5 Historic Presidential Campaign Collapses

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America's Past Presidents Had Some Really Weird Habits

America's Past Presidents Had Some Really Weird Habits

One former president liked petroleum jelly rubbed all over his head every morning. The Part-Time Genius podcast explores the strange habits of America's presidents.

Author's Note: 5 Historic Presidential Campaign Collapses

As I read about the famous flops of presidential candidates, I can't help but wonder how I would fair under the microscopic scrutiny of the massively mass media. My guess? Poorly to very poorly. And what about our political heroes of the past: the Lincolns and Kennedys and Reagans? How would they handle the soundbite culture drowned out by the noise of endless commentary from the blogosphere and pundit-verse? Don't you think Lincoln made a few odd remarks during those Lincoln-Douglas debates that didn't make it into print? And don't even get me started on Kennedy's personal indiscretions. The scrutiny of modern presidential candidates is brutal, but I would also argue, necessary. We deserve a president who is cool and, preferably, smart under pressure; someone who can stand up to tyrants and serve the people's best interests; and maybe even someone who can resist picking his or her nose on live TV.

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  • Blake, Aaron. The Washington Post. "Rick Perry and the 10 biggest presidential campaign flops." January 19, 2012 (July 2, 2012) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/rick-perry-and-the-10-biggest-presidential-campaign-flameouts/2012/01/19/gIQA6xYcBQ_blog.html
  • Broder, David. Washington Monthly. "The story that still nags at me — Edward S. Muskie." February, 1987 (July 2, 2012) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_v19/ai_4696993/
  • Dionne, E.J., Jr. The New York Times. "Courting Danger: The Fall of Gary Hart." May 9, 1987 (July 2, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/09/us/courting-danger-the-fall-of-gary-hart.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
  • Fikac, Peggy. The Houston Chronicle. "Debate meltdown does not help Rick Perry." November 9, 2011 (July 2, 2012) http://blog.chron.com/rickperry/2011/11/debate-meltdown-does-not-help-rick-perry/
  • Hanlon, Michael. The Montreal Gazette. "'Camelot in cowboy boots' excites U.S. voters." March 10, 1984 (July 2, 2012) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19840310&id=_4U0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=jKUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5521,4010065
  • Jones, Tim. Chicago Tribune. "Dewey defeats Truman" (July 2, 2012) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-chicagodays-deweydefeats-story,0,6484067.story
  • Kuhn, David Paul. CBS News. "The Rise and Fall of Howard Dean." February 11, 2009 (July 2, 2012) http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-601046.html
  • Miller Center. "Harry S. Truman: Campaigns and Elections" (July 2, 2012) http://millercenter.org/president/truman/essays/biography/3
  • Parker, Ashley. The New York Times. "Promising Better Direction, Perry Enters Race." August 13, 2011 (July 2, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/us/politics/14perry.html?pagewanted=all
  • PBS NewsHour. "Remembering Ed Muskie." March 26, 1996 (July 2, 2012) http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/remember/muskie_3-26.html
  • Rachman, Gideon. Financial Times. "The rise and fall of Rick Perry." October 27, 2011 (July 2, 2012) http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2011/10/the-rise-and-fall-of-rick-perry/#axzz1yYL5pRMS
  • Salzman, Eric. CBS News. "Dean's Scream: Not What It Seemed." February 11, 2009 (July 2, 2012) http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-596021.html

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