Dwight D. Eisenhower

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!

Hillary Clinton Best Qualified To Take Oath Of Office Since George H. W. Bush

Presidents come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and some come ill equipped to deal with foreign policy and or domestic issues.

It is often said that learning on the job is the best experience, but that puts the nation at greater risk.

So the question arises: Since World War II, what Presidents came to office fully qualified to take the reigns of power?

This judgment is not one of approval or disapproval of the President and his record, but simply his qualifications when he took the oath of office.

It is clear that three Presidents came to office very qualified to be President, and they would be, chronologically, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush!

Harry Truman was ill prepared; Dwight D. Eisenhower had never taken an interest in politics; John F. Kennedy was very challenged in his first year in office; Gerald Ford had years of experience but no real ambition to be President; Jimmy Carter had limited experience in government, as did Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as being governors of southern states did not prepare them for national leadership; Ronald Reagan had a very narrow view of national government and its importance; and Barack Obama had limited experience in national affairs, having only served four years in the US Senate.

On the other hand, Lyndon B. Johnson had been in government for thirty years and was a master legislative strategist, although foreign policy was certainly not his forte.

Richard Nixon had been Vice President for eight years, as was also with George H. W. Bush, and those years plus foreign policy expertise set them up well to be President.

Hillary Clinton is, without a doubt, the best equipped since the elder Bush to be President, as her years in the White House with her husband; her Senate years; and her four years as Secretary of State, even with problems, made her known worldwide, and she has the respect of foreign governments.  She is likely to be more activist in domestic affairs than her husband, which would also be a plus!

Missouri Presidential History, And Poll Showing Clinton Leads Trump! Will Missouri Be Again a Bellwether State?

Missouri, the “Show Me” State, the state of President Harry Truman, has been a bellwether state since 1904.

From 1904 to 2004, Missouri voted with the winner every time except 1956, when Adlai Stevenson defeated Dwight D. Eisenhower by 4,000 votes.

In 2008, like in 1956, they voted for the losing Presidential nominee, John McCain, over Barack Obama, but again by only about 4,000 votes.

In 2012, however, the bellwether reputation was harmed when Mitt Romney won over Barack Obama by 259,000 votes!

Presently, Hillary Clinton is shown as leading Donald Trump for the election in Missouri, so if they end up as the nominees of their parties, and the polls stay consistent, then Missouri will return to being a bellwether state, assuming that Clinton wins the Presidency, which is highly likely!

Missouri is not considered a “swing” state, but it could be part of the winning party’s majority for the 26th out of the last 29 national elections for the Presidency!

The Deep Coma Of The Republican Party, With Only Slight Chance Of Recovery With John Kasich, Unlikely To Occur, So Death Is Near!

This morning, we can look at the results of the five Presidential primaries on the “ides of March”, and say that the Republican Party is in a deep coma, with only a slight chance of recovery with John Kasich, who won his home state Ohio primary.

But the chance of Kasich overcoming Donald Trump and or Ted Cruz is miniscule, as it would require a second or more ballots at a contested convention in Cleveland this July, highly unlikely to occur.

So death is near for the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan!

And the conservative movement is also on life support, as far as having control or potential for national power!

It is now time to have a new moderate, mainstream conservative party to emerge, something on the line of the Whig Party of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln!

2016: Most Dangerous Year Since Richard Nixon Constitutional Crisis In Late 1973 And Until His Resignation In August 1974!

Today, March 15, 2016, is the Ides of March–the day Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Republic in 44 BC.

It is also the day that the Republican Party may suffer its death as a serious political party; the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan!

If Donald Trump manages to defeat both Marco Rubio and John Kasich today in Florida and Ohio, then the GOP nomination battle is over, and a true disaster has occurred!

The idea that Ted Cruz would be an acceptable alternative is ridiculous, as his extremist right wing views would, in many ways, be even more dangerous to our nation than even Trump!

Trump is a Fascist demagogue, with no principles, willing to consort with racists, nativists, misogynists, homophobes, and with white trailer trash that represents the worst of America.

