Jimmy Carter

Walter Mondale 91 Years Old, And Adds To Record Of Longest Surviving Retired Vice President, With Longest Surviving Retired President, Jimmy Carter

Today is former Vice President Walter Mondale’s 91st birthday, and he adds to the record daily as the longest surviving retired Vice President, sharing that with the longest surviving retired President, Jimmy Carter. Both will have been out of office for 38 years on January 20.

Mondale is at this point the 5th oldest Vice President in American history, with John Nance Garner (under Franklin D. Roosevelt) having reached the age of 98; Levi Morton (under Benjamin Harrison) dying on his 96th birthday; George H. W. Bush (under Ronald Reagan) reaching the age of 94; and Gerald Ford (under Richard Nixon) reaching the age of 93. Only John Adams (under George Washington) otherwise reached the age of 90, surpassed by Mondale a few months ago.

Mondale also goes down as, in many ways, the most active, involved, and engaged Vice President we have ever had, although it does seem as if Joe Biden may have been as intimately involved with Barack Obama during their two terms of office, with more information on that involvement to follow with future research.

Happy 91st Birthday, Vice President Mondale, and many more, and the same for President Jimmy Carter, who will become the longest lived President on March 22 of this year; will reach 95 on October 1; and will have the longest Presidential marriage on October 17, with his beloved wife, Rosalynn.

California Governor Jerry Brown Retires With Positive Reputation As Best Governor In 2010 Decade

California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown leaves office after his second two term stint as governor of the largest state with an extremely positive reputation.

He is seen by many as the best governor in any state in the 2010 decade.

Having been governor at age 36 in 1975, Brown now leaves office at age 80 in 2019.

Brown brought California back from the brink of disaster financially in the past eight years; dealt with the environment in a very positive way; protected undocumented immigrants through the promotion of sanctuary cities; and set a standard for courage and principle, particularly in the last two years as he combated Donald Trump.

Originally seen as “flaky ” in the 1970s, he made many enemies by seeking the Presidency in 1976 and 1980 against Jimmy Carter, and then again running against Bill Clinton in 1992.

Looking back, however, this blogger feels he misunderstood the virtues of Jerry Brown, and now wonders how life would have been different with a President Brown instead of a President Clinton, as Clinton and his wife dominated American politics in the past 25 years, and while good in some ways, very tragic and troubling in other ways.

When history is written, Jerry Brown will be seen as one of the best Governors in America of all time. He also will have set the record as the third longest serving Governor since the US became a nation under the Constitution, only behind former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and 8,169 days (22 years, 4 months, and 13 days), and former South Dakota Republican Governor Bill Janklow, with 16 years and 7 days, and Brown having just two days less, with 16 years and 5 days. Brown will have one more day than former Alabama Democratic Governor George C. Wallace, (yes, that infamous segregationist who ran for President in 1968), the only other Governor to finish 16 complete years, although Ohio Republican James Rhodes and North Carolina Democrat Jim Hunt fell just a few days short of 16 years.

Nancy Pelosi Proves A Woman Can Overwhelm A Bully, A Braggart, A President Who Is Unfit To Be President

Nancy Pelosi was a great, productive leader of the House as Speaker from 2007-2011, and she will be again.

She was easily the best Speaker of the House since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, who was Speaker under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from 1977-1987.

She accomplished more under the last two years of George W. Bush and the first two years of Barack Obama than any modern Speaker other than O’Neill in the past 45 years, and makes all Republican Speakers–Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, Paul Ryan–look pitiful by comparison.

The House of Representatives will have a much more complicated calendar for the first time in 12 years, as she will push and promote the Democratic agenda in the next two years, along with consideration of the possible impeachment of Donald Trump.

Her performance in showing up Trump at an open to the press 17 minute verbal dispute in the Oval Office was masterful, and showed she can best a man who thinks he is smart and brilliant, but was shown to be “an Emperor without clothes”.   Trump was humiliated by how Pelosi portrayed him  and his manhood, and has shown, despite her reaching the age of 80 by 2020, that she is the right person to lead Democrats into a hoped for massive victory in 2020 for the Presidency and the US Senate, and retention of the House majority.

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

Is George H. W. Bush The “Best” One Term President In American History, Surpassing James K. Polk, And What About Jimmy Carter?

Now that George H. W. Bush is part of American history, the question arises whether he should be judged the “best” one term President in American history.

We have had the following 12 one term elected Presidents who finished their term, but were not given a second term:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William Howard Taft
Herbert Hoover
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush

Eight of them, all but Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, and Hayes were defeated for reelection, with those four choosing not to run, and all of these four, except Polk, very unpopular and aware that they were not wanted to be nominated for another term.

The usual viewpoint has been that James K. Polk, with the acquisition of the American Southwest by war with Mexico, and acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by the Oregon treaty with Great Britain, was the most successful one term President. Labeled an expansionist and an imperialist by many, the fact that he presided over the greatest expansion of US territory since Thomas Jefferson, has helped him to be regarded by scholars as a “successful” President, rated 12 to 14 in scholarly polls.

