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First memories of presidential nominees?


vcczar
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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?

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2004 I knew who Bush was in that I knew he was the President, 9/11, the wars in the middle east. I didn't know who Kerry was until he was the nominee. I didn't think much of either of men.

2008 I didn't know who either Obama or McCain were until deep into the primary season. I was also only 12. During the primary season I remember like John Edwards. In my 5th grade class during the primary season, we read that for kids(it might have been Time might have been something else) and it talked about Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. My teacher at the time had us stand in sides of the room(like a caucus) based off if we'd vote for Obama or Clinton. I remember asking what if we'd vote for Edwards and he got a corner in the room where I stood. This is probably my earliest true presidential election memory.

2012 I knew who Obama was, obviously, knew he was the president and at this point I'd say a fair bit about him. I had never heard of Romney before he ran, if I get inside my 15-16 year old head the only other candidate I truly really remember knowing was Ron Paul. I knew of him because someone in my neighborhood had a lot of Paul campaign signs, one of them was Paul photoshopped onto Ben Kenobi. Which I thought was the coolest thing, so I took it ahaha. And then tried to learn more about Paul and this is really when my political beliefs started to form. In this election I'd support Mitt Romney and I'd also tell my history class that I would be running in 2032. (A year later my new history teacher would use me as an example for being the president which would lead to me telling people the campaign was still on)

2016, well I knew Trump as a reality TV star. I didn't think much of him, I didn't watch his shows, just knew he was a wealthy famous person. I knew of Clinton mostly from her 2008 run and her time in the Obama admin. However I also knew who Rand Paul was prior to this election(gee I wonder why...maybe it was his dad...maybe...) during this election cycle I supported Paul, Carson, back to Paul, Rubio, and finally Petersen, then I settled on wanting Trump over Clinton and voting for Johnson. In hindsight I wish my political beliefs were what they are now, I'd have voted for and supported Clinton, probably would have supported Sanders as well. Would still have supported Paul, Rubio, and Carson though.

2020, I knew who Biden was from his time with Obama, I didn't think much of him other than he was a creep from how he'd touch girls, sniff there hair, etc. If we remember I supported Hickenlooper and Gabbard for most of if not all of the election season before voting for Jorgensen.

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The first Presidential nominee/President I remember was Obama, I was quite young at the time and just remember seeing news of his election in 2008 on the TV. Funnily enough I don't recall the 2012 election, 2016 I remember all too well though. I didn't like either candidate but expected Clinton to win, and wanted her too with the other option being Trump. 

The day after the election I woke up and went downstairs to eat breakfast before school, I turned on the TV and saw on the TV guide the US election results. Naturally I put them on, expecting to see Hillary Clinton then go on with my day. As we all know, that's not what happened. Trump appeared on the TV screen in front of a crowd screaming U-S-A, U-S-A. I was shocked and I can't remember whether I shouted to her or ran up the stairs to her, regardless I said to my Mum "Trump got in." She was surprised herself.

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2004 - I was very young and disconnected, though I did know who Bush was and eventually came to know who Kerry was. Never had any strong opinions.

2008 - Still had no strong opinions, but I actually paid attention to this one: came to know who Obama was and knew who McCain was.

2012 - Finally started having opinions, yet still only cared about the general election. I wanted Romney to win but didn't pay too much attention. Two stinker candidates. 

2016 - Supported Rand Paul originally in the primaries, then I started to support Fiorina, then eventually Trump officially won the primary. I knew who Trump was from The Apprentice, and knew who Hillary was. Supported Johnson the most, but at the time I'd have Trump before Hillary, in hopes his talk was simply rhetoric as it was with most politicians. 

2020- Begrudgingly supported Biden more than Trump, but ended up voting for Jo Jorgensen. I had a feeling Trump would win a second term, but I was wrong. Of course, I knew Trump, and I knew Biden (along with his hair sniffing tendency.)

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Im a baby my first election I remember was McCain Obama lol, 8 year old me wanted Obama to win cause he seemed cool (Vaguely remember bush but i was learning how to read when he got elected for the 2nd time). First election I was clued in for was 2016 

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I come from a very politically active family, so grew up knowing more about politics than I should have.

