Barry Goldwater

It All Started in Atlantic City: A Half Century of Convention Memories
Masquerading as an Idahoan landed coveted set of tickets

Columnist Walter Shapiro's first political convention was in 1964 when the Democrats nominated President Lyndon Johnson. (AFP/Getty Images file photo)

American political junkies and those with birthdays on Feb. 29 may be the only people in the world who reckon the years in units of four. This odd way of counting becomes particularly common around the presidential conventions as fragments from past campaigns come racing to the surface.  

My memory has unavoidably become longer than most. And as I begin packing for Cleveland, my mind goes racing back to other convention cites, other presidential nominees and, yes, other phases of my life.  

The Daisy Ad — A Half-Century Later
Will portraying Trump as a national security threat be persuasive?

Fears over a nuclear war propelled President Lyndon Johnson, center, to a landslide victory over Barry Goldwater in 1964. (Roll Call file photo)

Once upon a time, Barry Goldwater was the model of a reckless presidential candidate who couldn't be trusted with the nuclear codes.  

The conservative Arizona senator who upended the East Coast Republican establishment in the 1964 Republican race brought on the nuclear issue himself. There were wisecracks about "lobbing one into the men's room in the Kremlin," but even more damaging were Goldwater's serious comments about giving battlefield commanders control over nuclear weapons.   

Political Friendly Fire
Some of the worst things politicians said about a candidate in their own party

Tell us what you really think about Ted Cruz, John Boehner. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John Boehner made headlines when he called Sen. Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the Flesh" and said that he had "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."  

Boehner also said he would not vote for Cruz if he were the GOP presidential nominee. Republican problems with Cruz is nothing new. And it's not the first time there has been intra-party shade throwing.  

Office Space: Joe Wilson's South Carolina Archive

Wilson poses earlier this month on the House steps with students from Ridge View High School in Columbia, S.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In this week’s edition of Office Space, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., recalls his first trip to Washington, D.C., while finding time to show off his array of plaques, pictures and mementos.