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Encyclopedia > Lee Atwater

Harvey Leroy "Lee" Atwater (February 26, 1951March 29, 1991) was an American Republican political consultant and strategist. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Newberry College, a small private Lutheran institution in Newberry, South Carolina. is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... Political consulting is the business which has grown up around advising and assisting political campaigns, primarily in the United States. ... Nickname: Location in Fulton and DeKalb counties in the state of Georgia Coordinates: , Country State Counties Fulton, DeKalb Government  - Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) Area  - City  132. ... Newberry College is a liberal-arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located on an ninety acre (324,000 m²) campus in Newberry, South Carolina. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... Newberry is a town in Newberry County, South Carolina, 43 miles (69 km) west -northwest of Columbia. ...


Atwater was a trusted advisor of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He was also a political mentor and close friend of Karl Rove. Atwater invented many of the techniques of modern smashmouth politics, a style of politicking that attempts to destroy the careers and reputations of political opponents. His opponents characterized him as the "happy hatchet man"[1] and "the Darth Vader of the Republican party". For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... “Reagan” redirects here. ... George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993. ... Karl Christian Rove (born December 25, 1950) is Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush until the end of August 2007. ... Smashmouth politics is a term that is used to describe a political campaign in which every effort is made to destroy the reputations, careers and lives of political opponents. ... Darth Vader is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ...


Atwater was also a musician. He briefly played backup guitar for Percy Sledge during the 1960's, and frequently played with bluesmen such as B.B. King. Atwater recorded an album with King and others on Curb Records in 1990 entitled "Red Hot & Blue". Percy Sledge Percy Sledge (born November 25, 1941 in Leighton, Alabama) is a US-American R&B and soul performer. ... Riley B. King aka B. B. King (b. ... Curb Records is a country record label started by Mike Curb in 1973, after leaving MGM Records. ...

Contents

Career

Atwater's aggressive tactics were evident in 1980, when he was a consultant for Republican candidate Floyd Spence in his campaign for Congress against Democratic nominee Tom Turnipseed. Atwater's tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by "independent pollsters" to "inform" white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists. At a press briefing, Atwater planted a "reporter" who rose and said, "We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment." Atwater later told the reporters off the record that Turnipseed "got hooked up to jumper cables" - a reference to electroconvulsive therapy that Turnipseed underwent as a teenager. Floyd Davidson Spence (April 9, 1928-August 16, 2001) was a Republican politician from South Carolina. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. ... The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is one of the oldest and most influential hate organizations in the United States. ... James Strom Thurmond (December 5, 1902 – June 26, 2003) was an American politician who served as governor of South Carolina and as a United States Senator representing that state. ... This article is about communism as a form of society, as an ideology advocating that form of society, and as a popular movement. ... Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock, is a controversial psychiatric treatment in which seizures are induced with electricity. ...


"Lee seemed to delight in making fun of a suicidal 16-year-old who was treated for depression with electroshock treatments," Turnipseed recalled. "In fact, my struggle with depression as a student was no secret. I had talked about it in a widely covered news conference as early as 1977, when I was in the South Carolina State Senate. Since then I have often shared with appropriate groups the full story of my recovery to responsible adulthood as a professional, political and civic leader, husband and father. Teenage depression and suicide are major problems in America, and I believe my life offers hope to young people who are suffering from a constant fear of the future." [1] The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly. ...


