Nothing Changes: Every Campaign is About Change

Well, it’s official. Every major candidate represents change. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined the conga line of change agents while campaigning Monday in Florida. “I was a mayor who was a change agent. Whether you agree with my changes or not, I think you’d have to say I was probably the mayor of New York City who, at least in modern times, brought about the most change,” the Associated Press reports Mayor Giuliani as claiming.

But, by definition, aren’t all candidacies by non-incumbents about change? Has a Democrat ever run against a Republican incumbent promising to deliver more of the same? Has a Republican taken on a sitting Democratic president extolling the wonderful job they’re doing?

Even Herbert Hoover’s campaign theme, a “return to normalcy,” implied that, somehow, in some way, the Calvin Coolidge years were less than normal (maybe they were too dull?) 

Some calls for change are really a desire to turn the clock back to an earlier era. While technically a change, this claim is more like a do-over. If you liked the first President Clinton you’ll like the next one. If you liked President Reagan then you’re going to love President McCain-Romney-Hucklebee-Thompson.  But no one is seeking to be the next President Bush.

So, let’s grant that every candidate running for president favors of change. Glad that’s settled. Because the questions we need to be asking don’t revolve around who favors change, but what kind of change do they favor? What would they change? The agenda? Specific policies? Partisanship as usual?

In other words, the question is not who represents change, it’s who will make a difference.

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Posted in Elections, Politics, Presidential Campaign. Tags: , . Comments Off on Nothing Changes: Every Campaign is About Change
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