John Kerry

Senator John McCain: Rest In Peace, You Did Your Country Well, And Will Be Well Remembered In The Annals Of American History!

One of the giant figures of the US Senate, a true “Lion of the Senate”, Arizona Senator John McCain, has left us as of last evening, and the nation is in deep mourning for his family, and for the loss to the nation by his passing.

Let me make it clear, that I did not vote for Senator McCain in 2008, but I have always had deep respect for him as a human being.

I did not always agree with his views on issues either, but I knew his viewpoints were sincere and based on his conservative values.

Ironically, McCain died on the same day that his good friend and also rival, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, passed away nine years ago.

McCain worked well across the aisle, and was particularly close with Democratic Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Joe Biden of Delaware, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, along with Ted Kennedy. McCain promoted campaign finance reform with Feingold, something we desperately need in 2018. And probably his closest friendship was with South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

He thought of creating a bipartisan Presidential ticket with Joe Lieberman, and who knows, if he had done so, would the Presidential Election of 2008 ended up differently?

He knew he had made many mistakes in his life, and did not deny that, but he was always a decent man, who while so many were attacking Sarah Palin in 2008 and ever since, he never said he had made a mistake in selecting her as his running mate, even though he certainly knew that was the case.

He fought bitterly with George W. Bush for the GOP nomination in 2000, and against Barack Obama for the Presidency in 2008, and often disagreed with both Presidents’ policies, but he asked both of them to give eulogies for him at his upcoming funeral.

At the same time, Donald Trump never showed any respect for McCain, and the suffering he went through as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years, and could not show any common decency toward McCain in his declining days. So rightfully, McCain ordered that Trump NOT attend his funeral, which was his right to assert that. For what Trump has done regarding McCain, as well as the innumerable sins Trump has visited toward everyone imaginable, the 45th President will pay the price in the after life, and his funeral one day will not have the deep mourning that we are witnessing for John McCain.

McCain will be best remembered for his defense of Barack Obama at that campaign rally in 2008, when that crazy woman was saying Obama was an Arab. This was a moment that stands out for the ages, when we need unity, and not racism and nativism.

Also, in his last appearance on the Senate floor, John McCain, who had voted against ObamaCare, saved ObamaCare from Donald Trump and the evil Republican leadership and membership, which wanted to destroy it in 2017, without any alternative for millions of Americans. That showed the true statesmanship of the Arizona Senator.

John McCain will go down in the annals of American history as one of the small number of US Senators who made a real difference in a positive way in the evolution of American history.

And unbelievably, his mother Roberta is still alive at past the half way point from 106 to 107 in age, making her one of a very small number of Americans still alive who were born in the year of the most dramatic election of the 20th century, 1912, when McCain’s favorite President, Theodore Roosevelt, ran as a “maverick” against President William Howard Taft. And McCain was proud to be called a “maverick”.

It seems likely that Cindy McCain, now a widow, will replace her husband by appointment for the next two years, and it is believed she is a moderate, and could have a dramatic effect on the Senate if she indeed moves toward shifting the momentum of the party in votes, whether the Republicans remain the majority, or end up in the minority in the next two years.

God bless John McCain, rest in peace, as you did your country well, and will be well remembered and honored in the annals of American history!

Is Our Future Leadership Our Past Contenders, And “Old” Leaders (Those Over 70 In 2020)?

At a time when many observers would say we need to look to a new generation of leadership for America. instead the potential for our past contenders or “old’ leaders to end up competing for the Presidency in 2020 is very clear.

On the Democratic side, we could have Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (age 79 in 2020); former Vice President Joe Biden (78 in 2020); former 2016 Presidential nominee and First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton (age 73 in 2020); and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (age 71 in 2020) all announcing for President.

Some rumors even put retiring California Governor Jerry Brown (82 in 2020); former 2004 Presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Senator, and former Secretary of State John Kerry (77 in 2020); and former 2000 Presidential nominee and former Vice President Al Gore (72 in 2020) also in the mix.

On the Republican side, we could have President Donald Trump (74 in 2020) and former 2012 Presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor, and future likely Utah Senator Mitt Romney (73 in 2020), announcing for President.

