Mitt Romney

Political Campaign Debates’ Impact On American History

Do political campaign debates matter?

Absolutely, and the first such case is Abraham Lincoln Vs. Stephen Douglas in the Illinois Senate race of 1858, which helped elevate Lincoln to the Presidency, although losing the Senate seat due to the Democrats controlling the state legislature, and choosing incumbent Democrat Douglas for the new term of office.

Since Presidential debates came about in 1960, and then revived starting in 1976, there have been moments when they really mattered, even if often boring, including:

1960–Richard Nixon sweating and looking tense, while John F. Kennedy smiled, looked tanned, was relaxed.

1976–Gerald Ford says Poland is a free nation, which helps to elect Jimmy Carter in close race.

1980–Ronald Reagan talks about the “Misery Index” and says “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”, and defeats Jimmy Carter.

1984—Ronald Reagan says he will not use age as an issue to show the “youth and inexperience” of opponent Walter Mondale, who he defeats.

1988—Vice Presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen tells opponent Dan Quayle that he is not another John F. Kennedy, and sets the image of Quayle for all time as an incompetent Vice President, and have no chance to be President when he decides to run in 1996.

1992—George H. W. Bush looks constantly at his watch, during the debate with Bill Clinton, who defeats him, and also Ross Perot.

2000–Al Gore walks over to George W. Bush as he answers question, comes across as a weird action, and also breathes deeply at Bush responses, making Gore seem haughty and condescending.

2008—Sarah Palin does an embarrassing performance in Vice Presidential debate with Joe Biden, harms John McCain campaign.

2012–In Republican Presidential candidate debates, Rick Perry cannot remember the three agencies of government he wishes to eliminate, which ends his candidacy.

2012—Joe Biden laughs at Paul Ryan statements in Vice Presidential debate, weakens Ryan image as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Also, political campaign debates draw attention to the race, and there will be many Presidential debates starting tonight for the Republicans, and in October for the Democrats.

Likelihood Of Oldest Presidential Candidate Race Ever In American History!

As the 2016 Presidential campaign heats up, it looks more and more likely that the two major party nominees will be among the oldest ever nominated or elected.

The Democrats have the following candidates who will be 64 or even beyond 70 as possible nominees:

Hillary Clinton 69
Joe Biden 74
Bernie Sanders 75
Jim Webb 70 (but nearly 71)
Lincoln Chafee 63 (but nearly 64)

The Republicans have the following candidates who will be 64 or beyond as possible nominees:

Jeb Bush 63 (but nearly 64)
Donald Trump 70
John Kasich 64
Rick Perry 66 (but nearly 67)
Jim Gilmore 67
George Pataki 71
Dr Benjamin Carson 65

Between the likely Democratic nominee and the likely Republican nominee, we can expect the oldest combination of Presidential candidates if one for each group above are the chosen nominees.

Right now, the Democratic nominee seems likely to be one of the top three on the list–Clinton, Biden or Sanders; and the Republican nominee likely to be one of the top three on that list—Bush, Trump, Kasich.

However, IF the Republican nominee turns out to be the younger candidates, such as Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, or Marco Rubio, we could have a bigger difference in age than we have rarely had, with only vast differences in age of William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and 1900; Franklin D. Roosevelt and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944; Harry Truman and Dewey in 1948; Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale in 1984; Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush in 1992; Clinton and Bob Dole in 1996; Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008; and Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012.

Note that in the cases of a much older and much younger opponents, the older candidate won with McKinley, FDR, Truman, and Reagan, but the younger candidate won with Clinton twice and Obama twice.

If Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee or Lindsey Graham were the GOP nominee, the average age of the two opponents would still be close to the highest in history, with their average age in the low 60s at inauguration.

Remember that the only Presidents to be 64 or older at inauguration were Ronald Reagan, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, George H. W. Bush, and Zachary Taylor.

The only other Presidents over the age of 60 at inauguration were:

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Andrew Jackson
John Adams
Gerald Ford
Harry Truman

So only 10 Presidents out of 43 were 60 or older when taking the oath, while now we are very likely to have both candidates over the age of 60, with 11 out of 17 Republican candidates being over 60, and 5 out of 6 (Martin O’Malley the exception) of the Democratic candidates over the age of 60.

