Ohio

A Potential Great Combination First And Second Lady Of The United States: Dr. Jill Biden And Connie Schultz

Speculation is growing that former Vice President Joe Biden will try for the third time for the White House, and that he just might pick Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who just won his third term in the Senate, as his Vice Presidential running mate. Of course, it seems likely that Brown may seek the Presidency himself.

The argument is that Biden, a moderate centrist has support of the white working class of the Midwest, and that adding Brown as his Vice President would insure that Ohio, a crucial state in presidential elections, and much of the Midwest would assist Biden in winning the states that Hillary Clinton could not gain in 2016.

Another time, we can evaluate these two men, but one very appealing thought is that their wives would be a potential great contribution as First Lady and Second Lady.

Dr. Jill Biden is well regarded and respected by just about everyone. She is cordial, warm, genuine, and reminds many of her husband’s traits. She has a doctoral degree in education, and has taught at the college level for many years at Northern Virginia Community College in the field of English and writing, and earlier taught emotionally disturbed children. As Second Lady in the Barack Obama Presidency, she was a major contributor to the goals of the administration, and would be a standout as First Lady.

Connie Schultz, the wife of Sherrod Brown, also has a distinguished record and background as a writer, journalist and college professor at Kent State University. She is a nationally syndicated journalist, and worked at the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper for 18 years. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2005 for her columns covering the underdog and the underprivileged. She has demonstrated compassion, empathy, and genuine concern for those less fortunate, just like her husband, and just like Joe and Jill Biden.

Could we be so lucky to have a First Couple and a Second Couple as wonderful as this combination?

It would be a step forward for our nation if we could be honored with Dr. Jil Biden and Connie Schultz as our First and Second Ladies, models for women’s advancement in America, and concern for those who have not had the equal opportunity promised in the concept of the “American Dream”.

Donald Trump’s Collapsing Polls, And The Indictment Of Roger Stone, Make It More Likely That He Will Be Challenged For The GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

Donald Trump now has collapsing polls that mark him as having the worst ratings since public opinion polls began in 1945.

Trump is as low as 34 percent in some polls, and 57 percent are unhappy with his performance.

So rumors are starting that Trump will have a challenger for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020, with former Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, and sitting Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seen as the most likely challengers.

Hogan is a new name, a moderate centrist Republican who has been able to win the Governorship of a strongly “Blue” state twice, and his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr. was a Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, like his son a moderate Republican, who was the first Republican on that committee to call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

The Roger Stone indictment, of a person who has been close to Donald Trump for 40 years, makes it more likely that Trump will face likely attempts to remove him or have him resign, and also makes it more likely that one of these three mentioned above, might make the challenge.

Terrible Idea To Have Notable Third Party Or Independent Presidential Candidate In 2020 Presidential Election

The thought that a notable third party or independent Presidential candidate might participate in the 2020 Presidential election is a terrible idea.

It would cause a potential Electoral College disaster, allowing a major party nominee to win with low 40s or high 30s percentage of the popular vote.

So when we hear that former Ohio Governor John Kasich or former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is thinking of just that, it is clearly a danger sign that might help Donald Trump or Mike Pence win the next term in the Presidency.

That would be total disaster for the nation, and would take the already downward moral and ethical trend in America to continue, and insure an extremist right wing agenda into the mid 2020s, including a totally extreme right wing Supreme Court and lower federal courts to go on for 30 or more years into the future.

It would also likely make it impossible for the Senate to go Democratic, and for the House of Representatives to remain Democratic, once we had the confusion of a well known third party or independent Presidential candidate siphoning votes, more likely from the Democratic nominee.

While there is no way legally to prevent this, we have to hope that sanity will rule, and we will get a two way race, with all of its attendant shortcomings, rather than the mess that a third serious candidate could bring to the American political system.