The question that arises is whether the voting population would be turned off to “Baby Boomers” and some born even before 1946, with Sanders, Biden, Brown and Kerry born between 1938 and 1943, being the competitors who make it to the final stage of the election campaign.

It is certainly likely that at least some of this above list is in the mix, but the likelihood still is that a Senator or Governor of a younger generation will be, at least, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2020, and a slight chance that such would be the case in the Republican Party.

Would Mitt Romney Work For Donald Trump As Secretary Of State?

The mere suggestion that Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, who vehemently opposed Donald Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, will be visiting with Trump, and might agree to be his Secretary of State, is mind blowing.

Romney is the most credible nominee for any post yet to be rumored to be a possible cabinet member for Trump, but it is hard to imagine that Romney would actually be offered such a position, or would agree to such appointment.

The two men are temperamentally exact opposites, and Romney ran his campaign in 2012 warning us how dangerous Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, were, while Donald Trump has praised Putin, and suggested a bromance with the Russian leader.

How would Romney reconcile that difference, and how would Trump do the same?

Romney would add some badly needed stature to the Trump cabinet, but what would he get out of it, other than being mistreated by a boss who would be looking forward to firing him, or forcing him to resign over policy differences?

How would Romney overcome National Security Adviser nominee Michael Flynn’s close association and impact on President Trump?

And why would Romney want to give up his close family activities, and spend, if he survived in office, the next four years doing the toughest job in the world, in regards to stress and constant travel, such as a million miles in four years, as occurred with Hillary Clinton, and close to that mileage, if not more, for John Kerry?

The Closest Presidential Elections In American History

The closest Presidential Elections in American history would be the following in chronological order since the introduction of popular vote in 1824:

Presidential Election of 1824—Andrew Jackson vs John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford

Presidential Election of 1876–Rutherford B. Hayes vs Samuel Tilden

Presidential Election of 1880–James A. Garfield vs Winfield Scott Hancock

Presidential Election of 1884–Grover Cleveland vs James G. Blaine

Presidential Election Of 1888–Benjamin Harrison vs Grover Cleveland

Presidential Election of 1892–Grover Cleveland vs Benjamin Harrison, James Weaver

Presidential Election of 1916–Woodrow Wilson vs Charles Evans Hughes

Presidential Election Of 1960–John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon

Presidential Election of 1976–Jimmy Carter vs Gerald Ford

Presidential Election of 2000–George W. Bush vs Al Gore, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan

Presidential Election of 2004–George W. Bush vs John Kerry

Early Florida Voting Returns: 53 Percent For Clinton And 28 Percent Republicans Voting For Clinton!

An astounding development emerged last night on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell show, with information about early voting in Florida, showing that 53 percent of early voters have supported Hillary Clinton, to Donald Trump’s 40 percent, a literal landslide!

But also, 28 percent of Republicans have voted for Hillary Clinton, as compared to 6 percent for John Kerry in 2004 and 9 percent for Barack Obama in 2008.

If this trend continues, Donald Trump is done, as he cannot win the Presidency if he loses Florida, and right now, he is losing in a massive landslide!

The feeling is developing that Hillary Clinton is on the road to an overwhelming landslide nationally, but still subject to revision.

After So Much Vice Presidential Speculation, New Names Show Up!

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are busy keeping us guessing as to who will be their Vice Presidential choices.

After so much speculation, it turns out, according to latest hints, that others not originally considered likely choices, are surging ahead.

So for the Republicans, Indiana Governor and former Congressman Mike Pence seems like the front runner, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions also becoming part of the discussion.

And for the Democrats, suddenly, Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack seems like a possible choice, with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland and Virginia Senator, former Governor, and former Mayor of Richmond Tim Kaine as other possible choices.

Compared to bigger names, such as Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie on the Republican side, or Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro on the Democratic side, these potential choices seem less exciting and dramatic, but that does not mean that there is not an argument for them.

Pence is less controversial than other VP choices for the Republicans, although he signed a bill against the civil rights of gays and lesbians in public accommodations that had to be changed under protest, and with many businesses canceling plans to expand into Indiana, and with him concerned about a gubernatorial race that looks very difficult to win. He is a hard right wing conservative Republican who the Christian right loves, which makes him unable to expand the base of the Republican Party. But Pence does not have a big mouth, and is not considered a bully, as Gingrich and Christie are.

