Gerald Ford

Presidents Day On Monday, And JFK, Reagan, Obama Rated Top Three Presidents Since 1953, But Much Ignorance And Lack Of Historical Knowledge!

Every year on and around Presidents Day, public opinion polls are taken to judge who the American people most admire among past Presidents.

For the past decade, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have switched with each other as the best President of the past half century.

This year, the University of Virginia Center For Politics, operated by Professor Larry Sabato, and Ipsos, an international, independent marketing research firm have come to the conclusion that the rating of JFK is the highest, with Ronald Reagan close behind, but Barack Obama a competitive third place, followed by Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush tied for fifth place.

Dwight D. Eisenhower is seventh, followed by Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and then Donald Trump in 10th place, just a bit ahead of Lyndon B. Johnson, and then Richard Nixon in last place.

This polls shows that Obama has remained popular a year after leaving the Presidency, and a sign he will likely remain high in public opinion, quite an accomplishment considering the bitterly divided America we have at the present time.

But it shows ignorance, to have the two Bushes in a tie, and probably mostly because the younger Bush is a recent President, and many are confused by the similar names.

To put Eisenhower seventh is more a lack of knowledge of a President from the 1950s, and to put Trump, a disastrous President low on the list, but ahead of LBJ and his Great Society and Nixon and his diplomacy, is a true sign of pure lack of historical knowledge by the American public. It is true that Johnson engaged America in the disastrous Vietnam War and Nixon was forced out of office due to the Watergate Scandal. But their accomplishments were enough to put them above Trump in a realistic situation where people know historical facts.

So clearly, there is a dire need for major emphasis on the study of history and of the Presidency, as this lack of knowledge brought us Donald Trump to the White House, with zero qualifications for the White House!

Donald Trump Has Lowest Popularity Rating Of One Year President Since Polling Began

With one year in office, Donald Trump ranks as the lowest popularity rating of all Presidents since public opinion polling began as a full time effort in the Presidency of Harry Truman after 1945.

The FiveThirtyEight blog shows that Trump’s overall average in January is 40 percent in favor and 55 percent opposed.

Every other President after a year in office ranks as more popular than not popular.

The least popular after Trump is Gerald Ford, with 44 percent in favor after one year and 39 opposed, and a lot of this result was due to Ford’s pardoning of Richard Nixon one month into his term.

Following up the list, we have Barack Obama 50-43; Ronald Reagan 49-40; Harry Truman 50-35; Bill Clinton 57-34; Jimmy Carter 55-27; Richard Nixon 60-23; Dwight D. Eisenhower 71-18; Lyndon B. Johnson 74-15; George H. W. Bush 78-11; George W. Bush 81-13; and at the top of the list John F. Kennedy 79-10.

So from Ford to JFK, the net approval is from plus 5 points to plus 69 points.

Of course, many of these great public opinion ratings deteriorated over time, particularly with Truman, Carter, Nixon, Johnson, and the Bushes, but they, along with all other Presidents, ranked more popular than not popular at this early stage of their White House tenure.

Those supportive of Trump love to point out that he has risen slightly from the low to mid 30s, but with the constant tumult and chaos in the White House, and his horrible, thoughtless, and cruel policies on so many issues, it is assured that Trump will never rise to a more positive than negative view of him and his Presidency.

January 20 Presidential Inauguration Days

Since 1937, as a result of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, we have had the President of the United States inaugurated every fourth year, so there have been 21 such inaugurations from 1937 to 2017.

Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the exception of Gerald Ford, has been inaugurated on January 20 since 1937. So 13 Presidents have had the excitement of inauguration at the US Capitol before crowds of varying sizes.

The greatest inauguration crowd was in 2009, when Barack Obama took the oath of office for the first time, and this author and blogger was fortunate enough to have been at his inauguration with his older son, and a video of that experience is on the right side of this blog.

The electricity in the crowd in 2009 was special, as it was in 1961, when the youngest elected President, John F. Kennedy, was inaugurated, and gave one of the top three inaugural addresses in American history, after Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, both on the original Inauguration Day of March 4.

In 1941, FDR was sworn in to an unprecedented third term in the Presidency, and in 1949, Harry Truman was sworn in after shocking America with his surprise victory over Thomas E. Dewey, something no one other than Truman himself, expected to occur.

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in after the greatest popular vote percentage victory in all of American history.

In 1973, Richard Nixon was sworn in for his second term, with no former President present, as Lyndon B. Johnson was not feeling well enough to attend, and then his passing two days later, at age 64.

