Nelson Rockefeller

The Five Worst, Most Dangerous Republican Presidential Candidates!

The Republican Party is offering us a disgraceful group of candidates for the Presidency, with most of them being an embarrassment to the glorious history of the party historically!

The Republican Party was the party of the Civil War and the end of slavery!

The Republican Party was the party, originally, of progressivism in the early 20th century!

The Republican Party was the party of moderate centrism, under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and offered many governors and senators who were moderate centrists or moderate progressives, in the image of Nelson Rockefeller, in the years after Ike was in the White House!

But since the time of Ronald Reagan, the Republican party has moved so far to the Right and been captured by Christian conservatives and Tea Party extremists, who have moved the party out of the mainstream. The party has allowed itself to be influenced by Fox News Channel and talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and Laura Ingraham!

So we have a group of candidates, some of which can be seen as the worst, most dangerous candidates imaginable!

We would include in the list of five worst, most dangerous Republican Presidential candidates the following:

Donald Trump
Ted Cruz
Mike Huckabee
Scott Walker
Rick Santorum

Any of these five would be especially threatening to the nation’s future, both in domestic and foreign policy! Luckily, only Walker, at this point, seems a real threat, but Trump is taking all of the oxygen out of the room with his divisive candidacy, including personal insults against all of his opponents.

In so doing, he is insuring a Republican party loss by a massive landslide in the Presidential Election of 2016!

Former New York Governor George Pataki: Ignored, Forgotten, But Most Sensible, Centrist Republican In Presidential Race

It used to be that New York Governors, whether Democrats or Republicans, were well respected and regarded in national politics.

Just in the last century, we had Charles Evans Hughes, Alfred E. Smith, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas E. Dewey all Presidential nominees; and Nelson Rockefeller and Mario Cuomo seen as possible Presidential choices.

Such was not the case with George Pataki, Governor from 1995-2007, who did the magical feat of defeating Mario Cuomo, who no one thought could be defeated for a fourth term in 1994; and who was then overshadowed by two New York City Mayors, Rudy Guilani and Michael Bloomberg, who were more exciting personalities.

But Pataki, after being forgotten for nearly a decade, and after a Governorship that looks a whole lot better after the disasters of his successors in the Governorship–Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson—is now back in politics as number 16 out of 16 Republican Presidential contenders, with ZERO chance of being the nominee, and in the bottom of the polls, often not scoring even one percent.

Having said that, Pataki is truly a “profile in courage”, in that he is challenging Donald Trump’s hate filled comments about Mexican immigration, in a way no one else is doing so, and has challenged Trump to a debate on that topic.

Of course, Pataki wants to be seen as significant, and it is clear Trump will not answer the challenge.

But Pataki represents the now dormant “Rockefeller” wing of the Republican Party, the moderate centrist Republican, who actually believes in immigration reform, abortion rights, acceptance of gay marriage, belief in environmental protection. and sensible gun control.

With a candidate such as Pataki, the GOP would have a revival back to its glorious past, instead of teetering on the brink of disaster, and its demise in the near future!

Another New York Governor Seeks The Presidency, But Demonstrates Decline Of New York Influence!

A “real” long shot nominee for the Republican Presidential nomination is former New York Governor George Pataki (1994-2006), who defeated Governor Mario Cuomo in a surprise upset, and then presided over the state at the time of the September 11 attacks, but took a back seat to NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani in its aftermath.

Pataki is a moderate Republican in a time when moderates are not in vogue, and he is NOT dynamic or charismatic. No one expects that this newly announced GOP candidate for the Presidency has any chance to be the Presidential nominee in 2016. He promoted environmental reforms; gay rights legislation; and believes in a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, all of which will disqualify him. He has not been in office since 2006, and would be halfway past 70 if he took the oath of office. No one gets excited at the thought of his candidacy. And being from New York, but being ignored, demonstrates how New York has declined in influence, particularly in the Republican Party.

New York was the state of other Republican Governors who were nominated for President, including Theodore Roosevelt, who won in 1898; Charles Evans Hughes, who won in 1906; Thomas E. Dewey, who lost in 1944 and 1948; and the failed candidacy of Nelson Rockefeller for the candidacy in 1960, 1964, and 1968.

It is also the state that elected Democrat Governor Martin Van Buren in 1828; Democrat Grover Cleveland in 1884; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932; and failed Democratic nominees Horatio Seymour in 1868, Samuel Tilden in 1876, and Alfred E. Smith in 1928. Also, Democrat Governnor Averill Harriman tried for the nomination in 1956, and Governor Mario Cuomo flirted with the idea in 1988 and 1992, but chose not to run.