Sessions is the typical Southern conservative very similar to past Southern Democrats up to the 1960s, very hard line on immigration, but the first US Senator to endorse Trump. He is not appealing personally as Pence is.

Tom Vilsack was actually considered on the short list for VP for John Kerry in 2004 and for Hillary Clinton, had she won the nomination of the Democrats in 2008, and is a pleasant enough fellow, and is from a “swing” state.

Tom Perez is Hispanic, Dominican heritage, and also very well liked by Hillary Clinton, and a very effective Secretary of Labor for Barack Obama.

Both Vilsack and Perez as cabinet members do not endanger any Senate seats, which is a plus for both of them.

Kaine was on the short list for VP in 2008, and is well liked, and has been Mayor of Richmond, as well as Governor and Senator, and also Democratic National Chairman, and also well liked by Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, with a Democratic governor in Virginia, an appointment to replace him would be a Democrat. And to top it off, Kaine speaks perfect Spanish, as this blogger has seen on the news reports, a very impressive plus, considering that 55 million Americans, out of 320 million speak or are od Spanish origin.

Trying to guess the ultimate choices for Vice President has become more complex and difficult, so we shall have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to witness what transpires!

If Hillary Clinton Loses Iowa Caucuses, Full Panic Mode Is In Effect, And Joe Biden, John Kerry, Or Al Gore Might Enter Presidential Race!

If Hillary Clinton loses the Iowa Caucuses tonight, full panic mode is in effect, and one of the following might enter the Presidential race belatedly:

Vice President Joe Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry; Former Vice President Al Gore

It is claimed that Hillary will not be in panic mode if she loses tonight, but to lose tonight AND New Hampshire next week, if it happens, will be a major blow no matter what future states might do!

Bernie Sanders has great ideas, but despite polls that show him beating Donald Trump and other Republicans, it is hard to believe that will happen, as Sanders’ background as a democratic Socialist will be made to look as if he is a Communist, with the hammer and sickle emblem to be planted on all commercials and in all speeches by Trump or any other GOP Presidential nominee!

Sanders is, sadly, reminiscent of South Dakota Senator George McGovern, a wonderful human being with great ideas, who defeated Establishment favorite Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine in 1972, and then was smashed by a landslide of epic proportions, 49 states, by flawed President Richard Nixon, soon forced out of the Presidency due to the Watergate scandal.  But the Nixon campaign was able to make McGovern out to be an extreme leftist, and the Democrats went into eclipse, and moderation took over with Jimmy Carter in 1976.

It is very sad, but already Trump is labeling Sanders a Communist, and for the ignorant population of much of America, that will be enough to make it impossible for Sanders to win the White House!

And as said before many times, the Supreme Court future is at stake, so we may yet see other Democrats enter the race in the near future, IF Hillary has major troubles in the next eight days!

The Iran Nuclear Deal And Release Of Five Hostages Held By Iran: Diplomacy and Negotiation Work!

Great news today, with the announcement of the release of five hostages held by Iran, as part of the Nuclear Deal, which is about to be judged accomplished by the International Atomic Energy Agency!

The Republicans will now suffer, rightfully, for their bombast and bulliness, and declaration that they want a war with Iran, one of the most heavily populated nations in the world, and an area twice that of Iraq!

It is easy for those who have never gone to war to send others to war, particularly those of the working class and poor, who often have no other means to acquire a decent education and alternatives to military service.

That is not to condemn those who sacrifice for America, but simply the reality that the sons and daughters of the upper middle class and the wealthy do NOT serve in wartime in modern times, without a draft!

This proves that serious and delicate diplomacy DOES work, that negotiation and patience CAN be successful, if one has patience, and the desire to avoid war that settles nothing!

Kudos to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry and others in the administration, who have taken flak that was unconscionable, but have triumphed over the Republican war machine and, also, the constant promotion of war by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the past decade, and his inexcusable interference in American politics, both in the Presidential Election of 2012 and the upcoming Presidential Election of 2016, along with the decision to defy President Obama and appear before a joint session of a Republican controlled Congress in 2015!

