News
Tickets on sale for W. Kamau Bell’s January appearance

Critically acclaimed socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell will present "The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour," Sunday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in Hanover College’s Collier Arena.

General admission tickets are available for just $10. Seats for high school students and younger are free, but must be reserved through the online ticketing system.

The New York Times called Bell “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years,” while Punchline Magazine touted him as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit.”

Bell, who is well known for his podcasts, stand-up performances and comedy albums, has also gained critical acclaim for his work as the host of the CNN’s docu-series “United Shades of America.” In its first season, the program was nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information.

Prior to his work with CNN, Bell was the host of FX’s “Totally Unbiased.” The program, executive produced by Chris Rock, was nominated for both a NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award.

Bell’s legion of fans continues to grow through his work with podcasts and radio. His podcast, “Politically Re-Active,” features a collaboration with comedian Hari Kondabolu as the duo attempts to “make sense of the nonsense.” Bell’s podcast “Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period” has been hailed by Entertainment Weekly, A.V. Club, Fast Company and Essence. He is also the host of “Kamau Right Now!,” a public radio talk show on KALW in San Francisco.

Bell has released two stand-up comedy albums: “One NIGht Only” and “Face Full of Flour.” Punchline Magazine and iTunes each named “Face Full of Flour” one of the best comedy albums of 2010.

Away from the microphone, Bell is the American Civil Liberties Union’s Ambassador of Racial Justice and a member of the advisory boards for Race Forward, a racial justice think tank, and Hollaback, a non-profit movement to end street harassment.

Bell’s appearance is part of the Hanover Enrichment Series and the College’s Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration.

Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 4 in Fitzgibbon

Members of the Hanover College Concert Choir will unite with the Madison-Ohio Valley Community Chorus and a Louisville, Ky.-area festival orchestra to present the organization’s 43rd-annual performance of holiday music.

Featuring more than 100 singers and instrumentalists, the combined choirs and orchestra will perform Handel’s “Messiah,” Sunday, Dec. 4, in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts, on Hanover’s campus. The concert will begin at 2 p.m.

The performance includes the Christmas portion of “Messiah,” an extended Baroque masterwork for chorus, orchestra and soloists, and the singing of its most popular portion, the “Hallelujah” chorus.

Dr. Madlen Batchvarova, professor of music, department of music chair, and director of choral programs at Hanover, will conduct the choirs and orchestra.

Admission is $9 per person. Tickets will be available at the door or by phone at (812) 273-2652.

In addition to the performance, all patrons are invited to attend a post-recital holiday campus and community open house at the home of Hanover President Lake Lambert and his wife, Kelly. The reception will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Betsy Johnson '70 receives Moyer Award

Betsy Milligan Johnson '70 was presented with the Eleanore Watts Moyer Award during a private presentation in mid-November. The Moyer Award recognizes individuals who have given exemplary voluntary service to the College.

Johnson came out of retirement in 2009 to be the director of internships for the Business Scholars Program. For the past seven years, she donated her entire salary to the programs’ internship fund and, through her efforts, worked with every junior business scholar to secure a paid project-based internship.

She used her extensive network of Hanover alumni, high school and college friends, sorority sisters, family and previous colleagues to identify potential hosts for internships. She has been instrumental in the successful placement of more than 300 internships during her tenure. In addition, she has personally driven scholars to interviews hours away, donated funds for scholars to purchase suitable interview attire, and even made sure these students were armed with suitable housing, transportation and a basic knowledge of the skills needed to live independently.

She and her husband, Jerry, have attended admission events and hosted numerous social and business events in their home, including Hanover alumni, prospective students and their parents, community members, educators from Indiana and Kentucky universities as well as state, business and government leaders.

Johnson graduated from Hanover in 1970 with a degree in sociology and later earned a master’s degree in education with a specialization in counseling from George Washington University. Prior to her work at the College, she has served as a rehabilitation counselor, program administrator and an associate dean of students at Purdue University.

2017 Eleanore Watts Moyer Award nomination

Classmates honor Paulus in Vietnam Veterans Memorial ceremony

U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Robert Duane “Bob” Paulus ’66 will be honored during a Veterans Day remembrance ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Friday, Nov. 11, in Washington, D.C.