And in 1977, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were sworn in as President and Vice President, with no one able to know that 41 years later, today, that they were both alive and in their 90s, and flourishing.

And in 1981, former movie actor and California Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn in, and at the same time, 52 Americans who had been held hostage in Iran were freed.

So January 20 has had its historic moments, including Donald Trump taking the oath exactly a year ago, after a much smaller crowd to witness, and followed by a Woman’s March the next day.

Amazing Record Of Longevity Of Presidential Nominees And Of Presidential Running Mates For Vice President

With Walter Mondale having reached the age of 90 yesterday, January 5, we have an amazing continuation of a record of age longevity of Presidential nominees, as well as Vice Presidential nominees.

The first such case was Strom Thurmond, the States Rights (Dixiecrat) Presidential nominee in the Presidential Election of 1948, who reached the age of 100 and a half, when he died in 2003. That is a record unlikely to be matched.

But beginning in 1972 and continuing through 1996, either one or both Presidential nominees and in most cases Vice Presidential nominees have reached the age of 90.

In 1972, Democratic Presidential nominee Senator George McGovern, died at the age of 90 in 2012, and Vice Presidential nominee Sargent Shriver died at age 95 in 2011.

In 1976, both Presidential nominees—Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter—reached the age of 90, with Ford dying at age 93 in 2006, and Carter on the way to surpassing Ford on March 15 of this year, but still behind George H. W. Bush, 111 days older than Carter. But also Vice Presidential nominees Walter Mondale and Bob Dole both reached the age of 90, with Dole now 94.

In 1980, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both reached the age of 90, and Reagan died at age 93 in 2004, and again, Carter on the way to a final age competition with the senior Bush. And Mondale and Vice Presidential running mate George H. W. Bush both have reached the age of 90 plus.

In 1984, Reagan and Walter Mondale both would reach the age of 90 and counting for Mondale, as of yesterday’s 90th birthday, and George H. W. Bush has the all time record of age of Presidents as of now.

In 1988 and in 1992, George H. W. Bush would survive many health issues and is still adding to the all time record of longevity, but again in competition with Jimmy Carter.

Finally, in 1996, Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole, who was Gerald Ford’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1976, has passed the age of 94 last July, and is still adding to his own longevity.

Former Living Vice Presidents To Be Proud Of: Walter Mondale, Al Gore, Joe Biden

Today, January 5, marks the 90th Birthday of former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Two days ago, when Vice President Mike Pence swore in Doug Jones and Tina Smith as new Senators from Alabama and Minnesota, we had Mondale join Joe Biden, and we had a rare scene of three Vice Presidents together.

Biden came to DC to be there for his good friend, Doug Jones, and Mondale was in DC to support a new Minnesota Senator, Tina Smith.

It brought back memories of when Mondale was Vice President under Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981, and when Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama from 2009-2017.

Both Vice Presidents were extremely close to their Presidents, and both played a major role in adding to the stature and influence of the Vice Presidency.

Also, with Mondale reaching the age of 90, it marks the second President and Vice President who reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

It will be 37 years out of office for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale on January 20, an all time record out of office for any President and Vice President.

Also, Mondale became today the sixth Vice President to reach the age of 90, along with three Presidents who served as Vice President–John Adams, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush–and two Vice Presidents who lived longer than any of the others—John Nance Garner under Franklin D. Roosevelt, living to age 98, and Levi Morton under Benjamin Harrison, living to age 96.

The scene of three Vice Presidents together also brought back the tragic result of the Presidential Election of 2000, when Vice President Al Gore under Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, won the national popular vote by 540,000, and yet lost the Electoral College 271-266, when the Republican majority Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush, awarding Florida to Bush by 537 votes out of a total of 6 million.

One has to wonder how Al Gore would have been as President, with the assurance that he would have done better than Bush.

The scene of Mike Pence posing with Mondale and Biden also sobers us that he is likely to become the 46th President this year, unless he is shown to have collaborated on the Russian collusion, and if so, could be the second Vice President to resign due to scandal, after Spiro Agnew in 1973.

Donald Trump, The Laziest And Least Knowledgeable President Since 1900, If Not Before

It is difficult to know for certain how hard working our Presidents from George Washington to William McKinley were, as available sources cannot often pinpoint the work habits of the 24 Presidents before 1900.

It is much easier to pinpoint the work habits of the 20 Presidents since 1901, from Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump.

It is also clear that being President is a tough, challenging job, and one does not have to be President to understand that reality.

But then, we have Donald Trump, who has expressed surprise at how difficult and complex and time consuming the Presidency is.

