Barack Obama

Vast Age Differences Of Presidential Opponents In Modern American History

It has become a reality that in many Presidential elections, the age difference between the two competing Presidential contenders is vast.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was 20 years older than Thomas E. Dewey in the Presidential Election Of 1944.

Harry Truman was 18 years older than Thomas E. Dewey in the Presidential Election of 1948.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was 10 years older than Adlai Stevenson in the Presidential Elections of 1952 and 1956.

Richard Nixon was 9 and a half years older than George McGovern in the Presidential Election of 1972.

Gerald Ford was 11 years older than Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Election of 1976.

Ronald Reagan was 13 years older than Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Election of 1980.

Ronald Reagan was 17 years older than Walter Mondale in the Presidential Election of 1984.

George H. W. Bush was 8 years older than Michael Dukakis in the Presidential Election of 1988.

George H. W. Bush was 22 years older than Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election Of 1992.

Bob Dole was 23 years older than Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election Of 1996.

John McCain was 25 years older than Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2008.

Mitt Romney was 14 years older than Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2012.

Now in 2016, we are very likely to have a vast difference in age between the two major party nominees, assuming Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Jim Webb is the Democratic nominee. But 11 of the 13 elections mentioned, the Republican nominee was the much older candidate, but that is likely to be different this time.

If Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie or Scott Walker is the Republican nominee, the difference will be vast, as much as 24 or more years in some of these cases. All of these six were born later than Barack Obama, and a few others, including Rick Santorum. Mike Pence or Jon Huntsman, all born before Obama but still have a double digit age difference from the various Democrats mentioned above.

So far, eight times, the older nominee for President won, and five times, the younger nominee for President won. So the question is what will happen in 2016!

150th Anniversary Commemoration Of Lincoln Assassination Live on C Span 2 AND C Span 3–American History TV Tonight And Wednesday Morning!

C-Span 3–American History TV–is a wonderful station well worth watching on a regular basis! So is C Span 2!

Tonight, starting at 8 pm, the ceremonies commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Assassination at Ford’s Theatre, Washington, DC, will be aired live, with the exact moment of assassin John Wilkes Booth’s shot at 1015 pm into the skull of Lincoln, and the candlelight vigil after this shocking event, including the carrying of Lincoln’s body across the street to 516 10th Street NW to the Petersen House.

The next morning, at 7 am, C Span 2 and or 3 will cover the moment of the declaration of Lincoln’s death at 722 am and the reaction afterwards, with President Barack Obama expected to issue a declaration of a Day of Remembrance, for what is considered the most path breaking single moment in all of American history!

The sad thing is that a pro Confederate hate group is going to “celebrate” the assassination of Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, a commentary on how the Civil War has not fully ended, and also a statement of the hatred and division that still exists in some people’s heads who are, either, descendants of the Confederate troops who fought the Union in the Civil War, or are simply racists and secessionists, who still dream of breaking away from the United States, or plotting against its leadership, including President Obama, who has had more death threats in office than anyone since Lincoln.

And a reminder that my forthcoming book devotes Chapter 2 to the Lincoln Assassination, and also devotes part of Chapter 16 to the death threats, which are constant, against President Obama.

150 Years Since Final Confederate Surrender Of Robert E. Lee To Ulysses S. Grant At Appomattox Court House In Virginia, Ending Civil War!

Today, April 9, marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy, with General Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general, surrendering to Union General and future President Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

This tragic war ended a four year conflict, just three days before its fourth anniversary, having killed an estimated 620,000 men, with the Union military losing about 360,000 and the Confederate military losing about 260,000 men.

The Civil War ended slavery forever, and upheld nationalism over states rights, and was an inspiration to many people in England and France, which saw it as a movement toward the evolution of democracy.

But sadly, the end of the war did not change the minds of many white Southerners, and over the generations, the Democrats of the South continued to promote Jim Crow segregation; brutal lynchings of African Americans and others, including Jews and Catholics; and fought toot and nail against civil liberties and civil rights, while parading the Confederate flag, which even today flies in South Carolina and some other Southern states.

