Paul Ryan

Are We Entering An Age Of Older Presidents?

In American history, we have had only five Presidents who were 64 or older in office when inaugurated—Ronald Reagan, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, George H. W. Bush, and Zachary Taylor.

An additional five Presidents were ages 60-63 when inaugurated: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, but Truman and Ford were not elected at that age, but instead succeeded to the Oval Office.

This means 33 of our 43 Presidents were younger than 60 when being inaugurated President, with 24 in their 50s, and 9 in their 40s, and with Grover Cleveland in his 40s for his first term, and 50s for his second nonconsecutive term. The nine Presidents in their forties were, at the time of inauguration: James K. Polk and James A. Garfield (49); Franklin Pierce (48); Grover Cleveland and Barack Obama (47); Ulysses S. Grant and Bill Clinton (46); John F. Kennedy (43); and Theodore Roosevelt (42).

But it is now likely that the next President will be in his or her 60s, or even 70s, at the time of taking the Presidential oath. There are a total of eight potential Republican nominees in their 60s–ranging from, at the time of inauguration as follows: Mitt Romney (69); Rick Perry (66); Dr. Benjamin Carson (65); John Kasich (64); Jeb Bush (63); Mike Huckabee, Rob Portman, and Lindsey Graham (61). Romney and Perry would reach the age of 70 during a first term, and Romney, Perry, Carson, Kasich and Bush would all be in their 70s in a second term.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have four potential Presidential nominees who will be in their seventies when they would take the oath of office—Jerry Brown (78); Bernie Sanders (75); Joe Biden (74); and Jim Webb (70). All four, plus Hillary Clinton (69) and Elizabeth Warren (67) would reach the 70s during a first term, and Mark Warner (62) would reach 70 as well in a second term.

So a total of eight Republicans and seven Democrats would be over 70, either at the time of the inauguration, or within the next four years after, or the next eight years after!

When one realizes that only Dwight D. Eisenhower (70) and Ronald Reagan (77) were actually in the Presidency past their 70th birthday, and Ike was only three months beyond 70, it is clear that we are likely to create new ground, since much of the talent pool is comparatively old, and from the “Baby Boomer” generation born from 1946 onward.

Of course, there are younger Presidential candidates or potential candidates–for the Republicans–Rick Santorum (58); Mike Pence (57); Rand Paul and Chris Christie (54); and in the 40s in 2016, the following: Scott Walker (49); Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan (46); Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal (45), a total of nine other potential Presidents.

The Democrats have fewer alternatives: in the 50s in 2016 are: Andrew Cuomo (59); Amy Klobuchar (56); Martin O’Malley (54); and Kirsten Gillibrand (50). No one in their forties is seen as a potential Democratic nominee.

So we might end up with the oldest combination of Presidential candidates in American history, with Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney being front runners for now, and both reaching 70 within months of taking the oath of office!

Potential For Four State Rivalries For President In Republican Caucuses And Primaries, And The Rest Of The Cast Of Characters!

As the 2016 Presidential nomination battles begin, now that the Midterm Elections of 2014 are history, there is the potential for four state rivalries for President in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

Florida sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.

Ohio sees the potential candidacy of Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman.

Texas sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Wisconsin see the potential candidacy of Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Paul Ryan.

At this point, it seems likely that the Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin rivalries are likely to occur in reality, while Ohio is more questionable.

But, ironically, it is Ohio that has the best combination of potential candidates who could be serious competitors in November 2016, as both Kasich and Portman, while strongly conservative, come across as having a good chance to compete for the moderate center and Independents, and have not shot themselves in the foot, as five of the six others mentioned above have done on a regular basis.

The only other potential candidate of the above group of eight, who has a chance to accomplish the same as Kasich and Portman, is Jeb Bush.

Rubio, Cruz and Walker represent Tea Party right wing views, while Perry is an also ran and an embarrassment to himself, and Ryan was on a losing ticket with Mitt Romney, and has made no effort to moderate his harsh views on the poor of society, or his budget plans which do not add up to reality.

Add to this list a cast of characters which should be interesting but self destructive: Maryland pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Pennsylvania Governor Rick Santorum; and of course, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney!