Were he to win, we would face a constitutional crisis on the level, and possibly surpassing it, of the Richard Nixon constitutional crisis in late 1973 and until his resignation in August 1974.

Trump would likely be more dangerous than even Nixon, certainly the worst threat to civility and the Bill of Rights since Nixon!

Thankfully, no scenario with the Electoral College can see either Trump or Cruz winning 270 electoral votes, but the nomination of Trump would represent the demise of the GOP, caused by their own right wing turn in the years since Barack Obama won the Presidency, and they have no one to blame for their mess, except themselves!

The Demeaning Of The Presidency: Let Us Not Lose The Class, Dignity, Grace Of Barack Obama And Most Other Presidents!

Barack Obama has added so much class, dignity and grace to the office of the Presidency.

He has withstood constant attack and obstructionism with equanimity and a calm demeanor, and in so doing, has added distinction and honor to the office.  Most of the other Presidents also added their stature to the image of the office, with the exception, maybe, of Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and Richard Nixon!  And even they were not as outrageous as Donald Trump! And all three of them had a substantial record in public life and government and the military, unlike Donald Trump!

But now we are faced with the possibility of a school yard bully, a braggart, a person of great egotism and narcissism, who loves to brag about his “package”, uses foul language, insults everyone and everything, boasts about his prowess in everything without any substance in reality, and demeans the image of the Presidency in the midst of this Presidential campaign.

And yet, the most common folk among us, the low lifes, revel at everything he utters and does, and in the process, undermines the image of the Presidency in a very detrimental manner.

What kind of role model does Donald Trump present to the younger generation?  It is one of disgrace and one of promoting braggadocio, aggression, hostility and hate, all designed to gain power and undermine our civil liberties and social discourse, and to provoke bloodshed and violence in both domestic and foreign policy!

It is clear that Donald Trump is a dangerous sociopath, and a threat to American values and decency, and he should be committed for observation, and the mental health of his followers is subject to one’s concern about their stability, that they cannot see the phony and the fraud that he is.

This is exactly what 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney said yesterday, and one does not have to admire Romney to agree on what he says about Trump.

So to hear that the remaining GOP Presidential candidates, in their outrageously insulting debate last night, agree they would back Trump if he won the GOP nomination, is disheartening, and further cements the demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and even Ronald Reagan!

Gregarious And “Loner” Presidents Since 1900; And Remaining Presidential Candidates’ Personalities Assessed!

Presidents have different personalities, with some being very gregarious and outgoing, clearly extroverts: and others being more described as “loners”, who could be cordial in public, but did not like being around government leaders very much, and are clearly introverts.

In the first category, we would include

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

Bill Clinton

George W. Bush

In the second category, we would include

William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

George H. W. Bush

Barack Obama is a unique case, not really fitting into either category clearly, as he can tend to be very gregarious, but also has difficulty dealing with Congress, with one speculating that he has been scarred by the total obstructionism of the opposition.  He tends to avoid “schmoozing”, although the feeling is that he is basically quite gregarious.

So putting Obama in a separate category, notice that 9 Presidents (5 Democrats, 4 Republicans) are considered gregarious, while 9 Presidents (7 Republicans,  2 Democrats) are considered more “loners”.

63 years we have had gregarious Presidents; 45 years we have had “loner” Presidents, and then we have the 8 years of Obama.

Notice that the gregarious Presidents have, as a group, a more positive image in history, than the “loner” Presidents, and they have more often been reelected!

Among remaining Presidential Candidates as of this date, the “gregarious” candidates would include Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, while the more “loner” types would be Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and Dr. Benjamin Carson.

Most Significant Election Since 1968: Presidency, Senate, And Supreme Court Are In Play!

