Kerwin Swint

So What if Hillary Gives a Lousy Speech?

Name of Publication: 
The National Review
Excerpt of Article: 

by ELIANA JOHNSON June 16, 2015 4:00 AM

Hillary Clinton announced her first run for the presidency by e-mail and then by video, seated on a couch in the sunroom of her home and surrounded by overstuffed floral pillows. “While I can’t visit everyone’s living room,” she said, “I can try.” As an American teenager might say: awkward. Clinton’s second presidential announcement came on Twitter, then in another video that departed from the 2008 version in that it barely featured her. It went over a lot better.

On Saturday, Clinton re-launched her campaign with a speech, a move that underscores both the importance of speeches in American political life and one of Clinton’s greatest vulnerabilities. Great speeches require something Clinton has refused to give: exposure, access, the illusion of intimacy. Standing up in front of a crowd makes you feel a little bit naked. But speeches are supposed to give us a sense of who our politicians are, what they believe, whether they can perform under pressure — and, on a fundamental level, they are supposed to give us a sense of whether we like them or not. That’s why speeches have the potential to put politicians in the history books or write them out entirely. ...

Warren, and Obama before her, had the advantage of being able to introduce themselves to the country. Clinton doesn’t. “In order to make a great, groundbreaking speech it helps if one has something important, or new, to say,” says Kerwin Swint, a professor of politics at Kennesaw State University. “She doesn’t.” Swint says that, given Clinton’s voluminous public statements over the past three decades, “It’s hard to imagine her making a major policy address that would contain anything she hasn’t already laid bare. It would also be hard to see her making a major ‘personal’ address where she lays bare her soul.” ...

 

Mayor Reed blasts critics over firing backlash

Name of Publication: 
WSB-TV
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 7:01 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

ATLANTA — 

Atlanta’s Mayor is firing back on social media to people criticizing his termination of the former fire chief.

Mayor Kasim Reed fired Kelvin Cochran after Cochran wrote and distributed a book critical of homosexuals.

“Most of the tweets, emails and petitions are not from people I represent, not from people from Atlanta. And the overwhelming are not from Georgia,” Reed told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston.
 
Reed is known for speaking his mind. In one tweet, he silenced a man who criticized his decision tweeting, “And you should keep your ignorance, range and intolerance in Houston, where it appears that you live.”
 
To Clink M. Kelly, the mayor tweeted, “And you are living proof that people offer uninformed opinions on matters they know nothing about. Enjoy Charleston.”

Reed told Huddleston he is not about to change his mind about his decision to fire Cochran.
 
“I think in Atlanta, the home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we welcome robust debate and differences of opinion,” said Reed.

Political experts say Reed may have gone too far in his tweets.

“Sometimes the mayor’s tone has gotten in the way of his message. He does have a temper,” said Professor Kerwin Swint with the Kennesaw State University Political Science Department.

 

He said Twitter could come back to haunt Reed politically.

 

“Twitter is a very dangerous medium, and you have to be very careful about what you say and how you say it,” said Swint.

Barry Loudermilk: Backlash "intensity" unexpected

Name of Publication: 
Bartow Neighbor
Excerpt of Article: 
by Hilary Butschek
January 13, 2015 11:39 AM

The day after voting to re-elect Speaker John Boehner, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R–Cassville, said he did not expect the “intensity” of the backlash against his vote. 

Loudermilk denied flip-flopping on a campaign promise to elect new leadership, saying he voted against Boehner last November during a vote to determine the Republican nominee for speaker.

“Nobody stood up to challenge John Boehner [in November],” Loudermilk said. “Even without a challenge I cast a ‘no’ vote because I thought we needed something different. There’s no cameras there, so I had nothing to gain. It was not a grandstand. It was truly a principled vote that I thought we needed new leadership. [Tuesday] was not the time to have that fight — that was back in November.”