Oh, and one more Governor, who should not be ignored, as a possible “Dark Horse”, and having the ability to do what Kasich, Portman, and Bush could do–appeal to the center—Indiana Governor Mike Pence!

Right Wing Propaganda About Barack Obama Refuted By Facts!

Barack Obama has been the most vilified President since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

There will be those who say that Richard Nixon was more attacked, and that George W. Bush was “victim” of constant criticism.

Yes, they were, as was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Jimmy Carter, but NONE of these Presidents came under such a barrage of total lies and mistruths on such a constant basis.

Barack Obama has been attacked on where he was born (Kenya? Indonesia? anyone?), on his being a Marxist or Communist or Socialist; of being anti white (by critics who are clearly scared of having a black President); of being anti Christian (by right wing Christians who regularly lie and deceive and distort, claiming to be following the teachings of Jesus, which they most certainly are not doing); and of being a Muslim, out to spread the Islamic faith and support terrorism!  He is also accused of being anti Semitic, and anti Israel.

Meanwhile, radical and terrorist Muslims constantly are critical of Barack Obama and have called on their supporters to find a way to kill him, and Obama has brought about more deaths of Muslim terrorists than George W. Bush or anyone else; has mounted missions to attempt to save Americans captured by the terrorists; was courageous enough to arrange the death of Osama Bin Laden, when others around him had strong doubts on the mission’s success; and now has declared war on ISIL (ISIS) and mounted a bombing campaign in both Iraq and now Syria, even though the right wing says he is afraid to go to war, and is too timid in foreign policy, all of it lies and deceit spread to ignorant people who think Obama is equivalent of a “Manchurian candidate” in the Presidency.

The charge that he is anti Semitic and anti Israel is belied by the fact of the Iron Dome system given to Israel by the United States, and the fact that ISIL (ISIS) calls Obama a President “owned by the Jews”.  Right wing Jews love to spread lies and distortion about Obama, but actually such people have complained about every American President, if they do not bow to every wish or demand of the Israeli government, while we give that nation more foreign aid than any other in the world.  So these charges are totally uncalled for, and reflect badly on those right wing Jews who spread that propaganda!

Many right wingers want to deny that Obama was ever President, and that his time in office should be not recognized as legal, as they claim his election was “stolen”, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 but won in the Supreme Court, unprecedented, but based on a declared 537 vote popular margin in Florida, his brother’s home state;  and only won in 2004, because of another disputed vote count in Ohio against John Kerry.

This author and blogger has witnessed so called “friends” who spew forth right wing and racist propaganda, shocking him at the level of hatred toward our 44th President.  One so called “friend” said, when he found out I am publishing a book on Presidential Assassinations and Attempts by next May or June, that he hoped I would have to write another chapter (meaning about the assassination of Obama), which totally infuriated me, and I am not one to get angry very easily.

Another time, visiting the Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, with my younger son, three women of about age 70, 40, and 20 were waiting with us to see a Truman documentary, and it came up in conversation that the 20 year old was visiting her relatives in Missouri, but was from Hawaii.

When I said, “so you are from Hawaii, which will have a Presidential museum in the future”, the three women in unison said “EWWWWW” to my shock, and we turned away in shock and anger, since I did not want to be rude to them, but I could not believe such sentiments, as no one ever said that about Richard Nixon or George W. Bush or anyone else!

And when the White House experienced an ‘invasion” at the North Portico last Friday, only ONE Republican openly spoke out about it, and demanded an explanation as to how the Secret Service “screwed up”, and that was New York Congressman Peter King of Long Island, New York, who is far less conservative than the leadership and masses of members of Congress from his party.  Not a peep from John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the myriad of other Republicans, including any of the likely competitors for the Presidency in 2016.  It is almost as if, secretly, they hoped for Obama’s demise, absolutely disgraceful, and reprehensible!

The right wing would suffer mightily if anything untoward happened to Obama, and if Joe Biden suddenly succeeded to the Presidency by tragedy, it would, effectively, end the Presidential Election of 2016, with Joe Biden being the equivalent of Lyndon B. Johnson after he succeeded John F. Kennedy, meaning there would be no way for any Republican to defeat a President Biden in those circumstances. Also, it would end the campaign of Hillary Clinton under those circumstances!

