Dan Quayle

Mike Pence Historical Reputation At Stake As He Leaves Vice Presidency Next Month

Vice President Mike Pence, the 48th Vice President, has been a total disaster in that office, and has added to the horrendous record of recent Republican Vice Presidents, as compared to recent Democratic Vice Presidents.

Just going back a half century, and one can see how different the historical reputation is of the two party’s Vice Presidents.

There are two Republican Vice Presidents since 1969—Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush—who later went on to become President, and despite controversies, stand out as reasonably decent Vice Presidents. Nelson Rockefeller, under Gerald Ford, also comes across as having had a decent record and historical reputation worth defending.

But then we have Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon, who was forced out of the Vice Presidency by corruption, and it remains terrifying that he came so close to becoming President.

We have Dan Quayle, who was a not very bright man, and very scary as potential President when George H.W. Bush had some health crises.

And we have Dick Cheney, often considered more a President in the first term of George W. Bush, who was terrifying in his “Darth Vader” type evil, and committed war crimes and abuse of power while Vice President, demonstrating the potential for harm done by a very bright man, who was transformed by September 11 in a dangerous way.

Now compare this to the Democratic Vice Presidents since 1969. We have Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, recognized by scholars as the most active, engaged and exceptional Vice President in American history, and still living 40 years after his time in office, and reaching the age of 93 on January 5.

We have Al Gore, who served Bill Clinton in a very reputable fashion, and influenced Clinton on environmental and other matters. And he had the dignity after a contested Presidential election in 2000, to concede in a manner that showed respect for the Constitution and rule of law.

And we have Joe Biden, who is seen as either equivalent of importance to Barack Obama or just second to Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, and now will be the 46th President of the United States in less than a month! Certainly, Biden’s Vice Presidency prepared him for the challenges he will face on January 20, 2021!

All three of these Democratic Vice Presidents in the past half century stand out as successes, and all three also ran for President, and they add to the dignity and significance of the office of Vice President.

The Republican Vice Presidents, at least Agnew, Quayle, and Cheney were, by comparison, true disasters!

Now, Mike Pence, who has demonstrated a complete lack of guts to challenge Donald Trump on anything he says or does, has an historic role he faces on January 6, to go through the ceremonial duty as President of the US Senate, to conduct a formal counting of the electoral votes before a joint session of Congress.

Every one of the Vice Presidents in office at the end of the term from Hubert Humphrey in 1969, through Nelson Rockefeller in 1977, through Walter Mondale in 1981, through George H. W. Bush in 1989, through Dan Quayle in 1993, through Al Gore, in 2001, through Dick Cheney in 2009, and through Joe Biden in 2017, have followed procedure and refused to allow challenges or controversies during that solemn ceremony.

But the odds are good that Mike Pence will allow such characters as Congressmen Mo Brooks of Alabama, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senators Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to delay the counting of the vote as they try to deny Joe Biden his rightful win in the Electoral College and in the popular vote nationally!

If Mike Pence does that, he will be condemned in history on the level of such disgraced Vice Presidents as Aaron Burr and Spiro Agnew!

Trump Moves Toward Insanity In Last Month, And Has Supporters Ready To Destroy The Transition

Donald Trump is moving toward insanity as the days tick down until he leave office on January 20, 2021.

He is lashing out at everyone imaginable in stormy, screaming matches in the Oval Office, including against White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Counsel Patrick Cipollone, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and even Vice President Mike Pence.

Those encouraging his insane, reckless behavior include a rag tag group of characters, including newly elected to the House of Representatives QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, and wacko Congressmen, including Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, along with Senator Elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The plan is to create a crisis on January 6, when Vice President Pence must have a joint session of Congress to open up 51 envelopes, and finish the process of the formal election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President, two weeks before the inauguration.

Ordinarily, it is a simple ceremony, but those listed above plan to challenge the final results, and a lot of attention and pressure is being brought against Pence in his last official, constitutional duty to do the electoral vote ceremony in a dignified manner.

