Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump The Achilles Heel Of The Republican Party: A Nightmare Scenario In The Making

Donald Trump has become the center of attention over his racist, nativist remarks about Mexicans and Mexican Americans, and he has become the Achilles Heel of the Republican Party.

If they could, Republicans would love to kick Trump out of the race, but they cannot do that legally.

All they can do is criticize and attack him, but so far, they have been reluctant to stir up Trump’s temper, as Trump uncontrolled is a scary thing.

Trump is like a bull in a China shop, and he will be the center of attention in the first Republican debate, sponsored by Fox News Channel.

Only ten candidates, not 16, will be allowed on the debate stage, meaning it is likely that such leading party figures as John Kasich of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana will not be there, even though the first debate will be in Ohio, and John Kasich, its Governor, and one of the more solid candidates, should be there!

Trump has no limits in his attacks on fellow Republicans, and has started it already, and it will be, certainly, an entertaining event.

The fact that Trump is second in polls is shocking, but not surprising, as it is easy to find at least 12-15 percent of the American people who are clueless about politics, or have a mean spirit which Trump well represents.

The rhetoric will be flying at that first debate and in future debates, and it will be good theater, but not good for the nation, as to imagine Trump being the GOP nominee is a nightmare scenario.

But what is more likely, as attacks mount on Trump, and as he gets more frustrated and furious, that he could mount a third party challenge to both the Republicans and the Democrats.

If that happens, the Republicans will suffer a defeat similar to Ross Perot’s effect on George H. W. Bush in 1992, and potentially similar to Theodore Roosevelt’s effect on William Howard Taft in 1912!

It would be extremely ironic if Hillary Clinton benefited from this, as her husband, Bill Clinton, did so in 1992!

The Democratic Presidential Race An Odd One: No Strong Criticism Or Challenge

The Democratic Presidential race, five in number now, with the entrance of former Virginia Senator Jim Webb in the fray, is shaping up as a very odd one, indeed.

Hillary Clinton is way ahead in public opinion polls; has the endorsement already of a substantial number of Democrats in Congress; and is being very coy in dealings with news media and even the public, having very few events, and almost no comments on events. One would think she was a sitting President, or Vice President, but she is not.

Bernie Sanders is, for now, her closest competitor, but not seen as likely to be able to overcome her lead, although he has gained $15 million from 250,000 small donors, but Bernie has been very tame in his criticism or comments about Hillary.

Martin O’Malley, who got his start with Bill and Hillary Clinton years ago, seemed likely to attack, but has really not done so much at all, and has mostly disappeared from the discussion about the election, and is not polling much at all in support.

Lincoln Chafee, only recently a Democrat, has made even less noise, although mildly critical of Hillary on the Iraq War vote in 2013, which he voted against and she voted for the war resolution. He hardly scores any numbers in polls.

Jim Webb, as a more conservative Democrat, would, seemingly, become a critic of Hillary and might do so, but one wonders how strong his campaign will develop.

And Joe Biden may be considering entering the race, but it is hard to imagine him going strongly on the attack against his good friend, Hillary Clinton.

It could be that all of the above assessment is wrong, and that there will be a substantial battle and strong attacks on the front runner, but it does not look that way in early July 2015!

The Odd, Unusual History Of Democratic Presidential Contenders For 2016

It is not well known or recognized, but it is reality that more than half of the Democratic Presidential contenders for 2016 were actually NOT always identified as Democrats.

We have Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the most successful Independent and Socialist in Congress in American history! He has allied with the Democrats in caucuses for years, but only finally declared himself a Democrat when he announced his candidacy for President.

We have Lincoln Chafee, who is the son of a former Republican Senator, John Chafee, who was also a Richard Nixon cabinet member as Secretary of the Navy in the 1970s; succeeded his father in the Senate as a Republican; then became an Independent when he ran for Governor of Rhode Island; and only in 2013 switched his loyalties to the Democratic Party.

