"Mandate for Change," or Business as Usual
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The magic word in Clinton's campaign had been "Change," a reorientation of policy toward the needs of the great majority of the population who had suffered from Reagan-Bush "trickle down" economics -- in practice, an upward flood -- and had swept Clinton into office on the promise of an end to the party for the rich. But it would be unfair to speak unkindly of the newly-elected President for clarifying at once that the fine words of the campaign were not intended seriously, that the "Mandate for Change" proclaimed by a Clinton think tank meant "Business as Usual," as it did when Eisenhower's PR team coined the phrase. "Campaign pledges [are] made to be broken," Harvard political scientist and media specialist Marty Linsky explained when President Bush called for "revenue enhancement" after winning the 1988 election with a pledge not to raise taxes. To accuse Bush of violating his campaign pledge was a "political cheap shot." When he led the public in his "read my lips -- no new taxes" chant, Bush had merely been expressing his "world view," making "a statement of his hopes." The same precepts hold for his successor.
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