George McGovern

The Tradition Of Gracious Losers Of Presidential Elections Not Being Accepted By Donald Trump!

The tradition in Presidential elections is for the loser to concede with grace and statesmanship.

One can forget about that with President Donald Trump, who is promoting conspiracy theories, and according to some sources, has every intention of refusing to cooperate on the transition, and staying in the White House on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, refusing to leave the building or attend the inauguration of his successor.

Other Presidents have refused to attend the inauguration of their successor, including John Adams when Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated in 1801; John Quincy Adams when Andrew Jackson was inaugurated in 1829; and Andrew Johnson when Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated in 1869.

We have seen in modern times all of the Presidential losers concede graciously—Richard Nixon in 1960, Barry Goldwater in 1964, Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern in 1972, Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H. W. Bush in 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Donald Trump is acting like a spoiled child, a privileged character, a prima donna, who clearly would love to be an authoritarian dictator and has been a threat for four years, but the American people have clearly made him aware that his “employment” in the White House for four more years is not desired, and that he has, effectively, been “fired” by a vast margin of about 5-6 million popular votes by the time all of the votes are counted!

Time To End The Vice Presidential Sweepstakes: Best Choice Is Either Kamala Harris Or Susan Rice

We are now in the month of August, two weeks away from the Democratic National Convention.

It is past time for former Vice President Joe Biden to select his running mate, which seems clearly will be a woman of color.

And despite promotion of other candidates, the two best, most logical, are:

California Senator Kamala Harris

Former National Security Adviser and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice

Typically, Democrats who are Presidential nominees, select a sitting United States Senator, as they have done in every election since 1944, except 1972 and 1984, although in 1972, the original selection was Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, who bowed out over concerns that he had psychiatric care. The fact was that Eagleton was perfectly stable for the rest of his life, and served another 14 years in the US Senate, but there was hysteria at the time about mental illness.

Imagine now with a President who is clearly mentally ill, the irony of it all!

Kennedy brother in law Sargent Shriver, who had been head of the Peace Corps and the War on Poverty, and Ambassador to France, all appointed positions, replaced Eagleton as the Vice Presidential running mate of Senator George McGovern in 1972.

Earlier, Henry A. Wallace, who had been Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first two terms, was the Vice Presidential nominee in 1940, and served during that third term of FDR, but then dropped for Senator Harry Truman in 1944.

So only Wallace and Shriver ran for Vice President, without having been elected.

It seems time to add Susan Rice to that list, as she is extremely qualified and experienced in foreign policy, which is being underrated as a significant factor, due to all of the domestic turmoil going on in the nation in 2020.

Her strength is also that she knows Joe Biden very well, has worked well with him under Barack Obama, and their friendship is significant.

Harris has critics who think her debate challenges to Joe Biden should eliminate her, but she is also very qualified and would be a good choice.

Either way, both ladies are born in 1964, and would be 56 upon taking the oath, the ideal average age for Presidents historically.

So either one of these two women is the best qualified, and my projection is that Biden will pick Susan Rice, so we shall see how accurate I am on this prediction in the next few days to week.

Strategies For Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Selection

Former Vice President Joe Biden is forming a committee to consider who should be his running mate for Vice President.

The choice of a future Vice President and possible President is crucial, so many of the proposed choices should not be seriously considered.

Any Vice President has to have the experience, the knowledge, the intelligence to take over on a moment’s notice.

That person needs to be much younger than Biden, who will reach 78 two weeks after the Presidential Election of 2020.

Such a person has to have the success of being an officeholder with state wide success.

Such a person should likely not be a Governor, as such a person should be kept busy dealing with the CoronaVirus Pandemic, not running for Vice President.

Such a person should not come from a state where if such person became Vice President, that state’s Senate seat might switch to the Republicans.

So already, just from what this author and blogger has stated, it is his belief that Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams, Gretchen Whitmer, or Michelle Lujan Grisham, and any member of the House of Representatives should automatically be eliminated, such as Val Demings of Florida.

So who is on the list, and clearly stands out, and has already run for President, giving much needed extra national exposure?

Two US Senators are the finalists, with the reality that the Democratic Presidential nominee has always selected a US Senator as a running mate since 1944, except twice.

In 1972, it was George McGovern who chose Senator Thomas Eagleton, but he was forced out due to fears because he had undergone psychiatric treatment, and was replaced by Kennedy brother in law Sergeant Shriver.