After all, Donald Trump has never truly worked that hard in his life, and always has had an advantage over others by his wealth and connections.

It is now clear that despite the burdens of the Presidency, that Donald Trump is the laziest and least knowledgeable President since 1900, if not before, but also likely.

Historians make clear how hard working and time consuming most Presidents have found their job and its duties.

William Howard Taft, being the heaviest President, took long naps daily, which makes it seem as if he was lazy to some, but clearly, Taft had a good mind, and a history of legal experience. He later became the only President to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as well, and no one has ever accused Taft in his nine years on the Court as not taking his job seriously.

Warren G. Harding was poorly qualified for the Presidency, and did not really like the job, and that he spent a lot of time engaging in love affairs and drinking alcohol in a time of Prohibition. But despite his generally disastrous Presidency, he comes across as still less lazy and far more knowledgeable than Donald Trump, and certainly more goodhearted and considerate of others who worked with him, and with the general public.

Calvin Coolidge, who was not at all overweight, also took a lot of naps, but despite that, he seems to have asserted himself, and his work load seems activist. His napping maybe was a way to cope with the loss of his younger son, Calvin, Jr at age 16 in 1924, just as he was running for a full term, after succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Harding in 1923.

Dwight D. Eisenhower liked to delegate authority, and avoid dealing with many issues in detail, and was far less interested in dealing personally with every issue. But no one could accuse him of being lazy and lacking in knowledge, although many criticized his love of golf as a hobby during the White House years. But we must remember his military brilliance in World War II at D Day, and realize he was very capable of being President.

Ronald Reagan also liked to delegate authority, and liked longer vacations, but still could not be accused of lacking knowledge, or being overly lazy. His staff and his wife, Nancy Reagan, promoted an activist Presidency, and Reagan comes across as an activist President. He knew how to communicate in a positive way with the American people.

George W. Bush took many long vacations on his ranch in Texas, and seemed often poorly informed. He leaned too much on his Vice President, Dick Cheney, in his first term, but in the second term, his attention to issues and his commitment to his job grew, even though the results in his Presidency were often disastrous.

Once one goes beyond these six Presidents named above, there is no question that the other Presidents were committed to the work ethic, and had broad knowledge of the major issues of their times.

This is particularly true of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, who all governed in complex times with challenging issues to deal with on a daily basis.

But equally true is the competence and commitment of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

Particularly “workaholic” Presidents would include TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, and Obama.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has spent more time on “vacation” than any President, and has shown ignorance and lack of interest in the details of his job. He spends more time playing golf; is constantly on attack against his critics on Twitter; and he eats unhealthy foods and drinks twelve Diet Cokes daily.

The man loves the title and the pomp and circumstance of the Presidency, but is extremely disinterested in the details of the issues he must deal with in domestic and foreign policy, and clearly is the laziest President in modern times, if not the entire history of the Presidency. He has undermined both domestic and foreign policy in dangerous ways.

The conclusion is that Donald Trump is ill equipped to be President, and disgraces the reputation of the office every day. If earlier Presidents were able to come back from the next world, they would be shocked at what harm he has done to the Presidency in just one short year! Heads would be shaking, and eyes rolling, without any doubt!

Harry Truman And Gerald Ford Share Death Date Of December 26 in 1972 And 2006

The day after Christmas is a day shared by two Presidents in death.

The 33rd President, Harry Truman, died on this day in 1972.

The 38th President, Gerald Ford. died on this day in 2006.

These two Presidents, the first a Democrat, the second a Republican, shared many common traits.

Both were from the Midwest–Truman from Missouri, and Ford from Hichigan.

Both faced challenging times and issues–Truman with the end of World War II; the Atomic Bomb issue; the Berlin Blockade and Airlift; the Korean War;-McCarthyism;–and Ford with the pardoning of Richard Nixon; the final end of the Vietnam War; the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia; the two assassination attempts 17 days apart in September 1975; and the challenge of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Both faced public opinion polls that made their governing difficult, with Truman surprising everyone with his upset victory over Thomas E. Dewey in 1948; and Ford almost winning a full term in 1976, and only losing because of close vote returns in Ohio and Hawaii.

Both had no desire to be President, and had not sought it, with both succeeding to the Presidency when Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.

Both died at advanced ages, with Truman seven and a half months past the age of 88; and Ford five and a half months past 93, and the longest lived President until George H. W. Bush passed his age on November 25, a month ago, and also to be surpassed by Jimmy Carter on March 16, 2018.