The Best 14 Potential Democratic Presidential Candidates For 2020

As one looks ahead to 2020, this author and blogger wishes to indicate who he considers to be the 14 best potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

There are an estimated 30 or more potential candidates who might announce for President, but many of them seem wanting in many respects, and as stated by this author yesterday, having more than about a dozen would be counterproductive.

Of course, individual politicians who wish to run are not going to concern themselves with numbers, but I wish to indicate the list that I feel is the most legitimate, and most likely, that we will see the final few Presidential contenders emerging  as  serious possibilities.

So in no special order, except by geographical sections, here goes:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

Former Congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke of Texas

Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California

So the list includes 8 Senators, 2 House members past or present, three Mayors past or present, 1 Governor, and 1 former Vice President of the United State, who served in the Senate for 36 years..

It is an impressive list, heavily weighted toward US Senators, but with some alternatives from elsewhere, and some from farther left and others more toward the moderate center, with the question being what is the best strategy for the Democrats for the Presidential campaign of 2020.

Keep Top Leadership Of House Democrats Now, But They Need To Step Aside After Presidential Election Of 2020 For Newer Generation

There is a rebellion in the House Democratic majority by newly elected Progressives who want a different House Speaker, House Majority Leader, and House Majority Whip.

This is tempting, but unwise, as it was Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn who brought about the victory of Democrats in the Midterm Elections of 2018, and everyone knows that Nancy Pelosi, despite her faults and shortcomings, was a master at raising money and promoting Democrats across the nation.

We also know that Nancy Pelosi was the best Speaker since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill from 1977-1987, and accomplished the best House performance in 2009-2010 in decades,including getting the passage of ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act. Her experience and skills are priceless at this time.

On the other hand, all three Democratic leaders will have reached the age of 80 by 2020.

So the solution is let these three leaders who brought about the Democratic revival stay as leaders for the next Congress, but with a declaration that they will groom other younger, progressive types to replace them in the next Congress, the 117th, in 2021-2022, and more influence over legislation

Key committee assignments and other House leadership positions below the top three leaders need to be given to people who have shown their ability to lead, such as Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Karen Bass of California, Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan and Marcia Fudge of Ohio, and others as well.

It is time for the House leadership to agree to their own term limits, but usher in the future with their smart, experienced leadership for now, and groom others for such leadership in two years.

The key thing, above all, is to insure that the House Democrats show accomplishments in the next two years, and are, therefore, able to keep control in 2020, and hopefully, with a winning Democratic Presidential nominee in the 2020 Presidential election, expand their numbers,and elect a new House Speaker, Majority Leader and Majority Whip two years from now, and applaud the efforts of the veterans who made them successful in 2018 and again in 2020.

Democrats Won Much Bigger Victory Than Thought On Election Night, Could Be Transformative For Long Term

As more seats are flipping in California, at least four of the 14 previously Republican held seats in the House of Representatives, it looks as if the “Blue Wave” is larger than what occurred for the Republicans in 2010 and 1994, and already is the most for Democrats since 1974 after the Richard Nixon resignation, and the highest percentage voting since 1966, when the Republicans gained seats under Lyndon B. Johnson, in the midst of the Vietnam War escalation.

It is now likely that the Democrats will have gained about 40 seats in the House of Representatives, but also significant are the gains of Democrats in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the gaining of a majority of House seats in Arizona.

It is now possible to say that Suburbia has become more likely to leave the Republicans behind long term, and join urban areas against the constant support of the rural areas of many states for the Republicans.

White rural America is fighting the tide toward urban and suburban educated people, women, racial and ethic minorities, young people, and independents who are abandoning the Republican Party.

It is clear that the Trump Republican Party is losing out in the long run, just as occurred in California in the 1990s when Republican Governor Pete Wilson worked to pass discriminatory legislation against Hispanics in the state, with the result being overwhelming Democratic control in the state legislature, in state executive offices, and in Congress, where the monopoly of Democrats has become a flood.

