Outside Publication

Carpetbagger Battle Cry: Scrutinizing Durational Residency Requirements for State and Local Offices, Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, Volume 13, Issue 3


Senator Ted Kennedy was more Massachusetts than clam chowder. Robert La Follette inspired more Wisconsin pride than Packers football. These favorite sons, and countless others like them, were able to translate the trust and admiration of their home states into illustrious careers in the U.S. Congress. In contrast, former New York Senators Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton were famously labeled political "carpetbaggers" during their successful Senatorial campaigns. From its roots in the Reconstruction Era South, to its prominence in today's political discourse, the pejorative term "carpetbagger" generally refers to a political candidate who runs for office in a state or district where he has not lived for an extended period of time. Politicians identified as carpetbaggers have long been a source of local distrust and hostility, often perceived by long-time residents as having ulterior motives and being power-hungry.

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