Gerald Ford

Pete Buttigieg A Fascinating Presidential Candidate In So Many Ways

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg would be the youngest President in history if he won the Presidential election in 2020, and he would be succeeding a President twice his age.

Mayor Pete, as he is called by most, is a highly intellectual man, who can speak seven languages, while Donald Trump is poor even in speaking and writing English.

Mayor Pete is a gay man, who hid his sexuality until a few years ago, as he wished to pursue a life with someone, and realized he had to “come out”, and he is now married to Chasten Glezman, who has taken his last name, and is seven and a half years younger at age 30, and has been a middle school drama teacher.

Mayor Pete is an Afghanistan War veteran, a Naval Reserve Officer, and an intelligence officer from 2009-2017, reaching the rank of Lieutenant, and who also graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude, and went to Oxford University in the United Kingdom on a Rhodes Scholarship. He was also valedictorian of his high school class in South Bend, Indiana. He also won the JFK Profiles in Courage award and met Caroline Kennedy and other family members at the JFK Presidential Library in 2000, having written his essay on Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who now, ironically, is one of his opponents for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

In his two terms as Mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg won 74 and 80 percent of the vote, and was first mayor at age 29. He also gained notice as a contender to head the Democratic National Committee in 2017.

Buttigieg is also a regular church goer at a local Episcopal Church in South Bend, and more “religious” than most recent Presidents in his public display of attendance, probably the most since Jimmy Carter.

Buttigieg is also interesting in that he is left handed, a common trait among many recent Presidents, including Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, while only James A. Garfield and Herbert Hoover among earlier Presidents, was left handed.

He also would be the first President to be an only child, while four earlier Presidents had half siblings–Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

In so many ways, Mayor Pete is far superior to Donald Trump, and it would be an inspiration if he could win the Presidency in 2020.

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.

Justice John Paul Stevens, Longest Lived, And One Of Greatest Supreme Court Justices In American History, Dies At 99 Years Of Age

America has just lost one of its greatest Supreme Court Justices in all of American history, with the death yesterday of retired Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99.

Second longest serving, after his predecessor William O. Douglas, and second oldest at retirement at age 90, after Oliver Wendell Holmes, Stevens came on the Supreme Court as a conservative, and became more liberal by the year, and was the leader of the liberal wing of the Court in his last years, serving altogether 35 years from 1975 to 2010.

The only appointee of President Gerald Ford, Stevens was clearly the best appointment and best action taken by President Ford in his nearly two and a half years in the White House.

Stevens spoke up for gay rights, abortion rights, gun control, and against the death penalty, and against the Bush V. Gore and Citizens United Supreme Court decisions.

Stevens was a truly decent, compassionate man, a true jewel, a rare public servant who was on the proper side on so many decisions.

We will probably never see another Republican appointed Justice of the caliber of John Paul Stevens, but then again, we will probably not have a Republican President of the basic decency and moderation of Gerald Ford!

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

Average Age Of Presidents Is 55: Should Democrats Choose A Younger Nominee?

The Democratic Party faces a quandary: Should they choose a younger nominee as more likely to attract younger voters?

Three times in the past half century, the Democrats picked a much younger nominee than the Republicans:

1976 Jimmy Carter 11 years younger than Gerald Ford

1992 Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush

2008 Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain

All three of those Republicans were far less provocative and controversial than is Donald Trump.

Is nominating someone (Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden) who is older than Donald Trump a wise choice?

Is nominating someone only a few years younger (Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper) a wise choice?

Or would it be far better to nominate someone much younger than Trump to attract younger voters, particularly millennials, someone in their 50s or 40s as a multitude of potential nominees are (ranging from Amy Klobuchar at age 60 down to Pete Buttigieg at age 39)–and including women, minorities, and a gay man to move the nation forward in the 21st century, with a greater guarantee that they will live out their one or two terms in the White House?

This is what Democrats in upcoming caucuses and primaries next year have to come to grips with, with no easy answer as to what should occur!

