Al Gore

14 Weeks Until First Vote In Iowa Caucuses

As the House of Representatives is working on its impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, the political calendar is starting to close in on many Democratic Presidential contenders.

It is now only 14 weeks until the first Americans vote on 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday, February 3.

Iowa is not truly decisive on who wins the nomination and the Presidency in either major political party, as the only times that Iowa was a sign of the future was when an incumbent President was not on the ballot, and even then, not very often.

Democratic Party

Walter Mondale in 1984

Al Gore in 2000

John Kerry in 2004

Barack Obama in 2008

Hillary Clinton in 2016

George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992 failed to win Iowa.

Republican Party

Gerald Ford in 1976

Bob Dole in 1996

George W. Bush in 2000

Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 failed to win Iowa.

So only George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008 won Iowa and went on to win the Presidency in the fall of those years.

So do not expect that who wins Iowa will automatically be the nominee for the Democrats in November 2020.

Since 1972, Iowa has been accurate on the Democratic nominee 43 percent of the time, and 50 percent accurate on the Republican nominee.

Iowa is not representative of the nation in its population mix, but it gives a leg up to a few of the candidates, while dashing the hopes of so many others.

Billionaires Howard Schultz And Tom Steyer Represent Threat To Democratic Victory In 2020

The last thing the country needs is another multi billionaire who has no government experience as a Senator, a Congressman, a Governor, a Mayor, a Cabinet Officer, or a military career.

We have gone that route with Donald Trump, and while multi billionaires Howard Schultz and Tom Steyer might be considered vastly different than Trump for sure, still the reality is that they are simply running, because they have the financial means to run, and do not need to ask for public support and funding.

That in itself is an outrage, and we should not consider anyone who has not faced Americans in a voting situation in his or her past, and a proven record of accomplishment, to be our President.

The fear is that either Howard Schultz, who has said he will run as an Independent, and Steyer, who is saying he is a candidate for the Democrats but could decide to run an Independent race, could be on the ballot in all or most states, and take away votes that would favor the Democratic nominee, and throw away the hard efforts of the Democrats, and reelect Donald Trump.

Either or both could become the spoiler, as was the case with Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader being on the ballot in Florida, and taking away the election from Al Gore, in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election.

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

Clinton Case And Trump Case For Impeachment Totally Different, Including Clinton Popularity Remained High, And Trump Has Never Had A Majority Popularity Rating!

As the debate begins over whether Donald Trump should face impeachment by the House of Representatives, even if the US Senate will not convict, it is instructive to examine the Bill Clinton Impeachment and compare it to the proposed Donald Trump Impeachment.

Bill Clinton remained popular through the whole impeachment crisis and after, and yet the majority of the American people did not support his impeachment, based on the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky scandals. But the Republican Party played politics, and insisted on impeaching him and bringing him to trial in the Senate, knowing full well that Clinton would NOT be removed from office, and knowing that if he was removed, Al Gore would have become President and had an edge as a sitting President for the 2000 Presidential election.

Donald Trump, on the other hand has never been popular with more than 42-43 percent of the American people, and the support for his impeachment has grown as time has passed, although a majority in polls do not yet support action to be taken, despite the clear cut abuses of power and obstruction of justice being utilized by Trump, including refusal to hand over documents and have people testify before Congressional committees. And the fact that he has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from his properties, violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, is yet another reason for his impeachment, no matter what happens in the Senate.

Democrats know that if Donald Trump were to be removed, Mike Pence would replace him, a horrifying thought, but for the record of history, it is clear that Donald Trump is more abusive of power, and violating the separation of powers and checks and balances, endangering the nation in international affairs, and in retaining the great reforms of Democratic and Republican Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt and through Barack Obama.

There is no acceptable excuse for moving ahead on impeachment, and it is time for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to stop worrying about the impact of impeachment, and do the right thing, make Donald Trump accountable under the Constitution for his violation of his Presidential oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States!

Vice Presidency Has Led To Presidential Nominations Multiple Times Since The 1960s

The Vice Presidency was never good breeding ground for Presidential nominations since the Civil War.

Only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and John C. Breckinridge were nominated for President before the Civil War, with all winning the Presidency, except for Breckinridge, who had been Vice President under James Buchanan from 1857-1861, and then nominated by Southern Democrats who refused to accept the official Democratic nominee, Stephen Douglas in 1860.

The only Vice President from 1860 to 1960 who was nominated for President was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term Vice President, Henry A. Wallace, who ran as the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1948 against his own successor in the Vice Presidency, President Harry Truman.

But since 1960, six Vice Presidents have run as Presidential candidates, including;

Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968

Hubert Humphrey in 1968

Gerald Ford in 1976 (who had succeeded Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment)

Walter Mondale in 1984

George H. W. Bush in 1988

Al Gore in 2000

Nixon and Bush won the Presidency, while Ford lost a full term after finishing the partial term he succeeded to, and Gore won the popular vote, but failed to win the Electoral College.

The point is that Joe Biden would be the 7th Vice President who ran for President after serving as Number 2 in the executive branch.

And Nixon the first time, Mondale, Bush, and Gore all had a jump start on the nomination of their party for the Presidency, with only Humphrey and Ford having major challengers.

So at least by recent history in the past half century plus, being a Vice President gives a leap forward to those who wish to run for President.

