Al Franken

Five Women Contending For Democratic Presidential Nomination: Who Has Best Chance, Or Will They All Cancel Each Other Out?

The Presidential Election competition for 2020 is certainly the most diverse ever seen.

Instead of seeing one woman or two women competing as in recent elections, we have a total of five women trying to gain the Democratic Presidential nomination.

The question which arises is whether America is really ready to elect a woman President in a nation which has so much misogyny, while so many other nations have had women leaders without any controversy.

The question is who has the best chance, or will they all cancel each other out, and we will end up with a male Presidential candidate in the end.

It would seem to this author and blogger that of the five women candidates for President, that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who has the appeal of being potentially the youngest President at age 39 in 2020, has zero chance of being the nominee. Only one sitting member of the House of Representatives, James A. Garfield of Ohio in 1880, ever was elected President, and tragically, was assassinated six months into office, after being shot after just four months in the Presidency.

Among the other four, it would seem that New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, with her bullying of former Minnesota Senator Al Franken over unsubstantiated charges of sexual harassment, would be the second most like to fail in her bid for the Presidency.

The other three, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Kamala Harris of California; and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota all would seem to have a much better chance of survival.

However, Warren might be more to the left than the nation would tolerate; and Harris, being of a mixed race background, might face a daunting task of overcoming both racism, and what all women candidates face–misogyny.

So on paper, Klobuchar, from the Midwest, and coming across as more centrist a progressive, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone, might have the best chance to be nominated and elected.

Time will tell ultimately whether any of the women will survive, or even if any of them might be a Vice Presidential running mate, with only Klobuchar, and possibly, Harris, agreeing to be in that role.

The Political Knives Are Out For Democratic Presidential Contenders

The Presidential Election is upon us in February 2019, as more Democrats are announcing their candidacies for President.

And as they announce or are about to announce, the political knives are out for them, both by opponents in the party, and Republican and right wing critics, out to undermine all of them by any means possible.

There is no question that Donald Trump operatives are part of the equation, but we also are getting reports on POLITICO, HUFFINGTON POST, BUZZ FEED, and the NEW YORK TIMES and WASHINGTON POST that make it clear that all candidates have flaws, imperfections, and issues that could derail their candidacies.

But of course, Donald Trump has plenty of flaws, imperfections, and issues, well demonstrated since he announced his candidacy in June 2015.

So what are some of the imperfections, shortcomings, flaws of Democratic contenders?

Joe Biden has a tendency to gaffes, stupid statements he makes very often, as he tends to be extremely wordy and gabby as a personality. Also, his handling of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill matter in 1991 bedogs him, despite his apologies on that matter. Additionally, he is known as having been the credit card Senator, because of major banks and their credit card operations being centered in Delaware, his home state. This has led to overly high interest rates for customers over the years, and to inability of many people to go bankrupt when they are strapped financially, particularly those who have student loan debt. Additionally, he was a sponsor of tough crime laws in the 1990s, which caused many minority groups in particular to face stiff sentences for drug convictions. And finally as Vice President, he swore in Senators for new terms or first terms, and tended to be “touchy feely” with daughters, wives, and other women in the families of Senators, which could be seen as a problem by the “Me Too” Movement against sexual harassment.

Elizabeth Warren has identified herself as a native American, and it has become an albatross around her neck, leading to her apologizing, but it remains an issue which Donald Trump has, and will continue to exploit. Additionally, many people think she is too shrill, but this is a double standard, as many male politicians, including Donald Trump, Chris Christie Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani are shrill as well.

Amy Klobuchar has now been revealed as a nightmare for her staff to work for, very temperamental, cruel, abusive, demanding, which is totally against her public persona, but a list of Senators tough to work for in the same manner, shows seven out of the top ten are women. So what does one make of this, truly something to shake one’s head over.

Tulsi Gabbard is criticized for her meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has committed mass murder during the eight year long Syrian Civil War.

“Beto” O’Rourke has the record of several arrests when a college student, for minor burglaries and break ins, seemingly fueled by alcohol.

Kamala Harris is criticized for opposing the death penalty for a cop killer in California, and generally, for being opposed to capital punishment.

Many progressives are unhappy with Sherrod Brown, for being against a one step movement toward Medicare For All, suggesting a slower approach in that direction.

Bernie Sanders is criticized as too far left with his “socialist” views, thought by many to be the road to defeat, particularly with Donald Trump attacking Socialism, which he sees as the Democratic Party direction.

Kirsten Gillibrand is criticized for having “bullied” Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign over accusations of sexual harassment. Also, her overly conservative record in the House of Representatives before becoming Senator is used against her.

Cory Booker is criticized for being too tied to Wall Street and Pharmaceutical companies, and some wonder if his revelation of a dating relationship with an actress is trying to hide his single status, which has led to rumors about his sexuality.

