Abraham Lincoln

Bill Weld Begins A Quixotic Race Against Donald Trump For Soul Of Republican Party

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (1991-1997), who also was the Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Party line with Presidential candidate Gary Johnson in 2016, has begun what is seen as a Quixotic race against Donald Trump for the soul of the Republican Party.

The question is whether the GOP has a soul, and there is much doubt about it, as they have allowed themselves to become an extremist right wing party that is against the American tradition of fairness, equity, and its own early history of support for civil rights under Abraham Lincoln, and progressivism under Theodore Roosevelt.

This is the time for two others, who are much more likely, if they ran against Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020, to have a real chance of stopping him, or at least, of tarnishing him enough to cause his defeat in the election.

This blogger is referring to former Ohio Governor and former Congressman John Kasich, and former Utah Governor, former Ambassador to China, and present Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.

These two were the only decent, reasonable candidates of the Republican Party for the Presidency in 2012 for Huntsman and 2016 for Kasich.

Both have their shortcomings, as all candidates do, but have a distinct record of accomplishments, competency, and decency to revive the Republican historical image that has been lost in recent years, and accelerated by the disgrace that is Donald Trump.

Barack Obama Fortunate For History That He Is Between George W. Bush And Donald Trump In The Order Of Presidents In Office

In the long run of history, where a President is in the order of attaining the Presidency really matters.

So, for instance, John Adams is between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and while Adams ranks around the middle in ranking of Presidents by historians and political scientists, he is rated much lower than the two Presidents before and after him, who are in the top ten of any listing.

The same goes for William Howard Taft, who is between Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom are in the top quarter of Presidents, while Taft is rated in the mid 20s.

And the same is true for George H. W. Bush, who is between Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, both of whom are rated higher than Bush, who is rated in the later teens as President.

On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln comes between the two men usually rated the two worst Presidents, James Buchanan before him and Andrew Johnson after him.

And it is now clear that Barack Obama, rated 11th in one poll, 8th in another poll, and 17th in a third poll, all within the two years he has been out of the Presidency, is fortunate to have George W. Bush, rated in the 30s, and Donald Trump rated either at the bottom under Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, or at most just above them, insuring he will, like Lincoln, always be rated much better.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: A New Rising Star In The Presidential Race

A new rising star in the Democratic Presidential race is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Buddhajudge) who has been the mayor of this mid sized city/ college town since 2012, and has won both four year terms handily with 74 and 80 percent of the vote in his two races.

We have never had a small city mayor elected President directly, and only three Presidents have been mayors, including Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge of Northampton, Massachusetts, but with Johnson and Coolidge succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding, and none of them in office as mayor for what is now seven years for Buttigieg.

If Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the second Indianan after Benjamin Harrison to become President, but with six Indianans being Vice President (four Republicans and two Democrats)—Schuyler Colfax under Ulysses S. Grant; Charles Fairbanks under Theodore Roosevelt; Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Mike Pence under Donald Trump; Thomas Hendricks under Grover Cleveland, first term; and Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, William English ran with Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, and John Kern ran with William Jennings Bryan in 1908.

Also, if Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the first gay President, and also have a husband, who would become First Gentleman, instead of Bill Clinton, who would have had that title if his wife, Hillary Clinton, had won the White House in 2016.

Additionally, he would be, by far, the youngest President at age 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day, 2021, making him about three years and ten and a half months younger than Theodore Roosevelt, and four years and seven and a half months younger than John F. Kennedy.

Buttigieg is impressive as a successful and popular Mayor of South Bend, who has improved the city during his mayoralty; and as a graduate of Harvard University, he went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Great Britain. He also served in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant, and was a Naval Intelligence Officer who served in the war in Afghanistan, and is still in the Naval Reserve.

Also of note is that Buttigieg won the competition for the “JFK Profiles In Courage Essay Contest” in 2000, writing about the integrity and courage of then Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, and traveled to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to accept the award from Caroline Kennedy, and met other members of the Kennedy family. Buttigieg had been valedictorian of his high school class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature.

March 4 Presidential Inauguration History Significant So Many Times In American History

Today is the original Presidential Inauguration Day through 1933 every fourth year.

Some March 4ths stand out.

1801–Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated, the first time an opposition party takes over the Presidency, and without any bloodshed or violence.

1829–Andrew Jackson is inaugurated, and a mob descends on the White House to celebrate, and windows, glasses, and China are broken.

1841–William Henry Harrison is inaugurated, gives the longest inaugural address in history, and takes sick with pneumonia that evening, and dies after one month in office.

