Jimmy Carter

Effect Of John F. Kennedy Assassination Still Reverberates On America 58 Years Later!

This author and blogger was a sophomore in 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

It was the most stunning event of my life until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Kennedy assassination transformed American politics dramatically, both in good ways and bad ways.

It brought about the possibility of the greatest period of reform since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, with Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

But it also brought on a devastating long term war in Vietnam, and the beginning of disillusionment with government at all levels.

Had Robert F. Kennedy survived and won the Presidential Election of 1968, instead of being assassinated after winning the California primary in June 1968, the potential for more great reform and change, and to avoid the Presidency of Richard Nixon, would have existed.

WIth RFK’s death, after the earlier tragedy of JFK, America was put into a permanent decline in hope and optimism for the next forty years, as even the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 did not revive the hopes of the Kennedy legacy.

Instead, we had Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cause great regression in so many ways, as Richard Nixon had done earlier.

Barack Obama was a bright light, but faced great opposition, and the horrors of Donald Trump as his succession!

Joe Biden, who has a bust of RFK behind him on the left in all photos when he is sitting at his desk, is trying to revive the Kennedy legacy of hope and promise, and has made a good start.

But it is clear the two Kennedy assassinations in the early and late 1960s have left a permanent scar on the nation!

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Will Retire At End Of 2022, After Serving As Third Longest Serving Senator!

Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy will retire at the end of his 8th Senate term at the end of 2022, after an amazing 48 years in the upper body of Congress!

He will leave office as the third longest serving US Senator in the 234 years of that historic institution, only behind Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who served 51.5 years, and Democrat Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who served just short of 50 years.

At the moment, he is fourth longest serving, behind Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who served 47 years and a bit more than 5 months, which Leahy will pass in June 2022.

Leahy just passed Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts in total service in late October 2021.

Leahy is the last member of Congress elected in 1974, and the only sitting Senator to have served while Gerald Ford was President, and also to have served while Jimmy Carter was President.

Leahy is the only Democrat ever elected to the Senate from Vermont, as Bernie Sanders always ran as an Independent. Leahy is easily the longest serving Vermont Senator as well.

Leahy has been, in his long career, Chairman of the Agriculture, Judiciary, and Appropriations Committees, and is President Pro Tempore of the Senate, third in line of Presidential succession.

Leahy also presided over the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump in 2021.

Had Leahy chosen to run for an unprecedented 9th term, he would easily have been reelected and in 2026, would have become the longest serving US Senator ever!

Leahy is a premier liberal and progressive throughout his career, and will be nearing the age of 83 when he retires at the beginning of 2023.

Leahy is a great figure in the history of the Senate, and will be missed when he leaves office!

A Year After Joe Biden Election, Major Economic Advancements In Midst Of COVID 19 Pandemic!

A year since Joe Biden was elected President, the nation has seen major economic advancements in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic.

We have seen 5.6 million jobs created, the greatest of any President in nine months in office.

We have seen 531,000 jobs created in October alone.

We have a 4.6 percent unemployment rate, similar to what Barack Obama left the nation when he finished his Presidency in January 2017.

The Stock Market is at an all time high as I write this!

We have seen major Pandemic relief legislation, and now a massive Physical Infrastructure bill ready to be signed by Joe Biden.

The Social Infrastructure legislation is making progress, at a lower rate than originally planned, but still in the range of $1.75 trillion.

We are seeing greater progress than was possible by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and even Barack Obama in their first year.

Joe Biden is on the way to being the most successful domestic President since Lyndon B. Johnson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This is the time to promote and publicize the great advancements, and make the case for the Democrats to have expanded majorities in both houses of Congress in 2022 and beyond.

Joe Biden, Barack Obama, George W Bush Honor 9/11, While Donald Trump Is Making Money Off It!

Today, the 20th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, is a day to mourn and memorialize the 2,977 victims of the Al Qaeda attack on America.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are attending all three sites to honor and show respect for what happened.

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are attending the ceremonies in New York City.

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush are attending ceremonies in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, honoring the passengers of Flight 93 who brought the terrorist controlled plane down, preventing the intended attack on the US Capitol.

Former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton will be attending the ceremonies in New York City.

Former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will be at home in Plains, Georgia, not involved in public events, and preserving their health as Carter nears 97 years of age on October 1, and Mrs. Carter has just passed age 94, perfectly understandable.

Vice President Kamala Harris and First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff are also attending ceremonies in Shanksville Pennsylvania, and later will join President Biden at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump will avoid all three sites, and instead be in Hollywood, Florida to give commentary on boxing matches at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, making income off those who choose to pay $50 to gain access to his statements about the boxing matches, and joined by his son, Donald Trump Jr.

Trump did issue a statement praising the sacrifices of those who died twenty years ago, but felt a need to put in a criticism of President Biden over the withdrawal from Afghanistan, forgetting that Trump initiated the final withdrawal in a deal with the Taliban, scheduled for May 2021, delayed by Biden for a few months.

So the lies, deceit, hypocrisy, and lack of concern for unity of Donald Trump, and the desire to divide the nation after having engaged in treason and sedition on January 6, 2021, continues!

47th Anniversary Of Richard Nixon Resignation, And Gerald Ford Becoming The 38th President!

Today, August 9, in 1974, the nation and the world witnessed Richard Nixon resigning the Presidency.

The event also elevated Gerald Ford to become the 38th President, and the only one NOT elected Vice President or President, due to the 25th Amendment, which saved the nation after Vice President Spiro Agnew had earlier resigned in October 1973, due to corruption charges.

