Deval Patrick

Four Potential African American Presidential Candidates: Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Deval Patrick, Eric Holder

As we start to look ahead to the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination battle, there is the possibility of up to four African Americans running for the Presidency.

Almost certainly running are New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris (whose mother is Tamil Indian and father who is from the nation of Jamaica in the Caribbean, so she is mixed race).

Also likely to run is former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and former Attorney General Eric Holder, both close friends of President Barack Obama.

At first thought, the chances of Kamala Harris seem the best, followed by Booker, with lesser chance for Patrick, and even lower chance for Holder.

A likely possibility is that either Harris or Booker might end up as the Vice Presidential nominee at the least.

With a race of maybe 20-25 Democrats announcing, an all time record if that happens, it is very hard this far ahead to project the scenario for what might happen in the winter and spring of 2020, but it is now only 18 months until we are in the heat of the Presidential nominating contest.

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!

Barack Obama’s Supreme Court Choices

Barack Obama has every right, and the responsibility, to select a replacement for the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

We have never had more than 125 days from an appointment to confirmation, and never more than 114 days from an appointment to rejection by the US Senate.

The Supreme Court cannot do its proper job with eight members for more than a year, so Obama must push for his nominee, and if the GOP refuses, they will suffer in the Fall campaign in Congress and for the Presidency.

The Republicans have prevented action in the legislative branch, and tried to bottle up the executive branch, but cannot get away with blocking the judicial branch.

As far as who Barack Obama should select for the Court appointment, there are many names mentioned, but it would be good to have a Supreme Court Justice who has NOT been a federal judge, as this trend did not always exist in the past.

We need a wider variety of experiences, and one can think of Earl Warren, Governor of California, and Hugo Black, Senator from Alabama, as two exceptional Justices who never served as judges. We have had 14 Senators and 17 Congressman on the Court, with Warren an outlier, but Governor of a major state that was on its way to being number one in population.

So one can think of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick;  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; and Attorney General Loretta Lynch as excellent possibilities, with hints that Lynch might be the choice!  Some mention of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has arisen, as well.

We would have our first African American woman on the Court with an appointment of Lynch, and she is used to long waits for confirmation, as with six months to become Attorney General.

IF Obama took action this week, during the recess of Congress for Presidents Day, the nominee would take his or her seat immediately, and the GOP could do nothing about it, so why not take action when one can?

But at worst, if the Court had to live with eight members, Lynch could stand by, stay as Attorney General to the end of the term, and then be chosen by Democrat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, assuming one of them become the 45th President of the United States.

But really, the Court NEEDS a new Justice NOW, and tough luck that the Republicans lose their control of the Court majority after 44 years!  Such is life, and it is time for the liberal-progressive agenda to be the majority of the Supreme Court’s future, as elections, as that of Barack Obama in 2012, DO have consequences!

Diversity In The Presidential Race? Not Really As Much As Advertised!

The Republican Party, which has gained a reputation of being anti black, anti Hispanic immigrant, anti women is trying to convince Americans that they are really a diverse party, when it comes to the Presidential competition for 2016.

So they will point out the following:

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is Cuban American.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is Cuban American.

Pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson is African American.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is Asia American (India)

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is female.

Many potential GOP candidates are Catholic, including Rubio, Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rick Santorum.

But of course, the fact that Rubio and Cruz are Cuban Americans means they represent about three percent of the Hispanic community, and it is highly unlikely that Mexican Americans (65 percent) and Puerto Rican Americans (about 25 percent) would support them in large numbers, with both groups being heavily Democratic.

And the odds that any of the above will be the Republican nominee for President is extremely low, other than Jeb Bush, who has switched his religious beliefs to Catholicism.

But the Democrats, in a much shorter list of potential candidates, also have diversity.

Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are females.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is Jewish.

Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are Catholics.

If Hillary Clinton were not a prohibitive favorite, it would be likely that New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, both African Americans; and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, a female, would have entered the race.

