While You Were Underground: A Political Update for Cicadas

  • Written by Inside Elections
  • Published in Politics
Internet Party
By Nathan L. Gonzales

After living underground for 17 years, cicadas must find the political world a confusing place. So if you see any perplexed cicadas flying around the Washington area, wondering how things changed since the spring of 2004, just send them a link to this quick update. 

Considering Republicans were in control of the House, the Senate and the White House the last time Brood X emerged, obviously things are different. The period of time is also a prime example that there is no permanence in politics as the political fortunes for Republicans and Democrats have turned multiple times in the past 17 years.

So let’s bring the cicadas up to speed on each branch of government.

The White House
President George W. Bush went on to win reelection in 2004, which would be the last time a Republican won the popular vote in a presidential race. Nevertheless, his job approval rating continued to slide as Americans soured on the war in Iraq and his handling of Hurricane Katrina to the point that Bush became a liability for congressional Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. (On a side note, the president’s 22-year-old daughter, Jenna, is now Jenna Bush Hager, a co-host on NBC’s “Today” show.)

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry secured the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination and lost the general election to Bush. He is now the United States special presidential envoy for climate under President Joe Biden, the former senator from Delaware. 

Vice President Dick Cheney became one of the most hated men in Democratic circles. His daughter Liz Cheney was elected to Congress from Wyoming in 2016 and rose to the third-highest leadership position among House Republicans. Now she’s one of the most hated people among Republicans...

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