Both Presidents have gained in stature in death and in retrospect, although Truman is in the top ten Presidents of all time, usually around number five or six in most scholarly polls, while Ford is in the mid to high 20s as an average President.

But both came along, unexpectedly, and performed their responsibilities in an admirable way, and have gained respect that both might not have imagined in their lifetimes.

The Republican Party At The End Of 2017: Bereft Of All Principle, Common Decency, And Concern For The American People Who Are Not Wealthy And Privileged

Here we are on Christmas Day, and we would like to have the Christmas spirit far and wide in America.

But we cannot have that spirit, as the governing Republican Party at the end of 2017 is a shell of its old self.

The Republican Party today is not the party of Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, Thaddeus Stevens, and Charles Sumner. It is not the party of civil rights and racial equality.

The Republican Party today is not the party of Theodore Rooevelt, Robert La Follette, Sr., George Norris, and Charles Evans Hughes. It is not the party of progressive reform, of regulation of corporations and promotion of the environment.

The Republican Party today is not the party of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and Earl Warren. It is not the party of world leadership and moderate domestic reform.

The Republican Party today is not the party of Gerald Ford, Charles Percy, Mark Hatfield, and Charles Mathias. It is not the party of bipartisan domestic and foreign policy.

Instead, the Republican Party is now the worst elements imaginable, bereft of all principle, common decency, and concern for the American people who are not wealthy and privileged.

It is an evil party, which has committed massive crimes against the American people and the world community.

It is a party which has shown no concern about breaking up families; destroying people’s lives; and consorts with enemies of the American Constitution and democratic values.

It is a party which has set out to destroy all domestic tranquility and foreign stability, all in the lunatic and maniacal craziness to enrich themselves and exploit others.

It is a party which professes religiosity, but ignores the Judeo-Christian tradition of “good works”.

It is a party of hypocrisy and the promotion of lies.

It is a party of disgraceful, selfish, greedy men and women who have declared war on the long held traditions of their party, and their super nationalism, xenophobia, and fascist tendencies endanger all Americans of color, other religions, and women who resist their evil intentions.

It is a party which deserves to go into the dustbin of history!

Are We On The Way To President Paul Ryan?

With the growing evidence of Russian collusion and lying by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and many others in the administration, the possibility is growing of the first time in American history where the Speaker of the House of Representatives might become President by succession.

It could have happened in 1974 had there not been the 25th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1967.

That amendment allowed for the appointment of Gerald Ford to replace Spiro Agnew, and within eight months of becoming Vice President, Ford became President.

If this had not been able to happen, there would have been no Vice President for ten months, and Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma would have become President, instead of Gerald Ford, when Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

Ryan may very well have been aware of Russian collusion in the eyes of some observers, but unless that is proved to be so, he would become President if Mike Pence was forced out, and Donald Trump was forced out, and if there was no time to select a new Vice President under the 25th Amendment.

Ryan, not at all admired, and much criticized by this blogger in 2012, when he was the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney. would be a terrible successor, with his Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy, and his desire to privatize Medicare and Social Security, and end the concept of government assistance to the needy through Medicaid, Food Stamps, and aid to dependent children.

We are in a time frame where Donald Trump is a nightmare, but Mike Pence, with his overtly theocratic view of religion and government is a different nightmare, and Ryan is a third example of what horrible choices the nation faces from the results of the Presidential Election of 2016.

It will take decades to recover the damage already done, and the damage yet to be done.

Mike Pence And Spiro Agnew: Two Crooked Vice Presidents?

It is seemingly a possibility that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in coverup of Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election, and that he has often lied about his involvement in that corrupt action.

Pence was the leader of the transition team for Donald Trump, and had to know about the illegal actions of Michael Flynn in that transition period, and in the 25 days that Flynn was National Security Adviser, before he was fired.

Pence is deeply enmeshed in the scandal that is being revealed by the investigation of Robert Mueller, and he may not survive to succeed Donald Trump, because he failed to keep himself separate from the emerging scandal.

This is very different than Gerald Ford, who insured by his words and actions that he could not be accused of any involvement in the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

Ford had replaced Spiro Agnew in the Vice Presidency under the 25th Amendment, with Agnew involved in conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud, having accepted payments from contractors during his time as Governor of Maryland and even the Vice Presidency itself, and resigned, having pleaded guilty to one felony charge of tax evasion.

So it could be that Mike Pence will go down in history as the second crooked Vice President forced out of office.

Pence is about to be interviewed by Robert Mueller, and Pence has had his own personal lawyer for months, so stay tuned as to what might happen that no one would ever have conceived when the Trump Presidency began.