1996- Born near end of Bush I's term, so Clinton was the first President I had heard of. Growing up in TN before realignment hit the state, I heard nothing but nice things about Clinton. I knew there was something he did wrong as a kid but everyone was always going on about the economy that it didn't matter to a lot of people. I did get to push the button for my grandmother's vote for Clinton in 1996 and voted in Kindergarten for Clinton as well in class. 

2000- I knew Gore bc he was our former senator and the VP. We all liked Gore despite his lack of charisma. My family were lifelong Democrats who really despised the GOP for their economic policies, so I learned nothing by negative things about W form family.

2004- I hadn't heard of Kerry until I had to research him for my history class. We had to make a poster for a candidate explaining their policies. I was the only kid to make a Kerry poster. I very vividly remember a classmate coming up to me and saying, "he murders babies," and I thought, "that's extreme and very unlikely." Little did I know...

2008- I was about 8 months from being able to vote in this election. I followed the Dem primary as my family were still Democrats and we were a Hillary family, but Obama was just as good in my family's eyes because McCain offered nothing but the same policies as Bush to them. It was the first election though were I saw family members vote Republican and they could never explain to me how the party was different from previously but I felt Obama's race had a lot to do with it. McCain I knew was a Vietnam War vet but didn't really learn more about him. I was more interested in Sarah Palin though because she was very different from politics as I knew them.

2012- Mitt Romney was who my grandparents voted for in the 2008 primary so I had learned about him during that election. He seemed very youthful and looked presidential in both runs, which was something my grandmother voted on.

2016- Let's start with Hillary. Growing up with an involved family, I tended to see Hillary a lot. My great grandparents even went to an event memorializing the Italian campaigns during WWII where they met the Clintons. My great-grandmother would tell the story about her conversation with Hillary for as long as I could remember, so I always had positive associations towards her. She was kind of like a famous grandma to me, always there and a role model to me (especially growing up LGBT in the South it was hard to find a role model and Hillary was a strong presence that stood out). Trump, on the other hand, I knew from watching the Apprentice. Nothing more than that as a first memory of him. So nothing he di don the campaign was that shocking to me because that was the personality he cultivated on tv.

2020- Biden I knew from the 2008 campaign. I very much remember him more from the 2012 debate with Paul Ryan where he just smiled and laughed his way through that debate. I was just like, "wow, he really owned Ryan just by being charming."

Edited by Ich_bin_Tyler
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Born in 1998 so

2000 - I was 2, so not a lot of real time impressions being made, but when I first heard about Bush was in a conversation with my mother when I was in high school. She was telling me about how we came early in the year 2001 and she was new to the country and still new to motherhood and my father was working long hours to make ends meet and my younger brother wasn't even a month old when 9/11 happened. She told me how it had felt like if America wasn't safe, nowhere could be, but when she listened to Bush speak, he led with his faith in the country and the strength to meet the moment. I was vaguely aware of Bush but that sticks out as the first time I really reflected on his Presidency. As for Gore, I think the first time I saw him was on 30 Rock, and then I watched the SNL spoof of the lockbox debate. No strong opinion on him.

2004 - I was 6, so still not a lot of real time impressions being made, but when I was taking an APUSH class, the teacher went over some of the recent elections and talked about Kerry's record as a flip flopper and the swiftboat ad. Not a lot of strong opinions on him until he became Secretary of State, and I soured on him a bit then. 

2008 - My middle school actually did a mock election and I had some friends who were voting for Obama cause they thought he seemed nice or cool, and I had some friends who voted for McCain because their parents hated Obama. I'm pretty sure I voted for McCain but I didn't put a lot of thought into it, I remember thinking Republicans had a cooler name than Democrats tho lol. 

2012 - This was the first election I was paying some level of attention to. I liked Obama as a person but I had heard a ton of people complain about the economy and blaming him for it. Mitt Romney always struck me as pretty smart, especially some of the clips I had seen from the first debate. I distinctly remember a lot of commentary on how it was "the lesser of two evils", "neither option was good", "in a country of 300 million people, these two are the best we could come up with?" yada yada. It struck me even then as lacking perspective since to me, they both seemed like smart and decent people, and I wasn't gonna be too disappointed with either of them. 