A wreath, presented by Hanover College’s Class of 1966, will be laid at the foot of the wall by Vietnam War veteran John Hoober ’66 (U.S. Army) and Gulf War veteran Mark Dunning ’83 (U.S. Air Force) during the annual Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s Wreath-Laying Ceremony.

The event, which begins at 1 p.m. ET, will feature a keynote address from Major General Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., a retired veteran of the U.S. Marines and now an administrator at NASA. Four-star General Barry McCaffrey, a retired Army veteran, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Funds for the wreath to honor Paulus were raised by classmates to honor his service to the country. The wreath, 30 inches in width, features adornments in red, white and blue.

While at Hanover, Paulus, a native of Wakarusa, Ind., was a political science major, vice president of the student senate, vice-president of the junior class, member of the Board of Student Affairs, member of the campus newspaper (Triangle) editorial board, president of his Phi Delta Theta pledge class and a residence hall counselor.

Following his years at Hanover, he was employed by the Bendix Corp. in Patterson, N.J., and enlisted in the U.S. Army in October, 1967. After receiving his commission at Fort Benning (Ga.), he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and served, for several months, as adjutant to the colonel.

He arrived in Vietnam, May 24, 1969, and was stationed south of Da Nang. On the morning of June 29, in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam, his company was caught in an enemy ambush and the commanding officer was seriously wounded. Paulus moved up to take command of the first platoon and was killed instantly by gunfire.

Paulus, the first former Hanover student and Wakarusa resident to lose his life in the Vietnam War, was 25 years old.

His name can be found on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at panel W21, line 34.

Mike Pence '81 to serve as U.S. vice president

Mike Pence '81 will serve as vice president of the U.S. after a successful bid for the presidency by Republican candidate Donald Trump. Pence, currently Indiana's governor, will take office in January.

He will be the second Hanover graduate to serve as U.S. vice president. Thomas Hendricks, a member of the College's class of 1841, was Indiana’s 16th governor. He became U.S. vice president under Grover Cleveland after the duo won the 1884 presidential election and, later, died of illness after serving more than eight months in office.

Pence served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana's 2nd district from 2001-2003 and represented Indiana’s 6th district from 2003-2012. He won Indiana’s 2012 gubernatorial election and took office as the state’s 50th governor, Jan. 14, 2013.

Pence, who was the third Hanover graduate to serve as Indiana’s governor, was presented with the College’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2005. He returned to campus in 2008 to receive an honorary doctorate of laws and deliver the commencement address.

A history major and Dean’s List student while at Hanover, Pence served terms as president of United Campus Ministries Board, Vespers and Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity. He was a member of Hanover Christian Fellowship and The Triangle staff (student newspaper). He also delivered the senior class address during his graduation.

William English, an 1843 Hanover graduate, was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1880. English, who ran with presidential hopeful Winfield Scott Hancock, lost a close election to the Republicans James Garfield-Chester Arthur ticket.

Albert Porter, a member of Hanover’s class of 1842, served from 1881-1885 as Indiana’s 19th governor.

Contact Rhonda Burch at (812) 866-7014 or burch@hanover.edu.

Eric Holcomb '90 elected Indiana's governor

Eric Holcomb ’90 has been elected governor of Indiana. Holcomb, who has served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor since March, will be the fourth Hanover graduate to serve as Indiana's governor when he takes office in January.

Holcomb previously served as campaign manager and deputy chief of staff for former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels. In 2011, he was named Indiana Republican Party chairman and a member of the Republican National Committee. He later worked as chief of staff for U.S. Senator Dan Coats.

While at Hanover, Holcomb majored in history with a focus on the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era. He also served two terms as president of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity.

Following graduation from Hanover, he was stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., and Lisbon, Portugal, during a six-year stint as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy.

Mike Pence, a member of Hanover’s class of 1981, was Indiana's 50th governor from 2013-2016 before being named to the Republican ticket as vice presidential candidate.

Thomas Hendricks, an 1841 graduate, was Indiana’s 16th governor from 1873-1877. He later became U.S. vice president under Grover Cleveland and died of illness after serving more than eight months in office.