Loudermilk was one of the 216 votes that saw Boehner re-elected speaker Jan. 6. Twenty-five Republicans voted for other candidates or voted present. Runner-up Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., received 164 votes.

During his campaign, Loudermilk said he signed a pledge that he “would vote against the speaker at the earliest opportunity or the first opportunity to do so” — and he said he did. ...

That pledge wasn’t a “core principle” of his campaign, but it was mentioned, and many of his constituents have misconceptions about his Jan. 6 vote for Boehner, Loudermilk said Jan. 7. 

Loudermilk said he had no other choice but to vote for Boehner. ...

Loudermilk said his staff has been reading comments from Facebook and answering phones about the vote all day and he understands why some are blasting him for allegedly going back on his word.

“I truly understand why they’re upset. I’m upset that that’s the choice that I had to make yesterday,” Loudermilk said.

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said the Loudermilk camp should not worry about the negative comments swarming this week; it will blow over soon.

“I think they did the only thing they could do under the circumstances, so I don’t think it will hurt him or any Republican at all down the line,” Swint said. ...




 

White voters dominated Georgia’s election last month

Name of Publication: 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Nunn, Carter have political futures — should they choose to run again

Name of Publication: 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 4:59 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014

By Aaron Gould Sheinin and Jeremy Redmon - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jason Carter waded into his crowd of supporters gathered in an Atlanta hotel ballroom Tuesday after conceding defeat to Gov. Nathan Deal, hugged friends and posed for pictures.

One of his admirers shouted: “Four more years and you got it!” Carter smiled but didn’t take the bait. He also didn’t take questions from reporters then and hasn’t publicly spoken of his plans since. Nor has fellow Democrat Michelle Nunn, who lost to David Perdue in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race.

But they both would have a bright future in politics if they decide to run again, state Democratic leaders say. Both are young, well-educated and articulate candidates with strong political pedigrees. Carter is a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. And Nunn is the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. ...

Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist, said a 2018 run for governor is possible for Carter.

“I always thought that this could be just a trial heat for him, like a warm-up act, and that 2018 might be an even better opportunity for him,” Swint said. “We might have a different environment by then, too. Obama will be gone. It will be an open seat.” ...

Experts try to make sense of gap between polls and vote in Georgia

Name of Publication: 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 4:59 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

By Nancy Badertscher and Shannon McCaffrey - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

There was one thing most polls seemed to agree on in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election — the two top races in Georgia were so excruciatingly close that both might have to be decided by runoffs.

But then the voters stepped in. Republicans won in a rout. It wasn’t a horse race — it was a political blowout.

There was one thing most polls seemed to agree on in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election — the two top races in Georgia were so excruciatingly close that both might have to be decided by runoffs.

But then the voters stepped in. Republicans won in a rout. It wasn’t a horse race — it was a political blowout.

Meanwhile, some earlier surveys were simply imprecise. They relied on automated calling and Internet surveys, cheaper methods scorned by more established pollsters.

“We have major polling problems (in Georgia),” said Kerwin Swint, chairman of the political science department at Kennesaw State University.

“No one here knows how to model turnout based on voting patterns, population, and issues.” ...

Cobb politicos: Holder controversial, partisan AG

Name of Publication: 
The Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Ricky Leroux
September 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 1744 views |

MARIETTA — Cobb officials and politicos are mixed on the impact Attorney General Eric Holder has had on the country. Holder announced his resignation this week. 

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said Holder has been more political in his responses to issues while in office than his predecessors, which has resulted in some criticism.

“I think he’s going to be looked at as a very partisan attorney general, someone who tried to help his president, Barack Obama, move forward on issues like gay rights, civil rights (and) voting rights. … But (he) encountered significant opposition and a fair amount of controversy,” Swint said. 

Swint said he’s not implying Holder has done anything inappropriate, just that he was more willing than most attorneys general to engage in politics.

“He’s been one of our more controversial attorneys general,” he said. “He’s had some successes; he’s had his share of politicized fights over issues, over process with Congress. I’m sure Republicans won’t miss him, but Democrats will, I’m sure.”