On the other hand, Democratic Senator Robert Kennedy was seeking the Presidency, when he was assassinated in 1968; and Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton, who sought and lost the Presidential nomination in 2008, and is now the front runner in the Democratic Party in 2016.

Divorce And The Presidency: Adlai Stevenson To The Present

The news of the death of Happy Rockefeller, the second wife and widow of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, brings to mind the issue of “domestic bliss” or the lack of it in our politicians, past and present.

Rockefeller was thought to be the leading Republican candidate for President in 1964, but when he divorced his first wife and married his second wife, his chances for the nomination evaporated very quickly.

Only Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, had been a nominee and been divorced before Rockefeller’s situation came along a decade later.

This did not mean that there were never liaisons and love triangles before, as Warren G. Harding had been cheating on his wife, but never had thought of divorce.

And Franklin D. Roosevelt had stayed with Eleanor Roosevelt, knowing that if he divorced her, his chances for a political career were over.

There was plenty of sexual “hanky panky” throughout American history, without any thought of divorce, including, besides Harding and FDR the following: Franklin Pierce, James A. Garfield, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and others.

But none of them ever considered divorce seriously, and Stevenson was hurt by his divorce, as was Rockefeller.

But that changed when Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, and had been divorced more than 30 years earlier.

And since Reagan, we have had Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain, all divorced, but nominated by their parties, although no other divorced person has been elected President.

So divorce, so common in politics now, is no longer an issue, as it was throughout our history!

Who Should Have Been President? The Following List Of 12 Great Political Leaders

A high percentage of the 43 American Presidents are looked upon as having been inferior, disappointing, and in some cases, clearly unqualified to be President.

And then there is a list of both Presidential nominees, and also Presidential seekers, who are looked upon as those who SHOULD have been President, but never were.

First the list, which numbers 12,and then an explanation of each case.

Henry Clay
Daniel Webster
William Seward
Samuel Tilden
Charles Evans Hughes
Robert LaFollette Sr
Adlai Stevenson
Hubert Humphrey
Nelson Rockefeller
Bob Dole
Al Gore
Hillary Clinton

Two of the above (Clay and Webster) were Whigs; five of the above (Seward, Hughes, LaFollette, Sr., Rockefeller, and Dole) were Republicans; and the remaining five of the above (Tilden, Stevenson, Humphrey, Gore, and Clinton) were Democrats.

Henry Clay ran three times for President, in 1824, 1832, and 1844, and is regarded by many experts as the absolutely most outstanding Senator in all of American history, who made many contributions in government, including being Speaker of the House, an influential Senator (Kentucky) , and Secretary of State.

Daniel Webster is the other most outstanding Senator (Massachusetts) before the Civil War, and was seen as being as much of a statesman as Clay, and also served as Secretary of State.

William Seward lost the Presidential nomination to Abraham Lincoln, but was considered the leading Republican in his time as a Senator from New York, and also served as Secretary of State.

Samuel Tilden was the reform Governor of New York, who lost the Presidency despite a major lead, which in percentage, was greater than Al Gore, the other person who won the popular vote, but lost the election, and never became President.

Charles Evans Hughes was a giant figure in American government, as Progressive Governor of New York; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Secretary of State; and then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Robert LaFollette Sr. was “Mr. Progressive”, the best state Governor (Wisconsin) in all of American history, and rated one of the top five Senators of all time, and actually tied Henry Clay in a scholarly poll as the best US Senator ever in American history.

Adlai Stevenson was a brilliant intellectual, who could not defeat President Eisenhower, but was regarded as an “egghead”, and served as Ambassador to the United Nations, years after he served as a Governor of Illinois.

Hubert Humphrey was one of the greatest Senators (Minnesota) to grace the upper chamber in American history, and introduced much of what became the Great Society, and he served as Vice President of the United States.

Nelson Rockefeller never was nominated for President, but was seen as a very capable and wise four term Governor of New York, one of the best in American history, served as Vice President, and having the potential to have been a great President, but could not gain the support of his party.

Bob Dole was a masterful Senator (Kansas) with a long career in Congress, and the ability to get things done, and regarded as the second greatest Senate Majority Leader, after Lyndon Johnson, in American history.

Al Gore won the Presidency in popular votes by more than a half million, but lost the contested state of Florida in a Supreme Court vote, based on party line, rather than the principle that the Court had no right to intervene in the state of Florida’s Supreme Court judgments. Gore served as Vice President, after service in the House of Representatives and the US Senate (Tennessee).

Hillary Clinton was one of the most outstanding First Ladies; Senator from New York; Secretary of State; and now had the opportunity, potentially, to come off this list, IF she is able to win the Presidency in 2016 and become our first woman President.