Albert Porter, a member of Hanover’s class of 1842, served as Indiana's 19th governor from 1881-1885.

Contact Rhonda Burch at (812) 866-7014 or burch@hanover.edu.

Bachelor of science degree approved by faculty, trustees

Hanover students will soon have the ability to pursue a bachelor of science degree (B.S.) after approval from the College’s faculty and Board of Trustees in October. The degree offering must also be approved by the Higher Learning Commission before implementation, which could be as early as the 2017-18 academic year.

The availability of a B.S. degree presents opportunities for Hanover students within the natural sciences, including a deeper exposure to areas of interest. The offering opens the door for faculty to develop additional bachelor of science majors, including programs such as the engineering specializations being finalized for the fall of 2017.

The faculty may also create B.S. majors that are distinctive from, or an extension of, a corresponding bachelor of arts (B.A.) major by requiring more depth in the discipline and more breadth in related disciplines.

The bachelor of science degree was previously offered at Hanover from 1856-1912 and, again, from 1936-65. The bachelor of arts degree has been offered by the College since its first degrees were conferred in 1834.

Trustees approve Hanover 2020 Clear Vision

A strategic plan, set to guide Hanover College through the next four years, was approved by the Board of Trustees at the Oct. 1 meeting. Elements of the four-goal plan will begin immediately with completion of the plan’s 21 objectives slated by 2020.

“We named the plan ‘Hanover 2020 Clear Vision’ because it is a shared vision by our faculty, staff and participating alumni, and is explicit on what we are trying to achieve,” said Hanover President Lake Lambert. “As we move forward, we do so knowing that our campus community is unified and committed to the plan’s success.”

The strategic plan’s four main goals will position the College to increase enrollment, improve student outcomes, increase alumni and community engagement and establish financial stability and economic stability. The completion and implementation of the goals will further support Hanover’s mission of lifelong inquiry, transformative learning and meaningful service.

Highlights of the plan include the following objectives:

Enrollment

Hanover plans to increase its total enrollment to more than 1,300 students by the fall of 2020 while increasing the diversity of its student population. To further support enrollment goals, new or renovated first-year housing will be a priority and new graduate programs will be developed.

Student Outcomes

While Hanover’s graduation and retention rates far exceed national averages, the College will strive to Increase its four-year graduation and first-year retention rates, as well as increase post-graduate success. In addition, an objective is to also ensure that 100 percent of graduates have participated in a significant experiential learning opportunity, such as travel abroad, summer research, service learning and internships.

Alumni and Community Engagement

Hanover’s connection to its alumni and local community are key to its success and longevity. The strategic plan aims to Increase the rates of alumni engagement, as measured by giving and volunteering, but also raise the rates of alumni satisfaction at intervals of one, five, and 10 years after graduation. Additional objectives include the increase of alumni-hosted internships and/or employment opportunities and increased student service and internship placements within a 60-mile radius of by the fall of 2020.

Financial Stability and Economic Sustainability

Financial stability and economic sustainability are unique challenges facing all colleges and universities, particularly liberal arts colleges. To support new initiatives, and ensure economic stability, Hanover plans to increase student revenue, raise the endowment through gifts and pledges by the fall of 2021, and meet and sustain additional goals for the Impact Hanover fund. Alternative strategies will also be developed during this period to generate additional revenue while cutting operating costs.

More than 40 member of the campus community were involved in the planning process. The final presentation was made to the Board of Trustees Oct. 1 following 12 months of discussion, research and drafting.

Hanover 2020 Clear Vision

Engineering programs coming Fall 2017

Nearly 25 percent of all high school graduates are interested in studying for a career in science, technology, engineering or math. Beginning in the fall of 2017, Hanover College will offer majors in engineering and engineering science for incoming students.

Hanover’s engineering programs will be grounded in the ideas, skills and experience of engineering while remaining within the College’s liberal arts environment and tradition. The curriculum will require a liberal arts foundation and include a standard load of general education courses, as well as tracks in general, mechanical, electrical, electromechanical, computer and geological engineering.

“We want to offer an alternative for the student who wants to study engineering AND a breadth of subjects, learn a language and even study abroad,” said Hanover President Lake Lambert.