We can now imagine a turn in the next decade of Arizona, Texas, and Georgia toward support of the Democrats in Presidential elections by 2024 and 2028 for sure, and once Texas goes that direction, the Presidency is safe in the hands of Democrats.

Already, the Northeast and New England are Democratic strongholds, and the Midwest now has Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota controlled by Democratic Governors in time for reapportionment of seats after the Census of 2020. And in the Mountain West, we see Democrats doing very well in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, and having the first Democratic Senator in Arizona in more than thirty years. The Pacific Coast of California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii are also solid.

So even though Ohio and Florida were not bright spots for the Democrats, the old adage that Ohio matters may not matter, and realize that the Buckeye State had a split personality on Election Day, as Democrat Sherrod Brown won an overwhelming victory, even though Republican Mike Dewine defeated Richard Cordray.

Florida is not yet settled at this writing, as a recount is going on, but it could be that Florida will be seen as an outlier, and despite their being the third largest state in population and electoral votes, if and when Texas goes “blue”, and joins California and New York, it might not matter what happens in Florida.

Final Projection On The 2018 Midterm Elections: Democratic House And Senate, And Massive Gain In Democratic Governors

The time has come, the day before the Midterm Elections of 2018, to come up with a final projection on the results.

The sense is that the Democrats are in better shape than many polls indicate, although it might be seen by many as fanciful thinking on my part.

But I sense that the Democrats will do very well on Tuesday, as the first time, other than special elections, to register the people’s view on Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Yes, there is the loyal base, but that is below 40 percent of the nation.

It seems clear that Independents, Suburban men and women, millennials of both genders, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, the Jewish community, and Social Justice Catholics are united in their disgust at the behavior, policies, and corruption of Donald Trump and his administration.

The American people are a good people overall, and one must remember that Donald Trump lost the popular vote massively, but now all that matters is winning more votes than any opponent, and in that regard, Trump and the Republicans who refused to take a stand against him, are on the way to a massive repudiation by the voters.

That does not mean that every nasty Republican will lose or every Democrat that many would wish elected will be successful.

And it could be that, as in 2016, this blogger and author could be way off in his assessment, and I am prepared for that, as much as one can be.

But my inner being tells me the following:

There are so many Republican seats in play in the House of Representatives, including those that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, that one has to believe that many are turning Democratic in this election—including in upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and California. So expect that while in theory there could be as many as maybe 71 or as few as 15 gains by the Democrats, my feeling is that a safe number is 40-45 seats, which if 45, would make for about 240 Democrats to 195 Republicans, basically a switch from what it is now.

In the US Senate, the Democrats would have to win a net gain of two seats, which now seems attainable. This blogger senses a gain of four Republican seats—Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and even Texas with Beto O’Rourke, but with a loss of two seats, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. But that means Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida would retain their seats, as all three are tough political leaders. So if this all happened, a bit of a miracle, there would be 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, so the Democrats would control and organize the Senate. This prognosis also means the three leading politicians who this author has placed on his “Dream List” of those he wanted defeated, would be—-Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and Marsha Blackburn.

As far as Governorships, the Democrats have 16 right now, and my projection is that they would gain the Midwest states of Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas, along with Southern states Florida and Georgia, along with New Mexico, Nevada, and New England states Maine and Vermont, giving them a total of 28 states under Democratic control. This also means that Scott Walker and Kris Kobach would not be elected in Wisconsin and Kansas, making my “Dream List” fulfilled for the first five on the list.

On the other hand, it is likely that Steve King will win in Iowa for his Congressional seat, although this blogger believes David Brat in his Richmond, Virginia Congressional seat, will lose.

So overall, all but Steve King on my “Dream List” to defeat would lose, while all five of my “Dream List” to win—Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Richard Cordray, and Gavin Newsom, would be triumphant.

This blogger and author may look silly two or three days from now, but that is my final projection, and we shall see!