It is time for the right wing, on talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the think tanks that spew forth poison, to stop their attacks and show respect for our President!

Imagine A Presidential Election Battle Without Any Previous Candidates In The Race!

The thought has crossed this blogger’s mind what it would be like if for once, just once, no one who had previously competed for the Presidential nomination of either party, nor had been a Vice Presidential running mate, became involved in the upcoming Presidential Election campaign of 2016.

Think of who would be eliminated from consideration:

Democrats (8)–Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore, Jerry Brown, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich

Republicans (11)–Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, John Kasich

Who would be left to compete?

Democrats (13)–Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner, Corey Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Jay Nixon, John Hickenlooper, Brian Schweitzer, Deval Patrick, Rahm Emanuel

Republicans (13)–Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Peter King, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Scott Walker, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley

One can wonder who would be competitive for the Presidential nominations, and who would galvanize support among the population and go on to be the nominees of the two major political parties!

We would have a true “donnybrook” situation, with anyone having the potential to be the nominees, “catch fire”, and go on to be the 45th President of the United States!

If this author was to venture an educated guess, one would come to the following conclusions:

Democrats–The major battle would be among Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O’Malley and Mark Warner.

Republicans–The major battle would be among Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence and Rob Portman.

The final battle would be between Warren and O’Malley for the Democratic nomination, and between Marco Rubio and Mike Pence for the Republican nomination.

The two finalists would be Martin O’Malley and Marco Rubio, with O’Malley being the winner and the 45th President of the United States!

This is due to the reality of the Electoral College, which strongly favors the Democrats to win the White House in 2016 and beyond, as the Northeast, New England, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast are strongly “Blue”, and most of the “swing states” are favored to go “Blue” as well, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.

Florida and North Carolina would be more difficult for the Democrats, particularly if Rubio is the GOP nominee, but the electoral vote would still be heavily Democratic, even without those two states!

Intrastate Rivalries For The Republican Presidential Nomination In 2016

The potential exists for four intrastate rivalries for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

First, we have Texas with Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Then, we have Florida with Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush.

Also, there is the rivalry in Wisconsin between Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker.

Finally, in Ohio, we have Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman as potential candidates.

Perry and Kasich have sought the Presidency before, although Kasich did so very minimally in 2000.

The best bet would be Marco Rubio and John Kasich among these competitors, as one assesses these eight political leaders at this time.

The Argument For A Midwestern Governor For The Republican Party In 2016 Presidential Race!

There is a growing feeling in the Republican Party, and among prognosticators, that the pool of GOP candidates for President in 2016 is lacking in so many ways.

Chris Christie is in trouble due to the scandal over the George Washington Bridge, and his handling of Hurricane Sandy money.

Scott Walker is in trouble over charges that he was involved in corruption during the 2012 recall campaign in Wisconsin.

Ted Cruz has made enemies every time he opens his mouth, and his push to close down the government in 2013 backfired, and caused division within Republican ranks.

Rand Paul is leading a fight against the “Establishment”, and is unlikely to be able to win support to be the nominee, with his libertarian and isolationist views.

Marco Rubio made enemies with his immigration reform plan, and is seen as having floundered ever since.

Paul Ryan has come across as someone who has no understanding of what middle class people go through, and with little compassion for the poor, and even fellow Catholics are often critical of him.

Bobby Jindal has come across as insincere, uncaring about his own constituents, and has lost whatever luster he once had.

Rick Perry may have gained classy glasses to wear, but he is still a horrible candidate in so many ways.

Rick Santorum is trying to reform his image as well, but he is still a former Senator who lost his seat ten years ago.

Mike Huckabee is an also ran from the 2008 Presidential campaign, and has sounded more looney than ever each month as his Fox News Channel show pushed him much further right than he had been in 2008, when he actually sounded reasonable.

Jeb Bush looks much better by comparison with other Republicans, but he is still a Bush, and has supported immigration reform and the common core education curriculum, both unpopular with his party, and besides, he certainly represents the “Establishment” more than anyone.

