John Kerry

Toughest Democratic Race To Take Sides: Ed Markey Vs. Joe Kennedy III In Massachusetts

The toughest Democratic race for Congress is coming to a conclusion on Tuesday, September 1, when Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts faces Congressman Joe Kennedy III for the nomination for the US Senate.

Both are clearly progressives, but Markey is seen as more Left than Kennedy.

Markey has been endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former Vice President Al Gore, former Democratic Presidential nominee (1988) Michael Dukakis, documentary creator Ken Burns, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Carole King, Tom Steyer, many environmental groups, and the Boston Globe Editorial Board, as well as most Massachusetts mayors and many Democrats in the state legislature. and half the Congressional delegation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed Kennedy, and the Kennedy Family is, of course, behind Kennedy, and also many Congressmen, including the late John Lewis and Joaquin Castro, but he has alienated many who think he should have waited until Markey retired, or Warren ended up in a potential Joe Biden cabinet.

The seat is guaranteed to whoever wins the primary on Tuesday, as Republicans have not won state wide except with the first African American Senator since Reconstruction (Edward Brooke) decades ago, and Scott Brown, who succeeded Ted Kennedy and then was defeated by Elizabeth Warren.

Markey has served since 1976, 44 years in Congress, starting when he was 30 years old, with 37 in the US House of Representatives, and then he took over John Kerry’s Senate seat when Kerry became Secretary of State under Barack Obama in 2013. In so doing, Markey set a record as the longest serving Congressman, who then ended up in the US Senate at age 67.

Markey is just about the most liberal Democratic Senator, while Kennedy in eight years in the House, and now nearing 40, is also liberal, but it could be argued not as much, whatever that means!

So two men, who started off at 30 and 32 in Congress, now face each other, as the old guy with the long record, and the young guy, who is a Kennedy, but seems likely to lose the primary, based on recent polls, which show Markey 12 points ahead of Kennedy!

This might mean the end of all Kennedys in Massachusetts always winning, and it could be that Joe Kennedy III might not get another chance to go to the Senate, and might not be able to run again for the House of Representatives.

This is quite a gamble by a Kennedy, and it seems likely to be a lost cause!

The inclination of this blogger and author is that if I lived in Massachusetts, I would vote for Markey, but not be happy about rejecting a talented Joe Kennedy III!

This race should not have happened, as Joe III should have waited for either Markey or Warren to leave the Senate, without this pitched battle now coming to its end on Tuesday!

All Star Lineup For Four Nights Of Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention is being held remotely this week from Monday to Thursday, and there will be an all star cast of speakers each evening.

Monday night, the speakers will include, among others–Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, Gretchen Whitmer, Doug Jones, James Clyburn, Bernie Sanders, and Michelle Obama, along with Republican John Kasich.

Tuesday night, the speakers will include, among others—Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bill Clinton, and Dr. Jill Biden.

Wednesday night, the speakers will include, among others—Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Barack Obama.

Thursday night, the speakers will include, among others—Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Gavin Newsom, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Chris Coons, Andrew Yang, and Presidential nominee Joe Biden.

It will be an opportunity for the Democrats to display all of their “stars”, who have, together, contributed to the present day version of a party that has done so much for America over the decades since Franklin D. Roosevelt onward, responsible for most of the domestic reforms and foreign policy stability that marks the periods of Democratic Party control of Congress and the White House!

Joe Biden Further Ahead In Polls For Early June Than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, And John Kerry Were In Last Four Election Cycles

We have all learned from history that public opinion polls are not always accurate, but it is impressive, at least for now, that Joe Biden is ahead of Donald Trump in all public opinion polls in early June, further ahead of Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton in 2016, Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008, and John Kerry in 2004 against their opponents.

It is clearly not a reason for those who support Joe Biden to become cocky, and even lazy about campaigning for him, and for encouraging others to vote in November.

But considering the first five months of 2020, with the impeachment trial; the CoronaVirust Pandemic; the collapse of the economy to depression levels; and the Trump decision to fire tear gas, pepper spray, and have two helicopters threaten peaceful demonstrators in Washington, DC, who were protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, one has to believe that the polls likely are accurate against Donald Trump.