1861–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated at a time when Southern states have broken away from the Union and declared their independence.

1865–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term, and gives the greatest Inaugural Address in American history, calling for peace and reconciliation when the Civil War ends, and his future assassin, John Wilkes Booth is in the crowd and moving toward the inaugural stand as Lincoln speaks.

1913–Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the Democrats, after a half century of Republican dominance of national government.

1933–Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated at the worst moments of the Great Depression, and FDR talks of a New Deal for the American people, the second greatest Inaugural Address, and the Congress pushes through the 20th Amendment, setting up future inauguration dates to be on January 20, starting in 1937.

Latest Presidential Ranking Survey For Presidents Day Changes Ratings Of Several Presidents Upward And Downward

The game of Presidential rankings is one always changing, and the newest survey of scholars, including this author as a participant, does not disappoint in that regard.

The Siena College survey, now done six times since 1982, once for each new President being considered in the rankings, has some surprises.

157 experts, questioned by the Siena College Research Institute, raised two of the Founding Father generation to the top ten, with James Madison number 7 and James Monroe, his successor at number 8. In so doing, two modern Presidents were dropped out of the top ten, with Ronald Reagan at number 13 and Lyndon B. Johnson at number 16.

A rare occurrence was that Abraham Lincoln was number 3, when usually he is on top, although in earlier Siena College surveys, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been number one, now number two, with George Washington moving up to number one.

Barack Obama, number 8 in the American Political Science Association survey in 2018, and number 12 in the C Span 2017 survey, ended up number 17 in the Siena College survey, so below such Presidents as Woodrow Wilson, James K. Polk, John Adams, and Bill Clinton.

And Donald Trump, who was dead last in the APSA poll, was number 42, above James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, with Johnson ending up below Buchanan, the opposite of both the C Span and APSA surveys.

Of course, the game of Presidential ranking is a never ending and highly debatable one, and the way that Presidents are ranked is purely in the eyes and expertise of the beholder.

Should a great man, such as Madison or Monroe, but not as accomplished as more modern Presidents, such as Reagan or LBJ, be higher in the ratings?

That is left up to how people perceive Presidents, and whether they include the whole life, or just the actual years of the Presidency, in their judgments.

Losing Presidential Candidates Who Should Have Been President: Henry Clay, Charles Evans Hughes, Hubert Humphrey

When one looks back in American history at losing Presidential candidates who should have been President in their times, three names stand out:

Henry Clay of Kentucky, 1824, 1832, 1844

Charles Evans Hughes of New York, 1916

Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, 1968

All three of these Presidential candidates were exceptional public servants.

Henry Clay was the most important legislator of the first half of the 19th century, known as the Great Compromiser, for his promotion of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850. He was the youngest Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and also served a number of terms in the US Senate. He stood for a stronger national government, in the Alexander Hamilton model, and had a great impact on many others including Abraham Lincoln, who became a Whig Party member due to the influence of Clay on him.

Charles Evans Hughes was the progressive Republican Governor of New York, in the Robert LaFollette-Wisconsin model in the early 20th century, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, resigned to run for President against Woodrow Wilson in the closest electoral vote election since 1876, and third closest electoral vote election of all time, and then went on to be Secretary of State. Finally, he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1930s, the New Deal era.

Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, a leading liberal figure, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis before going to the Senate. He was seen as a premier liberal in Congress, responsible for many of the ideas that became the Great Society. He was Vice President under Lyndon B. Johnson, unhappy in that position and forced to support the Vietnam War in speeches, which undermined his Presidential campaign in 1968 against Richard Nixon. He came back to the Senate after his Presidential defeat, and sadly died at the young age of 66 in 1978.

If these three losing Presidential candidates had won, the history of the United States would have been vastly different.

The Rise Of “Political Stars” Who Lose Elections

Suddenly, in 2019, we have the rise of “political stars” who lose elections, but are considered future leaders.

So we have “Beto” O’Rourke, former El Paso, Texas Congressman, who ran a close race against Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and is now considered a potential Democratic Presidential candidate.

We also have Stacey Abrams, African American nominee for Governor in Georgia, who will be giving the State of the Union Democratic response tonight after Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to Congress.

And we have Andrew Gillum, African American nominee for Governor in Florida, who is seen as a rising star in the party, and might be a national leader in the long term future.

Of course, others have lost races for office, and gone on to be national stars, such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Bush. Lincoln and Bush lost Senate races after serving in Congress, and then went on to be President. FDR lost the Vice Presidency in 1920, and then, twelve years later, was elected President.