Careers in science and engineering are expected to grow at twice the rate of the overall U.S. labor force through 2018. U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics estimate the field of engineering could grow by as much as 10 percent in the next 10 years.

In addition to interest from prospective students and faculty members, Hanover’s engineering programs are also the result of strong community partnerships with local manufacturers which provide internships, including Grote Industries, Inc., Arvin Sango, Inc., and Vehicle Service Group, LLC.

“We are looking forward to the pipeline of fresh, new talent coming from Hanover and doing what we can to support the new program,” adds Dominic Grote, president and chief executive officer of Grote Industries in nearby Madison, Ind.

Hanover's faculty approved the engineering programs in May. The curriculum, featuring an array of new courses, will be developed in the coming year.

Garvey & Murphy discuss the presidential election

Barbara Garvey and Dan Murphy, two longtime Hanover College faculty members, recently sat down for a 45-minute discussion about the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The conversation touched on a variety of related topics, including the uniqueness of the candidates, Neil Postman's vision, gerrymandering and even forecasting the final result.

Garvey, a retired professor of communication, taught at Hanover from 1977-2013 and earned the College's Arthur and Ilene Baynham Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1987. Her areas of expertise include presidential rhetoric, political advertising, gender communication and leadership, and first ladies.

Murphy, a professor of American history, is a 1981 Hanover graduate and has taught at the College since 1988. He was the founding director of Hanover's Center for Free Inquiry and served as program director of the symposium series. His specialties include modern American history, American cultural and military history.

Their conversation follows.


Uniqueness of this Presidential Election

Dan Murphy

I think there is something to be said that this may be the most extreme case. These are the first candidates whose unfavorabilities together go over 100 percent, which is rather remarkable. I do not know if we even have data from 1972, when you are running [Richard] Nixon versus [George] McGovern, but I would be surprised, even there, in that fraught election, that you would have the same kind of numbers.

Late 19th century, you had candidates who were more party people, rather than personalities. You go 1884, Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate baby, they said, and James Blaine, who was involved in railroad shenanigans, so both were being lambasted by the other side, and probably drove there favorabilities down.

I am not sure it is anything like what we have here.

Now, we have two people who were around for so long. We have known [Donald] Trump since the 1980s and Hillary [Clinton] since, at the very least, the early 1990s.

Barbara Garvey

That is a long time.

Murphy

So, the American people have been living with these folks for a long time. So, yes, some presidents come out of nowhere. Woodrow Wilson in two years, he goes from being governor of New Jersey to president. Barack Obama, who is elected to the Senate in 2006 – in 2004 he makes his famous speech – so in two years, he does the Wilson thing and he is president of the United States and nobody knew him. George W. Bush, I guess maybe people had seen him with his father, or something like that, but he is governor of Texas, which is somewhat prominent, but still, off to the side. Then the next thing you know, he is president.

We have not had anybody quite like this [Trump and Clinton].

Garvey

No, I think there would be an interesting comparison with the first Bush and [Michael] Dukakis. Not the hatred towards them, but, for a long time, the American public looked at both of them like “do we want either of these people for president?”

But, this is what Hillary had hoped would happen with her [national Democratic] convention, Bush’s rise after his convention not only went up, but stayed up. And then the famous Dukakis commercials with the helmet down over his eyebrows – which he very honorably said “no that did not keep me from winning the election” – but there were just a series of things. Bad moves. Bad moves.

But, I do think, in fairness to both Trump and Clinton, [regarding] the media, it is impossible not to talk about the bad things with the media. The media have stirred up the very worst about them and, if we had the kind of media today of just 25 years ago, maybe they could have found somewhat of a better place. But, you know, it is just a disaster.


Neil Postman’s Views

Garvey

I want to talk about Neil Postman.

Murphy

I am a big Neil Postman guy!

Garvey

Me, too! We were in the middle of such wonderful conversations and then, just presto, he passed away, it was just like overnight. But, because historians love Neil Postman, communication people loved him, English people loved him, he was the true liberal arts person. There is no doubt about it.

We brought him [Neil Postman] to campus. He made, I honestly believe, the biggest impact on campus as anybody ever did. We had a question-and-answer session in the afternoon and it was standing-room only. That night it was standing-room only.

