughs and opposing the death penalty, could swamp him in a general election.

Using the plan laid out in that room, the Bush campaign proceeded, as Lee Atwater, the campaign manager, put it, “to strip the bark off the little bastard,” beginning in force with Mr. Bush’s hammer of a speech at the Republican National Convention in August through Election Day.

Mr. Bush not only overcame Mr. Dukakis’s summer polling advantage, but defeated him handily: by a margin of 53 percent to 46 percent. He won 40 states.

“In many ways, with Mr. Atwater as its dark prince of strategy, the Bush campaign of 1988 marked the birth of the modern-day negative campaign. ost memorably, Republicans plastered Mr. Dukakis, then the governor of Massachusetts, with the case of Willie Horton, an African-American man who raped a white Maryland woman and stabbed her boyfriend while on a Massachusetts prison furlough program.”

Campaigning in a Crisis: Obama, McCain, Trump and Biden – By Adam Nagourney – The New York Times

“It was a late Sunday afternoon in September 2008, and senior aides to Barack Obama were gathered at his presidential campaign headquarters in Chicago. Their latest polling showed that Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, had lost his lead over his opponent, Senator John McCain, since the Republican convention. They were worried.

Two hours into the meeting, Mr. Obama walked in the door. Henry M. Paulson, the secretary of the Treasury, had just alerted him of bad economic news that would become public in the coming hours, Mr. Obama told his aides. “The world is going to change and whatever you guys are working on is going to be different tomorrow,” he said, according to participants.

Early the next morning, Lehman Brothers, one of the nation’s most prominent securities firms, filed for bankruptcy. The collapse shook the nation’s financial industry and sent the stock market into free fall. Overnight, with the election less than two months away, a historic economic crisis transformed America’s presidential race, testing both candidates on who best could lead the nation to recovery.

With its staggering death toll, surging unemployment and economic devastation, the Covid-19 crisis confronting the nation today is far more cataclysmic than the 2008 meltdown. But Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain faced a series of choices — on leadership, empathy and tone, on executing political strategy and navigating fast-moving events on Wall Street, Main Street and Washington — that are relevant and even illuminating as President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. try to navigate another campaign playing out against the backdrop of a national emergency.

George Bush- 41st President- Dies at 94 – By Adam Nagourney – The New York Times


David Lindsay
13 mins

The New York Times

A good friend of my father’s has just passed away. They lived in the same house together in New Haven, as Dad attended Yale Law School. My mother and Barbara became friends, and shared a deep commitment to Planned Parenethood, probably before it was known by that name.

About this website

Mr. Bush, a Republican, was a transitional figure in the White House, where he served from 1989 to 1993. He was the last of the World War II generation to occupy the Oval Office.


By Adam Nagourney
Nov. 30, 2018,    236
George Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd, who steered the nation through a tumultuous period in world affairs but was denied a second term after support for his presidency collapsed under the weight of an economic downturn and his seeming inattention to domestic affairs, died on Friday night at his home in Houston. He was 94.

His death, which was announced by his office, came less than eight months after that of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

Mr. Bush had a form of Parkinson’s disease that forced him to use a wheelchair or motorized scooter in recent years, and he had been in and out of hospitals during that time as his health declined. In April, a day after attending Mrs. Bush’s funeral, he was treated for an infection that had spread to his blood. In 2013, he was in dire enough shape with bronchitis that former President George W. Bush, his son, solicited ideas for a eulogy.

But he proved resilient each time. In 2013 he told well-wishers, through an aide, to “put the harps back in the closet.”

via George Bush, 41st President, Dies at 94 – The New York Times

Duncan Hunter’s Indictment in California Opens the Door for a Long-Shot Challenger – Ammar Campa-Najjar – The New York Times

By Adam Nagourney
Aug. 22, 2018 49 comments

“SAN DIEGO — Ammar Campa-Najjar is the son of an Arab father and a Mexican-American mother. His campaign for Congress has been embraced by Democratic activists across the nation. He is an advocate of tough environmental measures, including a permanent moratorium on offshore drilling, and legal protections for immigrants who were brought into this nation as children.

At 29, he has never run for office and is barely known in this suburban San Diego district near Camp Pendleton. But Mr. Campa-Najjar abruptly emerged Wednesday as a decidedly credible candidate to represent this solidly Republican enclave in a Democratic state, after the incumbent, Representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican, was indicted with his wife Tuesday on charges of using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.”