Bush traveled all over the country trying to get support for his social security reform... and got no where. The public did not support it. The media and the left managed to shape public opinion.
Let me give you a tiny clue about how the real world works. When the economy is good and jobs are plentiful and wages are pretty good .... voters want nothing changed. Propose any sort of economic change and the voters will reject it. And they will let you know that changes will not be tolerated at the polls. Elected officials of both parties are reluctant to do things the voters don't want done. It is dangerous to their political health.
The Democrats socialist pitches did nothing in the 1920s. Times were good and public wanted nothing changed. However, when the depression came the voters wanted things fixed. They wanted change and would vote and support the man who offered change. That man was FDR.
The inflation and economic stagnation of the Carter years allowed Reagan to make changes. But once things were going good after 1984 the public would not support Reagan's proposed changes.
Things were good during the Clinton administration and Hillary care could not get off the ground. It matters not which party is in power. If the economy is good the public will not allow change.
It takes bad or unsettled times to make changes in our economic programs. When things are going good voters will not support economic policy changes. Both Democratic and Republican congressmen and senators can read the polls and they do listen to voters. They will not do what the public does not want done.
So many people just don't understand that we have a government " of the people, by the people, and for the people." Some of us have a great deal of trouble understanding how voters react to stimulus.
CT, I've posed this question to a few of the historian types on this forum, and I'll send it your way, for I'm verily confused as to what was actually happening in the '32 campaign in relation to the launch of the New Deal.
My understanding is that FDR ran as a conservative Democrat, which meant his platform was fiscally conservative and socially liberal (never a good mix, of course). His was a cut-spending, low-deficits, anti-tariff, pro-beer, bankers-suck platform. Sure, they called for regulation of the finance industry, and employment programs, but there was none of the radicalism of the first hundred days.
The way I see it, those 100 days would not have been anything had FDR taken office in January instead of March. Indeed, the New Deal was an unfortunate consequence of the slow adoption of the 20th amendment. Hoover's lame duck end-of-term went on too long. To me, that was what launched the New Deal, and not FDR's election promises/plank. Had FDR taken office in January, he would not have had those awful do-nothing months of Dec-Jan-Feb on which to blame for his newfound, unpromised, unvoted radicalism.
Just fishing for thoughts here.
btw, my question was not meant to challenge your post, which stands as a magnificent CT rule: good times = incumbancy, bad times = change.
I wonder, though, how and why it was that FDR ran in '32 on minimal change while in '33 institing huge change. Your dynamic works for '33, but it mystifies me as to why he stayed so conservative in '32. That make sense?