Here is what he said. It was about 1989, roughly, when he came.

Murphy

It was roughly right after “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” which was probably his masterpiece.

Garvey

Yes, it is. When he talked about amusing ourselves to death, it was not about the “ha, ha, ha, ha kind of amusement.” It was that it would bring out the weakness in our whole thought process that would do a number of things, all of them bad.

Murphy

What he was talking about was the problem of making our main mode of communication television.

Garvey

Exactly!

Murphy

As opposed to print. Print, by its very nature, compels logical, reasoned, orderly, linear argument. With television, it is the image. And he pointed out, a simple example he gave, that tells you could not do Shakespeare’s “King Lear” with smoke signals. It is impossible for that mode of communication to convey what is in “King Lear.” And he would point out that television, which we were increasingly turning to, is not a media that is conducive to rational and linear thought.

And he used the very, very, very famous example – I think for the election of 1984 – over and over again, Leslie Stahl at CBS wanted to do a strong, hard-hitting piece on Ronald Reagan. So she did a series of pieces on Regan during the course of a week. She really nailed him. But, while she would be standing speaking or doing the narration, they would be showing these pictures of Reagan in the rose garden, meeting veterans or greeting foreign leaders. She got a call from Michael Deaver, Reagan’s public relations guy, who said “thank you so much, Leslie.” And she said “why, I was trying to nail him.” He said “it does not matter. Thank you so much.”

The point was, they did some polling with this, Reagan’s ratings went up. People blocked out what she was saying and they just simply saw the good images of him being presidential. And that was what the medium conveyed.

So, Postman went on to talk about how speeches become shorter. Well, speeches are now boiled down to soundbites. [Abraham] Lincoln and [Stephen] Douglas would get up and debate for two hours at a pop and then rebut for two hours.

Garvey

At one of them, Lincoln sent people home for dinner so they could be rested, so they could come back and listen to him for four more hours. Could you imagine that today?

Murphy

Our people complain if a debate goes over an hour. We are worried that people will collapse and so forth. These guys [Lincoln and Douglas] were doing it for eight or 10 hours a day.

Garvey

But it was their sport. That was the entertainment to them, like a national football league game or baseball.

Murphy

It was, Postman would argue, the nature of the media had implicated this sort of appreciation of people.

Another one of his famous lines is was “you could have Lincoln come back and recite the Gettysburg Address on television” - which was very atypical of the 19th century, it was only like two minutes long – you come back, recite that, “and most of the audience would not know what he said.” Because they could no longer comprehend the grammatical structures and the words, the diction and all the rest that goes into it.

Garvey

What is truth? He was still working on that at the time of his death. What has been done to truth?

Of course, he would say we went from an oral society to a printing society to the television society. And each time, the definition of truth changed. But, with technology as it is today, people feel more-certain than they have ever felt that they have the truth and anyone who disagrees with them, you are wrong. Because I have the truth.

Actually, at a time when we are more confused, we have less specific information. We have what Postman talked about as misinformation. That we live this society where, because of technology, we should know everything there is to know. But, for all kinds of reasons, we ignore most of it or get it all messed up. And then selectively pay attention to only what I like. We are trapped by incoherence, by misinformation. We adore the images that soothe us and make us happy.

If he were alive today, what I think he would be talking about the most is that we want the images that soothe our discontent by allowing us to be the most discontent. You know that sounds very convoluted, but he was worried at the time of his death that we were moving farther and farther to not saying anything good about our country, not saying anything good about politics and that we were just wanting the person who could best capture the anger. A good example is negative advertising that does not teach, but is based on anger and misinformation. In this election, there is data to suggest that, unlike the past elections where the negative ads got people to vote, this time, the negative ads may be causing people not to turn out to vote.

Murphy

Substituting reasons and arguments with images. It was just at that time, in the 1980s, you had cable television taking over. Then, of course, at the end of his life, is just when the internet was moving along. What we have seen is a fragmentation of sources of information and entertainment for people.

