Jimmy Carter

Five Presidents Of Both Parties, 40 Years, And Unity, As Compared To Donald Trump’s Divisiveness

That was quite a scene on Saturday night in College Station, Texas, at the George H W Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Texas A & M University.

Five former Presidents–two Republicans (Bush and his son George H W Bush) and three Democrats (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama)—representing all of the Presidents since 1977 except for Ronald Reagan, were together raising relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria.

All five had been rivals–Carter vs the senior Bush’s boss, Reagan–Bush Sr vs Clinton—Bush Jr critical of Clinton when he ran against his Vice President, Al Gore in 2000—Obama critical of Bush Jr when he ran in 2008 to succeed him—Carter and Clinton both critics of Obama during his Presidential run and years in office—but they all came together and unified in a manner that Donald Trump is incapable of accomplishing.

All five former Presidents were far from perfect in office, but they all had high levels of popularity at some point, unlike Donald Trump.

Carter and the Senior Bush lost reelection, while the other three won and completed second terms, the first time we had three Presidents in a row finish eight years in office since Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe from 1801-1825.

We have had five former Presidents alive now for the fourth time in American history—1861-1862 for ten and a half months under Abraham Lincoln, until John Tyler died in January 1862, with one of the five former Presidents, Martin Van Buren, living to see eight future Presidents take the oath office—1993-1994 under Bill Clinton for 15 months until Richard Nixon died in April 1994—2001-2004 under George W. Bush for three years and four and a half months until June 2004 when Ronald Reagan died in June 2004.

With the miraculous accomplishment that George H W Bush has passed Ronald Reagan’s age, and will pass Gerald Ford’s age on November, and that Jimmy Carter, three and a half months younger than Bush, has also reached 93, and seems in better health than Bush, although has cancer in remissions, one wonders if it is possible that both Bush and Carter might last longer than June 2020, which would make the longest period of five living former Presidents, with Bush and Carter both being 96 in the year 2020.

That would be an amazing situation, and of course, were Donald Trump to leave office by impeachment, the 25th Amendment Section 4 utilization, or resignation, then we would have for the first time ever a total of SIX former Presidents of the United States alive and well at the same time frame!

Former Presidents George W. Bush And Barack Obama Come Out Against Trump, And Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, And Jimmy Carter Are Also Opponents

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both made speeches on Thursday, denouncing the policies and mentality of the Trump Presidency, but without mentioning his name.

Bush has never criticized his successor, Barack Obama, but he is clearly, along with his brother Jeb, and his parents George HW and Barbara Bush, willing to speak out against the nativism, nationalism, isolationism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump.

Obama has avoided direct attacks, but spoke in a similar vein as Bush.

Their opposition has been joined with utterances by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and indirectly by the elder Bushes.

So all five living former Presidents have become critics of a man who has strongly attacked all of them.

And all five former Presidents are co-sponsors of a hurricane relief concert for the benefit of the victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. All five will be attending the Texas A & M concert this evening, and that will make for a rare photo of five living former Presidents, which has only been accomplished three times before–1861-1862 during the Civil War and the early Presidency of Abraham Lincoln; 1993-1994 in the first year of the Bill Clinton Presidency; and 2001-2004 during the second Bush Administration.

Additionally, all five former living Presidents will be with their wives, five former First Ladies—Rosalyn Carter, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama, an amazing development, since both the older Bush and Carter are now 93, and their wives are 92 and 90, respectively.

They are adding to their stature, as responsible and statesmanlike, something that Donald Trump is incapable of accomplishing.

Centennial Of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Birth: Most Prominent American Historian In Second Half Of Twentieth Century

Today, October 15, marks the centennial of the birth of renowned American historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, considered by many scholars to be the most prominent American historian in the second half of the 20th Century.

I was fortunate to have been a graduate student under Schlesinger at the City University of New York Graduate School from 1966 to 1975, and I was one of eleven graduate students to have had the opportunity to produce a Ph. D. Dissertation under his support and tutelage. That dissertation, later revised, was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press under the title: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL in 1981.