The Wealthiest And The Poorest Presidents

The American Presidents have varied greatly in wealth acquired or inherited in their lifetimes.

Some were born poor, such as Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, due to family circumstances, with Clinton and Nixon acquiring wealth in their lifetimes, but Johnson would still be the seventh poorest President at death, according to statistics.

Materials gathered by scholars have led to conclusions on the net worth of our 44 Presidents, including their post Presidential years.

Easily, at least by the knowledge we have now, Donald Trump is likely the wealthiest President, although subject to change by further Congressional investigation of Trump’s finances, sure to come in the 116th Congress by congressional subpoenas. By estimate, Trump is wealthier than all the other 43 men who have been President of the United States.

After Trump, probably John F. Kennedy, had he not been assassinated, would have inherited close to $1 billion later in his life.

Other than Trump and Kennedy, George Washington would be considered the wealthiest President, in modern terms, around $580 million.

Behind him would be Thomas Jefferson ($234 million); Theodore Roosevelt ($138 million); Andrew Jackson ($131 million); James Madison ($112 million); and Lyndon B. Johnson ($108 million), with all those numbers being estimates.

Other Presidents who had substantial estimated wealth would include Herbert Hoover ($82 million; Bill Clinton ($75 million); Franklin D. Roosevelt ($66 million); and John Tyler ($57 million). Clinton acquired most of his wealth post Presidency by speeches and authored books, and will likely rise much higher if he lives a long life.

At the other end of the scale, we had 13 Presidents who had $1 million or less wealth by all estimates, in 2016 dollars, including in ranked order:

William McKinley

Warren G. Harding

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Chester Alan Arthur

Woodrow Wilson

Calvin Coolidge

Harry Truman

Notice that the bulk of these Presidents served in the years from Buchanan to McKinley, the last half of the 19th century, a total of seven out of eleven Presidents.

The three Presidents from Wilson through Coolidge also are on this list, and Harry Truman ends up as the least prosperous President at his death, as compared to Andrew Johnson the poorest at birth.

Barack Obama is rated just below John Tyler at number 13 on the wealth list at an estimated $40 million, with potential over a long lifetime to become one of the top few wealthiest Presidents by speeches, books, and other activities due to the stature and prestige of being a former President in modern times.

Other Presidents are rated in the middle on wealth, such as George W. Bush at $39 million; George H. W. Bush at $26 million; John Quincy Adams at $23 million; John Adams at $21 million; Richard Nixon at $17 million; Ronald Reagan at $14 million; Dwight D. Eisenhower at $9 million; and Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at $8 million each.

Iowa Congressman Steve King Just The Tip Of The Iceberg, As Donald Trump Is The More Significant White Supremacist And White Nationalist

The decision of the House Republican leadership, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to condemn Iowa Congressman Steve King and strip him of his committee assignments, is a lame and belated acceptance of the Republican Party of how racist and nativist King has been for years, with the GOP tolerating him and his promotion of white supremacy and white nationalism.

He is not the only Republican who has shown evidence of racism and nativism, and many Republicans are now worried about the long range future of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, and H W Bush.

The party has catered to white supremacists and white nationalists for years, taking over that role from the old former Southern segregationists who, thankfully, abandoned the Democratic Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

There should be no place for such racism and nativism in any establishment political party in America, but Donald Trump paid homage to them after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when he said both sides in the conflict had good people, which was a sign he was allied with David Duke, Richard Spencer, and the right wing radio talk show hosts that spew such hatred regularly.

Until and when the Republicans in Congress in the House of Representatives and Senate repudiate the ultimate racist, nativist, hate monger, and misogynist—DONALD TRUMP—which they refused to do to this moment, then the action taken against Steve King is pure hypocrisy, to save their own rear ends.

The Republican Party is dead in the water as a future force until they return to the progressive trends of Lincoln and TR, the true paragons of virtue in their party history.

The Most Diverse Congress In American History

The 116th Congress, which opened on Wednesday, is the most diverse in American history.

It contains the following in the House of Representatives, “the people’s branch”:

102 women

52 African Americans

39 Hispanic-Latino Americans

20 Asian Americans

34 Jewish Americans

2 Native Americans

2 Muslim Americans

Most of these groups are Democrats, with only a scattering of Republicans among them.

So we have a very diverse Democratic Party, and a heavily white Christian male Republican Party.

The future is in the hands of the Democrats long term, and if the Republican Party does not become more diverse and back away from the cancer of Donald Trump, the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, and Bush will end up in the dustbin of history, to be replaced by a moderate conservative party under a different banner and agenda.