Joe Biden

Joe Biden Vs. John Kasich: The Most Experienced, Most Qualified Candidates For President in 2016!

We are now seeing the full emergence of the Presidential race of 2016, with four candidates having announced, and many more to come between now and July, six months out from the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary.

It is becoming quite clear that IF the two political parties are looking for the most experienced, most qualified candidates to compete against each other in November 2016, then they will nominate Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The nation would be very fortunate if this was the end result of the upcoming election, but it is not even certain that either Biden or Kasich will actually announce for President.

Biden seems to be avoiding the issue for now, fully aware that Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite, but also carrying a lot of “baggage” over the lost emails and the Clinton Foundation, and the general feeling among many people of distrust of the former First Lady, former New York Senator, and former Secretary of State. But with the growing possibility that Hillary might falter, he is waiting in the wings and could decide to challenge her, rather than leave it alone and allow Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee to challenge her instead.

It is a clear cut fact that none of these alternatives can fill the shoes of Joe Biden in pure experience, knowledge, and qualifications, with Biden having had, by 2016, a total of 44 years in government, 36 as a Senator, and 8 as Vice President. Biden has been a leader in both domestic and foreign policy, and was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and has been ranked as one of the best Senators in American history. His role as Vice President has been massive, and President Barack Obama acknowledged his role and significance at the White House Correspondents Dinner this past weekend.

Of course, Biden is not perfect by any means, but has far fewer controversies than Hillary Clinton, and his faults are primarily his loose mouth at times, and his loose hands recently with women at public events, all embarrassing, but not taking away from his great leadership role over more than four decades. And his personality is a winning one, and Joe Biden is the most accessible, genuine, authentic, decent politician in America today, bar none.

At the same time, John Kasich is a man of principle, who just this weekend said he would not change his views to appeal to any particular group or agenda, and he comes across as a man of decency, accomplishment, and experience that far outstrips any other Republican nominee for the Presidency.

Kasich served in the House of Representatives for 18 years from 1982-2000, and was House Budget Committee Chairman, and understand economic matters better than most. He also has been now the two term Governor of the most crucial state in any Presidential election, Ohio, with the reality that no Republican has been elected President who has not won Ohio. This makes Kasich, easily, the best possible nominee that the Republicans could nominate, and the nation would be a lot more secure and safe with him than with any other Republican nominee for the White House.

An election between Joe Biden and John Kasich would be in the best traditions of American history, and would give us, no matter who won, a competent, qualified person to be our President for the next four years from 2017-2021. Let us hope for such good fortune to be given to this country!

The Democrats Need A Competitive Presidential Race: Don’t Put All Eggs In One Basket!

Hillary Clinton may end up as the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016, and has the theoretical edge to defeat any Republican opponent!

But there is a need for a competitive race, as it would make Hillary a stronger candidate and nominee, to have to defend and enunciate her views on her record and on the future!

And since Hillary had a health issue, there is always a chance that a health crisis could arise, and if there is no opponent in the Democratic Party, that could lead to the Democrats throwing way the Presidency if something went wrong, which is unpredictable, so there is a need for a backup plan and for opponents in the Presidential race.

The new revelations about the Clinton Foundation, and questions about Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, also make Clinton a more controversial candidate, who needs a closer look before the Democrats give their soul to her!

It does now seem that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley; former Rhode Island Governor and Senator Lincoln Chafee; former Virginia Senator Jim Webb; and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will soon make it a multi candidate race, and even Vice President Joe Biden may yet decide to enter the race.

All of this is all to the long term good of the Democratic Party and the nation, no matter what the eventual results might be!

The Ideal 12 Characteristics For A President: Who Fits The Mold?

With a new Presidential campaign now beginning, we hear, constantly, the debate over what characteristics we feel a President should have.

Among them are:

High Level of Intelligence
Deep Level of Experience
Vast Knowledge of many issues
An open mind and willingness to change when convinced of the need to change
Compassion and Empathy for the problems of the average American
Able to communicate well with the public and seen as a dynamic speaker
Able to get along with the news media, not seeing them as the “enemy”
Avoiding an image or reality of being overly materialistic or having lack of integrity
Understanding other cultures and nations
Realizing that negotiation and compromise are unavoidable to bring progress and avoid stalemate and gridlock.
Demonstration of proven ability to “cross the aisle” in a time of so much partisanship
Coming across as “one of us”, naturally gregarious and warm personality

The question is whether any person can fit this challenging list of characteristics, and it is clear such persons are few and far between. To expect anyone to fulfill all of the above 12 characteristics may be expecting too much, but it is worth it to examine potential and real candidates for President in 2016 to see who among them comes the closest to this list of ideal characteristics.