Ed Rollins, who managed Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign, tells several Atwater stories in his 1996 book, Bare Knuckles And Back Rooms. According to Rollins, Atwater ran a dirty-tricks operation in 1984 against vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. This included the allegation that Ferraro's parents had been indicted for numbers running in the 1940s. Ferraro disappeared for a few days to 'recover' from the accusation. Rollins also described Atwater as "ruthless," "Ollie North in civilian clothes," and one who "just had to drive in one more stake." Ed Rollins is an experienced Republican campaign consultant and advisor. ... Geraldine Anne Ferraro (born August 26, 1935) is a Democratic politician and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Atwater's most noteworthy campaign was the 1988 presidential election. A particularly aggressive media program, including a television advertisement related to the case of Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who subsequently committed a rape while on a furlough from a life sentence in a Massachusetts prison, undoubtedly helped George H. W. Bush overcome Michael Dukakis's 17-percent lead in early public opinion polls and win both the electoral and popular vote. Although Atwater clearly approved of the use of the Willie Horton issue, the Bush campaign never ran any commercial with Horton's picture, instead running a similar but generic ad. The original commercial was produced by an Americans for Bush, an independent group managed by Larry McCarthy, and the Republicans benefited from the coverage it attracted in the national news. The election was held on November 8, 1988. ... Willie Hortons mugshot on the Weekend Passes ad William R. Horton (born August 12, 1951 in Chesterfield, South Carolina) is a convicted felon who was the subject of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program that released him while serving a life sentence for murder, without the possibility of parole, providing... Life imprisonment is a term used for a particular kind of sentence of imprisonment. ... George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993. ... Michael Stanley Dukakis (born November 3, 1933) is an American Democratic politician, former Governor of Massachusetts, and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988. ... Opinion polls are surveys of opinion using sampling. ... Revolving Door is a famous negative television commercial made for the 1988 United States Presidential Campaign. ...


During the election, a number of false rumors were reported in the media about Dukakis, including the claim by Idaho Republican Senator Steve Symms that Dukakis's wife Kitty had burned an American flag to protest the Vietnam War, as well as the claim that Dukakis himself had been treated for a mental illness. Althoug Atwater was accused of having initiated these rumors, there is no proof that he did so. Steve Symms Steven Douglas Symms was an American congressman (1973-1981) and U.S. senator (1981-1993) from the state of Idaho. ... Katharine Dickson Dukakis (born December 26, 1936), known as Kitty Dukakis, is the wife of former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


During that election, future president George W. Bush, the then vice president's son, took an office across the hall from Atwater's office, where his job was to serve as "the eyes and ears for my dad," monitoring the activities of Atwater and other campaign staff. In her memoir, Barbara Bush said that George W. and Atwater became "great friends." George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... White House Portrait Barbara Pierce Bush (born June 8, 1925) is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and was First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. ...


After the election, Atwater was named chairman of the Republican National Committee. This appointment was controversial, but Atwater's time as chairman was short, for in 1990, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The Republican National Committee (RNC) provides national leadership for the Republican Party of the United States. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... A brain tumor is any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or...


Atwater repents

Shortly before his death from a brain tumor he said he had converted to Catholicism, [through the help of Fr. John Hardon, SJ][2],and, in an act of repentance, issued a number of public and written apologies to individuals whom he had attacked during his political career, including Dukakis. In a letter to Tom Turnipseed dated June 28, 1990, he stated, "It is very important to me that I let you know that out of everything that has happened in my career, one of the low points remains the so called 'jumper cable' episode," adding, "my illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood, and probably never would have. So, from that standpoint, there is some truth and good in everything." [3] A brain tumor is any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      As a Christian ecclesiastical... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


In a February 1991 article for Life Magazine, Atwater wrote: A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ...

My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring -- acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don't know who will lead us through the '90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.

Atwater on the Southern Strategy

As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to historian Alexander P. Lamis. Part of this interview was printed in Lamis' book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater's name revealed. Bob Herbert reported on the interview in the October 6, 2005 edition of the New York Times. Atwater talked about the GOP's Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan's version of it: This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to the focus of the Republican party on winning U.S. Presidential elections by securing the electoral votes of the U.S. Southern states. ... “Reagan” redirects here. ...

Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964… and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster…
Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps…?
Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.' [4][5][6]

Harry S. Dent, Jr. ... The National Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. Â§ 1973-1973aa-6)[1] outlawed the requirement that would-be voters in the United States take literacy tests to qualify to register to vote, and it provided for federal registration of voters in areas that had less than 50... George Corley Wallace, Jr. ... // Nigger is a racial slur used to refer to dark-skinned people, especially those of African ancestry. ...

