Democratic Party

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!

Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina “Marriage” Is A Total Joke!

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, arguably the most disliked member of the US Senate, desperately trying to survive until the Republican National Convention as a Presidential candidate, has chosen former rival, and former CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina, to be his running mate, with very little chance that the reality of them being a team will ever occur at the convention!

Fiorina is about as disgusting and obnoxious as Cruz, and does not add anything to Cruz of significance. If this is designed to help Cruz in next week’s Indiana primary, seen by many observers as the last chance for Cruz to survive until the convention as a candidate, then how does Fiorina do that?

And if the purpose was for Fiorina to help in the California primary, how is that possible, when Fiorina lost the US Senate race to Barbara Boxer in 2010 by a literal landslide, and then flopped badly in the 2016 Presidential sweepstakes?

All that Carly Fiorina is good for is as an attack dog against Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, but she was hard to watch during the campaign for the Presidency over this past year, and really has no special expertise, and no experience in government! Who would want her a heartbeat away from the Presidency? And if there was ever a serial liar, it is this woman!

So Ted Cruz has struck out by choosing Carly Fiorina!

If Hillary Clinton Fails To Be Elected President, Who Is The Next Likely Woman Presidential Nominee In Either Party?

What if Hillary Clinton ends up losing the Presidency this November?

Who is likely the next woman Presidential nominee in either party?

Realizing that new “talent” might show up between now and 2020, we can say that there are a few woman on each side of the political equation right now who could be considered for President in 2020!

On the Republican side, one could see South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (who is a Latina) as possible Presidential candidates, along with Maine Senator Susan Collins and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte as possible nominees.

On the Democratic side, the best possible nominees would be Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell.

With many potential new women Governors or Senators, the list is likely to grow!

Potential White Male Vice Presidential Nominees For Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign In 2016

If Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton decides not to go “radical” and select a woman or a person of minority heritage as her Vice Presidential choice for the upcoming Presidential Election of 2016, she has a long list of potential white males to choose from.

She could go for a Senator from a “swing” state, including the following:

Virginia–Senator Mark Warner or Senator Tim Kaine

Ohio–Senator Sherrod Brown (who I projected on December 31 as the likely choice)

Florida–Senator Bill Nelson

But there are other potential nominees, including:

Incumbent Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware, which I recommended on this blog in February 2015, and was interviewed about it by John Hockenberry of THE TAKEAWAY on National Public Radio on January 21 of this year, which can be found under “Interviews” on the right side of the blog

Senator Al Franken of Minnesota

Former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Of these nine potential candidates, the most likely would seem to be Brown, Kaine, and Franken in that order.

Biden and Nelson will both be 74 this year, five years older than Hillary Clinton, while O’Malley opposed Hillary in the early primaries and Merkley is the only US Senator to have endorsed Bernie Sanders, making them less likely.

Warner seems less likely than Kaine from Virginia, due to his close race for reelection in 2014, one he almost lost, and Murphy, one of the brightest young liberals, is more of a “dark horse”, not mentioned by many, but a possible surprise choice.

The Likelihood Of An Historic Vice Presidential Nomination For The Democrats: A Woman Or A Person Of Minority Heritage

Speculation has begun about who Democrat Hillary Clinton’s potential choices for Vice President might be, but it seems more and more likely that it will be an historic choice, likely NOT to be a white male, but rather a woman or a leader of minority heritage.

It is true that Democrat Walter Mondale selected New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and that Republican John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008, but this time around, the possible candidates for a woman are much stronger choices.

If one is considering a woman, which some think is “radical” to do, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is seen as the most likely choice, but her fame and her age work against her, and it would make more sense to pick a woman who is substantially younger, and could be a potential successor eight years from now–such as Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota or Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State.

If Hillary wants to select someone from a minority heritage, the best would be Latinos, such as former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; or Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland; and if African American, the best would be New Jersey Senator Cory Booker or former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

In another blog entry forthcoming tomorrow, we will consider white males as potential Vice Presidential nominees, with quite a long list of such candidates!

Richard Nixon And The Environment: Looking Back On Earth Day

Richard Nixon is rated very low in rankings of Presidents, and in many ways, rightfully.

But it was Nixon who promoted the environment more than any President until his time, except for Theodore Roosevelt.

