Historians Norton Smith, Kennedy on Election Waves

We look at waves in American political history with top historians. Read some of the transcript.

U.S. President Herbert Hoover campaigns for re-election from the rear of the presidential train in 1932. (AP)

Midterm elections can be pretty rough for sitting presidents and their parties. George Bush got his ’06 “thumping.” 

Bill Clinton got the Republican revolution. Ronald Reagan’s GOP took a beating in 1982. LBJ and Harry Truman saw Democrats whupped in midterms. 

So what about this time: Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the 2010 Democratic licking at the polls? Is every election a wave election now? And why? 

We look at the new Republican wave through the eyes of American political history.

-Tom Ashbrook


David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian at Stanford University and author of many books, including “Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.”

Richard North Smith, scholar-in-residence of history and public policy at George Mason University and former director of numerous presidential libraries. His books include “An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover,” and “Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation.”

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and author of “Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America 1865-1900.″

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