As the 2012 election approaches, it’s clear that the central question (indeed, it’s already a cliché) is whether and how a president can be elected with unemployment exceeding 8 percent. So how come we haven’t seen a good story on how FDR won re-election in 1936, when the unemployment rate was over 16 percent? FDR not only won - he carried 46 of 48 states and got nearly 61 percent of the popular vote.
Sure, it’s repeatedly mentioned in passing that FDR pulled off a victory despite the state of the economy. But I’d like to know more about how he did it and how his campaign compares with the Obama effort. What were his campaign themes that year, and what were they in 1940 - when unemployment was still a miserable 14.6 percent and people had to be looking for an alternative after not four but eight years of a president trying to manage an economy far worse than the one we have today? And how, if at all, did he attack his opponents, Alf Landon in 1936, and Wendell Willkie (a Wall Streeter) in 1940?
4. Savannah profiles?
Where are the profiles of Savannah Guthrie, the new Today Show co-host? She’s a lawyer, whose bio says she scored first on the Arizona state bar exam. She has all kinds of other academic honors, and has had a lightning-fast rise since joining NBC News in 2008. Obviously lots of intriguing stuff here.