John Anderson

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”.

Jimmy Carter Now Longest Lived President, Except For George H. W. Bush, 111 Days Older!

Today, March 16, 2018, former President Jimmy Carter has surpassed Gerald Ford in age longevity, and earlier had done so past Ronald Reagan on January 30.

Only George H. W. Bush, 111 days older than Carter, is still ahead of Carter.

So we have right now four straight Presidents who have reached 93–Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush. Jimmy Carter.

On June 12, Bush will be 94, and Carter will reach that age on October 1.

Right now, it would seem that Carter will outlive Bush, but considering that Carter had a cancer diagnosis two and a half years ago, who can say who will have the age record ultimately?

The age longevity issue is amazing, as when one looks at the Presidential Election of 1976, all four candidates on the ballot–Carter, Ford, Walter Mondale, and Bob Dole–all reached the age of 90 and Mondale is now that age, and Dole is 94, and just was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal recently,

And in 1980, when we had a third independent candidacy, all six candidates on the ballot–Carter, Reagan, Bush, Mondale, and also John Anderson and Patrick Lucey—all reached the 90s, and Anderson died last December at 95, and Lucey, his Vice Presidential running mate, died at 96 in 2014.

Further back, in 1972, the losing Democratic ticket of George McGovern died at age 90 in 2012, and Vice Presidential running mate Sargent Shriver died at age 95 in 2011.

This is all the story of the growing longevity of Americans, not just public figures.

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.

The Libertarian Presidential Ticket: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson And Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld!

In a year when there is great disillusionment with the Establishment and the Democratic and Republican Parties, the Libertarian Party, a small third party, suddenly is gaining notice, as it has two substantial former Governors as its Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election:

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (R—1995-2003) and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (R—1991-1997).

One public opinion poll shows the potential for the Libertarian Party to gain 10 percent of the vote, because of discontent with the two major party nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

But neither Gary Johnson nor William Weld are household names, and both are from the past, with Johnson out of the Governorship of New Mexico for 13 years, and Weld out of the Governorship of Massachusetts for 19 years.

So while the fact that they were officeholders of some note in the past, the odds of that party, with its libertarian platform, being able to gain a chance to be in Presidential debates, with a minimum 15 percent average in polls needed by September to accomplish that goal, as occurred with Ross Perot in 1992 and John Anderson in 1980, seems a real long shot!

New CNN Presidential Election Series: “Race For The White House”

CNN has begun a new six part series called “Race For The White House”, which will cover six Presidential elections over the next six weeks, each episode an hour in length, and narrated by actor Kevin Spacey.

On Sunday, the 1960 battle for the White House between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon was covered.

Future episodes in some order not known yet include chronologically:

1828–Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams

1860–Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas

1948–Harry Truman and Thomas E. Dewey

1988–George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis

1992–Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush

It is not clear why these particular elections were chosen, as there are many others, many more interesting and significant, that were not selected, including:

1896–William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan

1912—Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft

1928–Herbert Hoover and Alfred E. Smith

1932–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover

1940–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie

1968–Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George C. Wallace

1980–Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Anderson

2000–George W. Bush and Al Gore

2008–Barack Obama and John McCain

This series is well worth watching, after having seen the first episode last night!

 

“What Ifs” Of Presidents Defeated For Reelection

The game of “What If” is a fun game, trying to imagine what would have changed history!

An example is to wonder what changed circumstances would have caused Presidents defeated for reelection to have won reelection.

Since World War II, three Presidents have been defeated when running for another term—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush.

What are the common bonds among these three Presidents that caused them to lose?

Presidential Primary Opposition—Gerald Ford from Ronald Reagan in 1976; Jimmy Carter from Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown in 1980; George H. W. Bush from Pat Buchanan in 1992.

Bad Economy and Recession—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush

Third Party Candidate Opposition In Election Campaign—Jimmy Carter from John Anderson in 1980; George H. W. Bush from Ross Perot in 1992.

Communication Problems With the American People—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush.

Additionally, Gerald Ford had the problem of the Richard Nixon Pardon, which hurt him; and Jimmy Carter had the problem of the Iran Hostage Crisis, which dogged him through Election Day and beyond.

Finally, all three Presidents had the problem of an opponent who became very appealing as an alternative—Gerald Ford with Jimmy Carter; Carter with Ronald Reagan; and George H. W. Bush with Bill Clinton. Carter and Clinton represented a generational change–eleven years between Ford and Carter, and 22 years between Bush and Clinton, while Reagan represented a charismatic actor who had a loyal following able to overcome doubts by the perceived weaknesses of Carter.

