Jon Huntsman

The Achilles Heel Of The Republicans Has Emerged: Lack Of Foreign Policy Knowledge Or Expertise!

It used to be that the Republican Party had candidates who had a reputation for foreign policy expertise, including Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush.

Now, we have Rand Paul, representing the isolationist viewpoint; and the viewpoint of the neoconservatives, which includes just about everyone else, all who have apparently learned nothing from the disastrous policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  They want to commit US military forces to another war, but of course give not a care to veterans once they come home from war, often wounded physically and mentally by their experience.

And some have not a clue as to what is going on in foreign policy, demonstrating unbelievable ignorance, particularly Dr. Benjamin Carson and Donald Trump.

As this blogger has stated many times in the past few years, in the 2012 election cycle, ONLY Jon Huntsman had any legitimate background in foreign policy; and in the 2016 election cycle, only John Kasich demonstrates any experience in foreign policy, although inferior to that of Huntsman.

One may criticize Barack Obama in some areas of foreign policy, but his top aides and advisers on this have included Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry.  Many would criticize all of them, but in comparison to the Republican camp, they are people of experience and awareness of the complex world we live in!

When it comes to foreign policy, this time there is no doubt that the Democrats with Hillary Clinton will emerge superior in knowledge, experience, and competence!

The Republican “Establishment”: Can It Overcome Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, And Carly Fiorina?

It has been more than 100 days now of the Donald Trump phenomenon, and for the first time, Donald Trump is not first, ending up second behind Dr. Benjamin Carson, in an Iowa public opinion poll.  It seems as if the Trump surge may be starting to fray at the edges.

But the fact that Dr. Benjamin Carson is now ahead of Trump in Iowa, and the fact that Carly Fiorina, while weaker in polls than she was, is also still in the top few in any poll, one has to wonder will the Republican “Establishment”, which has always controlled the party nomination, except for Barry Goldwater a half century ago, be able to recover and choose the nominee of their party?
The fact that Texas Senator Ted Cruz is also doing better in the polls worries the “Establishment”, as Cruz is despised by John McCain, Mitt Romney, and now, even former President George W. Bush, who so stated that “I do not like that guy” at a fundraiser for his brother Jeb Bush, who is floundering badly in the polls, and has cut his campaign staff and spending, signs of a dying campaign.

But with Jeb Bush in trouble, and Chris Christie not improving his situation either, and predicted by many to be on his way out of the race soon, who is there the “Establishment” can have confidence in?   It comes down to a man who despite some stupid statements and low ratings in the polls still seems viable for some reason, and could run a decent campaign against Hillary Clinton, and at least compete in debates and in experience.

That is Ohio Governor John Kasich, with 18 years in the House of Representatives and in his second term as Governor, with a high public opinion rating, and slowly rising in New Hampshire, with little chance in the Iowa caucuses.

This blogger has said before that John Kasich is the best Republican in the race, although he is no J0n Huntsman, who competed in 2012, and is still the best Republican available to be President, although he is not running, and instead is promoting the “No Labels” movement for a bipartisan choice that could unite Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Ohio is the crucial state, as anyone who studies Presidential election history is well aware of, and were Kasich to combine with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a “new generation” and telegenic figure from the other crucial state of Florida, a man who has some connection to the Establishment, but a foot in the camp of the challengers to the Establishment as well, it would be by far the best general election ticket.

Nobody in their right mind can think that Trump, Carson or Fiorina could actually win the election, but a Kasich-Rubio ticket, or even as some suggest, a Rubio-Kasich ticket of two men a generation apart in age as Barack Obama and Joe Biden are, with the “elder statesman” in the supporting role, COULD have a shot at winning over Hillary Clinton, although the odds are clearly, ultimately, against that scenario for the GOP!





Foreign Policy Experience Mediocre For Republican Party Candidates: A Danger For America!

It is clear that foreign policy is going to be a crucial part of the Presidential Election of 2016.

When one looks at the Republican candidates for the Presidency, it is very alarming how little background and experience the group has.

Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Carly Fiorina, the “Non Officeholders”, have ZERO experience, and just because one is in the business world or is a medical doctor, is NOT qualifications for the Presidency!

Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore were or are  Governors and have no experience in foreign policy. but love to act like bullies.

Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have no understanding of the intracacies of American foreign policy, with one so hawkish in his rhetoric that he is literally scary, and the other being totally naive about the world with his overly dovish views.

Former Senator Rick Santorum has no skills to understand the world scene, and Lindsey Graham, while more knowledgeable on foreign policy, is famous for wanting troops everywhere, as he is a super hawk!

Senator Marco Rubio is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which helps his credentials, but he lacks a serious understanding of world affairs.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the plus of being related to his dad, who was a foreign policy specialist, but he is more inclined to follow the disastrous policies of his brother, George W. Bush.

