Paul Wellstone

Two Potential Democratic Presidential Contenders For 2020 From The Midwest: Sherrod Brown And Amy Klobuchar

The importance of the Midwest in presidential elections has always been something to realize, and ever more so after Hillary Clinton lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa in 2016.

Many think had she chosen Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, then she might have won those states, along with Pennsylvania, enough to swing the Electoral College.

So, therefore, much attention is being paid to two Midwestern Democratic Senators, both easily reelected in the Midterm Elections of 2018, as potential Democratic Presidential nominees.

One is the same Sherrod Brown, who never thought of himself as a future President, but is now seriously thinking about it. He is giving interviews where he makes clear that he is seriously considering a run for the White House, and is seen as someone that should not be ignored as a serious candidate if he runs.

Brown has been a member of the Senate for 12 years, and before that, of the House of Representatives for 14 years, after having served as Ohio Secretary of State for eight years, and in the Ohio legislature for eight years before that.

He is an unabashed liberal who has had appeal for the working class, something many Democrats have had trouble with, although Joe Biden has been of similar vein. Brown would be 68 in 2020, a full decade younger than Joe Biden, and Ohio has been a crucial state in presidential elections, with six Ohioans elected President between 1868 and 1923, and Ohio being a state every elected Republican President has won from Abraham Lincoln through Donald Trump.

Also reelected to a third term in the Senate is Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a inheritor of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone. Klobuchar was Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Attorney from 1998 to 2006,and gained a reputation as a tough prosecutor, before her election to the Senate. She has sponsored or cosponsored 98 pieces of legislation, more than any other Senator. She is seen as bipartisan, able to work “across the aisle”, and has a good public image, but not as controversial as Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand, other women thought to be likely to announce for President.

This author has particular feelings of support of Klobuchar for the Presidency, and think she has an excellent chance of being the Democratic nominee for President in 2020, and is more likely to gain support of white working class males, more than Warren, Gillibrand, or Kamala Harris of California. She would be 60 years of age at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020.

Both Brown and Klobuchar are solid possibilities for the Presidency, and are from the “heartland”, rather than the Atlantic and Pacific Coastlines.

So when assessing the upcoming Democratic Presidential race, do NOT dismiss Sherrod Brown nor Amy Klobuchar.

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.

Multiple Women Running For President: Will That Help Men In the Democratic Presidential Race Of 2020?

It is not too soon to start considering potential nominees for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020.

We know that as soon as the Midterm Elections of 2018 are decided, the 2020 Presidential battle begins.

We have the potential of four women running for President, but the question is whether that possible reality will actually help men to triumph, with the women neutralizing each other.

So one wonders if it would be a better idea for at least two of the four women to forgo the Presidential race, not that it is likely that will actually happen.

2020 is the year of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, the woman suffrage amendment, and it would certainly be appropriate for a woman to be nominated for and win the Presidency, particularly after Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and still lost the Electoral College in 2016.

Who among the women would be most likely to have a good chance to win?

This author would argue Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar would be the best case scenario.

Klobuchar has had both state and national experience, and comes across as less controversial and more mainstream than the other three women who are considering running for President.

Klobuchar has a great advantage coming from the Midwest, and the Democratic Farmer Labor tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone.

Do not forget that the Midwest is the crucial area of the nation that the Democrats must win, and there is no other leading figure from the Midwest in the Presidential competition.

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts may be best known, but she comes across to many people as too combative, too outspoken, too divisive a figure, and too much like Bernie Sanders, who might co-opt her support.

Kirsten Gillbrand of New York has an earlier history of being quite conservative in her upstate New York district, and then suddenly being very liberal, and then becoming controversial when she pressured former Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign without a hearing about sexual harassment charges lodged against him, which alienated many people, including this author.

Kamala Harris of California may be the best alternative to Amy Klubuchar, and being of mixed race (mother from India, father from Jamaica), and with a compelling background of long experience in law enforcement as District Attorney of San Francisco and then Attorney General of her state, and her dynamic and charismatic manner, she could be a great possible choice for the Presidency. She is often called “the female Barack Obama”, but has much more experience in government than Obama had when he ran for President in 2008.

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

The Growing Significance Of Minnesota In The Vice Presidential Sweepstakes For The Democrats!

Minnesota is a strongly Democratic state, with a Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton, who has been very successful in promoting economic growth in the state.

It also has two Democratic Senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, both supremely qualified to be Vice President.

It was also the state of Vice President and Presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey in 1968, and Vice President and Presidential nominee Walter Mondale in 1984.

It was also the state of Senator Eugene McCarthy and Senator Paul Wellstone.

Hillary Clinton has to consider both Franken and Klobuchar, as it is assured that either one in the Vice Presidency would be replaced by a Democrat, not assured in other states, including New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia.

