John Quincy Adams

C-Span Presidential Historians Survey 2021 Announced Today!

For all Presidential followers, including scholars and specialists in the American Presidency and Presidential history, today is a great day, as C-Span announced its Presidential Historians Survey results for 2021!

It will take time to analyze the results, but a few points stand out:

Barack Obama went up from 12th to 10th in the overall listings.

Donald Trump ended up tied for 42nd out of 44, with Franklin Pierce, with only James Buchanan at 44 and Andrew Johnson at 43 below him.

Woodrow Wilson slipped from 11th to 13th as he continues to decline in overall rankings.

Andrew Jackson slipped dramatically from 18th to 22nd, and is now just in the middle of the overall rankings.

James K. Polk slipped from 14th to 18th, a continued decline in overall rankings.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams both rose four points from earlier rankings.

Bill Clinton dropped from 15th to 19th, a dramatic decline after having risen in earlier rankings.

Jimmy Carter ended up tied with James A. Garfield at 26th, and in the “battle” of Gerald Ford vs Carter, Carter came out ahead for the third time in the four C-Span surveys, in 2000, 2008 along with 2021, with Ford ahead in 2017.

Donald Trump, The Republican Party, And Two “Big Lies”!

Donald Trump lost the national popular vote twice, by massive margins, much more than George W. Bush in 2000, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and John Quincy Adams in 1824.

Together, he lost by nearly 10 million votes–2.85 million in 2016, and 7.1 million in 2020.

The “Big Lie” is that Donald Trump won EITHER time, 2016 and 2020.

It is clear that the Russians and Vladimir Putin helped to fix the election in 2016 in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, giving Trump the victory by a combined total of about 78,000 votes.

In 2020, Trump lost much more massively, even in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, along with Georgia and Arizona, but his party is perpetuating a myth that helped to provoke the Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021, for which Donald Trump should be held accountable and be in prison!

Conservatism and the Republican Party are being destroyed, and the idea that nearly 70 percent of Republicans in polls believe the “Big Lie”, and refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden won the Presidency is beyond any sense of reality. This undermines American democracy, rule of law, and respect for the Constitution.

The Republican Party officeholders, with the exception of a small group, including Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, Adam Kinzinger, Lisa Murkowski, and a few others, has become a Fascist Party, a right wing Populist Party, a worshipper of Donald Trump, as if he is their Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini, unwilling or unable to accept the truth, and living in an alternate reality!

Joe Biden Victory Looking More Impressive As Vote Count Has Reached 99 Percent!

Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the Presidential Election of 2020 looks more impressive by the day, and now, 99 percent of the vote is in, and Biden has 80.1 million votes to Trump’s 73.9 million votes, so a lead in popular votes of 6.2 million!

Assuming the same division of votes in the remaining one percent not yet tabulated, the final vote should be 80.9 million votes for Biden, and 74.6 million votes for Trump, a margin of 6.3 million votes.

This is nearly two and a half times the popular vote lead of 2.85 million that Hillary Clinton had over Donald Trump in 2016, and it makes Trump on the losing side of the popular vote in the two elections by a total of 9.1 million!

So Trump in the popular vote was twice a massive loser, with George W. Bush the loser in 2000 by 540,000; Rutherford Hayes in 1876 the loser by about 250,000; Benjamin Harrison the loser in 1888 by about 90,000; and John Quincy Adams the loser in 1824 by about 38,000.

And Joe Biden won the Sun Belt states of Arizona and Georgia, and retook the Midwest states that Hillary Clinton lost by small margins in 2016—Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin!

When Donald Trump won in 2016, he declared it a landslide with 306-232 in the Electoral College, but now that Joe Biden has accomplished the same electoral vote by taking five states from Biden, suddenly it is sore loser behavior, very infantile, on the part of Donald Trump, but the plans for the inauguration and setting up of the government over the next 53 days will continue to move forward!

Trump may never concede, but it does not matter, and only makes him look terrible in the eyes of history. And he may not show up at the Inauguration, which only John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829, and Andrew Johnson in 1869 failed to do!

And let us be honest, who cares if Trump shows up or acts civil, since that is NOT his nature, and his presence would actually besmirch the festivities, as we finally have dignity, decency, competence, knowledge, compassion and empathy back in the White House, which is sorely needed after the nightmare disaster of the corrupt Trump regime!

Suddenly, Age And Experience Are Positives In A Time Of Turmoil

Suddenly, age and experience are positives in a time of turmoil.

