Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Presidential Elections and Dubuque

It's not every day the President of the United States visits Dubuque, but every eight years or so we find ourselves a destination on the campaign trail for reelection. Our last visit was by President George W. Bush in May of 2004. Other incumbent presidents who have visited Dubuque include Jimmy Carter in 1979, Franklin Roosevelt in 1936, Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, and William McKinley in 1899. John F. Kennedy visited Dubuque, too, but in 1956, five years before being sworn in as President.

Today President Obama will be speaking at the Alliant Energy Amphitheater at the Star Brewery. If you're curious about what's happening, but stuck at work or home, you can follow the action on Twitter, where professional journalists and average people will share their observations with the world. Subscription or no, you can follow the Telegraph Herald's updates on Twitter here: or follow the general chatter by searching for tweets tagged #ObamaIA

Tags are a useful way to follow many current topics, especially when an official tag has been established, but you can also search Twitter for general keywords.

Besides Twitter, your public library is a great place to find information about presidential campaigns. Blogger John Nichols, after he covered the Iowa Caucuses here in 2008 for The Nation, argued that Barack Obama's presidency actually started at Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque.

Paul Ryan,
Vice Presidential Candidate
And more recently, a librarian in Janesville, Wisconsin, made an important contribution to a New Yorker article on Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, told this story to Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air:
You know, one of the most impressive things about Janesville, which is a really nice little town, is the library. They've got this fantastic library, and they have a little room at the library in Janesville devoted to the history of Janesville.

And when I went in to see a librarian and told her I was writing about Paul Ryan, and I wanted to learn about the history of the town and the history of his family, she stopped, and she said: Oh, Paul Ryan, I was a librarian at his high school. He was so popular. You know, I loved him.

And she was very proud to take me into the Janesville room and started pulling out his high school yearbooks and showing me, you know, the prom pictures and the class president pictures and all the rest. And then you get to one page in his senior yearbook, and, you know, as I guess a lot of seniors have, they had a senior survey. And Paul Ryan, in the senior survey, was voted by his classmates the biggest brownnoser. So that's how I found that out. His former librarian showed me his yearbook.
So what better place to learn about the campaigns than where a lot of the action is going down, at public libraries?

But seriously, if you're looking to read more about United States Presidential Elections, Carnegie-Stout has the books for you. Below are a few titles, but we also recommend searching the catalog for these keywords:
Presidents -- United States -- Election
Presidents -- United States -- Nomination
Political Campaigns -- United States

Selecting a President by Eleanor Clift & Matthew Spieler (324.973 CLI)

Why Iowa?: how caucuses and sequential elections improve the presidential nominating process by David Redlawsk (324.2777 RED, Iowa Books)

Tension City: inside the Presidential debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain by James Lehrer (324.73 LEH) This title was the topic of a staff review, click here to read more.

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