John Kasich has the most varied career, and gained foreign policy knowledge while in the House of Representatives for 18 years, and has a more balanced view of the world than any other potential nominee, but he does not have the expertise of Jon Huntsman, who was a potential nominee in 2012 and was Ambassador to China.

The fact is that NO Republican matches the background of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, pure and simple!


“No Labels” Convention Being Held Monday In New Hampshire To Promote Bipartisanship

Today, a convention under the name “No Labels Problem Solver Convention”  is being held in New Hampshire, promoted by former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman and former Democrat and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

The convention expects a thousand or more participants, including eight Presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Donald Trump and George Pataki.

The purpose is to promote bipartisanship, the dealing with important issues in a way that brings progress, rather than the constant deadlock now prevailing in our political system on the national level.

The convention is gaining attention of the news media, and it is hoped that it will lead to a new attitude that will benefit the nation at large.

The goals include the creation of 25 million new jobs over the next decade; making American energy secure by 2024; protecting Social Security and Medicare for the next 75 years; and balancing the federal budget by 2030.

This is the time to unite around a future which avoids confrontational scenes like we are now seeing from the so called “Freedom Caucus” of Republicans in the House of Representatives!

The Best Republican In 2012: Jon Huntsman! The Best Republican In 2016: John Kasich! But Not An Endorsement!

There is no debate that former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman was the best Republican in the Presidential campaign of 2012. He had the best credentials, including real foreign policy expertise, and unwillingness to take crazy, extremist stands on issues or to make nutty statements. Of course, it got him nowhere, and he gave up running for President again long ago!

Now in 2016, there is no question that out of a horrible group of potential Republican Presidential candidates that Ohio Governor and former House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich is easily the best potential nominee in 2016.

Kasich was very late in announcing, doing so only this week, and being ignored in all of the hype about Donald Trump, who has taken all of the oxygen out of the room with his rantings and ravings, and insults against anyone who criticizes him, whether fellow Republican contenders or the news media.

But Kasich is the most experienced of all of the potential GOP nominees, and has avoided coming across as a right wing extremist in his statements. He is clearly a conservative, but considered in the “mainstream”, whatever that means.

No one is saying, certainly not this blogger, that he is about to vote for John Kasich if he was the GOP nominee.

And no one is saying that everything he has said and done is endorsed or acceptable. He has shortcomings as everyone else does, but in comparison, he comes across as the best alternative IF the Republicans were to win the Presidential Election of 2016. His stands on immigration, education, and Medicaid make him better than any alternative the Republicans have.

In many ways, John Kasich is the alternative to Jeb Bush, to whom he has been compared, but has much more experience than Bush has had, and avoids the connection to the Bush name.

And lately, Jeb Bush has been making horrible statements of his views, which seem to be catering to the Tea Party crowd, while Kasich so far is seen as less willing to cater.

Having said that, Kasich has just made some terrible statements about climate change (that nothing should be done as it is God’s will) and about military intervention in the Middle East, making one worry that he could be linking up with the neoconservatives, who took us into the Iraq War, similar in that regard to Jeb Bush.

So again, this is not an endorsement, but simply recognition that were the nation forced to accept a Republican President, John Kasich is the best of a terrible crop of candidates!

Serious Republican Presidential Contenders: Part II—The Importance Of Florida And Ohio

We have, so far, examined 13 of the 16 Republican Presidential contenders, most of whom could be considered a “Clown Bus”!

Only four of the 16 are serious contenders, and so far we have looked at Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, who President Obama would like to see as the nominee of the opposition party, as he believes Walker’s terrible economic record, his anti labor stance, and his dramatic attack on the University of Wisconsin budget, along with the connection to the Koch Brothers, would make him easy to defeat.

And then there are the three remaining contenders, from crucial swing states Florida and Ohio, so arguably the three best primed to have a real chance to win the Presidency.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother and son of two earlier Presidents named Bush, comes across as more moderate, more mainstream than just about any other contender, but he had a mixed record as Florida Governor, and has been out of office for ten years by 2016, and last ran 14 years ago by 2016. He is, certainly, seen as a man among boys, but he also is too close to the neoconservatives who took us into endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also exhaustion at having a third President Bush, after the disastrous Presidency of his brother, George W. Bush.

Then we have the youthful, good looking, charismatic Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is Cuban American, but much more appealing and less extreme than fellow Cuban American Ted Cruz of Texas. But Rubio has come across often as not too bright; has distorted the story of his parents leaving Cuba to make it seem as if it happened under Fidel Castro, when it happened two years earlier; has come across as having no guts on immigration reform; and has had issues with his finances and his connections with Norman Bramam, a South Florida auto dealer and billionaire. Some see him as the equivalent of a Republican Barack Obama or John F. Kennedy, but that is pure illusion.