And in 1984 ,Walter Mondale blundered in naming Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential choice.

It should also be pointed out that those two times were the most disastrous for the Democrats, running against second term candidates Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and in both elections, McGovern and Mondale only won one state and Washington, DC in the Electoral College.

Those two US Senators are Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, with California certain to have a Democratic replacement in the Senate.

But Minnesota is much more uncertain, although right now that state has a Democratic Governor, Tim Walz.

But in a followup election after a temporary appointment, Minnesota could not be guaranteed to elect a permanent Democratic replacement in the US Senate.

So while either Harris or Klobuchar (age 56 or 60) are the two best choices, Harris has a slight edge in the sense her Senate seat is safely Democratic, but either woman would make an excellent VP, and a potential President of the United States!

Is Bernie Sanders The Equivalent Of George McGovern In 1972?

Half a century ago, the Democratic Party nominated South Dakota Senator George McGovern for President, and sadly, he went on to suffer a massive defeat at the hands of President Richard Nixon, losing all states except Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

This blogger and author was then a graduate student who was intrigued by McGovern, and loved the fact that he had gained a Ph. D. in History, as I was pursuing at the time.

I always loved McGovern for the rest of his political life, and was saddened by his death in 2012.

I felt he would have been good for the nation, but he was perceived as too far to the left, and this is what concerns me about Bernie Sanders in 2020.

Sanders is no danger to democracy, as some see it, but his ideas are self declared “Socialistic”, which I believe is a guarantee of a massive defeat.

I know there are readers of my blog, and students who I have taught and still teach, who do not agree with me about this, including my loyal contributor “D”.

But defeating Trump is even more significant than if Nixon had been defeated, as Nixon was brought down anyway, but that is not the case if Trump were to win in 2020.

So a moderate, mainstream Democrat, such as Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, or if he can revive, Joe Biden, and even Michael Bloomberg would be more likely to win the Presidency, and save us from another four years of Trump, preventing the total destruction of the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of LBJ, and all other progress under Presidents of both parties in the past century and more!

14 Weeks Until First Vote In Iowa Caucuses

As the House of Representatives is working on its impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, the political calendar is starting to close in on many Democratic Presidential contenders.

It is now only 14 weeks until the first Americans vote on 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday, February 3.

Iowa is not truly decisive on who wins the nomination and the Presidency in either major political party, as the only times that Iowa was a sign of the future was when an incumbent President was not on the ballot, and even then, not very often.

Democratic Party

Walter Mondale in 1984

Al Gore in 2000

John Kerry in 2004

Barack Obama in 2008

Hillary Clinton in 2016

George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992 failed to win Iowa.

Republican Party

Gerald Ford in 1976

Bob Dole in 1996

George W. Bush in 2000

Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 failed to win Iowa.

So only George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008 won Iowa and went on to win the Presidency in the fall of those years.

So do not expect that who wins Iowa will automatically be the nominee for the Democrats in November 2020.

Since 1972, Iowa has been accurate on the Democratic nominee 43 percent of the time, and 50 percent accurate on the Republican nominee.

Iowa is not representative of the nation in its population mix, but it gives a leg up to a few of the candidates, while dashing the hopes of so many others.

Bob Dole Reaches 96 Years Of Age, Now Seen As Statesman

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas yesterday reached the age of 96, and while often involved in heated political debates over four decades, is now seen as a statesman.

Dole served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, and as United States Senator from 1969 to 1996. He was the Chair of the Republican National Committee from 1971-1973; Chair of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981-1985; Senate Minority Leader from 1987-1995; and twice Senate Majority Leader from 1985-1987 and 1995-1996.

He had the distinction of being the Republican Vice Presidential nominee under Gerald Ford in the Presidential Election of 1976, and then the Presidential nominee in 1996, both losing efforts. He is the only person to be nominated for both offices, and lose both offices.

Dole was a combative, and often acerbic politician, who annoyed this blogger and author, but one knew that he was an ultimate patriot and would support Democrats in important and crisis moments over the years, while being a very partisan Republican.

He worked across the aisle with many Democrats, including Senator George McGovern of South Dakota on nutrition issues and food stamps.

