Jesse Ventura

Are We On The Road To A 5th Four Way Presidential Election?

In American history, we have had four Presidential elections in which there were four candidates who gained a substantial percentage of popular votes.

The first time was 1824, with Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William Crawford and Henry Clay.

The second time was 1860, with Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell.

The third time was 1912, with Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs.

The fourth time was 1948, with Harry Truman, Thomas E. Dewey, Strom Thurmond, and Henry A. Wallace.

The first two times, 1824 and 1860, saw the success of new political parties, the Democrats under Jackson by 1828 and the Republicans under Lincoln in 1860.  The third time brought the success of progressivism at its peak under Wilson with Roosevelt’s indirect contributions, and the fourth insured the forward movement in foreign and domestic policy under Truman.

Now in 2016, we could have four candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and potentially Bernie Sanders or Jesse Ventura.  And who can deny that Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or John Kasich might also be potential candidates?

The first three named above seem almost certain, but there is some speculation that Sanders could run on a independent line, and that Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota, might run if Sanders fails to be the Democratic nominee, and decides to avoid an independent run.  If Trump is nominated, the odds of Ryan or Romney or Kasich running as the “Establishment” Republican opponent grows, just as is likely that Trump will run as an independent if he is not the party’s nominee.

Hillary Clinton would win against a split Republican Party, but IF Sanders runs or even Ventura, the potential exists, in a four way race, for anything to happen, including the need to use the 12th Amendment, as occurred in 1824, which would give the Republican nominee the advantage, with the Republican control of the House of Representatives!

Third Parties Or Independent Candidates For President In 2016? A Waste Of Time And Effort!

It seems clear that many Americans are disgusted with the two party system, as they see the Democrats and the Republicans as “owned” by Wall Street and the billionaires.

So therefore, there are calls for a third party or independent movement, but it is unlikely to happen in any serious way, and certainly, will have little or no effect on who wins the Presidency.

But if any effect, it would lead to those who are discontented discovering that by voting for a third party or independent candidate, they have helped to elect the worse choice of the two major party nominees!

In American history, twice there has been a serious third party or independent nominee who has helped to defeat a sitting President or a popular vote winner and promoted the election of a candidate seen by many who voted for the third party as far less desirable.

Only Theodore Roosevelt in 1912; and Ralph Nader in 2000 are seen as having any real impact on the election results, helping to lead to the election of Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush. William Howard Taft lost his Presidency due to the third party candidacy of TR; and Al Gore lost the chance to be President because of the third party candidacy of Ralph Nader.

Looking ahead to 2016, there is no prominent personality planning to run on a third party. Those who have said they would not run include: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman; former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; and environmentalist Ralph Nader. These individuals have a certain appeal to many Americans, but they well recognize they have no chance to win, and could only mess up the election by running, as NO third party or independent has EVER been elected President, with only Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 making a really respectable performance as candidate of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, winning 6 states nationwide, 27.5 percent of the popular vote and ending up second rather than third, and gaining 88 electoral votes!

Six Months To Presidential Election Of 2012: No Signs Of Strong Third Party Movement!

With six months to go to the Presidential Election of 2012, there are no signs of a strong third party movement occurring, which would have any dramatic effect on the election results.

Third parties in the past have had significance in election results, although never able to win the election.

This certainly proved true with the Free Soil Party of 1848, the Progressive Party of 1912, the American Independent Party in 1968, and the Reform Party of 1992.

And even in small ways, as in 2000, the candidacy of Ralph Nader, and even that of Pat Buchanan, had an effect on the race, particularly in Florida.

There is no such danger at this point, and with Mayor Michael Bloomberg making clear he is not running as an Independent, and instead allowing himself to be courted by both the Romney and Obama campaigns, there should be a major sigh of relief in both camps.

Yes, there will be third party candidates, but no one seriously is seen as a major figure, although it sometimes has seemed that Jon Huntsman, the former Utah Governor, might run, and Ron Paul, still technically in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination, has been rumored as a Libertarian Party candidate, as he was in 1988.

But realistically, the most “threatening” possible candidates are two former Governors who were ignored in the Republican race for President: former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Roemer might run as the Reform Party candidate, and Johnson as the Libertarian Party candidate

Virgil Goode, former Republican Congressman from Virginia, might be the Constitution Party candidate; Roseanne Barr, the comedian, might run as the Green Party candidate; and either Buddy Roemer or former Salt Lake City, Utah, Mayor Rocky Anderson might run on the Americans Elect (online nomination) Party, with Anderson also the candidate of the Justice Party.

Of course, there is always the possibility of Ralph Nader or Donald Trump or Jesse Ventura running, as they have often talked about, but with only Nader actually running just about every four years, making him, sadly, a joke at this point, when once he had real credibility.

The point is the likelihood of a third party or independent candidate having any impact on the election is close to zero at this point!

Maine, The Independent State Politically! Angus King Likely Replacing Olympia Snowe

Maine, a state which has had independent minded Senators and Governors, is about to have an Independent as the likely successor to independent minded Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, who has announced her retirement after a long career, due to frustration over the total stalemate and deadlock in the US Senate.

Former Governor Angus King, who had served as a legislative aide to Senator William Hathaway in the 1970s, has only run for office as an Independent, and was one of two Independent Governors in the late 1990s and early 2000s, along with Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota.

In the 1970s, Maine had Independent Governor James Longley, making them an extremely unusual state, in having had two Independents serve in that office in modern times.