So while we had a “new generation of leadership” three times in the past half century with John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, now we are almost certain to have an “old generation” of leadership coming to power on January 20, 2017.

July 30, 1965 To July 30, 2015: 50 Years Of Medicare!

Today is the 50the Anniversary of Medicare, finally brought about by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965.

An idea originally proposed by Theodore Roosevelt in his Progressive (Bull Moose) Party campaign of 1912; further conceptualized by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid 1930s, but thought to be moving too rapidly for Congress, when there was the fight over Social Security in 1935; and promoted by Harry Truman in his promotion of his Fair Deal, it was signed into law with former President Truman sitting next to Johnson at the Truman Museum and Library in Independence, Missouri.

Johnson accomplished what John F. Kennedy wanted to fulfill in his New Frontier agenda, but was unable to do because of the opposition of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills of Arkansas, but Johnson convinced Mills to move ahead, as part of LBJ’s great “wheeler dealer” abilities to promote his Great Society.

Medicare was a “God send” to millions of senior citizens, who no longer had to go into poverty as a result of medical and health issues, and it made the last years of the elderly a lot less stressful and worrisome.

Of course, the issue of cost overruns and corruption has arisen, and with people living longer, there is a long term problem in Medicare, but careful administration and some tax increases will manage to keep Medicare afloat for the long run, although present House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2012), wants to phase it out over time.

Many Republicans want this, but Democrats will fight tooth and nail to insure the continuation and financial stability of the greatest social program since Social Security, an essential part of the “safety net”, and part of the social justice agenda of liberals and progressives since the time of Theodore Roosevelt!

A Rare Moment Of Courage And True Leadership: Rick Perry Vs. Donald Trump

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, the longest serving in state history, and one of the longest serving Governors in American history with 14 years in office, has had his critics and naysayers, and still does, as he pursues, for the second time, the Republican nomination for President.

Perry made a fool of himself in the 2011 Republican debate, where he could not remember the third agency he wanted to shut down, and he was ridiculed ever after for that, and despite his being the front runner for a short time in that 2012 Presidential race, he collapsed quickly, and it was thought he would never again seek the Presidency.

But then, Perry bought impressive spectacles, and he looks better, and he has chosen to run again, claiming health issues were a factor in his poor performance at that embarrassing debate event.

Perry still seems like a lightweight in many ways, and seems to have little chance to be the Republican nominee.

But in his defense, Perry defended in state tuition to DREAM kids, young people who, technically, are not eligible to be citizens, defending what he had done in challenge to the mean spirit of Mitt Romney, who talked about “self deportation”, which really hurt his cause in 2012.

Now, Perry has been very strong in his denunciation of Donald Trump, for his racist and nativist attacks on Mexico and Mexican American immigrants, and has, courageously, spoken about the great contributions that Mexican immigrants and others from Latin America have brought to the United States.

Perry has improved his reputation by doing so, and despite his shortcomings and the high likelihood that he is going nowhere in the Presidential race, this is a time to commend him, praise him, and say he comes across, at the least, as a more decent man, a man of character, than many others, including his own state’s Senator Ted Cruz; Mike Huckabee; Rick Santourm; Bobby Jindal; and many in the Republican Party in the House of Representatives!

Former Senator Russ Feingold, In LaFollette Progressive Tradition, Attempting Return To Senate In 2016 Election!

Wisconsin, the home of LaFollette progressivism a century ago, and the home of many progressive leaders since “Fighting Bob” LaFollette became the most prominent progressive in America, has had difficult times recently with the election of Scott Walker as Governor and Ron Johnson as Senator, defeating Senator Russ Feingold, one of the finest public servants ever to grace Wisconsin government and the US Senate, in the 2010 midterm elections.

Between Congressman Paul Ryan being the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012 and being elevated to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman in 2015; and Governor Walker hoping to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016; along with the backward, regressive record of Senator Johnson, Wisconsin has been dealt a terrible hand, and it is time to move to return Wisconsin to its proud progressive tradition!