It was Richard Nixon who promoted and signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency, and backed and signed into law the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Endangered Species Act. He also had Walter Hickel in his cabinet as one of the greatest Secretaries of the Interior in American history.

Nixon may have done some of this for purely political reasons, but the legacy he left is still massive in the area of the environment.

When one looks at the Republican Party today, we know that if it was left up to them, they would set out to weaken and, if they could, destroy federal involvement in the environment, with most of them even denying global warming and climate change!

Ironically, the first Earth Day was started by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, and we saw Richard Nixon die on Earth Day in 1994!

The Possibility Of An All Female Presidential-Vice Presidential Team To Lead America: Hillary Clinton And?

America could be on the brink of seeing the first all female Presidential ticket!

It is rumored that Hillary Clinton might pick one of the following female running mates:

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar

Washington Senator Patty Murray

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow

The most exciting is Elizabeth Warren, but the long range future possible female President, after a theoretical eight years as Vice President, would be Amy Klobuchar or Maria Cantwell, both from safe blue states, and likely to be replaced by another Democrat.

The problem with Warren or McCaskill or Murray or Stabenow is their age, and the future in eight years!

Meanwhile, the Republicans might have South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as a potential Vice Presidential running mate. Another possibility would be New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

The New America: Seven Distinct Areas, With Five Centered Around Urban Clusters, Rather Than Based On State Boundaries!

America has 50 states. but the concept of states is starting to transform into what could be called “urban clusters”.

The most prosperous parts of America is the Northeast Corridor, from New England down through the Middle Atlantic, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

The second most prosperous area is the Pacific Coast, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The third leading area is the Great Lakes cluster, including Chicago as its center, but also Minneapolis Milwaukee, Detroit and St Louis.

After that, we have Central and South Florida, and the Texas cluster from Dallas Fort Worth down to Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, and Atlanta Georgia-Charlotte North Carolina as the fourth urban cluster.

The fifth distinct area is the Mountain West centered around Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Then there are the two other areas, far more rural and poor, with the Southeast–including Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee–being left behind, and still resisting social and economic change.

And finally the Great Plains and Upper West—the largest area geographically in the nation, the most backward and least populated area, very rural, an area where young people leave, as they see little economic opportunity for the long term–an area including much of Iowa along with North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho.

Notice that politically, the first three urban clusters are heavily more progressive and Democratic.

The fourth and fifth urban clusters are much more competitive between the Democrats and Republicans, and the progressive-conservative division is hotly contested, and will continue to be.

The sixth and seventh areas are reliably Republican and conservative, but have less clout in population and influence.

So the nation is clearly moving toward a more progressive stance for the long run, although large areas of the nation in land area resist that change with fury!

The White Working Class And Donald Trump, The Ultimate P T Barnum!

Donald Trump, a billionaire, the wealthiest Presidential candidate in American history, has particular support from the white working class, which has become victims of corporate influence in politics, including the effects of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and other free trade agreements, which have been supported by the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans, going back to the Bill Clinton Presidency.

So many jobs have gone overseas in the past few decades, limiting the ability of the white working class to gain high wage jobs, and on top of it, the growing immigration issue of undocumented immigrants, heavily from Latin America and Asia, and the insecurity felt about the reality of minority groups collectively moving toward a majority of the population by the 2040s, fuels the Donald Trump support.

But it is truly ironic that Trump employs immigrants for his hotels and other properties over native born workers, in order to save money!

The white working class is totally with its head in the sand, not realizing that Trump is a phony, who says what they want to hear, but has no real clue on the issues, and has avoided specifics on domestic and foreign policy, other than to talk about a wall on the Mexican border; to ban all Muslims from entrance to the United States; to promise everything will be fine in the future and that the world will come to “respect” us again, while having intelligence and foreign policy experts warn that he has no clear perception of the challenges of military and foreign policy!

If someone rails against the politicians, and yet provides examples of promising what is not possible to achieve, then indeed such a person is a “used car” or “snake oil” salesman, misleading ill informed voters, and one can be sure that the ultimate disillusionment will be far greater as a result, when the white working class realizes they have, once again, been bamboozled by a true PT Barnum character!

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!