When I was a boy, you had the three networks. If you were lucky, you lived in a big city where there would be an independent [station] or something like that. If you were really lucky, you might have four. That was it. You have a newspaper. Maybe two, or something, in your town. That was it. Everybody watched the same programs because you were only choosing from maybe three possibilities at any given time. Then you had reruns in the summer so you could catch up on the ones you did not watch. Then with cable, all of the sudden, boom. So now, when you look at a really popular television program, and if they get 10 or 15 percent of the market, that’s amazing success.

Garvey

That’s considered very high.

Murphy

That’s huge compared to the days when, I forget, the last episode of M-A-S-H or something would get the whole country watching it. The Lucy Show with virtually everyone in the country was watching when she gave birth. Or just any normal week. Whatever it may be, everybody shared the same things in common. We do not have that anymore. And the same thing has happened to information sources.

As Postman was saying before, alright, if I am alt-right, I have all kinds of whacky sites I can go to. If I am right, I can go to the National Review Weekly Standard. If I am left, I can go to Politico, New York Times, whatever it may be. If I am alt-left, I can go to various whacky left sites where I can find my comfort anywhere.

Garvey

And I stay, I stay in my comfort.

Murphy

So you have some people who think the United States is just the pit of all hell, and some other people who think it is the greatest place that is being torn down by these folks, and you have all these different narratives and it is very hard. That is one reason why it is so hard to get people to unite and work together.


Campaign Rhetoric

Garvey

I want to ask you a question related to the history of rhetoric. I may be the very last person refusing to go to our last stage, which called is post-modern. I know there are lots of different definitions for post-modern. The way we use it is, basically, there is no hope for rhetoric any more. People are so self-absorbed that if your argument is not what they already believe, you cannot reach them. Well, I am hanging on. I am not there yet. I am closer than I ever thought I would be. I am not there yet.

But here is what I want to ask you. One of my favorite modern rhetoricians, came out of the 1950s. Tzedek, the Hebrew word for justice, is was what Chaïm Perelman was all about. And he said we will be okay as long as we have a universal audience. He knew the number of particular audiences was on the rise - and you can imagine if he was saying that in the 1960s and 1970s what he would think about today. We have examples of the election right now about the particular audiences. But we must have a universal audience of enough people who say there are certain standards and we will not pass those. And we understand we cannot always have things all our way and we may argue endlessly about where we are going to compromise, but it is there and it is political rhetoric that takes us there. Our political system will function as long as we have the universal audience.

What is your response about “is there still a universal audience?”

Murphy

I think there is the possibility, but you are facing the fact that people have comfort zones and we have structurally made it easier for people to have comfort zones. The classic would be the way that gerrymandering - thanks to, again, computers - gerrymandering, which was always a fine art, has become even more of a fine art.

Garvey

The Democrats did it in the 1960s. We think of it right now as the Republican thing that has been done, but it has always been done by our political [parties].

Murphy

They missed their decade because they won at the right time. If the Democrats win in 2020, they will do it. It goes back and forth. The Obama political machine in 2012 made this sort of micro-targeting a fine art. [Senator] Rob Portman in Ohio has done a brilliant job, in what should otherwise be a tough year for Republicans in that state.

Garvey

Yes, he is going to be re-elected.

Murphy

He has buried his well-known opponent ...

Garvey

... Who was a former governor ...

Murphy

... By apparently slicing the population into 22 different groups. And going after all these 22 different groups with 22 different messages. Thereby, solidifying their base.

I think there is some hope.

Garvey

It is working on both sides.

Murphy

I think, if we had a leader who – we could have a whole big discussion on whether we think presidents become too much of the imperial president. The president does consummate that audience. I think Obama sort of had a chance. He was headed that way in 2008 and 2009, then he went to a different direction. He went partisan.

Garvey

Some of his top critics were in his own party.

Murphy

That is why he, in the end, had to emphasize the micro-targeting because he could not do a Reagan. He was going to be out of the cards.

Garvey

Let me ask you this. When you have Mitch McConnell, standing up on the day of your inauguration, saying publicly, not secretly, but publicly, I have only one goal and that is to make sure this president is a one-termer.

Is it possible for Obama to have had the universal audience?

Murphy

Yes. If he was willing to compromise.

Garvey

But see, the Democrats would say he compromised too much.

Murphy

Yes, and [Senator] Harry Reid has not been the paragon of civility.