Donald Trump: Total Phony, Liar, And “Spoiled Child”! An Authoritarian Demagogue In The Making!

Donald Trump has revealed himself as being a total phony and liar, which makes him no different than some of the politicians he deplores.

Trump tells us how terrible Hillary and Bill Clinton are, what failures they were and are in one moment, but eight years ago he raved about Hillary and Bill Clinton as very smart, very accomplished, very nice people.

Trump tells us that Bill Clinton is a sexist, while demonstrating just how much of a sexist he is himself!  Trump talks about the scandals around Bill Clinton, while having been divorced two times and married three times, something we have never seen in the White House before, with the one exception of Ronald Reagan, who was divorced once and married twice, but had no tone of scandal around it.  Even Adlai Stevenson, Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain were only divorced once, and except for Stevenson who never remarried, married only twice!

Trump tells us how wages are too high, and then tells us that, like Bernie Sanders (who is seen as attracting some voters in New Hampshire by his condemnation of low wages and the power of the top one percent), that wages are too low!

Trump trashes the leading newspapers in Iowa (Des Moines Register) and New Hampshire (New Hampshire Union Leader) because they denounce his lies and phoniness, and endorse someone else, acting like a spoiled child, which he is and was, unable to take any criticism.  It makes one wonder how he would deal with the news media, since he attacks them in a manner unprecedented by any President or Presidential candidate in American history!

Trump is a danger to American democracy, a true Fascist authoritarian figure, who draws support from blue collar working class white men, who want to blame the problems in their lives on Mexicans, Muslims, women, immigrants, and people of other minority backgrounds.  These disillusioned citizens are being misled by demagoguery of the most dangerous kind imaginable!

Tom Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC News, has called Trump Hitler like in his appeal to voters, a very dangerous man, and for Brokaw to do that is a sign of how stable, intelligent people are truly worried about a possible Trump candidacy!

 

The Iowa Caucuses: Historically Insignificant, And Worth Ignoring!

We have seen the state of Iowa getting an inordinate amount of attention in the Presidential Election race of 2016, as we have seen since 1976. But when one looks at history, we should understand that the Iowa Caucuses are a pure waste of time, that  Iowa is not representative of the nation, and the smart candidate would not put so much effort into the Hawkeye state!

The idea of a Presidential caucus is really very anti democratic, and a primary is a much better representation of the true feelings of the population of a state.  Ideally, ALL states should have primaries, not caucuses.

But since Iowa has a Presidential caucus, the facts are that much  of the time, it has had little or no effect on the Presidential elections.

The record shows that four out of ten times, the Republican caucus in Iowa has chosen a candidate who did not go on to be the GOP nominee–George H. W. Bush in 1980, Bob Dole in 1988, Mike Huckabee in 2008, and Rick Santorum in 2012.  Three other times, the incumbent President had no opposition–Ronald Reagan in 1984, George H. W. Bush in 1992, and George W. Bush in 2004.  And in 1976, in a contested caucus, President Gerald Ford edged out over Ronald Reagan.  Only in 1996 and 200 were the candidates who won the nomination (Bob Dole and George W. Bush) able to win the Iowa Caucuses.  And only the second Bush winning Iowa in 2000 led to the Presidency!

The Democrats have had the Iowa Caucuses be more successful, with the nominee of the party being the winner of the Caucuses seven out of ten times, all but 1976, with “Uncommitted” winning; Dick Gephardt in 1988, and Tom Harkin in 1992, but realizing that Gephardt was from neighboring Missouri, and Harkin was an Iowa ‘favorite son”!  Jimmy Carter in 1980, Bill Clinton in 1996, and Barack Obama in 2012 all won second term support, with Walter Mondale, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama winning contested primaries when they ran in 1984, 2000, 2004 and 2008 respectively.  And only Obama winning Iowa in 2008 led to the Presidency!

The conclusion is that it really does not matter who wins Iowa as only two Presidents winning Iowa have gone on directly to become President, and that New Hampshire’s Primary is much more accurate and representative in the long run of history as to who will be the party nominees!