25th Amendment

One Term Presidents Who Lose Reelection Reassessed

The historical image of One Term Presidents is that it is the worst thing imaginable to lose reelection, and that their historical image is damaged.

Actually, though, it could be argued that a one term Presidency often is a blessing in disguise in the long run.

Let’s examine what happened to the lives of Presidents defeated for a second term.

John Adams lost reelection to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, but went on to live another 25 years, see his son John Quincy Adams be elected and inaugurated President, and die at the age of 90 years and seven months, the all time record until the 21st century, when four other Presidents surpassed him in age.

John Quincy Adams lost reelection to Andrew Jackson in 1828, but went on to live another 19 years, and be elected to nine terms as a Congressman from Massachusetts, engaged in the fight against slavery as the only President elected by popular vote to an elected office after being President.

Martin Van Buren lost reelection to William Henry Harrison in 1840, but went on to live another 21 years, and be the Presidential nominee of the Free Soil Party in 1848, winning about 10 percent of the national popular vote, the first such third party to have an impact on a national election.

Grover Cleveland lost reelection to Benjamin Harrison in 1888, but came back to the White House by election in 1892, and later served on the Princeton University Board of Trustees after his retirement.

William Howard Taft lost reelection to Woodrow Wilson in 1912, but went on to become the only President also to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1921-1930.

Herbert Hoover lost reelection to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, but went on to the longest retirement of more than 31 years, only surpassed by Jimmy Carter in 2012, and Hoover having growing respect for his post Presidential activities, and dying at the age of 90 in 1964, only five months less lifespan than John Adams, and the second President to reach that age.

Gerald Ford lost election to Jimmy Carter in 1976, after succeeding Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment, but went on to growing recognition and respect in his nearly 30 years after his Presidency, setting the record for longevity until 2018, dying at the age of 93 and five months.

Jimmy Carter lost reelection to Ronald Reagan in 1980, but went on to become the most outstanding former President in his activities and commitments to public service, and has had the longest retirement of any President, nearly 38 years, and has just reached the age of 94, being 111 days younger than George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, but went on to see his son, George W. Bush be inaugurated and serve two terms in the Presidency, and growing respect as he set the all time record of age 94 in June 2018.

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

Gerald Ford’s Pardoning Of Richard Nixon 44 Years Ago Today Should NOT Be Repeated For Donald Trump When And If Mike Pence Becomes President

On this day, 44 years ago, President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon, immediately undermining his Presidency, and insuring his defeat in a close race with Jimmy Carter for a full term in the Presidency in the election of 1976.

Ford was appointed Vice President under the terms of the 25th Amendment in October 1973, and confirmed and sworn in two months later, after Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned due to his own scandalous behavior.

Gerald Ford had nothing to do with the Watergate scandal, but by pardoning Nixon, while others involved in the scandal went to prison, he became highly controversial, and was attacked and vilified by many.

A quarter century later, however, Ford’s reputation revived, when a major critic, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, arranged for an award to be given to the former President, the John F. Kennedy library “Profile in Courage Award”.

Ford looks much better in history now, and in many ways, is the model of what an old style Republican President should be like, in the age of Donald Trump.

But this occasion of the pardoning of Richard Nixon brings to mind the idea that at some point, Donald Trump might be pardoned for his crimes, and the answer should be absolutely not, as Trump has gone way beyond Richard Nixon in his crimes, and will be shown to have committed treason, which no one has ever said Nixon did.

IF Vice President Mike Pence overcomes suspicions of his own collaboration and involvement in this massive scandal we are dealing with now, the worst thing he could do is pardon Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, there is no legal way to prevent such an action, but if it occurs, there will be a firestorm much worse than Ford experienced in 1974, and it would insure that Mike Pence would have no chance to be elected for a full term.

It would also further cement the demise of the Republican Party reputation, and likely, the future of the party under that name, and it could lead to the destruction of that party apparatus, and its replacement by a new mainstream conservative oriented political party.

Ranking Vice Presidents And Their Influence On Their Presidents, From Richard Nixon To Mike Pence

Recent information has made it clear that Vice President Mike Pence is a weak Vice President, apparently intimidated by President Donald Trump, and unwilling to challenge him in any way.

In fact, Mike Pence has fawned over Donald Trump in a very degrading way and manner, that we have never seen in any other modern Vice President.

Until Richard Nixon under Dwight D. Eisenhower, no Vice President ever had much impact on their President.

Nixon became the first activist Vice President, given lots of assignments and work, but never openly fawning on Ike.

Lyndon B. Johnson under John F. Kennedy was not utilized very effectively, but he never kowtowed to Kennedy.

Hubert Humphrey under LBJ knew he had to support the Vietnam War, but did not lose his dignity in the process.

Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon actually did a lot of work attacking the news media for Nixon, although he was poorly treated and abandoned by Nixon when he caused his own legal trouble, that forced him out of office.

Gerald Ford kept his dignity under Nixon in the eight months he was Vice President, before succeeding Nixon in the White House.

Nelson Rockefeller was given responsibilities by Gerald Ford, more than anyone since Nixon under Ike.