That can be accomplished by working to prevent Scott Walker from being the GOP Presidential nominee, and by bringing Russ Feingold back to the US Senate, kicking Ron Johnson out!

There is great hope for change, now that Feingold has decided to attempt a return to his Senate seat, which he honored with an outstanding record from 1993-2011!

Feingold can be part of the mission of the Democrats to return to control of the US Senate in the 2016 Congressional elections. He has been one of the most outstanding members of the US Senate in the past two decades, and his defeat was a major blow that helped to undermine any chance of Wisconsin continuing its traditional role as a state which led the nation in so many ways!

The Republican Presidential Circus—22 Potential Nominees May Compete In The 2016 Caucuses And Primaries!

The Republican Party is a true circus, with a new potential number of people announcing for President numbering TWENTY TWO—Yes, TWENTY TWO!

If that happens, the debates that will take place in the next year will be a true mockery, a true example of total loss of any respectability of the political process, and will insure that the Republican Party will go down to defeat, probably with a greater electoral vote loss than in 2012, and possibly, greater than 2008! The 206 electoral votes won by Mitt Romney and the 173 won by John McCain might be lower than either number!

The whole idea that TWENTY TWO possible candidates think they are qualified to be President is beyond any reason.

The traditional list that has been drawn up includes:

Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham

Former Senator Rick Santorum

Governors Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, Rick Snyder, John Kasich

Former Governors Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry

Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson

Former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina

Now add: former New York Governor George Pataki, Businessman Donald Trump, former UN Ambassador John Bolton; New York Congressman Peter King; former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore; former Maryland Governor Bob Erhlich

The potential for such chaos will totally turn off voters, all to the advantage of the Democratic Party!

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!

Five Years Of “ObamaCare” Successes, And Ted Cruz Is Now Applying To Be Covered!

It has been five years since “ObamaCare” became law, and it has been a massive success in so many ways!

And to top it off, its biggest critic, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the first announced Republican Presidential candidate, despite saying his goal is to repeal “every word” of the legislation, is now going on “ObamaCare” since his wife will be taking a leave of absence from her Wall Street job as he runs for President! This mirrors the complete hypocrisy of Cruz, all Republicans, and the conservative think tanks who have bitterly opposed the law since Day One.

President Barack Obama pointed out this week that “ObamaCare” is the Republican and conservative (Heritage Foundation) plan of 1993, in opposition to Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s more expansive health care plan. Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, the Republican leaders, who became, respectively, the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader after the midterm Congressional elections of 1994, endorsed the plan, and Mitt Romney adopted the basics of it when he brought about “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts in 2006. And yet, he refused to endorse “ObamaCare” despite the many similarities to his own state plan, and claimed it was not designed for national adoption, and only good in his state, total hypocrisy, which marked his constantly shifting and lying Presidential campaign in 2012!

The Affordable Care Act, the official name for “ObamaCare”, has done the following over the past five years:

130 million Americans cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

76 million Americans with private medical plans have received expanded access to free preventative services.

16.4 million Americans have gained health care coverage since the law passed, people who never had such coverage before now.

11.7 million people have signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace Plans in 2015.

9.4 million senior citizens have saved more than $11.5 billion on prescription drug costs since 2010.

5.7 million young adults under 26 have been able to have health care coverage under their parents’ plans.

And now, Ted Cruz and his family can be covered under a plan he has tried to destroy, and is still committed to destroying if he becomes President.

But that is not going to happen, as Ted Cruz is a Joseph McCarthy look alike and as much of a “bomb thrower” as the infamous leader of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s was, and has cost the government and taxpayers a loss of $24 million in the forced government shutdown in late 2011, a totally reckless act!

This man comes across as a total lunatic, and his dad is more extreme than him, the worst example of an nutty right wing Christian evangelical demagogue, who preaches hate and division, rather than the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the fact that Cruz had a captive audience of students at Liberty University, who were forced to attend his Presidential announcement, or be forced to pay $10 to the university, is totally mind boggling!