Franken would be a great “attack dog” against Republican Donald Trump, and would be the first Jewish Vice President if Hillary Clinton won the White House.

Klobuchar would be the first woman Vice President, and far superior to Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin in qualifications and experience.

Either Franken or Klobuchar would be a worthy successor to Joe Biden to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency!

Bernie Sanders Is Running For President! A True Champion Of The Average American, A La FDR and Hubert Humphrey!

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is running for President as a Democrat, and the nation will benefit from his candidacy in so many ways.

It will make at least one competitor against Hillary Clinton, an essential step, as no one should ever be unchallenged for a Presidential nomination.

It will force Hillary Clinton to move to the populist left, and to take bold stands on many issues, and if she fails to do so, do not think that it is impossible for Sanders to win the nomination.

If Barack Obama could win, a real long shot, it is conceivable, although not likely, that Sanders could go all the way.

The Iowa Caucuses could favor Bernie, as Clinton only ended up third behind Barack and John Edwards in 2008.

The New Hampshire Primary will again be crucial, and Sanders being a New Englander, could have a shot at winning in this neighboring state to Vermont.

Were Hillary to lose both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, she could be in trouble.

The campaign will allow people to see that Sanders, an independent Socialist who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, is not a “monster” because he is Socialist; that he is perfectly harmless and simply speaks for people who are not rich, and cares about the middle class and the poor, the environment, and reviving the “American Dream”.

Sanders is the longest serving Independent member of either house of Congress in all of American history—16 years in the House of Representatives, and 10 in the Senate by 2016, making him one of the most experienced people in government ever to run for President.

Sanders will be able to show that Socialism brought us so many of the programs we accept as normal in America–Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Compensation, Minimum Wages, Maximum Hours, Sick Leave, Vacation Time, Labor Unions, Aid to Farmers, Public Education, Environmental Protection, Consumer Protection, Civil Rights, and so many other great initiatives that have made America a better place. And it has not led to dictatorship, loss of civil liberties, or any other ridiculous fear that the right wing loves to promote.

Bernie Sanders is a very genuine, kind, gentle man, who is gruff in his voice and rhetoric, because of his passion for those who are not connected to the corporate interests; but he will refuse to run a nasty campaign of attacks or allow himself to be corrupted by corporate money.

Sanders is a true man of the people, and he will elevate the discussion and the tone of the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2016!

Sanders would also be the second Jew to have announced for President, after Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in 2004, although Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was reported to be planning to run the same year had he not been killed in a small plane crash in 2002.

Bernie Sanders is in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hubert H. Humphrey!

The Politics Of Genuine Personality: Few And Far Between!

To find a politician past or present who was a genuine personality, a REAL person, who gave or gives a damn about the American people, not his or her own agenda, has always been difficult, and the list of national leaders who fit this description, are, indeed, few and far between!

There is so much cynicism about politics, and the thought that there are no decent political leaders, who truly care about the welfare of their constituents and the betterment of the nation is common, BUT there are politicians who, through their actions and words, have proved how genuine they really are!

A selected list of such political leaders follows:

Senator Robert LaFollette Sr. of Wisconsin (1906-1925) (R) (Progressive)

Senator George Norris of Nebraska (1913-1933) (R)

Senator Robert Wagner, Sr. of New York (1927-1949) (D)

Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota (1949-1964, 1971-1978) also Vice President (1965-1969) (D)

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota (1963-1981) (D)

Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota (1991-2002) (D)

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin (1993-2011) (D)

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (2007- ) (Socialiat)

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (2013- ) (D)

Senator Joe Biden (1973-2009) also Vice President (2009- ) (D)

The Dangers Of The Supreme Court Run Amuck In Favor Of Wealthy And Corporations!

The Supreme Court is totally out of control, with its new decision on having no limits on campaign spending by wealthy donors, added on to the Citizens United Case of 2010, and the limitation of voting rights in a 2013 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified a five member GOP majority to destroy all attempts to prevent corporate and wealthy people from controlling the political system, an effort pursued from the time of Theodore Roosevelt a century ago through Senator John McCain and Senator Russ Feingold in the 1990s and early 2000s.

That is all for naught now, and shows the dangers of a runaway, reckless, right wing radical Court!

This is what made Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama criticize Court power, along with progressive reformers including Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Senator George Norris of Nebraska, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

This is the result of 13 Supreme Court nominees since 1960 by Republican Presidents, to only 8 by Democrats, and with two of those Democratic appointments (Arthur Goldberg by John F. Kennedy and Abe Fortas by Lyndon B. Johnson), only lasting three and four years respectively.