Mitt Romney claims not to be interested at all in running again, but yet he is seen by many as the fallback choice, despite his losing the Presidency in 2012.

Jon Huntsman, arguably the best candidate possible, seems to have absolutely no chance to convince the Republican Party that his moderate, practical conservatism is the right path.

The more one thinks about it, it makes sense that the Republican Party should seriously consider finding a candidate, preferably a Governor, from the Midwest, which is the true battleground of the Presidential Election of 2016!

None of the above mentioned candidates for the Presidency are from the Midwest, except for Ryan and Walker, both from Wisconsin, but both have fatal flaws hard to overcome.

But all of the Midwest, except Illinois, is arguably a battleground, although only Indiana and Missouri went Republican in 2012, and only Missouri in 2008!

Ohio and Iowa are true battlegrounds, and Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are potentially up for grabs by either party.

So what seems to make sense is to give a hard look at two Midwestern Republican Governors, both of whom have served in Congress, and understand Washington, DC, but have also governed key states that are good models for preparation for the White House, at least in theory!

These two Governors are:

John Kasich of Ohio

Mike Pence of Indiana.

A lot more attention will be given to these two men as we get closer to the real beginning of the Presidential race at the end of 2014 and going into early 2015!

Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz–All Make Deadly Errors For Their Presidential Bids!

The four Republicans most talked about for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, and seen as Tea Party supported, all have made fatal errors that will destroy their Presidential bids!

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan has called for cutting veterans medical benefits, at a time when there is a desperate need to spend more and do more for our dedicated veterans.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, already seen by many as not too bright upstairs, has changed his mind on voting restrictions laws in the states, first saying they were wrong (a sign of progress), and then reversing himself under attack from the Tea Party lunatics in his party.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has become a climate change denier, and indicated religion wins over science, just as it becomes clear that Florida, and particularly his home city of Miami, is to become the biggest victim of climate change, and there are, already, signs of just that.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz caused the government shutdown that cost the government billions of dollars for absolutely nothing gained.

These men are all self destructive, and at the same time, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has self destructed because of scandal, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is doubtful about running.

While all these so called “front runners” are showing their warts, then we have former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman showing himself to look better and better, but the right wing of his party is totally ignoring him, because he has brains, intelligence, vision, experience, and all the other attributes needed in a future President.

Such is the disaster that is the 2014 GOP!

What If Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, And Jeb Bush Do Not Run For President?

So much attention has been paid to the concept that Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Jeb Bush will run for President, but what if none of these three career politicians choose to run?

There are some hints that Hillary will not run, and there has been concern about her health, her age, and whether she wants to go through the “hell” of running for President, knowing that she is soon to be a grandmother, and will be in her 70s nine months into her Presidency. There seems to be the belief that she wants to be President, but does not relish running for the job. The vicious attacks have begun anew, as when she was First Lady, and she could have more leisure time, and make more money by writing more books, doing more lectures, and being a “statesman”, instead of being a politician.

The problems to be faced by the next President in domestic and foreign affairs are overwhelming, and cannot make her feel that there will be any sense of peace or tranquility, with the total chasm between the Democratic and Republican Parties. And despite lack of criticism openly by the Left in the Democratic Party, many would rather see Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, or Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, running as fresh faces. Some even imagine Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont as an alternative, although both he and Warren are not good on the age factor, with Sanders in his 70s, and Warren entering it late in the next term of the Presidency.

Vice President Joe Biden faces the same situation–age and health issues, and the desire to spend more time with his family, with him reaching the age of 74 shortly after the next Presidential election. Biden loves his job, but is he, maybe, having second thoughts as well about the challenges ahead, and after 44 years of public service, it would not be surprising if he decided not to run.

Jeb Bush is being promoted by his brother, George W. Bush, and his dad, George H. W. Bush, while his mother, Barbara Bush, advises against his running for President. Jeb has a quandary, as the “establishment” in the party wants him, as Chris Christie flounders with his scandal in New Jersey, but it is clear that he has strong doubts, as to the wisdom of running, and facing vehement opposition from the Tea Party Movement and others in the right wing dominated GOP, that it would be a tough battle to win the nomination, and he is behind, even in Florida, to Hillary Clinton. Also, remember that Jeb has not been public office for ten years by 2016, and will not have faced a campaign since 2002, by 2016, and his experience does not come anywhere near that of Hillary and Joe.

