Jeb Bush: Can He Do What Only Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, And Ronald Reagan Did?

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two Presidents, is again having his name bandied about for President of the United States, despite his mother, Barbara Bush, saying there have been enough Bushes in the White House, and that more than three or four families have talent for the Presidency. While saying that repeatedly, she always adds that her son is best qualified to be President, so it is an odd statement, to say the least!

But Speaker of the House John Boehner went out of his way to suggest Jeb Bush would be a great nominee, and certainly, the “Establishment” Republicans on Wall Street see him as more likely now than ever before, as their front line of defense against the Tea Party Movement and Ted Cruz et al, and the libertarians and Rand Paul.

Both Cruz and Paul, and really EVERY other suggested nominee, has all kinds of issues with their extreme right wing tilt. That is why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed so appealing to many, after his wide victory for a second term. But now the scandals that have erupted have besmirched his reputation, and in any case, Christie would have had great trouble winning in Iowa, South Carolina, and other states as he is from the Northeast, and seen as too much like John McCain and Mitt Romney, failed GOP Presidential candidates, who are disliked by right wing talk show hosts, conservative think tanks, and the Tea Party right wingers.

So who is left for the “Establishment”? Really, only former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who also was Ambassador to China, under President Obama, an excellent, and really the best choice, but with not a chance in hell of being able to compete, because he is too “moderate” by comparison, too smart, too intelligent, too interested in science and world affairs, too independent minded, and even not allowing his Mormon faith to dictate public policy views!

Huntsman would have the best chance to win of any Republican, but the party has a death wish, and he will not be the nominee. More likely, it would be one of a large group of horrible candidates, including, not only Cruz and Paul, but also Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and other “nightmarish” candidates!

So the only place to turn for the “Establishment” is to another Bush, who is comparatively a moderate conservative, who has not come across as a “whacko” in office and in his public statements. He has shown tolerance on immigration issues, as with his brother, President George W. Bush, and he seems to have a comparatively open mind.

But his challenge, beyond overcoming the Bush name, after the damage his brother did in eight years in the Presidency, is that Jeb Bush has been out of public office for ten years by 2016, after eight years served as Governor of Florida. While a few military people, including retired ones, have become President, only three non military people have become President with extended periods out of public office.

Abraham Lincoln had 12 years since his one term in the House of Representatives, until his Presidential triumph in 1860.

Richard Nixon had eight years since his defeat for the Presidency in 1960, until his victory in 1968.

Ronald Reagan had six years since his Governorship of California until his victory in 1980.

Note Nixon and Reagan had a shorter number of years, than Jeb Bush has, and Nixon ran for Governor of California in 1962, and Reagan competed for the Presidential nomination in 1976, both two years after they left public office.

And Lincoln, while twelve years since his last time in public office, ran for and lost the Senate race in Illinois against Senator Stephen Douglas in 1858, ten years after his one term in the House of Representatives, and just two years before he won the Presidency.

So Jeb Bush really has no exact comparison to Nixon and Reagan, and comes closest to Lincoln.

The ultimate question is whether Jeb Bush can copy Lincoln, or even Nixon or Reagan. The betting odds on his nomination are less than 50 percent for now, and far less in a race against any Democrat in 2016, particularly Hillary Clinton!

Economic Reality Grim For Most Americans, Whether Based On Race Or Education Level!

Growing evidence shows that the effects of the Great Recession, and really the policies of Republican Presidents and Congresses since 1980, have created a grim reality for a vast majority of Americans—likelihood of poverty, deprivation, and lack of opportunity, even for college graduates in large numbers for a long period of years! And where one lives does, and will have a dramatic effect on the long term futures of millions of citizens!

A study shows that four out of five adults in America will struggle with joblessness, near poverty, or reliance on welfare for part of their lives! 76 percent of whites will experience such a situation by the age of 60!

15 percent of the American people, nearly 47 million of the population, are in poverty, with higher percentages of African Americans and Hispanic-Latinos, but in absolute numbers, whites are 41 percent or 19 million of the poor, double what African Americans are in numbers. Most of these poor whites live in Appalachia, the industrial Midwest, and the heartland of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Great Plains, areas of rural communities , and even in many suburbs, in areas where 60 percent of the poor are whites.

So working class whites, those without college degrees, are in a terrible state, unable to look forward to the accomplishment of the “American Dream”!

But the problem is that even those who have a college education are facing a horrible job market. Many are unemployed, while even more who are working, are underemployed, working part time, and also, many are working in jobs that do not require a college degree, so are wasting years trying to break in to the job market they planned for, but are unable to engage in, due to the Great Recession and its aftermath!