We have newly announced former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who switched from Republican to Democrat before running for the Senate in 2006, but was a Ronald Reagan cabinet member as Secretary of the Navy in the 1980s, just as John Chafee was more than a decade earlier.

And then we have Hillary Clinton, who as a high school student was a supporter of Republican Barry Goldwater for President in 1964, although she never registered as a Republican!

Only Martin O’Malley of Maryland and likely future candidate Joe Biden have an “unblemished” record as Democrats throughout their lives!

Run, Joe, Run! Arguments For Joe Biden To Announce For President!

The death of Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, on May 30, seemed to clinch that Joe Biden would NOT run for President, and would decide to spend more time with his family 18 months from now, when his Vice Presidency comes to an end.

Being that he will be 74 by Election Day in 2016, it would seem to make sense that it would be time for Joe to “hang up his cleats”, and end his brilliant 44 year public career.

But now, the hints are strong that Joe Biden will NOT give up on being President, as it is said that his dying son urged him to go for what he has wanted all of his life.

It seems likely now that Joe Biden might announce his candidacy in August, and he seems to have strong support and a “Draft Biden” movement is actively recruiting suppoort.

It might seem surprising that after the loss of his beloved son, that Joe would decide to run, but one must understand that politics is his lifeblood!

One has a feeling that if he decides not to run, that he might still seek a role in the next Democratic administration, most likely that of good friend Hillary Clinton.

Somehow, the thought of Joe and Hillary openly setting out to destroy each other seems unlikely, just as Bernie Sanders has been very careful in his criticism. This is NOT the Republican Party, where everyone has knives out to destroy all opponents. A race of Hillary, Joe and Bernie could be the most civil race imaginable, and do a lot of good for the nation, setting a standard of decent behavior while seeking the Presidency. This is something everyone who has any intelligence and class should wish for and want!

And as much as Hillary has great experiences, and Bernie has great principles and decency, who can argue that Joe is not even better qualified, and has a genuineness, an authenticity that cannot be matched by any other candidate?

After all, Joe has had 44 years of experience, unmatched by ANYONE! He knows how to get along with the opposition, and is well liked and respected by Republicans who may disagree on policy, but really admire the guy! He has been invaluable as Vice President, and has great impact on policy. He is seen as the second most influential Vice President in American history, after Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina just voiced the thought of how great a guy Joe is, how it is not possible for anyone not to like and admire him, even if totally disagreeing on policy! And remember that Graham is a potential Presidential opponent!

Joe is a very talented leader who led on the fight against Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987, causing Anthony Kennedy to be on the Court and be involved in the gay rights and gay marriage cases, which Bork would never have supported. And Biden came out for gay marriage before Barack Obama, pushing him into support that might not have happened otherwise!

Joe is often right on foreign affairs, and told us ten years ago that Iraq should be three nations–Kurds, Shiite, and Sunni areas, and he has been proved right on that.

Joe is perceptive, visionary, and as a person, he is lovable, really caring about people, always ready with a big smile and a kind word! It recently came out that Joe encouraged a young man years ago who had trouble with stuttering, as Joe did when he was young, and now that man is telling all of us the impact Joe had on his life, giving him encouragement, and has published the handwritten letter Joe sent him a long time ago that changed his life! This is very inspirational stuff, no question about it, as Joe is very SPECIAL!

Sure, he has faults, such as sometimes “stupid” statements and too much “hands on” with women in public situations, but the important point is that there is no hint that he is anything but loyal to his wife, Dr Jill Biden. And no one is more devoted to his family, including his children and grandchildren.

No one who meets Joe has ever seen him as other than a “good guy”, and he has the enthusiasm about public affairs and public policy of a Hubert H. Humphrey!

His age is not a factor if we are considering so many others in both parties who are in their 70s or near 70, as Hillary Clinton is, for example.

There is no good argument for Joe against running, and if he loses the nomination, he will be gracious in defeat, and willing to help the next President at, who knows, maybe being Secretary of State or some other important position, as hie knowledge base and his experience make him useful into the future.

