Prime Candidates
A (((HearingVoices))) Radio Special

Presidential Portraits of Primaries Past
Hosted by Barrett Golding (soundfiles=real 28K)
See the candidate. See the candidate run. Run, candidate, run.

• 1980- A deluge of potential presidents descend upon Claremont NH.
• 1992- Campaign worker bees at the hives of party HQ.
• 2000- Sarah Vowell muses on media-spun myths and misquotes.
• 2003- Political speech minus the misleading elements -- the words.

There is nothing in the Constitution -- or for that matter in federal statute -- that requires States to conduct a direct popular vote for President (or for presidential Electors). The manner of choosing presidential Electors remains a matter for each State. --Federal Election Commission

soundfiles Prime Candidates- Promo(0:30)

Every leap year the presidential primary season storms through the United States like a tornado, touching down in state after state, town after town, carrying with it a swirling mass of reporters, and all the politicians that imagine themselves president. The primary process can be chaotic and comical, but it's the way we do democracy; the way we pick the leader of the free world.

Lincoln second inaugural
President Lincoln delivering his inaugural address
on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol, March 4, 1865.
Photographer: Alexander Gardner (courtesy Library of Congress)

soundfiles Prime Candidates- Part 1(31:00) featuring:

"Claremont" by Larry Massett, Art Silverman and Betty Rogers. You might not recall the names of all the 1980 presidential prospects: like California Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, Illinois Representative John Anderson. But the story is still familiar. It's a classic political tale told by David Puksta, a high-school student in the small mill town of Claremont, New Hampshire.

"Political People" by Barrett Golding (Songs by Greg Keeler). About half the eligible voters in this country don't bother to vote. But there are those who are passionate about politics. They pass out pamphlets, write letters to the editor, work the phones at party headquarters. When so many people couldn't care less about politics, why do some people care so much. In 1992, we asked them.

Harrison inaugural
Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administers the oath of office
to Benjamin Harrison at the U.S. Capitol, March 4, 1889

soundfiles Prime Candidates- Part 2(26:00) featuring:

"Democracy and Things Like That" by Sarah Vowell; produced by Alex Blumberg & Ira Glass of This American Life. For all but avid consumers of unedited C-SPAN broadcasts, what our candidates say comes to us condensed and filtered by the few reporters who heard the speech. We hear only what the media middlemen report. And sometimes they, and so we, hear wrong. During the 2000 primaries, the lesson Sarah learned, while sitting in a New Hampshire classroom, was to Pay Attention.

"California Recall Sans Mots" by Larry Massett. "Although the candidates appeared not to be saying anything," says Douglas Fleishut of the Language Removal Service, "perhaps underneath the political doublespeak, there was a vibrant core to each of the candidates." From the 2003 gubernatorial candidates, the California Recall Project presents the first political debate stripped of all the unclear, misleading elements: that is, minus the words.

Presidential seal
President-elect Wilson and President Taft at the White House
prior to Wilson's inauguration ceremonies, March 4, 1913


URL link Larry Massett- Long Day on the Road
URL link Language Removal Service- California Recall Project
URL link Sarah Vowell- Consonant Vowells
URL link Ira Glass- This American Life
URL link Greg Keeler- Troutball
URL link Barrett Golding- Audio Adventures of the Wandering Jew

WEB RESOURCES: Presidents/Primaries

URL link National Public Radio- 2004 Election Calendar
URL link Library of Congress- "I Do Solemnly Swear": Presidential Inaugurations
URL link Federal Election Commission- Elections and Voting
URL link Center for Voting and Democracy- International Voter Turnout
URL link Democratic National Committee- Primary Schedule
URL link Republican National Committee- Register to Vote

Presidential sealSleigh on White House lawn
Eisenhower 1955 White House Formal Holiday Card (left)
Kennedy 1962 White House Holiday Card (right)

This special was mixed by Robin Wise of Sound Imagery. Executive Producer is Barrett Golding. (((HearingVoices))) specials are crafted from new and classic radio shows. Fundors include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts.