I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Health Care, Dennis Kucinich, and President Obama's "Power to Persuade."

Before Spring Break we talked about Congress and the president. Davidson and Oleszek write, "To persuade members to support their programs, presidents often grant or withhold their patronage resources." (307)

NY Times columnist Timothy Egan wrote an article in today's paper about House Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and the end of his opposition to health care reform. When President Obama accompanied Representative Kucinich on Air Force One to his district in Ohio for a rally, he used the Presidential "Power to Persuade" to get Kucinich's vote. The plane ride helped:

"Until the last minute, it looked like even an executive sky ride would not move the pure heart of Dennis Kucinich. When you’ve seen a U.F.O., as Kucinich says he has, a mere lobbying session at 32,000 feet by the Leader of the Free World, urging you to join your party in a cause that has eluded Democratic presidents since Franklin Roosevelt, is a tough match. But let’s give him credit — he swallowed his pride and switched. Obama may not yet have the defining legislation of his presidency on his desk, but he’s already pulled off a small miracle: getting the holier-than-thou purists of his party to realize that they have to govern every now and then."

Full text of the article can be found here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/the-purists/?hp

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