But the question arises, what happens if these three “leaders” do not run for President? Who would benefit, come out of the shadows, and become the new John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama for the Democrats (all not considered front runners in the second year of the Presidential term before they were elected)? And who would become the man able to demonstrate the experience and ability of Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain, which led the GOP to pick people with foreign policy expertise as their candidates (even if Dole and McCain did not win the White House)?

Would another woman be likely to run if Hillary did not run, and to have a real chance to win–such as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, or Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota? Or would a Northeastern Governor, such as Martin O’Malley of Maryland or Andrew Cuomo of New York be the best bet? Or would another African American Senator, Cory Booker, be the way to go? Or would the Democratic Party go to the moderate center, and pick Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, or go out to the Mountain West and pick former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer? Or could Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont really have a chance to be the nominee?

For the Republicans, would former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, easily the most qualified in foreign policy and effective in domestic matters while governing Utah, be able to gain “establishment” support, and overcome the Right Wing extremism of the Tea Party Movement? Or would the party go to a Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or John Kasich of Ohio, or Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, or Rick Perry of Texas? Or would they go for the newcomers in the Senate–Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, or go for 2012 Vice Presidential nominee, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin?

The reality is that IF Hillary, Joe, and Jeb were to choose not to run, the 2016 Presidential campaign would be wide open, and probably chaotic, path breaking, and historic, and no one could possibly predict the ultimate outcome!

America’s Defense Budget More Than 13 Other Nations Combined!

America’s defense budget is over $600 billion per year, more than the next 13 nations combined, and one can be sure that the intelligence agencies, all 16 of them, are not included in this total, as their budgets, and in many cases their actual existence, are a deep dark secret!

China, by comparison spends one sixth of our defense budget annually, about $100 billion, for a nation with four times the population of the United States.

The other countries on the list include Russia, Great Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, India, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Iran, and Italy.

The military budget is far higher than it was during the Cold War, and too much is being spent on nuclear weapons, and weapons systems that will never, in reality, be used.

But the Pentagon budget has long been one of massive cost overruns, and corruption by corporations that produce our war goods, and meanwhile the one half of one percent spent on “welfare” is being targeted for massive cuts by the Paul Ryan GOP Budget!

It is time for smart spending on defense, not massive waste at the cost of basic decency for our poorest citizens in a country that likes to think it is the most advanced in the world, but yet is too ready to sacrifice “social spending” in the name of mindless defense spending!

Republican “Retreads” Emerge, Demonstrating The Sad State Of Their Presidential Race For 2016!

The Republican Party has a long list of potential Presidential candidates for 2016, many of them “new,” including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and even Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, who have never run before for President.

Then, they have the “retreads”, including Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, those three being a sorry lot as alternatives.

All three are way out of the mainstream of American politics, with Rick Perry making a total fool of himself in 2012; Mike Huckabee, once seen as fairly “moderate” in 2008, having converted into a right wing extremist due to his Fox News Channel weekly show; and Rick Santorum, well just a total embarrassment to himself and everyone around him!

The Republican Party is a sorry lot, with lots of candidates on the bench, but none having the slightest chance to become President!

Instead, the GOP looks completely past former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also former Ambassador to China and Singapore), the only solid, foreign policy experienced, sensible, mainstream candidate, who could attract support across the aisle, and make Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any other Democratic nominee squirm, as he did for awhile in the Barack Obama campaign in 2012, with them considering Huntsman a real threat.

Huntsman is sitting on the sidelines, and considering an independent run on a “No Labels” campaign, and reminding people that the Republican Party of the pre Ronald Reagan era is the only hope for a revival of GOP fortunes, as the country has passed by the anti immigrant, anti gay, anti women, anti labor, anti environment mentality of the Tea Party Movement, which may be able to win gerrymandered Congressional seats, but cannot win the US Senate majority or the White House anytime soon!