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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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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First Assignment, Spring 2016

Pick one:
  • Answer one of the "questions for discussion" on page 72-73 of Haskell.
  • Choose either Mitch McConnell or Harry Reid.  How well did he perform as a leader in 2015? Compare and contrast his political environment with that facing LBJ in the 1950s. 
  • Pick any nonincumbent candidate for the House or Senate in 2014 or 2015.  Applying Herrnson's analysis of "strategic politicians" (see chapter 2), explain why this candidate ran. Under the circumstances, was it a wise decision?
Essays should reflect an understanding of class readings and discussions. Many resources, including CQ Weekly and Politics in America are at Honnold Library/Databases/CQ Library. see The Almanac of American Politics either in hardcopy at Honnold or via the library website. Consult other sources as well. See: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/pages/faculty/JPitney/congress.html

The specifications:
  • Essays should be typed (12-point), double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page. 
  • Cite your sources. Please use endnotes in the format of Chicago Manual of Style.  Endnotes do not count against the page limit. Please do not use footnotes, which take up too much page space.
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you. Return essays to the Sakai dropbox for this class by 11:59 PM, Friday, February 12. Papers will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness, a full letter grade after that.

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