Joe Biden

Seven Living Vice Presidents, Most For Second Time In American History, And Longevity Of Presidents And First Ladies

Here we are near the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, and we have seven living Vice Presidents of the United States, the second time we have had that number.

The first time was from the inauguration of Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993 to the death of Richard Nixon on April 22, 1994.

At that time, we had seven living Vice Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and the incumbent Vice President, Al Gore.

So while we have six living Presidents for the fourth time, after 1861-1862, 1993-1994, and 2001-2004, now we have seen seven Vice Presidents for the second time, due to the fact that while Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004, his vice President and his successor as President, George H. W. Bush, is about to break the longevity record held by Gerald Ford. Bush passed Reagan’s age on October 11, and will pass Ford on November 25, just two weeks from today.

The earliest Vice President still alive is Walter Mondale, who has lived 37 years beyond his time in office, as has his boss, Jimmy Carter, an all time record for both. Mondale will be 90 years of age on January 5, making for the second Presidential-Vice Presidential team to reach age 90 after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush is the only one of the living Vice Presidents to have also served as President, while his Vice President, Dan Quayle, is now 70 years old.

Al Gore served under Bill Clinton, and is now 69 years old.

Dick Cheney served under George W. Bush, and is now 76 years old.

Joe Biden served under Barack Obama, and is now 75 years old as of his birthday on November 20.

And the incumbent Vice President, Mike Pence is now 58 years old.

If all seven living Vice Presidents live beyond April 22, 2018, it will be the longest time we have had seven Vice Presidents alive at the same time, and by that time, Jimmy Carter will have passed Gerald Ford as longest lived (on March 16, 2018), but of course still 111 days behind George H. W. Bush, if both former Presidents are still alive then.

Additionally, we have the amazing statistic that four Presidents in a row have lived beyond the age of 90, and all four of their First Ladies have now reached 90 as well, with Rosalyn Carter having reached it in August, and previously the cases of Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush. Finally, Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman also reached the age of 90, although their husbands did not do so, although Harry Truman lived beyond the age of 89.

In Midst Of Democratic “Morass”, Could Jerry Brown Come To The Rescue At Age 82, And Unite Democrats In 2020?

In the midst of Democratic Party “morass”, stirred up further by Donna Brazile”s new book, and the lack of leadership and a new agenda, other than to wait for Donald Trump to implode, it is alarming those who want an aggressive approach to revive Democratic fortunes.

The clear need for a new generation of leadership is clear cut, but at this point, some are starting to notice that the Governor of the largest state is actively on the attack against the Trump Administration on the issues of the environment, immigration, gun regulations, and more. He is the great progressive star. Who are we referring to?

We are talking about Jerry Brown, who is 79 years old, and will leave the Governorship a year from now at age 80.

Some are wondering could a 82 year old four time Governor of California, at age 36-44 and then 72-80, actually mount a Presidential campaign for the fourth time, after trying in 1976, 1980 and 1992–so 44, 40 and 28 years ago?

It seems crazy to imagine it, but it also demonstrates how weak the Democrats seem to be, as we start to consider Presidential candidates in 2020 for the Democrats.

All one can say is IF we are to even think about Jerry Brown, then we cannot dismiss Joe Biden (78 in 2020), or Elizabeth Warren (71 in 2020), and even Bernie Sanders (79 in 2020).

But this blogger still feels strongly that a new generation in the 40s, 50, and early 60s is the best route to travel, and would include such leaders as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Senator Kamala Harris of California, likely future California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and others not often mentioned.

Democratic Division And Post Election Accusations A Bad Sign For The Future: We Need New And Younger Leadership

In the midst of the Donald Trump Presidency disaster in the making, the opposition Democrats are, seemingly, working very hard to destroy any chance for the party to recover from the 2016 election, and move on to hoped for gaining of the US House of Representatives in the midterm elections of 2018, and long range possibility of gaining the US Senate majority as well.