Joe Biden has had the most elected government experience of any President in American history, a total of 44 years, including 36 as a US Senator, 18th longest in history, and 8 years as an exceptional Vice President to Barack Obama, totally engaged, and the last person in the room with his President, similar to Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter.

Only John Quincy Adams has more total government experience, with 49 years, with 23 years in appointments as ambassador to five nations, and Secretary of State.

Joe Biden has more foreign policy experience before becoming President than any modern President, except Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush, and one could argue that he has more of it, including being Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman. Nixon and Bush also served as Vice President for eight years each, but neither had the 36 years total of elected experience otherwise, with Nixon having six years and Bush having four years.

Biden also has more connections and contacts with foreign leaders and government agencies, with his long 44 year career than any modern President.

So being older, 78 in one week, is NOT necessarily a negative factor for Joe Biden, and it is ironic that his 44 years in government put up against Donald Trump’s ZERO government experience, the only President to have no government or military experience, makes Biden ever more exceptional.

We are fortunate to have Joe Biden becoming the 46 President of the United States in 68 days, as we move beyond the literal nightmare of Donald Trump’s Presidency!

Joe Biden The Sixth Vice President To Be Elected President

Joe Biden is the sixth Vice President to be elected President.

Four of the six were elected from the Vice Presidency:

John Adams after George Washington 1796
Thomas Jefferson after John Adams 1800
Martin Van Buren after Andrew Jackson 1836
George H. W. Bush after Ronald Reagan 1988

Richard Nixon was elected eight years after losing the Presidency in 1960, and was the first Vice President to be elected President in 132 years.

And now, Joe Biden was elected President four years after leaving the Vice Presidency, not attempting to run due to the death of his son, Beau Biden.

Many have speculated that had Beau Biden not passed away, that Joe Biden would have competed with Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination, and might have defeated her, and gone on to win over Donald Trump.

Sadly, if that had happened, the nation would have avoided the horrible tragedy of Donald Trump and the damage he has perpetrated.

But at least, now, Joe Biden can right much of the wrong of Donald Trump, and he will carry on the Barack Obama tradition!

Additionally, four of the nine Vice Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency due to the demise of the President, went on to be elected to a full term—Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, Harry Truman in 1948, and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

The other five Vice Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency were not elected on their own—John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Alan Arthur, and Gerald Ford, who succeeded Richard Nixon after his resignation, and was the only Vice President not elected to either the Vice Presidency or the Presidency, as he lost to Jimmy Carter for a full term in 1976.

The Tradition Of Gracious Losers Of Presidential Elections Not Being Accepted By Donald Trump!

The tradition in Presidential elections is for the loser to concede with grace and statesmanship.

One can forget about that with President Donald Trump, who is promoting conspiracy theories, and according to some sources, has every intention of refusing to cooperate on the transition, and staying in the White House on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, refusing to leave the building or attend the inauguration of his successor.

Other Presidents have refused to attend the inauguration of their successor, including John Adams when Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated in 1801; John Quincy Adams when Andrew Jackson was inaugurated in 1829; and Andrew Johnson when Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated in 1869.

We have seen in modern times all of the Presidential losers concede graciously—Richard Nixon in 1960, Barry Goldwater in 1964, Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern in 1972, Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H. W. Bush in 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Donald Trump is acting like a spoiled child, a privileged character, a prima donna, who clearly would love to be an authoritarian dictator and has been a threat for four years, but the American people have clearly made him aware that his “employment” in the White House for four more years is not desired, and that he has, effectively, been “fired” by a vast margin of about 5-6 million popular votes by the time all of the votes are counted!

Donald Trump A Combination Of George Wallace, Joseph McCarthy, John C. Calhoun: The Most Demagogic Figures In American Political History!

Donald Trump can be seen as a combination of three demagogues we have witnessed in American history.

He is George Wallace (1919-1998), the Alabama Governor, who ran for President in 1968, and gained five states and 46 electoral votes, preaching racism and white supremacy. Fortunately, he was a third party candidate, and not a serious possibility to win the White House.

He is Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), the Wisconsin Republican Senator, who promoted the Red Scare in the early 1950s, and had Roy Cohn as his chief aide. In later years, Roy Cohn was a friend and had an impact on young Donald Trump, and Trump now has a young aide, Stephen Miller, who is as nasty and mean spirited as Cohn was. Until McCarthy destroyed himself at the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, many saw him as a potential threat for the future, possibly even running for President.

