Jimmy Carter

A Real Choice For The Future: Tim Kaine Vs. Mike Pence, One Of Whom Could Be The 46th President Of The United States!

Little attention has been paid by news media to the upcoming Vice Presidential debate, but it really does matter.

One of these two men–Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine or Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence–will be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and with their “boss” being either the second oldest or the oldest President at inauguration, that raises the possibility of succession, either by natural causes or by the hated thought of assassination, something that cannot be limited as a potential possibility in a very unsafe environment, both domestic and foreign.

And even if everything goes well, either man could be the heir apparent, and run for the Oval Office four or eight years hence.

It will be interesting to see their body language, their expressions, their knowledge level, their depth, their personality, as neither is known well by the general public.

While both can be said to be basically competent for the job they seek, a look at the public record and utterances of both makes clear that Tim Kaine is, by far, the preferable choice, as he is a mainstream Democrat, while Pence is connected to the right wing of the Republican Party, and has consorted with the Tea Party element in the party in his earlier years in the House of Representatives. Pence has come across as mean spirited, as in the case of an African American man convicted without just cause, finally gaining his freedom with a reversal of his wrongful conviction, but wanting a complete pardon so that his record is expunged, and unable to move ahead in his private life until such happens. But Pence is slow and reluctant to do anything, and one has to wonder, if the race of the individual is a factor.

Being willing to support Donald Trump, no matter what he says or does, might be understandable for a running mate, but it also indicates a lack of principle in asserting his own freedom from the most outrageous Presidential nominee in American history.

Kaine, by comparison, is a humane, decent, genuine, sincere man, who works well “across the aisle” in the Senate, and is admired and liked by many Republican Senators. He has social compassion for the poor, as when he did church work in Honduras, and learned the Spanish language. This is the kind of a man we need to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and one can be sure he will be utilized by Hillary Clinton effectively, as has been the case with Joe Biden under Barack Obama, Al Gore under Bill Clinton, and Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter Turns 92, Time To Reconsider His Legacy, And That Of George H. W. Bush

Happy Birthday, President Carter, who reached his 92nd birthday today, October 1!

Despite his cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2015, Jimmy Carter has reached the pinnacle of being 92 years of age, although thought to be likely to die within months of the bad news last year.

He becomes the second living President to reach 92, with George H. W. Bush achieving that on June 12 of this year.

Within the next 18 months, both Bush and Carter could surpass Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan as the two longest living Presidents, and we wish them both well on that potential achievement.

Both of these one term Presidents have been too long overlooked for their achievements, and their longevity insures that over time they will be seen as far better in office than they were seen after their defeats for reelection in 1980 and 1992.

Jimmy Carter Surpasses Record 13,000 Days In Retirement As A Former President!

As of five days ago, August 25, 2016, former President Jimmy Carter has been in retirement for 13,000 days!

Carter passed former President Herbert Hoover on September 9, 2012, as the longest retired President.

Carter will finish 36 years in retirement by Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

His political career before the Presidency and in the Presidency was a total of 12 years–four as a State Senator, four as Governor of Georgia, and four as President.

Carter will be 92 on October 1, and if he lives another 18 months, he would have lived longer than any President including Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, except maybe George H. W. Bush, who is about four months older, and already 92 years of age.

Carter has had cancer in the past year, but is in remission, and seems in good shape, considering his age and cancer diagnosis.

By having lived so long, he has become a legend in many ways.

Let us wish him more years of health and contribution, as he has already set a record for accomplishment as a former President, which has been a model for Bill Clinton, and for when Barack Obama is retired in 2017!

Democratic Party Historical Accomplishments

The Democratic Party has been criticized for the fact that in its 188 year history, it was the party that promoted slavery, segregation, and lynching, being dominated for a long time by its ugly Southern membership.

This cannot be denied, but it is the Democratic Party which has also, in the last century of history, had many historical accomplishments.