Lee Atwater and R&B music

As a teenager in Columbia, South Carolina, Atwater played guitar in his own rock band, The Upsetters Revue. His special love was R&B music. He released an album called "Red, Hot And Blue" on Curb Records, featuring himself with Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Chuck Jackson, and B.B. King, who got co-billing with Atwater. Robert Hilburn wrote about the album in the April 5, 1990 issue of the Los Angeles Times: "The most entertaining thing about this ensemble salute to spicy Memphis-style '50s and '60s R & B is the way it lets you surprise your friends. Play a selection such as 'Knock on Wood' or 'Bad Boy' for someone without identifying the singer, then watch their eyes bulge when you reveal that it's the controversial national chairman of the Republican Party... Lee Atwater." Nickname: Location in Richland County in the state of South Carolina Coordinates: , Country United States State South Carolina Counties Richland County, South Carolina Government  - Mayor Bob Coble, (D) Area  - City  133. ... Carla Thomas (born December 21, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee) is often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. ... For the American arctic explorer, see Isaac Israel Hayes Isaac Lee Hayes (born August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tennessee) is an American soul and funk singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger, and actor. ... Samuel David Moore (born 12 October 1935, Miami, Florida) is an American rhythm and blues singer best known for his work in the soul duo Sam & Dave. ... Chuck Jackson (1937 - ) is an R&B singer who was one of the first artists to successfully record material by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. ... This just IN !!!:paris hiltons new dog. ...


Atwater's influence

During the 2000 presidential race, tactics that resembled Atwater's began to surface when Arizona Senator John McCain's campaign entered the crucial Southern state of South Carolina. Though no credible evidence has been uncovered, the "whisper campaign" that damaged McCain's chances in that state is often attributed to Karl Rove,[citation needed] a longtime friend, later named Senior Political Advisor to George W. Bush. For McCains grandfather and father, see John S. McCain, Sr. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude... A whisper campaign is a method of persuasion in which damaging rumors or innuendo are spread about the target, while the source of the rumors seeks to avoid being detected while spreading them (for example, a political campaign might distribute anonymous flyers attacking the other candidate). ... Karl Christian Rove (born December 25, 1950) is Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush until the end of August 2007. ...


Part of the "whisper campaign" included allegations that McCain had an illegitimate interracial daughter with a black woman. McCain in fact had an adopted daughter from Bangladesh.[2]


Four years later, the New York Times ran an article which connected groups promoting that message about McCain with Republican operatives and advertising firms with ties to the so called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" who impugned John Kerry's service record in Viet Nam. Rove's hand in both efforts was implied in the article. [citation needed] John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts, in his fourth term of office. ...


See also

United States Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (right) is a long-term brain tumor survivor who continues to serve in public office. ...

References

  1. ^ Huffington, Ariana. The Jeffords Affair. Salon.com, May 31, 2001
  2. ^ Davis, Richard H.. "The anatomy of a smear campaign", The Boston Globe, March 21, 2004. 

Salon. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

  • Brady, John (1997) Bad Boy: The Life and Politics of Lee Atwater. Reading, Mass.: Addison Wesley Publishing Company.

External links

Resources

  • Lee Atwater and T. Brewster, "Lee Atwater's Last Campaign," Life Magazine, February 1991, p. 67.
  • Tom Turnipseed, "What Lee Atwater Learned and the Lesson for His Protégés," Washington Post, April 16, 1991, p. A19.
  • John Joseph Brady, Bad Boy: The Life and Politics of Lee Atwater (1997), ISBN 0-201-62733-7.
  • Alexander P. Lamis (editor), Southern Politics in the 1990s (1999), ISBN 0-8071-2374-9.
  • Alexander P. Lamis, The Two-Party South (1990), ISBN 0-19-506579-4.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lee Atwater - SourceWatch (721 words)
Atwater was a trusted advisor of U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Atwater's aggressive tactics were evident in 1980, when he was a consultant for Republican candidate Floyd Spence in his campaign for Congress against Democratic nominee Tom Turnipseed.
Atwater's tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by "independent pollsters" to "inform" white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP.
Lee Atwater (337 words)
Harvey Leroy "Lee" Atwater (February 26, 1951 - March 29, 1991) was a Republican National Committee chairman during the latter part of the 1980s.
Atwater was a trusted advisor of both President Ronald Reagan and President George H. Bush.
Those who opposed him described Atwater as "the Darth Vader of the Republican party", "the happy hatchet man", and "the guy who went negative for the sheer joy of it." At the same time, there is little doubt Atwater understood the politics of his generation, and how to act upon them.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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