Dan Quayle

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.

The Republican Party Of The Early 1990s And Now: David Duke, Bob Packwood, And Roy Moore

How far the Republican Party has come in the past generation, from a party that had some principle and dignity to a party that is afraid to stand up against hypocrisy and evil.

In 1991, David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was the Republican nominee for Governor of Louisiana, but many Republicans repudiated him, and President George H. W. Bush condemned him in a public statement, and refused to endorse and support him.

In 1995, Oregon Senator Bob Packwood, a mainstay of the chamber, who had been in the Senate for nearly 27 years, and actually had a decent record as a progressive oriented Republican, was shown to have engaged in sexual harassment for the previous two decades, and the Senate censured him, and he resigned from office in disgrace.

Now, in 2017, a despicable human being named Roy Moore, who has hatred and prejudice as part of his mantra, and is seen as a pariah by many Republican Senators, is accused of sexual harassment and more against teenage girls decades ago, and he refuses to leave the Senate race in Alabama, and while many Republicans have called for him to exit the race, only Senator John McCain has been forceful on the issue, and the only conservative intellectual who has clearly condemned him is Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, who worked for Vice President Dan Quayle, but has been a Trump critic from Day One when Trump announced for President nearly two and a half years ago.

One would hope that many of the Senators who said Moore should withdraw show the courage of John McCain and Bill Kristol, and refuse to support, endorse, or finance his race for the Senate on December 12 in Alabama.

Alabama deserves a decent, hard working, principled US Senator, and forgetting party lines, they can get that in Doug Jones, who prosecuted two Ku Klux Klansmen in the infamous Birmingham Church bombing in 1963, which killed for young African American girls, a case pursued nearly forty years after the horrible events.

This is the kind of Senator all members of that body should welcome into their club.

If Alabama, a state with already corrupt leadership that puts the state in the top ten worst governed states, and with a horrible reputation of being ignorant, prejudiced, and backward, not all that different than in the era of civil rights and George Wallace in the 1960s, goes ahead and elects Roy Moore to the Senate, the Republicans should join with the Democrats, and refuse to seat him, which is within their rights as a legislative body. They forced Bob Packwood out on sexual misconduct in 1995, and further back Democratic Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut in 1982, and more recently Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada in 2011, both on financial improprieties, so they can do the same to the infamous, despicable Roy Moore.

Since there was horror when Moore won the nomination to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions over Senator Luther Strange, the Sessions replacement, on the part of Republicans in the Senate, it should not be hard to refuse to seat him, and to hell with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their ilk demonstrating no morality, no ethics, and supporting a so called “good Christian”, who is anything but that in his views on women, gays and lesbians, Muslims, and on separation of church and state, which he does not believe in.

Right now, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is the most disliked member of the Senate by his own colleagues, but Roy Moore, if he wins and is seated, will far surpass Cruz, and will become an albatross around the neck of the GOP.

How far the Republican Party has fallen since the early to mid 1990s!

Vice President Mike Pence: Could Be Most Engaged And Active Vice President Yet!

It seems more likely by the day that Vice President Elect Mike Pence could be the most engaged and active Vice President yet!

The Vice Presidency began to grow under Richard Nixon under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, because Ike was willing to delegate authority, and Nixon was smart and ambitious.

Nixon was the first Vice President to play a major role in policy making.

Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; Dick Cheney under George W. Bush; and Joe Biden under Barack Obama all added to the office of Vice President, but now it seems as if Donald Trump, who does not have a clue on anything in government, may be leaning on Mike Pence, who served 12 years in the House of Representatives, before becoming Indiana Governor over the past four years.

The good thing about Pence is that he is smart, intelligent, experienced in government, fully qualified, if need be, to take over the Presidency.

He is not Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, who was the VP running mate of John McCain.

But despite his abilities, we must realize that Pence is a theocrat, who always says that his evangelical Christian faith is the most important thing in his life, and utilizes his right wing Christian beliefs to oppose abortion rights and gay rights in a vehement fashion. He also does not believe in climate change and science generally, and also promoted the idea that tobacco does not cause lung cancer, a preposterous idea.

So one would not wish to see Pence end up in the Presidency by plan or by circumstance, but in the meanwhile, he could be the single most important player in the Donald Trump administration over the next four years.

Republican Presidential Nominees And Presidents, And Their Running Mates: No Love Lost, Historically!

It is clear from the study of history and news coverage over the past half century that Republican Presidential candidate and even Republican Presidents have NOT been enamored with their Vice Presidential running mates or Vice Presidents.

We go back to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew as the first example, with Nixon using Agnew to attack the news media and Democrats in the midterm 1970 Congressional elections, but having little personal regard for him, and unwilling to come to his support when Agnew was revealed to be engaged in corruption, which would force his resignation in October 1973.

Then, Nixon selected Gerald Ford as his Vice Presidential replacement more on the idea that he felt that Ford, while well liked in Congress, would not be seen by opposition Democrats as all that competent to replace Nixon during the impeachment crisis of 1973-1974.

Gerald Ford seems to have really admired and felt comfortable with Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President under the 25th Amendment, but agreed to drop him from the ticket in 1976 to please conservatives, led by Ronald Reagan, and to select Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his replacement.

Ronald Reagan may have utilized George H. W. Bush’s expertise, but had little personal regard for Bush, and the Bushes were never invited to dinner at the White House during the eight years of their association.

Bush certainly had little faith and trust in Dan Quayle during his Presidency, and the nation knew it, and worried about the incompetence of Quayle.

Bob Dole’s selection of Jack Kemp in 1996 to be his running mate as Vice President certainly was not as a result of friendship or warmth, and they seemed an ill fit, often disagreeing during the campaign.

George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney in 2000 due to his vast experience, and allowed himself to be dominated in the first term, but their association soured dramatically in the second term.

John McCain seems to have been forced to select Sarah Palin in 2008, and Palin helped to undermine McCain, but McCain continues to defend Palin even today, although it seems clear how uncomfortable he is when answering questions about Palin.

The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan connection in 2012 seems also not to have been one of great warmth and friendship.

And Mike Pence is squirming a lot as Vice Presidential running mate for Donald Trump, seeing Trump contradict him openly and making clear his lack of regard for Pence, including being upset that Pence performed better in his debate with Tim Kaine, than Trump did with Hillary Clinton in their three Presidential debates.

Mike Pence Another Horrible Republican VP Pick, Following Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, And Sarah Palin

The Republican Party has had a horrible history regarding Vice Presidential running mates, and twice, the nation was saddled with the choices as Vice President, making us pray for the health of the sitting President.

First, Richard Nixon selected Spiro Agnew, Governor of Maryland, who turned out to be the most worrisome VP of the 20th century, a true demagogue going after the news media and liberal critics with a vengeance,and turning out to be involved in illegal money laundering and bribery, forcing him to resign in October 1973, but saving us from an Agnew Presidency, and instead giving us Gerald Ford as the next President when Richard Nixon resigned.

Then, George H. W. Bush selected Dan Quayle, Senator of Indiana, who turned out to be a not very bright and informed Vice President, and when Bush had an atrial fibrillation, we had to worry that “Danny Boy” might succeed him. Quayle proved to be lacking in intelligence or brains.

Finally, we had John McCain select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin,who was a total nightmare and still haunts us eight years later as a true pest, who has no brains and no character at all, and yet has millions of clueless people who love this new “reality star”.

Now we have Donald Trump selecting Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who was a major supporter of the rise of the Tea Party Movement; promoted an anti gay accommodations bill, which he had to backtrack on over protests from corporations who withdrew plans for expansion in the Hoosier state; has stated his lack of belief in evolution or climate change; has come across as a Christian right wing extremist of the worst order including opposition to a women’s right to choose on abortion and refusal to accept gay rights and gay marriage; has said tobacco is not a health risk; and this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

The Republican Party has added to its history of having horrible, scary Vice Presidential nominees, and this is just another reason to fight against Donald Trump in this year’s election.

Vice Presidency More Significant Than Ever Before In 2016, With Oldest Presidential Nominees In American History!

