terry smith

Poor white people have been in the news a lot lately.  Most obviously they are a target voting group and natural constituency for Donald Trump.  But they are also the subject of some interesting recent non-fiction books.  One memoir entitled Hillbilly Elegy by a guy who grew up in rural Kentucky is actually a best seller, and a couple of others have had a real impact on how people think about this very large group of Americans.

Have you noticed one of the side effects of reality TV?  I guess people actually watch “Naked and Afraid” and “My 600-pound Self”.  I only know about these shows because I surf past them on the way to professional cage fighting and Real Housewives of Las Vegas.  Just kidding about cage fighting.  But seriously, this programming makes voyeurs out of normal people, but more importantly, causes them to think differently about their social and political worlds.

Commentary: Grading the Major Party Conventions

Aug 9, 2016

How did the parties do at the conventions?  Using the late journalist David Broder’s guide here’s how I think they did:

Commentary: The Art of the Acceptance Speech

Jul 26, 2016

I am not a convention junkie.  Mostly I read the day after about what went on.  But I do watch two events live: the presidential nominee acceptance speeches.

At the conclusion of each speech I turn off the TV and write down my impressions.  I am not interested in what the talking heads have to say.  Sometimes the next morning when I catch the analyses I wonder aloud: “Did those people watch the same speech I did?”

Commentary: Trump and the Media

Jun 14, 2016
Via Flickr user Gage Skidmore

I just finished an interesting book entitled The Republic of Spin by historian and journalist David Greenberg.  It is a history of how presidents have managed mass media.

Talking Politics - Reality Show Campaigns and Negative Ads

Apr 19, 2016
Sully Fox / KBIA file photo

I suppose it is possible for the 2016 presidential campaign to get more strange, and I expect it will.  It is the best reality show ever.  Here are some of the juicy parts:

  • Millions of voters Feeling the Bern
  • Trump and Cruz trading insults – about each other’s wives
  • A Clinton campaign that has been declared too big to fail
  • College students getting the vapors because some mean person chalked the word “Trump” on a sidewalk

Even The Donald and Megan have made up.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Talking Politics - A Huey Long Analogy

Mar 22, 2016
KBIA file photo

Earlier this year I compared Donald Trump to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi because no American came to mind.  Since then an American has come to mind.

This American was definitely a populist, finding passionate support among the dispossessed, discouraged and disillusioned.  He had an outsized personality.  He was unusually effective with his use of media.

Talking Politics- Ribbon Clerks Commentary

Feb 16, 2016
American flag
File Photo / KBIA

Welcome to Talking Politics. KBIA’s weekly show dedicated to talking about local and national politics. On this week’s show Dr. Terry Smith, KBIA’s regular political commentator and a political science professor at Columbia College is back in the studio with a commentary on what the term “ribbon clerks” means in the political arena. 

Talking Politics - Analogy on Presidential Politics

Feb 2, 2016
The Wingy / Flickr

Welcome to Talking Politics, KBIA’s Weekly show dedicated to talking about local and national politics. Today Terry Smith, a Columbia College political science professor and regular political commentator for KBIA, returns to the show for a commentary about an analogy he sees between a childhood passion of his and today’s presidential politics. The transcription of Terry Smith's commentary is below.

Talking Politics - Political Commentary

Oct 20, 2015
American flag
File Photo / KBIA

This week on KBIA's "Talking Politics" we’ve brought back a familiar voice and contributor, Dr. Terry Smith.

Dr. Smith is a regular political commentator for radio and television stations and is a political science professor at Columbia College.

Today, he tells us how the 2016 presidential election is shaping up and what some of the major differences are between the 2012 and the 2016 presidential race.

Talking Politics: Amendments, amendments, amendments

Oct 28, 2014
vote here sign
KBIA file photo

In this episode of Talking Politics, Prof. Terry Smith gives us an overview of what to expect from next week's midterm elections.

Eli Yokley of PoliticMo joined us this week to discuss Amendment 2, Amendment 6 and Amendment 10, which will each appear on ballots across Missouri next week.  They deal with everything from the use of certain types of evidence in court to the governor's ability to limit spending.

Talking Politics: 2014 Election Preview

Oct 27, 2014
State of Missouri


In this episode of Talking Politics, Prof. Terry Smith of Columbia College gives us an overview of the upcoming 2014 election.  Marshall Griffin gives us a look at Tom Schweich’s bid for state auditor that appears to be turning into a bid for governor. Finally, KBIA’s Bram Sable-Smith will walk us through the Columbia Police Department’s implementation of body cameras.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Tuesday was the last day at work for longtime Columbia College President Dr. Gerald Brouder.

Columbia College
File Photo / KBIA

Members of Columbia College’s presidential search committee say the college has selected the Washington D.C.-based recruiters Academic Search to help find Columbia College's next president – and the committee is aiming to introduce candidates by this Fall.