Schlesinger was a very cordial and supportive sponsor of my dissertation, and we kept in touch occasionally over the next three decades, and I was saddened by his death in February 2007 at the age 89.

Schlesinger helped for me to confirm my liberal and progressive convictions, and my blog that you are now reading was partly inspired by his influence, and has now been operated for more than nine years.

While I do not claim any of the greatness that Schlesinger represented, I am proud of my association with him.

Schlesinger was a public intellectual and social critic, and although he never went beyond an earned Bachelors degree from Harvard University, he was a leading historian, although he had many critics.

He was a Cold War Liberal, strongly anti Communist, and a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Reinhold Niebuhr in 1947, and was its national chairman in 1953-1954.

A professor at Harvard University from 1947-1960, he was the son of the renowned historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr, and related also to 19th century historian George Bancroft through his mother.

He was a speechwriter to Democratic Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956; speechwriter and Latin American policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy; speechwriter and adviser to Senator Robert F. Kennedy during his Presidential campaign in 1968; speechwriter and adviser to 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern; and also speechwriter and adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his 1980 Presidential primary campaign against President Jimmy Carter. That year, Schlesinger broke with his Democratic Party roots and voted for Independent Presidential nominee, Republican Congressman John Anderson, as did former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, both only revealed in their votes in the past few years.

Schlesinger was the author of more than 30 books and hundreds of articles, and was most famous for his two Pulitzer Prizes for his books: THE AGE OF JACKSON (1946) and A THOUSAND DAYS: JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE WHITE HOUSE (1966). He also wrote three seminal volumes on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, only getting as far as 1936, and telling me of his goal to finish in a few more volumes, but that never happened.

But he also wrote an important book on the threat of Richard Nixon–THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY (1973)—and also the standard study of his friend, Robert F. Kennedy–ROBERT KENNEDY AND HIS TIMES (1978).

Schlesinger was the recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities Chair at the City University of New Graduate School from 1966 to 1974, and that is how I became one of his graduate students.

His impact on the historical profession and American politics continues a decade after his death.

Presidential Retirements

Of our 44 Presidents of the United States, 16 of them have had retirements lasting 15 years or more.

This statistic comes to mind as we celebrate the 93rd Birthday of Jimmy Carter, and root for him and George H. W. Bush to beat the record of longevity of Gerald Ford (93 years, 165 days) and Ronald Reagan (93 years 120 days), which Bush will surpass on October 11 and November 25, and Carter will surpass on January 30, 2018 and March 16, 2018.

The President with the most retirement years is Carter, who will reach 37 years out of office on January 20, 2018.

Herbert Hoover had 31 and a half years in retirement, followed by Gerald Ford with just a month short of 30 years.

John Adams had four months more than 25 years, and will be passed by George H. W. Bush in May 2018.

Martin Van Buren had about the same retirement time as Adams with 25 plus years, and Bush will soon pass him as well on the list.

Millard Fillmore, Harry Truman, and Richard Nixon each had close to 20 years in retirement.

James Madison and John Quincy Adams each had about 19 years in retirement

Thomas Jefferson, William Howard Taft, and John Tyler each had about 17 years in retirement.

Bill Clinton will soon finish 17 years in retirement, and will, therefore, pass Jefferson, Taft, and Tyler in 2018.

And Ronald Reagan had a few months more than 15 years in retirement, although much of his retirement was spent in a state of dementia and Alzheimers Disease.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Fourth President In A Row To Hit Age 93! And New Age Records For First Ladies Too!

President Jimmy Carter turns 93 today, and it is a moment to celebrate!

Carter and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, have survived as a combo longer than any Presidential-Vice Presidential team, an amazing 37 years come next January 20.