Hillary Clinton Running Again For President Is A Terrible Idea

Rumors are spreading that Hillary Clinton is considering the idea of announcing again for President in 2020.

That would be a terrible idea, and would divide the Democratic Party, when it needs to move on from the disappointments of 2016.

Hillary Clinton is very talented, smart, and knowledgeable, and it is true that she won the national popular vote by 2.85 million votes in 2016, more than many Presidents, including John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter.

But she was unable to win over the white working class vote of the Midwest, and nothing we know of her would indicate that she can magically win over that voting bloc in 2020.

It is tragic that she lost the Electoral College, but just as with Al Gore after 2000, it is time to move on, as there are so many other talented, smart, capable potential nominees in the Democratic Party, who could carry the mantle of the party into November 2020.

So, please, Hillary Clinton, campaign for others for 2020, make speeches, write books, and enjoy Chelsea’s children, now soon to have a third child. Even Chelsea has said a blessing of the loss was that her mom had a chance to spent more time with her grandchildren.

Enough is enough, and it is time to move on from the Age of the Clintons.

A Nightmare Thought: What If America Ends Up With A 218-217 GOP House And A 50-50 GOP Senate For The 116th Congress?

With the midterm election only three weeks away, all kinds of scenarios are developing in the minds of political junkies, such as this author.

What if the House of Representatives ends up with a 218-217 majority held by the Republicans, meaning the Democrats only gain 22 seats in the lower chamber, rather than the 23 or more needed to control?

And what if miraculously, the Democrats gain one seat in the Senate, such as Arizona or Nevada, but lose two seats, such as North Dakota and Florida, and end up in a 50-50 tie, meaning Vice President Mike Pence organizes a Senate perfectly divided, and keeps the Senate Republican?

The question arises, have these scenarios ever occurred before in Congressional history, and the answer is YES in both houses of Congress, with twice in the House of Representatives.

In 1917-1919, the Republicans had a 215-214 margin, and third parties and Independents having 6 seats.

Also in 1931-1933, the Republicans had a 218-216 margin, and one third party seat.

In the Senate’s history, there have been eight such cases as follows:

In 1881-1883, there were 37 Republicans and 37 Democrats and two Independents.

In 1883-1885, there were 38 Republicans, 36 Democrats, and two Independents.

In 1893-1895, there were 44 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and four Independents.

In 1931-1933, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.

In 1953-1955, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.

In 1955-1957, there were 48 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and one Independent.

In 2001-2003, there were four switches of majority–From January 1-20, Democrat; from January 20 to June 6, Republican; from June 6, 2001 to November 12, 2002, Democratic; and then from November 12, 2002 to January 3, 2003 Republican. This was due to the switch of party and Vice President from Al Gore to Dick Cheney; the switch of Jim Jeffords of Vermont from Republican to Democratic; and the election of a new Senator from Missouri of the opposition party taking the oath of office before the new Senate of 2003 was organized.

Finally, in 2007-2009, there were 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and two Independents.

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!

Will The Genuine Mike Pence Reveal Himself? Mixed Views Of How Pence Is Performing As Vice President

After 16 months in office, Vice President Mike Pence comes across different ways to different observers, so there are mixed views of how he is performing as Vice President.

Some praise him as totally loyal to the President, standing behind him to his right in every photo when Donald Trump pontificates and makes embarrassing and divisive statements, with many of them containing lies on a consistent basis.

Others see him as lacking the moral and ethical fiber that it is claimed he has, as a “good Christian”, who wears his religion on his sleeve.

Others see him as manipulative and deceitful, as it is claimed he is planning his own future, and what he perceives as his eventual ascension to the Presidency.

Others see him as complicit in the scandals surrounding Donald Trump, and think he will be implicated and be forced to resign as Vice President, as occurred to Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon in 1973.

Is Mike Pence anything like Joe Biden under Barack Obama? Or anything like Al Gore under Bill Clinton? Or anything like Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter? Or anything like Gerald Ford under Richard Nixon?

Or is he more like Dick Cheney under George W. Bush? Or anything like Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush? Or anything like George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan?

Who is the “real” Mike Pence?

Will he add to the distinction of the office we have seen under many recent Vice Presidents?

Or will he stand out as one of the worst, and possibly most corrupt, Vice Presidents, in the vein of Spiro Agnew?

The nation is waiting to see how Mike Pence turns out, and it is an important issue for the nation at large.

The 49th Earth Day: The Attack By Scott Pruitt And Ryan Zinke In Full Swing

Today, April 22, is the 49th Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970, although earlier promoted by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, considered the true “founder” of the modern environmental movement.

We have come a long way in the movement to preserve our environment, with many heroes in that movement,

We can look back to Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir and many others at the beginning of the 20th century.

We can look forward to such people as Ralph Nader, Jimmy Carter, Cecil Andrus, Al Gore, Bruce Babbitt, and a multitude of others who deserve praise.

But we also have the enemies of the environmental movement, from the time of Ronald Reagan onward, and including many Republican senators over the years.

And now, we have the Donald Trump Presidency, and the evil being done every day by Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and by Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, who are trying to destroy all efforts at protecting us from climate change, global warming, and the damage to wildlife and to our national park and national monument system.

The fight for the environment must be fought against all enemies, as it is the future of the planet at stake!