The Vice Presidency has been growing in significance and stature in the six decades since Richard Nixon was Vice President and started to grow the office.

We have had outstanding men in the Vice Presidency since then, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden.

We have also had “lemons”, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to scare us at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Now that our Presidential candidates will be the oldest in American history in combination, with average age of past 70, combining Democrat Hillary Clinton at 69 plus and Republican Donald Trump 70 plus on Inauguration Day, it is more essential than ever that we have the best possible men or women placed in that position for the upcoming Presidential election!

But so many of the proposed nominees, that have been bandied about by the news media and the candidates’ campaigns are far from the best possible candidates, and they can cause worry about succession, if the winner of the election dies in office of natural causes or by assassination in the next four years, with the odds growing on each possibly occurring.

The idea of two “senior citizens” competing for the most stressful job in the world is not comforting, and the fact that it has been 53 years since John F. Kennedy was killed, and 71 years since the natural death of a President in office (Franklin D. Roosevelt), as well as 42 years since Richard Nixon resigned.

We need distinguished Senators or Governors ready to come forth and offer a strong backup to the two nominees, but particularly in the case of the Republicans, the odds of such a person arising is not likely!

Rapid Decline In Quality From Ronald Reagan-Richard Schweiker In 1976 To Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina In 2016!

Forty years have passed since Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, in a desperate move to try to derail President Gerald Ford from winning the GOP Presidential nomination in 1976, chose a Vice Presidential running mate, Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker.

It did not help Reagan to win the nomination, but at least Reagan had been two term Governor of California, and Schweiker was a two term liberal Republican Senator, who later was Secretary of Health and Human Services for two years under Reagan.

The rapid decline in quality from Reagan-Schweiker then to Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina two generations later is alarming, demonstrating how candidates for President and Vice President, at least in the Republican Party, are truly disastrous!

Remember that the GOP is great at choosing terrible Vice Presidential candidates, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, who served as Vice President, and Sarah Palin!

And even the so called “better qualified” VP candidates such as Dick Cheney, who was Vice President, and Paul Ryan, who did not serve, are wanting in comparison to Democratic Vice Presidential candidates, including Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden, as well as candidates Edmund Muskie, Sargent Shriver, Lloyd Bentsen, and Joe Lieberman!

The Importance Of The Vice Presidency Grows With “Senior Citizen” Likely Presidential Nominees!

The Vice Presidency has become more significant and powerful since the time of Richard Nixon in the 1950s under Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Before Nixon, the Vice Presidency had little impact, and was often the butt of jokes and humor.

But the office has grown since then, and with the exception of Spiro Agnew under Nixon and Dan Quayle under the first President Bush, the men who have held the position have been men of quality, distinction, and ability, even if one did not necessarily agree with them on their political stands.

Recent books on the Vice Presidency have demonstrated that the last three Vice Presidents, each in office for eight years, a record in American history, have had a great impact on the office.

Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden have all served in a manner that demonstrates their influence and impact on the Presidents they served.

Now, with the almost certain reality that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the likely nominees of their parties, we have the alternative candidates being past 70 and 69 respectively, meaning either one will be in their 70s during their term.

This is the first time that we will have both party nominees as senior citizens, and only Ronald Reagan for all but two weeks of his Presidency, and Dwight D. Eisenhower for three months were in their 70s.

So we must insist that both parties are very careful in the selection of the Vice Presidential nominees, as the odds of the next President not being able to finish his term has grown, with the rise in age of the nominees!

If one looks at the odds, it is something to worry about that it has been 53 years since the last time a President died in office, and 42 years since a President left office, and that makes for a longer such time frame than any previous period since the beginning of the Constitution!

We cannot afford to have another Agnew or Quayle, or even a potential Sarah Palin, as a heartbeat away from the Presidency!

Vice Presidents And The Presidency: Being Elected A Lost Cause!

With Vice President Joe Biden announcing he would not run for President, due to bad timing to announce caused by the family tragedy of the loss of his son Beau Biden in May, it adds to the reality that any Vice President has great odds against him if he wishes to use the Vice Presidency as a launching pad for the Presidency.