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that where one lives has a dramatic effect on climbing up the income ladder! Social mobility up the income ladder is MUCH harder in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, including such cities as Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis,. Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus!

At the same time, social mobility and rising up the income ladder is best in the Northeast and the West, including New York, Boston, large areas of California and Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Salt Lake City.

It is extremely disturbing that earlier studies of social mobility demonstrate that a smaller percentage of people escape childhood poverty in America than in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan.

Affluent children tend to remain so, achieving a lot of success by as young as age 30, while children from poverty rarely see much improvement, and that is not just a race issue, as whites have the same results, based on how they were born, rich or poor!

The need to deal with social mobility and opportunity, for working class whites and minorities, are the agenda that Barack Obama is pursuing as he travels the nation, calling for an economic plan for the future, including improvements in education, infrastructure, new technologies, and environmental challenges to overcome climate change!

There is no more important agenda for the nation than the providing of economic opportunity, in a nation where the middle class has been decimated, from its high point, 40 years ago, in 1973!

The Most Diverse And Yet The Most Divisive Congress In More Than A Century: The 113th Congress!

It is ironic that the 113th Congress is the most diverse in history, but also the most divisive and partisan in more than a century, which does not bode well for any future cooperation or progress on the important issues facing the nation!

96 women, 42 African Americans, and 31 Hispanics serve in Congress, but the vast majority are Democrats!

Partisan polarization is endemic, however, more than in the past century or more, probably back to the Civil War-Reconstruction period!

Of course, we have never had a Congress, except in the 112th Congress and this one, in which there has been a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, and only five other Congresses since 1900 in which there has been a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate, with those occasions (1911-1913, 1931-1933, 1981-1987) being much more cooperative and accomplished by comparison to the past two and a half years since the beginning of 2011!

Party unity in the House is now 72.8 percent, while in 2006, it was 54.5 percent!

Less than 50 percent of the time do we see Republicans supportive of the President’s agenda, an extremely low level historically!

Regional loyalty to a party is extreme, particularly in the Northeast, New England and Pacific Coast for Democrats, and in the South and Great Plains for Republicans.

The likelihood of any major change in this scenario is gloomy, sadly for the nation’s future!

The Republican Delusion That They Can Win The Presidency And Majority Status Just By Having More Whites Voting!

The Republican Party is truly delusional in their belief that they can win the Presidency and majority status in the future as long as they can convince more whites to vote, than did so in the Presidential Election of 2012.

With the percentage of whites in the population declining, and with the reality that it will continue to decline, this is a losing strategy in so many ways.

Not all whites would vote Republican, even in the South and Great Plains and Mountain West, GOP strongholds, and certainly NOT in the Northeast, New England, Midwest, and Pacific Coast, and in parts of the Mountain West.

Not all whites would wish to back the right wing policies of Republicans toward women, minorities, labor, and on other issues, such as the environment and science.

Not all whites would endorse the social conservatism of the religious right, particularly with a decline in religiosity among younger whites and voters generally.

A majority of whites who vote Republican are old, and once they pass the scene, many younger whites will have a greater influence on elections, and combined with those who are social liberals, female, and minority background, will NEVER vote Republican because they know that the Republicans are trying to ignore them, if not undermining their right to vote!

With their backward, regressive, vindictive policies toward the middle class and the poor, along with their anti women, anti labor, anti environment, anti minority viewpoints, the GOP will insure that they will be dinosaurs, looked back upon as a historical curiosity as to the issue of how they self destructed despite many warnings as to their self suicide by refusal to adapt!

Mitt Romney Shows His True Character, With His Campaign Criticizing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Mitt Romney’s campaign is rapidly imploding, and Romney’s spokesman is now criticizing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for praising President Barack Obama for his quick response to Hurricane Sandy, including touring the area of devastation with Christie.

Rupert Murdoch and other conservatives are already laying the base for blaming Romney’s defeat on Christie, and Romney aides are claiming that Christie is annoyed that he was bypassed for Vice President.

This whole event just demonstrates further how Romney is not fit to be our President, since he does not give a damn for the “47 percent”, and for the Northeast, since he knows he will not be gaining their electoral support on Tuesday. The fact that Christie is doing what he needs to do for his state does not seem to cross Romney’s selfish, mean spirited personality, but it is clear that he is not the proper person to lead us into the future!

“The October Surprise” Is The Wrath Of Nature!

The traditional line is that in any Presidential campaign, there is an “October Surprise”, which can transform the race.

