Henry Cabot Lodge

An Analysis Of Vice Presidential Selection 1960-2012 Strongly Favors The Democrats Over The Republicans

One can gain a lot of understanding about the two major political parties when one examines the history of Vice Presidential selection by the major party Presidential candidates between 1960 and 2012, a total of 14 national elections.

If one looks at the Democratic Party, it is fact that ALL but one time, the Democratic Presidential nominee chose a sitting United States Senator to be his running mate as follows:

1960–Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas
1964–Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota
1968–Edmund Muskie of Maine
1972–Tom Eagleton of Missouri
1976–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1980–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1988–Lloyd Bentsen of Texas
1992–Al Gore of Tennessee
1996–Al Gore of Tennessee
2000-Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
2004–John Edwards of North Carolina
2008–Joe Biden of Delaware
2012–Joe Biden of Delaware

The only exception was 1984, when Walter Mondale selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Also, after Tom Eagleton dropped out as the Vice Presidential running mate of George McGovern in 1972, due to having been revealed as having had psychiatric treatment, Sergeant Shriver, the former Peace Corps Director, head of the War On Poverty, Ambassador to France, and Kennedy in law, replaced him on the ticket.

All of the ten US Senators who ran for Vice President came to the national ticket as outstanding legislators with solid records of accomplishments, while Ferraro might be considered the weak link, the only real such case, for the Democratic national tickets. The only Senator who, in retrospect, might be considered not an ideal choice would be Edwards, for the personal life scandals that were revealed in later years.

Also, all of these Vice Presidential selections sought the Presidency after being chosen as a VP running mate, and Mondale, Gore, and Biden served notably as Vice President, all adding to the prestige of the office.

On the other hand, the Republicans had a very different scenario, as only four times out of fourteen did they select a United States Senator as their Vice Presidential choice for a national campaign, as follows:

1960—Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (former Senator 1936-1952)
1976— Bob Dole of Kansas
1988—Dan Quayle of Indiana
1992—Dan Quayle of Indiana

Three times, the Republicans selected state governors as their Vice Presidential nominees, as follows:

1968—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
1972—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
2008—Sarah Palin of Alaska

But most commonly, the Republicans for a total of seven times selected a member or former member of the House of Representatives, as follows:

1964—William E. Miller of New York
1980—George H.W. Bush of Texas
1984—George H. W. Bush of Texas
1996—Jack Kemp of New York
2000—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2004—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2012—Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Out of these 14 cases, it is clear that Quayle, Agnew and Palin, in particular, stand out as horrible choices, and with the nation being burdened with nearly five years of Agnew and four years of Quayle in the Vice Presidency.

At the same time, Miller seems a nonentity who was chosen, and Cheney and Ryan, while competent, both stood out as particularly controversial selections, based on their public record in the past and the future as well.

Only Dole, Bush, and Kemp stand out as noncontroversial choices.

So it is clear that the Democrats have been much wiser in their Vice Presidential choices than the Republicans in the past half century!

“Crossing The Aisle”: BiPartisanship Of America’s Presidents From FDR To Obama

A common theme in American history is the “crossing of the aisle”, the bipartisanship encouraged by just about every American President, and the utilizing of leaders of the opposition party to help make his administration successful.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had Henry Stimson as his Secretary of War from 1940-45, with Stimson having served as Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover. He also had Frank Knox as Secretary of the Navy from 1940-1944, who had been the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 1936.

Harry Truman had Warren Austin as his United Nations Ambassador from 1947 to 1953.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had Robert Anderson in various roles, as Secretary of the Navy, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Treasury, during his eight years in office from 1953 to 1961.

John F. Kennedy had Robert McNamara as his Secretary of Defense and D. Douglas Dillon as his Secretary of the Treasury and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (who he had defeated for the Senate in 1952, as his Ambassador to South Vietnam.

Lyndon B. Johnson kept on McNamara, Dillon and Lodge as close advisers in his administration, after he succeeded to the Presidency upon Kennedy’s death.

