Bob Novak and Mandates – Then and Now

THEN (CNN‘s Capital Gang, 11/6/04):

MARK SHIELDS: Bob Novak, is 51 percent of the vote really a mandate?

BOB NOVAK: Of course it is. It’s a 3.5 million vote margin. But the people who are saying that it isn’t a mandate are the same people who were predicting that John Kerry would win. When -the people who did some kind of studies on it, such as the Evans/Novak Political Report… (LAUGHTER)… which for weeks had been saying that Bush was going to win — see, the thing is that a lot of people in this town, the chattering class, the politicians, the nice liberals all around the Eastern seacoast, they let their heart talk instead of their heads. And I’m afraid some of the people at this table really thought so. So the people who say there’s not a mandate want the president, now that he’s won, to say, Oh, we’re going to accept the liberalism that the voters rejected. But Mark, this is a conservative country, and it showed it on last Tuesday.

NOW (Chicago Sun-Times, 11/5/08):

When Franklin D. Roosevelt won his second term for president in 1936, the defeated Republican candidate, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, won only two states, Maine and Vermont, and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by wide margins.

But Obama’s win was nothing like that. He may have opened the door to enactment of the long-deferred liberal agenda, but he neither received a broad mandate from the public nor the needed large congressional majorities.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.