It is not as if Vice Presidents have had to announce the defeat either of their own candidacy for President (Richard Nixon in 1961, Hubert Humphrey in 1969, Al Gore in 2001) or the defeat of their ticket for reelection (Walter Mondale in 1981, Dan Quayle in 1993), or the defeat of their party ticket not including them (Nelson Rockefeller in 1977, Dick Cheney in 2009, Joe Biden in 2017).

Crucial Vice Presidential Choices In American History, Good And Bad

As Joe Biden decides soon who will be his Vice Presidential running mate, this is a good time to look at crucial Vice Presidential choices in American history, both good and bad.

There is a myth that the Vice Presidential choice does not matter, but it most certainly does.

Abraham Lincoln, in order to help his reelection chances in 1864, dropped Vice President Hannibal Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson. Johnson would go on to be the worst blunder of Lincoln, as he succeeded Lincoln after only six weeks in office, divided the country, and was impeached.

William McKinley lost his Vice President, Garret Hobart, in 1899, due to heart disease. If Hobart had not died, he would have become President in 1901, but instead, it was Theodore Roosevelt, who transformed the office of the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped third term Vice President Henry A. Wallace in 1944 in favor of Harry Truman, who succeeded him after 82 days as Vice President, and most scholars believe Wallace would have been a terrible choice to be President.

John F. Kennedy could not have won in 1960 without Lyndon B. Johnson, who would carry along to success the domestic goals of JFK, and expand beyond it in the “Great Society” programs in the mid 1960s.

Jimmy Carter had a perfect match for Vice President in Walter Mondale, who became the most active and engaged Vice President, practically a co-President.

Ronald Reagan had no foreign policy experience, and George H. W. Bush was a great asset to him in the 1980s.

Bush made a terrible choice in Dan Quayle as his Vice President, and made everyone pray for his health when he had an “atrial fibrillation” in office.

Bill Clinton was fortunate to have Al Gore as his VP, as Gore helped to direct Clinton on the environment, an issue Clinton had performed poorly as Arkansas Governor.

George W. Bush had a smart, intelligent, capable Vice President in Dick Cheney, except for the reality that he “ran the show” in the first term, and pushed us into unwise wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and managed to make millions of personal wealth from Halliburton.

He is often called the most powerful Vice President in American history, in the sense of his impact and powerful influence in policy under Bush, although somewhat less so in the second term, as Bush separated himself to some extent from Cheney.

The Barack Obama-Joe Biden “Bromance” was extremely close and influential, only matched by the Carter-Mondale partnership.

The relationship between Donald Trump and Mike Pence has been one of total sycophancy by Pence, as he hopes to become President at some point in the future. The evangelical Christian Right has been a major factor in the total degradation, and lack of ethics and morals of the Trump Presidency.

So for good or for bad, the Vice Presidency has made a difference!

Richard Lugar, A Rare Decent Republican, And True Statesman, Remembered For His Principles, Courage, Bipartisanship

Former Republican Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who served 36 years in that chamber from 1977-2013, passed away over the weekend at age 87.

Lugar was that rare Republican, considered a moderate, who became highly renowned as a foreign policy expert, and headed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1985-1987 and 2003-2007.

While usually considered a conservative, he was the kind of Republican who no longer exists now in that party. He “crossed the aisle” and worked with Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who he had come to be close to in the four years Obama was in the Senate before being elected President. He was co-chairman of the Obama Inaugural Committee.

His major commitment was to work with Georgia Democratic Senator Sam Nunn toward the dismantling of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons around the world after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

His views on immigration, climate change, and Cuban policy were outside the norm of his party. He supported Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, one of a very few Republicans to do so.

He was Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1976, and gained a reputation as Richard Nixon’s favorite mayor. He was overlooked by George H. W. Bush in 1988, who picked fellow Indiana Senator Dan Quayle, a total lightweight selected for Vice President, and gave America four years of concern were anything to occur to Bush.