Attorney General Eric Holder Leaving The Obama Cabinet: A Major Loss Of One Of the Greatest Attorneys General In American History!

One of the longest serving Attorneys General in America, Eric Holder, announced today that he was leaving the Obama cabinet as soon as a successor is confirmed, probably at the beginning of the 114th Congress in January!

By then, Eric Holder will have served six years, the third longest term as Attorney General, only trailing second place Janet Reno under Bill Clinton, and William Wirt, who served longer than anyone under James Monroe and John Quincy Adams in the early 19th century!

Holder has been bitterly attacked for his performance and his own character by right wing whackos of the Tea Party Movement, and joined by Republican leaders in both houses of Congress, who have stopped at nothing to degrade him, including citing him for contempt of Congress, and threatening impeachment.

Through it all, Holder has acted with dignity  and class, just like his boss, President Obama.  Both of them have refused to take the bait and get angry, and have made their critics look what they are—prejudiced, biased, racists, and not giving a damn about civil rights and civil liberties of all of the American people.

Holder has worked to try to restore the Voting Rights Act, after the shameful reversion on much of it by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Holder has worked to promote prison reform, and to lower the prison population by freeing people who were wrongfully convicted or kept in prison way beyond all reasonable sentences.

Holder also prosecuted hundreds of terrorism cases, tackled financial fraud, and worked against violent crime and corruption, as well as working to promote the environment.

Holder was the first African American Attorney General, and he should be succeeded by retiring Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, another African American.

That will be difficult if the Republican opposition wins control of the Senate, another reason for everyone to vote in the midterm elections.  We are bound to see open racism by many Republicans if Patrick is nominated to succeed Holder, even if the GOP does not win the Senate majority!

This nation was blessed to have a great man as our Attorney General, and Eric Holder will be ranked among the top Attorneys General in American history over time!

Imagine A Presidential Election Battle Without Any Previous Candidates In The Race!

The thought has crossed this blogger’s mind what it would be like if for once, just once, no one who had previously competed for the Presidential nomination of either party, nor had been a Vice Presidential running mate, became involved in the upcoming Presidential Election campaign of 2016.

Think of who would be eliminated from consideration:

Democrats (8)–Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore, Jerry Brown, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich

Republicans (11)–Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, John Kasich

Who would be left to compete?

Democrats (13)–Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner, Corey Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Jay Nixon, John Hickenlooper, Brian Schweitzer, Deval Patrick, Rahm Emanuel

Republicans (13)–Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Peter King, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Scott Walker, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley

One can wonder who would be competitive for the Presidential nominations, and who would galvanize support among the population and go on to be the nominees of the two major political parties!

We would have a true “donnybrook” situation, with anyone having the potential to be the nominees, “catch fire”, and go on to be the 45th President of the United States!

If this author was to venture an educated guess, one would come to the following conclusions:

Democrats–The major battle would be among Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O’Malley and Mark Warner.

Republicans–The major battle would be among Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence and Rob Portman.

The final battle would be between Warren and O’Malley for the Democratic nomination, and between Marco Rubio and Mike Pence for the Republican nomination.

The two finalists would be Martin O’Malley and Marco Rubio, with O’Malley being the winner and the 45th President of the United States!

This is due to the reality of the Electoral College, which strongly favors the Democrats to win the White House in 2016 and beyond, as the Northeast, New England, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast are strongly “Blue”, and most of the “swing states” are favored to go “Blue” as well, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.

Florida and North Carolina would be more difficult for the Democrats, particularly if Rubio is the GOP nominee, but the electoral vote would still be heavily Democratic, even without those two states!

Governors And The Presidential Election Of 2016

It has often been pointed out that more Governors have been elected President over the course of American history than Senators.

From 1900 on, the following Presidents were earlier Governors of their states—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush.

The argument is that being a Governor prepares one better for the Presidency than serving in the national government in Washington, DC.