Division and post election accusations between the Hillary Clinton camp and the Bernie Sanders camp over the Democratic National Committee handling of the campaign only helps Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Donna Brazile, who headed the DNC in the last months of the 2016 campaign, is publishing a book this week, which with its accusations that the Clinton campaign helped to fix her nomination, and discussion that Brazile considered replacing Clinton with Joe Biden in September, after she had a bout with pneumonia, only causes more disarray.

The Democrats have no real leader now, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are not inspiring at all, and Pelosi in particular needs to step aside, and allow younger Democrats to move up to power.

As this blogger has said before, while he admires Joe Biden, there is a need for a new generation of leadership running for the Presidency in the future, as well as moving up in House of Representatives leadership.

So we need to stop shoring up Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn in the House, and we need to look to others to run for President than Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and even Elizabeth Warren, all over 70 as the House leaders are also.

People in their 40s, 50 and early 60s are the future, just as when we had John F. Kennedy at age 43 in 1960, Jimmy Carter at age 52 in 1976, Bill Clinton at age 46 in 1992, and Barack Obama at age 47 in 2008!

Joe Biden Looks Ahead: His Diplomatic Experience, His Ability To Unite, His Authenticity May Be The Prescription Needed In 2020

Joe Biden has started to speak out openly about Donald Trump and the future of the nation and the Democratic Party.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows how much I admire Joe Biden.

I wanted him to be the 2016 nominee, but his son’s death prevented that race, but I do believe, had he been the nominee, he would have defeated Donald Trump among the white working class, the crucial vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

No politician is perfect, but Joe Biden still stirs the imagination of millions of Democrats and the American people.

His career of 36 years in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President is unmatched. His diplomatic experience, his ability to unite, and his authenticity may be the prescription needed in 2020.

His popularity and respect among Republicans and Democrats is unprecedented for a modern political leader.

The fact that he will be 78 years old days after the 2020 election causes him to be considered not a good choice for 2020.

But just as gender and race should not be barriers, even age should not be, as some older leaders have succeeded, such as Konrad Adenauer of West Germany and Winston Churchill of Great Britain.

This is not an endorsement of Biden for 2020, as ideally, a younger, fresher candidate is highly preferable.

But if Biden runs, and the people in primaries and caucuses want him, why not have him as the nominee in 2020, but with a much younger and well qualified Vice President just in case of tragedy.

Whether or not Joe Biden ever runs for President again, he is clearly a national treasure to be admired and respected!

Hillary Clinton’s New Memoir: Will It Destroy A Possible Future Candidacy Or Promote It?

Hillary Clinton’s new memoir on her Presidential campaign is out, and the question is whether it will destroy a possible future candidacy for President, or promote it.

Clinton certainly blames herself for some of the actions and statements that doomed her, but also places a lot of blame on others, including former FBI Director James Comey; her rival for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Today Show Host Matt Lauer, who moderated a debate that she feels was poorly handled by him; and of course, Donald Trump.

She points out her belief that there was definite Russian collusion for Donald Trump; makes clear her disgust at Trump’s tactics during the campaign; makes clear her belief that Trump was and is totally unqualified on experience and judgment to be our President; and tells us she is not going anywhere into the distance, but will continue to speak up on issues and personalities, including on Donald Trump.

Clinton recognizes that millions love her and voted for her, and gave her a 2.85 million popular vote margin, but that millions others hate her with a passion, and that sexism played a major role in her defeat, along with disgust by many at her husband, Bill Clinton, even though millions of others admire and support her husband and his Presidency in the 1990s.

Clinton informs us that while she will continue to be part of public discourse, she will NOT run for President again, which seems totally sensible and rational.

While she has run twice already, there is no desire to match Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan, who ran and lost three times; or Thomas E. Dewey and Adlai Stevenson, who ran and lost two times.

It is indeed time for fresh leadership, and so the idea of Bernie Sanders at age 79 in 2020 running for President is a terrible idea, and even Joe Biden, who this blogger loves, and believes that he would have defeated Donald Trump had he been the nominee, running again at age 78 in 2020, is not a good way to go.

