Campaigns on the Cutting Edge


Edited by: Richard J. Semiatin

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

    View Copyright Page


    To our families and friends,

    to whom we owe so much


    Ever since the last edition of Campaigns on the Cutting Edge, the speed of politics has increased at an unprecedented rate. It's hard to believe that the hand-held smartphone has more power in it than a personal computer did just twenty years ago. In fact, the Internet is now a middle-age technology. The frontier described as new in the last edition is no longer new but it is an ever-expanding frontier as the virtual media used to reach voters make campaigning more mobile. No longer is video communication or online communication in a fixed place; rather, it is portable. And given the short attention span so many people have online, communicating messages more simply and effectively is a necessity. But still, the effectiveness and appeal of online media can be oversold. The millions of paid staff and volunteers who knocked on doors to get out the vote for the Obama campaign in 2008 and the tens of thousands on behalf of the Tea Party in 2010 demonstrate the remarkable resilience of personal campaigning. Personal outreach is still the most effective communications device for any campaign. In the end, people crave the human contact and interaction that politics has always been about.

    The personal campaign politics that dominate the first presidential precinct caucus (Iowa) and presidential primary (New Hampshire) remain critical for Republicans—just ask former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and is doing so again in 2012. However, with the Internet and responsive media, major campaigns for national political office are virtually or actually alive 24 hours per day. The pressure on candidates, consultants, campaign organizations, political parties, interest groups, and the press is unceasing. The election cycle for presidential races is now two years and for major senate races, in many cases, 36 months. Books and articles have been written on the permanent campaign. Today, we have the ever-present campaign—that is both exciting and challenging to both the campaign consultant and the arm-chair political analyst.

    The book you are about to read captures the transformation that is taking place in campaigns today and where they are headed in the future. The book's scope goes beyond the 2012 election and looks toward the next decade of campaign politics. The authors are asked to make informed speculations on the next wave of political change so that the book remains as relevant in 2014 or 2016 as it is today. These authors are not only skilled political scientists, but also participants—including Tad Devine (media consultant and chief strategist for Al Gore), Michael Turk (Online director for Bush-Cheney 2004), Tari Renner (congressional candidate 2004) and Dick Simpson (congressional candidate 1992 and 1994). Most others have lived and worked in the cauldron of Washington, D.C., politics and policy or in states with national political significance. The book is written to give students, faculty, and political observers a keen sense of the reality of national political campaigns from an insider's perspective. In that light, the book is written without a lot of jargon.

    We cannot account for all changes that may take place over the next five or ten years, but we look through the lens of contemporary politics to see what cutting-edge changes are on the horizon. The import of what those changes may mean is expressed eloquently in the book's conclusion on the implications for the democratic process.

    I would like to thank my colleagues who have written chapters for this manuscript; and a special welcome to our new authors, Atiya Kai Stokes-Brown, Jeffrey Crouch, Susan MacManus, and Michael Turk. The contributors to this volume have written and edited scores of scholarly books. Thus, it was a great honor to work with such a group of thoughtful and active scholars.

    I would like to thank reviewers of the first edition for their excellent suggestions for the second edition revisions: Ralph J. Begleiter, University of Delaware; Blaine Garvin, Gonzaga University; Ryan Lee Teten, University of Louisiana; Brian Vargus, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and David L. Welch, Indiana University. I'd also like to thank the editors and staff at CQ for their help and support. I would like to thank Charisse Kiino for another wonderful job providing overall direction for the project and shepherding the manuscript. She spent a lot of time with me on the project and I appreciate it. Brenda Carter deserves many thanks for giving the go-ahead to the second edition. Nancy Loh, who serves as Charisse's right hand, was very helpful in providing help with many logistic aspects of the project. Elizabeth Kline and Brittany Bauhaus did a superior job managing the production process, and Melissa Masson did superb work copyediting the manuscript in the writers' voices.

    And to repeat myself from the first edition, I would like to thank my good friend Max Cleland, who is one of the most kind-hearted, thoughtful, and inspirational people you will ever meet. A special thank you to my students, especially the wonderful ones, from whom I have learned from—just because someone is twenty, does not mean they cannot teach you. Finally, I want to thank my wonderful parents, siblings, nephews and nieces for putting up with me for the last half century. What a wonderful family I have and what an honor it is to be one of them. Now, I want to welcome the reader into the contemporary and future world of campaigns—it's exciting and provocative.


    About the Editor

    Richard J. Semiatin, American University, Academic Director and Assistant Professor of Government, is a current faculty member of the Washington Semester Program where he has served for over 20 years. Semiatin specializes in campaigns and elections. He is also the author of Campaigns in the 21st Century(2005), five monographs on elections, one monograph on impeachment and trial, book chapters, and articles. He was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to participate in its Political Engagement Project (PEP). He received his BA from Connecticut College and PhD from American University.

    About the Contributors

    Robert G. Boatright is an associate professor of political science at Clark University. He is the author of Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform in the United States and Canada (University of Michigan Press, 2011), and Expressive Politics: Issues Strategies of Congressional Challengers (Ohio State University Press, 2004). He has published articles on interest group activities in campaigns, campaign finance, and congressional elections, and he is currently finishing a book on congressional primary challenges.

    Jeffrey Crouch is an assistant professor of American politics at American University. He is the Reviews and Book Editor for Congress & the Presidency journal, and his first book, The Presidential Pardon Power, was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2009. His research focuses primarily on the Constitution, the presidency, and the separation of powers.