Walter Mondale became the most active and engaged Vice President, totally on the same wave length with Jimmy Carter.

George H. W. Bush, while not a “bosom buddy” of Ronald Reagan, played an important role and had total respect of Reagan.

Dan Quayle was a disaster under George H. W. Bush, and a real embarrassment, but Bush always treated him with respect, nevertheless, and kept him on the ticket for 1992.

Al Gore was very close and involved with Bill Clinton, until the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, which led to a breach never fully healed.

Dick Cheney was almost President in the sense that he was leaned on by George W. Bush in his first term, losing some of his power and input in the second term.

Joe Biden had the closest, most intimate relationship with Barack Obama, at least on the level of Walter Mondale with Jimmy Carter, and they remain close today, as do Mondale and Carter.

And now, Mike Pence, who seems afraid of his boss, Donald Trump, and it seems clear he has no guts to challenge Trump on anything, making him look totally wimpy and weak.

We are in a constitutional crisis, but Mike Pence is not willing to fight for the country and its democracy, but rather for Tyrant Donald Trump, so he will go down in history as a disgraceful Vice President, with no guts or courage to challenge Trump, and take away his authority under the 25th Amendment!

So, in conclusion, ranking the last 13 Vice Presidents in influence, one would say the ranking would be:

Joe Biden and Walter Mondale tied for first

Cheney, Gore and Bush tied for second.

Rockefeller and Nixon tied for third.

Johnson and Humphrey tied for fourth.

Ford, for shortage of time and circumstances, fifth.

Pence might be sixth, ahead of Agnew and Quayle at the bottom of the list.

Our future with Vice President Pence is not promising!

The House Of Representatives And The Presidency

The history of the Presidency shows us that Presidents come from the Governorship of a state, or the US Senate, or military leadership, or from being a Cabinet member under a President.

Only one House of Representatives member has gone directly from the lower chamber to the White House, James A. Garfield of Ohio, elected in 1880, but tragically shot after four months in office, and dying after six and a half months in September 1881.

A total of 19 Presidents served in the House of Representatives, however, including:

James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A Garfield
William McKinley
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
George H. W. Bush

Some interesting observations:

Gerald Ford served the longest in the House, nearly 25 years, hoping to be Speaker of the House one day.

James A. Garfield served the second longest, almost 18 years, followed by John Quincy Adams.

James K. Polk served as Speaker of the House of Representatives as part of his service.

While only Garfield was elected President from the House, four who served in the House succeeded to the Presidency from the Vice Presidency during a term and were not elected–John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Gerald Ford, with Ford the only one not elected to the Vice Presidency, but rather being appointed through the 25th Amendment.

14 of the 19 Presidents who served in the House of Representatives did so before the 20th century, with only 5 serving from the 1930s to the 1970s.

When one looks at the present House of Representatives, there are a number of Democrats who are seen as potential Presidential contenders and also a few Republicans who might join the race, depending on circumstances.

For the Democrats:

Joe Kennedy III (Massachusetts)
Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)
John Delaney (Maryland)
Joaquin Castro (Texas)
Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)
Adam Schiff (California)
Eric Swalwell (California)

Other potential Democrats who have served in the House of Representatives in the past include:

Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

For the Republicans:

Mike Pence (Indiana)
Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
John Kasich (Ohio)
Jeff Flake (Arizona)
Tom Cotton (Arkansas)

Are We On The Way To President Paul Ryan?

With the growing evidence of Russian collusion and lying by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and many others in the administration, the possibility is growing of the first time in American history where the Speaker of the House of Representatives might become President by succession.

It could have happened in 1974 had there not been the 25th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1967.

That amendment allowed for the appointment of Gerald Ford to replace Spiro Agnew, and within eight months of becoming Vice President, Ford became President.

If this had not been able to happen, there would have been no Vice President for ten months, and Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma would have become President, instead of Gerald Ford, when Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

Ryan may very well have been aware of Russian collusion in the eyes of some observers, but unless that is proved to be so, he would become President if Mike Pence was forced out, and Donald Trump was forced out, and if there was no time to select a new Vice President under the 25th Amendment.

Ryan, not at all admired, and much criticized by this blogger in 2012, when he was the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney. would be a terrible successor, with his Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy, and his desire to privatize Medicare and Social Security, and end the concept of government assistance to the needy through Medicaid, Food Stamps, and aid to dependent children.

We are in a time frame where Donald Trump is a nightmare, but Mike Pence, with his overtly theocratic view of religion and government is a different nightmare, and Ryan is a third example of what horrible choices the nation faces from the results of the Presidential Election of 2016.

It will take decades to recover the damage already done, and the damage yet to be done.

Mike Pence And Spiro Agnew: Two Crooked Vice Presidents?

It is seemingly a possibility that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in coverup of Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election, and that he has often lied about his involvement in that corrupt action.

Pence was the leader of the transition team for Donald Trump, and had to know about the illegal actions of Michael Flynn in that transition period, and in the 25 days that Flynn was National Security Adviser, before he was fired.