Midwest Governorships (Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa) All May Go Democratic In 2018, Affecting Future Reapportionment In States And Congress

With six days to go to the Midterm Elections of 2018, it seems more likely than not that the crucial area of the Midwest will see a tidal wave of Democratic Governorships.

Minnesota is already Democratic controlled in the Governorship, and will likely remain so.

The states of Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all are tending Democratic, with a victory over Scott Walker in Wisconsin the most heralded election of them all, if it occurs.

If all or most of these states go Democratic in the Governorship races, reapportionment of the state legislatures and the US House of Representatives after the 2020 Census will be under control of Democrats, unlike what happened in 2010 after the last census.

Such victories by Democrats could also have an impact on the Presidential Election of 2020, as it would boost the chances of the leading Midwesterner who might seek the White House, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, part of the tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone. Being from a state that borders on Iowa and its first in the nation caucuses in 2020 is an advantage for Klobuchar.

Another possible gainer would be Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and both Klobuchar and Brown would have an edge on gaining the white working class support in their section that fell short for Hillary Clinton, and helped Donald Trump to win the Electoral College in 2016.

So watching the Midwest this next Tuesday night and Wednesday will be a center of attention, and also include Congressional districts that are likely to flip Democratic in these states.

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

The Next Speaker Of The House IF GOP Keeps Majority: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Or Jim Jordan

If the Republican Party, somehow, holds on to majority control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, they will need to select a new Speaker of the House, as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

At this point, there are three key contenders for the Speakership in the Republican Party:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana

House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan of Ohio

All three, honestly, make outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan look better by comparison, and yet, my readers know how much I dislike, and have denounced Paul Ryan, including when he was the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, for which I was viciously attacked on several right wing websites at the time.

But seriously, Kevin McCarthy is practically the “lap dog” of Donald Trump, extremely loyal and obedient, and was seemingly aware of Russian Collusion in 2016, was talking about it at a Republican House conference meeting, until Paul Ryan told him to stop talking about it. He is a man without any principles other than the advancement of Donald Trump and his agenda, part of the Trump party, rather than the traditional Republican Party, and even more so than Paul Ryan, who has been unwilling to speak out against Trump’s disgraceful tweets and policies. McCarthy has refused to engage in Town Hall events in his Bakersfield, California district since 2010. He also promoted pursuit of Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi, Libya incident, where four diplomats were killed, gaining a reputation of promoting a “hit job” on her, when many more diplomats were killed at embassies during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Steve Scalise, thankfully, recovered from being shot at the Congressional baseball game in June 2017, but it had no effect on his views on gun control, which is no regulation at all. Beyond that, Scalise used to be a friend of Ku Klux Klan Wizard and white supremacist David Duke, although now, of course, he denies it, and tries to claim it was not so. He would, in this author’s view, be a worse choice than McCarthy. However, for those who are uncomfortable with McCarthy, and might prefer a Southerner as the next Speaker, due to the strong GOP presence in the South, he might be seen as a potential favorite, and certainly less disgraceful by comparison, to the third choice, Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jim Jordan, who is a co leader of the House Freedom Caucus, the most Far Right group in the Republican Party, has been accused of covering up abuse of athletes on the wrestling team at Ohio State University, when he was an assistant coach in the 1980s. He was one of the Republicans who promoted government shutdowns, and has done everything possible to block the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from pursuing investigation of the Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. He also pursed the Benghazi, Libya investigation of the deaths of four diplomats, targeting Hillary Clinton in a total of 11 investigations, which found no evidence of wrongdoing, and which featured 11 hours of testimony by Clinton, with no sign of weakness on her part, as compared to the performance of many others investigated by Congressional committees. Plain and simple, Jordan would be the absolute worst of the three choices being considered by the Republicans, although others might join the fray after the midterm elections.

It is indeed a very sad situation when we can look back on John Boehner as being far better than Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan.

Let us hope that one of the latter three will be the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker of the House in 2019-2020.