Barry Goldwater: 1964 GOP Nominee’s Optimism

The 2024 Republican National Convention begins Monday in Milwaukee. Donald Trump will be formally nominated as the GOP standard bearer, and we expect to learn who his running mate will be.

Sixty years ago, convening in San Francisco, Republicans nominated firebrand Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater as their party’s nominee against incumbent Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

But ,many Republicans in 1964 saw Goldwater as too extreme. And Goldwater himself didn’t do much to calm those concerns, with his acceptance speech.

Get your copy of Barry Goldwater’s book

After being trounced by LBJ that fall, Goldwater remained in the Senate for another 22 years, helping shape the conservative policies of the GOP.

After his retirement, he wrote a memoir called simply Goldwater. And when I met him in 1988, the country was in the thick of the George H.W. Bush vs Michael Dukakis race. And as you’re about to hear, Goldwater had some very specific ideas about that contest.

So, here now, from 1988, Barry Goldwater.

Barry Goldwater died in 1998. He was 89.

Margaret Hoover

Photo: Charles Bogel

Today’s Republican party has a problem attracting young voters. But it’s not a new problem.

More than a decade ago, conservative commentator and author Margaret Hoover — great granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover — recognize the problem.

I met her in 2011 when we talked about her book American Individualism.

And as you listen in the next few minutes, you may recognize some familiar themes that permeate politics to this day, including the Republican identity crisis Margaret Hoover talks about.

So here now, from 2011, Margaret Hoover.

Margaret Hoover is 45 now. She is host of “Firing Line” on PBS.


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Newt Gingrich

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Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich was first elected to Congress from George’s sixth district in 1978. By the end of the 1980s, he had risen to a position of leadership in the House GOP.

In 19 for Gingrich was a leader in the Republican wave that took over the house, and Gingrich became the first Republican house speaker in 40 years.

But by 1997 infighting in the party put Gingrich on the defensive.

Gingrich himself help fan the flames of discontent when, in late 1997, he almost single-handedly shut down the federal government. It was a squabble over a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. And Gingrich was upset because he had apparently been snubbed on a flight on Air Force One.

In 1998 Gingrich wrote a book he called Lessons Learned The Hard Way.

So here now from 1998, Newt Gingrich.

Newt g resigned from the house in January 1999. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Gingrich is 78 and remains active in Republican politics. His new book Defeating Big Government Socialism: Saving America’s Future will be published in July.


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Andrew Cuomo

New York governor, or more precisely, soon-to-be ex governor, Andrew Cuomo has certainly had a rough few weeks.

In the face of a scathing report accusing him of sexual misconduct, Cuomo last week announced his resignation. It was a breathtaking fall from his Emmy award-winning performance during the pandemic in 2020.

And now the political future looks very murky for a man once considered the future of the Democratic Party.

I met Andrew Cuomo in 2003, when he was promoting a book, an anthology of essays by Democrats and Republicans on politics in America.

And Cuomo’s comments from 18 years ago still sounds very current.

So here now, from 2003, Andrew Cuomo.

Andrew Cuomo is 63. He’ll leave office nexxt week.

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Dan Quayle

Dan Quayle was a Republcian U.S. Senator from Indiana. and not a very well-known Senator, when George H.W. BuSh chose him as his 1988 running mate. Quayle took a lot of heat from critics who derided him as an intellectual lightweight.

Bush won that election, and Qualye became America’s 44th vice president.

But the 1992 camapign proved more difficult for Bush and Quayle.

It was in June of ’92 that Quayle visited an elementary school in New Jersey. It wa supposed to be just another routine campaign photo-op, a school spelling bee.

A 12-year-old boy went up the blackboard to spell his word, “potato.” But Quayle “corrected” him, insisting there was an “e” at the end of “potato.”

Things just kind of went downhjll from there.

I first met Dan Quayle about two years later, after he’d written a memoir. And as you’re about to hear, he had a sense of humor about The Potato Incident.

Here now, from 1994, Dan Quayle:

Dan Quayle is now 73. He lives with his wife Marilyn in retirement in Arizona. They’ve been married for 47