So having done so, the result is the following:

Republicans—former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Florida Senator Marco Rubio; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in that order.

Democrats—Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that order.

Easily, Huntsman and Biden lead their parties in fulfilling this list of characteristics, and Joe Biden, is without question, the most ideal of all potential Presidential candidates.

An Analysis Of Vice Presidential Selection 1960-2012 Strongly Favors The Democrats Over The Republicans

One can gain a lot of understanding about the two major political parties when one examines the history of Vice Presidential selection by the major party Presidential candidates between 1960 and 2012, a total of 14 national elections.

If one looks at the Democratic Party, it is fact that ALL but one time, the Democratic Presidential nominee chose a sitting United States Senator to be his running mate as follows:

1960–Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas
1964–Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota
1968–Edmund Muskie of Maine
1972–Tom Eagleton of Missouri
1976–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1980–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1988–Lloyd Bentsen of Texas
1992–Al Gore of Tennessee
1996–Al Gore of Tennessee
2000-Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
2004–John Edwards of North Carolina
2008–Joe Biden of Delaware
2012–Joe Biden of Delaware

The only exception was 1984, when Walter Mondale selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Also, after Tom Eagleton dropped out as the Vice Presidential running mate of George McGovern in 1972, due to having been revealed as having had psychiatric treatment, Sergeant Shriver, the former Peace Corps Director, head of the War On Poverty, Ambassador to France, and Kennedy in law, replaced him on the ticket.

All of the ten US Senators who ran for Vice President came to the national ticket as outstanding legislators with solid records of accomplishments, while Ferraro might be considered the weak link, the only real such case, for the Democratic national tickets. The only Senator who, in retrospect, might be considered not an ideal choice would be Edwards, for the personal life scandals that were revealed in later years.

Also, all of these Vice Presidential selections sought the Presidency after being chosen as a VP running mate, and Mondale, Gore, and Biden served notably as Vice President, all adding to the prestige of the office.

On the other hand, the Republicans had a very different scenario, as only four times out of fourteen did they select a United States Senator as their Vice Presidential choice for a national campaign, as follows:

1960—Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (former Senator 1936-1952)
1976— Bob Dole of Kansas
1988—Dan Quayle of Indiana
1992—Dan Quayle of Indiana

Three times, the Republicans selected state governors as their Vice Presidential nominees, as follows:

1968—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
1972—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
2008—Sarah Palin of Alaska

But most commonly, the Republicans for a total of seven times selected a member or former member of the House of Representatives, as follows:

1964—William E. Miller of New York
1980—George H.W. Bush of Texas
1984—George H. W. Bush of Texas
1996—Jack Kemp of New York
2000—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2004—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2012—Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Out of these 14 cases, it is clear that Quayle, Agnew and Palin, in particular, stand out as horrible choices, and with the nation being burdened with nearly five years of Agnew and four years of Quayle in the Vice Presidency.

At the same time, Miller seems a nonentity who was chosen, and Cheney and Ryan, while competent, both stood out as particularly controversial selections, based on their public record in the past and the future as well.

Only Dole, Bush, and Kemp stand out as noncontroversial choices.

So it is clear that the Democrats have been much wiser in their Vice Presidential choices than the Republicans in the past half century!

Vast Age Differences Of Presidential Opponents In Modern American History

It has become a reality that in many Presidential elections, the age difference between the two competing Presidential contenders is vast.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was 20 years older than Thomas E. Dewey in the Presidential Election Of 1944.

Harry Truman was 18 years older than Thomas E. Dewey in the Presidential Election of 1948.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was 10 years older than Adlai Stevenson in the Presidential Elections of 1952 and 1956.

Richard Nixon was 9 and a half years older than George McGovern in the Presidential Election of 1972.

Gerald Ford was 11 years older than Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Election of 1976.

Ronald Reagan was 13 years older than Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Election of 1980.

Ronald Reagan was 17 years older than Walter Mondale in the Presidential Election of 1984.

George H. W. Bush was 8 years older than Michael Dukakis in the Presidential Election of 1988.

George H. W. Bush was 22 years older than Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election Of 1992.

Bob Dole was 23 years older than Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election Of 1996.

John McCain was 25 years older than Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2008.

Mitt Romney was 14 years older than Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2012.