He is also John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), the South Carolina Senator in the 19th century, who promoted secession, states rights, slavery, and white supremacy. As Vice President for nearly eight years under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, he was a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Although Calhoun died in 1850, many would later say that he helped to bring on the Civil War that began a decade after his death.

Eleven Presidents With Compassion And Empathy, And Eleven Presidents Who Had Neither

Since today is Presidents Day, this author and blogger is posting two entries after the one yesterday, to commemorate the holiday.

So here is the second entry today, and the third and last entry to celebrate Presidents Day!

The most important traits that any President should have, but many do not, is compassion and empathy.

There are Presidents who have compassion and empathy as very clear parts of their personalities, and there are those who have absolutely no such compassion or empathy, making them uncaring and harsh in personality.

A list of eleven Presidents WITH compassion and empathy would include the following in chronological order:

John Quincy Adams

Abraham Lincoln

James A. Garfield

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Jimmy Carter

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

Those eleven Presidents who most lacked compassion and empathy chronologically would include:

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

Andrew Jackson

John Tyler

Andrew Johnson

Woodrow Wilson

Herbert Hoover

Richard Nixon

Ronald Reagan

George W. Bush

Donald Trump

Debate and discussion on this and the earlier two entries is welcome!

The Twelve Smartest and Twelve Dumbest Presidents In American History

America has been fortunate in having a large number of smart, intelligent Presidents in its history.

This author would judge the twelve smartest Presidents, chronologically, to be as follows:

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

John Quincy Adams

Abraham Lincoln

James A. Garfield

Theodore Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

John F. Kennedy

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

Who would be the smartest of all? Probably a tie between Jefferson and John Quincy Adams!

And who are the 12 dumbest Presidents in chronological order?

Andrew Jackson

William Henry Harrison

Zachary Taylor

Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

Benjamin Harrison

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

George W. Bush

Donald Trump

And who is the dumbest President in American history? Probably a three way tie among Harding, George W. Bush, and Trump!

The Wealthiest And The Poorest Presidents

The American Presidents have varied greatly in wealth acquired or inherited in their lifetimes.

Some were born poor, such as Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, due to family circumstances, with Clinton and Nixon acquiring wealth in their lifetimes, but Johnson would still be the seventh poorest President at death, according to statistics.

Materials gathered by scholars have led to conclusions on the net worth of our 44 Presidents, including their post Presidential years.

Easily, at least by the knowledge we have now, Donald Trump is likely the wealthiest President, although subject to change by further Congressional investigation of Trump’s finances, sure to come in the 116th Congress by congressional subpoenas. By estimate, Trump is wealthier than all the other 43 men who have been President of the United States.

After Trump, probably John F. Kennedy, had he not been assassinated, would have inherited close to $1 billion later in his life.

Other than Trump and Kennedy, George Washington would be considered the wealthiest President, in modern terms, around $580 million.

Behind him would be Thomas Jefferson ($234 million); Theodore Roosevelt ($138 million); Andrew Jackson ($131 million); James Madison ($112 million); and Lyndon B. Johnson ($108 million), with all those numbers being estimates.

Other Presidents who had substantial estimated wealth would include Herbert Hoover ($82 million; Bill Clinton ($75 million); Franklin D. Roosevelt ($66 million); and John Tyler ($57 million). Clinton acquired most of his wealth post Presidency by speeches and authored books, and will likely rise much higher if he lives a long life.

At the other end of the scale, we had 13 Presidents who had $1 million or less wealth by all estimates, in 2016 dollars, including in ranked order:

William McKinley

Warren G. Harding

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Chester Alan Arthur

Woodrow Wilson

Calvin Coolidge

Harry Truman

Notice that the bulk of these Presidents served in the years from Buchanan to McKinley, the last half of the 19th century, a total of seven out of eleven Presidents.

The three Presidents from Wilson through Coolidge also are on this list, and Harry Truman ends up as the least prosperous President at his death, as compared to Andrew Johnson the poorest at birth.

Barack Obama is rated just below John Tyler at number 13 on the wealth list at an estimated $40 million, with potential over a long lifetime to become one of the top few wealthiest Presidents by speeches, books, and other activities due to the stature and prestige of being a former President in modern times.

Other Presidents are rated in the middle on wealth, such as George W. Bush at $39 million; George H. W. Bush at $26 million; John Quincy Adams at $23 million; John Adams at $21 million; Richard Nixon at $17 million; Ronald Reagan at $14 million; Dwight D. Eisenhower at $9 million; and Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at $8 million each.