George H W Bush

America First From Charles Lindbergh To Pat Buchanan To Donald Trump–1941-2016

In 1941, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was one of the leading speakers for the America First Committee, arguing against US entrance into World War II. Despite his fame, he was an open antisemite, racist, and nativist who had openly spoken approvingly of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany!

In 1992, Pat Buchanan, former speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, ran for the Republican Presidential nomination against sitting Republican President George H. W. Bush, promoting antisemitism, racism, and nativism, and denying the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. He promoted an overly nationalistic America First foreign policy, similar to Lindbergh a half century earlier.

Now in 2016, Donald Trump is running for President, and likely Republican nominee, and is a racist, nativist, misogynist, and Islamophobe, who is now promoting an America First foreign policy, similar to Lindbergh and Buchanan.

The concept of shutting out the world, ignoring alliances, and alienating other nations, including those who are natural friends, was damaging in 1941 and 1992, and is still so in 2016!

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!

Myth Destroyed About Third Term Of Same Party In White House Being Historically Unlikely! How About 7 Times And 120 Years Of Our History?

This blogger keeps on hearing that it is highly unlikely for a political party to hold the White House for more than two terms. Most recently, Chris Matthews said this on MSNBC on HARDBALL!

This is totally untrue, as witness the facts, a total of 7 times:

1800-1824—Democratic Republicans Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe–Six terms, 24 years

1828-1840–Democrats Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren–Three terms, 12 years

1860-1884–Republicans Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester Alan Arthur (Andrew Johnson elected with Lincoln on “Union” ticket in 1864 was a Southern Democrat, but was never elected)–Six terms, 24 years

1896-1912–Republicans William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft–Four terms, 16 years

1920-1932–Republicans Warren G. Harding. Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover–Three terms, 12 years

1932-1952–Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman–Five terms, 20 years

1980-1992–Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush–Three terms, 12 years

This adds up to 30 terms and 120 years from 1789-2008. So that means 30 terms out of 55 terms, more than half the time and 120 years out of 220 years, more than half the time!

And now in 2016, an 8th time, this time the Democrats with Barack Obama and, likely, Hillary Clinton, will add to the record, making it 33 terms out of 58, and 132 years out of 232 years!

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!

New CNN Presidential Election Series: “Race For The White House”

CNN has begun a new six part series called “Race For The White House”, which will cover six Presidential elections over the next six weeks, each episode an hour in length, and narrated by actor Kevin Spacey.

On Sunday, the 1960 battle for the White House between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon was covered.

Future episodes in some order not known yet include chronologically:

1828–Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams

1860–Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas

1948–Harry Truman and Thomas E. Dewey

1988–George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis

1992–Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush

It is not clear why these particular elections were chosen, as there are many others, many more interesting and significant, that were not selected, including:

1896–William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan

1912—Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft

1928–Herbert Hoover and Alfred E. Smith

1932–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover

1940–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie

1968–Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George C. Wallace

1980–Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Anderson

2000–George W. Bush and Al Gore

2008–Barack Obama and John McCain

This series is well worth watching, after having seen the first episode last night!

 

No Comparison Between David Duke And Robert Byrd! Or For That Matter, Hugo Black, George C. Wallace, Or Strom Thurmond!

A massive controversy has arisen over the initial refusal of Donald Trump to repudiate the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke of Louisiana, who ran for Governor 25 years ago, and later for the US Senate as a Republican, losing both times, and being denounced by President George H. W. Bush and other reputable Republican leaders in the 1990s.

Those defending Trump’s hesitation are now comparing the despicable hate monger David Duke, who is not only a racist but also an anti Semite of a major order, to the late Democratic US Senator Robert Byrd, who served longer in the Senate than anyone in American history (from 1959 to his death in 2010).

No one is saying that Byrd cannot be criticized, as he was a youthful member of the Klan in West Virginia, and opposed the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.  But over time, he evolved, and repudiated his despicable past, and even supported Barack Obama in 2008 for the nomination and election as President, and helped to make ObamaCare make a successful journey through the legislative process, including being brought in a wheel chair to cast votes for the legislation, in his last months of life.

David Duke has never done anything to repudiate his past record, and is still defiant as a racist and anti Semite, unlike Byrd.

Also, former Alabama Senator Hugo Black sat on the Supreme Court for 34 years (1937-1971), repudiating by his words and actions the fact that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his youth.

Also, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, after running racist campaigns for President in 1968 and 1972, repudiated his past and apologized, although he was never, actually, a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Even Strom Thurmond, who ran as  a racist for President in 1948, and served in the US Senate from South Carolina from 1954-2003,  later modified his views, even if not formally apologizing for his earlier behavior and statements.

