How Can a Party Unite?From the Collections: The Presidents | Leadership in times of crisis
Watch these one to three-minute clips from Presidents Collection and connect today's election issues with the past.
Neocons and Moderates
President Bush's cabinet included Donald Rumsfeld, who brought with him a coterie of advisors known as “neoconservatives,” and moderates such as General Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice. “I don’t think President Bush intentionally went for a team of rivals,” deputy chief of staff Joshua Bolten said. “I think he went for a team of strong members and if that meant they were rivals, so be it.”
Passing the Budget Bill
The vote on the budget bill came down to a Freshman Democrat, Marjorie Margolis Mezvinsky. Senator Tom Daschle described Clinton's resolve to get the budget passed: "There wasn’t anything he wasn’t willing to do. He would call, he would meet. He would grovel, he would strong-arm. He would use every tactic any leader has at his disposal to try to get this thing done."
George H.W. Bush fired the majority of Reagan's appointees in an attempt to distance himself from his predecessor. "It was an ideological housecleaning," says presidential historian John Robert Greene. "And Reagan appointees are shown the door in a harsh transition that makes it look like a Democrat is coming in."
Americans doubted that a former Hollywood "B" actor could manage the country.
The Silent Majority
President Nixon tried to demonstrate that most Americans supported him with his "Silent Majority" speech in November 1969. "To you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans," Nixon said, "I ask for your support, for the more divided we are at home, the less likely the enemy is to negotiate at Paris."
Kennedy vs. Johnson
After Kennedy was nominated for the Presidency, the Vice Presidency came into question. "No one was sure what Johnson would do if Kennedy offered it to him."
A Compromise Candidate
The 1944 Democratic Convention focused on who would be nominated for the Vice Presidency. With the Democrats divided, Truman emerged as the compromise candidate.
Factions in the Republican party were breeding corruption, so Garfield worked to nominate James Blaine to combat the machine politics of the Stalwarts. But when Garfield delivered his speech to the Republican Convention to back Blaine, the crowd chanted that it was Garfield they wanted for president instead.