It is clear one has to have a thick skin to participate in the Presidential race, and it does make one wonder how anyone can survive such scrutiny and remain sane and balanced.

So, sadly, the desire for perfection in a candidate or nominee is gone, and we have to pick an imperfect person to run against Donald Trump, but with the understanding that no matter what the imperfections, Donald Trump is the worst President in American history in his character, his morality, his ethics, his utterances, and his actions.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Must Resign, And Gives America An African American Successor, Justin Fairfax

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been exposed as having participated in the posting of a photogragh in his medical school yearbook in 1984, in which he is posing with another student, one wearing black face, and the other in a Ku Klux Klan robe and mask, leading to demands for his resignation.

This whole situation is sad, as Northam was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in November 2017, after serving as Lieutenant Governor, being in the state legislature, having had a medical career, and given eight years to the Army Medical Corp.

Northam was seen as a moderate left Governor, and seemed to be a decent man who would serve the one term allowed Virginia Governors, with no ability to be reelected, due to constitutional bars for a second consecutive term.

But the situation requires immediate resignation, as Northam has lost the confidence of the Virginia voters, and cannot use the excuse of “a youthful indiscretion”, since he was 25 years old at the time of the yearbook photo in 1984.

Certainly, Northam has worked to promote racial reconciliation after the despicable Charlottesville riot in 2017, while he was running for the Governorship, and himself, attended a desegregated high school where the majority of students were African Americans.

No one is saying he is an open racist now, and yet we have an open racist in President Donald Trump, who said both sides in Charlottesville contained decent people, an outrage in trying to call Ku Klux Klan white supremacists as having equality with those protesting racial inequities.

Truthfully, while Ralph Northam needs to resign, Donald Trump, for his long and consistent racism, nativism, misogyny, and praise of white supremacists should also resign, but we cannot be that lucky, unfortunately.

When Republicans are accused of inappropriate behavior, they always manage to move past it and stay in office, while Democrats are always in a position to be forced out, as with Al Franken on the accusations, never fully investigated, of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct with women.

The only good result of Northam’s eventual resignation is that Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, an African American, who graduated Duke University and Columbia University Law School, and is seen as the future of the Democratic Party, as he will turn age 40 on February 17, would succeed Northam as Governor. He would be the second African American governor of the state, after Douglas Wilder, and the fourth African American governor in modern times.

He worked in several Democratic Presidential campaigns, and was a “body man” for Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards in the Presidential campaign of 2004. He also worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a law clerk for a federal judge, and also as a prosecutor.

While Virginia only allows one term for Governor, a succession by Fairfax would not eliminate the possibility of an elected term in 2021, so Fairfax could be Governor of Virginia for nearly seven years. That would make him an historic figure, and give him the opportunity to become a national fiture, and potentially a future Democratic contender for the Presidency in 2024 or 2028.

Only one former Governor, Mills Godwin, was able to serve two nonconsecutive terms as Governor of Virginia, as a Democrat from 1966-1970 and as a Republican from 1974-1978.

Multiple Women Running For President: Will That Help Men In the Democratic Presidential Race Of 2020?

It is not too soon to start considering potential nominees for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020.

We know that as soon as the Midterm Elections of 2018 are decided, the 2020 Presidential battle begins.

We have the potential of four women running for President, but the question is whether that possible reality will actually help men to triumph, with the women neutralizing each other.

So one wonders if it would be a better idea for at least two of the four women to forgo the Presidential race, not that it is likely that will actually happen.

2020 is the year of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, the woman suffrage amendment, and it would certainly be appropriate for a woman to be nominated for and win the Presidency, particularly after Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and still lost the Electoral College in 2016.

Who among the women would be most likely to have a good chance to win?

This author would argue Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar would be the best case scenario.

Klobuchar has had both state and national experience, and comes across as less controversial and more mainstream than the other three women who are considering running for President.

Klobuchar has a great advantage coming from the Midwest, and the Democratic Farmer Labor tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone.

Do not forget that the Midwest is the crucial area of the nation that the Democrats must win, and there is no other leading figure from the Midwest in the Presidential competition.

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts may be best known, but she comes across to many people as too combative, too outspoken, too divisive a figure, and too much like Bernie Sanders, who might co-opt her support.

Kirsten Gillbrand of New York has an earlier history of being quite conservative in her upstate New York district, and then suddenly being very liberal, and then becoming controversial when she pressured former Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign without a hearing about sexual harassment charges lodged against him, which alienated many people, including this author.

Kamala Harris of California may be the best alternative to Amy Klubuchar, and being of mixed race (mother from India, father from Jamaica), and with a compelling background of long experience in law enforcement as District Attorney of San Francisco and then Attorney General of her state, and her dynamic and charismatic manner, she could be a great possible choice for the Presidency. She is often called “the female Barack Obama”, but has much more experience in government than Obama had when he ran for President in 2008.