Mondale will be 90 in early January, so Carter and Mondale will be the second team where both have reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Longevity has been an amazing situation in so many ways, as now we have four straight Presidents–Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush–who will have reached 93.

Only two other Presidents reached 90 and died at that age–John Adams and Herbert Hoover.

Additionally, however, two other Presidential-Vice Presidential nominee teams reached the age of 90 for both men—George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were the Democratic team in 1972; and Gerald Ford and Bob Dole, who were the Republican team in 1976, with Bob Dole still alive at age 94. And Bob Dole also was the Republican Presidential nominee in 1996.

And only in the Presidential Election of 1980 did we have all four on the ballot—President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale–and nominees Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush—live to the age of 90 and beyond and be in the Presidency and Vice Presidency, if Mondale survives until his 90th birthday on January 5, just three months away.

Amazingly, George H. W. Bush will pass Ronald Reagan in longevity of age on October 11, and Bush will be the longest lived President, beyond the age of Gerald Ford, who outlasted Reagan by 45 days, on November 25.

And Carter, who seems in better health than Bush, despite Carter’s having had brain cancer diagnosis more than two years ago, but being in remission, seems likely to outlive Bush, if he can survive Bush by less than four months, a total of 111 days!

Also, with Rosalyn Carter having reached the age of 90 in August, it is now reality that four straight Presidents who reached 93, also saw or are seeing their First Ladies having accomplished reaching the 90s—Rosalyn Carter now 90; Barbara Bush now 92; and Nancy Reagan who lived to 94, second longest lived First Lady, only behind Bess Truman, who was 97; and Betty Ford who reached 93, fourth longest, with Lady Bird Johnson being 94, but a few months less than Nancy Reagan, so third longest lived. So six First Ladies, all since World War II, have managed to reach the 90s, an amazing fact!

Hardworking Presidents Vs. Lazy Presidents, And Then There Is Donald Trump!

The Presidency is an all encompassing job, one that the occupant of the Oval Office, particularly in modern times, cannot escape, even when on so called “vacation”.

Some Presidents stand out as constantly on the job, very active, very committed and hard working.

These would include in modern times, since 1900, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Note only three of these Presidents–TR, Nixon and the first Bush–are Republicans.

Indications are that James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln, Democrat and Republican respectively, were also hard workers, dedicated, and committed, among pre1900 Presidents.

On the other hand, the following Presidents come across as far less committed, and in many cases, too laid back, and in some cases, purely lazy:

William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, all Republicans. All of these Presidents took many vacations, and had short work days much of the time, and it undermined America in domestic and foreign policy on a regular basis.

Pre1900 examples would include Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Ulysses S. Grant, the first two being Democrats and Grant being a Republican.

And then there is Donald Trump, whose work habits make clear that he is the LAZIEST President of the United States in all of American history, certainly since 1900 at the least!

He loves to sign executive orders, many which are symbolic, and to take a long time in signing in a flourishing manner at Presidential signing ceremonies, and then showing it to the gathered audience over and over, like a little child proud of his signature, absolutely unbelievable immaturity on the part of a President, who lowers the image of the Presidency every day.

He has taken no part in promoting Health Care legislation, and is simply ready to sign any bill that comes to his desk, as he told evangelist Pat Robertson in an interview before leaving for his trip to Paris, France for Bastille Day.

Trump knows no details on anything, and is not willing to do much reading or learning, and it is truly pitiful how he has degraded the Presidency daily!

July 4th And Four Presidents

July 4 is our national holiday, and many Americans are unaware of the fact that four Presidents are connected to the holiday.

Three Presidents died on July 4:

Thomas Jefferson in 1826 early in the day.

John Adams shortly before midnight in 1826, uttering that his writing pal Jefferson still survived, but he had died early on that day, which happened to be the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence they both participated in creating!

James Monroe in 1831, making him the third and last Founding Father to die on Independence Day.

And then, there is Calvin Coolidge, who was born on the 4th of July in 1872, 145 years ago!

