John Kasich

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”.

It Is Now Clear Donald Trump Will Face Fierce Opposition From Conservatives And Critical Republicans For 2020 Presidential Nomination

It is now clear that Donald Trump will not have a waltz to the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination.

The long term future of the Republican Party is at stake, after the disaster of the Midterm Elections of 2018.

Mike Pence can claim the Republicans are in good shape, but he is delusional, and we are on the way to a repudiation of not just Donald Trump, but his Vice President, even if by some chance, he becomes President before the Presidential Election of 2020.

It is assured that a President Pence would not be able to keep the office, and would be easily defeated in 2020, as is the case with Donald Trump.

So the question is where the Republican Party turns in planning its future.

The number of potential candidates is growing.

It includes those few who have had the smarts to speak out against Donald Trump, as anyone else is a public relations disaster.

So forget such Senators as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Lindsey Graham, all of whom have lost all credibility.

The list, therefore, only includes newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, and outgoing Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, and outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

It could also include two Republican Governors in “blue” states that easily were elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018—Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts–although neither Hogan, who has term limits in Maryland, and Baker, who has no term limits in Massachusetts–has publicly expressed interest in running for the White House.

But if the Republican Party wishes to survive long term, none of these, except possibly John Kasich, are seen as likely to have much effect in stopping Trump.

The one and only reasonable choice other than Kasich is a principled conservative of a younger generation who might inspire young people and educated people to return to the Republican Party.

That candidate is Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who would be 48, but nearing 49, by the time of the inauguration in January 2021.

If he were to run in 2020, with Nikki Haley as his Vice Presidential running mate, both only a month apart in age, it could be a winning team.

The Collapse Of Supreme Court Reputation And Evangelical Christian Legitimacy, But John Kasich Emerges As Rare Sane Voice In Republican Party

The Supreme Court has reached a crossroads, and will be going back a century to its most conservative nature since the Gilded Age. In the process, the concept of balance is gone, and the Court is losing its reputation as a reliable judgment on the meaning of the Constitution.

The Evangelical Christian movement is also losing its legitimacy, and is now shown for what it is, totally immoral, unethical, NOT based on the teachings and social justice of Jesus Christ, and undermining respect for an institution that is revealed as totally hypocritical, and displaying its misogyny.

We need the Supreme Court, but we do NOT need a religiously fanatical and false group, which is only interested in forcing theocracy on America, which the American people at large will NOT tolerate.

So we are entering the most dangerous period in more than 150 years, since the Civil War raged in the 1860s.

And Donald Trump is reveling in all this, as he works to undermine what is left of American democracy, and hopes to grab power and become an absolute dictator for the rest of his life.

Interestingly, in the midst of this promotion of chaos and anarchy by Donald Trump, we DO have a sane Republican, outgoing Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who on Sunday morning on CNN is emphasizing the need for unity and crossing the aisle. It is clear he will challenge Trump or Mike Pence for the Presidency in 2020, and his is one of the very few sane voices in the Republican Party, which at this point, seems “owned” by Donald Trump, but needs a strong challenge from someone like Kasich.

What Donald Trump is promoting must be bitterly opposed by mass action in the streets, and if the police refuse to honor the right of citizens under the Bill of Rights to peacefully demonstrate for redress of grievances, than a real violent reaction is likely, which Donald Trump will pay for in the annals of history!

The Need For Top Advisers Around Trump To Resign, Or Lose Their Credibility

It is now three days since Helsinki, and the President is totally off the wall in his view of the Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, constantly changing his language, demonstrating total confusion and mental instability.

And we see his top advisers standing by smiling or having a poker face, and contradicting everything he says when not in his presence.

This includes his intelligence advisers, and his national security team.

Meanwhile, except for the few Republicans who are leaving Congress (Senator Bob Corker, Senator Jeff Flake, Congressman Mark Sanford), or Senator John McCain, who is in his last term even if he survives long term from his cancer battle, no one else is speaking out. There is the additional exception of John Kasich, who is leaving the Ohio Governorship, and also of Ben Sasse of Nebraska (who will face reelection in 2020 but has always spoken out), and Senate candidate Mitt Romney who is keeping his independence, knowing he will win the Utah Senate seat easily in November.

Everyone else is putting their career ahead of the country, absolutely despicable behavior.

As stated yesterday, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman needs to resign in protest, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and others in the cabinet, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, all need to group together and go to the White House and demand Trump resign, or they will announce their joint resignation.

One might say this would create total chaos, but it would be a public statement by the entire group, showing patriotism over political loyalty, and Vice President Mike Pence might be forced to join with them to insist, that for the good of the country, it is time for Trump to go!

