Bill Clinton

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders: Part II: Those Without Government Experience

A few days ago, we discussed five Republican Governors or former Governors, who are contending for the Republican Presidential nomination, and why they are horrible choices for the Presidency, and would demean the office.

Today, we will examine three Republican Presidential contenders, who have never held elected office or been a cabinet member or in the military:

Dr. Benjamin Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon and African American, who has come across as totally loony in his statements and views, including saying ObamaCare is slavery, that Obama is like Adolf Hitler, and that Creationism is a scientific theory and Climate Change is not occurring. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and Carson is proving how ridiculous his candidacy is, and how he is simply running to gain attention for his tremendous ego, as he has zero chance of being the nominee of his party.

Former Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Carly Fiorina, the only Republican woman running for President, thinks she is more qualified than Hillary Clinton, but she was fired from HP, and lost a race for the Senate seat of Barbara Boxer in California in 2010 by a massive landslide. She is basing her campaign on attacking Hillary, but has no credentials to make her qualified for President, and has a reputation of being a nasty, privileged lady in her dealings with others. Her chances of being the GOP nominee are zero!

The inimitable egotist and braggart of all time, Donald Trump, is a disaster waiting to happen, having had four bankruptcies, three wives, and promoted controversial views on “Birtherism” of Barack Obama, and is a nativist, racist, misogynist, and homophobe. He is pure poison for the GOP, and has no chance of being the nominee, but wants attention all of the time.

Only two non government figures have ever run for President–Wendell Willkie, Republican nominee in 1940 against Franklin D. Roosevelt. Despite losing, he had more brains and talents than all three of these characters discussed above combined. Also, Ross Perot, ran as an Independent in 1992 and 1996, and helped elect Bill Clinton. He managed to win 19 percent of the popular vote, second best ever for a third party candidate, in 1992, and 8 percent in 1996.

Forget about any of these three being the GOP nominee, as it is NOT going to happen, and they just simply add to the Clown Bus of Republican Presidential contenders!

George H. W. Bush On His 91st Birthday!

George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, celebrates today his 91st birthday.

Often ignored since he left office, other than his two sons’ electoral victories as Governors of Texas and Florida; George W. Bush’s Presidency; and Jeb Bush’s nascent campaign for President, to be announced on June 15; the elder Bush looks so much better than his two sons at this point of history.

Bush followed Ronald Reagan and preceded Bill Clinton, two men of great oratorical ability and charismatic presence. Both of them are rated higher in Presidential polls of experts and scholars.

However, a new public opinion poll, rating popularity of former living Presidents, places the elder Bush and Bill Clinton in a statistical tie at 64 percent popularity, an amazing fact when one considers that the elder Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, with the second worst defeat of a sitting President for reelection in American history, only surpassing William Howard Taft in the 1912 election.

But as a former President ages, popularity rising is not unusual, and particularly after a President dies, as with Harry Truman.

More books are being published on George H. W. Bush in the last couple of years, and the volume of publication will continue to grow, as history looks kinder on the elder Bush.

We have had more than 22 years pass since his Presidency, and the elder Bush is remembered for:

Winning the Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and leading the United Nations coalition brilliantly.

Promoting the reunification of Germany, despite many people’s fears that Germany would become a threat to European stability.

Bringing about a dignified end to the Cold War in 1991, by dealing with the falling Mikhail Gorbachev, and his successor Boris Yeltsin in a way that promoted calm in the world.

Advocating a civil rights law for the disabled and handicapped, the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Demonstrating courage in promoting a tax increase after pledging not to raise taxes, as the national and international situation in 1990 required such action.

If Pat Buchanan had not opposed the elder Bush in the Republican primaries in 1992; and if Ross Perot had not run so strongly as an Independent candidate in the Presidential Election of 1992, winning 19 percent of the vote, the elder Bush would have won a second term, and we would not have had Bill or Hillary Clinton as important figures in American history and politics.

So at least, on his 91st Birthday, the elder Bush can feel happy that he has survived long enough to see his popularity soar to 64 percent; to see one son serve as President for eight years, and another son about to try to set a record of three members of the same family serve in the White House.

Imagine if Jeb Bush, somehow, were to become President in 2017. and the elder Bush were to survive another nineteen plus months, and former First Lady Barbara Bush, who just became 90 on June 8, were also to survive!

They would witness two sons becoming President of the United States, surpassing John Adams, who only saw one son, John Quincy Adams, make it to the White House.

Even if one does not like or admire the Bush Family, that would be some magnificent achievement, which would have to be celebrated!

Los Angeles Minimum Wage To Go To $15 By 2020! Is This The Trend For The Nation?

The issue of the minimum wage has been a controversial one for the past decade, with the unwillingness of Congress to raise the minimum wage, which used to be raised automatically, based on the “cost of living” until the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Ever since, even despite occasional increases under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the argument has been that raising the minimum wage will cause more unemployment and raise prices for consumers dramatically.

But many say that is not the case, and that it is a situation of a basic human right, the ability to support oneself and one’s family, and that many of the people on the minimum wage are NOT young beginning workers, as claimed by critics, but rather people primarily of color who are single mothers with children.