Every 4th of July, this author wonders if any of the six living Presidents will join Jefferson, Adams, or Monroe in passing away, but it has never happened since 1831, and the odds are long against it happening on that precise day.

Instead, we have 93 year old George H. W. Bush; nearly 93 year old Jimmy Carter (on October 1); 71 year old George W. Bush (on July 6); 71 year old Bill Clinton (on August 19); 71 year old Donald Trump (reached on June 14); and 56 year old Barack Obama (on August 4).

Two Years Of Donald Trump, 148 Days Of Presidency: 60 Percent Disapproval, Higher Than Any President In Public Opinion Poll History This Early!

It has been two years since Donald Trump announced he was running for President. and it has been 148 days since he was sworn in as President.

And Donald Trump reached the age of 71 on June 14, two days before the two year anniversary of his campaign beginning.

And what does he have to show for it?

He has divided America like no one else, and has only gained a Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, after the Republicans in the US Senate changed the filibuster rules to allow a nominee to be confirmed with only 51 votes.

Everything else is hot air, lies, and coverup of Russian collusion, and trying to get the intelligence agencies, Congress, and the news media to stop investigating the corruption of his Presidency and the campaign before the election. And Trump has helped to indict himself with his Twitter activity, and his teenage emotional IQ.

So therefore, it is not surprising that the latest polls show 60 percent of the American people disapprove of his record and performance, the earliest in a Presidency that such a high disapproval rating has occurred since polls began to be taken in the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The following nine Presidents never reached a 60 percent disapproval rating–Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama.

Four Presidents did reach 60 percent disapproval, but at very late dates in their Presidencies.

Truman reached 60 percent after 2129 days; Nixon after 1736 days; H W Bush after 1290 days; and W Bush after 1758 days.

So Trump is a total failure, and even 25 percent of Republicans are totally disillusioned, while his approval rating is as low as 35-36 percent.

This insures that Trump will end up at the bottom of the heap in ranking of Presidents, except by totally delusional and ignorant people, who have no clue as to what good Presidential leadership is all about.

George H. W. Bush 93 Years Old Today, Third President To Reach 93, After Ronald Reagan And Gerald Ford!

President George H. W. Bush is 93 years old today, making him the third President to reach that age, after Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

Ford has the record of longevity, 93 years and 165 days; and Reagan had 93 years and 120 days, so Ford outlasted Reagan by 45 days.

If Bush is still alive on November 25 of this year, he will surpass the Ford longevity record.

On October 1, Jimmy Carter will be 93 years old, and if he survives to March 16 of 2018, he will surpass Ford’s longevity as well.

So we have had three Presidents in office since 1974 who have reached 93, and all four Presidents from 1974 to the beginning of 1993 will have reached that age in the next three and a half months.

That is an amazing record, and only two other Presidents reached the age of 90–John Adams at 90 and 7 months and Herbert Hoover at 90 years and 2 months.

National Archives Office Of Presidential Libraries Excellent Site For All Presidential Museums From Herbert Hoover To Barack Obama

At a time when this blogger and author is adding to his list of Presidential Libraries and Museums that he has visited in person, this is a good time to make clear to my readers that an excellent site to explore, which is listed on the right side of my blog, is the National Archives Office of Presidential Libraries, which includes information on the libraries and museums of all President since Herbert Hoover through to Barack Obama, so a total of 14 such institutions.

The Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum is being planned to open in 2021 in Chicago, and it will add to the long list of reasons for tourists, as well as scholars, to visit Chicago.

This author has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit the libraries of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, so a total of 10 of the 13 museums that are open.

The problem with the Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George H. W. Bush Libraries and Museums are their relative inaccessibility, particularly the case of the first two Presidents having their museums in Iowa and Kansas, quite far from major aviation hubs.

But hopefully, at some point, there will be an opportunity to visit the Houston, Texas metropolitan area, and travel the distance to the first Bush Library in College Station, Texas, at the campus of Texas A & M University.