2016 - Had known of Hillary for a long time, I think the first time I had heard of her was back in 2008, but hadn't paid enough attention to form an opinion. I remember hearing a ton of negative stuff about her in 2012 and beyond tho. Benghazi hearings, Whitewater, the Clinton Kill List, etc. By the time 2016 rolled around, I had learned to discern what was warranted criticism of her and what was not, but even so, I couldn't see myself supporting her. I remember having a neutral to somewhat positive view of Trump when he was just an eccentric celebrity. I think I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Trump when it aired, or at least clips. Thought he was an asshole but a fairly benign one until he announced he was running for President and opened with how Mexicans are rapists. I was confident he would lose, and when he won the GOP nomination, I became a Hillary supporter and even phone banked for her. At the time, the only election post-WWII I would have preferred the Dem nominee, and I really resented the GOP for making the first election after I turn 18 the one they decide to nominate Trump. 

2020 - My earliest memory of Biden is the BFD debacle lol. I think I might remember some of the Palin Biden debate in 08 but not sure. First impression of him was he was goofy but likeable enough. I remember the Obama Biden BFF memes from the second term. I always liked Biden, and thought he should have run in 2016. In 2020, I wondered why folks online seemed to turn on him, but I was reminded that twitter isn't real life when I bought his book Promise Me, Dad and the B&N clerk, a young black woman, just gushed about him. I supported Klobuchar in the primaries and Biden in the general. 

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25 minutes ago, Rezi said:

I’ve always been impartial to this version myself 😛 

D2EBD0DC-D554-4886-AD57-F1AFE01A27EA.jpeg.7545d3bacbc8faf56313efccee848a9b.jpeg

The Republicans have the best movies. 

Revenge of the Sith and Empire Strikes Back. 😎

What happens when we get into the Disney trash in the later 2020s

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I was born during the Johnson administration.  I have no first hand memory of him at all.  I don't remember anything about the 1968 or 1972 elections.  The first national political memory I have is Nixon's resignation.

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40 minutes ago, Pringles said:

The Republicans have the best movies. 

Revenge of the Sith and Empire Strikes Back. 😎

What happens when we get into the Disney trash in the later 2020s

Okay traditionnaly I do not deviate topic but you forced my hand

 

Prequels : average of 84/100 : Those movies had a purpose and were not useless

Phantom Menace : 77/100 Catchy, not the best movie but quite a good open world and good scenario

Attack of the Clones : 70/100 I do like how they devellop the scenario, but the movie is a bit too slow even if it keeps building a coherent timeline. Count Dooku and separatists' motives are under-exploited

However it's completely saved by the Clone Wars' serie : 90/100 they absolutely brought something to the Star Wars' universe, to its political atmosphere, to separatists' motives, to the pre-empire era. This was not only a show made to get cash. The serie explains how a society and a republic can abandon its liberties through a perpetual state of wars and how the Jedi Council is blind and sometimes out of touch.

Revenge of the Siths : 95/100 Near perfection. No minute is uselessly spent, everything is well thought, the music and the drama are immense, the acting is great and the downfall of Anakin as well as the death of Padmé are really sad, it added on the sadness that Vador felt, it also explained how the Republic has become an empire, the "final push" of the Sidious plan.

 

Star Wars' Rogue : 81/100. Not my favourite movie but a very well done one, the closest movie Disney ever done that was similar to the Star Wars' spirit so far.

 

Trilogy : Average of 87/100 great saga of movies.

A new Hope : 84/100 Catchy modern, a whole new universe made up in a single movie.

The Empire strikes back : 91/100 Near perfection. No scene is boring and characters are well developped.

The return of the Jedi : 87/100 Well made, not boring, not as good as the previous movie but it brings to a good conclusion and the build up of Vader's return to the light side was well written and planned, scenes were also well planned. The only small problem is to count on a new death star with an heavier problem than the first one, the scenario of course tried to justify it with the trap.

 

Sequels : Average of 55/100.

 

I forgot the name of episode VII (is it the Light awakens?) but we shall say : 55/100. Copy and paste of the 4th movie with some news elements, but way too much a simple copy and paste of the main arcs of the 4th. However, there are some good ideas of characters and mysteries with Snoke which might be Dark Plagueis and Ben Solo who might have a redemption. Also the mystery of the girl's parent. However the magic credit card of the First Order is stupid. Palpatine could build a death Star because he had the funds of like 2000 galactic systems as emperor, the First Order hasn't the means to build an even heavier stuff with what, 30 planets?

Star Wars VIII : 57/100 (it's a controversial opinion) I like that everything was broken, but it also destroyed the whole purpus of the VIIth movie and hijacked the way of the sequels.