And when civil rights laws were forced on the South fifty years ago under Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democrats lost their tight control of the South, and the Republicans, the party that had freed the slaves under Abraham Lincoln and promoted civil rights under Dwight D. Eisenhower, abandoned their principles and decency and became the new party of Southern resistance to justice and civil rights. Today, all of the Southern governors, with the exception of Virginia, and the Senate, with the exception of the two members from Virginia and one from Florida, are Republicans, working to undermine voting rights and promote racism and nativism at full speed, a total disgrace.

So while we celebrate the end of the Southern rebellion a century and a half ago, in many ways, the rebellion still lives on, poisoning the political atmosphere in many states, and in the national government, and particularly so with the very clear disrespect of Southern office holders for the African American President of the United States, who has been vilified in a manner unlike anyone since Abraham Lincoln!

A President For Peace, And A Congress For War: Reminiscences Of The War Of 1812 Two Hundred Years Later

Tow hundred years ago, we had a President, who was very intelligent, and wanted to avoid war with a major power, which was actually the most powerful nation on earth.

James Madison wished to avoid conflict with Great Britain, arguably more of a threat than Barack Obama faces with the danger of war with Iran.

James Madison had a “War Hawk” Congress, headed by Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and others who wanted war, and thought they could take control of Canada away from Great Britain.

The result was a disastrous war, which luckily, Great Britain chose to end, once they had defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in Europe.

Now Barack Obama has been able to bring about, through Secretary of State John Kerry, an agreement with the potential for a prevention of a nuclear Iran for the next fifteen years, an agreement that the six major powers have joined in, and would support enforcement if Iran breaks the agreement.

The complication is that Israel wants to prevent the agreement and go to war, a war that would become a disaster without any definite way forward toward victory, as what would be victory in the first place? And it might antagonize the Sunni Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, which is much more of a totalitarian dictatorship, and much more backward in the way they treat their population, than Iran. But are we in America to be dictated to by Saudi Arabia or Israel in making our foreign policy, when we have always been there for both nations in any crisis?

Barack Obama now faces a “war” party, the Republicans, who are hell bent on another war, which would cause massive casualties, an addition of another trillion in the national debt, and more veterans expenses when we do not provide adequately for our veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and earlier wars now in 2015!

Leave it to John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio et al to force us into another war that we can ill afford or want! They fail to realize that Iran is a much larger nation territorially and population wise than Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam was when we engaged in those wars. And their young population is heavily pro-American, and the potential for change in Iran’s government, while hard to imagine, is clearly on the horizon, as it was in the Soviet Union, but if the hawks win their way, we will turn the entire population of that nation against America and the West long term, rather than the 36 years of hostility that have existed between Iran and America since 1979.

The alternative of war is always available if needed, but better to try to avoid war and accomplish the goal of controlling Iran through diplomacy and international cooperation of other nations, than go it alone and drag America into a war that no sane person should want!

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute For The United States Senate Opens Today!

A wonderful event takes place today, March 30, 2015!

The opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute For The United States Senate today on the University of Massachusetts, Boston campus, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, will bring many distinguished political leaders, along with President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, together to celebrate the life and career of one of the greatest US Senators in American history.

But it will also celebrate the great institution of the US Senate, and will encourage knowledge and scholarly research on the most fascinating legislative body ever created by free men and women!

Tourists and scholars will love the exhibits, and the full scale replica of the US Senate chamber, as well as the exhibits and documents on the life and career of Ted Kennedy, who served the fourth longest period of time in the history of that body, about 46 years and nine months duration.

Few Senators have had the impact on the Senate and the nation of the brother of the 35th President of the United States, and the nation’s most outstanding Attorney General. It is arguable that Ted Kennedy had the significance that few other Senators have had, and almost on the level of a Presidency!

Ted Kennedy devoted his life to the betterment of average Americans, despite his great wealth, and in that regard, he can be compared to two “aristocratic” Presidents of another family name—Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt!

Promoting study of the US Senate will enrich all of us, and this is definitely on the list for this blogger to make another vacation trip, with the express purpose of spending time in this great new museum!