Among these are:

First Catholic nominee for President–Alfred E. Smith 1928
First Catholic President elected–John F. Kennedy 1960
First Catholic Vice President elected–Joe Biden 2008
First Jewish nominee for Vice President–Joseph Lieberman 2000
First Jewish Presidential candidate as serious contender–Bernie Sanders 2016
First African American President–Barack Obama 2008
First Woman nominated for Vice President–Geraldine Ferraro 1984
First African American Presidential Contender–Shirley Chisholm 1972
First Woman nominee for President–Hillary Clinton 2016
First woman Secretary of State—Madeleine Albright under Bill Clinton
First Southerner elected President since 1848–Jimmy Carter 1976
Youngest elected President–John F. Kennedy 1960
President who gave us Social Security–Franklin D. Roosevelt 1935
President who gave us Medicare and Medicaid–Lyndon B. Johnson 1965-1966
One Term President who advanced Environmental Causes the most in history–Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
President who gave us ObamaCare–Barack Obama 2010
President who advanced Civil Rights—John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson 1960s
President to appoint first Jewish Supreme Court Justice—Woodrow Wilson 1916 (Louis Brandeis)
President to appoint first woman Jewish Supreme Court Justice—Bill Clinton 1993 (Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
President to appoint first African American Supreme Court Justice–Lyndon B. Johnson 1967 (Thurgood Marshall)
President to appoint first Hispanic-Latino Supreme Court Justice—Barack Obama 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor)
President who promoted Containment Foreign Policy with the Soviet Union—Harry Truman
President who promoted concept of international cooperation—Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt
First Woman Speaker Of The House of Representatives–Nancy Pelosi 2007
Most accomplished Congresses, Democratic controlled—-63rd and 64th (1913-1917) under Woodrow Wilson; 73rd and 74th (1933-1937) under Franklin D. Roosevelt; 89th Congress (1965-1967) under Lyndon B. Johnson; 111th Congress (2009-2011) under Barack Obama
Great Supreme Court Justices appointed by Democratic Presidents—Louis Brandeis 1916 by Woodrow Wilson; Hugo Black 1937 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; Felix Frankfurter 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; William O. Douglas 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; Thurgood Marshall 1967 by Lyndon B. Johnson; Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1993 by Bill Clinton; Stephen Breyer 1994 by Bill Clinton

Grand Opening Of Democratic Campaign As Tim Kaine Is A Rock Star In Introduction To The American People In Miami Rally!

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, presented himself to the nation yesterday at a political rally in Miami, Florida, with Hillary Clinton, at Florida International University, a heavily Latino school.

Many observers had said that Kaine was a “boring” personality, but he was anything but that. He was a “Rock Star”!

The TV audience and the crowd learned just how dynamic, caring, committed, and principled Tim Kaine is, apparently a secret just unveiled, as he was not well known nationally.

Tim Kaine is a wonderful human being with compassion and concern for social justice, just the opposite of Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who has demonstrated an extremist right wing Tea Party view on so many different issues.

The future debate between Kaine and Pence will be very revealing, and will help Hillary Clinton win the Presidency.

And we will be blessed in January with a great successor in the Vice Presidency to follow Joe Biden, who must be recruited for some important position, as we should not lose his talents and expertise.

A good suggestion is to make Biden Secretary of State or Attorney General, both areas of his expertise and knowledge, not only as Vice President for eight years, but also his years as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Democrats have, once again, blessed us with outstanding Vice Presidents—Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, Al Gore under Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden under Barack Obama, and now they offer us the talents and great judgment and humanity of Tim Kaine.

Hillary Clinton Best Qualified To Take Oath Of Office Since George H. W. Bush

Presidents come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and some come ill equipped to deal with foreign policy and or domestic issues.

It is often said that learning on the job is the best experience, but that puts the nation at greater risk.

So the question arises: Since World War II, what Presidents came to office fully qualified to take the reigns of power?

This judgment is not one of approval or disapproval of the President and his record, but simply his qualifications when he took the oath of office.

It is clear that three Presidents came to office very qualified to be President, and they would be, chronologically, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush!

Harry Truman was ill prepared; Dwight D. Eisenhower had never taken an interest in politics; John F. Kennedy was very challenged in his first year in office; Gerald Ford had years of experience but no real ambition to be President; Jimmy Carter had limited experience in government, as did Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as being governors of southern states did not prepare them for national leadership; Ronald Reagan had a very narrow view of national government and its importance; and Barack Obama had limited experience in national affairs, having only served four years in the US Senate.