Star Wars IX : 50/100 Palpatine comes to rescue because they are in lack of ideas, it completely destroys the well ending of Star Wars VI and it brings absolutely nothing, plus the girl (yes I lost her name) saves Ben Solo SO ANAKIN COULD HAVE REALLY SAVED PADME AND IT BREAKS THE WHOLE ARC OF LIES OF PALPATINE TO PUSH ANAKIN TO THE DARK SIDE IN THE PREQUELS.

 

Basically Sequels don't bring anything to the saga, worse, they attack the coherence of prequels and trilogy movies.

Edited by Edouard
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6 minutes ago, Edouard said:

Okay traditionnaly I do not deviate topic but you forced my hand

 

Prequels : average of 84/100 : Those movies had a purpose and were not useless

Phantom Menace : 77/100 Catchy, not the best movie but quite a good open world and good scenario

Attack of the Clones : 70/100 I do like how they devellop the scenario, but the movie is a bit too slow even if it keeps building a coherent timeline. Count Dooku and separatists' motives are under-exploited

However it's completely saved by the Clone Wars' serie : 90/100 they absolutely brought something to the Star Wars' universe, to its political atmosphere, to separatists' motives, to the pre-empire era. This was not only a show made to get cash. The serie explains how a society and a republic can abandon its liberties through a perpetual state of wars and how the Jedi Council is blind and sometimes out of touch.

Revenge of the Siths : 95/100 Near perfection. No minute is uselessly spent, everything is well thought, the music and the drama are immense, the acting is great and the downfall of Anakin as well as the death of Padmé are really sad, it added on the sadness that Vador felt, it also explained how the Republic has become an empire, the "final push" of the Sidious plan.

 

Star Wars' Rogue : 81/100. Not my favourite movie but a very well done one, the closest movie Disney ever done that was similar to the Star Wars' spirit so far.

 

Trilogy : Average of 87/100 great saga of movies.

A new Hope : 84/100 Catchy modern, a whole new universe made up in a single movie.

The Empire strikes back : 91/100 Near perfection. No scene is boring and characters are well developped.

The return of the Jedi : 87/100 Well made, not boring, not as good as the previous movie but it brings to a good conclusion and the build up of Vader's return to the light side was well written and planned, scenes were also well planned. The only small problem is to count on a new death star with an heavier problem than the first one, the scenario of course tried to justify it with the trap.

 

Sequels : Average of 55/100.

 

I forgot the name of episode VII (is it the Light awakens?) but we shall say : 55/100. Copy and paste of the 4th movie with some news elements, but way too much a simple copy and paste of the main arcs of the 4th. However, there are some good ideas of characters and mysteries with Snoke which might be Dark Plagueis and Ben Kenobi who might have a redemption. Also the mystery of the girl's parent. However the magic credit card of the First Order is stupid. Palpatine could build a death Star because he had the funds of like 2000 galactic systems as emperor, the First Order hasn't the means to build an even heavier stuff with what, 30 planets?

Star Wars VIII : 57/100 (it's a controversial opinion) I like that everything was broken, but it also destroyed the whole purpus of the VIIth movie and hijacked the way of the sequels.

Star Wars IX : 50/100 Palpatine comes to rescue because they are in lack of ideas, it completely destroys the well ending of Star Wars VI and it brings absolutely nothing, plus the girl (yes I lost her name) saves Ben Kenobi SO ANAKIN COULD HAVE REALLY SAVED PADME AND IT BREAKS THE WHOLE ARC OF LIES OF PALPATINE TO PUSH ANAKIN TO THE DARK SIDE IN THE PREQUELS.

 

Basically Sequels don't bring anything to the saga, worse, they attack the coherence of prequels and trilogy movies.

You are damn right Ed. You a good man. 😎

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24 minutes ago, Edouard said:

Okay traditionnaly I do not deviate topic but you forced my hand

 

Prequels : average of 84/100 : Those movies had a purpose and were not useless

Phantom Menace : 77/100 Catchy, not the best movie but quite a good open world and good scenario

Attack of the Clones : 70/100 I do like how they devellop the scenario, but the movie is a bit too slow even if it keeps building a coherent timeline. Count Dooku and separatists' motives are under-exploited

However it's completely saved by the Clone Wars' serie : 90/100 they absolutely brought something to the Star Wars' universe, to its political atmosphere, to separatists' motives, to the pre-empire era. This was not only a show made to get cash. The serie explains how a society and a republic can abandon its liberties through a perpetual state of wars and how the Jedi Council is blind and sometimes out of touch.