The nation would have been much better if any or all of these 12 political figures had gained the opportunity to serve in the White House!

40th Anniversary Of Gerald Ford Becoming President: A Blessing For The Nation!

It has been 40 years since Gerald Ford became President, upon the resignation of our most dangerous President, Richard Nixon, due to his impending impeachment and trial in Congress, based on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice in the Watergate Scandal.

The 25th Amendment, only ratified and added to the Constitution in 1967, allowed Ford, who had replaced the corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, to become our 38th President.

Ford helped to end the great national nightmare of a corrupt President and a corrupt Vice President. He was the right man for the time, well liked and well respected, and not ambitious to be President. All Ford had wanted to do in his 25 year career in the House of Representatives was to become Speaker of the House.

Suddenly thrust into the responsibilities of the Presidency, Ford showed courage and guts in his selection of Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President; the pardoning of Richard Nixon, which probably helped to defeat him in a close race for the Presidency in 1976 with Jimmy Carter; his handling of the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia, which save captured hostages; and his brilliant appointment of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

Ford knew how to cross the aisle, and make friends of rivals, including President Carter, with the two men becoming fast friends once Carter left office, and with Carter giving the eulogy at Ford’s funeral in 2006.

Ford also gave us one of the greatest First Ladies in American history in Betty Ford, and his moderate conservatism is what one would wish for now from the much further right wing Republican Party of 2014.

It is well worth a visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the Ford Presidential Museum, as this author and blogger did a year ago, which caused him to gain growing respect for the 38th President of the United States, who showed up at the precisely proper time when the Presidency itself was under attack!

The Decline Of The New York State Government And Governorship!

New York State, the “Empire State”, is a victim of government decline in so many ways.

This was the state that gave us Presidential candidates in Alfred E. Smith, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Thomas E. Dewey, and potential Presidential candidates in Averell Harriman, Nelson Rockefeller, Mario Cuomo, and George Pataki.

But now, we have had Eliot Spitzer, forced out of office by a sex scandal, and Andrew Cuomo, subject of an ethics investigation, who has displayed arrogance and entitlement about his control of who can investigate him, which has now blown up in his face.

Ironically, Cuomo seems an easy winner for his second term, but could be forced out of office during the next term, reminiscent of the circumstances of President Richard Nixon, who won easy reelection while under investigation, and then was forced to resign in disgrace.

This will end any hope that Cuomo could ever run for the Presidency, if for instance, Hillary Clinton chose not to run.

Having said that as reality, this author wishes to state that he has always had an uneasy feeling about Cuomo, over many years. It is something hard to pinpoint, but this blogger always liked Mario Cuomo, Andrew’s dad, but never felt comfortable with his son, even though he resembles him a lot in speaking manner and appearance!

Mitt Romney Comeback? Give Us All A Break!

The “Establishment” Republicans are running scared, trying to keep the Tea Party Movement from gaining complete control of the party, as it did in a different form when Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater took the nomination away from New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton precisely a half century ago, leading to a disastrous defeat of Goldwater by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964!

Their hope had been New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who won a massive re-election victory last November, and who now sees his Presidential campaign, and even his Governorship, lying in tatters, with the question whether he will be forced to resign or face impeachment in the “Bridgegate” scandal and related scandals in a corruption ridden administration, nothing really new in the history of New Jersey!

A second thought has been that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two Presidents named Bush, with the brother very unpopular after the disasters of his eight years in the White House, might be convinced to run. But Jeb’s mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, has twice said there have been enough Bushes in the Presidency, and that she did not want her younger son to run. Still, Jeb has hinted he is thinking about it, but after a very long time out of public office, ten years, more than any President in the past except Abraham Lincoln, one has to wonder whether Jeb would have a realistic chance at the nomination, and to be elected by a public wary of the Bush Family heritage.

Of course, those who really want a very qualified “Establishment” Republican may want former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman as their choice, but Huntsman’s problem is that he is TOO qualified, TOO sane, too decent and mainstream, to be the GOP nominee, and he also worked for President Obama, which makes him “persona non grata” to most in the Republican Party.

So in desperation, some are starting to think of a “re-do” of the 2012 campaign, by bringing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney into the fray once again, for the third time, but after having lost the election in 2012.

But there are many problems with this scenario:

Despite having run twice for the Presidency in 2008 when he failed to win the nomination, and 2012, when he did and lost, it is a fact that by 2016, Romney will have been out of public office for the same amount of time as Jeb Bush, ten years, and unlike Jeb, who had two terms as Governor, Romney only had one term of four years, making him the least experience in public office, compared to any actual Presidential nominee or President, other than Wendell Willkie and Woodrow Wilson.