Rather, we need YOUNGER leadership, such as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas; Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California (running for Governor in 2018); Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon; Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York; Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Senator Mark Warner of Virginia; Senator Al Franken of Minnesota; Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia; and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, among others.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also talked about, as with Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but being in the 70s by 2020 makes her NOT a good choice, and she is also extremely controversial, and would be unlikely to gain any more support in the proper places and states to be elected President, because if anything, she is more vehement and more controversial to many than Sanders or Clinton.

Again, we need NEW leadership, with a preference for the YOUNGER part of the above group.

Three Profiles In Courage: John McCain Of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski Of Alaska, Susan Collins Of Maine

It is appropriate to salute three Republican Senators who stopped the destruction of ObamaCare, due to their feeling that despite the shortcomings of the program, that to just repeal it and leave millions of Americans with no health coverage was intolerable.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, a true independent and maverick, has often exasperated many political observers, and this blogger was upset earlier last week when McCain voted to promote votes on various alternatives, including repeal without replacement, but then voted to kill the idea once there was the opportunity to do so.

We now learn that former Vice President Joe Biden, a good friend, and former Senator Joe Lieberman, the Vice Presidential running mate of Al Gore in 2000, contacted McCain and convinced him that this was the right thing to do.

This kind of bipartisanship is precisely what is needed, and is missing from today’s political scence.

The courage of the two women Senators, who could not have alone stopped the Republican plan to destroy ObamaCare, must also be acknowledged, and sadly, some misogyny was utilized against them by the right wing, but Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska showed how principled and decent they were, and deserve great credit.

Both Collins and Murkowksi are tough, and they are not intimidated, with Collins having always been independent oriented, and Murkowski losing the party primary in 2010, running as a write in Independent candidate, and winning over her Republican and Democratic opponents, and then winning in 2016.

The outrage that the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, at Donald Trump’s orders, threatened Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, the other Alaska Senator, with cuts in funding for Alaska in the Department budget did not intimidate Murkowski, as she postponed committee hearings and votes in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she heads. She knows how to play Hardball, and Trump has met his match in her, as well as Collins.

Disappointing, however, was the third woman Senator thought united with them, Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, but caving in to pressure from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, quite shocking since West Virginia has more people on Medicaid and in poverty than almost all states in America.

Could It Be A Battle Between Two Upper Septuagenarians For The Democratic Presidential Nomination In 2020?

This blogger has written recently on the potential field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination, with him emphasizing the desirability of a “newer” generation of leadership in their 40s and 50s.

But having said that, the possibility does exist that the major battle for the nomination could be between two upper septuagenarians with long political careers, and many people who greatly admire them.

I am referring to former Vice President Joe Biden, who also served 36 years in the US Senate from Delaware; and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has served 27 years in Congress, in both the House of Representatives and Senate as the first successful long term Independent Socialist, who only became a Democrat when he announced for President, and now is officially an Independent again, although he caucuses with the Democrats.

Biden will be 78 two weeks after the 2020 election, and Sanders will be 79 shortly before that election.

Both are dedicated public servants, who have millions of admirers who remain ready to support their favorite candidate, if they decide to run for President.

Biden is comparatively more centrist, while Sanders is the extreme left of the Democratic Party.

Were both to run, while they would have many other candidates competing, it could be a battle royal for the ages, with their advanced age being an issue, although Donald Trump, were he to run in 2020, would be 74 and a half at the time of the election.

We have never had two people in their 70s as the alternatives, although Hillary Clinton was 69 in 2016.

Trying to predict who would triumph is quite a challenge, but this author thinks that Biden would have an easier time, with his Establishment credentials, and with Sanders still having to deal with the “Socialist” label, and being Jewish, even though he is not at all devout.

In the long run, however, it would still be preferable to have a “newer generation” of leadership leading the Democratic Party and the nation into the 2020s.

The Democratic Presidential Rumor Mill Grows From 18 To 25! But Probably 10 “Serious” Possibilities!