And then we have the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who had 18 years in the House of Representatives, and was House Budget Committee Chairman, and has accepted Medicaid under ObamaCare as Governor of Ohio since 2011. He is very personable, engaging, and experienced, including recently, in a way that no other GOP contender can match him. And he comes from the crucial swing state of Ohio, more crucial than Florida, another swing state. And why is Ohio more important than Ohio? The answer is that every single Republican President from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush has won Ohio, so it is an essential state on the road to victory.

While all three of the above are serious contenders for the White House, it is clear that John Kasich would be the strongest, most competitive nominee imaginable, similar to what Jon Huntsman was in 2012. But that is precisely why the Republicans, almost certainly, will NOT select Kasich.

In any case, the Republican Party is on the road to defeat for the White House, and Donald Trump only further complicates that whole situation.

Many Republican Presidential Possibilities Are Totally Delusional, And Need To Drop Out Or Not Enter, As They Are Harming The GOP!

Face the facts: Many of the Republican Presidential possibilities are totally delusional, and have no chance to be the Republican nominee or President of the United States!

They need to get out of the race, or not enter, as they are harming the GOP, and making the party the laughing stock of the nation and of the party’s history!

Those announced candidates who need to drop out are: Carly Fiorina and Dr. Benjamin Carson, who together have ZERO government experience, and we are not about to elect a President who has no concept of government, other than what he or she reads in the newspapers or sees on cable. Being a corporate leader or a medical doctor, with no other experience, is disqualifying on its head!

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has gone out of his way to divide the American people and promote hate in the name of religion, and has no chance to win a national election.

The following unannounced possible Presidential candidates also need to decide NOT to enter the race:

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who have governed their states in a horrific and corrupt manner, undermining the needs of the population of their states, with Perry indicted and Christie facing the threat of an indictment.

Businessman Donald Trump, who has no ability to govern, again having never served in government, and whose mouth gets him into trouble daily.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who also offers nothing positive to the race except his own nuttiness and divisiveness, and has zero chance to be the nominee.

United States Senators may be loony and extreme, but they do less harm than Governors who have failed their state populations and led corrupt governments, as is the case with Jindal, Christie and Perry.

So who is left in the race who seems legitimate to run, although most will never win a national election?

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; Senator Marco Rubio of Florida; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Ohio Governor John Kasich; and for good measure although it seems he will not run, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman!

This makes for a reasonable number of candidates as seven to eight who have serious potential, and elimination of eight others who are going nowhere in the Presidential race, and should stop wasting our time.

And anyone else, such as Indiana Governor Mike Pence and former New York Governor George Pataki–just forget it! Do not waste our time and yours!

Vast Age Differences Of Presidential Opponents In Modern American History

It has become a reality that in many Presidential elections, the age difference between the two competing Presidential contenders is vast.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was 20 years older than Thomas E. Dewey in the Presidential Election Of 1944.

Harry Truman was 18 years older than Thomas E. Dewey in the Presidential Election of 1948.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was 10 years older than Adlai Stevenson in the Presidential Elections of 1952 and 1956.

Richard Nixon was 9 and a half years older than George McGovern in the Presidential Election of 1972.

Gerald Ford was 11 years older than Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Election of 1976.

Ronald Reagan was 13 years older than Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Election of 1980.

Ronald Reagan was 17 years older than Walter Mondale in the Presidential Election of 1984.

George H. W. Bush was 8 years older than Michael Dukakis in the Presidential Election of 1988.

George H. W. Bush was 22 years older than Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election Of 1992.

Bob Dole was 23 years older than Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election Of 1996.

John McCain was 25 years older than Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2008.

Mitt Romney was 14 years older than Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2012.

Now in 2016, we are very likely to have a vast difference in age between the two major party nominees, assuming Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Jim Webb is the Democratic nominee. But 11 of the 13 elections mentioned, the Republican nominee was the much older candidate, but that is likely to be different this time.

If Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie or Scott Walker is the Republican nominee, the difference will be vast, as much as 24 or more years in some of these cases. All of these six were born later than Barack Obama, and a few others, including Rick Santorum. Mike Pence or Jon Huntsman, all born before Obama but still have a double digit age difference from the various Democrats mentioned above.

So far, eight times, the older nominee for President won, and five times, the younger nominee for President won. So the question is what will happen in 2016!

The Best Hope For The Republican Party For 2016: Governor John Kasich Of Ohio!

It is becoming very clear that the best hope for the Republican Party to regain the White House in 2016 is NOT Jeb Bush, is NOT Chris Christie, is NOT Rand Paul, is NOT Scott Walker and is NOT anyone else being considered other than the sitting Governor of Ohio, John Kasich.