Joe Biden is not the past; he is the present and the future, and let us wish good luck in his likely quest for the Presidency, and whatever happens, he will have given it a “good fight”!

Two Prime Vice Presidential Contenders For Hillary Clinton: Julian Castro And Thomas Perez

IF Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2016, a key factor in helping her to win over any Republican Presidential rival would be selecting a Vice Presidential running mate with good credentials and Latino ancestry.

There are two prime candidates working in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, and either of them would make a great running mate and possible Presidential successor.

The first is Julian Castro, Mexican American and former Mayor of San Antonio, the sixth largest city in America, who is now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro’s twin brother Joaquin is a Texas Congressman, who is often seen as prime material for the US Senate in a race against Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. But Julian Castro, who can speak Spanish, and would be only 42 on Election Day 2016, would be a great candidate to draw widespread Hispanic and Latino support, particularly if Jeb Bush, who can speak fluent Spanish, or Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is the Republican nominee for President.

The second possibility is Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who speaks fluent Spanish and is of Dominican ancestry, and was part of the administration of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and will be 55 on Election Day 2016. Perez worked in the offices of the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services for many years before being in the O’Malley government in that state’s Labor Department, and then becoming Obama’s Assistant Attorney General, and then chosen to be Secretary of Labor in 2013.

Either Castro or Perez would be able to appeal for an even larger Hispanic-Latino support of the Democratic Party, already over 70 percent for Barack Obama in 2012!

The Growing Threat Of Right Wing Domestic Terrorism To President Obama And Presidential Candidates

The horrifying Charleston, South Carolina Massacre reminds us of the growing tide of racism and hatred that has emerged in the six and a half years of Barack Obama’s Presidency.

Barack Obama has faced more death threats than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and the mounting threats have taxed the Secret Service, which is responsible for his safety, that of his family members, and protection of the White House and its grounds from “Fence Jumpers”, who have become more bold in recent years, including Omar Gonzalez, who scaled the fence last September and entered the White House and almost made it to the stairs for the private quarters of the President and his family.

But it is also the hate groups which have multiplied in recent years, and have an effect on unstable, mentally ill people, mostly young men, many of them rightfully called domestic terrorists. The threat of foreign religious and political extremism also hangs heavy over the responsibility of the Secret Service to protect the President, the Vice President, other top government officials in the line of succession, and Presidential candidates.

There is a growing sense of foreboding and fear that the President, who has 19 more months from today until he leaves office, is in great danger, with any slip up by the Secret Service one too many.

Right wing domestic terrorism against Americans who are subjected to hate because of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or political persuasion is a danger not only to regular citizens, but also to Presidential candidates in the political season we are now entering.

Hillary Clinton, already protected as the wife of a former President, is under Secret Service protection, and Bernie Sanders, being a Socialist, also faces dangers not faced by right wing candidates on the Republican side, although Jeb Bush, brother and son of former Presidents, is also a target.

And Donald Trump, with his provocative mouth attacking Obama, Clinton, Bush and others, is a perfect foil for right wing lunatics to plan to attempt assassination plots against our President and others seeking the Presidency.

The reality of death threats against President Obama is covered in Chapter 16 of my forthcoming book, entitled; “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama,” available August 15 from Rowman Littlefield Publishers, and can be purchased at a 30 percent discount using the code available on this blog. It is well worth a read!

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders: Part II: Those Without Government Experience

A few days ago, we discussed five Republican Governors or former Governors, who are contending for the Republican Presidential nomination, and why they are horrible choices for the Presidency, and would demean the office.

Today, we will examine three Republican Presidential contenders, who have never held elected office or been a cabinet member or in the military:

Dr. Benjamin Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon and African American, who has come across as totally loony in his statements and views, including saying ObamaCare is slavery, that Obama is like Adolf Hitler, and that Creationism is a scientific theory and Climate Change is not occurring. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and Carson is proving how ridiculous his candidacy is, and how he is simply running to gain attention for his tremendous ego, as he has zero chance of being the nominee of his party.