We need a Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott, as with Richard Nixon and Watergate in 1974, and the people named above have the ability to restore their integrity and reputation by doing the right thing, and soon!

Jon Huntsman Needs To Resign As Ambassador To Russia, And Consider A Presidential Challenge In The GOP Primaries In 2020

The US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has been urged by his hometown newspaper in Utah to resign, after the disastrous performance of Donald Trump at the summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland, and not made any better by Trump’s claim that he misspoke one word, meaning “wouldn’t” instead of “would”.

Disillusionment with Trump, and concern that he is “owned” by Putin, who has some deep, dark, scandalous secret about Trump, is spreading, and as this author and blogger stated last week, we could be witnessing a “Manchurian Candidate” situation, as well as possibly a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and a Multiple Personality Disorder President, with the danger of his access to nuclear weapons.

Huntsman, who this author and blogger believed was the best Republican Presidential contender in 2012, and even better than John Kasich, believed to be the best 2016 Republican Presidential contender, has seen his daughter Abby, who is on Fox News Channel, condemning Trump’s press conference in Helsinki, Finland.

It is believed that Huntsman is unhappy over the circumstances, and it would be a badge of honor for him to resign now, and consider a Presidential challenge to Donald Trump and or Mike Pence in the 2020 Primaries.

While this author and blogger is not a fan of Republicans in general, the one way possible to revive the image of the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, would be if we were to see a ticket of Huntsman and John Kasich, or possibly the opposite.

I would not vote for such a ticket, but IF we were to be “stuck” with another four years of Republicans in the White House, far preferable to have Huntsman-Kasich or Kasich-Huntsman than Trump-Pence or Pence and whoever else!

The House Of Representatives And The Presidency

The history of the Presidency shows us that Presidents come from the Governorship of a state, or the US Senate, or military leadership, or from being a Cabinet member under a President.

Only one House of Representatives member has gone directly from the lower chamber to the White House, James A. Garfield of Ohio, elected in 1880, but tragically shot after four months in office, and dying after six and a half months in September 1881.

A total of 19 Presidents served in the House of Representatives, however, including:

James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A Garfield
William McKinley
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
George H. W. Bush

Some interesting observations:

Gerald Ford served the longest in the House, nearly 25 years, hoping to be Speaker of the House one day.

James A. Garfield served the second longest, almost 18 years, followed by John Quincy Adams.

James K. Polk served as Speaker of the House of Representatives as part of his service.

While only Garfield was elected President from the House, four who served in the House succeeded to the Presidency from the Vice Presidency during a term and were not elected–John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Gerald Ford, with Ford the only one not elected to the Vice Presidency, but rather being appointed through the 25th Amendment.

14 of the 19 Presidents who served in the House of Representatives did so before the 20th century, with only 5 serving from the 1930s to the 1970s.

When one looks at the present House of Representatives, there are a number of Democrats who are seen as potential Presidential contenders and also a few Republicans who might join the race, depending on circumstances.

For the Democrats:

Joe Kennedy III (Massachusetts)
Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)
John Delaney (Maryland)
Joaquin Castro (Texas)
Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)
Adam Schiff (California)
Eric Swalwell (California)

Other potential Democrats who have served in the House of Representatives in the past include:

Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

For the Republicans:

Mike Pence (Indiana)
Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
John Kasich (Ohio)
Jeff Flake (Arizona)
Tom Cotton (Arkansas)

March 3, 2020 Becomes Key Presidential Nomination Day: Could Help California Democrat To Become Presidential Nominee

More than ever, “Super Tuesday”, March 3, 2020, will be THE most crucial day in the Presidential primaries for the 2020 Presidential campaign.

As things now stand, only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will continue to be the first states to hold primaries or caucuses before March–with a multitude of states holding their primaries the first Tuesday in March.

In 2016, New Hampshire and South Carolina held primaries, and Iowa and Nevada held caucuses. Eleven states held contests on the first Tuesday in March, which was March 1, with nine holding primaries and two holding caucuses.

Now, however, California has moved its primary from June to March 3, 2020, and being the biggest state in population, it will have a far greater impact than it has had in June, when the nominations of both parties had already been settled earlier.

It should make the Democratic nominee more likely to be to the left of center, rather than centrist, and the Republican nominee to be more likely to be centrist conservative than a right wing conservative.

The pressure for earlier declarations of candidacy and for more campaigning throughout 2019 will be great.

On first thoughts, it would seem that any of three California Democrats might have the edge for the Presidential nomination, and that the three–Senator Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and presumed Governor Gavin Newsom, presently Lieutenant Governor of the state–would have a battle royale as to which would be the strongest and most likely challenger.

