16 for '16 - The Contenders

From Jesse Jackson's groundbreaking 1984 and 1988 campaigns to Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign that launched of a brand of conservatism that influenced both Ronald Reagan and Hillary Clinton, 16 for '16 - The Contenders revisits the most influential presidential campaigns of the last 50 years.

Bush and Obama — The Master Strategists

52m 26s

Despite vastly different backgrounds, George W. Bush and Barack Obama both won two-term presidencies in the 21st century. Bush won a hotly contested Republican primary before narrowly beating Democrat Al Gore in 2000. Obama went from relative obscurity to a history-making campaign in just a few years, riding a wave of hope and change to the White House.

Episodes

  • Bush and Obama — The Master Strategists: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Bush and Obama — The Master Strategists

    S1 E8 - 52m 26s

    Despite vastly different backgrounds, George W. Bush and Barack Obama both won two-term presidencies in the 21st century. Bush won a hotly contested Republican primary before narrowly beating Democrat Al Gore in 2000. Obama went from relative obscurity to a history-making campaign in just a few years, riding a wave of hope and change to the White House.

  • Ferraro and Palin — The Trailblazers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ferraro and Palin — The Trailblazers

    S1 E7 - 52m 26s

    Before Hillary Clinton’s cracked the glass ceiling for presidential nominees in 2016, two other American women made their own mark on that ceiling: vice presidential nominees Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin. Both trailblazing candidates would take their party convention by storms and add energy and excitement to their respective tickets before ultimately coming up short in November.

  • Perot and Nader — The Independents: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Perot and Nader — The Independents

    S1 E6 - 52m 26s

    One of the toughest tasks in modern presidential campaigns is mounting a competitive third party bid that can siphon attention—and votes away—from the major party candidates. Texas billionaire Ross Perot’s unconventional campaign would excite and disrupt the 1992 election, while consumer advocate Ralph Nader’s success in 2000 would leave many liberals labeling him a “spoiler.”

  • Goldwater and Reagan — The Conservatives: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Goldwater and Reagan — The Conservatives

    S1 E5 - 52m 26s

    Sometimes a losing candidacy can alter the political landscape irrevocably. Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater’s visionary conservatism lost in 1964 but it would influence the Republican Party for half a century. Goldwater’s heir apparent, California governor Ronald Reagan’s own unsuccessful 1976 campaign helped to lay the groundwork for his presidency during the 1980s.

  • Hart and Jackson — The Visionaries: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hart and Jackson — The Visionaries

    S1 E4 - 52m 26s

    During the Republican-dominated Reagan years of the 1980s, two charismatic Democratic presidential contenders came to the forefront, hoping to define their party as the one of vision, inclusion and big ideas. And even though the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Sen. Gary Hart both came up short in 1984 and 1988, their candidacies would help shape their party’s trajectory for decades to come.

  • Dukakis and Romney — The Technocrats: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dukakis and Romney — The Technocrats

    S1 E3 - 52m 26s

    When it comes to seeking the highest office in the land, sometimes it’s not enough to be an effective governor and a good guy—you need to land some punches. Former Massachusetts governors Michael Dukakis and Mitt Romney both came up short in their presidential bids after their opponents helped define their candidacies before the American public.

  • Dean and Buchanan — The Flamethrowers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dean and Buchanan — The Flamethrowers

    S1 E2 - 52m 26s

    Sometimes the two U.S. political parties face challenges from insurgents within their own ranks. In 1992, conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan took on a sitting president of his own party he felt had betrayed its principles. Vermont governor Howard Dean lead a 2004 uprising that did not prevail on the ballot but altered the political landscape for future Democratic campaigns.

  • Chisholm and McCain — The Straight Talkers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Chisholm and McCain — The Straight Talkers

    S1 E1 - 52m 26s

    In a combative arena awash in double-talk and spin, the straight-shooters stand out. In her non-nonsense 1972 campaign, Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman in Congress, redefined how a presidential candidate should look and act. Aboard his famous “Straight Talk Express,” Senator John McCain hit the trail in 2000 and 2008 to convince voters he would put his country and not his party first.

Extras + Features

  • Obama's Ups and Downs in Iowa and New Hampshire: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Obama's Ups and Downs in Iowa and New Hampshire

    S1 E8 - 3m 56s

    Republican Strategist Karl Rove, National Chief of Staff Jim Messina and others discuss the momentum and mainstream attention of Obama's campaign, which translated to his great success in Iowa. All the while Hillary Clinton was close behind, criticized for being "less likeable. When she showed her human side, she defeated him in New Hampshire, illustrating the neck-in-neck race between the two.