Now Los Angeles has taken the bull by the horn, and mandated a $15 minimum wage in steps by the year 2020, and a few other localities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, have also raised the minimum wage, although not as high as Los Angeles.

There is a movement nationwide by fast food workers, and retail industry workers, to force an increase by demonstrations, with limited success at this time.

The fact is that IF the minimum wage was always based on the cost of living, the original minimum wage of 25 cents per hour in 1938 would not be about $22.00 an hour, so even what Los Angeles has mandated will happen, does not meet that standard.

President Obama has proposed a national minimum wage of $9 an hour, a small step forward.

It is clear that no worker, who works full time, should be expected to live in poverty, and if the rest of us must pay a higher price for goods and services, so be it!

Martin O’Malley Is Ready To Enter Presidential Race, Could Be Major Democratic Challenger To Hillary Clinton

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who also served as Baltimore Mayor, seems, finally, ready to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination, with indications that he will announce before the month of May comes to an end.

O’Malley, regarded as one of the best Governors in the entire nation, has been holding back, having been a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the past, and groomed by them to become an important Democratic leader.

But O’Malley senses that Hillary Clinton has major issues that will cause troubles for the Democrats, and that, at the least, she needs a major challenge to improve her ability, if possible, to overcome the controversies through having to explain herself and communicate better than she has been doing so far.

No one is entitled to a coronation, and it is a horrible form of democracy to have anyone who is not President already, to be considered a shoo-in with no one willing to take on the task to make that person work for the job.

O’Malley may not succeed in his challenge, but could, by making himself known,and making Hillary work for her nomination, become her Vice Presidential choice.

And even if that does not happen, the old saying holds: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

Divorce And The Presidency: Adlai Stevenson To The Present

The news of the death of Happy Rockefeller, the second wife and widow of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, brings to mind the issue of “domestic bliss” or the lack of it in our politicians, past and present.

Rockefeller was thought to be the leading Republican candidate for President in 1964, but when he divorced his first wife and married his second wife, his chances for the nomination evaporated very quickly.

Only Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, had been a nominee and been divorced before Rockefeller’s situation came along a decade later.

This did not mean that there were never liaisons and love triangles before, as Warren G. Harding had been cheating on his wife, but never had thought of divorce.

And Franklin D. Roosevelt had stayed with Eleanor Roosevelt, knowing that if he divorced her, his chances for a political career were over.

There was plenty of sexual “hanky panky” throughout American history, without any thought of divorce, including, besides Harding and FDR the following: Franklin Pierce, James A. Garfield, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and others.

But none of them ever considered divorce seriously, and Stevenson was hurt by his divorce, as was Rockefeller.

But that changed when Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, and had been divorced more than 30 years earlier.

And since Reagan, we have had Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain, all divorced, but nominated by their parties, although no other divorced person has been elected President.

So divorce, so common in politics now, is no longer an issue, as it was throughout our history!

Bill Clinton A Major Problem For Hillary Clinton, But Not Controllable!

Hillary Clinton may be far ahead in polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination over any conceivable opponent, and ahead of every GOP Presidential possibility, but it is not a fool proof situation for her, by any means.

Besides the problems surrounding her destruction of emails on a personal server, instead of the State Department servers; and the controversy over the Clinton Foundation and contributions that may have been a conflict of interest while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton also faces the burden of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton is a double edged sword, in that he is extremely popular and adored by many millions of Americans, and yet, he is also a detriment because of his personality and his statements and actions.

Bill Clinton harmed Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina primary in 2008, by what was perceived as his racist statements about Barack Obama; as well as the reality that he had a “loose mouth” generally, which got him and her into trouble in the minds of many observers.

This time around, Bill Clinton has made clear that he will continued to speak his mind unimpeded, and he is bound to harm his wife’s candidacy by so doing.

Already, he has said that he will continue to give speeches for a fee up to an astronomical $550,000, because the Clintons “have bills to pay.” Really? Does Bill Clinton NOT realize how that sounds, and adds to the image that the Clintons are out of touch with reality, including Hillary’s statement last year that the couple was “broke” when they left the White House in 2001!

The Clintons are, clearly, part of the one percent, and to act as if they are “normal” people, and to exploit their celebrity can be understood as part of the capitalist mentality of America, but it is bound to cause Hillary grief as the Presidential campaign wears on for the next 18 months!

The Road Ahead For Marco Rubio: Many Barriers To The Republican Presidential Nomination In 2016

When one examines the field of candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Florida Senator Marco Rubio seems, clearly, to be one of the top candidates.