Revenge of the Siths : 95/100 Near perfection. No minute is uselessly spent, everything is well thought, the music and the drama are immense, the acting is great and the downfall of Anakin as well as the death of Padmé are really sad, it added on the sadness that Vador felt, it also explained how the Republic has become an empire, the "final push" of the Sidious plan.

 

Star Wars' Rogue : 81/100. Not my favourite movie but a very well done one, the closest movie Disney ever done that was similar to the Star Wars' spirit so far.

 

Trilogy : Average of 87/100 great saga of movies.

A new Hope : 84/100 Catchy modern, a whole new universe made up in a single movie.

The Empire strikes back : 91/100 Near perfection. No scene is boring and characters are well developped.

The return of the Jedi : 87/100 Well made, not boring, not as good as the previous movie but it brings to a good conclusion and the build up of Vader's return to the light side was well written and planned, scenes were also well planned. The only small problem is to count on a new death star with an heavier problem than the first one, the scenario of course tried to justify it with the trap.

 

Sequels : Average of 55/100.

 

I forgot the name of episode VII (is it the Light awakens?) but we shall say : 55/100. Copy and paste of the 4th movie with some news elements, but way too much a simple copy and paste of the main arcs of the 4th. However, there are some good ideas of characters and mysteries with Snoke which might be Dark Plagueis and Ben Solo who might have a redemption. Also the mystery of the girl's parent. However the magic credit card of the First Order is stupid. Palpatine could build a death Star because he had the funds of like 2000 galactic systems as emperor, the First Order hasn't the means to build an even heavier stuff with what, 30 planets?

Star Wars VIII : 57/100 (it's a controversial opinion) I like that everything was broken, but it also destroyed the whole purpus of the VIIth movie and hijacked the way of the sequels.

Star Wars IX : 50/100 Palpatine comes to rescue because they are in lack of ideas, it completely destroys the well ending of Star Wars VI and it brings absolutely nothing, plus the girl (yes I lost her name) saves Ben Solo SO ANAKIN COULD HAVE REALLY SAVED PADME AND IT BREAKS THE WHOLE ARC OF LIES OF PALPATINE TO PUSH ANAKIN TO THE DARK SIDE IN THE PREQUELS.

 

Basically Sequels don't bring anything to the saga, worse, they attack the coherence of prequels and trilogy movies.

I agree with you a lot on the sequels! I'm hoping the Favreau/Filoni shows, Mandalorian and Boba Fett (As well as the other coming ones) follow fan speculation and retcon the sequel trilogy

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2008 - I voted for Obama in an elementary school mock election. Didn't know anything about politics. I remember watching the beginning of the results coming in for the general election and my dad being upset that Obama won.

2012 - I have few memories of this election. I may have watched the results, but like in 2008, I did not stay up for it.

2016 - By this time I was intensely political. I watched every primary debate of both parties. I supported Rubio in the primaries and enthusiastically supported Trump in the primaries. Stayed up past midnight to watch Trump win. Watched the inauguration.

2020 - Less interested in politics. Watched a Democratic debate, and the general debates. Voted Trump for President and a mix of GOP/Dems for state/local elections. Dated a Biden supporter at the time and allowed her to sleep in and kept her busy by being the best boyfriend ever for a day so she wouldn't feel like going out to vote (we do a little trolling). Placed $1000 wager on Biden win, cashed out. Was disappointed, then became even more disappointed when he was worse than I predicted. Focused less on politics and more on business/finances and here we are today.

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7 minutes ago, DakotaHale said:

2008 - I voted for Obama in an elementary school mock election. Didn't know anything about politics. I remember watching the beginning of the results coming in for the general election and my dad being upset that Obama won.

2012 - I have few memories of this election. I may have watched the results, but like in 2008, I did not stay up for it.

2016 - By this time I was intensely political. I watched every primary debate of both parties. I supported Rubio in the primaries and enthusiastically supported Trump in the primaries. Stayed up past midnight to watch Trump win. Watched the inauguration.

