Ann Compton, a 40-year veteran of ABC News and the White House press corps, relayed her experiences and thoughts on President Trump and the media at the 2017 Indiana Chamber Legislative Dinner last night at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.
In addition to her many amusing anecdotes about past presidents and thoughts on President Trump, she also relived the tragic day of September 11, 2001. She was traveling with President George W. Bush on Air Force One as all involved struggled to grasp the magnitude of what had happened.
We were also grateful to be joined by Gov. Eric Holcomb, who offered thoughtful and humorous remarks following his first few months on the job. See photos of the evening below:
If you haven’t been to the Benjamin Harrison Home in downtown Indianapolis, you should check it out. This is where Harrison lived when he won the 1888 election in a year that proved to be quite monumental for the city and state. And here are some interesting facts from the Harrison Home’s November 2013 newsletter, “The Car-O-Line.”
Statistics of 1888 Election
Five parties were on the ballot – Republican, Democrat, Prohibition, Union Labor and American
Harrison actually lost the popular vote to Grover Cleveland (5,538,163 to 5,443,633)
Here is a fun web site to learn more about this and other elections
The 1888 election was not the first or only time a candidate won the popular vote but lost the election. It has happened three other times in our nation’s history:
In 1824, Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but got less than 50% of the electoral votes. John Quincy Adams became the next president when he was picked by the House of Representatives
In 1876, Samuel Tilden won the popular vote but lost the election when Rutherford B. Hayes got 185 electoral votes to Tilden’s 184.In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George W. Bush.
In the most highly contested election in modern history, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount of ballots, giving Bush the state’s 25 electoral votes for a total of 271 to Gore’s 255
For those of us with a media/newspaper background, the following comments from Rupert Murdoch — whose company owns Fox News, Wall Street Journal and MySpace — are quite interesting. He basically claims the media’s condescension toward its readers paved the way for its sharp decline and the emergence of private blogs as news sources:
"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren’t satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven’t always responded well when the public calls them to account."
To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.
"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. ’60 Minutes,’ he said, was a professional organization with ‘multiple layers of checks and balances.’ By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as ‘a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.’ But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign …
A recent article in State Legislatures magazine, titled "The Perils of Success," outlines the respective battles going on at the state level throughout the country. I found the following passage to be most interesting:
The last time Democrats controlled more than 23 states was before the 1994 election, when Republicans walloped Democrats by seizing the majority in 21 chambers. Currently, Democrats have a 57 to 39 edge in control of individual chambers. There are two legislative bodies that have an equal number of Republicans and Democrats — the Oklahoma and Tennessee senates.
History suggests that success for either Senator John McCain or Senator Barack Obama will produce a coattail effect. Since the 1940 election of Franklin Roosevelt, the party winning the presidency has gained legislative seats in 11 of the 17 elections. That trend did not hold in 2004 when Republicans suffered a net loss of 25 seats despite George Bush’s reelection. On average, the party that wins the White House adds more than 125 legislative seats to its column.
Going into this election, there are 3,993 Democratic legislators — almost 55 percent of all seats held by the two major parties. There are 3,310 Republican legislators — 45 percent of the total. Only 21 legislators are independent or from other parties.
In Indiana, Democrats currently control the House by a slim 51-49 margin.