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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Special: A Look Back at 1987


This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on Blogger

1987 a year that I was eleven years old for the most of it, there you have it my age, now see if you can add 24 years to that and come up with the right answer on your own. I finished fifth grade in 1987 and started 6th grade. But enough about me, this blog is not my autobiography, not enough time and I would like you to read the whole blog before you fall asleep. 

1987 was a fascinating year politically and I actually remember some of those stories as a eleven year old. Democrats took over the Senate, I don't remember hearing about that, but I knew we had a Republican President and a Democratic Congress that year. Which was a very common arrangement in the 1970s and 80s, like an unhappy marriage. That stayed together for the sake of the kids. 

I remember hearing about Iran Contra and even having some idea about what that was. I remember hearing the names Col. Oliver North, Admiral John Poindexter, Bud Macfarline who was President Reagan's Director of National Security. I remember even seeing parts of the Iran Contra hearings that were held I believe both in the House and Senate on TV. I remember hearing that Vice President George Bush was going to run for President. 

I remember hearing names like Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Paul Simon all Democratic members of Congress who were going to run for President. I remember hearing the name Bob Dole and knew he was the Senate Minority Leader. And what that job was and knew he was going to run for President as well. I obviously wasn't a political junky yet, but my parents were and got to here these stories.

1987 wasn't a fascinating year because of these things that were happening and the people who were involved. But what was going in these people and their lives. You have two major Democratic presidential candidates, both strong liberal voices in the party, having to drop out because of personal scandals. Gary Hart a former two-term Senator Who did not run for reelection in 1986 because he wanted to run for President full-time in 1988. 

Gary Hart came close to winning the Democratic nomination in 1984 and was probably going to be the frontrunner in 1988. But then dares the media to follow him around. Because as he said he had nothing to hide. Well if he had nothing to hide, he must of had an open marriage. Because he was caught having an affair with Donna Rice who was a federal employee at one point. Their love affair could probably make a good porno movie on Cinemax, or well MSNBC.  

You have Joe Biden a three-term Senator and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee who presided over the Bob Bork' Supreme Court nomination, that's a story by itself, have to quit his campaign because of a plagiarism scandal. No wonder Joe Biden talks so much, he has so much material to use from other people. Way to go Joe! I could get to the rest of 1987, but I already here some snoring so I'll spare you for now. Perhaps in a future blog.

In 1987 you had great political stories inside and outside of Washington relating to the Federal Government. The Administration with Congress and of course presidential politics outside of Washington with Dick Gephardt doing well enough with his 1988 presidential campaign, that he gets elected Leader of the House for the next Congress, the 101st Congress. 

And this is four years before 1992 with Bill Clinton, Ross Perot and the rest of the gang. Where you have a President go from a 90% approval rating to losing reelection in 1992 with just 37% of the Popular Vote. How time flies when your approval rating is dropping like an asteroid being dropped from a bridge. But that is American politics for you with our ups and downs. We love you until we don't.