As Swint predicted, Cobb residents had very different opinions on Holder, depending on their party. ...

 

On one side Georgia voter registration probe a big deal, on the other not so much

Name of Publication: 
Athens Banner-Herald
Excerpt of Article: 
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ATLANTA | Beyond the headlines and campaign rhetoric, the state’s investigation into possible irregularities by a Democratic-leaning group’s efforts to register blacks, Asians and Hispanics to vote has many facets, and not all are yet known.

The investigation into the New Georgia Project began in early May, when local registrars started reporting to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division that voters had complained of intimidation and that documents turned in by the group appeared suspicious. In all, officials in 13 counties so far — from Effingham and Toombs in the southeast to Coweta and Gwinnett in the northwest — have submitted suspicious documents to state investigators.

Since Secretary of State Brian Kemp is a Republican, Democrats and officials of the New Georgia Project have alleged in the media that the investigation is a GOP attempt at minority voter suppression. But many of the complaints that triggered the probe originated in Democrat-controlled counties like Muscogee, DeKalb and Fulton. ...

Because one of New Georgia’s leaders is state Rep. Stacey Abrams, an advisor to Michelle Nunn’s campaign for the U.S. Senate and the state House Democratic leader, at least one GOP operative has said repeatedly that Nunn is tied to the scandal.

“Michelle Nunn’s direct ties to the state voter registration fraud investigation run deep,” said Leslie Shedd, spokeswoman for the Georgia Republican Party’s Georgia Victory initiative.

But no direct evidence of Nunn’s involvement has surfaced other than her association with Abrams. Nunn’s campaign has its own voter-registration effort in conjunction with the Democratic Party of Georgia and Jason Carter’s campaign for governor.

Neither side is not above political gamesmanship, according to Kerwin Swint, a former political operative who is now a political science professor at Kennesaw State University.

“Both parties are trying to position themselves to win the turnout game,” he said.

Kemp, like other Republicans, is trying to counter registration gains Democrats have made in recent years, Swint said.

“Stacey Abrams claims her efforts are nonpartisan, though they are clearly partisan. They are trying to register as many Democrats as possible,” he said. “Brian Kemp claims he is simply trying to uphold the law, yet there is no doubt his efforts also have a partisan intent.” ...

 

PolitiFact: Mayor on target with claim about campaign promises

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 2:37 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014

By April Hunt - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Everyone knows those folks who want to get elected will make promises they later shrug them off with the same speed as they hand off squirming toddlers.

So imagine the cynical overload when the AJC’s Truth-O-Meter read this absolute in a recent press release from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed:

“He’s kept every promise he made as a candidate, including re-opening the city’s recreation centers, reforming the city’s pension plan, standing up a force of 2,000 police officers and not raising property taxes,” the release claimed. ...

We could nitpick since Atlanta had just 1,971 officers on the force this week, as it struggles with the same churn other local law enforcement agencies face.

But PolitiFact Georgia wants to be more skeptical than cynical. So we dug into press coverage during Reed’s 2009 campaign and found smaller promises that need some explaining: ...

So, would accepting those explanations mean giving Reed too much leeway to keep his promises?

Not necessarily. Politicians tend to keep promises more than you might think, said Kerwin Swint, the chairman of the political science department at Kennesaw State University.

Blame — sigh — the media for implying candidates don’t at least try, according to Thomas Patterson’s 1993 book, “Out of Order,” Swint said. It cites four studies of seven presidential campaigns and found that once elected, presidents keep the promises they made as candidates.

“In general, politicians try to keep their promises because it’s in their best interest to do so,” Swint said. “From their point of view, they can’t wave a magic wand and make things happen. There is a process, and that can seem like foot-dragging to critics.” ...

 

 

Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Plan

Name of Publication: 
National Review Online
Excerpt of Article: 

A leaked document gives the public a look. 

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