Richard Nixon had Sargent Shriver as Ambassador to France, John Connally as Secretary of the Treasury, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan as Ambassador to India.

Gerald Ford had Moynihan stay on as Ambassador to India, and then as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Jimmy Carter had James Schlesinger as Secretary of Energy, and Lawrence Eagleburger as Ambassador to Yugoslavia.

Ronald Reagan has Mike Mansfield at Ambassador to Japan, Jeane Kirkpatrick as Ambassador to the United Nations, William Bennett as Secretary of Education, and Paul Volcker as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

George H. W. Bush had Richard Stone as Ambassador to Denmark, and Robert Strauss as Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Bill Clinton had Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and William Cohen as Secretary of Defense.

George W. Bush had Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation.

And Barack Obama has had Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, Ray LaHood as Secretary of Transportation, Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China, John McHugh as Secretary of the Army, Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and now has pending the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.

Notice that Obama has had more members of the opposition party in his administration than any President!

Republicans And Foreign Policy Knowledge And Expertise In The Past 50 Years

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Republicans in foreign policy in the past 50 years, one cannot deny the expertise of Presidential candidates, or in the absence of expertise by them, their Vice Presidential running mates.

Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge in 1960 had exceptional foreign policy background and experience.

Barry Goldwater may have been wrong headed and too aggressive, but at least he had knowledge of foreign affairs as a Senator from Arizona.

Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972 had even greater expertise on foreign policy than in 1960.

Gerald Ford and Bob Dole had extensive background in foreign issues in 1976.

While Ronald Reagan had limited background in 1980, he had George H. W. Bush to assist him for eight years.

Bush had the expertise needed in 1988 and 1992, although he had the inferior Dan Quayle as his running mate and Vice President.

Bob Dole and Jack Kemp had experience and background when they ran together in 1996.

While George W. Bush had little background and experience, he had his dad and his running mate, Dick Cheney, who had been Secretary of Defense under his father.

John McCain had extensive background in foreign policy in 2008, although Sarah Palin was an embarrassment.

Now in 2012, we have two GOP candidates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who have no real background or experience, but both love to bluster and threaten and act tough, and the world looks on with trepidation at the thought that this inferior team might be in charge of national security and defense and foreign policy!

Vice Presidental Nominees: Ready On “Day One” Or Not?

It has often been said that Presidential nominees do not think of their Vice Presidential nominees as replacing them in office, because of death. No one likes to think about that unpleasant, potential possibility.

But Presidential nominees NEED to think about that, because it should be the most important factor involved in selection of a running mate.

When one looks at Presidential elections since 1960, it is clear that Vice Presidential nominees fit into two categories: those ready on “Day One” to take over the Presidency, and those NOT ready on “Day One” to take over the Presidency.

Those Ready on “Day One” (15)–10 Democrats and 5 Republicans

Henry Cabot Lodge
Lyndon B. Johnson
Hubert H. Humphrey
Edmund Muskie
Sargent Shriver
Walter Mondale
Bob Dole
George H. W. Bush
Lloyd Bentsen
Al Gore
Jack Kemp
Dick Cheney
Joe Lieberman
John Edwards
Joe Biden

Those NOT ready on “Day One” (6)–1 Democrat and 5 Republicans

William E. Miller
Spiro Agnew
Geraldine Ferraro
Dan Quayle
Sarah Palin
Paul Ryan

The selection of the Vice Presidential nominee is the first, and in many ways, the most crucial decision a Presidential candidate makes. In that regard, the Democrats have been dramatically more careful than the Republicans!

Losing Vice Presidential Candidates And Their Careers

In the past fifty years, since the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960, we have had a total of 12 losing Vice Presidential nominees of major parties, not including Vice President Walter Mondale under President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Vice President Dan Quayle under President George H. W. Bush in 1992.

What ever became of these 12 losing Vice Presidential nominees?