Whether this is true or not, the argument now is that the national government, and particularly the Congress, is so engaged in stalemate and gridlock, that the best choice in the Presidential Election of 2016 would be to go once again for a Governor or former Governor, as occurred four times of the past six Presidents, and seven of the past ten national elections.

So if that is the case, what is the market among Governors?

First, the Democratic side:

Martin O’Malley of Maryland
Andrew Cuomo of New York
John Hickenlooper of Colorado
Mark Warner of Virginia
Brian Schweitzer of Montana
Jerry Brown of California
Howard Dean of Vermont
Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Dannel Malloy of Connecticut

Now the Republican side

Chris Christie of New Jersey
Jeb Bush of Florida
Scott Walker of Wisconsin
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Rick Perry of Texas
John Kasich of Ohio
Jon Huntsman of Utah
Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Mike Pence of Indiana
Brian Sandoval of Nevada
Susana Martinez of New Mexico
Rick Scott of Florida

So, at least in theory, nine former or sitting Democratic Governors and twelve former or sitting Republican Governors are potential Presidential nominees.

Having said that, it is clear that some of these two groups are highly unlikely to be a candidate, or to have any realistic chance to be the nominee, including for the Democrats: Brown, Dean, Malloy, and Patrick, and for the Republicans: Scott, Martinez, Sandoval, Pence, Haley, and sadly (because he would be the best choice for the GOP long term), Huntsman.

For the Democrats, O’Malley and Cuomo and Warner (who has also served in the Senate), would be the best choices, were it not for the “800 pound gorilla” of Hillary Clinton and the slightly smaller version of Joe Biden. Were it not for them, these three listed Democrats would be a great term to compete for the nomination. Hickenlooper is also a good candidate, but would not be considered as likely to have a good chance, and Schweitzer might very well run, based on recent comments and activities, but the odds for him, especially against Clinton and Biden as things now stand, are extremely high of failure, and even of being mostly ignored by political pundits.

For the Republicans, Christie and Bush would be the most likely to have a real opportunity for the Presidency, but with the Tea Party Movement, neither is very popular, to say the least. Walker might be a better bet on that score, with Jindal seeming less attractive as time goes by, and Perry a real long shot based on his past performances. The “dark horse” to watch would be Kasich, who had a long career on Capitol Hill and knows how Washington works, and despite his mixed record in so many areas, is personally appealing, unlike any of those listed In this paragraph, in many ways the most appealing personally other than Huntsman.

If one had to bet which of each list would have the best chance, all things being equal, one would say O’Malley for the Democrats and Kasich for the Republicans, but the odds are that it will be someone from Capitol Hill–Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden for the Democrats, and Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan for the Republicans, with the Democrats having the clear edge in the Electoral College, because of the support of the Atlantic Coast and Pacific Coast, and the likelihood of strong support in the upper Midwest and Illinois and Iowa, along with Virginia, an unmatchable scenario for the Republicans, as we look at the political situation as 2013 ends, but always subject to changing times that are unpredictable.

Disllusionment With Washington Opens Up Possibility Of State Governors Again Having Advantage For Presidential Race!

Much of the time in American history, there has been disillusionment with the Washington DC establishment, and a desire to have an “outsider” being our President.

Only three Presidents of the past century were elected directly from the Senate—Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama—while a total of six Governors or former Governors were elected to the Presidency—Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. Additionally, former Governors who were Vice President first, and succeeded during the term—Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge–were also elected to a full term.

So the present anger at Washington and everything it represents opens up new opportunities for sitting or former Governors in both parties, such as follows:

Democrats—Andrew Cuomo of New York, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts

Republicans-Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jeb Bush of Florida, Jon Huntsman of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, Susana Martinez of New Mexico

Having said this, one still has to wonder if the Democratic Governors can overcome Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Mark Warner or Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker.

And one has to wonder if the Republican Governors can overcome Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and others.

The Case For A New Generation Of Democrats For The Presidential Election Of 2016!

As the Presidential race begins, and it has started already, like it or not, it is clear that Hillary Clinton, who will be 69 in 2016, and Joe Biden, who will be 74 in 2016, are the frontrunners, and that Hillary is using up most of the oxygen in the room, way ahead of Biden in polls, with other potential Democratic candidates in single digits.