2020 - Less interested in politics. Watched a Democratic debate, and the general debates. Voted Trump for President and a mix of GOP/Dems for state/local elections. Dated a Biden supporter at the time and allowed her to sleep in and kept her busy by being the best boyfriend ever for a day so she wouldn't feel like going out to vote (we do a little trolling). Placed $1000 wager on Biden win, cashed out. Was disappointed, then became even more disappointed when he was worse than I predicted. Focused less on politics and more on business/finances and here we are today.

You and I are pretty similar except I dont remember 2008 politics at all. 2012 I voted for Romney in school. 

Although I do remember Obama becoming President. 

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2000: Not old enough to have any memories

2004: I vaguely remember disliking Bush because of the jokes about him being an idiot. I can't say I have any memories of Kerry but I know I "wanted" Bush to lose.

2008: This was the first election that I could say I was really aware of, but I didn't actually know anything about the candidates. I have a vivid memory of being convinced Mike Huckabee's name was actually "Ken Huckabee". I obviously didn't know anything about their political views (I was nine), but I really liked Rudy Giuliani (because he was the mayor during 9/11, so he must be a great, courageous leader...) and Mitt Romney (because he was our former governor). For Democrats I really liked Obama (because I thought he was cool). If I participated in any mock elections, I probably voted for Giuliani and Obama in the primaries and Obama in the general.

2012: I was a lot more aware of this election and knew a decent amount about the views of the candidates, but I hadn't formed any of my own political opinions. I remember I supported Romney (see above) and Ron Paul (because I thought it was funny that he was old as hell) for Republicans in the primary, but a lot of kids who I didn't like incessantly supported Romney (because their parents did) and constantly made the "thanks Obama" jokes, even though we weren't really old enough to have formed many political opinions. So I was a strong Obama supporter in the 2012 general, even though I liked Romney too.

2016: This was the first election where I actually had political opinions. I was a pretty run of the mill liberal because my parents were, but gradually became more progressive by election day. I heard about Bernie while I was working on an AP English Comp. summer assignment (in 2015) about editorials, and I chose to write about a Bernie editorial because I didn't like Clinton. I think Bernie was still polling around 15% at this point, and I instantly became a supporter primarily because of his policies, but also because he was such a huge underdog at that point. This was before people even entertained the idea of him being competitive. I thought Trump running was hilarious, especially the debates. Then he started to rise in the polls, but I still thought it was hilarious because there was no way he'd win any states. Then he started winning states, but I still thought it was hilarious because the other Republicans were supposedly going to band together to force a brokered convention by endorsing each other in certain states. Then I still thought it was hilarious, because there's no way Hillary could lose to this guy. Then a few weeks before the general election, I suddenly felt like Trump was going to win, and I knew I was right as soon as the NYT needle launched. Fox News also had a cool election app, where you would score candidates based off anonymous quotes they made, as well as score the debates. I was a month too young to vote, but I would have voted for Bernie in the primary and probably written him in in the general too (though I would have voted Hillary if we used the popular vote or if MA was a swing state).

2020: Don't really have much to say here that I don't think is obvious. I voted for Bernie in the primary and Howie Hawkins in the general (and like above, I would have voted for Biden if my vote actually mattered).

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1996: First election after being born. No memories of course.

2000: No memories.

2004: I knew Bush was the Republican president and a former Governor of Texas. I also knew Kerry was a Democratic Senator from MA. Didn't know anything about their platforms or differences of their parties. Supported Kerry, because I didn't like Bush and the Iraq War after initially supporting Bush shortly after 9/11. My family supported Bush and we watched CNN coverage for hours every day and even the debates. I barely spoke English at this time, because I was eight.

2008: I supported Obama because I thought he was cool and a Democrat. I did not even know that he was a Senator for IL, I guess. Have no memories of John McCain, though supporting Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries. I liked his name and I guess I read all the candidates names but nothing about John McCain stuck to me. I also kind of remember Santorum from back then. Did not know anything about their platforms, and supported Obama solely for his fresh and cool looks and because he was a Democrat.

2012: I supported the Democrat Obama again. I know that shortly before the election I knew the name Romney and that he was the Republican in this race. We had a mock election in school and I voted for Obama. My whole class did so except for one who handed in an invalid ballot because the person was a pro-Russian, anti-American Bosnian Serb who saw no difference between two evil nominees. I didn't know anything else about the candidates and didn't care much them as well. 

2016: The first election in which I was already politicized and interested in US affairs. I guess I came into contact with the Civil War in 2012 or so through the movie Gods and Generals. That led me to love the US. I also remember to have political opinions about Austrian politics by 2013, which is kind of strange because in 2012 I can't remember to have cared about any election or candidate. On the other hand I do not remember the 2014 US midterms or supporting the Republicans in any way, shape or form. I don't know why. By 2015 I was convinced that the Republicans are the only good option in this election and I followed the candidates, debates of both parties, opinion polls etc. very closely. My support went from Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz to Trump. I don't know what happened to me that I do not even remember the 2014 midterms in contrast to being an avid Republican by 2015.

2020: I guess there's no real need to go into details. Knew both candidates and supported Trump over Biden.

Edited by ConservativeElector2
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2000: I was two years old. 

2004: I knew my parents weren’t fans of George W Bush, I remember actually going to a John Kerry rally with my grandparents.

2008: I knew who both Obama and McCain were, my family all had high respect and admiration of McCain and my dad even said “If he didn’t pick that idiot Palin, I would have actually considered voting for him”

2012: Fist election I paid some attention to, I remember all of the anti Romney memes, such as Big Bird talking smack about Romney. I was happy when Obama won re-election 

2016: God… I knew who Trump was from the Apprentice, I didn’t like him then and I don’t like him now, I knew who Clinton was for obvious reasons. I did not vote for either nominee, people tend to forget that Hillary was campaigning in states like Arizona, Texas and Georgia when the blue wall in the upper Midwest was slipping. But ya know voter blaming 🤷‍♂️
 

2020: I knew both nominees, Biden was far from my first choice but I ultimately voted for him because I couldn’t stomach 4 more years of Donnie Tiny Hands.

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I was born during Reagan's second term.  First election I was aware of was George HW Bush's re-election bid.  My family was not particularly political growing up, but I do recall my dad talking about how Clinton cheated on his wife -- if a man can't even be faithful to his own wife, how can he ever be faithful to us?  (I also remember him later telling me he votes Democrat locally and Republican nationally more often than not, but that was when I was a kid or young teen.  He's as firmly anti-Trump as I am -- we can both see a conman coming a mile away, not that Trump makes any effort to mask it.  

Anyway, my first awareness of Clinton was my dad talking about his affairs.  My first awareness of George HW Bush must have been like a picture of him up at our elementary school since he was the sitting President at the time, though I don't specifically remember.  I do recall a kid in our class (2nd grade maybe) commenting on the fact that our first President was George and our last President (at the time) was George, and there were no Georges inbetween.

My take on the election (as a 2nd grader) was that Bush has already been President, and Bill Clinton was apparently bad because he cheated on his wife, so let's give Ross Perot a turn.  Ha.

I don't recall being particularly aware that Bill Clinton won the election, and I don't remember his re-election campaign at all.  I would have been around 6th grade I guess -- Bill Clinton was a recurring character on SNL, no more.  I do remember SNL skits about him riding bikes and about him eating at McDonalds.  I remember my dad telling me that people -- especially Presidents -- pretend to be someone that they're not, in public.  Riding a bike was Bill Clinton pretending to be someone he's not.  "What about eating at McDonalds?" I asked my dad.  "That's probably who he really is.  You can't always hide EVERY aspect of who you really are."  My dad also thought Clinton playing sax on Arsenio Hall was who Clinton really was.

2000 is the first election that I was especially aware of.  I remember I had a high school extra credit assignment to actually watch a Presidential debate and write my thoughts on it.  I was entirely unaware of the issues back then -- my entire life was girls, theater, and selling hotdogs at Target.  But I watched the debate.  My takeaways were that Al Gore was extremely boring and that George W Bush seemed like a real person who could actually talk to people.  I remember there was some nonsense about Gore claiming to have invented the internet.  He didn't say those exact words, but Bush jumped on it.  Later, while talking about the economy or deficit, Bush said "That's fuzzy math again.  He's using fuzzy math.  I'm starting to think you didn't just invent the internet -- you invented the calculator, too."  11th grade me thought that was HILARIOUS.  (I realize now that was probably something a staffer came up with during debate prep, but either way, it totally sold me on Bush.

2004 I was much more aware of the issues, considering that I enlisted in the military right in the middle of election season.  My first awareness of John Kerry was the Swiftboat Veterans thing.  I didn't necessarily know what a swiftboat was yet, but he was against the Iraq War, so fuck that guy.  This was the first election where I was suddenly extremely political and blogging incessantly about it and debating strangers at all hours of the night.  Ha.