Now in 2016, we are very likely to have a vast difference in age between the two major party nominees, assuming Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Jim Webb is the Democratic nominee. But 11 of the 13 elections mentioned, the Republican nominee was the much older candidate, but that is likely to be different this time.

If Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie or Scott Walker is the Republican nominee, the difference will be vast, as much as 24 or more years in some of these cases. All of these six were born later than Barack Obama, and a few others, including Rick Santorum. Mike Pence or Jon Huntsman, all born before Obama but still have a double digit age difference from the various Democrats mentioned above.

So far, eight times, the older nominee for President won, and five times, the younger nominee for President won. So the question is what will happen in 2016!

The Future Of The Democratic Party: Younger Liberals In The US Senate

When one sees that Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, California Senator Barbara Boxer, and Nevada Senator Harry Reid are retiring in 2016, and know that other older Senate Democrats have limited time left in the Senate, it makes it clear that it is time to examine who among the “younger” generation of liberal Senate Democrats may be perceived as the future of the Democrats beyond Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Even if Hillary Clinton becomes President, where is the hope for liberal Democrats in the future, as there are very few Democratic governors. The “youth” movement in the Democratic Party is therefore in the hands of the following younger liberal Senate Democrats:

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (41)
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz (42)
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (45)
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (48)
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (50)
Delaware Senator Christopher Coons (51)
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (53)
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (54)
Michigan Senator Gary Peters (56)
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (57)
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (58)
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (59)

These are the present Democratic hopes for the future, to make an impact on the level of Mikulski, Boxer, Reid, along with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, California Senator Diane Feinstein, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Washington Senator Patty Murray, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Of course, more liberal Senate Democrats yet unknown could be elected in 2016, including Kamala Harris in California and Patrick Murphy in Florida, and hopefully, the Democrats will take back control of the United States Senate, and some new Democratic governors might be elected, assuming a coattail effect of the candidacy of the Democratic nominee in the Electoral College, still highly likely!

Martin O’Malley: A Potential JFK In The Making?

Former Maryland Governor and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley is gaining more attention, as he travels to the early primary and caucus states, and it seems more likely as we enter April, that soon he will announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, despite the massive lead in the polls of former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady Hillary Clinton, and the runner up in the polls, Vice President Joe Biden.

O’Malley has the advantage of being a generation younger than either Clinton or Biden, and a “fresh face” with an outstanding record as an executive leader, something that few other potential Presidential candidates have, to the extent that O’Malley does, with 16 years in running a government, arranging budgets, and coming to grips with problems in urban areas and on the state government level, and improving the lives of his citizenry.

O’Malley is handsome, well spoken, impresses people with his rhetoric, and like John F. Kennedy, is also Irish Catholic. Many people forget that Kennedy was seen as an “underdog” 55 years ago when he first announced, and O’Malley is a similar “underdog” today.

Three out of four times in American history, the next President has been born at a later date than the President he is succeeding, and the only way for the Democrats to do that is if they choose Martin O’Malley, as otherwise, having a younger, later born President requires Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, or Chris Christie as the occupant of the White House, none of them palatable in the least!

The three governors on the above list of Republicans cannot match the sterling record of Maryland and Baltimore under Martin O’Malley. Maryland leads the nation in education accomplishments, and is one of the most tolerant states on gay rights and marriage due to O’Malley. It is a great state for senior citizens and for disabled people. O’Malley offers a progressive vision, compared to the mean spiritedness and cynicism of Walker, Jindal and Christie. At the same time, he offers a substantial record of accomplishment as compared to Senators Paul, Cruz and Rubio.

It could be that O’Malley might not overcome Hillary Clinton or even Joe Biden, but his candidacy would offer competition and an alternative, and might put O’Malley on a short list with former San Antonio Mayor and presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro for the Vice Presidency, both of whom would be a great Number Two and safe to have as a backup for the Presidency if something untoward were to occur!

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute For The United States Senate Opens Today!

A wonderful event takes place today, March 30, 2015!

The opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute For The United States Senate today on the University of Massachusetts, Boston campus, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, will bring many distinguished political leaders, along with President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, together to celebrate the life and career of one of the greatest US Senators in American history.

But it will also celebrate the great institution of the US Senate, and will encourage knowledge and scholarly research on the most fascinating legislative body ever created by free men and women!

Tourists and scholars will love the exhibits, and the full scale replica of the US Senate chamber, as well as the exhibits and documents on the life and career of Ted Kennedy, who served the fourth longest period of time in the history of that body, about 46 years and nine months duration.