If there were no 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, Speaker of the House Carl Albert, a Democrat, with no desire to be President, and having a well known liquor problem, would have been the successor to the Oval Office.

Certainly, Albert would have been preferable to Spiro Agnew.

But despite controversy over Ford pardoning Nixon on September 8, 1974, which was a major factor in his defeat to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 Presidential election, Ford has been perceived in recent decades as the “right” person in a time of turmoil.

One can criticize President Ford, but also, one can see that Ford calmed the nation and in many ways, has been perceived in a better light over the decades.

The “Ups And Downs” Of Ranking Presidents Over Time

Historically, many Presidents have gone through periods of low esteem, and then, suddenly, high esteem in the minds of public opinion and also, Presidential scholars.

Abraham Lincoln had a very divided nation in response after his assassination, and only in the early 20th century, did the nation decide to honor Lincoln with the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated in 1922. He has been rated Number One by just about every Presidential scholar and poll, except those right wing Confederate sympathizers and white supremacists

Harry Truman left office in 1953 with a very low public opinion rating, and was regarded poorly in assessments of Presidents, until after he passed away in 1972. In the next five years, as TIME Magazine termed it in the late 1970s, we had “Truman Mania”, as massive research and writing on Truman caused his rise in stature to as high as Number 5 in scholarly polls on Presidents.

Dwight D. Eisenhower left office with an image of a passive, lazy President, and the vitality and youth of his successor, John F. Kennedy, did not improve his image, and he was seen as not an outstanding President. But his historical reputation has risen dramatically to the point that in many scholarly assessments, he is now seen as number 5 or 6 among all Presidents.

Lyndon B. Johnson suffered mightily in assessments due to the Vietnam War, despite his amazing domestic accomplishments of the “Great Society”, and was poorly rated for 20 years. But now, he is somewhere between number 9 and 11 in rankings of Presidents.

Jimmy Carter has never risen from the mid to low 20s in rankings and popularity, but it seems possible to imagine that when the longest lived President eventually passes away, that his rating may go up much more than many might now imagine.

C-Span Presidential Historians Survey 2021 Announced Today!

For all Presidential followers, including scholars and specialists in the American Presidency and Presidential history, today is a great day, as C-Span announced its Presidential Historians Survey results for 2021!

It will take time to analyze the results, but a few points stand out:

Barack Obama went up from 12th to 10th in the overall listings.

Donald Trump ended up tied for 42nd out of 44, with Franklin Pierce, with only James Buchanan at 44 and Andrew Johnson at 43 below him.

Woodrow Wilson slipped from 11th to 13th as he continues to decline in overall rankings.

Andrew Jackson slipped dramatically from 18th to 22nd, and is now just in the middle of the overall rankings.

James K. Polk slipped from 14th to 18th, a continued decline in overall rankings.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams both rose four points from earlier rankings.

Bill Clinton dropped from 15th to 19th, a dramatic decline after having risen in earlier rankings.

Jimmy Carter ended up tied with James A. Garfield at 26th, and in the “battle” of Gerald Ford vs Carter, Carter came out ahead for the third time in the four C-Span surveys, in 2000, 2008 along with 2021, with Ford ahead in 2017.

Democrats, Popular Vote, And Economic Performance Way Ahead Of Republicans

Democrats have won the national popular in seven of the last eight Presidential elections, from 1992-2020, with exception of 2004.

Democrats have had more people vote for their candidates for Congress than Republicans in the past two decades.

Democrats have only presided in the White House for one of the past eleven economic downturns, a brief recession in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter, with the other ten under Republican Presidents from Eisenhower to Trump, 1953-2021.

Under Democratic Presidents since 1961, the stock market, job growth, and economic performance have done much greater than Republican Presidents in the same period.

And yet, Democrats are at a political disadvantage, due to:

The Electoral College

Political Gerrymandering of House seats

Republicans working to undermine Democratic Presidents with the Senate Filibuster

This is why Democrats need to play “hardball”, and overcome the barriers of gerrymandering and filibusters, and move to make Washington DC and Puerto Rico the 51st and 52nd states. Also add members to the Supreme Court to overcome the political manipulation of Mitch McConnell, who helped to create a stacking of the high Court with the refusal to approve Merrick Garland in 2016, the rightful nominee of Barack Obama; and the “ram through” of Amy Coney Barrett in record time before the Presidential Election of 2020!

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, A Pathbreaker, Dies At Age 93!

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, a pathbreaker who is considered the best Vice President in American history, died this evening at age 93.

Mondale was the most active and engaged Vice President, and became a model for future Vice Presidents.

Mondale also was the first Presidential nominee to select a woman running mate, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, when he was the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1984,

Mondale was such a decent, authentic political leader, who did not display an ego talking about himself all of the time, as many political leaders do incessantly.

Mondale will be long remembered in the annals of history for his gracious nature, and as the loyal partner of former President Jimmy Carter, who has survived just about every political leader he worked with in the White House!

Major Opportunity For Advancement Of Biden Initiatives Through “Reconciliation”!

The US Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that “Reconciliation”, the idea that the Senate can pass legislation by a 51 vote margin, is allowable, already for the COVID 19 legislation that was passed in March, but also now other Joe Biden initiatives, including the infrastructure legislation, and hopefully, other important Biden administration initiatives.

This is a true blessing, and might mean that the idea of ending the filibuster might not need to occur on much important legislation.

This makes it possible for Joe Biden to be more “liberal” and “progressive” a President than any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson six decades ago.

For all the good that Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama did while in office, Joe Biden MIGHT indeed surpass them in accomplishments!

The future looks very exciting, but there is a long way to go, but the hope is there!