2008 I became obsessed -- not with a candidate, but with the PROCESS.  I had discovered President Forever, and read a ton about how primaries and caucuses work.  I became everyone's guide to that election -- my peers were just starting to pay attention to what was on the news, and they quickly learned that I could explain the whole process to them.  I researched the heck out of the candidates as well.  As for first exposure to the candidates, I don't remember when I first learned of John McCain (probably 2000 without recognizing it at the time), but I knew he was a war hero, and I'd written to him once in 2004 or 2005 asking him to run in 2008.  My first exposure to Giuliani was of course around 9/11.  I remember him being part of the opening sketch the first SNL show after 9/11.  (Lorne:  Can we be funny?  Giuliani: Why start now?)  I also remember him dressing in women's clothing (for SNL, I think?) but I don't remember if that was  before or after 9/11.  Santorum, Huckabee, and Romney were all far too religious for my liking.  I don't care what someone believes, but I do care about whether they expect me to believe what they believe.    I remember Romney's speech on freedom of religion, and being irritated that while he acknowledged that there are many religions people follow in America, he didn't acknowledge our right to atheism/agnosticism, etc.  I remember seeing Fred Thompson's first debate and thinking "I know that tone of voice.  That's the tone I use when I have to give a verbal book report on a book I haven't read yet.  For Obama, I remember seeing him on TV talking before a large crowd about running -- in retrospect, I believe it was CNN covering his speech formally declaring for the Presidency several days after the fact.  For Hillary, my first exposure was of course my dad talking about the fact that Bill cheated on her when I was a kid -- but as a Bush fan for the past 8 years, I assumed Hillary Clinton was bad people.  And John Edwards, I didn't care for at ALL.  Like I said:  my dad taught me how to spot a conman from a mile away.  As for my favorite candidate...it was actually Joe Biden.  I was very impressed by his foreign policy chops, I thought he was very funny in the few moments he actually got to speak in the debates, and I was elated when Obama chose him as VP.  

2012 was Mitt Romney again.  I of course had already made my judgement on him in 2008.  I wasn't necessarily in love with Obama (I'd excitedly voted for him, but was underwhelmed by his foreign policy).  But by 2012 I STRONGLY supported gay marriage, and Romney was firmly against it.

2016:  I was vaguely aware Donald Trump existed -- I saw Home Alone 2, for example.  I loved the original The Apprentice (hated it later when they had celebrities instead of real people).  I thought he was a serious businessman back then.  I remember him telling an anecdote where after declaring bankruptcy, he happened to pass by a homeless man and told his son "That man has more money than I do" because Trump had something like negative 100 million.  I think I heard him tell that story on Howard Stern, maybe.  But despite me initially loving his show and believing he was a real businessman, I was extremely put off my his behavior in the 2012 elections, the birth certificate conspiracy, and demanding that the Republican Party let him moderate a debate (they refused, because back then the Party had a spine.)  So even before he gave his insanely racist and rambling declaraction speech, I was DONE with Donald Trump.  

2020:  Already answered with both Biden and Trump.



 

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2004 - I guess I heard my brother going like "Kerry, Kerry, he's our man. Let's throw Bush into the garbage can!" Other than that, we had a book of Presidents, and Bush was on there (so that's my earliest memory of Bush, I guess).

2008 - I heard McCain was some old guy, Hilary was a woman, and Obama was a black guy. I remember hearing their voices for the first time. Obama was yelling "because of you!" (I don't know what the context was). I actually didn't really know about political parties and I guess I thought that all 3 were running as independents, and that Hilary was originally a threat to Obama, but lost a lot of support later.

2012 - First time I heard of Mitt Romney, I heard he was some old guy who was a Mormon.

2016 - The first time I heard of the name Donald Trump. I didn't know who he was, and I think I was interested. The first thing I heard about him was that he was corrupt. The funny part is his name sounded like a reference to card games. Hilary Clinton's was well known, so I knew who she was. 

2020 - I knew who Biden was. In fact, I remember that in 2017, I saw a poll of him leading (31%). I don't know exactly when I first knew of Biden (or his name) (I'm assuming 2015 or earlier). I knew Obama's VP's first name's initial was J. 

 

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