Eleven Foreign Policy Presidential Elections In American History, And Now 2016!

America has had foreign policy affect eleven Presidential elections, overshadowing domestic policy issues. This has usually been centered about military intervention and wars. The list of foreign policy dominated Presidential elections follows:

1812—With the War of 1812 having begun, it became the major issue under President James Madison

1844—With the issue of Texas annexation a major issue, and with James K. Polk running on expansionism and “Manifest Destiny”, the issue of relations with Mexico became a major issue under John Tyler and Polk.

1848—With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the Mexican War under James K. Polk granting so much new territory to the United States, the issue of what to do with these territories became the major issue of the campaign.

1900—With the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish American War under William McKinley granting new territories to the United States, the issue of what do to with those territories reigned during the campaign, and the Filipino Insurrection was a hot issue as well.

1916–The issue of keeping America out of World War I dominated, with Woodrow Wilson campaigning on the fact that he had kept us out of the war.

1940—The issue of isolationism and World War II in Europe and Asia, and Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning on keeping us out of war, but offering some assistance to Great Britain, dominated the campaign.

1944—The fact that we were still in World War II, and what to do about the postwar world and the Soviet Union, were key issues of the campaign.

1952—The debate over what to do about the limited nature of the Korean War under Harry Truman was a major factor in this campaign which elected Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1968—The debate over the Vietnam War under Lyndon B. Johnson, and the resulting split in the Democratic Party, and Richard Nixon declaring he had a secret plan to end the war, dominated the discussion in the campaign.

2004—The Iraq War and Afghanistan War under George W. Bush dominated the discussion in this campaign, as September 11 transformed the issue of national security.

2008—The continued intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan became a major issue, along with the Great Recession emerging during the campaign, and benefited Barack Obama, who promised to end the war in Iraq and downgrade the war in Afghanistan.

Now 2016 seems likely to be centered much more than many people want over foreign policy, particularly the threat of Iran in the Middle East, along with the danger of ISIL (ISIS) Terrorism, and the growing menace of the Russian Federation under Vladamir Putin, overall adding to the image of growing threats to national security.

And in these circumstances, one needs a steady hand at the helm, and only Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have the experience and the judgment needed, along with Jon Huntsman, who, although listed by many as a long shot nominee for the Republicans, has indicated he is not a candidate. In any case, the Republicans are not smart enough to realize that the true treasure in their midst is Jon Huntsman!

Five Years Of “ObamaCare” Successes, And Ted Cruz Is Now Applying To Be Covered!

It has been five years since “ObamaCare” became law, and it has been a massive success in so many ways!

And to top it off, its biggest critic, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the first announced Republican Presidential candidate, despite saying his goal is to repeal “every word” of the legislation, is now going on “ObamaCare” since his wife will be taking a leave of absence from her Wall Street job as he runs for President! This mirrors the complete hypocrisy of Cruz, all Republicans, and the conservative think tanks who have bitterly opposed the law since Day One.

President Barack Obama pointed out this week that “ObamaCare” is the Republican and conservative (Heritage Foundation) plan of 1993, in opposition to Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s more expansive health care plan. Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, the Republican leaders, who became, respectively, the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader after the midterm Congressional elections of 1994, endorsed the plan, and Mitt Romney adopted the basics of it when he brought about “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts in 2006. And yet, he refused to endorse “ObamaCare” despite the many similarities to his own state plan, and claimed it was not designed for national adoption, and only good in his state, total hypocrisy, which marked his constantly shifting and lying Presidential campaign in 2012!

The Affordable Care Act, the official name for “ObamaCare”, has done the following over the past five years:

130 million Americans cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

76 million Americans with private medical plans have received expanded access to free preventative services.

16.4 million Americans have gained health care coverage since the law passed, people who never had such coverage before now.

11.7 million people have signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace Plans in 2015.

9.4 million senior citizens have saved more than $11.5 billion on prescription drug costs since 2010.

5.7 million young adults under 26 have been able to have health care coverage under their parents’ plans.

