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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: 2016 presidential race to go to next level

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 18, 2016 9:00 AM
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Photo by Scott LaMar/WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, January 18, 2016:

Whether he wins or not, Donald Trump will be remembered as the candidate who drove the 2016 campaign -- at least before the primaries.  Trump's bombastic, take-no-prisoners style, that sometimes offended, also made the headlines that forced the media and the other candidates to catch up.

It shows in the polls that have had Trump leading on the Republican side since the middle of the summer.

The most respected political pundits said and many still say Trump would never last -- that his abrasive persona would not play well with voters.

Polls are one thing -- actual voting is another.  Within the next three weeks, voters will decide on the candidates they support in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire Primary.

Another surprise has been the effectiveness of Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders.  Former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to cruise to the nomination.  But the polls have Clinton behind or running neck-in-neck with Sanders in both states.

Now that the election year of 2016 is actually here -- we wanted to refresh our look at the campaigns on Smart Talk.

Franklin and Marshall College Political Analyst Dr. G. Terry Madonna joins us on Monday's program.

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Terry Madonna

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Robert D Colgan img 2016-01-18 09:39

    The fact that the two parties continue to hold a lock on the American electorate translates to a controlled game outcome-----even if a Bernie Sanders were to come through and gain the Presidency.
    The fact that the DemocratsRepublicans ---who have essentially merged into one party through their shared interest in maintaining duopoly control----control the debates, control the news ("TrumpSpeak"), control virtually the entire conversation regarding what is considered "important" to the electorate.
    Unquestioningly, Sanders is the one bright spot: he is unafraid to openly and vocally attack the ruling corporate interests.....but though his message is one of genuine reform it is cloaked within the overriding aegis of the D/R duopoly who control the Congress and the entire system of revolving door politics that has handed Big Money its greater-than-ever empowerment in US government.

    We need to overthrow that duopoly--------we need 3rd parties such as the Green.
    We need alternate politicians to those of the dominating Parties if we are ever to have more effective gov't.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-18 09:49

    Matt from Hanover emails...

    Terry Madonna called Bernie Sander's positions "ultra-leftist." I suppose they look that way... if your view of politics starts with the Reagan era. Sanders (and really, most of the liberal wing of the Democratic party) is essentially looking to restore the economic policy status quo of the mid-20th century, when, in a related story, America had the most broadly successful economy in the history of the world.

    Madonna also called Hillary Clinton's policies "progressive or liberal." Again, this is only accurate if the frame one is using is "politics in the last 20 years." Hillary is a solid Beltway establishment candidate who, if elected, would continue the general decades-long drift of the US government towards selling public concerns to private interests. To call that "progressive or liberal" is to speak the language of Beltway cocktail parties since the early 90's.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-18 09:57

    Mike emails…

    Reporters must demand presidential candidates reveal their choices for cabinet secretaries. The candidates will claim they can't be sure who they'll be nominating before they're in office, but they know darn well who these people will be. Candidates can make any claim during a campaign, but once in office they'll be obligated to contributors and supporters unknown to most of us. They fulfill these obligations in part by appointing cabinet secretaries friendly to the people who supported them during the campaign.
    We deserve to know who is in line for cabinet appointments so we can judge who these contributors and supporters are.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-18 09:59

    Marc emails...
    What about Trump versus Sanders?

  • Robert D Colgan img 2016-01-18 10:07

    Also---------that voting in the USA is NOT mandated, but purely voluntary---- we are never going to have more effective representative election than we currently have.
    Only a SMALL number of voters actually decide an election in the USA....and it could be a relatively small number of Republicans or Democrats who are the ones responsible for getting people into higher office.

    One solution might be to mandate voting: tie it to driver's licensure or Social Security numbering.
    If you live as a citizen in the US, you'd HAVE to vote. Ultimately more people would become invested into the process of being active citizens.

  • Scott LaMar img 2016-01-18 12:02

    Christopher comments...
    Hillary is great politician. We want a leader.

    Politicians never give answers because they be used against them... That's why she always says "She'll look into it." We want a leader! Not a politician..