Of all of the potential GOP candidates for the Presidency, it is John Kasich who has the most distinguished record of accomplishments, who has made very few flubs or blunders, who has avoided making stupid statements up to the present, who has come across as a serious possibility from the state that is the ultimate “swing” state, Ohio.

NO Republican President has won office without winning Ohio, and from 1868 to 1923, there were SIX Republican Presidents from Ohio—Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

The Republican National Convention will be in Cleveland, and what could be more dramatic than nominating the sitting Governor of Ohio in Ohio?

Kasich has the most years of experience of anyone on the Republican side, having 18 years in Congress, and risen to the Chairmanship of the House Budget Committee, before leaving Congress, being an anchor for awhile on Fox News Channel, then working on Wall Street, before winning two terms as Governor of the “Buckeye” state.

No one is trying to claim that Kasich has made no mistakes, but compared to everyone else in the race, Kasich is the highest quality. While in Congress, he supported the Brady Assault Weapons Ban legislation and angered the National Rifle Association. He angered Tea Party groups by accepting Medicaid expansion, one of a very few Republican governors who have done that.

Kasich has worked against abortion rights, and has been shown to be anti union, typical of Republicans on the other hand, but he has also come across as an independent guy, who some have said has been influenced by the fact that his parents, killed tragically in an auto accident, were Democrats.

Kasich was considered as Bob Dole’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1996 but Jack Kemp instead was the choice of the Republican Presidential nominee. In 1999, he considered a Presidential candidacy but dropped out and endorsed George W. Bush. He could have stayed on in his Congressional seat and easily retained it, but decided after 18 years, it was time to move on. Had Dole picked him, he would have been only 44, and had he had a more serious Presidential bid in 2000, he would have been 48. Now he will be 64 in 2016, still young enough to be vibrant!

Kasich is also a reasonable man, a pleasant man, and avoids the image of arrogance and elitism that so many other Republicans exude. One can imagine a President Kasich, and if forced to do that, would be better able to live with it, as he is not a Tea Party Movement guy, not a Religious Right guy, not a libertarian! In fact, he is a bit of a skeptic about religion in politics, and has changed his religious views over his lifetime from Catholic to Anglican. He is in the mainstream of America, and is the best that the GOP has to offer, assuming former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman does not change his mind and decide to run after all!

Eleven Foreign Policy Presidential Elections In American History, And Now 2016!

America has had foreign policy affect eleven Presidential elections, overshadowing domestic policy issues. This has usually been centered about military intervention and wars. The list of foreign policy dominated Presidential elections follows:

1812—With the War of 1812 having begun, it became the major issue under President James Madison

1844—With the issue of Texas annexation a major issue, and with James K. Polk running on expansionism and “Manifest Destiny”, the issue of relations with Mexico became a major issue under John Tyler and Polk.

1848—With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the Mexican War under James K. Polk granting so much new territory to the United States, the issue of what to do with these territories became the major issue of the campaign.

1900—With the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish American War under William McKinley granting new territories to the United States, the issue of what do to with those territories reigned during the campaign, and the Filipino Insurrection was a hot issue as well.

1916–The issue of keeping America out of World War I dominated, with Woodrow Wilson campaigning on the fact that he had kept us out of the war.

1940—The issue of isolationism and World War II in Europe and Asia, and Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning on keeping us out of war, but offering some assistance to Great Britain, dominated the campaign.

1944—The fact that we were still in World War II, and what to do about the postwar world and the Soviet Union, were key issues of the campaign.

1952—The debate over what to do about the limited nature of the Korean War under Harry Truman was a major factor in this campaign which elected Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1968—The debate over the Vietnam War under Lyndon B. Johnson, and the resulting split in the Democratic Party, and Richard Nixon declaring he had a secret plan to end the war, dominated the discussion in the campaign.

2004—The Iraq War and Afghanistan War under George W. Bush dominated the discussion in this campaign, as September 11 transformed the issue of national security.

2008—The continued intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan became a major issue, along with the Great Recession emerging during the campaign, and benefited Barack Obama, who promised to end the war in Iraq and downgrade the war in Afghanistan.

Now 2016 seems likely to be centered much more than many people want over foreign policy, particularly the threat of Iran in the Middle East, along with the danger of ISIL (ISIS) Terrorism, and the growing menace of the Russian Federation under Vladamir Putin, overall adding to the image of growing threats to national security.

And in these circumstances, one needs a steady hand at the helm, and only Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have the experience and the judgment needed, along with Jon Huntsman, who, although listed by many as a long shot nominee for the Republicans, has indicated he is not a candidate. In any case, the Republicans are not smart enough to realize that the true treasure in their midst is Jon Huntsman!