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Vice President Mondale to Speak at Humphrey Institute Monday Morning

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Picking the Vice Presidential Nominees: What Should We Look For?
Monday, March 24, 2008.
8:30am - Noon; Hubert H. Humphrey Center

"The Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota and Presidential Studies Quarterly are convening a national conference on Monday, March 24th to examine the selection of the vice presidential running mates in 2008.

As both the Democratic and Republican Parties move toward selecting their respective presidential nominees, attention will now shift to the selection of the vice presidential running mate. The increased power and responsibility of the vice presidency under Richard Cheney makes the selection of the running mate more important than ever.

The rules for selecting running mates seem scrambled, however. The old rules of using the vice presidential pick to create a "balanced" ticket in terms of region, party factions, and other factors no longer consistently apply. Bill Clinton and George Bush both chose running mates that were similar to themselves in many respects.

What should we look for in the next vice president? What political factors are likely to influence the selection of a running mate in 2008? What role should be played by experience, temperament, and understanding of the role of the Office of the Vice President? What should we look for in a running mate's understanding of the Vice President's role within America's constitutional system?

Join Vice President Walter Mondale, former Governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and other prominent scholars, George Edwards III, Joel Goldstein, Lawrence Jacobs, Douglas Kriner, Richard Moe, Kathryn Pearson, and Steven Schier to discuss the political, personal, and institutional considerations in selecting vice presidential nominees. "

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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