But despite the confidence and optimism about Hillary and even Joe as a backup, there is a growing case for the argument that the Democratic Party should bypass both Hillary and Joe, no matter how much one may love or admire either of them, and go for a new generation of Democrats, as was done in 1960 with John F. Kennedy, in 1976 with Jimmy Carter, in 1992 with Bill Clinton, and 2008 with Barack Obama!

All of these successful Democratic Presidential winners were young–43, 52, 46, and 47 respectively at the time of the inauguration. All were younger than their GOP opponents, although Richard Nixon was only four years older, but represented a continuation of Dwight D. Eisenhower, our oldest President at the time when he retired in 1961!

But Jimmy Carter was eleven years younger than Gerald Ford; Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush; and Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain!

The fact is ONLY three Presidents were inaugurated at age 65 or older—William Henry Harrison at age 68 and dying a month later; James Buchanan at age 65 but only 50 days short of age 66, and rated by many historians the worst President in American history; and Ronald Reagan, inaugurated at just weeks before his 70th and 74th birthday, and judged by many to have deteriorated mentally, with early Alzheimers in his second term of office!

And we have seen Bob Dole defeated at age 73 in 1996; John McCain defeated at age 72 in 2008; and Mitt Romney, defeated at age 65 inn 2012, but also about 50 days short of age 66 if he had been inaugurated, the same exact age as Buchanan was when he won in 1856!

Meanwhile, the Republican Party future is clearly in the hands of young politicians, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and others, with these candidates being mostly in their 40s and 50s, and all younger than Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden!

Historically, in most elections, the younger candidate wins, and the party of the President usually does not do well if it utilizes someone connected with the administration leaving office, no matter what level of popularity reigns when that President leaves office, as witness:

Richard Nixon lost after Eisenhower
Hubert Humphrey lost after Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford lost after Richard Nixon
Walter Mondale lost after Jimmy Carter
Al Gore lost after Bill Clinton

If Hilary Clinton runs, she represents Obama’s foreign policy record, for good or for bad, and also brings back the good and the bad of the Presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton.

If Joe Biden runs, he represents what happens to a Vice President under a President, that the negatives of that President harm the Vice President, as with Nixon, Humphrey, Ford, Mondale, and Gore.

Only George H. W, Bush was able to overcome this hex, and succeed Ronald Reagan in 1988, although then losing reelection in 1992, the greatest percentage loss of any President in American history, except William Howard Taft in 1912!

It is reality that Democrats will be heavily favored in the Electoral College in 2016, no matter who runs, but it would be easier for a “New”, younger Democrat to be the Presidential nominee, such as Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo, KIrsten Gilllibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Mark Warner, John Hickenlooper, or Elizabeth Warren, all of whom are much younger than Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, with the exception of Warren, who would be 67 in 2016, which makes her a less ideal candidate based upon age!

It is important for Democrats to think carefully before they decide for a continuation of the Obama Presidency through Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, as nominating someone younger and separated from the Obama Administration would be preferable, and easier for the grueling campaign ahead!

The Democratic “Farm Team” Or “Bench” For National Office

When one looks at the Democratic Party, most of the attention for the 2016 Presidential Election centers around Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, both exceptionally qualified and popular political figures, with tremendous experience in government.

But both Hillary and Joe are getting on in age, with Hillary to be 69 in 2016, and Joe to be 74 in 2016.

Either would face a much younger Republican opponent in 2016, so one has to wonder whether it might be preferable to go for “new blood” for the Democratic nominee.

If that was to occur, there would be a fantastic “farm team” or “bench” for the Democrats, including:

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Future Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York
Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia

This list of nine potential President candidates includes three women; two African Americans; and four white men, with seven states represented, and five US Senators and four Governors.

Any of these nine would be preferable, by far, to any Republican nominee for President, with many of the potential Republicans being horror stories, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.