Henry Cabot Lodge, who ran with Richard Nixon in 1960, went on to be Ambassador to South Vietnam for President Kennedy in 1963-1964, a sign of bipartisan cooperation, even though Lodge had lost his US Senate seat to President Kennedy in 1952. He then was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1964, but did not get very far in the race. Lodge had had a distinguished career as Senator from Massachusetts from 1937-1953, played an influential role in drafting Dwight D. Eisenhower for President in 1952, and served as Ike’s United Nations Ambassador for eight years, before becoming Nixon’s running mate in 1960. Overall, a very distinguished career, to say the least!

William E. Miller, who ran with Barry Goldwater in 1964, served as a member of the US House of Representatives from upstate New York from 1951-1965, and was Republican National Chairman from 1961-1964. His public career ended with the Goldwater defeat, but his daughter, Stephanie Miller, is a comedian and radio talk show host, and also on Current TV five mornings a week. Interestingly, she is very liberal, while her father was a solid conservative.

Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine ran with Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968, after having served in the US Senate for ten years, and continued to serve in the Senate until 1980, when he agreed to be President Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State for one year. He also sought the Presidency himself in 1972, was considered a front runner, but his candidacy floundered.

Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was George McGovern’s first running mate in 1972, but was forced out over revelations that he had undergone shock treatments and taken psychiatric medication. Despite that, he served in the US Senate for 18 years from 1969-1987, and served with distinction, with whatever mental problems he had not interfering with his performance.

Sargent Shriver, the brother in law of President Kennedy, replaced Eagleton, and was well known as the head of the Peace Corps under Kennedy, and as head of the War on Poverty under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Then he served as Ambassador to France under Johnson and Richard Nixon, before running for Vice President. He also ran for President unsuccessfully in 1976, and became the head of the Special Olympics. His daughter, Maria Shriver, became an NBC reporter and the wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. His decline due to Alzheimer’s Disease had an impact on publicity about that disease. He died a much beloved public servant.

Gerald Ford had Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his running mate in 1976. Dole had been a member of the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, and served in the Senate from 1969 until his resignation in 1996, when he became the Republican nominee for President. He remains active today, and is highly honored for his public career, and his wife Elizabeth also served as a United States Senator from North Carolina. Additionally, Dole had served as Republican National Chairman from 1971-1973 under Richard Nixon. He also was, at different times, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader.

Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, becoming the first woman to run for Vice President. She had been a Congresswoman from Queens County, New York City from 1978-1984, and was later US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights under President Bill Clinton from 1993-1996. She ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1992 and 1998, and later was involved in the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign of 2008.

Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas was the running mate of Michael Dukakis in1988. He served in the House of Representatives from 1949-1955, and as US Senator from 1971-1993, winning his seat the first time over future President George H. W. Bush, He was also Senate Finance Committee Chairman, and Treasury Secretary under BIll Clinton in 1993–1994.

New York Congressman Jack Kemp, a former football player for the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League, served in the House of Representatives from upstate Buffalo, New York, from 1971-1989. He ran for President unsuccessfully in 1988, before agreeing to be Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. He also served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the first President Bush from 1989-1993. He was a major supporter of economic conservatism, and a follower of President Ronald Reagan. He continued to advocate his views after losing the Vice Presidency.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, and was the first Jewish nominee for Vice President. He had served in the Senate since first being elected in 1988, and will retire from the Senate in 2012, after four complete terms, as a controversial independent Democrat, progressive on social issues, but hard line conservative on foreign policy. He was called conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr’s “favorite Democrat”.

In 2004, North Carolina Senator John Edwards was John Kerry’s Vice Presidential running mate. He served in the Senate for one term from 1999-2005, and sought the Presidency in 2008, and when his campaign failed, he was revealed to have a consensual affair with a woman while his wife was sick with cancer, and the liaison produced a daughter, and now has led to a trial that might lead to his imprisonment on charges of illegal use of campaign funds to cover the affair and the needs of the child and mother. This is truly a sad situation, still to be played out.