No one is saying that we cannot criticize Byrd, Black, Wallace, and Thurmond, but none of them were on the level lifetime on racism and anti Semitism of David Duke, so the comparison is preposterous!

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.

First Time Since 1928 That There Has Been No Nixon Or Bush As Part Of A Winning Presidential Race For The Republican Party!

In 1928, Herbert Hoover won the Presidency, the third Republican President in a row in the 1920s.

Ever since, there have been NINE elections for President in which the Republican nominee has won, for a total of 36 years, while the Democrats have won 12 elections for a total 48 years.

In each election in which the Republicans won, there has been a Richard Nixon (4 times) and a Bush (five times) on the ballot, for President or Vice President, and the GOP has never won an election without one or the other name on the ballot!

Nixon was on the ballot for Vice President in 1952 and 1956, and for the Presidency in 1968 and 1972, while George H. W. Bush was on the ballot for Vice President in 1980 and 1984, and for President in 1988, while his son George W. Bush was on the ballot for President in 2000 and 2004.

Of course, Nixon was on the losing side in 1960 and Bush Sr. in 1992.  So since 1952, there have only been five times that a Nixon or a Bush was not on the ballot, all losing years as well, including Barry Goldwater in 1964, Gerald Ford 1976, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012.

But now they will have to overcome that reality, as Jeb Bush is out of the race, and there will be no Nixon or Bush on the ballot.  Can a Non Nixon or Non Bush actually win the Presidency without a running mate named Nixon or Bush?

This will be a challenge for the Republicans, and it will be interesting to see if there is a hex on the Republicans, which will undermine them in the Presidential race!

The “Dynasties” Under Attack: The Bushes Done, The Clintons?

This morning, it is clear that the Bush Dynasty is history, with Jeb Bush’s poor performance in the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary, and his announcement of his withdrawal from the Presidential race.

A year ago, it seemed obvious that he would likely be the GOP Presidential candidate, but the entrance of Donald Trump eight months ago destroyed that possibility, and once Trump called Jeb “low energy”, Jeb was befuddled what to do in response.  It took him a long time to mount a serious attack, and it was too late.

Jeb was supposed to be the Republican nominee in 2000, the favored younger son, smarter and more knowledgeable than his brother George W, and Jeb had avoided being the “black sheep” of the family with the alcoholism and drug use of George W making his parents very unhappy with him.

But Jeb lost the 1994 Florida gubernatorial election by 60,000 votes, most of the margin for Governor Lawton Chiles being in South Florida, while George W,  despite a pitiful debate performance against Texas Governor Ann Richards, was able to win the Texas Governorship in the same year, 1994.

One will always have to wonder whether Jeb would have been able to be elected as George W was in 2000; whether he would have won on his own power in his home state, instead of having a Supreme Court case to win the Sunshine State and the election; and whether he would have acted differently around September 11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina.

Jeb was a lost opportunity, one of many who wanted the Presidency; were considered serious contenders; and yet lost the chance, while lesser candidates won.

In this category, we could, in the past half century, put Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968; Ted Kennedy in 1980; Al Gore in 2000; John McCain in 2000; and Hillary Clinton in 2008, along with Jeb Bush in 2000 and now in 2016.

And now, the question is whether Hillary Clinton can overcome Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Presidential nomination, after failing to overcome Barack Obama eight years ago.  Or will she, like Jeb, expected to win, end up failing, as Jeb has done?

In any case, George H. W.  and Barbara Bush may, very well, live to the next inauguration and beyond, at age 92 and 91 respectively in January 2017, but they will NOT see the inauguration of a second son to the Presidency.

The other question that arises is whether Bill Clinton, age 70 by the time of the inauguration in 2017, see his wife, on her second try, now 16 years, not 8, since he left the Oval Office, become President, or have the ultimate failure, despite all evidence that she would become the first woman President?

We shall see soon enough over the next number of months!

1992–Young, Southern, Appealing Ticket (Democrats); 2016–Young, Southern, Appealing Ticket (Republicans)?

In 1992, the Democrats offered a young, Southern, appealing ticket—Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas (age 46) and Senator Al Gore of Tennessee (44).  They were both photogenic and represented a new generation of leadership after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.  The fact that both were from the South did not undermine their candidacies.

Now in 2016, we have a potential similarity offered by the Republicans—Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (age 45) and Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina (45 on Inauguration Day in 2017).  They are young, Southern, appealing, photogenic, and represent a new generation of leadership.  And they are ethnic minorities, with parents from Cuba and India.

Could the Republicans revive their party and save it from Donald Trump, age 70, and an outsider who is destroying the Republican Party?

We shall see in the coming days, weeks, and months!