On the other hand, Lyndon B. Johnson had been in government for thirty years and was a master legislative strategist, although foreign policy was certainly not his forte.

Richard Nixon had been Vice President for eight years, as was also with George H. W. Bush, and those years plus foreign policy expertise set them up well to be President.

Hillary Clinton is, without a doubt, the best equipped since the elder Bush to be President, as her years in the White House with her husband; her Senate years; and her four years as Secretary of State, even with problems, made her known worldwide, and she has the respect of foreign governments.  She is likely to be more activist in domestic affairs than her husband, which would also be a plus!

New CNN Presidential Election Series: “Race For The White House”

CNN has begun a new six part series called “Race For The White House”, which will cover six Presidential elections over the next six weeks, each episode an hour in length, and narrated by actor Kevin Spacey.

On Sunday, the 1960 battle for the White House between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon was covered.

Future episodes in some order not known yet include chronologically:

1828–Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams

1860–Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas

1948–Harry Truman and Thomas E. Dewey

1988–George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis

1992–Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush

It is not clear why these particular elections were chosen, as there are many others, many more interesting and significant, that were not selected, including:

1896–William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan

1912—Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft

1928–Herbert Hoover and Alfred E. Smith

1932–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover

1940–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie

1968–Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George C. Wallace

1980–Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Anderson

2000–George W. Bush and Al Gore

2008–Barack Obama and John McCain

This series is well worth watching, after having seen the first episode last night!


How Death “Might” Have Affected American History! Eleven Potential “Turning Points”!

Assassinations and assassination attempts, and threats, have affected American History, as is covered in my book, “Assassinations, Threats, And The American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson To Barack Obama”, Rowman Littlefield, August 2015.

But then there are cases, not covered  in my book, of situations that could have occurred and affected American history, that have nothing to do with assassinations.

Witness the following:

In 1857, newly inaugurated President James Buchanan was extremely ill at the time of the inauguration, and almost failed to deliver his Inaugural Address, and was in bed for a few weeks after the inauguration, until he recovered.  It was believed he might have been poisoned by an unsafe water supply at the hotel he stayed at before his inauguration.  Had he died in office, Vice President John C. Breckinridge would have been President, and would have been only 36 years old, the youngest President in American history, and actually elected in November 1856, when he was still 35!

Stephen Douglas, Senator from Illinois, was the Democratic nominee for President in the Presidential Election of 1860, a four way race won by Abraham Lincoln, but had Douglas won, he would have died in office three months later, two months after the Civil War had begun, transforming the whole era if that had occurred!

In 1872, Democratic and Liberal Republican Presidential nominee Horace Greeley, who lost the Presidential Election of 1872 to President Ulysses S. Grant, died three weeks after the election, and before the Electoral College met.  What if he had won the election?  It would have meant that Vice Presidential nominee, B. Gratz Brown, Governor of Missouri and, earlier, Senator from Missouri, would have been President!

President Chester Alan Arthur  (1881-1885) succeeded President James A. Garfield after his assassination in September 1881, and finished out the term, but was denied nomination for a full term in 1884, which turned out to be fortunate as Arthur died in 1886, and therefore, would have died in office!

President Grover Cleveland, in his second nonconsecutive term in the White House from 1893-1897, had serious surgery for cancer of the jaw in 1894, done in secret on a boat on the Hudson River, and kept secret until after his death in 1908.  Had he died of cancer, Vice President Adlai Stevenson, the grandfather of Democratic Presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson II in 1952 and 1956, would have been President!

President William Howard Taft (1909-1913)  saw his Vice President, James Sherman, die in office in October 1912, shortly before the Presidential Election of 1912, which Taft lost, in the worst reelection defeat of any President in American history, winning only two states.  But when the Electoral College met, the name of Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler was substituted to count the electoral votes.  However, there was no provision for a replacement Vice President, so had Taft won, he would have had no Vice President for the entire term of 1913-1917!

President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) had a severe stroke in September 1919, and never fully recovered in his last year and a half in the White House, and his wife ran cabinet meetings in his absence, but had Wilson resigned or died, Vice President Thomas Marshall would have become President!