It is becoming very clear that the Presidential Election of 2016 will become the most significant election since 1968, when we saw the beginning of the Republican resurgence under Richard Nixon, due to the splintering of the Democratic Party under Lyndon B. Johnson, due to the turmoil around the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Democratic New Deal coalition had lasted 36 years, with only Dwight D. Eisenhower, really a non politician who ran on the Republican line after being briefly considered by Democrats in 1948, breaking the Democratic dominance, which also included Democratic dominance of the Congress, except in 1947-1948 and 1953-1954.

Since 1968, the Republicans controlled the White House for all but for the four Jimmy Carter years up to 1992, and then won a contested election in the Supreme Court, giving the Presidency and the Republican Party control in the early 2000s under George W. Bush.  And the Congress was Republican, except briefly from 1994-2006, and again after 2010 in the House of Representatives and 2014 in the US Senate, after the Senate had been Republican in the first six Reagan years of the 1980s.  And the Court appointments after 1968 have been 13 under Republicans and only 4 under Democrats, but with the death of Antonin Scalia, the possibility of a permanent (for a generation) Democratic and liberal majority is within reach.

Now, after a long period of Republican control of the Supreme Court, it will come to an end if the Democrats can win the Presidency again, and if they can regain control of the US Senate, so this is easily the most transformative election in a half century!

It would transform America IF the Democrats can gain the upper hand in the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency, and the hope is that the House of Representatives might be different after reapportionment after 2020. with the goal now to create a smaller GOP margin in the lower House in the interim.

One period of Democratic dominance was replaced by a period of Republican dominance, and with the GOP splintering around Donald Trump, we might be seeing a return to the concept of the New Deal-Great Society and a new Progressive Era.

It all depends on voter turnout and commitment, and for anyone to be lackadaisical and not vote, is inexcusable in the present circumstances!

“A New Generation Of Leadership”–Kennedy, Carter, Clinton, Obama, And Now Rubio?

In the past half century, America has, four times, elected a “new generation of leadership” to the White House.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy, 43, replaced Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was 70.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter, 52 replaced Gerald Ford who was 63.

In 1992, Bill Clinton, 46, replaced George H. W. Bush, who was 68.

In 2008, Barack Obama, 47, replaced George W. Bush, who was 62, and defeated John McCain, who was 72.

Now, in 2016, we have the possibility of Marco Rubio, 45, replacing Barack Obama, who will be 55 later this year, and being opposed by Hillary Clinton, who will be 69, OR Bernie Sanders, who will be 75.

Rubio seems more likely as the Republican nominee than Ted Cruz, the other “young” Republican left in the race, who would be 46 if he took the oath of office, but it seems that Rubio has a better chance to win a national election.

And Rubio’s endorsement by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who would be a great running mate and age 45 on Inauguration Day next year, makes for a very attractive team, eight months apart, both 45, and both photogenic, against an “old timer”, either Hillary or Bernie.

So the question is whether the nation would be willing to elect a young Republican team, with the exact opposite view of government, than Democrats Kennedy, Carter, Clinton and Obama had!

And also, can Rubio defeat the “oldest” Republican potential nominee, Donald Trump, age 70 this June?

Will youth win out over age is the question of the campaign!

Three Eisenhower Supreme Court Appointments Were “Recess” Appointments: Earl Warren, William Brennan, Potter Stewart!

Barack Obama has a perfect opportunity to select a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia right now, this week, before the Congress returns from the Presidents Day recess!

Sure, the Republicans would scream and yell, and probably threaten to impeach, but it is totally legitimate for the President to go ahead and nominate a Justice, who would immediately take the seat of Scalia.

And history tells us that Dwight D. Eisenhower had THREE recess appointments, all outstanding:

Chief Justice Earl Warren 1953

Associate Justice William Brennan 1956

Associate Justice Potter Stewart 1958

And the Brennan appointment was right before the Presidential Election of 1956, when in theory, Ike could have lost the election, but still the appointment went ahead, and Ike was elected to his second term!

So enough already of the hand wringing, and Obama needs to insure a nominee now, to prevent a vacancy for a year, which would cripple the Supreme Court’s ability to do its job!