The true nature of Ted Cruz is shown by his willingness to accept “ObamaCare” while trying to smother it for the past five years, not caring about the health care and lives of millions of Americans!

Nixon, Bush Domination Of Republican Party 1952-2016: Unprecedented In American History!

It is truly amazing how two names–Nixon and Bush—have so dominated the Republican Party over the past two thirds of a century from 1952-2016.

If one had to bet right now on who the GOP Presidential nominee will be in 2016, it clearly would be Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, who is raking up large amounts of money to win the funding race for the Republican Party.

Were that to happen, it would mark the SEVENTH time that a Bush family member was on the national ballot for the Republican Party since 1980—seven out of ten potential times—four times for George H. W. Bush, twice as Vice Presidential nominee, and twice as Presidential nominee—two times for his son George W. Bush, as Presidential nominee—and now Jeb as potential Presidential nominee in 2016.

Additionally, Richard Nixon was on the national ballot five times—twice as Vice Presidential nominee, and three times as Presidential nominee.

Only one other person, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt managed to be on the national ballot five times–as Vice Presidential nominee in 1920 and losing, and as Presidential nominee four times and winning in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944.

Remember that the Bush name has been triumphant each time till now, except 1992, and the Nixon name was triumphant also each time, except 1960. And one could argue that many observers think Nixon actually won in 1960, and that the John F. Kennedy victory was accomplished through fraud in Chicago by Mayor Richard J. Daley. And one could argue that George H. W. Bush would have won in 1992, had Ross Perot not been on the ballot as a strong third alternative to Bush and Bill Clinton.

So if Jeb Bush ends up as the GOP Presidential nominee in 2016, it would mean that a total of TWELVE times out of seventeen national elections had a Bush or Nixon on the national ballot. And imagine if he were to become President, and win two terms, as that would mean by the end of 2024, we would have EIGHT times that a Bush was on the national ballot, and a total of 32 years out of the last 44–talking about dominance! And behind Jeb is his son, George P. Bush of Texas, who was just elected Land Commissioner, and would be 48 by election time in 2024, and carries a famous name!

And the other five times—Barry Goldwater in 1964, Gerald Ford in 1976, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012—–the Republicans lost the Presidency!

With Mitt Romney Out Of Race, Scott Walker Vs. Jeb Bush Seems Like The Presidential Race Leaders For The GOP!

With Mitt Romney out of the race; with his statement that a new generation of leadership (a knock against Jeb Bush) should lead the Republican Party to victory; and with Scott Walker seen as impressive at the Steve King promoted Iowa Conference of Tea Party and Right Wing forces; and new polls showing Walker gaining by Romney’s dropping out, it seems clear that the frontrunners for the moment, at least, in the Republican Presidential race are Jeb Bush as the Establishment figure; and Scott Walker as the Koch Brothers-Tea Party-New generation inspired alternative.

The situation will, probably, change often over the next year, until the Iowa Caucuses on February 1 and the New Hampshire primary later that month, but for now, we seem to have a choice between another Bush, who is clearly competent but turns many people off on the fact alone that he is a Bush; and the arrogant, cocky, egotistical Governor Scott Walker, who now has declared his desire to destroy the “Wisconsin Idea” concept of higher education developed under Governor Robert LaFollette Sr a century ago, and pursued for the past century by both Republican and Democratic Governors, and supported by most Wisconsin members of Congress and the state legislature, putting Wisconsin in the forefront of educational standards nationally.

Instead, Walker wants liberal arts education to be dropped, and instead promote “work force” education only, a system that would fulfill the Koch Brothers desire to move young people away from an education that promotes thinking, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, tolerance, and open mindedness. This is the equivalent in many ways of the thought control process in the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and must be opposed with every last ounce of strength by those who see the danger to education presented by Scott Walker and his cronies!

Even if one finds Jeb Bush objectionable in many ways, the goal must be, IF the choice is between Bush and Walker for the Republican Presidential nomination, to defeat Walker at all costs, as a man dangerous to our future, and totally unqualified in foreign policy, as proved in a recent interview. The man is a menace to our future political system!