Michigan Congressman Justin Amash The Only Elected Republican Willing To Stand Up To Donald Trump On Obstruction Of Justice

Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash is not someone who progressives would admire, but on the issue of Donald Trump and impeachment, he is the only Congressional Republican willing to stick his neck out, and call for the impeachment of the President for Obstruction of Justice.

Amash is a right wing Republican who has served since 2011, and is one of the most conservative members of Congress, with libertarian beliefs, and a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and a founder and Chair of the Liberty Caucus in that legislative body. He was an original Tea Party activist in 2009-2010 after Barack Obama became President.

His parents are Palestinian and Syrian Christians, so he is of Arab descent, and he represents western Michigan, including Grand Rapids, the area of Michigan represented by Gerald Ford for 25 years before he became Vice President and President.

He has been a critic of Trump from the beginning, and refused to endorse him, and now House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has repudiated him, claiming he votes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi more than with his party, which is purely a lie.

Amash has voted against funding for the border wall; has been critical of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement); voted against the Muslim Ban from seven nations promoted by Donald Trump in 2017; opposed renewal of the Patriot Act in 2011 and and is a critic of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; has served on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and believes in Congress having the final say in the commitment of troops to combat overseas.

It seems as if he is a man without a party now, and it is rumored that he might run for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination in 2020, which if he does, he could help affect the election and help to cause the defeat of Donald Trump, which would be true justice!

The “Imperial Presidency” Of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in 1973 Is Now Much More Powerful And Abusive Under Donald Trump

A half century after famed historian and scholar Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. published “The Imperial Presidency”, criticizing the growth of Presidential power under Richard Nixon, and tracing how much the Presidency had grown in authority and abuse since the 1930s, we are now faced with a Presidential office much more powerful and abusive than it was back in the time of the Watergate Scandal.

After Watergate and the resignation of Richard Nixon, the Presidency declined in authority under his two successors, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

But under the Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, abuses and scandals abounded, and many cabinet members and other top personnel were in legal danger, but with many of them pardoned over time.

By comparison, Bill Clinton had sex scandals which led to his impeachment, but otherwise, there was very little indication of scandals and abuse of power, although the Republican Party pursued him as if he was a major criminal.

And under Barack Obama, while there were no scandals or abuse of power, the Republicans did everything they could to undermine many of Obama’s initiatives.

But now under Donald Trump, the Republican Party has gone back to its promotion and endorsement of abusive Presidential power under Reagan and the Bushes, but now at a multiplied rate, endangering the balance of power between Congress and the Oval Office, much greater imbalance than ever before, all in the name of party loyalty to a fault.

We now have a lawless President who has declared he will not answer any subpoenas for materials, or allow any government official in the executive branch to testify before Congressional committees.

Therefore, the whole concept of separation of powers and checks and balances, designed by the Founding Fathers in 1787 to prevent a future King George III under the new Constitution, is now meeting its greatest challenge under a President who elevates the image of Richard Nixon, as by comparison, Nixon is like a “choir boy”, although clearly Nixon was a menace worthy of the attention of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Vice Presidency Has Led To Presidential Nominations Multiple Times Since The 1960s

The Vice Presidency was never good breeding ground for Presidential nominations since the Civil War.

Only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and John C. Breckinridge were nominated for President before the Civil War, with all winning the Presidency, except for Breckinridge, who had been Vice President under James Buchanan from 1857-1861, and then nominated by Southern Democrats who refused to accept the official Democratic nominee, Stephen Douglas in 1860.

The only Vice President from 1860 to 1960 who was nominated for President was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term Vice President, Henry A. Wallace, who ran as the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1948 against his own successor in the Vice Presidency, President Harry Truman.