14 Weeks Until First Vote In Iowa Caucuses

As the House of Representatives is working on its impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, the political calendar is starting to close in on many Democratic Presidential contenders.

It is now only 14 weeks until the first Americans vote on 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday, February 3.

Iowa is not truly decisive on who wins the nomination and the Presidency in either major political party, as the only times that Iowa was a sign of the future was when an incumbent President was not on the ballot, and even then, not very often.

Democratic Party

Walter Mondale in 1984

Al Gore in 2000

John Kerry in 2004

Barack Obama in 2008

Hillary Clinton in 2016

George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992 failed to win Iowa.

Republican Party

Gerald Ford in 1976

Bob Dole in 1996

George W. Bush in 2000

Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 failed to win Iowa.

So only George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008 won Iowa and went on to win the Presidency in the fall of those years.

So do not expect that who wins Iowa will automatically be the nominee for the Democrats in November 2020.

Since 1972, Iowa has been accurate on the Democratic nominee 43 percent of the time, and 50 percent accurate on the Republican nominee.

Iowa is not representative of the nation in its population mix, but it gives a leg up to a few of the candidates, while dashing the hopes of so many others.

Alternative Candidates Who Might Enter The Democratic Presidential Race

Hard to believe, but rumors are spreading that there could be alternative candidates who might enter the Democratic Presidential race.

These would include:

2016 Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Former 2004 Presidential nominee John Kerry

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown

Most of these ideas are totally preposterous.

It is time for Hillary Clinton to pass the torch finally, and make an unequivocal statement she will not run, as she would divide the party and the nation in such a way that would be totally destructive.

Michelle Obama is not going to run, too smart to consider it.

John Kerry is another too old nominee, who is from the distant past, 2004 as a Presidential candidate, and would be 77 when taking the oath, and the last thing we need is another old candidate.

The same goes for Michael Bloomberg, who would five months younger than Bernie Sanders and nine months older than Joe Biden, and would be one month short of 79 in January 2021, too old, and really too divisive with his record as NYC Mayor, and not loyal to the Democratic Party.

Eric Holder and Deval Patrick would only create more racial division, with Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and Julian Castro already in the race, and Holder highly controversial and being 70 the day after the inauguration, and Deval Patrick just another Massachusetts politician, but with no real constituency to run.

If any candidate deciding to run makes sense, it just might be Sherrod Brown, who considered running, and would be a strong competitor from Ohio, but if he is to run, time is of the essence. He would be 68 at the time of the inauguration, and might be a good Vice Presidential choice instead of for the Presidency.

But except for Brown, really, the next Democratic Presidential nominee needs to come from the present, rapidly dwindling list, and dreaming of alternatives needs to end!

Reality: Candidates Ahead In Public Opinion Polls In Third Year Of Presidential Term Never Are The Nominees For President

Public opinion polls have been notoriously inaccurate in the third year of a Presidential term in who would be the Presidential nominees of major parties the following year.

In 2003, Vermont Governor Howard Dean was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but John Kerry ended up as the nominee in 2004.

In 2007, New York Senator Hillary Clinton was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but Barack Obama ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2007, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but John McCain ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2011, Herman Cain was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Mitt Romney ended up as the nominee in 2012.

In 2015, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Donald Trump ended up as the nominee in 2016.

Beyond these examples, in the third year of many Presidential terms, who could have known that the next President would be someone not seriously considered at that time to have a chance to be elected.

Witness John F. Kennedy in 1959; Richard Nixon in 1967; Jimmy Carter in 1975; Ronald Reagan in 1979; Bill Clinton in 1991; Barack Obama in 2007; and Donald Trump in 2015.

Also add the following: Abraham Lincoln in 1859; Woodrow Wilson in 1911; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1931; and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951.

So, to assume that Joe Biden, currently ahead in all polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, will be the nominee is quite a gamble, based upon history.

Losing Vice Presidential Candidates Who Should Have Been President: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1960) And Edmund Muskie (1968)

A category of political leaders very easily forgotten are Vice Presidential candidates on a losing Presidential ticket.