And now, Ted Cruz and his family can be covered under a plan he has tried to destroy, and is still committed to destroying if he becomes President.

But that is not going to happen, as Ted Cruz is a Joseph McCarthy look alike and as much of a “bomb thrower” as the infamous leader of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s was, and has cost the government and taxpayers a loss of $24 million in the forced government shutdown in late 2011, a totally reckless act!

This man comes across as a total lunatic, and his dad is more extreme than him, the worst example of an nutty right wing Christian evangelical demagogue, who preaches hate and division, rather than the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the fact that Cruz had a captive audience of students at Liberty University, who were forced to attend his Presidential announcement, or be forced to pay $10 to the university, is totally mind boggling!

The true nature of Ted Cruz is shown by his willingness to accept “ObamaCare” while trying to smother it for the past five years, not caring about the health care and lives of millions of Americans!

Do All Potential Presidential Candidates Represent The Wealthy And Powerful? NO, Not Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren!

What does a person do if he or she is disgusted with our political system, and the growing theory that no matter who we elect, Wall Street and the wealthy gain?

Well, what he or she can do is promote the Presidential candidacy of two United States Senators, who have made it clear in their time in public office that they are enemies of Wall Street and the Establishment!

Those two Senators are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren!

One problem that Bernie Sanders has is that he will be 75 years old in 2016, and has totally white hair, and he will be a year older than Vice President Joe Biden. He also is a Capital S SOCIALIST, and the vast majority of Americans think Socialism is evil because of their ignorance on the term, while not realizing how much of our social and economic reforms in the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and Great Society years are Socialist ideas! This nation has benefited greatly from “Socialist” programs, but there is a fear of anything which is to the advantage of the middle and lower classes, much of it implanted in the minds of Americans through wrong headed propaganda!

But Bernie Sanders, the longest serving Independent in the history of the Senate and House of Representatives, is the real article, a sincere, genuine, authentic, articulate advocate for the middle class and the poor, and every criticism he makes and every idea he enunciates cannot be refuted if one really examines the facts! But facts often seem not important, as mythology and promotion of fear reign instead!

Bernie Sanders would be a revolutionary President, in the sense that he would truly change the direction of the nation in a positive way, but of course, the conservative right wing and Republican Party would fight him tooth and nail, and accuse him of every sin possibly conceived, and with a viciousness matching Barack Obama in the White House, because, after all, Sanders would be a “real” Socialist, not the phony one painted on Barack Obama, and in the distant past, Franklin D. Roosevelt! Sanders has made it clear that he will not accept large contributions, and will have, therefore, great trouble in raising money, so it is not clear if he will, ultimately, run for President.

At the same time, Elizabeth Warren, former Harvard Law School professor, became controversial for her advocacy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s creation, and could not be confirmed to head that agency that was created under Barack Obama’s Presidency, and instead ran for the US Senate. She has become a great favorite of those on the left, and now is being boosted for President by many, including the Boston Globe and MoveOn.org, along with many other groups.

Warren is seen as better than Hillary Clinton, because Clinton is seem as too cozy with Wall Street, and too hawkish in foreign affairs, so Warren is seen as a more ideal choice for the Democratic Party liberals, who worry that Clinton could be a disappointment in the Presidency. Warren has resisted running, however, so just like Sanders, may not be willing or able to run a national campaign, and she knows she would gain vicious attacks as Sanders would, and as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have experienced too often!

But there is no certainty that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will announce for President, so we may not gain the opportunity to have either of these talented legislators offered to us for the Presidency!

New Polling Shows Hillary Clinton Strength Stronger Than Barack Obama In 2012: Danger Sign For Republican Presidential Hopes In 2016!

Despite recent criticism of Hillary Clinton on her emails and on her Clinton Foundation raising of funds from nations that abuse women, and her image of being too close to Wall Street, and too “Hawkish” in foreign policy, a new polling indicates that she is very strong, and way ahead of any of her Republican Presidential opponents for 2016.