The longest serving Senator in Indiana history, and one of the longest serving in American history, his defeat in the primary in 2012 was another sign of the deteriorating nature of the Republican Party. And Lugar in retirement was a critic of Donald Trump, who represented every trait that Lugar was the exact opposite of, as Lugar was a man who fit the image of being decent, reasonable, intelligent, well mannered, principled, and highly respected.

Lugar even challenged President Ronald Reagan on the issues of the Philippines and South Africa policies during the mid 1980s, and never felt he must be slavishly loyal to the party line, and that is what his legacy will be, a remnant of what the Republican Party had once been, but no longer is, a party of principle and mainstream ideas, now lost in the age of Donald Trump.

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.

Birch Bayh, One Of The Best Senators Of Late 20th Century Dead At Age 91, A Truly Creative Legislator Who Should Have Been President

Former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, who served in the Senate from 1963-1981, passed away this week at age 91.

Birch Bayh was one of the best United States Senators of the late 20th century, a truly creative legislator who should have been President.

He competed in 1976 for the Democratic Presidential nomination against Jimmy Carter and many others, and he was the favorite of this blogger and author.

This is a man who promoted the passage of the 25th Amendment, providing for an Acting President if the President was incapacitated, and of the appointment and approval of a Vice Presidential replacement when there was a vacancy in that office.

This was the reaction of Bayh and others after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and with Lyndon B. Johnson having had a serious heart attack in 1955, and with potential successors being House Speaker John W. McCormack (age 73), and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Carl Hayden (age 86).

Bayh also promoted the 26th Amendment, giving 18 years olds the right to vote, and he also sponsored the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment, which failed of passage by enough states.

He also sponsored Title 9 of the amended Civil Rights Act in 1972, ending quotas for women in higher education and giving women equal opportunity to participate in sports.

Additionally, Bayh saved Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when they were both in a small plane crash in 1964.

Bayh was the father of Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh. He won three close races in Indiana, and then was defeated by future Vice President Dan Quayle in 1980.

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

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.

Seven Living Vice Presidents, Most For Second Time In American History, And Longevity Of Presidents And First Ladies

Here we are near the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, and we have seven living Vice Presidents of the United States, the second time we have had that number.

The first time was from the inauguration of Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993 to the death of Richard Nixon on April 22, 1994.

At that time, we had seven living Vice Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and the incumbent Vice President, Al Gore.

So while we have six living Presidents for the fourth time, after 1861-1862, 1993-1994, and 2001-2004, now we have seen seven Vice Presidents for the second time, due to the fact that while Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004, his vice President and his successor as President, George H. W. Bush, is about to break the longevity record held by Gerald Ford. Bush passed Reagan’s age on October 11, and will pass Ford on November 25, just two weeks from today.

The earliest Vice President still alive is Walter Mondale, who has lived 37 years beyond his time in office, as has his boss, Jimmy Carter, an all time record for both. Mondale will be 90 years of age on January 5, making for the second Presidential-Vice Presidential team to reach age 90 after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush is the only one of the living Vice Presidents to have also served as President, while his Vice President, Dan Quayle, is now 70 years old.

Al Gore served under Bill Clinton, and is now 69 years old.

Dick Cheney served under George W. Bush, and is now 76 years old.

Joe Biden served under Barack Obama, and is now 75 years old as of his birthday on November 20.

And the incumbent Vice President, Mike Pence is now 58 years old.

If all seven living Vice Presidents live beyond April 22, 2018, it will be the longest time we have had seven Vice Presidents alive at the same time, and by that time, Jimmy Carter will have passed Gerald Ford as longest lived (on March 16, 2018), but of course still 111 days behind George H. W. Bush, if both former Presidents are still alive then.

Additionally, we have the amazing statistic that four Presidents in a row have lived beyond the age of 90, and all four of their First Ladies have now reached 90 as well, with Rosalyn Carter having reached it in August, and previously the cases of Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush. Finally, Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman also reached the age of 90, although their husbands did not do so, although Harry Truman lived beyond the age of 89.