Rubio has many positives, including:

Young, handsome, charismatic

From the ultimate “Swing” state, with the third highest number of electoral votes

An Hispanic (Cuban American)

Representative of a “new generation”

A “fresh face”

Seen by many as the Republican Barack Obama, but also seen as the Republican equivalent of a Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy in age and charisma

A person with a substantial state government legislative experience, including being Florida House Speaker

But, Rubio also has many negatives, including:

He has to compete against fellow Floridian, former Governor Jeb Bush, his mentor

The Cuban American members of Congress from Florida (Lincoln Diaz Balart and Ileane Ros Lehtinen) support Bush over their fellow Cuban American

Rubio’s support of comprehensive immigration reform, alienating many conservatives, but then backing away from it, alienating other groups, including Latinos who are not Cuban American

Rubio’s being seen as too close to former Miami Congressman David Rivera, who has been seen as involved in corrupt, questionable activities

Rubio being questioned about spending habits while Florida House Speaker, regarding expenditures paid by the state party that were personal expenditures

Rubio being too close to billionaires including Miami’s Norman Braman, and Nevada gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, and being often in financial difficulties in which Braman has helped him with financial support

Rubio being seen as a Tea Party leader, but trying to separate himself from the extremists of the movement

Rubio seen as not fully understanding foreign policy, where he often seems ignorant of facts and favoring false realities

Rubio seen as not aggressive enough, as compared to rivals, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckebee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Hillary Clinton Shifting Further Left Of Bill Clinton And Barack Obama, Closer To Elizabeth Warren And Bernie Sanders: Great Strategy!

There are doubts that have arisen about Hillary Clinton, over the email controversy and the Clinton Foundation controversy, and certainly, she is far from an ideal choice for President, with her ties to Wall Street, and her hawkish foreign policy background.

Emotion and passion make one wish to see Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or even Martin O’Malley, but the odds are heavy that Hillary will be the Democratic nominee, with hopes she will stay healthy and safe.

And she is pleasing many progressives with a growing movement to the left, past the policies and viewpoints of her husband, Bill Clinton, who, after all, was President 15-23 years ago, a full generation; AND past Barack Obama, dedicated to further commitment on immigration and expressed doubts about new trade deals that might undermine the environment, labor, and human rights.

Hillary is organizing to be close to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, a smart move to insure she will be the next President of the United States.

The next President is NOT going to win by being nativist, racist, misogynistic, and homophobic, and the Republican nominee is likely to be all of these!

In a way, for this generation, Hillary Clinton is the leftist version of her husband, as Robert Kennedy was the leftist version of John F. Kennedy.

Let us hope and pray that Hillary Clinton does not face the kind of threats that Robert Kennedy did in 1968, which caused the loss of a potential generation of progressive change in the 1970s!

Fifty Years Of Environmentalism—Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama— All To Be Applauded!

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon and his Interior Secretary Walter Hickel in 1970, but the environmental movement was begun, actually, by Lyndon B. Johnson and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall in 1965 with the promotion of the first water and air pollution laws as part of the Great Society.

Jimmy Carter proceeded to promote the most advanced environmental record of any one term President, and with the great assistance of Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus.

Then, Bill Clinton, under the prodding of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Vice President Al Gore, contributed greatly to advancement of the environment.

And Barack Obama, under the support of Interior Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell has also contributed greatly on the issue of the environment.

Additionally, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, and John F. Kennedy, with Interior Secretary Udall (who served for eight years under both JFK and LBJ), also did a great deal on the environment.

Sadly, with Theodore Roosevelt being the true promoter of the environment in the early part of the 20th century, and assisted by Interior Secretary James R. Garfield and close TR friend Gifford Pinchot, one would have thought that the Republican Party would have continued to be the leader on the issue, but except for Richard Nixon, that has not been the case, and now Republicans are doing everything possible to help advance industry over the environment!

This includes attempting to prevent any future national parks; allowing industrial exploitation of the Grand Canyon and other parks for mining; and wishing to undermine or destroy the Environmental Protection Agency begun during the Nixon Presidency!

So the battle to promote conservation of natural resources and add to public lands is a never ending battle between the political parties, when it should be part of the national agenda that all political leaders believe in and advocate!

Third Term Presidents: The Truth And The Historical “Might Have Beens”!

Anyone who studies American history knows that the 22nd Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1951, prevents any future President from serving more than two complete terms by election or a total of ten years by succession in the last two years of the Presidential term.

Only Franklin D. Roosevelt served more than eight years in the Presidency, a total of 12 years and 39 days, having been elected four times (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944), and this fact causing the opposition Republicans, when they controlled the 80th Congress in 1947-48, to pass the 22nd Amendment in 1947, and send it on to the state legislatures for ratification.

However, Ulysses S. Grant in 1876; Theodore Roosevelt in reality in 1912 as a third party (Progressive Bull Moose) candidate; Woodrow Wilson in 1920; and Harry Truman in 1952 considered a third term.

Additionally, it is clear that Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960, Ronald Reagan in 1988 and Bill Clinton in 2000 would have won a third term if it had been allowed and they had agreed to seek it , with George H. W. Bush being the beneficiary of Reagan in 1988, and Al Gore being the beneficiary of Clinton in 2000, winning a larger margin of popular vote victory than any of the four cases of popular vote victory but Electoral College loss!

Also, if one considers popular vote victories of Andrew Jackson in 1824 and Grover Cleveland in 1888, but in each case losing the Electoral College, that could have meant three terms for Jackson (1824, 1828, 1832) and for Cleveland (1884, 1888, 1892)!

So if things had been different, instead of only FDR having a third and fourth term, we could have had Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton having third terms in the Presidency!