The polls shows that Hillary Clinton does well among basic Democratic constituencies who supported Barack Obama twice, but also does BETTER among other constituencies which were not as strong for President Barack Obama, as she is demonstrating she is at this point of the Presidential campaign.

Clinton does much better among the following:

Suburban voters
Working Class Whites
Women

These are crucial voting groups, with the first two groups particularly a lot stronger for Hillary than Barack Obama, while women supported Obama, but not as strong as Hillary does.

And then, there is the group that is unique to Hillary Clinton in their emotional support: the so called “Clintonites”, those totally loyal and fanatical to everything Clinton, who love and adore her husband Bill Clinton, see no wrong in anything the Clintons say or do, and who feel that Hillary Clinton was robbed, denied, what she was entitled to in 2008—the White House!

With this strength among these groups, it now seems, at least for the time being, that Hillary Clinton, despite faults and shortcomings, is on a steam roller that will not be able to be stopped by any Republican nominee for the White House!

It also shows the likelihood that Hillary Clinton could win more states and electoral votes than Barack Obama did in 2012, with a declining white population participation, and a growing minority population participation, estimated to be a 70-30 split in 2016, as compared to 72-28 in the 2012 Presidential campaign.

Civil Liberties And The Presidency: From John Adams To Barack Obama

When it comes to the issue of the Presidency and the Bill of Rights, many Presidents have scored at an alarmingly low rate, often despite many other virtues that these Presidents have possessed.

John Adams set a terrible standard when he signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

Andrew Jackson forcibly decreed the removal of five Native American tribes (The Trail Of Tears) from their ancestral lands and relocation in Oklahoma, supposedly forever, but with the discovery of oil in Tulsa, the territory was opened to whites in 1889, and reservation life became the norm.

John Tyler, through negotiation to add Texas to the Union, and accepting its institution of slavery, helped to create the slavery expansion issue as one which would divide the nation and lead to Civil War, and Tyler was part of the Confederate government and gave up his American citizenship.

James K. Polk further promoted the expansion of slavery through war with Mexico, and had no issue with slavery anywhere and everywhere.

Millard Fillmore, signing the Compromise of 1850, allowed the South to pursue fugitive slaves in the North.

Franklin Pierce, signing the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854, made the expansion of slavery develop into the Kansas Civil War, which led to the Civil War.

James Buchanan endorsed the Dred Scott Decision, which allowed expansion of slavery everywhere in the nation, if a slave owner chose to move to the North with his slaves.

Abraham Lincoln suppressed press freedom; allowed preventive detention; and imposed a military draft that one could escape only by paying a fee that only wealthy people could afford.

Andrew Johnson wanted to restrict the rights of African Americans after the Civil War, and was an open racist, much more than anyone.

Grover Cleveland promoted the reservation life and adaptation to white culture for Native Americans through his signing of the Dawes Act in 1887.

Theodore Roosevelt spoke and wrote often about superior and inferior races, seeing only intellectual accomplishment and military strength as the basis to admire individuals of other races, but believing in white supremacy and the “Anglo Saxon” race.

Woodrow Wilson backed restrictions on citizens during World War I, and presided over the Red Scare under Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer after the war, as well as showing racist tendencies toward African Americans and Japan. He signed the Sedition Act of 1918, and issued an executive order segregating African Americans in Washington, DC.

Franklin D. Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans under executive order during World War II, and did little to deal with the racial problem in the South.

Richard Nixon arranged for bugging and wiretapping of his “enemies”; arranged break ins and “dirty tricks”; and became engaged in obstruction of justice and abuse of power, leading to moves toward impeachment and his eventual resignation from the Presidency, due to the Watergate Scandal.

Ronald Reagan cut back on civil rights enforcement, and showed insensitivity on the issue of apartheid in South Africa.

George W. Bush pushed through the Patriot Act, and the government engaged in constant civil liberties violations as part of the War on Terror.

Barack Obama also promoted violations of civil liberties, as part of the continued threat of international terrorism.

So 17 Presidents, at the least, have undermined our civil liberties and civil rights, often overlapping.