Garvey

Yes. We can keep backing down. If so and so would have been stronger. If so and so …

Murphy

It has always been that way. Whomever you have. Even in the classic instances of senate-president work. A good example, we are learning more and more about the Eisenhower administration. It is one reason Eisenhower’s stock has been rising as president. This is a classic instance of a president and a senate majority leader of the opposite party, who has intense ambitions of his own, coming together to pass all sorts of important legislation.

Garvey

But, going back to the gerrymandering and select groups, look at how we lost Senator [Richard] Lugar. Will the back-home groups allow their elected officials to compromise with the other side?

Murphy

I do not think I would go Lugar and gerrymandering. With Lugar, you could really see it coming. He was out of touch.

The problem is that right now, for both parties, the Democrats, right at the moment, are reduced to their safest, most-left wing seats. The Republican are the same way. There is no doubt that makes it hard.

I do not think many people shed tears for him, but think of the passion of John Boehner, who was this fairly traditional – I mean he was a conservative guy. But a fairly traditional politician.

Garvey

He did work somewhat with others. Yes.

Murphy

Who was ready to work. In his way, capable and effective, who could do some interesting things.

Garvey

I would agree with that. And he got thrown out because of his willingness to work with others.

Murphy

Not the bulk of his caucus …

Garvey

The small group with the biggest voices. Do you admire him? There are all these jokes right now about what he is doing in his golf cart and waving.

Murphy

His perpetual tan.


The Election Stretch Run

Garvey

Voter turnout, I think, is going to determine the next president. Do you agree?

Murphy

That gets back to people do not like these candidates. I think this is going to be one of the most difficult campaigns to predict because you have two candidates who, in some ways, break kind of traditional modes.

You have got [Donald] Trump, who is not really a politician, and you do not know what he is going to say from day to day. It appears that more discipline and control has taken over his campaign when this woman, Kellyanne Conway, took over. He has been much more on track compared to when you think back to June and July.

Garvey

And the Democrats are deeply concerned that the controlled Trump's rise in the polls cannot be stopped.

Murphy

But he is still Donald Trump. Whatever you have to say about him. To some people he is great. He is not a politician, so you do not know what is going to happen.

Hillary [Clinton] has her own problems as a person and so forth. And with Hillary, whatever is going on with the health, there is this sort of build-in set of scandals. The drip, drip, drip about the emails.

You just do not know what is going to happen. Which shoe is going to drop, because there is all this baggage in both of their closets. This could be a very unpredictable election.

Garvey

I would hate for my reputation to depend upon being able to predict this outcome. I predicted she would never run for the Senate. I predicted she would not run the second time for president. So I cannot tell.

But, I would say, and this goes back to what you were saying, about the lack of fitness. Actually, that has now become a physical term rather than the mental term. There is a political communication period called surfacing where the candidate begins to see if a primary run is possible. [Judith] Trent says after surfacing starts and into the primaries, the candidate tries to minimize the issues to have as little possible bothering him or her during the general election. There are two extremely important things for the candidate to accomplish before the general election - raise money, and lots of it, and that is a whole big problem – all of the money. And the other thing is “am I fit to do the job?”

Now, fit used to mean mentally fit. I wrote a small piece about this in the Hanoverian years ago when [Ross] Perot was in the mix. We had that whole election asking the question is Bill Clinton fit, is Bush fit, is Perot really fit to do this job? By my recollection, that was the first time that we were going into the polls having not decided they were fit.

Well, today, we have the other, the actual physical fitness and, of all things, not only did Trump have this goofy Willy Nelson-looking guy that wrote something about his health, he now is going on the Dr. Oz Show to say this is what my other doctor found out about me. Dr. Oz has said, well I am not going to ask him any hard questions. I am not going to ask him anything he does not want to talk about.

I think we are going into the polls just as confused about the fitness.

[Libertarian Party nominee] Gary Johnson, also, made some people question his fitness when he had to ask what was Aleppo, the center of the Syrian refugee crisis.

We are in the greatest political soap opera ever. The soap opera takes on a life of its own and is totally unpredictable. What may be next? Will Hillary overcome her defensive mode? She gave a very successful speech in North Carolina when she returned to the campaign, but in the press conference afterwards, she was back to very defensive communication when she was questioned about her health episode and what not telling Tim Kaine meant about their relationship.