Pence is deeply enmeshed in the scandal that is being revealed by the investigation of Robert Mueller, and he may not survive to succeed Donald Trump, because he failed to keep himself separate from the emerging scandal.

This is very different than Gerald Ford, who insured by his words and actions that he could not be accused of any involvement in the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

Ford had replaced Spiro Agnew in the Vice Presidency under the 25th Amendment, with Agnew involved in conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud, having accepted payments from contractors during his time as Governor of Maryland and even the Vice Presidency itself, and resigned, having pleaded guilty to one felony charge of tax evasion.

So it could be that Mike Pence will go down in history as the second crooked Vice President forced out of office.

Pence is about to be interviewed by Robert Mueller, and Pence has had his own personal lawyer for months, so stay tuned as to what might happen that no one would ever have conceived when the Trump Presidency began.

The Reality: Mike Pence Likely To Become President

The situation Mike Pence faces as Vice President after less than a month in office is that he must be starting to realize that he will become President at some point during this term.

The same situation faced Gerald Ford in December 1973, when he became Vice President under the 25th Amendment, the first such use of that amendment just passed six years earlier.

Ford knew that Richard Nixon was in trouble, and Mike Pence knows Donald Trump is in trouble.

Both Ford then and now Pence must “walk on eggs”, and be careful about what they say and do, in order to avoid any untoward indications of interfering with the procedures used to judge whether the President they serve is someone who should be removed from office.

But at the end, it is likely that Mike Pence will feel a need to utilize Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, to remove Donald Trump from office as a danger to national security and stability, due to reckless and unstable behavior in the Oval Office.

Both Ford and Pence owed their elevations to the Vice Presidency to their Presidents, but just as Ford was prepared to take over the Presidency. so will Mike Pence be ready when the time is right. which is likely sometime later this first year of the Trump Presidency, which seems assured to be abbreviated to probably more than James A. Garfield (199 days) but much less than Zachary Taylor (492 days).

25 Days, And Major Scandal Which Brings Likely End Of Trump Presidency, And Mike Pence As 46th President Of The United States!

Only 25 days into the Trump Presidency, and already a scandal, and it is looking as if Donald Trump will be gone before the 199 days of James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881.

That would mean by August 7 that Trump will have left the White House.

It is six days until February 20, one month in office, the length of time of William Henry Harrison in the Presidency, before he died of pneumonia in 1841.

The Michael Flynn resignation as National Security Adviser puts Trump on the spot, as his “bromance” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with that of Flynn, endangers the national security interests of the United States.

Trump could be considered a traitor to the United States by many, and it seems very likely a move toward impeachment is likely in the short run.

It is also interesting that Vice President Mike Pence seems to have been the one to assert himself, and help to force Flynn out, so that is also a sign that Pence may be moving toward a possible challenge to his boss, which can be promoted by the 25th Amendment, Section 4, which I wrote about last month (January 22) on History News Network, with the article found on the right side of my blog.

One can now expect Mike Pence to be our 46th President of the United States before 2017 is over!

Is Mike Pence Able To “Do” A Gerald Ford? “Walk On Eggs” And Keep Legitimacy As A Future President?

43 Years ago, we had a flawed President, Richard Nixon, who was facing an impeachment crisis, as he had clearly violated the Constitution, and was on the way to an early end to his Presidency.

At that crisis moment, we had Gerald Ford, appointed by Nixon in October 1973 to replace the crooked Vice President, Spiro Agnew, who had been forced to resign. Nixon had chosen Ford over other more prominent figures—including John Connally, Ronald Reagan, Nelson Rockefeller— and two lesser figures of prominence who were much younger—George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole—due to the reality that Gerald Ford was well liked by the opposition Democrats, who would have the balance of power in confirming the Vice Presidential replacement under the 25th Amendment.

Also, Nixon believed that although Ford was well liked as the House Minority Leader by Democrats, that no one thought that highly of Ford as to want to make him a future potential President.

It turns out that the nation was blessed that we had Gerald Ford replacing Agnew in December 1973, as Ford did a masterful job of “walking on eggs” for eight months, demonstrating some support for Nixon, but in a careful measured way, as to keep his basic neutrality, as he fully realized he was likely to become the next President.

In 1998-1999, we know that Vice President Al Gore visited former President Gerald Ford, on a so called “social call”, but actually soliciting advice on how to handle the issue of the Bill Clinton sex scandal, which led to his impeachment and trial. It is now clear that Gore did the best he could in a bad situation, but that the close relationship of Gore to Bill Clinton was strained from that point on, and may have helped to doom the Gore Presidential race in 2000, in which Gore won the popular vote, but lost key states that resulted in George W. Bush winning the Electoral College.

Can Mike Pence, who assuredly will be the next President at some point during this term of office, be able to keep his credibility as Ford did, and Gore mostly did? Hard to say, but his appearance on Meet The Press today was not a good sign, as he clearly squirmed at the questions of Chuck Todd, and his body language betrayed his discomfort. So whether he can keep his legitimacy as the 46th President of the United States, and somehow unite the country when Donald Trump leaves office, is up in the air at this point.