American History Since The Civil War: President’s Party Loses 32 House Seats And 2 Senate Seats In First Midterm Election

American history tells us that the party of the President regularly loses seats in the first, and all but once in the second (when it occurs) Presidential term of office.

The one major exception was 1934, when in the midst of the Great Depression, and FDR’s New Deal programs, the Democratic party gained 9 seats in the Senate and 9 seats in the House of Representatives.

Also, in 2002, after September 11, George W. Bush and the Republican Party gained 2 seats in the Senate and 8 in the House of Representatives.

And Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party, in the second term midterm election in 1998, gained 5 House seats, with no change in the US Senate.

That is the total historical record since the Civil War, more than 150 years, so it is clear that the Democrats will gain seats in the midterm elections of 2018.

The average since the Civil War is 32 House seats and 2 Senate seats, and if that happens precisely, the Democrats will have gained the House, needing only 24 seats, and the average historically being 23 seats, when one includes both first and second term midterm elections of a President.

But also, if the Senate were to see just the 2 seat gain as the average, then the Democrats would have the majority with 51 seats, which can be brought about by gaining the contested seats of Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and Nevada, where Dean Heller is seen as the most endangered Republican in 2018.

But to accomplish that, the Democrats must produce, miraculously. the retention of Senate seats in 10 Trump states in 2016–Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, Montana, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, and also retain the Minnesota seat recently vacated by Al Franken, and the New Jersey Senate seat of Bob Menendez, who faces another criminal trial after a hung jury. That will be a tall order for sure!

Historic Number Of Women In US Senate Tomorrow When Tina Smith Of Minnesota Replaces Al Franken

Tomorrow, January 3, 2018, will mark an all time record of the number of women who have served in the US Senate.

When Tina Smith is sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, she will be the 51st woman to serve in the US Senate, and the 22nd presently to serve in that august body.

Tina Smith will replace Al Franken from Minnesota in the Senate, and this will be the first time that four states have had two women Senators representing them at the same time—California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Washington, with all eight women being Democrats.

17 of the 22 Senators on January 3 are Democrats, and 5 are Republicans.

17 of the total of 51 will have been Republicans, and 34 will have been Democrats.

18 states are presently represented by women Senators, and 29 have had women Senators historically.

North Carolina and New Hampshire have had a woman Senator succeeded by a woman of the other party, and had both parties represented by their women Senators concurrently in the case of New Hampshire.

The following 5 states have had 3 women Senators in history—California, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.

The following 11 states have had 2 women Senators in history—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington.

The following 13 states have had 1 woman in the Senate—Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

11 of the total of 51 have served by appointment or had brief terms, with Tina Smith having the upper hand to keep the Minnesota seat since she was Lieutenant Governor when chosen to hold the seat for a year, facing an election in 2018.

The likelihood is that we will see more women in the Senate in the next few years, with several women competing for Senate seats in a number of states, and with Democrats still greatly outweighing Republicans in the Senate by a ratio of more than 3-1.

Additionally, we are likely to have four women Senators, all Democrats, seek the Presidential nomination in 2020, an all time record if that occurs. This would include Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kamala Harris of California, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Two Women Politicians Who Have Lost Esteem Recently: Kirsten Gillibrand And Nikki Haley, Both Potential Presidential Candidates In Future

Two women politicians—Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Republican Governor of South Carolina—have both been in the news this year, but both, in different ways, have done harm to their reputations by recent actions.

Gillibrand, hailed for working on the subject of sexual harassment in the military and on college campuses, recently became the leader of a group of women Senators of her party going after fellow Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota for incidents of sexual harassment. Originally this blogger, being shocked by instances of Franken acting inappropriately, saw Gillibrand become engaged in what seems as bullyism, pressuring Franken to resign rather than face a Senate Ethics Committee hearing, getting his “day in court”, and seeing if the charges are legitimate, and serious enough to force him out of the Senate. Franken caved in, and will leave, and just gave his farewell address in the Senate. It seems very unfair and a mistake in political judgment by Gillibrand and others against a fellow Senator with an excellent record of public service, including forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself in the Russian collusion scandal, a major factor in the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Franken deserved a chance to defend himself, but now that is gone.

Nikki Haley has had an admirable record as South Carolina Governor and now, UN Ambassador, and this blogger thought she was the best person in the Trump Administration by far. But now, suddenly, she has become a bully at the United Nations, demanding loyalty on the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, which did not convince any major country to support the United States on this non binding resolution. She embarrassed herself and the American people, by claiming she was going to “take names”, and that foreign assistance to various nations might be affected, forgetting that our foreign aid to other nations benefits us, as well as those nations. And now she is holding a party for the small number of insignificant nations who supported us, a laughable and ridiculous action.