Few Senators have had the impact on the Senate and the nation of the brother of the 35th President of the United States, and the nation’s most outstanding Attorney General. It is arguable that Ted Kennedy had the significance that few other Senators have had, and almost on the level of a Presidency!

Ted Kennedy devoted his life to the betterment of average Americans, despite his great wealth, and in that regard, he can be compared to two “aristocratic” Presidents of another family name—Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt!

Promoting study of the US Senate will enrich all of us, and this is definitely on the list for this blogger to make another vacation trip, with the express purpose of spending time in this great new museum!

Eleven Foreign Policy Presidential Elections In American History, And Now 2016!

America has had foreign policy affect eleven Presidential elections, overshadowing domestic policy issues. This has usually been centered about military intervention and wars. The list of foreign policy dominated Presidential elections follows:

1812—With the War of 1812 having begun, it became the major issue under President James Madison

1844—With the issue of Texas annexation a major issue, and with James K. Polk running on expansionism and “Manifest Destiny”, the issue of relations with Mexico became a major issue under John Tyler and Polk.

1848—With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the Mexican War under James K. Polk granting so much new territory to the United States, the issue of what to do with these territories became the major issue of the campaign.

1900—With the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish American War under William McKinley granting new territories to the United States, the issue of what do to with those territories reigned during the campaign, and the Filipino Insurrection was a hot issue as well.

1916–The issue of keeping America out of World War I dominated, with Woodrow Wilson campaigning on the fact that he had kept us out of the war.

1940—The issue of isolationism and World War II in Europe and Asia, and Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning on keeping us out of war, but offering some assistance to Great Britain, dominated the campaign.

1944—The fact that we were still in World War II, and what to do about the postwar world and the Soviet Union, were key issues of the campaign.

1952—The debate over what to do about the limited nature of the Korean War under Harry Truman was a major factor in this campaign which elected Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1968—The debate over the Vietnam War under Lyndon B. Johnson, and the resulting split in the Democratic Party, and Richard Nixon declaring he had a secret plan to end the war, dominated the discussion in the campaign.

2004—The Iraq War and Afghanistan War under George W. Bush dominated the discussion in this campaign, as September 11 transformed the issue of national security.

2008—The continued intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan became a major issue, along with the Great Recession emerging during the campaign, and benefited Barack Obama, who promised to end the war in Iraq and downgrade the war in Afghanistan.

Now 2016 seems likely to be centered much more than many people want over foreign policy, particularly the threat of Iran in the Middle East, along with the danger of ISIL (ISIS) Terrorism, and the growing menace of the Russian Federation under Vladamir Putin, overall adding to the image of growing threats to national security.

And in these circumstances, one needs a steady hand at the helm, and only Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have the experience and the judgment needed, along with Jon Huntsman, who, although listed by many as a long shot nominee for the Republicans, has indicated he is not a candidate. In any case, the Republicans are not smart enough to realize that the true treasure in their midst is Jon Huntsman!

Martin O’Malley: Could He Be The New Jimmy Carter 40 Years Later?

Former Maryland Governor and former Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley has taken steps to make a political observer think that he is about to enter the Democratic Presidential race of 2016, challenging Hillary Clinton at a time when it seems unlikely that anyone else, who could please the liberal left of the party, is ready to plunge into a scenario that so heavily favors the former First Lady, former Senator, and former Secretary of State.

It seems to many as if O’Malley entering the race, if he does, is almost Don Quixote in nature, and some think he is just lobbying to become the Vice Presidential running mate of Hillary Clinton, but also showing the nation his credential for the future.

O’Malley is certainly a liberal, and seen as to the left of Clinton, but one with real executive experience, which Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren do not have.

O’Malley has made a great impression in his two terms as Governor, and he comes across as a real nice guy, who has his own rock band, and is approachable, and has been a critic of Wall Street and the elite billionaires, and has led on such social and economic issues as gay marriage, climate change, and health care, and Maryland leads the nation in educational accomplishments and standards.

He is that rare young Democrat, only 52, while all other Democrats reported as possible candidates are all close to 70 or would be over 70 during the next Presidential term–including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Jim Webb.

O’Malley represents the new generation of leadership, someone who could appeal to independents and liberal Democrats who look for the long range future, and who has the proper instincts and record of accomplishment, but primarily seen as a long shot “dark horse” at this time.

O’Malley has been compared by some to Jimmy Carter 40 years ago, but O’Malley has a far more impressive background and record than Carter had, and with the disillusionment present in America, much like two generations ago, he could just be the sign of the future, especially if Sanders and or Warren choose not to run.