And finally, who could forget Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who came out of obscurity as the second woman to run for Vice President, with John McCain in 2008. She became a lightning rod, and many blamed the debacle of the McCain campaign on her, and her obvious ignorance of the issues and the facts of American politics and history. She has remained a controversial figure, who has made millions writing some books and giving speeches,and is seen by many as a major factor in the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Her future is still ahead of her, and we will not be able to ignore her, as she will be part of political news for a long time.

So who stood out among these losing VP candidates?

Clearly, Lodge, Muskie, Eagleton, Shriver, Dole, Bentsen, Kemp, and Lieberman had a positive effect on American history.

The same cannot be said for Miller, Ferraro, Edwards, and Palin.

However, all of them contributed to our history, and should be remembered!

Presidential And Vice Presidential Candidates: “Shot Gun” Marriages Most Of The Time!

When a Presidential nominee selects his Vice Presidential running mate in any Presidential campaign, it can be regarded as a judgment of the Presidential nominee’s leadership.

It can also cause much grief, as too often, the combination of Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees does not work, whether elected or not.

Since the time of Richard Nixon as Vice President under Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the Vice Presidency has become a significant and powerful office, there has been much distrust, stress, and alienation between the people running for the top two offices, and if elected, has become a major problem that affects the nation.

Witness the following:

While President Eisenhower allowed Vice President Nixon to take on more authority as Eisenhower suffered health crises, the two men never were very close, and Eisenhower held off on backing Nixon publicly for a second term as Vice President in 1956.

Lyndon B. Johnson had very little role and a difficult relationship with President John F. Kennedy, and his brother, Attorney General Robert F.Kennedy.

When Nixon ran against Kennedy in 1960, his running mate, Henry Cabot Lodge, followed a very relaxed campaign strategy, taking long naps and breaks during the Fall campaign, and it was clear that the two men did not get along well.

When Lyndon Johnson chose Hubert Humphrey as his Vice President in 1964, he treated Humphrey in a very disrespectful way, similar to what had occurred to Johnson under Kennedy. Humphrey was ruined in his later Presidential candidacy by having to endorse and support the Vietnam War, a war he had grave doubts about, and was often left out of important cabinet meetings.

When Nixon became President, he looked at his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, in a less than respectful way, and just allowed Agnew to do “dirty work” of attacking liberals and the news media, and refused to keep him informed about many policies, and let him resign due to scandal, without a word of support.

When Nixon chose Gerald Ford after Agnew resigned, he saw him as a lightweight, who would insure his own survival in the Watergate scandal, an assumption that Nixon was totally wrong about!

George McGovern chose Thomas Eagleton in 1972, without any knowledge of his mental treatments and then, effectively abandoned him for Sargent Shriver, a Kennedy brother in law.

Gerald Ford got along well with Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President, but dropped him in favor of Bob Dole when he ran in 1976, a move that probably caused his defeat.

When Ronald Reagan chose George H. W. Bush in 1980, the two men did not trust each other, and had been major rivals, and although Bush worked hard for Reagan, there was no personal chemistry between them, and the Bushes were never invited to stay at the White House under the Reagan Administration.

Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, without knowing about the illegal activities of her husband, and they did not seem very close during the campaign.

George H. W. Bush did not have much confidence, or give much authority, to his Vice President, Dan Quayle, who was a major burden during his administration, due to Quayle’s blunders and misstatements.

Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen seemed like oil and water, when they ran together in 1988.

Much the same can be said for Bob Dole and Jack Kemp in the 1996 Presidential campaign.

The combination of Al Gore and Joe Lieberman never seemed to click during the 2000 Presidential campaign, and Lieberman publicly called for giving up the fight for Florida’s electoral votes when Gore was still suing for a recount against George W. Bush.

In 2004, John Kerry and John Edwards did not get along very well, as Edwards was very much his own man in his own mind.

And sadly, the same holds true for John McCain and Sarah Palin, with her becoming a major headache, embarrassment, and burden in 2008.

The only times running mates really seemed to work well together were:

Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie in the 1968 campaign.

Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale in the Carter Presidency, with Mondale practically seen as co-President.

Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the Clinton Presidency, until the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when there was a falling out between the two men, which affected the 2000 Presidential campaign.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the second Bush Presidency, although their relationship started to deteriorate in the second term.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden, presently, in the Obama Presidency, working very well together, as united as Carter and Mondale were in the 1970s

This is all discussed as reality in our history as Mitt Romney edges closer to the Presidential nomination of his party.

And even if, somehow, Rick Santorum, or someone else ends up as the Republican nominee, who is chosen to be his Vice Presidential running mate will be crucial to the campaign, and if he wins, to the office of Vice President, and to the nation.

One Year To Inauguration Day!

Three years ago today, Barack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States.

One year from today, we will see the inauguration of a President–at this point, one of five men.

Tomorrow’s South Carolina Primary may decide who will be challenging Barack Obama in November.

One has to wonder where is the leadership, the statesmanship, of the opposition party, that they cannot come up with anyone on the level of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, or George H. W. Bush. This is not saying that all of the above had records in office approaching perfection, but compared to Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, they appear as a long lost Republican leadership.

And of course, to wish for the likes of past Republicans such as Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, George Romney, and Henry Cabot Lodge, among others, all of whom sought and failed to win their party’s nomination, is to expect too much in today’s political climate!

The “White” Republican Party Against The Future

It is clear that the Republican Party is trying to keep control of Congress and regain the White House by appealing to white voters of all economic classes by stealthily promoting fear of immigrants, Hispanics and Latinos, and African Americans, and trying to take away voting rights from the poor, the elderly, college students, as well as minorities.

This is a very troubling strategy, as it promotes a “them” versus “us” mentality which does not serve the nation well, as the reality is that the future of the nation is that the white population is declining in percentage, and by the mid 2040s, will be a minority.

So the need to adapt and appeal to nonwhites of all backgrounds is essential for the political health of the nation in the future. Instead, the GOP is acting as if it is the old Southern Democrats of the segregation era, or the Confederate mentality of the Civil War era.

This is ugly, dangerous, poisonous and reprehensible as the future cannot be stopped, and instead must be confronted! So a return to moderate Republicanism of the Nelson Rockefeller-William Scranton-Henry Cabot Lodge-Charles Percy-Mark Hatfield-Charles Mathias etc variety is essential and soon!

History, Losing The Vice Presidency, and Sarah Palin: A Reality Check!

Many people seem to think that Sarah Palin, the losing Vice Presidential nominee in 2008, has a real shot at being elected President of the United States in 2012.

The fact that Sarah Palin is ill qualified to be President, and the thought of what a nightmare it would be if such an ill informed, ignorant person such as the former Alaska Governor were to be elected, is also mollified by historical reality.

What is that historical reality? Only ONCE in American history has a LOSING Vice Presidential nominee gone on later to be elected President!

And what is that one exception to the rule that losing candidates do not go on to become President? FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, who ran with Governor James Cox of Ohio, in the worst ever defeat of a Presidential candidate until that time, in the Election of 1920, which brought us Warren G. Harding to the Presidency and Calvin Coolidge to the Vice Presidency! Franklin D. Roosevelt went on to be elected President TWELVE years later, in the worst depths of the Great Depression.

But that is indeed the only time a losing VP candidate has been elected President, and when one looks at all of the losing Vice Presidential candidates since 1960, Sarah Palin pales by comparison!

The list includes, chronologically by election, the following:

Henry Cabot Lodge
William E. Miller
Edmund Muskie
Sargeant Shriver
Bob Dole
Walter Mondale
Geraldine Ferraro
Lloyd Bentsen
Dan Quayle
Jack Kemp
Joe Lieberman
John Edwards

And only Dole and Mondale were nominated by their parties to run for President.

So the Palin lovers out there–it is time to face reality, as Sarah Palin has no chance to become President, and she certainly is no Franklin D. Roosevelt! πŸ™‚