Additionally, Romney would be nearly 70 at the time he took the Presidential oath in January 2017, only seven months older than Hillary Clinton, and four years and four months younger than Joe Biden, so this would be a truly “old folks home” race if Romney were the nominee.

Finally, Romney has proved to be a chameleon, supporting health care for Massachusetts, but then opposing a similar plan known as “ObamaCare”, and completely remaking himself to please the extreme right wing, but coming across as unprincipled, mercenary, and opportunistic, as well as being a massive liar, on a scale way beyond the norm of any Presidential campaign. He came across, also, as arrogant, insensitive, uncaring, phony, and will never be able to live down the “47 percent” comment, which will be part of the historical record for all eternity! How can Romney “remake” himself, and be taken seriously and seen as truthful, when he has proved to be totally unable to be believed and trusted?

So the best idea is to inform Mitt Romney to forget about it, be happy you are super wealthy, continue to amass that gigantic fortune that you wish to leave to your heirs, so that they do not have work and struggle like the rest of us “peons”, and be thankful you at least had the opportunity to run for the Presidency, which in itself is a special group that goes down in history! Be honest, making money as an obsession, is what you are best at, so go for it, and leave America alone!

The Greatest Rockefeller In Public Office, With The Least Fanfare!

A long unsung hero in American politics and the US Senate is West Virginia’s former Governor Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring as Senator after thirty years of service at the end of 2014.

The only Democrat in the Rockefeller family political history has been an outstanding Senator for one of the poorest states, and will be remembered for how much he has done to promote the economic future of his state.

Jay Rockefeller could have replaced Senator Robert F. Kennedy by appointment of his uncle, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, in 1968, but refused the opportunity and moved to the poor state of West Virginia, with the intention of bringing reform and change to his adopted state. He also refused to allow his father in law, Illinois Republican Senator Charles Percy, to use his influence in any way.

Instead, Jay Rockefeller worked his way up the political struggles to become a member of the West Virginia state legislature, Secretary of State, Governor of the state for two terms, and now finishing five terms in the US Senate.

Unlike his more famous uncle, Nelson Rockefeller, who sought the Presidency three times and was Vice President under Gerald Ford, Jay Rockefeller was satisfied to have an influence on his state, and to promote liberal Democratic ideas. He is now also actively engaged in investigation of the Chris Christie scandal, and is unafraid of challenging the status quo and the establishment’s leaders, always having supported and promoted progressive causes.

Jay Rockefeller has turned out to be more significant in many ways than his uncle Nelson, hard to believe, and certainly more so than his other uncle, Winthrop, Republican Governor of Arkansas in the late 1960s and early 1970s. And his career has been much longer, without any interest in seeking the Presidency in his younger years.

So Jay Rockefeller will be much missed when he retires from his distinguished career in the Senate at the end of this year!

Presidents Replacing Their Vice Presidents: Not Very Productive

The new book, DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012, states that Barack Obama’s campaign seriously considered dumping Vice President Joe Biden for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a rumor long believed and promoted.

Would such a change have brought about a different election result? Hardly so, and Obama came to realize that his Vice President was an asset, and that it was best to leave well enough alone.

When one looks at history, it is clear that “dumping” a Vice President is not a good idea, although there have been cases of such situations sometimes being necessary.

This is true of Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, with Burr having tried to take the Presidency away from Jefferson in the Presidential Election of 1800.

It is also true of Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun, who were at tremendous odds over the protective tariff in 1832, with Calhoun finally resigning the Vice Presidency with three months left in the term, before being replaced by Martin Van Buren for Jackson’s second term.

Abraham Lincoln’s decision to dump Hannibal Hamlin for Andrew Johnson in 1864 is seen as a mistake, as Johnson ended up being impeached, although not convicted, by Congress when he became President.

Ulysses S. Grant’s first term Vice President, Schuyler Colfax, being involved in scandal, was replaced by Henry Wilson for the second term, a necessary action, due to the Credit Mobilier Scandal revelations.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had three Vice Presidents in his four terms, with John Nance Garner refusing to run with FDR when he went for his third term. But Henry A. Wallace was replaced with Harry Truman for the fourth term, due to opposition from Southerners and conservatives who worried about Wallace on the issue of race relations, and his views of the Soviet Union during World War II. Looking back, it was better that Truman, rather than Wallace, became President upon FDR’s death in April 1945.

Gerald Ford is the last President to replace his Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, with the choice of Bob Dole, but that helped to defeat him in a close race with Jimmy Carter.

Overall, it is best for a President to stick with his Vice President when running for a second term, unless there are extenuating circumstances as with Jefferson, Jackson, Grant and FDR.