Nine days ago, this blogger published an article, discussing 18 potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

My article was a bit ahead of the media in bringing up the issue, but now the rumor mill has come up with 7 more potential Democratic candidates, making for a total, in theory, of 25!

This is the silly season, right after the First Hundred Days of Donald Trump, and having a list this lengthy does seem a bit ridiculous.

However, for the record, the other 7 names being bandied about are:

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley from 2007 to 2015 and Baltimore Mayor before that from 1999-2007, age 57 in 2020, who this blogger should NOT have left off the original list. O’Malley was once thought of as the “new generation” of leadership, but could not compete against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the rumors that Joe Biden would run. Certainly, he belonged on the original list of 18, making it 19, and has a likely better chance in theory than some on that list.

Entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban, age 62 in 2020, who is very personable and appealing, and could be the “outsider”, equivalent of the Democrats’ Donald Trump, but personally, this blogger is not keen about outside businessmen with no government experience, and Donald Trump just adds to that feeling, that it is not a great idea.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, age 63 in 2020, who leaves office at the end of this year, but was formerly Democratic National Chairman from 2001-2005; Bill Clinton co chair in the 1996 Presidential campaign; and Hillary Clinton chair in the 2008 Presidential campaign, has the disadvantage of being connected to the Clintons, and has an image of being a bit sleazy and crooked throughout his political career, so would not seem a likely choice to get very far in the 2020 Presidential race. If anything, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner seem more likely candidates from Virginia.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, age 60 in 2020, whose sister Mary was a long time US Senator from Louisiana fromJimmy 1997 to 2015, and whose father, Moon Landrieu, was Mayor of the city from 1970-1978, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, has become recently controversial with his decision to remove Confederate monuments in the city, including those of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Being a moderate Southern Democrat might make some think of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but it would seem highly unlikely that he would have much of a shot at the nomination for President.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who would be 49 in 2020, and who is Jewish and also of Mexican heritage as well, and mayor of the second largest city in America in the largest state in America, might possibly be a more serious nominee on paper. Garcetti has long experience in city government, being a member of the LA City Council, and then its President, for nearly a total of 12 years on the Council, and Mayor since 2013. Being a person of urban and multiple ethnic and religious Los Angeles, the most diverse city possible in America, might just be a positive in the long run, and this is a person to watch, in the view of this blogger.

We also have two Massachusetts members of the House of Representatives, Seth Moulton, who would be 42 in 2020; and President John F. Kennedy’s grand nephew, Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson, and former Congressman Joe Kennedy II’s son, Joe Kennedy III, who would be only 40. Moulton has served since 2015 in the House, and Kennedy since 2013, and both have made names for themselves with their liberal views, and both are seen as ambitious rivals, but a bit young to be thinking of running, or be considered at all for the Presidency. Also, only James A. Garfield in 1880 went directly from the House to the Presidency, and then he was tragically killed within months. To believe a House member would be elected is highly unlikely.

In the view of this blogger, one could add O’Malley and Garcetti to the shorter list with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren as the most legitimate candidates.

So I am saying a total of 10 serious candidates is likely, which is certainly long enough—6 US Senators, 3 Governors (assuming Newsom is elected California Governor), and 1 Mayor, LA Mayor Garcetti. The list also includes 2 women, 1 African American, and 1 Jewish and Mexican combination (Garcetti). This is a pretty representative list.

Any commentary by my readers on this and the April 25 article is welcome!

Time For “A New Generation Of Leadership” For Democrats Running For The Presidency

The Democratic Party needs “new blood” running for President in 2020, just as it had in John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter in 1976; Bill Clinton in 1992; and Barack Obama in 2008.

This is not the time for “old” leadership, meaning another run for the White House by Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. Anyone reading this blog knows of my great admiration for Biden, but at age 78 in 2020, it is too late, in the author’s opinion, for him to be a serious alternative. And as much as Hillary Clinton has an exceptional background, having run for President twice, and being still seen by many as a divisive figure, and being 73 in 2020, it is proper to say that her time has passed.