He was a war hero, who nearly died in combat in Europe in April 1945, and lost the use of his left arm and limited mobility in his right arm, but that did not stop him from having a public career, and being an advocate for the disabled.

Dole has had a great sense of humor, and has worked to promote bipartisanship, starting the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

He helped to raise funds for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his former opponent, Bill Clinton, in 1997.

His marriage to Elizabeth Hanford Dole has lasted 44 years, and his wife served as Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan, and as Secretary of Labor under George H. W. Bush, before serving as a US Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009.

By reaching the age of 96 today, Dole has outlived most of the colleagues of his age group who served in public office, and is one of the last World War II veterans of renown still with us.

Let us hope he reaches 100, although now he is almost exclusively using a wheel chair as he did in saluting his former rival, George H. W. Bush, at the funeral of the 41st President in December 2018.

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

Losing Vice Presidential Candidates Who Should Have Been President: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1960) And Edmund Muskie (1968)

A category of political leaders very easily forgotten are Vice Presidential candidates on a losing Presidential ticket.

Many of them are seen in history as disastrous for one reason or another, including William E. Miller, who ran with Barry Goldwater in 1964; Geraldine Ferraro, who was the running mate of Walter Mondale in 1984; John Edwards, who was John Kerry’s Vice Presidential nominee in 2004; and Sarah Palin, who was John McCain’s running mate in 2008.

On the other hand, we can find at least two Vice Presidential running mates who were true giant figures in American political history.

One was Richard Nixon’s Vice Presidential choice in 1960, former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr of Massachusetts, who lost his seat to John F. Kennedy in 1952, but was United Nations Ambassador under President Dwight D. Eisenhower; and later Ambassador to South Vietnam under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; and also sought the Republican Presidential nomination in 1964. Lodge was a true star figure, the only one of the four candidates in 1960 not to become President, and there are scholars who think he might have been a better President, than Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. He was certainly a solid figure in American foreign policy, and had 16 years service in the US Senate.

The other Vice Presidential running mate who was a star figure was Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, who was Hubert Humphrey’s choice in 1968. Muskie ran a dignified campaign that year, and later sought the Presidency in 1972, but derailed by the “Dirty Tricks” of the Richard Nixon reelection campaign, and lost the nomination to Senator George McGovern, seen as an easier candidate to defeat, which indeed he turned out to be. But Muskie served 21 years in the Senate, and then was Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Both men would have been exceptional choices for the Oval Office, but never had the opportunity, but their legacy needs to be honored and remembered.

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

11 Democrats, Non-Southerners, Who Became Republicans Over The Past Half Century

It is a well known phenomenon that a massive number of Southern Democratic politicians switched to the Republican Party in the years and decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But it would be instructive to trace those Democrats, in their younger days, who were not Southerners, who made the switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Following is a list of the more prominent such examples, numbering eleven.

In the early 1960s, actor Ronald Reagan, who had been a liberal Democrat and union leader in his younger days, became a Republican, influenced by his wife Nancy’s father, and soon was recruited by Southern California businessmen to run for Governor, and that was the beginning of an amazing transformation in views.

Donald Trump originally was a Democrat, and contributed to New York City and State Democrats, became an Independent, then went back to the Democrats, and finally allied himself with the Republican Party in 2011 and after.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, started off as a Democrat, and worked for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, and voted for the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator George McGovern, before becoming an Independent, and then a Republican.

Elizabeth Dole was a Democrat who worked for Lyndon B. Johnson, but later became a Republican in 1975, married Senator Bob Dole, and was a cabinet member twice, sought the Presidential nomination herself, and then was a Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009 as a Republican.

Vice President Mike Pence left the Democratic Party in the early 1980s, after having supported Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential election, and ran for the House of Representatives and Governorship of Indiana as a Republican.

Condoleezza Rice, left the Democratic party in 1982, and became the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush.

Ben (Nighthorse) Campbell left the Democratic Party in 1995, while a US Senator from Colorado, and became a Republican.

Susana Martinez left the Democratic Party in 1995, and later served as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican.

Norm Coleman left the Democratic Party in 1996, while serving as Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and later was a Senator from Minnesota for one term as a Republican.

Herman Badillo, former Bronx, New York Congressman, left the Democrats in 1996, and identified with the Republican Party.

Michael Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2001 before running for Mayor of New York City as a Republican, just as Rudy Giuliani had done before him.