Of course, Republican appointments of Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush, turned out to be major surprises in their rulings, but we also ended up with some of the most reactionary and right wing radical appointments in all of American history with the appointments of William Rehnquist by Richard Nixon and the elevation of Rehnquist to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan; Lewis Powell by Richard Nixon; Antonin Scalia by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito by George W. Bush. The appointments of Chief Justice Warren Burger by Richard Nixon; Anthony Kennedy by Ronald Reagan; and Chief Justice John Roberts by George W. Bush, have been more of a mixed bag, sometimes good, and sometimes horrible in its effect on constitutional law!

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy selected a mostly conservative Justice Byron White; Lyndon B Johnson selected Thurgood Marshall; Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, but sadly, their influence in the last four of the five names listed, has been mostly in being the opposition, sometimes vehement in nature!

The effect on the future of American democracy is massive, with this right wing Court majority, and the only hope is the eventual retirement of Scalia and Kennedy, and hopefully, continuation of a Democratic Senate and President for the rest of the decade, so that the Court changes direction in the future!

Senator Ted Cruz Praises The Late Senator Jesse Helms, Adding To The Image Of Cruz As The Most Dangerous And Divisive US Senator Today!

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a freshman, is like a bull in a China shop, still in his first year, but laying waste to his party establishment, and making enemies along the way, and thoroughly enjoying the attention he is getting, and unconcerned about the enemies which are piling up in the process!

Cruz, who looks eerily like the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, and is the same age as McCarthy was when he became noticed (42), has already gained infamy by claiming that Harvard Law School professors were Communists, and advocating the Tea Party Movement desire to destroy ObamaCare, and go to war against everything Barack Obama stands for!

Now, Cruz has hit a new low, praising former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina as a model for the Republican Party.

Helms, who died in 2008 at the age of 86, served thirty years in the US Senate, from 1973-2003, and “took no prisoners”, using racist tactics in his election campaigns, opposing a Martin Luther King national holiday, and being rude and nasty toward the first African American woman Senator, Carol Mosley Braun of Illinois, among other horrible actions!

Helms was a full scale segregationist in the age of civil rights, non apologetic for upholding the Confederate heritage, and never reformed in any form, unlike Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who both mellowed and reformed somewhat in their later careers.

Helms would go down as one of the most negative characters ever to serve in the US Senate, and yet, now, Ted Cruz has said that we should have 100 Jesse Helmses in the US Senate, and it would be a far better body!

What is going on in the mind of this man, Ted Cruz? Why is he declaring war on common decency and humanity, insulting both Democrats and fellow Republicans on a daily basis?

Well, Cruz wants to be President, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, no matter how many victims he leaves in his wake!

Many Republicans are afraid, literally, of him and his tactics and personality, reminding too many of Senator McCarthy, which again, Cruz has an uncanny resemblance to, in facial features and aggressive personality!

McCarthy was eventually, and rightfully, censored by the US Senate, including most of his own colleagues, and it may come to a time where an action like that will be required to tone down this threat to order and stability in the Senate, and the nation at large!

While we are on this idea of needing “100” of a particular person, this author has better suggestions, although the concept of “100” is actually ridiculous!

But if we are to do so, how about 100 Bernie Sanders; 100 Elizabeth Warren; or going back to past Senators, how about 100 Robert La Follette, Sr; 100 George Norris; 100 Hubert Humphrey; 100 Ted Kennedy; 100 George McGovern; 100 Paul Wellstone; 100 Joe Biden?

Barack Obama Continues Tradition Of Progressive Republicans And Liberal Democrats

President Barack Obama demonstrated in yesterday’s Second Inaugural Address that he is following the best traditions of the progressive and liberal champions of the 20th and early 21st century!

Not only is he pursuing the vision of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, but also of many others, including:

Senator Robert La Follette, Sr. of Wisconsin, progressive Republican
Senator George Norris of Nebraska, progressive Republican
Senator Robert La Follette, Jr. of Wisconsin, progressive Republican
Senator Jacob Javits of New York, progressive Republican
Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey, progressive Republican
Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, progressive Republican
Senator Charles Mathias of Maryland, progressive Republican
Senator Charles Percy of Illinois, progressive Republican
Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, progressive Republican
Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, progressive Republican, Independent, liberal Democrat
Senator Robert F. Wagner, Sr. of New York, liberal Democrat
Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, liberal Democrat
Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, liberal Democrat
Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, liberal Democrat
Senator Walter Mondale of Minnesota, liberal Democrat
Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, liberal Democrat
Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, liberal Democrat
Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, liberal Democrat
Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, liberal Democrat
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Independent Socialist, allied with Democratic Party

And this list of ten progressive Republicans and ten liberal Democrats are not a complete list, but they are among those who have stood the test of time on their progressive and liberal values!

And realize that La Follette, Sr., Humphrey, McGovern, and Mondale all ran for President, and that Humphrey, Mondale and Biden all have served as Vice President of the United States.