How far forward do presidential candidates and their political parties make plans for the nation?
July 9, 2004 1:12 PM   Subscribe

How far in advance do presidential candidates and their political parties make plans for the nation? That is to say, do they have a set of stated goals or milestones for the next 4 years? 8 Years? 20 years?

And I don't just mean the current set of candidates, or specifically the US either. I wondering primary about the thing called 'vision' and maybe a little bit about leadership as well. Do the things that are planned generally get accomplished, and when there is an agenda, what is it (and is it public)?
posted by milovoo to Law & Government (6 answers total)
The first 100 days is considered a milestone. The concept originated with FDR who jammed an extraordinarily aggressive spending and social welfare program through Congress within three months of taking office in 1933. The first person to use the lingo, IIRC, is JFK who warned that all that there was to be accomplished could not be done in the first one hundred days.

Since then, the media has picked up on this and likes to run wanky analysis pieces on "the first hundred days."
posted by PrinceValium at 3:54 PM on July 9, 2004

Do you mean are there social movements that span decades, and occasionally culminate in the offering of a candidate for office? Yes, there are. Check out the Project for the New American Century, the ACLU, the NAACP, and other large, old venerable institiutions. These organizations exist to promote "vision," and they undoubtedly shape the development of our candidates.

Think about it. The opposite of that is that politics doesn't grow out of the larger American culture, but is at the personal whim of the individuals who run for office, and they only get started on their agendas after they win. Doesn't sound too likely, does it? How would anyone win in the first place if they couldn't connect with a pre-existing agenda that the electorate cares about?

Bush, and, more importantly, the people who pull his strings, have had a hard-on for Iraqi oil since well before he took office. Probably going on 10 years now.

As for specifics, I don't think Google is going to help you. You need to take several history courses.
posted by scarabic at 3:57 PM on July 9, 2004

... And as to the other part of your question, whenever you hear a U.S. presidential candidate talk about his "plan" - whether he is talking about taxes, social programs, whatever - he is almost completely full of crap. Presidential candidates never know if they will be sworn in alongside a friendly or adverse Congress, and the legislative process invariably hacks up legislation that the President's staff sends it. As a result, Bush's and Kerry's domestic policy stump speeches are misleading and insulting; they imply to the less educated citizen that they have the authority to do all of this stuff by themselves, and in the process they have a bunch of congresscritters to blame when they invariably break these "promises."
posted by PrinceValium at 3:59 PM on July 9, 2004

1000 years? /BushIsHitlerFilter
posted by kirkaracha at 4:56 PM on July 9, 2004

"X Year Plans" were a tactic used by those bad old Communists (USSR, China-before-they-discovered-money) to get the more gullible of their subjects to be patient with them. Therefore, no modern "free world" politician today ever wants to make any utterance that might be mistaken for actual Planning.
posted by wendell at 8:15 PM on July 9, 2004

I think most would rather leave a legacy (end cold war for Reagan, revolutionize health care then finish middle east peace process for Clinton, a more US-friendly Middle East for W) than start a boring old plan which might someday come to fruition but which they don't get credit for.

But I'm just being cynical. The Iraq war could easily be seen as part of a long-term plan of changing the middle east and the world, as could any incremental improvements in education, the economy, and the environment.
posted by callmejay at 7:44 AM on July 10, 2004

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