Islespunkfan / Flickr

At the first major league baseball game I ever saw, as a Cub Scout in old Sportsmans Park in north St. Louis, Stan Musial got his 2500th hit, a home run.  I became a Cardinals fan and a Stan Musial fan that day.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Columbia College has named current Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Terry Smith as its interim president. According to a press release today, when Dr. Gerald Brouder retires as President in August of this year, Smith will take over. The college has a goal of having a new president named by July 2014.

Commentary: Owning up to election predictions

Nov 15, 2012
Vox Efx / Flickr

Time to check my election predictions.  Even though they were a group project – three good and knowledgeable friends helped – I take full responsibility.

Vox Efx / Flickr

You may have heard of the Electoral College.  If certain unlikely but theoretically possible election scenarios play out tonight, then in the near future you will hear more about the Electoral College than the law should allow.

Commentary: The Polls

Oct 30, 2012
so Sara says / Flickr

Here’s a political quiz:

Which of the following is more annoying?

  1. Non-stop attack ads on your TV
  2. Public opinion pollsters calling your phone
  3. Both of the above are equally annoying

C is the correct answer, unless a pollster calls during dinner, in which case the correct answer is b.  Or if it is a female calling, it would be a pollstress, I suppose.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

This week on Talking Politics, Columbia College political scientist Terry Smith makes his predictions for November 6th. Plus, our “candidate conversation,” Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Susan Montee.

We hear again from Columbia College political scientist Terry Smith, who is a regular contributor to the show. In this commentary, he has his predictions for November 6th.

Commentary - 2012 election predictions

Oct 23, 2012
Marjie Kennedy / Flickr

I need to clarify a point I made in my last commentary.  When I said contributions to campaigns can be limited I was referring to federal campaigns --  President and Congress.  There are four states in which there are no limits on contributions to state campaigns – governor, state representative, etc. – and Missouri is one of the four.  Rex Sinquefield has given millions of dollars to candidates in both parties – because he can.

selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Common

Why is so much money spent on campaign advertising?  Why can’t it be restricted?  Why can’t the U.S. have elections like Britain or Canada, where campaigns last about five weeks?

Tonight when you say to your TV: “If I see one more negative ad I’ll scream” and then you see two more before the words have left your mouth, think of the acronym:


Commentary: The Mayor and the "Bogeyman"

Sep 19, 2012
The U.S. House of Representatives / The White House

Two small items in the New York Times from the Democratic Convention caught my eye.  The first was that Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, is now leading a Democratic SuperPac, one of those new types of fund-raising organizations, trying to pry big dollars loose from liberal donors.  Some of these donors have refrained out of principled opposition to SuperPacs.  Others have more personal reasons.  For example, George Soros has taken a pass because he could not get face time with President Obama.  So it will be a tough sell.

Commentary: The Democratic National Convention

Sep 11, 2012
firedoglakedotcom / Flickr

I again asked students in my American Political Parties class at Columbia College if President Obama’s acceptance speech was a success and if it changed their minds about him.  Of the six who sought the bonus points, four went in supporting Obama and none changed their minds.  Most comments were about the emotional power of the speech and how good a public speaker he is.  The criticisms were of the lack of specifics.  One was very positive despite her feeling that he had made little progress on his promises from four years ago.

Lig Ynnek / Flickr

This week on the show, commentator Terry Smith’s take on the Republican National Convention, and a conversation with a man who sat on the Missouri Supreme Court for two decades.

Commentary: The Republican National Convention

Sep 4, 2012
Lig Ynnek / Flickr

Okay.  What’s the deal with Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention?  Dirty Harry said, at the end of one of those movies: “A man’s got know his limitations.”  Eastwood should have taken Dirty Harry’s advice.  What were the Republicans thinking?


This week on the show: new laws go into effect in Missouri. Plus, a fascinating look at the history of the U.S. Senate seat Todd Akin and Claire McCaskill are running for this fall.

Commentary: Harry Truman's seat

Aug 28, 2012

The contemporary history of U.S. Senate elections in Missouri is fascinating.  It is filled with twists and turns, tragedy and farce.  It is extraordinary how rich its arc is and how fabulous the alternative histories that emerge from it are.

Kris Husted / KBIA

For KBIA’s Talking Politics, Ryan Famuliner sat down with Terry Smith, a regular contributor to the show, to talk about the fallout from Rep. Todd Akin’s comments regarding abortion and rape.

Matt Veto / KBIA

This week, Columbia College broke ground on a new science building. MU’s Confucius Institute is partnering with a program in the North Callaway school district. Plus, we’ll take you along with a trip through the ‘Mizzou Adventures in Education’ event.