Who would think it is the wrath of nature, represented by Hurricane Sandy, a “Frankenstorm”, a storm of the century, which will soon devastate the Northeast and Midwest, an area of over 60 million people, and will likely cut down voting numbers, although many have participated in early voting, some indications being possibly 40 percent of the voting population.

This could have a dramatic effect not only on the Presidential election, but on Congressional and state elections, and transform our future in ways we cannot yet imagine!

This can, therefore, be seen as a moment of crisis, and a moment for urgent leadership by President Barack Obama, and appropriate reaction by Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

If power is out for an extended period of time, it could lead to millions not voting, and could also lead to lawsuits regarding close election results.

One has to wonder what the power of nature is trying to say to us, a country deeply divided, and sadly, unlikely to change as a result of this highly charged Presidential Election of 2012!

Will 2012 Presidential Election Mirror 2000 Presidential Election?

There is a growing possibility that the Presidential Election of 2012 will become a reprise of the Presidential Election Of 2000, where the winner of the popular vote does not win the Electoral College, and therefore does not become President of the United States.

This time, the Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama, would be the lucky recipient, while last time the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, was to become the fourth Presidential nominee to fail to win the popular vote but become President, after John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford Hayes in 1876, and Benjamin Harrison in 1888.

Some would say that such a result, with Obama being reelected, although losing the popular vote to Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, would be “justice” for what happened to Al Gore, the Democratic nominee in 2000.

But there is a major difference, in that Obama is already President, while Bush was competing for the position, but was not yet our President.

It would be the first time that a sitting President was reelected without the popular vote of the American people, and would make Republicans say he was “illegitimate” to be our President, something already said, but still would be a great tragedy,and probably guarantee another four years of stalemate and gridlock.

It would make, more likely, a move by the Republicans, if they controlled the House of Representatives, which seems likely at this point, to move to impeach the President, as they succeeded in doing to Bill Clinton in 1998.

It would be a political circus, which would paralyze the nation, and the Republican Party would do everything it could to undermine Obama, and to attempt to make it seem as if he was a failed President, to stain his name in history, even if they had been unable to dislodge him from the White House.

It is hoped that this whole scenario will not happen, and that Barack Obama will end up winning the popular vote, but with the impending Hurricane Sandy, likely to cut down voting totals in the Northeast and Midwest, considered strongly Democratic at least in the Northeast, it could assist Romney in winning the national popular vote, and even the Electoral College win is certainly possible for Romney, although still considered unlikely.

With the impending storm, there is a lot to pray for, regarding safety of the population in the Northeast and Midwest, as well as the future of the nation after the Presidential Election Of 2012. We are living in very difficult times, and have to hope for reason and tolerance, without any certainty of either occurring!

Odd And Interesting Points About Paul Ryan, And The Presidential Election Of 2012

There are many odd and interesting points about Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan that have been gathered, and here are some of them!

Paul Ryan, like Mitt Romney, is handsome, and they look good together photogenically.

Paul Ryan looks as if he could be one of Mitt Romney’s sons, and actually is only 12 days older than Romney’s oldest son, Tagg!

Paul Ryan has spent his whole adult life in government, with no experience in the private sector.

Paul Ryan was affected by the narrow minded, selfish teachings of Ayn Rand, and he was involved in work with former Congressman Jack Kemp, one of the authors of what became known as Reaganomics, which started tripling the national debt in the 1980s, due to the theory of Supply Side Economics. Now, Ryan wishes to multiply what Reaganomics in the 1980s and Bushonomics in the 2000s brought about, most of the increased national debt, $7 trillion of the total $10.5 trillion debt that existed when George W. Bush left the Presidency in January, 2009!

Paul Ryan’s dad died when he was in high school, and he was supported by the social safety net of Social Security with survivors benefits while in college.

Paul Ryan has lived off the American taxpayer his entire life, and will receive better health care and pension benefits as part of the federal payroll, that he wishes to cut for everyone else in the middle and lower classes!

Paul Ryan alienated Catholic nuns when he came out for cuts in food stamps and other benefits to poor children, and called for privatizing of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, while wanting greater tax cuts for the top two percent!

Paul Ryan was booed in his own congressional district for the Ryan plan which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year, but with no Democratic support and ten Republicans voting against, as well.

Paul Ryan comes across as articulate, handsome, and charming personally, the latter much more than Mitt Romney, but he also comes across to many as arrogant, nasty, mean spirited, uncaring, hypocritical , uncompromising, and loved by the Tea Party and the right wing media which have declared war on women, senior citizens, the middle class, minorities, and the poor!

Paul Ryan has no foreign policy experience, and being only a Congressman, can be seen as not qualified to be Commander in Chief on Day One!

