Collective Memory Project

Center for Presidential History

The Election of 2004

Image: Bush Defeats KerryThe Collective Memory Project (CMP) on the Election of 2004 explores the oft-overlooked, yet incredibly significant election cycle of 2004.  With a focus on the presidential election, this project explores the long story of 2004 - from the 2000 election, through party primaries, national party conventions, the day of the November election, and the election-aftermath.  A website dedicated to the Election of 2004 project will release in November 2014, in time for the 10th anniversary of this historic election.

As part of the Collective Memory Project, the Election of 2004 project builds around unique sources: long-form, filmed interviews, and their accompanying transcriptions.  As with the entire CMP, the CPH strives to conduct interviews not only with members of presidential administrations, but with others in the public and private sectors who played key roles in the life and times of the subject at hand.  For example, for the Election of 2004 project, you can expect to see interviews with the following, and more:  

Ken Mehlman - Manager of the 2004 Bush-Cheney Re-election campaign

Robert Shrum - Senior Advisor to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign

Joe Trippi - Manager for Howard Dean 2004 presidential campaign

Walter Shapiro - Journalist, and author of One-Car Caravan: On the Road with the 2004 Democrats Before America Tunes In

Dan Balz - Chief Correspondent at The Washington Post

In addition to providing access to these new, unique, and valuable primary resources, the Election of 2004 website will also include supporting material that will provide historical context for the films.  This will include original articles on key people, subjects, and events, as well as campaign videos, election maps, photographs, and other relevant material.  By providing all of this material in one place, the CPH seeks to create a central hub for the study of the 2004 Election, for researchers and the general public alike.

The CPH has been happy to partner with our colleague Dr. Michael Nelson (Rhodes College) on this project.  Dr. Nelson has functioned as the primary scholar and interviewer on the 2004 interviews.

If you are interested in contributing material to the website, whether original articles on relevant topics, or links to other supporting material, please contact Brian Franklin, Associate Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History, and Managing Editor of the Election of 2004 website, at