Franklin D. Roosevelt had Henry A. Wallace, his Secretary of Agriculture, as his third term Vice President from 1941-1945, and had he not been lobbied to replace the unpopular Wallace with Harry Truman for his fourth term run for the Presidency, it would have been Wallace who would have succeeded FDR in the Presidency after 82 days of the fourth term in 1945!

FDR’s Republican opponents in the Presidential Election of 1940 were businessman Wendell Willkie for President, and Oregon Senator Charles McNary for Vice President.  Had they won the White House, the nation would have faced losing both of them in the last year of the term–McNary dying in February 1944, and Willkie in October 1944, an unprecedented situation to have had both the President and Vice President in the same term die in office!  And this would have occurred during the height of the battle to win World War II, a very dangerous time for such an occurrence!

Harry Truman’s Vice President in his full term from 1949-1953 was Alben Barkley, who wished to run for President in 1952, but was pushed aside since he was already in his 70s, and it was felt it was not a good idea to have a President of that age come to office.  It was fortunate that this happened, since Barkley died in April 1956, so would have died in office!

President Gerald Ford replaced Vice President Nelson Rockefeller as his running mate in the 1976 election for Senator Bob Dole, under pressure from conservative Republicans led by Ronald Reagan, and lost the Presidential Election of 1976 to Jimmy Carter.  Had Ford kept Rockefeller on the ticket, some think he would have defeated Carter, and if that was so, then Ford would have lost his Vice President in office, as Rockefeller died in January 1979!


Could The 2016 Republican National Convention Repeat The History Of The Democratic National Convention Of 1968?

There is now a growing possibility that the Republican National Convention in mid July of this year will rival the most tumultuous convention of modern times, the divisive Democratic National Convention of 1968, which unfortunately doomed the Democratic Party for a generation on the Presidential level, with the sole exception of Jimmy Carter in 1976.

That convention was split over the Vietnam War, and led to massive demonstrations in Chicago, police brutality, tear gas wafting into the convention hall, and the party so badly split that the liberal hero, Hubert Humphrey, tied to the Lyndon Johnson war policy, left the convention in a greatly damaged state.  This led to Richard Nixon winning the Presidency, and ushering in a generation and more of right wing conservatism, which has done great damage to our nation.

But now, there is a good opportunity to reverse that damage, with a Democratic win of the Presidency and the Senate, a narrowing of the House of Representatives Republican majority, and the return of a Democratic majority on the US Supreme Court!

The Republicans seem likely to have a floor fight over the platform, and attempts to contest delegates who will be seated, and who will be their nominee, if Donald Trump can be prevented from gaining 1, 237 delegates, a majority.

There will be breakaways, revolts, harsh statements, certainly the most colorful and exciting convention in the past 48 years, with long range implications for the nation, and the likely demise of the GOP as we have known it.

Conservatives may break away and refuse to support the GOP nominee if it is Donald Trump, and Trump could still decide to bolt the party if not the nominee, forming his own independent candidacy!

Gregarious And “Loner” Presidents Since 1900; And Remaining Presidential Candidates’ Personalities Assessed!

Presidents have different personalities, with some being very gregarious and outgoing, clearly extroverts: and others being more described as “loners”, who could be cordial in public, but did not like being around government leaders very much, and are clearly introverts.

In the first category, we would include

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

Bill Clinton

George W. Bush

In the second category, we would include

William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

George H. W. Bush

Barack Obama is a unique case, not really fitting into either category clearly, as he can tend to be very gregarious, but also has difficulty dealing with Congress, with one speculating that he has been scarred by the total obstructionism of the opposition.  He tends to avoid “schmoozing”, although the feeling is that he is basically quite gregarious.

So putting Obama in a separate category, notice that 9 Presidents (5 Democrats, 4 Republicans) are considered gregarious, while 9 Presidents (7 Republicans,  2 Democrats) are considered more “loners”.

63 years we have had gregarious Presidents; 45 years we have had “loner” Presidents, and then we have the 8 years of Obama.

Notice that the gregarious Presidents have, as a group, a more positive image in history, than the “loner” Presidents, and they have more often been reelected!

Among remaining Presidential Candidates as of this date, the “gregarious” candidates would include Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, while the more “loner” types would be Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and Dr. Benjamin Carson.