So this blogger would say that while Kirsten Gillibrand and Nikki Haley once had stars that shone brightly, now both women have lost a great amount of credibility, and future Presidential yearnings have been heavily damaged by their recent actions.

Counter Movement For Al Franken To Stay Through Time Of Ethics Committee Hearing, Not Forced Out By Women Senators, Led By Kirsten Gillibrand!

Suddenly, there is a counter reaction to the quick resignation of Senator Al Franken of Minnesota on charges of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior.

After most women Senators in the Democratic Party, led by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, railroaded Franken into a quick decision to leave the Senate before a Senate Ethics Committee hearing, now a group of Senators, led by the most conservative Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has called upon Franken, an ideological rival, to stay on through further investigation.

There is evidence that the woman who brought the first charges was a Republican who took part in a photo that was designed as a joke, but was used to get back at Franken for his actions that have undermined Donald Trump.

As Manchin says, if the Ethics Committee hearing proves Franken should resign, he can then resign, but not so quickly.

This makes perfect sense, and has been this blogger’s view of this matter from the beginning.

Franken has been a good, courageous Senator, and has contributed to the ultimate Robert Mueller investigation of Donald Trump, by calling out Jeff Sessions, his former colleague and Attorney General, for his conflict of interest, which forced Sessions to step aside in the investigation, which led to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller in the Russian Collusion investigation.

We all owe a debt of thanks to Franken for that, and while no one is saying we should give Franken a pass in the matter of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior, as the saying goes, give him his day in court.

This blogger thinks Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been in the news a great deal recently, mostly in a positive manner, may very well suffer for her behavior toward Franken, which borders on bullyism, and could backfire on her ambitions to run for President.

It could be that Franken will resign, but it should not be essential BEFORE an investigation.

Hopefully, Franken will reconsider, as the way he has been treated is reprehensible.

Kirsten Gillibrand Becomes A Rock Star: Mixed Feelings On The Part Of The Author About This

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has become a rock star on the issue of sexual harassment in the military, on university campuses, and in the entertainment, media, and business community, and now has been attacked in a tweet by President Donald Trump, who intimated that Gillibrand, when asking him years ago for campaign contributions, seemed willing to do “anything” for such support, a demeaning and sexist and misogynistic retort by Trump, which is, of course, nothing new.

Democratic women in Congress have reacted today with outrage, and are demanding a Congressional investigation of the charges against Donald Trump, brought to the forefront in the election year of 2016 by 16 women.

This was followed up by Democratic women Senators demanding Minnesota Senator Al Franken resign, which this author criticized as bullying and denying Franken an ethics hearing on charges of sexual harassment.

This situation with Franken alienated me from Gillibrand, as I stated on the blog four days ago.

While I appreciate Gillibrand’s engagement on the issue of sexual harassment, I still stand unwilling to consider her for President in 2020, due to the mistreatment, as I see it, of Senator Franken. However, many observers believe Gillibrand has benefited greatly on this issue, and that it might catapult her into a leading position in the Democratic Party battle for the Presidency three years from now.

Of course, I condemn Donald Trump’s crude Twitter reaction to Senator Gillibrand, and hope the issue of Donald Trump’s moral turpitude can, somehow, have an impact in his being forced out of the Presidency in the coming months of 2018.

Kirsten Gillibrand And Other Women Senators Wrong To Force Al Franken Out Of Office Without Ethics Investigation And Clear Cut Evidence Of Sexual Harassment

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and other women Senators were wrong to force Senator Al Franken out of the Senate, without having an ethics investigation first, with clear cut evidence of sexual harassment and abuse by the Minnesota Senator.

Kirsten Gillibrand acted like a bully in leading the charge in such an aggressive manner, and it will harm her in her quest to become the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee, which she clearly is desirous of becoming.

This blogger has been skeptical of Gillibrand before, and in 2008, the idea that she would be appointed to the US Senate by New York Governor David Patterson to replace Hillary Clinton, who was becoming Secretary of State, was astounding, as she did not have the best Congressional record of the various people named as contenders for the appointment.

Gillibrand had a very conservative record in her upstate NY district, and then suddenly became very liberal, a situation which seemed suspicious to this blogger.

Although this author said back in 1998 that Bill Clinton should have resigned in the sex scandal which led to his impeachment that year, it was not proper 19 years later for Gillibrand to say that Bill Clinton should have resigned, and in so doing, smacking Hillary Clinton in the face.

It adds to the image of Kirsten Gillibrand as an opportunist, who cannot be trusted to be President, but the possibility of her being the nominee always seemed a long shot.

Now it will be less likely, with her mercenary attitude, and rush to judgment, denying us a Senator, Al Franken, who was one of the stars of the Democratic Party, and helped to cause Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation of Donald Trump, which led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.