Only four Presidents have been able to run from the Vice Presidency for President and triumph, with all but one in the first 50 years of the Republic, as follows:

John Adams 1796

Thomas Jefferson 1800

Martin Van Buren 1836

The other President is George H. W. Bush in 1988.

Never until the 1940s and after did a sitting Vice President ever get considered at all for the Presidency, other than if he succeeded the President by natural death or assassination.

So we had Vice President John Nance Garner trying to win the 1940 Democratic Presidential nomination, but unfortunately for him, Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to seek a third term.

In 1948, former Vice President Henry Wallace in the third term of FDR tried for the Presidency as a third party candidate (Progressive Party), fighting against fourth FDR term Vice President Harry Truman, who had succeeded FDR upon his death in 1945.

Alben Barkley, Vice President under Truman in his full term, tried to win the 1952 Democratic Presidential nomination, but his age was used against him, which may have been good, since Barkely died during the next term when he would have been President.

Richard Nixon ran for President to succeed Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960, but lost in a close election to John F.  Kennedy.  Of course, Nixon won eight years later, being the first Vice President elected since Martin Van Buren in 1836, but eight years after.

Hubert H. Humphrey ran for President in 1968 to succeed Lyndon B. Johnson, but was defeated by Nixon, and tried for the nomination again in 1972, but failed to be selected as the Presidential nominee.

Walter Mondale ran for President in 1984 after he and Jimmy Carter were defeated in 1980 for a second term, but lost to Ronald Reagan.

George H. W. Bush is the only exception to this reality, winning in 1988 after serving two terms as Vice President under Ronald Reagan.

Dan Quayle tried for the Republican nomination in 1996 after serving one term under George H. W. Bush, but flopped badly.

Al Gore ran for President in 2000 after two terms as Vice President under Bill Clinton, and of course won the popular vote, but lost the hotly contested electoral vote in Florida, with Supreme Court intervention, leading to the victory of his opponent George W. Bush.

Dick Cheney had tried briefly for the Presidency in 1996, but when he was Vice President under George W. Bush for two terms, his health was fragile and he chose not to try for the Presidency in 2008.

And now Joe Biden, after two terms as Vice President under Barack Obama, has reluctantly decided not to run for President in 2016, due to the tragic death of his son Beau in May, and the grieving period preventing organization of a Presidential campaign.

So the record shows, with the exception of Richard Nixon eight years later and George H. W. Bush, no Vice President has succeeded in modern times to the Presidency unless the President died in office, or with the case of Richard Nixon resigning, led to Gerald Ford succeeding him in the White House.

Kevin McCarthy, Incompetent And Unqualified, Soon To Be Two Heartbeats From The Presidency!

There have been many complaints over the past five years about Speaker of the House John Boehner, from the far right, and from the left, but at least we knew that Boehner had 20-25 years experience and was at least, basically, competent.

Now, with Boehner’s resignation, we are soon to be stuck with California Congressman Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker, a man who admits that the Benghazi, Libya hearings were simply designed to weaken Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton, and that the doctored Planned Parenthood videos are a ploy to help promote the anti abortion movement, and uses a word that does not exist, that Hillary Clinton is “untrustable”! He also called the nation of Hungary “Hungria”!

McCarthy is seen as better than Tea Party rivals, who would love to take over the Speakership, but McCarthy, with the least experience in Congress of any Speaker in more than a century, a total of only nine years and no special accomplishments and only two bills passed (both perfunctory), is someone to be concerned about as being only two heartbeats away from the Presidency!

Kevin McCarthy can be compared to former Vice President Dan Quayle in his looks and lack of any sign of intellect, and also to Sarah Palin, who also was good looking but lacking the brain power to be close to the Presidency!

What is it about the GOP that they find “good looking” men and women, who have no brains or intellect, and are a sign of the worst among us, putting the nation into danger by being so close to the Presidency, as Quayle was for 4 years; as Palin could have been for eight years: and as McCarthy now seems to be for at least the next 14 months, if not more?

America deserves much better than this!