    Thomas A. (Tad) Devine is a Democratic media consultant who has produced political ads for candidates in the United States and around the world. He is president of Devine Mulvey, a media and strategic consulting firm in Washington, D.C. He has created media in twenty winning U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns. Tad has also worked on dozens of winning races for the U.S. House of Representatives and local elected officials. He has extensive experience at the highest levels of U.S. presidential campaigns and has worked on ten winning campaigns for president or prime minister outside the United States. Devine has taught courses on campaigns and media at Boston University, The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and in 2011 as a Resident Fellow at The Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. In October 2010, Tad Devine was recognized as one of “the most respected media consultants” in the nation by USA Today.

    Peter L. Francia is associate professor of political science at East Carolina University. He is co-author (with John C. Green, Paul S. Herrnson, Lynda W. Powell, and Clyde Wilcox) of The Financiers of Congressional Elections: Investors, Ideologues, and Intimates (2003) and author of The Future of Organized Labor in American Politics (2006). His most recent work includes (with Burdett A. Loomis and Dara Z. Strolovitch) Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States (2011) and (with Jody C. Baumgartner) Conventional Wisdom and American Elections: Exploding Myths, Exploring Misconceptions, 2nd ed. (2010).

    Joseph Graf is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at American University. He has published extensively in the areas of political communication and online politics and his work is focused on the intersection of civic involvement and new media technology. Graf is the former research director for the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, which promotes Internet politics to improve civic engagement. He has been a visiting professor at The George Washington University, and began his career as a newspaper reporter in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

    Wesley Joe is an adjunct assistant professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is formerly the Director of Research for the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that is affiliated with The George Washington University.

    Nina Therese Kasniunas (PhD, Loyola University Chicago) is an assistant professor of political science at Goucher College. Her research focuses on interest groups and the legislative process as well as the pedagogy of political science. Publications include Campaign Rules: A 50 State Guide to Campaigns and Elections with Dan Shea and articles on using Supreme Court oral argument re-enactments in the classroom. Current research projects include examining the impact of active learning strategies on civic engagement and the influence of interest groups in congressional committees.

    Susan A. MacManus, who received her MA from the University of Michigan and PhD from Florida State University, is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of South Florida in the Department of Government and International Affairs. For the last six election cycles, she has served as political analyst for WFLA NewsChannel 8 (Tampa NBC affiliate). Since 2008, she has been a featured columnist on—a widely-read Florida-based political website. MacManus is the co-author of Politics in States and Communities, 14th ed., with Thomas R. Dye (2012), Florida's Politics, 3rd ed., with Aubrey Jewett, Thomas R. Dye, and David J. Bonanza (2011), and Florida's Politics: Ten Media Markets, One Powerful State with Kevin Hill and Dario Moreno (2004). She is also the author of Young v. Old: Generational Combat in the 21st Century? (1996), and Targeting Senior Voters (2004), along with numerous articles on women and minorities in politics.

    Jeremy D. Mayer is an associate professor; and director, Master of Public Policy Program in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. Most recently he is the co-author of Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities (Brookings, 2008), co-editor of Media Power, Media Politics, 2nd ed. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), co-author of Deconstructing Reagan: A Critical Analysis of Conservative Mythology (2006), and the author of American Media Politics in Transition (McGraw Hill, 2006).

    Candice J. Nelson is an associate professor of Government and academic director of the Campaign Management Institute at American University. Her most recent books are Grant Park: The Democratization of Presidential Elections, 1968–2008 (2011) and Campaigns and Elections American Style, (3rd edition, 2009), co-edited with James Thurber. Nelson is a former American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

    Tari Renner is a professor of political science at Illinois Wesleyan University. He served as department chair from 1994 to 2008. Renner served three terms as an elected member of the McLean County (Bloomington area) legislature. In 2004, he was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in Illinois’ Eleventh Congressional District. His research interests include American electoral behavior and local government structures. Renner received his Ph.D. from American University in 1985.

    Mark J. Rozell is professor of public policy at George Mason University and the co-author of the book “Interest Groups in American Campaigns: The New Face of Electioneering” (3rd edition, Oxford University Press).

    Dick Simpson has uniquely combined a distinguished academic career with public service in government. He began his academic career in 1967 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he has taught for more than forty years and where he currently serves as department head and professor of political science. Simpson was alderman for Chicago's 44th ward and leader of the opposition bloc from 1971 to 1979. He ran for Congress in 1992 and 1994 against Congressman Dan Rostenkowsi. Simpson has published [more than ninety] numerous professional journal articles, magazine articles, book chapters, documentary films, and book reviews. He is the author and coauthor of [sixteen] books on political action, elections, ethics, and politics, including Inside Urban Politics (2004); Rogues, Rebels, and Rubber Stamps (2001); [and] Winning Elections (1996), and Twenty-First Century Chicago (2012).

    Atiya Kai Stokes-Brown is assistant professor of poltiical science at Bucknell University. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of race, ethnicity, and gender and the politics of representation and identity in the U.S. Her work has appeared in several academic journals and in various edited volumes. Her most recent work includes a book titled The Politics of Race in Latino Communities: Walking the Color Line (Routledge, 2012).

    Michael Turk has lived at the intersection of politics, public policy and technology—crossing from the political to the commercial and into government. Turk is a public affairs and media consultant who focuses on using converged media to tell client stories. Previously, Turk served as vice president of Industry Grassroots for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the trade association that represents America's largest broadband providers. He has managed Internet operations for three Presidential campaigns—Fred Thompson 2008, Bush-Cheney ‘04, and Quayle 2000. He served as the Republican National Committee's first eCampaign Director following the 2004 campaign.

    Clyde Wilcox is professor of government at Georgetown University. He writes on interest groups, campaign finance, religion and politics, gender politics, and science fiction and politics.

    • Loading...
Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website