This is the 5th time in the past half century that a member of the House of Representatives has been selected as a Vice Presidential running mate—William E. Miller of New York with Barry Goldwater in 1964; Geraldine Ferraro of New York with Walter Mondale in 1984; Jack Kemp of New York with Bob Dole in 1996; Dick Cheney of Wyoming with George W. Bush in 2000; and now Paul Ryan of Wisconsin with Mitt Romney in 2012. Notice all four of the earlier choices LOST the election that followed, with the exception of Cheney with Bush, but remember that Al Gore actually won the popular vote in 2000 by 540,000 votes, and the Supreme Court decided the election, intervening for the first time in American history!

And as said in an earlier post, finally, this marks the fourth time in the past 60 years that the Vice Presidential nominee has been more than 20 years younger than the Presidential nominee—Richard Nixon with Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952; Dan Quayle with George H. W. Bush in 1988; Sarah Palin with John McCain in 2008; and now Paul Ryan with Mitt Romney in 2012.

Additionally, we have no one on either ticket for this upcoming election who is from the Sun Belt states, the growing part of the nation. Instead, we have a Midwesterner and an Easterner on each ticket–Barack Obama and Paul Ryan from the Midwest, and Joe Biden and Mitt Romney from the Northeast!

Also, there is no candidate with military experience on either Presidential ticket, the first time since the 1940s!

And we also have no mainline Protestant on the Republican ticket, a mainstay of the GOP, and instead have a Mormon and a Catholic.

If anything, the only true “Protestant” is Barack Obama, as Joe Biden is Catholic!

More oddities and trivia will probably arise as the campaign develops further!

Virginia And Florida: Two “Swing” States With Strong “Blue Areas”: Will It Be Enough For Barack Obama?

Two “swing” states, crucial to the Presidential Election of 2012, are also Southern states, which have usually been fertile Republican territory, but not necessarily this time, as they were not in the Presidential Election of 2008.

Those two states are Virginia and Florida, where much of the battle for the Presidency will be centered over the next six months.

Virginia had voted Republican since after 1964, until Barack Obama won it in 2008. The key area that helped bring the Obama victory was northern Virginia, near Washington DC. This area has seen a continuous growth of federal government employees, many of them for the Pentagon in northern Virginia, but also other government workers who have settled in that area of the state. Additionally, many young people, African Americans, and Hispanics and Latinos have settled in Northern Virginia in recent years, and women have been alienated from the Republicans, due to the vaginal probe bill introduced by Governor Bob McDonnell, a leading candidate for the Vice Presidential nomination to run with Mitt Romney.

Virginia is really two states, and in that regard, not all that different than many other states, but the Northern Virginia vote was enough to give Obama the win in 2008, and right now, it seems likely that scenario will happen again in 2012.

Florida is another such case, with South Florida the “blue” area of the state, and helping Barack Obama to win the state in 2008, only the third time since the late 1960s to go to the Democrats (the other times being 1976 and 1996 when Southerners Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton carried the state).

The margin of victory in Florida was gained by South Florida support, just as was so in Northern Virginia, and the growth of non Hispanic Cubans, plus the northeastern and Jewish influence in South Florida, seem likely to give Barack Obama another opportunity to gain the state in a close vote finish in November!

Florida: A Complex State Politically, And Hard To Predict Its Impact

With the Florida Republican Primary just eight days away, and with many Republican voters having already engaged in early voting or absentee mail ballots, the question arises as to what one can expect to happen on January 31.

Mitt Romney has the most money and is seen as the moderate in the race, although he professes to be conservative.

Newt Gingrich, flush off his victory in South Carolina, would seem to have an edge, although Florida is not quite the same as South Carolina electorally, being much more unpredictable.

Florida is really multiple states in electoral behavior, as the Panhandle, particularly west of Tallahassee, the state capital, is very much like South Carolina or “southern Alabama”, strongly evangelical Christian and Tea Party oriented. But central Florida, including Tampa and Orlando, tends to be made up of people from the Midwest, while South Florida has large concentrations of Cubans, but also Northeasterners, including Jews in large numbers. And Puerto Ricans are found in Orlando in large numbers, and liberal strongholds exist in Tallahassee due to Florida State University’s presence, and in Gainesville, home of the University of Florida.

So if Florida comes across in the GOP Primary as too conservative, that can affect the balance among Hispanics, African Americans, and Jews, heavily concentrated in South Florida and portions of Central Florida, when it comes to the Presidential election in November.

Florida has a “split personality”, and being a megastate, more representative of the nation than Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, it could turn out to be very unpredictable in its impact on the Republican Presidential battle, and in the fall campaign against Barack Obama.