Former Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Carly Fiorina, the only Republican woman running for President, thinks she is more qualified than Hillary Clinton, but she was fired from HP, and lost a race for the Senate seat of Barbara Boxer in California in 2010 by a massive landslide. She is basing her campaign on attacking Hillary, but has no credentials to make her qualified for President, and has a reputation of being a nasty, privileged lady in her dealings with others. Her chances of being the GOP nominee are zero!

The inimitable egotist and braggart of all time, Donald Trump, is a disaster waiting to happen, having had four bankruptcies, three wives, and promoted controversial views on “Birtherism” of Barack Obama, and is a nativist, racist, misogynist, and homophobe. He is pure poison for the GOP, and has no chance of being the nominee, but wants attention all of the time.

Only two non government figures have ever run for President–Wendell Willkie, Republican nominee in 1940 against Franklin D. Roosevelt. Despite losing, he had more brains and talents than all three of these characters discussed above combined. Also, Ross Perot, ran as an Independent in 1992 and 1996, and helped elect Bill Clinton. He managed to win 19 percent of the popular vote, second best ever for a third party candidate, in 1992, and 8 percent in 1996.

Forget about any of these three being the GOP nominee, as it is NOT going to happen, and they just simply add to the Clown Bus of Republican Presidential contenders!

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders: An Embarrassment To The Republican Party’s History: Part I

With Hillary Clinton having begun her active campaign for the Presidency yesterday, it is time to begin a serious examination of the “Clown Bus” group of Republican Presidential contenders, all of which believe they are qualified to be her opponent in the Presidential Election of 2016. The vast majority are totally pitiful!

We have Chris Christie who faces possible indictment at some point on the “Bridgegate Scandal” about the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey; who has a very low public opinion rating in his state; who has totally messed up the finances of New Jersey; who has a belligerent, bullyish personality; and who would be a health crisis in the making, with his extreme weight matching that of President William Howard Taft, but Christie not having the intelligence and accomplishments of the 27th President.

We have Rick Perry, who is actually under indictment for corruption in Texas, making him the first indicted candidate for President in American history; who was a total disaster in his 2012 Presidential run, not being able to remember which agencies of the federal government he wished to eliminate; who has new glasses in the past year, which make him look intellectual, but still do not make him intellectual in reality; who promoted the idea of Texas secession from the Union a few years ago; and who has prevented more poor people from having health care under Medicaid than any other Republican governor.

We have George Pataki, who is more moderate in his record as New York Governor than any of his opponents, but despite September 11, is hardly remembered, while NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani is still someone noticed and remembered. Pataki, whose most notable accomplishment was to defeat Mario Cuomo’s fourth term bid for Governor in 1994, has absolutely no chance to be the nominee, and one wonders why he did not try for the Presidency closer to his leaving the Governorship in 2006, such as in 2008 or 2012, rather than waiting till now.

We have Bobby Jindal, who has been a total disaster for Louisiana government; has tied himself to right wing evangelical Christianity in an extreme way; has destroyed the public school system in his state; has an extremely low public opinion rating in his state; and has made many reckless statements that one wonders about his sanity at times, including promoting the study of creationism in science classes. He also comes across as extremely mean spirited and intolerant!

We have Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and seemed moderate at the time, but since then, went to Fox News Channel as a talk show host, and it seemed to infect his brain. Huckabee has become a right wing whacko, evoking extremist Christianity; making ridiculous and divisive statements about women, gay rights and marriage; and embracing defense of reality show crazies, along with asserting he would not enforce Supreme Court decisions that he does not agree with, a shocking sense of lawlessness by anyone who would wish to be President!

The author will comment on other contenders in a Part II and Part III over the short haul, and then make clear which candidates have real legitimacy!

Hillary Clinton Comes Out Fighting, Evoking Franklin D. Roosevelt On Roosevelt Island

Hillary Clinton began her Presidential campaign officially on April 12, the day that Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945.