Will Trump break his leash and say something that has Kellyanne Conway distraught? Is Trump, Jr., saying they cannot release tax information, because it is a document of 12,000 pages, just more on the soap opera.

Never the less, there are bad things that happen to candidates that can be controlled.

But, instead, we continue to have candidates needlessly hurting themselves – and you think, don’t they learn anything from the past; when they get with their rich donors, they get so comfortable, they are just so in love at the moment. And occasionally, and we have had classroom experience where it is going so well, and we let down our guard and it is great. But, the candidates get into so much trouble.

Obama in trying to say to the rich Californians, “well you have got to understand people in Pennsylvania and Ohio, it is bad, and so what do they do? They cling to their God and their guns.” Whoa! Terrible thing to say. Well, then [Mitt] Romney did not learn, because he gets with his rich Florida group and makes the “47 percent” comment. And then Hillary did not learn that maybe calling supporters on the other side deplorable - not the best move. Her supporters are arguing we really wanted her to do that, whatever, then people argue it is true, it is not true.

On Hardball, Chris Matthews, who was quoting Tip O’Neil, said “you never get anywhere calling the other side bad names.” I think probably, in her supporters' heart of hearts, they wish Clinton would not have said that.

So it is just not the things that you cannot control that can cause difficulty for candidates, but also the things they do to themselves.


The End Result

Garvey

I am going to stick my neck out and Dan, I want you to do the same – and keep in mind I am always wrong about her – I think she [Hillary] will win. It is far from a done deal. And if she wins, I think it may be, in terms of popular vote, 0.4 percent. Just a drop. And by electoral college, maybe 20 votes.

Back when everybody was saying after her perfect convention it was going to be a blowout, I said no, it will not be.

You want to take a guess?

Murphy

One Neil Postman note. Here we have a presidential candidate who is going on Dr. Oz. Bill Clinton started it on The Arsenio Hall Show.

Garvey

And talking about his underwear.

Murphy
Imagine George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or FDR, much less Ike …

Garvey

... Thomas Jefferson! But Dan, this is not long ago. Today is different ...

Murphy

… going on some show.

Garvey

And being told we will not ask you any hard questions or anything you will not like!

Murphy

Well, that is the way they all are.

This is the first election where we have two people who are the two oldest candidates. He [Trump} will be the oldest and she [Clinton] is slightly younger. Very close.

We were talking about people are not sure of their fitness, because both of them are up there. There is the fitness in terms of experience and so forth. Something we have not talked about it is the moral fitness.

Trump who has had an equivocal career and Hillary with her serial lying about …

Garvey

Well, what about Trump and his many wives? There would have been a time that would have ruled him out. To be fair, has Trump been looked at as carefully as Hillary Clinton?

Murphy

All the “Bill” [Clinton] baggage she has. Even the FBI director has said she lied about her server on multiple occasions.

So here we have the unenviable situation, that the United States, in the year of our Lord, 2016, is looking at two people very large numbers of people not only do not think are fit to be president on qualifications, looking at their records, but are just not fit morally. They do not have the character.

Garvey

And people, I think, are voting on their version of a moral question. But voting on the other side. I do not like either of them, but I believe this person I can stand a little better than the other.

Murphy

When I have gone onto sites or listened to the radio, the liberals are saying “you have got to vote against Trump” and the Republicans are saying “you have to vote against Hillary.”

Garvey

Anything, just not Hillary. The Democrats say anything but Trump.

Murphy

So, you have this election. It is like you are holding your nose voting for one because you cannot stand the other one more.

Garvey

And that takes us back to Nixon. You look at the advertising around Nixon.

Murphy

Even Nixon had some positive achievements going into 1972. Yes, that would probably be the closest to our time. But, again, I do not think either Nixon or McGovern had quite the animosity before Watergate really kicked in.

To project, on the fundamentals, it ought to be Hillary’s race to lose. So, I guess I would say, if you had to push me, I would give her a 51 percent chance of winning. I think, though, there is a vast milling, deep sense of unsettlement and anger and anti-establishment. I think it could carry Trump in if he is able to convince enough people he is not that dangerous.