Many of them are seen in history as disastrous for one reason or another, including William E. Miller, who ran with Barry Goldwater in 1964; Geraldine Ferraro, who was the running mate of Walter Mondale in 1984; John Edwards, who was John Kerry’s Vice Presidential nominee in 2004; and Sarah Palin, who was John McCain’s running mate in 2008.

On the other hand, we can find at least two Vice Presidential running mates who were true giant figures in American political history.

One was Richard Nixon’s Vice Presidential choice in 1960, former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr of Massachusetts, who lost his seat to John F. Kennedy in 1952, but was United Nations Ambassador under President Dwight D. Eisenhower; and later Ambassador to South Vietnam under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; and also sought the Republican Presidential nomination in 1964. Lodge was a true star figure, the only one of the four candidates in 1960 not to become President, and there are scholars who think he might have been a better President, than Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. He was certainly a solid figure in American foreign policy, and had 16 years service in the US Senate.

The other Vice Presidential running mate who was a star figure was Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, who was Hubert Humphrey’s choice in 1968. Muskie ran a dignified campaign that year, and later sought the Presidency in 1972, but derailed by the “Dirty Tricks” of the Richard Nixon reelection campaign, and lost the nomination to Senator George McGovern, seen as an easier candidate to defeat, which indeed he turned out to be. But Muskie served 21 years in the Senate, and then was Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Both men would have been exceptional choices for the Oval Office, but never had the opportunity, but their legacy needs to be honored and remembered.

Experience, Not Age, Should Rule In Government, After Donald Trump

As a result of the disaster that is Donald Trump, it is urgent that Americans elect the next President based on solid experience in government.

We do not need or want anyone who has spent his life in business alone.

We also should not elect anyone who has not had substantial experience in government, although one is not putting a specific number of years of experience as the requirement.

One thing is clear:  Age cannot be a factor, as is now being proved by the masterful leadership of future and past Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  She has demonstrated that she is the right person for the times, but has also agreed that she will leave no later than four years, and give the younger generation an opportunity to gain experience in lower level leadership, so as to take over when she and the other veteran Democratic leaders, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, leave no later than 2022.

What is needed is proof of skill in government policy making, and if it is determined that Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders, or Michael Bloomberg, or John Kerry, or even Jerry Brown is the “right” person, then we simply have to insure that his running mate for Vice President is someone, male or female, who is fully equipped to take over if anything happens to the President who might have reached his 80s in age.

It might also be wise for any of these soon to be octogenarians to make a pledge not to seek a second term, and by choosing a Vice Presidential nominee, be grooming such person for the succession if needed during the term, or for after that term, although, obviously, others could challenge the Vice President for election in the next term.

If, on the other hand, we move toward much younger leadership, let us be certain that such younger nominees have enough experience, vision, and goals to make such person an appropriate President of the United States.

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Rumors That Jerry Brown Will Announce For A Fourth Run At Being President, After 1976, 1980, 1992 Despite Being 82 In 2020

MSNBC will be having an hour presentation on Sunday evening about soon retiring Governor Jerry Brown of California, who has been on the political scene for a half century, and now at age 80 this past April, seems to be at the end of his public career.

Or is he?

Rumors are flying, and supposedly will be addressed on Sunday evening, that Brown is considering a fourth run at the White House, which he ran for in Democratic primaries against Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980, and against Bill Clinton in 1992.

Brown has had an amazing career as four time Governor of the Golden State from 1975-1983 and 2011-2019, along with being Oakland Mayor from 1999-2007 and California Attorney General from 2007-2011. Brown had the only defeat of his career when he tried for the US Senate in 1982, and if he had been elected, one can imagine he would still be in the Senate, running for his seventh term after what would have been 36 years in that upper chamber.

As Governor the past eight years, Brown has led the fight for the environment, for immigration, and against the Trump agenda during the past two years, and he seems unlikely to be quiet in the future, whether he runs for President in 2020 or not.

Brown has had his naysayers, but also his supporters over the years, and were he to announce for President for a fourth time, he would be the oldest of a number of potential candidates who would reach their 80s in the next Presidential term, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, and John Kerry.

One thing seems clear, that at least two future octogenarians, Biden and Sanders, will definitely announce for President, with Bloomberg, Kerry, and Brown also potentially joining the fray.