But since 1960, six Vice Presidents have run as Presidential candidates, including;

Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968

Hubert Humphrey in 1968

Gerald Ford in 1976 (who had succeeded Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment)

Walter Mondale in 1984

George H. W. Bush in 1988

Al Gore in 2000

Nixon and Bush won the Presidency, while Ford lost a full term after finishing the partial term he succeeded to, and Gore won the popular vote, but failed to win the Electoral College.

The point is that Joe Biden would be the 7th Vice President who ran for President after serving as Number 2 in the executive branch.

And Nixon the first time, Mondale, Bush, and Gore all had a jump start on the nomination of their party for the Presidency, with only Humphrey and Ford having major challengers.

So at least by recent history in the past half century plus, being a Vice President gives a leap forward to those who wish to run for President.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Following Tradition Of His Father, Seriously Considering Challenge To Donald Trump Within Republican Party

It now looks more likely that President Donald Trump may have a second, and potentially, more viable Republican opponent for the Presidential nomination in 2020.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld held office from 1991-1997, and was the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee in the Presidential Election of 2016. He will be 75 years of age in 2020, nearly a year older than Trump. He is a legitimate candidate, but having been out of office for nearly a quarter century, it weakens his ability to draw support.

But now, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan is exploring the idea of announcing, and this should be encouraged.

Hogan has been Governor of a very “Blue” state since 2015, and won his second term in 2018, He has managed to be bipartisan in a state in which the legislature is heavily Democratic. He will be 64 years of age at the time of the election, a full decade younger than Trump.

His father of the same name was a renowned Maryland Republican Congressman from 1969-1975, and served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted three articles of impeachment in 1974 against President Richard Nixon, and the only Republican on the committee to vote for all three impeachment articles. His speech announcing his vote for all three articles of impeachment was truly a “profile in courage” at the time.

Hogan is a rare “moderate” Republican, a centrist and pragmatist, much respected by Democrats. In a June 2018 poll, Hogan had 60 percent support from Democrats. He has a record of environmental reform; immigration reform; support of gay rights and gay marriage; gun control legislation; free community college tuition for middle class and lower class students in the state; supports abortion and reproductive rights for women; and opposed the nomination of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The question is whether Hogan or Weld, seen as similar “moderate” Republicans on most issues, have a real chance to stop Donald Trump’s renomination. The argument is that if they could make Trump weakened at all as a result of their challenge, history tells us that an incumbent President with a challenger in his own party, wins the nomination but loses the Presidency, as happened to William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush in the 20th century.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Longest Lived President! Hooray! And His Legacy Will Be Remembered In History!

President Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, became this morning the longest lived President of the United States, surpassing George H. W. Bush, who passed away last November 30 at the age of 94. After 111 more days, Carter is now longer surviving than Bush, who broke the record of Gerald Ford, who broke the record of Ronald Reagan, with all four having reached 93, and Bush and Carter becoming 94 last year.

On October 1, Carter will reach the age of 95, and on October 17, Carter and his beloved wife Rosalynn, will have had a longer marriage than George H. W. and Barbara Bush, with 73 years and about three months duration.

Carter, much vilified, and not appreciated in his time in office, has become much more respected and honored with his longest retired Presidency of 38 years, two months and two days as of today. And his Vice President, Walter Mondale, still survives as well, and they are the longest surviving team in American history, with Mondale past the age of 91, and no other Presidential and Vice Presidential team reaching that age except for Reagan and H. W. Bush.

Carter may have the possibility to reach 100, as he has combated brain cancer for three and a half years, and continued to do good deeds. He is the model of what a President should be like in his conduct in retirement, as well as his basic behavior in office.

He is diametrically opposite of Donald Trump, who is the most horrendous President in his behavior, or at most, ties with Andrew Johnson.

Carter is a truly religious man in his words and actions, while Trump only worships himself, although he has the gall to sign Bibles and appeal to people by literally wrapping himself in the flag at a recent event, taking advantage of the hypocrisy of right wing evangelical Christians who have no issue with his conduct or behavior, while they condemned the moral behavior of Bill Clinton.