But also, someone like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders might also have the edge, as things stand now.

The Republicans would probably, assuming Donald Trump is not in the White House, have a good opportunity for a John Kasich or Jon Huntsman, the two most moderate conservative candidates in 2016 and 2012 respectively, to have an edge.

But, of course, trying to project two and a half years from now is a pure guessing game, but fun to speculate about!

Republican Governors John Kasich, Brian Sandoval And Numerous Republican Senators Buck The Party Line On Medicaid, And Trump, Pence, And Republican Leadership Threaten Them!

Republican Party leadership, and President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are using heavy handed tactics to try to force recalcitrant Republicans in the US Senate to vote for a bill that undermines Medicaid dramatically, and ends ObamaCare, even without a replacement.

Up to 33 million people are being told that there is no concern as to what this would do to the health care system, not only to patients, but to hospitals and health professionals affected by these draconian cuts.

This is unconscionable, and will cause the Republicans to suffer at the polls in the midterm Congressional elections in 2018.

But Republican Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Brian Sandoval of Nevada are resisting this, as are Senators such as Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Jeff Flake of Arizona and others.

Already, Trump is trying to encourage opponents in primaries against Senators Heller and Flake, the most endangered Republicans in Senate races in 2018.

Trump and Pence playing hardball will end up backfiring on the administration, as there is no morality or ethics in anyone backing the end of ObamaCare and gutting of Medicaid, and Americans are rising up in large number in opposition to this disgraceful action promoted by Trump, Pence, as well as Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and others who have no concern for the lives and health of millions of Americans!

Trump Appointment Of Jon Huntsman As Ambassador To Russia A Mixed Message, Not Necessarily Good For Huntsman

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has finally been formally appointed by Donald Trump to be Ambassador to Russia, although news of the appointment emerged in March. Why it took this long to make it formal is a mystery.

Certainly, we can say that this is, by far, the best appointment Trump has made, without question.

Huntsman is a true statesman, a brilliant figure in politics and diplomacy, and this blogger has said in the past that Huntsman was easily the most qualified and competent GOP Presidential candidate in 2012, and only Ohio Governor John Kasich of the 2016 Republican field came close in competence to Huntsman, although not being equal to him.

But why Huntsman would agree to this appointment in the midst of the Russian collusion scandal is beyond understanding, as it gives cover to Trump, and complicates the whole investigation.

It will be important for Huntsman NOT to allow himself to be manipulated by Trump, as it would undermine Huntsman’s credibility.

One could still wish that Huntsman had become President, rather than Trump, and it is still an open question how he will be involved in the whole Trump–Putin “bromance”, which endangers our government and our national security.

So this blogger feels that Huntsman is making a mistake in legitimizing Donald Trump, particularly now after the revelations about the Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner meeting with Russians in June 2016, and the newly discovered hour discussion at the G-20 Summit between Trump and Putin without any other American involved, not even an interpreter!

Eight Republican Senators Possible Votes Against House Passed “Health Care” Bill, So Highly Unlikely That “TrumpCare” Will Become Law!

Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Senator Dean Heller of Nevada

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

Senator John McCain of Arizona

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

These are the 8 Republican Senators who are seen as likely to vote against the House passed excuse for a “Health Care” bill, making it highly unlikely that “TrumpCare” will become law!

Collins and Murkowski do not want Planned Parenthood defunded, and want to protect Medicaid patients in their states, both states with many poor people.

Heller faces a very tough race for reelection in Nevada, as does Flake in Arizona, and both have a very large senior citizen constituency in their Western states.

McCain, despite his often inconsistent statements and actions, is basically a moderate, certainly as compared to the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate and in Congress.

Capito comes from one of the poorest states of all, West Virginia, and many poor, disabled (such as coal miners), and senior citizens would be harmed by the GOP passed House bill.

Corker is one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and seems very cautious as to accepting such a radical bill as the House passed.

Portman also comes across as one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and Ohio is the state of Governor John Kasich, who extended Medicaid, and it is hard to imagine that Portman would wish to harm his state’s disabled, senior citizens and poor, in a state which went for Trump, not realizing that the President would not give a damn about those on Medicaid, and those who were willing to support him with no good reason to do so, except being ignorant of reality about what right wing Republicans would do to destroy the good parts of ObamaCare.

It is hard to imagine that ANY Democratic Senator, not even Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, or Jon Tester of Montanan would support any major change in the Affordable Care Act!

So do NOT expect any kind of legislation anywhere near what the House Freedom Caucus, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price want, and expect that the American people will react in 2018 by a Democratic takeover of the House, including a move toward impeachment of the most despicable President in American history, bar none, Donald Trump!