Now, some are saying that George H. W. Bush may be greater than Polk, due to his foreign policy accomplishments in particular, including the end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany, and the Persian Gulf War, along with his domestic policies of “A Thousand Points Of Light”, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Some on this list, including Van Buren, Pierce, Buchanan, Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Taft, and Hoover are seen in a poor light, while J. Q. Adams is seen as not having succeeded in his one term, although a great man, and his father, John Adams, criticized for the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, curbing civil liberties during his term.

The only other one term President who could be seen as competing would be Jimmy Carter, with his Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, the Panama Canal Treaty, his Human Rights advocacy, his creation of new cabinet agencies (Departments of Education, Health And Human Services, Energy), and his exceptional record on the environment, but his negatives, including high inflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Cuban Mariel Boat Lift all help to undermine his case.

So, one could argue that Polk and Bush may be competitive as the “best” one term elected President, without a clear cut answer to the question of who was the better President.

It might be best to say that Polk was the best 19th century one term elected President, while Bush was the best 20th century one term elected President, with Jimmy Carter as the runner up in that regard.

The Fourth Period Of Six Living Presidents Ends With Death Of George H. W. Bush

We have just seen the end of the fourth time in American history that we have had six living Presidents.

The first time was in 1861-1862, from March to January, a total of about 10 and a half months, when we had President Abraham Lincoln, and former Presidents Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan, until John Tyler died in January 1862.

The second time was 1993-1994 from January to April, a total of about 15 months, when we had President Bill Clinton, and former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, until Richard Nixon died in April 1994.

The third time, the longest time, was 2001-2004, from January to June, a total of about 40 and a half months, when we had President George W. Bush, and former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, until Ronald Reagan died in in June 2004.

And now, the fourth and last time, was 2017-2018, from January to November, a total of about 22 and a half months, the second longest time, when we had President Donald Trump, and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, until George H. W. Bush died on the last day of November 2018.

The odds of having a fifth period of six Presidents anytime soon seems unlikely, as Jimmy Carter, at age 94, would seem unlikely to have much more life longevity, but if Donald Trump were to be forced out of office, in the next two years, or be defeated, and Carter stayed in good health, it could happen.

Five Milestones Await Jimmy And Rosalynn Carter, And Carter Vice President Walter Mondale In 2019

The year 2019 will be a year of five milestones for Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, and for Vice President Walter Mondale, if fate is kind to them.

The 39th President is finishing his 38th year in retirement, and he and Vice President Walter Mondale will add more to their record of survival in retirement in 2019, with Mondale reaching the age of 91 on January 5, 2019.

On March 22, 2019, Jimmy Carter will surpass the age longevity of George H. W. Bush.

On August 18, 2019, First Lady Rosalynn Carter will reach the age of 92, with only Bess Truman, Nancy Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford and Barbara Bush having longer life spans.

On October 1, 2019, Jimmy Carter will reach age 95.

And on October 17, 2019, the marriage longevity of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter will surpass the longevity of the marriage of George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush, at 73 years and 102 days.

George H. W. Bush And John Adams: Comparisons

With the death of George H. W. Bush, we can make many comparisons with John Adams.

Both were born in Massachusetts.

Both served as Vice President under their Presidents for eight years, John Adams under George Washington, and George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan.

Both only had one term as President, defeated for reelection.

Both are seen as lower in ranking than their predecessors, George Washington and Ronald Reagan, who served two terms in office.

Both had the President elected after them rank higher in rankings of Presidents, and both Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton served two terms in office.

Both outlived their wives.

Both had a son become President, and live to see that occur.

Both reached to the age of 90, with Adams being the longest lived until Ronald Reagan, then Gerald Ford, then George H. W. Bush, and then Jimmy Carter surpassed his age.

Bush died at the oldest age of any President, although Jimmy Carter could surpass Bush if he lives to March 22, 2019.

Both died after 25 plus years in retirement.

Both have been rated higher than their son, John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush, in rankings of historians and political scientists, and it is unlikely that their sons will ever surpass them.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.

Two Mayors Potential 2020 Democratic Presidential Contenders: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti And Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

At least two Democrats who have served as Mayors of their cities are likely to enter the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has spent his entire career in city government, serving on the LA City Council before his election as Mayor of the second largest city in 2013. He has had to deal with the issues facing nearly four million people, and has spent time in Iowa and New Hampshire, hinting of his plans to seek the Presidency. Garcetti has ties to the Jewish, Italian, and Mexican communities as he is ethnically related to all three groups.

Of course, California will also likely be the state that will contribute other potential nominees, including Senator Kamala Harris and Congressman Eric Swalwell, and potentially billionaire and liberal activist Tom Steyer, who has led the impeachment movement against Donald Trump.

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu offers the rare case of a Southerner who might be able to gain some traction, having served as Mayor from 2010-2018, after earlier service as Lieutenant Governor of the state, and as a member of the state House of Representatives. He is seen as a moderate, in the vein of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton in the past, but most observers would see him as more likely to be a potential Vice Presidential running mate to help a more progressive Presidential nominee.

The odds of Garcetti lasting longer in the Presidential competition than Landrieu seems likely, but at this early point, there is no way to know what the political future holds.