A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

What is Triangulation?

Q: What is triangulation?
A:  In simple terms, it’s Democrats advocating some Republican positions or Republicans advocating some Democratic positions.

What Some CEOs Make in 10 Minutes

Q: Is Obama right to say some CEOs make more in 10 minutes than an average worker does in a year?

A: By our calculations only Steve Jobs did so in 2006.

World Trade Center Victims

Q: How many World Trade Center victims were from outside the U.S.?

A: About 21 percent were born outside the U.S., but only 1 percent were residents of foreign countries.

‘Dump Dennis?’

Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is now fighting to hold onto his House seat in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s the target of a tough attack ad that says he “gives a lot of speeches” but “doesn’t get much done.” But the ad is a textbook example of deceptive political advertising – it uses dramatic-sounding numbers that, put into context, aren’t such a big deal after all

John McCain’s Presidential Eligibility

Q: How can Panamanian-born McCain be elected president?
A: Though born abroad, he is considered a natural-born U.S. citizen.
FULL QUESTION:
I understand John McCain was born in Panama. Doesn’t that make him ineligible to be president? I thought the Constitution said you had to have been born in a state.
FULL ANSWER:
John McCain’s father was an admiral in the U.S.

Vice President Bill Clinton?

Q: Could former President Bill Clinton be vice president?
A: Probably not, but it’s an untested constitutional conundrum.

Obama’s Creative Clippings Part Deux

Summary
The Obama campaign’s new ad uses an old trick and takes quotes from newspapers out of context.

Once again, the campaign uses a quote from a news story to say Obama’s health plan would offer universal coverage. But the full article points out that his plan "does not guarantee" full coverage.
The ad also shows a clip saying that Obama has been against the war in Iraq since the beginning. True enough, but the story also chastises him for making too much of the boldness of his early stance.

Short Ads, Even Shorter on the Facts

Summary
Two recent ads by the Edwards campaign are quick and to the point, but they miss the mark. One claims that Edwards is the "only" Democrat who "beats" the leading Republican contenders in "the recent" CNN poll. Actually, Edwards wasn’t even included in the most recent CNN poll; the ad is referring to an older one. More recent polling has found that both Obama and Clinton are leading all of the Republican front-runners.

Obama’s Creative Clippings

Summary
Obama's ad touting his health care plan quotes phrases from newspaper articles and an editorial, but makes them sound more laudatory and authoritative than they actually are.

It attributes to The Washington Post a line saying Obama's plan would save families about $2,500. But the Post was citing the estimate of the Obama campaign and didn't analyze the purported savings independently.
It claims that "experts" say Obama's plan is "the best."

Huckabee Cut Crime and Taxes?

Summary
In the run-up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Huckabee is running a TV ad featuring graphics that claim he was "tough on crime" and "brought Arkansas' crime rate down," and that he "cut taxes over 90 times as governor."
In fact, the violent crime rate was higher at the end of his tenure than it was the year he took office. And the tax cuts he claims credit for were minor compared with the large increases he approved,