Drudge Report, ABC highlight AP article that left out key data on Bush/Clinton "dynasty" issue

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

The Drudge Report and ABCNews.com both highlighted an Associated Press article that cited an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that, the article said, "found that fully one-quarter of all Americans said that the prospect of having at least 24 straight years of a President Clinton or Bush would be a consideration in their vote for president in 2008." But the AP left out the data on other responses to the question -- that a majority of respondents, 54 percent, said it would "not be a consideration at all." Nor did the AP report that the poll also found that 42 percent of respondents "feel positive" that former President Bill Clinton is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) husband, while only 28 percent "feel negative" about it.

A September 28 Associated Press article headlined "Bush, Clinton, Bush ... Clinton?" claimed that "sometimes, people just want to try something new" and then cited a July 27-30 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that, the article said, "found that fully one-quarter of all Americans said that the prospect of having at least 24 straight years of a President Clinton or Bush would be a consideration in their vote for president in 2008." But the AP omitted the flip side of the "fully one-quarter" figure -- that a majority, 54 percent, said "the prospect" would not be a consideration in their vote, with another 20 percent responding that it would be "not much of a consideration." The article also did not mention that the poll found that 42 percent of respondents "feel positive" that former President Bill Clinton is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) husband, while only 28 percent "feel negative" about it.

The poll asked: "If Hillary Clinton was elected president, some people say this would be a problem because it would mean at least twenty-four years of having a member of the Clinton family or the Bush family as president. Is this a serious consideration for you, not much of a consideration, or not a consideration for you at all?"

The AP article did quote presidential adviser David Gergen's comment that any "fatigue" factor Clinton faces is "overwhelmed by the positive nostalgia for Bill Clinton among Democrats," and that Columbia University professor Todd Gitlin said that while some people are bothered by the dominance of the two families, "right now there is one massive fatigue in America and that is with George Bush. No other fatigue comes close." The article then added Gitlin's concern that it is "a problem in some large sense that we seem to be alternating dynasties."

On September 28, The Drudge Report and ABCNews.com both highlighted the Associated Press article:

From the September 28 Associated Press article:

The Clintons and Bushes, he said, have built up strong "brand" recognition for their names just as the Kennedys did in an age of promise cut short by assassination making it harder for newcomers to compete.

But sometimes, people just want to try something new.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll taken over the summer found that fully one-quarter of all Americans said that the prospect of having at least 24 straight years of a President Clinton or Bush would be a consideration in their vote for president in 2008.

Even among Democrats, 17 percent said it would be a consideration. That compared with a third of all Republicans.

The nation has changed dramatically since the first Bush claimed the Oval Office in 1988: Then, the Soviet Union was exploring the notion of perestroika, a public Internet was a promise waiting to be fulfilled, gasoline cost about $1 a gallon and Hillary Clinton was an associate still hoping to make partner at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Ark.

[...]

Gergen said any fatigue factor Clinton faces is "overwhelmed by the positive nostalgia for Bill Clinton among Democrats."

The thought is seconded by Todd Gitlin, a professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism who has written a new book about national politics. He said that while some people are bothered by the dominance of the two families, "right now there is one massive fatigue in America and that is with George Bush. No other fatigue comes close."

But even if the issue is not a problem for Clinton, Gitlin said: "Is it a problem in some large sense that we seem to be alternating dynasties? Yes, I think democracy should be more expansive."

Network/Outlet
The Drudge Report, ABC, ABCNews.com
Person
Matt Drudge
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