King was Governor from 1995-2003, and now will be his own man, while if he wins, probably caucusing with the Democrats, as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman do now. Major Democrats have decided not to challenge him, as his public opinion ratings are high, and the Republicans are almost certain to lose that seat that Snowe is vacating.

Three way races are not uncommon in Maine, as even the Governor’s race in 2010 was three way, leading to Tea Party favorite Paul LePage being elected Governor over a second place Independent and a third place Democrat.

Maine has had distinguished US Senators who have been independent minded if not actually running as Independents, including Margaret Chase Smith, Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, William Cohen, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins.

So the likelihood of at least two Independents in the next Senate, King and Sanders, is extremely certain, with Lieberman retiring from the Senate.

Time For Reality Check On Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment And Third Party Potential For Success In Presidential Elections

Unfortunately, many Americans, probably a vast majority, live with a false set of facts about American government, as it stands under the Constitution. There is a major need for a reality check!

Many people, including Republicans in Congress, seem to think that a balanced budget amendment will solve our economic problems, when there is absolutely no chance of that occurring! Any constitutional amendment required a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives, followed by a two thirds vote of the US Senate, and then a majority vote in each of the two houses in three fourths or 38 of the 50 states, with the only exception being Nebraska, which only has a one house or unicameral legislature.

We are not ever going to bring about 290 out of 435 votes in the House of Representatives and 67 out of 100 votes in the Senate for such an amendment! Only 36 proposed amendments have EVER achieved this two thirds vote, and the number of failed amendments is in the hundreds over our history!

But notice, even with 36 amendments making it through the Congress, we have only 27 amendments, telling us that NINE amendments failed to gain a three fourths support of state legislatures. Another way to put it is that IF there is a one vote majority in one of the two houses of the state legislatures against an amendment in just THIRTEEN states at a minimum, the amendment fails to be added to the Constitution.

There is no realistic possibility of a balanced budget amendment EVER making it into the Constitution, no matter what politicians say! And were it to happen, it would create a strait jacket, paralyzing us in a time of economic collapse, war, or natural disaster, no matter what limitations are put into such an amendment. It is time for serious minded people to give up the idea that such an amendment will EVER pass, and instead, take responsibility for the fact that the federal government IS necessary, and that we are all going to have to pay more taxes, whether we like it or not, and that it is PATRIOTIC to pay our fair share, including the super wealthy being thankful for their good fortune, and paying the tax level they used to pay from the 1940s through the 1970s, and certainly at the least, the levels of the Bill Clinton years in the White House!

It is also time for “dreamers”, who have the view that a serious third party movement could lead to the election of a President, to get a reality check as well!

Our electoral college system, which can only be changed by a constitutional amendment, which is not going to happen either, prevents a third party candidate from winning, with Theodore Roosevelt performing the best as a third party candidate of the Progressive Party in 1912, but only winning six states and 88 electoral votes, about a third of what is needed to win the White House. The only reason even he did that well was that he was a former President and extremely popular. Such a scenario will NEVER happen again, particularly with the 22nd Amendment, which limits Presidents to two complete terms in office, something not existing in 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt ran for what would have been a third, but non consecutive term as President.

Even if such a thing could happen, a third party candidate without major party backing would have an impossible situation gaining support to govern effectively, as indeed, independent Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota discovered in his term from 1999-2003!

For good or for bad, we are stuck with the two party system, and we will be electing a Democrat or a Republican for the Presidency for the long term future!

So forget the constitutional amendment route for a balanced budget, and ignore the thoughts of a third party movement electing a President, and instead accept the reality of the American future–we need to work within the system and just pick better people for public office, as we always have the right to do by voting and organizing, and stop hating our government, which with its faults, is still essential and necessary in our daily lives, as much as we would wish otherwise in our dreams!

Independent Candidacies A Long Shot This Election Year, As Always!

This year, there are at least four and possibly five Independent candidacies that might affect election results!

The most likely to succeed is Independent Senate candidate Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida, who broke with the GOP and is running against Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek!

A second strong possibility is Independent Lincoln Chafee, former Republican Senator from Rhode Island, running for Governor!

Additionally, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is running a write in campaign for her seat after losing the primary to Tea Party backed Joe Miller!

Congressman Mike Castle of Delaware is considering a similar write in campaign against the person who defeated him in the GOP primary, Christine O’Donnell!

Finally, former GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo is mounting an independent bid for Governor in Colorado!

The most recent prominent Independents in office have been Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut!

Further back, Jesse Ventura was Independent Governor of Minnesota; Senator Lowell Weicker was Independent Governor of Connecticut; and Angus King was Independent Governor of Maine!

These cases of Independents running for, and some winning, office are fascinating, but the odds this year, as always, are daunting!

IF both Charlie Crist and Lincoln Chafee win, it will be considered a major coup for the movement toward independent candidacies, but it is also very possible NO Independent will win, as the two party system is well entrenched!

Former Politicians As Talk Show Hosts: A Growing Trend

A developing trend on cable news seems to be that former politicians are substituting for talk show hosts, and one wonders if this is a move to employ these political figures as future hosts of regularly scheduled shows.

Fox News Channel, of course, already employs former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on its network on regular shows.

But now, MSNBC has had former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer substitute for Dylan Ratigan, and CNN has had former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura replace Larry King for one evening.

It must be said that all of these former governors have a certain manner about them that makes them effective as talk show hosts, and it could be that politicians who have left office voluntarily, been forced out of office, or been defeated for office may very well be the media stars of the future!