She began her aggressive, active campaign today, June 13, on Roosevelt Island in New York, evoking the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and came out fighting to make America a better place than it has been under Republican leadership in Congress, and the disastrous Republican field of Presidential candidates.

Just as Hillary inspired people when she spoke in Texas recently about enforcing the right to vote, which has been worked against in Republican controlled state governments, when Hillary gets out on the stump, she gives people new hope that she can be an outstanding Presidential candidate; defeat whichever GOP candidate survives the upcoming campaign; and emerge triumphant and successful as the 45th President!

Hillary has faults and shortcomings, as she herself admits; and she said she knew she would make mistakes as any candidate, any human being would, but that she would always be fighting for the middle class, and for those left behind, meaning the poor and disadvantaged, as well.

That is the message we want to hear from Hillary Clinton, and while Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee offer more “liberal” alternatives to Hillary in the Democratic Presidential race, and are all decent and inspirational in nature, the odds are still that Hillary will win and carry the mantle of the Democratic Party into November 2016.

And ultimately, the issue is not whether Hillary is “liberal enough”, but the future of the federal courts, and particularly, the Supreme Court, as that will be the most lasting impact of the next President of the United States.

We cannot allow a reactionary, right wing Republican gain control of the future of the Supreme Court, as that would condemn much of what Democratic Presidents have achieved in the past century since FDR!

George H. W. Bush On His 91st Birthday!

George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, celebrates today his 91st birthday.

Often ignored since he left office, other than his two sons’ electoral victories as Governors of Texas and Florida; George W. Bush’s Presidency; and Jeb Bush’s nascent campaign for President, to be announced on June 15; the elder Bush looks so much better than his two sons at this point of history.

Bush followed Ronald Reagan and preceded Bill Clinton, two men of great oratorical ability and charismatic presence. Both of them are rated higher in Presidential polls of experts and scholars.

However, a new public opinion poll, rating popularity of former living Presidents, places the elder Bush and Bill Clinton in a statistical tie at 64 percent popularity, an amazing fact when one considers that the elder Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, with the second worst defeat of a sitting President for reelection in American history, only surpassing William Howard Taft in the 1912 election.

But as a former President ages, popularity rising is not unusual, and particularly after a President dies, as with Harry Truman.

More books are being published on George H. W. Bush in the last couple of years, and the volume of publication will continue to grow, as history looks kinder on the elder Bush.

We have had more than 22 years pass since his Presidency, and the elder Bush is remembered for:

Winning the Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and leading the United Nations coalition brilliantly.

Promoting the reunification of Germany, despite many people’s fears that Germany would become a threat to European stability.

Bringing about a dignified end to the Cold War in 1991, by dealing with the falling Mikhail Gorbachev, and his successor Boris Yeltsin in a way that promoted calm in the world.

Advocating a civil rights law for the disabled and handicapped, the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Demonstrating courage in promoting a tax increase after pledging not to raise taxes, as the national and international situation in 1990 required such action.

If Pat Buchanan had not opposed the elder Bush in the Republican primaries in 1992; and if Ross Perot had not run so strongly as an Independent candidate in the Presidential Election of 1992, winning 19 percent of the vote, the elder Bush would have won a second term, and we would not have had Bill or Hillary Clinton as important figures in American history and politics.

So at least, on his 91st Birthday, the elder Bush can feel happy that he has survived long enough to see his popularity soar to 64 percent; to see one son serve as President for eight years, and another son about to try to set a record of three members of the same family serve in the White House.

Imagine if Jeb Bush, somehow, were to become President in 2017. and the elder Bush were to survive another nineteen plus months, and former First Lady Barbara Bush, who just became 90 on June 8, were also to survive!

They would witness two sons becoming President of the United States, surpassing John Adams, who only saw one son, John Quincy Adams, make it to the White House.

Even if one does not like or admire the Bush Family, that would be some magnificent achievement, which would have to be celebrated!