It is also NOT the time for Bernie Sanders, who despite his strong support, is not really a cooperative member of the Democratic Party, not having been a member until he decided to run for President, and now backing away again from membership in the party. His age in 2020, 79, also makes him far from a good choice for such a demanding job.

What about Elizabeth Warren? She will be 71 in 2020 and is an inspiring person, but the problem of misogyny that Hillary Clinton faced, which was a factor in her defeat, argues against Warren, as she has been cast in a negative light by many, for her vehement and outspoken manner. This blogger admires her, but finds it hard to believe she could win in the 2020 Presidential race.

So basically, what we need is someone not thought about before, and there are a multitude of candidates one can think of to consider for 2020.

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, (62 in 2020) )Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, is one, as is his fellow Virginian, Senator Mark Warner (65 in 2020). But both are seen by many as too moderate centrist, not appealing to the Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016.

There is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, (68 in 2020), who was thought of as an alternative running mate for Clinton, and who might have helped keep the white working class in Ohio and elsewhere for the Democrats in 2016.

There is also Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who would be 47 in 2020, and comes across as very appealing in appearance and views on the issues.

Then, there is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who would be 51 in 2020, but is seen as too centrist by many, and being African American, after the racism so evident during the term of Barack Obama, one wonders if that would be a problem.

And there are also Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (60 in 2020)and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (54 in 2020), but being females might be a negative factor, sad to say.

Additionally, there is Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon (64 in 2020), the only Democrat to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Less likely possibilities include Senator Chris Coons of Delaware (57 in 2020); Senator Al Franken of Minnesota (69 in 2020); Senator Kamala Harris of California (56 in 2020); and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (65 in 2020).

Other than the US Senate, the only possible gubernatorial Presidential possibilities that seem reasonable are New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (62 in 2020), and California Lieutenant Governor and likely next Governor Gavin Newsom (53 in 2020), former Mayor of San Francisco.

Trying to figure out this early who might indeed run is really difficult, but one can assume that a good number of these 18 possibilities will actually enter the Presidential race.

First thoughts on this would be that Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, and Gavin Newsom would have the best chance, with all likely to be candidates. All are young enough, and have a record of accomplishment worthy of consideration. But also, it is likely that Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren will also announce for President, and others might as well.

Of course, someone not yet thought of, who might be elected to the governorship or the Senate in 2018, might be added to the list.

And, one cannot eliminate someone from outside the political system, likely a businessman or media or entertainment star, could enter the race, and one cannot project against such a person having a real chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

One must recall that John F. Kennedy had the issue of Catholicism that was a problem; Jimmy Carter the Southern issue and basically unknown nationally; Bill Clinton having the ethics and morality issue; and Barack Obama having the racial problem.

No one would have predicted three years before their elections that any of them would have been the nominee of the party, let alone the next Presidency of the United States!

The End Of An Era, And The Beginning Of A Dangerous Challenge To Our Nation, Its Past And Its Future!

I am writing this entry on the evening of January 19. In about 15 hours Donald Trump will be inaugurated President of the United States.

We are ending the Obama era, a great period of accomplishment, in about 15 hours, and it feels like a funeral scene.

The only good thing is that both Barack Obama and Joe Biden are alive and will fight along with all of us who are progressives, against the dangerous challenge to our nation, presented by Donald Trump and Fascism!

I will do my part in this struggle, and appreciate my readers and contributors who are there with me over the next few years.

We must be optimistic that the future will work out, although there will be harm to many, particularly those who are sick, weak, poor, gay, and of minority religious, racial, or ethnic heritage.

United we will triumph, and we have overcome the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, and the Richard Nixon Watergate Crisis, and Donald Trump will fail in his mission to destroy the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and the Obama legacy!

I will not post tomorrow, a rare exception, and will not watch or listen to the inauguration, and instead go to the movies with my younger son, but I will, of course, learn what has happened, and comment on it starting on Saturday, January 21.

So, everyone, be confident, as the progressive battle, going on since Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette Sr. and George Norris 116 years ago, will continue and prosper!