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It’s the elite capture, stupid

135 29 16
03.07.2022

THE phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ was coined in 1992 by James Carville, a campaign strategist on Bill Clinton’s successful White House bid team, who saw the need to make the US recession into a major election issue and carried the day.

Clinton campaign staffers were told by Carville to hammer in the message at every opportunity to underline their stance that the incumbent, president George Bush, was out of touch with reality and incapable of setting the economy right, even as the economy had, in fact, turned the corner.

The economy was coming out of recession and had posted several consecutive months of growth, but the Carville-authored Clinton campaign mantra worked wonders. Clinton took 370 electoral college votes to Bush’s 168. Breaking a three-term run of Republican presidents, he also won the popular vote by a margin of nearly six million votes.

This, despite George Bush’s approval rating running at a staggering 89 per cent, as the president had just prosecuted a successful war in the Middle East and kicked out Iraq from Kuwait.

Of all political slogans, the one that targets issues related to the electorate’s pockets will win.

The lesson in this campaign mantra win was that of all political slogans, the one that targets issues related to the electorate’s pockets will win, unless there is an issue often transient in nature that dominates an election on a one-off basis.

The reference here is to elections in more developed democracies where, apart........

© Dawn


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