One has to wonder what might have been had Ford been elected in 1976, preventing a President Carter; what might have been had Carter been reelected, preventing a President Reagan; and what might have been had Bush been reelected, preventing a President Clinton.

Reagan might still have succeeded President Ford, but after what would have been 12 years of Nixon and Ford, one wonders?

Would Ted Kennedy have had an open season to win in 1980, or Jerry Brown, or who else, as a result? If Reagan had not been President, would Bush have been so, and if not, would his son, George W. Bush have been President? Unlikely, but also if father Bush had defeated Clinton, who would have been the likely front runner for the Democrats in 1996, after what would have been 8-16 years of GOP control?

And would we be speaking about Hillary Clinton as a likely Presidential candidate, and even winner, now in 2013?

This is all food for thought, and a fun game, and a great novel, in the lines of Jeff Greenfield”s book on a “Second Kennedy Term”, due out on the book market very soon!

Why Barack Obama In 2012 Is NOT George H. W. Bush In 1992, NOR Jimmy Carter In 1980!

With exactly four months to go until the Presidential Election of 2012, the job figures this month, showing a slowing of the economy, very little job growth, and a steady 8.2 percent unemployment rate, makes it clear that Barack Obama will not be able to bring the numbers under 8 percent before the election, and will have the highest unemployment rate of a President seeking re-election since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

So there are the hysterical political followers who fear that Obama is about to lose the election to Mitt Romney, but that is not going to happen!

Obama is compared to George H. W. Bush in 1992 and Jimmy Carter in 1980, with both of them losing, but the situations are VERY different!

Bush lacked any charisma, was running against a charismatic opponent, Bill Clinton, and had a serious, strong third party candidate in Ross Perot, which helped to cause his loss in the election. He also had accomplished very little beyond the Gulf War victory, and the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Jimmy Carter in 1980 was also lacking in charisma, was running against a very charismatic candidate, Ronald Reagan, who was able to unify people with his speaking skills, and faced the Iranian hostage crisis, and super high inflation due to the second Arab Oil Embargo, and also faced a third candidate in the Presidential race, Independent John Anderson.

Obama has tons of charisma; while Mitt Romney has absolutely NONE, not even being well liked as a personality as Clinton and Reagan were; and Obama faces no third party or independent challenger.

Obama is personally popular, which Bush and Carter were not, based on public opinion polls.

But having said that, it is clear that what Obama must do is take parts of three former Democratic Presidents, and make it part of his campaign.

Obama must give the GOP “hell” as Harry Truman did in 1948, and must push job plans and education and infrastructure spending by calling Congress into special session in September after the ocnventions, as Truman did, even though Truman knew and we know no such legislation will pass, but still put the Republicans on the defensive!

Obama must act like Franklin D. Roosevelt by saying he welcomes the hate of the GOP, since they refuse to work with him, and drop the “nice guy” image!

And Obama must take on a Lyndon B. Johnson image, that he will push and prod Congress by constant news conferences and speeches on the essential need for massive changes in America!

In taking on ideas of Truman, FDR, and LBJ, Obama would stir the enthusiasm of progressives and liberals, and the groups that might be lazy about voting, and would also draw many of the independents who would realize we have a President who really CARES about average Americans, as Truman, FDR and LBj demonstrated, and contrast it with Mitt Romney, who has made it clear he has no care or concern for more than the one percent at the top of our society!

Illinois: NOT Prime Material For Republicans In 2012 Presidential Election

Illinois is the state of President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President. Today, Republicans vote in their Presidential primary, but the state will not go to whoever wins the state.

It is the state of mainstream moderates in the past, including Senator Charles Percy, Senator Everett Dirksen, House Minority Leader Bob Michel, and House Republican Conference Chairman John Anderson, who ran an Independent race for President against Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

None of the above would have a chance in the Illinois Republican Party of 2012, or the national Republican Party.

This is a tragedy, and it is copied in many other states throughout America.

When Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts can claim to be the second most bipartisan Republican Senator, after retiring Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, and only Senator Susan Collins of Maine can claim to be much the same, that is testimonial to just how right wing the GOP has become!

There is NO chance for Illinois to go Republican in 2012, or anytime soon! The spirit of compromise and bipartisanship does not exist, sadly!

Why Barack Obama Will Be A Repeat Of Bill Clinton Electorally, Rather Than Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, And George H.W. Bush!

A lot of political observers seem to think that Barack Obama is doomed to lose re-election, just as Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush did in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

The author will contend that rather than that unfortunate history, Barack Obama will repeat the electoral experience of Bill Clinton in 1996!

The question, of course, is what is the rationale behind this thought of the author?

Gerald Ford–was an unelected President, coming after Watergate, challenged in the primaries by Ronald Reagan, an extremely charismatic individual, who almost took the nomination from him. Ford was unable to unite the party around him after the Reagan battle, despite dumping Nelson Rockefeller for Bob Dole for Vice President. Ford had little opportunity to convince the country that he was deserving of election, and yet ALMOST defeated Jimmy Carter, which he would have done if he had won a few more thousand votes in Ohio and Hawaii! Ford was not seen as all that capable to be President by many people, with the poor economy of the time.

Jimmy Carter–had a difficult last year in office, with the Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the challenge in the primaries by Senator Ted Kennedy and Governor Jerry Brown. He faced a charismatic opponent in Ronald Reagan, and a third party opponent in John Anderson. He was not a warm personality, and came across as weak and ineffective.

George H. W. Bush–faced a primary opponent in Pat Buchanan, and a strong third party challenger in Ross Perot. His Democratic opponent, Bill Clinton, had a lot of charisma, and was helped by the strong showing of Perot. And Bush did not have a particularly likeable personality, more respected for his ability than his understanding of average Americans and their lives.

Bill Clinton–engendered strong feelings for and against during his first term, and had charisma dripping off him, as compared to Bush and Bob Dole, his 1996 re-election opponent. Times were good, and he looked strong in his battles against the GOP Congress run by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He had no opposition for the second term nomination, and his opponent, Dole, being 73 years old, did not help his challenge to Clinton. Also, Wall Street gave more financial support to Clinton to hedge their bets, frustrating Bob Dole!

Barack Obama–well liked, even by those who do not like what he has done, but he has accomplished a lot in office, particularly in foreign affairs and national security. He has brought about substantial domestic reform despite strong opposition from the Republican party, and has loads of charisma, and tons of funding, including as with Clinton, from Wall Street, which, even if opposed as they were to Clinton and now Obama, hedge their bets and support him more than the Republican nominee, just as with Bob Dole in 1996. Also, there is a good chance of a Tea Party right wing party rebellion if Mitt Romney, the likely nominee, is the choice of the Republican party. The opposition does not have a candidate to excite the nation, so although the economy is horrible, the likelihood is that more Americans will recognize the reality that one does not overcome a near depression overnight, and will decide to stick with Obama, just as they did in the height of the Great Depression with Franklin D. Roosevelt!

Could Jon Huntsman Be The John Anderson Of 2012? What Effect Could It Have On The Presidential Election?

Some speculation and rumors are beginning that Jon Huntsman, the moderate centrist candidate in the Republican race for the Presidential nomination, might abandon the party and run as a third party candidate, appealing to the center of the population. Right now, in reality, he scores exactly one percent in eighth and last place of the Gallup poll, on the Republican race for President, so he might not have any sustaining influence, but who can know this far ahead?:

Huntsman has been depicting Barack Obama as too far to the Left, and all of his GOP opponents as too far to the RIght, and his argument is that the Center, where most people are, needs to have representation in the election.

Huntsman is an appealing candidate in his appearance and speaking manner, and comes across as rational and reasonable to people who are disgusted at the growing right wing extremism of the Republican Party. He has personal wealth, and is courted by the news media, so in theory, he could run a substantial third party of independent bid.

In many respects, he appears to be similar to former Illinois Congressman John Anderson, once one of the top leaders of the Republican minority, who left the party and ran as an Independent in 1980, claiming that President Jimmy Carter had been disappointing and that Ronald Reagan was too far to the Right. After winning a lot of media support and 15 percent in polls, he was able to gain the opportunity to meet Reagan in one debate, with Carter refusing to confront him. Anderson made Reagan look weak in their debate, but then Reagan performed well against Carter and won a landslide victory, with Anderson only winning 7 percent of the vote. Many who flirted with Anderson, including this author, ended up not voting for him, with the recognition that third party or independent candidates only hurt one of the candidates, and cannot win with the Electoral College reality which favors the major party candidates.

If Huntsman were to run, the question is would he hurt Obama or the Republican nominee more? There is no easy answer to this question, but it would certainly “muddy up the waters” of the campaign were he to do that.

Sadly, even if one hoped that such a so called Centrist candidate were to run, at the end we are going to have either Obama or the Republican nominee as our President for the next term, and easily the preference would be for Obama, who the author regards as the best Democratic President since Lyndon B. Johnson!

The author was not thrilled at the time with Jimmy Carter, and often even with Bill Clinton later, but right now, he would be opposed to a Jon Huntsman, or any other, third party candidate, who might just harm Obama and elect the horrors of a Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul!