Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stuck on Stupid

To help campaign workers in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign to keep their eye on the ball, to stay focused on the public’s top concern, Clinton campaign manager James Carville coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Carville was right. As is precisely the case today, the centrality of economic issues was paramount in 1992.
Under incumbent Republican President George H. W. Bush, the U.S. unemployment rate had increased from 5.6 percent in 1990 to 6.8 percent in 1991 and 7.5 percent in 1992.
Failing on another key economic issue, Bush had reneged on his well-known 1988 campaign pledge to refrain from raising taxes.
Further adding to the primacy of economic issues in the 1992 presidential election, third party candidate Ross Perot focused his campaign on federal budget deficits, the U.S. trade imbalance, and the national debt.


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