vcczar Posted May 13, 2022 Share Posted May 13, 2022 I thought it might be interesting to share when we first heard of each nominee from our live times. I was born during the end of Jimmy Carter's president, so the first election of my lifetime is the 1980 election. 1980 nominees - Reagan vs Carter. I was too young to remember this election, but I grew up with Reagan as president. So the first time I was ever told what a president was, it would have been in connection with Reagan. I don't think I knew who Carter was during the Reagan presidency. I knew who all the presidents were by 3rd grade (Bush I Presidency), so I knew of Carter by then. 1984 - Reagan vs Mondale. I don't think I knew who Mondale was until I was about 16, during the late Clinton years, which is about when I started reading about presidential elections. 1988 - Bush vs Dukakis. My earliest memory of Bush and Dukakis is in 3rd grade. We had to "vote" using red or blue Texas shaped stickers. Red for Bush and Blue for Dukakis. I knew nothing about either candidate. I didn't like Bush's glasses because they made him look like my dentist. I didn't like Dukakis's hair. It was a tough choice. When it was my turn to put a stick on the wall, Bush had about 12 to 20 stickers and Dukakis had zero. I voted for him mainly out of feeling sorry for him. My best friend who voted after me, decided to do the same. We were the only people to "vote" for Dukakis. 1992 - Clinton vs Bush. I have a vague memory of the early Clinton scandals that almost derailed at the beginning of the primaries. I remember him being the "comeback kid." Overall, I didn't pay much attention to the race, but I was reading newspapers (mainly for the sports section) during this time, and I perused headlines. Didn't know who Perot was until he was satirized on SNL. 1996 - Clinton vs Dole. I remember someone at my high school wearing a Dole shirt, which showed an image of an incredibly uncharismatic-looking, elderly grump. 2000 - Bush vs Gore. Bush II was the first nominee I had heard of before they ran for president. I was in TX, so I knew of him as the governor, but I first knew him as the owner of the Texas Rangers in the early 1990s. I knew of Gore while he was VP, but I didn't know much about him. He seemed to just be around for photo ops with Clinton. I don't think I heard him speak until he ran for president in 2000. I thought Gore was the most boring person I'd ever listened to. I knew little about current events during this time, so I voted for Bush in my first election. I had a profound knowledge of US history by 2000 --- focusing primarily on history before WW2, but I had very little knowledge on the differenced between parties afterwards. I don't think I had a single political opinion in 2000. In fact, I don't think I started developing opinions at all until about 1998. By 2002, I had defined political opinions. 9/11 made me more political. 2004 - Bush vs Kerry. I didn't know who Kerry was until the first primary debate. He seemed even more boring than Gore, but I still voted for him. I preferred Kucinich and Sharpton. Voted for Kerry in the general. 2008 - Obama vs. McCain. I think I first heard of McCain during the Bush administration as he was gaining his "maverick" reputation. I first saw Obama on TV during the 2004 keynote speech. The commentators were all predicting Obama to be president some day. Lots of comparisons with Lincoln, etc. I'm one of many people who had no clue who Sarah Palin was until she was announced as VP. After this election, I started keeping up with current events daily, although possibly it was watching Obama's campaign that triggered that change. I met Obama and Ted Kennedy the same week. Voted Obama in the primary and general, although Kucinich was my favorite in the primary. 2012 - Obama vs Romney. I first heard of Romney when he was leading Olympics or was governor, whichever happened first. Voted Obama in the general. 2016 - Trump vs Clinton. I first heard of Clinton when she was on TV when her husband was running for president in 1992. I first heard of Trump in the 1980s. In 3rd grade (1988 election), I had a friend who owned the boardgame Trump, which was kind of like a knockoff of monopoly. I remember two things when thinking back to this, 1) I already knew who Trump was. 2) I thought he was the richest person in the world for some reason. I know my dad had Art of the Deal (which Trump didn't really write). I can say that after Reagan, Trump was the nominee of my lifetime that I knew about the earliest. I can't say I really disliked Trump until he became a birther in c. 2011 or 2012. With that, he just came off as mean and needlessly disharmonious and nuts. Voted Sanders in the primary and Clinton in the general. 2020 - Trump vs Biden. First heard of Biden when watching the 2008 Democratic primary debates. I thought Biden had a powerful, sincere voice. Voted Sanders in the primary and Biden in the general. What are you earliest memories of the nominee from your lifetime? 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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