  • Bush Turns to Business Record in Run for Govenor: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Bush Turns to Business Record in Run for Govenor

    S1 E8 - 3m 56s

    Journalists Ponnuru, Hockenberry, Weisberg, Nichols, and Republican Strategist Trynham describe Bush growing up and how he contrasted with the rest of his family. He was never expected to be successful in politics and was the black sheep of his family. Experts as well as Sr. Advisor Karen Hughes state George W. eventually decided to turn his life around after his father entered the White House.

  • Turning 'Bushisms' and Inexperience into Strength: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Turning 'Bushisms' and Inexperience into Strength

    S1 E8 - 4m 2s

    Republican Strategist Trynham, journalists Weisberg, Couric, and advisors Rice, Norquist, and Brazile discuss Bush's inarticulacy and inexperience, as well as how he was honest enough about his shortcomings that he just surrounded himself with experienced strategists. Consequently, Bush came off as personable and as an average American to those that ultimately voted for him.

  • Experts Discuss the Strategy Obama Used to His Advantage: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Experts Discuss the Strategy Obama Used to His Advantage

    S1 E8 - 2m 56s

    Assistant Professor Niambi Carter, National Chief of Staff Messina, Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center University of Pennsylvania Kathleen Jamieson, Stephanie Cutter, and Campaign Supervisor Donna Brazile discuss the ways that Obama used the internet and social media to mobilize young voters. This strategy ultimately defeated the powerful establishment behind Hillary Clinton in 2008.

  • The Ferraro-Bush Vice Presidential Debate: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Ferraro-Bush Vice Presidential Debate

    S1 E7 - 2m 40s

    Walter Mondale, Lynn Sherr, and Maria Cardona discuss George H.W. Bush’s condescending behavior towards Geraldine Ferraro during the vice presidential debate in 1984. Bush questioned her knowledge of foreign policy, and Ferraro called him out on his patronizing behavior. The discussion revolves around Bush’s inability to take a female opponent seriously.

  • The Reaction to the First Female Nomination for VP: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Reaction to the First Female Nomination for VP

    S1 E7 - 3m 31s

    Journalist Lynn Sherr, former presidential candidate Walter Mondale and historian Nichola Gutgold describe the enthusiasm at the 1984 Democratic National Convention with which Geraldine Ferraro was greeted during her speech as vice presidential candidate. It was a sign of hope and opportunity especially for the many women on the floor.

  • Palin Faced Sexism from the Media: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Palin Faced Sexism from the Media

    S1 E7 - 2m 27s

    Historian Nichola Gutgold and others discuss how the media focused on Palin's appearance and often objectified her in the way she was filmed and photographed. Not only was her wardrobe discussed by news anchors and reporters, she was often photographed from angles that accentuated parts of her body rather than focused on her face and the things she had to say.

  • Debating Palin's Preparedness to be Vice President: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Debating Palin's Preparedness to be Vice President

    S1 E7 - 2m 14s

    Historian Nichola Gutgold, journalists David Corn and John Nichols, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center discuss how Sarah Palin's appearances in the media and in particular the parody of her appearances on Saturday Night Live quickly showed the public that she was unprepared for the position of the vice presidency.

  • Ross Perot's Rise From Humble Beginnings: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ross Perot's Rise From Humble Beginnings

    S1 E6 - 2m 4s

    Ross Perot’s humble background and early career are discussed, as well as his bold move in rescuing his employees from being held captive in Iran.

  • Ross Perot Builds a Third Political Party: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ross Perot Builds a Third Political Party

    S1 E6 - 2m 35s

    Despite not having the normal trappings of a regular campaign, Perot received an enthusiastic reception from the public, and was able to challenge Bush and Clinton.

  • Ralph Nader Decides to Run in 2000: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ralph Nader Decides to Run in 2000

    S1 E6 - 2m 2s

    When Ralph Nader decided to run in 2000 against Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, he wanted to shift politics to favor the people.

  • Nader vs the Democratic Machine: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Nader vs the Democratic Machine

    S1 E6 - 2m 45s

    Ralph Nader discusses the Democratic effort in 2000, and Vice President Al Gore's refusal to work with him. Nader's refusal to drop out is also discussed.

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