Presidential Election Of 1968

Can Joe Biden Overcome The Obstacle Course Awaiting Him In 2020?

Former Vice President Joe Biden finally announced his campaign on Thursday, starting off as a front runner in polls.

But can he overcome the obstacle course awaiting him in 2020?

In his long career of 44 years in national office, 36 in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President, the longest public service record of any Presidential candidate in modern history, Biden came across as genuine, sincere, decent, and compassionate, and gained millions of fans, including this blogger and author.

But he also made judgments that are problematical, including being against school busing in Delaware; supporting the credit card industry in his state, and in so doing, undermining the ability of debtors to protect themselves by bankruptcy; his lack of protection of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, for which he continues to apologize but in an unsatisfactory manner; his support of an interventionist foreign policy in Iraq; his many gaffes, many of them harmless but still giving him a reputation for loose and thoughtless language; and his habit of being too touchy feely with women and girls, although never accused of sexual improprieties.

Biden also promoted tough crime and drug laws in the 1990s, which are now looked at as blunders that put too many African Americans in prison unjustifiably, and his leadership at different times of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been criticized. His ability to “cross the aisle” and work with many Republicans is seen by some as a weakness, while others see it as a strength.

Biden is a centrist Democrat in 2019 at a time when many progressives are much further to the left than him, and one wonders if he could gain the support of those to his left if he wins the nomination, as he is perceived as too close to the traditional power centers of the party.

Joe Biden has many positive attributes, but his negative side and shortcomings, as seen by many critics, could doom him in a race against Donald Trump, when the most important thing possible is to insure that Donald Trump does not gain a second term, as that would be destructive of every progressive goal in the short run and long run.

This blogger and author has always looked at Joe Biden as a hero of his, as much as earlier, Hubert Humphrey was his model of what a political leader should be like. But Humphrey had the same problem 50 years ago of being admired and praised, but seen by many as not the best choice to oppose Richard Nixon in 1968, against Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

So the same quandary of 1968 awaits us in 2020, to find the best person to be successful against the greatest menace, Donald Trump, that we have had in a half century of American political history, far more damaging than Richard Nixon.

And while Hubert Humphrey was 57 at the time he ran for President in 1968, Joe Biden will be 78 shortly after the election, and as in 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008, Democrats were able to elect a “new generation” leadership of John F. Kennedy (age 43); Jimmy Carter (age 52); Bill Clinton (age 46); and Barack Obama (age 47).

Should that be the direction for 2020 is the ultimate challenge for the Democrats.

And will Joe Biden be able to win the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania? Will he be able to keep the African American community around him? Will he be able to draw moderate independents and alienated Republicans, who do not wish to vote for Donald Trump? Will he be able to win suburban whites, who veered toward Democrats in 2018? Will many seniors who supported Trump come back to the Democrats they once supported? And will enough young voters who have supported Bernie Sanders, who is 14 months older than Joe Biden, extend their allegiance to Biden if he stops the Sanders juggernaut?

These are the questions that will dominate the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2020.

Losing Presidential Candidates Who Should Have Been President: Henry Clay, Charles Evans Hughes, Hubert Humphrey

When one looks back in American history at losing Presidential candidates who should have been President in their times, three names stand out:

Henry Clay of Kentucky, 1824, 1832, 1844

Charles Evans Hughes of New York, 1916

Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, 1968

All three of these Presidential candidates were exceptional public servants.

Henry Clay was the most important legislator of the first half of the 19th century, known as the Great Compromiser, for his promotion of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850. He was the youngest Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and also served a number of terms in the US Senate. He stood for a stronger national government, in the Alexander Hamilton model, and had a great impact on many others including Abraham Lincoln, who became a Whig Party member due to the influence of Clay on him.

Charles Evans Hughes was the progressive Republican Governor of New York, in the Robert LaFollette-Wisconsin model in the early 20th century, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, resigned to run for President against Woodrow Wilson in the closest electoral vote election since 1876, and third closest electoral vote election of all time, and then went on to be Secretary of State. Finally, he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1930s, the New Deal era.

Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, a leading liberal figure, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis before going to the Senate. He was seen as a premier liberal in Congress, responsible for many of the ideas that became the Great Society. He was Vice President under Lyndon B. Johnson, unhappy in that position and forced to support the Vietnam War in speeches, which undermined his Presidential campaign in 1968 against Richard Nixon. He came back to the Senate after his Presidential defeat, and sadly died at the young age of 66 in 1978.

If these three losing Presidential candidates had won, the history of the United States would have been vastly different.

California Governor Jerry Brown Retires With Positive Reputation As Best Governor In 2010 Decade

California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown leaves office after his second two term stint as governor of the largest state with an extremely positive reputation.

He is seen by many as the best governor in any state in the 2010 decade.

Having been governor at age 36 in 1975, Brown now leaves office at age 80 in 2019.

Brown brought California back from the brink of disaster financially in the past eight years; dealt with the environment in a very positive way; protected undocumented immigrants through the promotion of sanctuary cities; and set a standard for courage and principle, particularly in the last two years as he combated Donald Trump.

Originally seen as “flaky ” in the 1970s, he made many enemies by seeking the Presidency in 1976 and 1980 against Jimmy Carter, and then again running against Bill Clinton in 1992.

Looking back, however, this blogger feels he misunderstood the virtues of Jerry Brown, and now wonders how life would have been different with a President Brown instead of a President Clinton, as Clinton and his wife dominated American politics in the past 25 years, and while good in some ways, very tragic and troubling in other ways.

When history is written, Jerry Brown will be seen as one of the best Governors in America of all time. He also will have set the record as the third longest serving Governor since the US became a nation under the Constitution, only behind former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and 8,169 days (22 years, 4 months, and 13 days), and former South Dakota Republican Governor Bill Janklow, with 16 years and 7 days, and Brown having just two days less, with 16 years and 5 days. Brown will have one more day than former Alabama Democratic Governor George C. Wallace, (yes, that infamous segregationist who ran for President in 1968), the only other Governor to finish 16 complete years, although Ohio Republican James Rhodes and North Carolina Democrat Jim Hunt fell just a few days short of 16 years.

11 Democrats, Non-Southerners, Who Became Republicans Over The Past Half Century

It is a well known phenomenon that a massive number of Southern Democratic politicians switched to the Republican Party in the years and decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But it would be instructive to trace those Democrats, in their younger days, who were not Southerners, who made the switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Following is a list of the more prominent such examples, numbering eleven.

In the early 1960s, actor Ronald Reagan, who had been a liberal Democrat and union leader in his younger days, became a Republican, influenced by his wife Nancy’s father, and soon was recruited by Southern California businessmen to run for Governor, and that was the beginning of an amazing transformation in views.

Donald Trump originally was a Democrat, and contributed to New York City and State Democrats, became an Independent, then went back to the Democrats, and finally allied himself with the Republican Party in 2011 and after.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, started off as a Democrat, and worked for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, and voted for the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator George McGovern, before becoming an Independent, and then a Republican.

Elizabeth Dole was a Democrat who worked for Lyndon B. Johnson, but later became a Republican in 1975, married Senator Bob Dole, and was a cabinet member twice, sought the Presidential nomination herself, and then was a Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009 as a Republican.

Vice President Mike Pence left the Democratic Party in the early 1980s, after having supported Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential election, and ran for the House of Representatives and Governorship of Indiana as a Republican.

Condoleezza Rice, left the Democratic party in 1982, and became the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush.

Ben (Nighthorse) Campbell left the Democratic Party in 1995, while a US Senator from Colorado, and became a Republican.

Susana Martinez left the Democratic Party in 1995, and later served as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican.

Norm Coleman left the Democratic Party in 1996, while serving as Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and later was a Senator from Minnesota for one term as a Republican.

Herman Badillo, former Bronx, New York Congressman, left the Democrats in 1996, and identified with the Republican Party.

Michael Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2001 before running for Mayor of New York City as a Republican, just as Rudy Giuliani had done before him.

Donald Trump’s Further Unraveling At Rallies In Florida And Pennsylvania: How Degraded Can He Become?

It is hard to conceive of, but Donald Trump has further unraveled at rallies he held this week in Florida and Pennsylvania.

First, the audiences, consisting of the most ignorant, delusional, despicable people imaginable, all treating him as if he is a God! How sick and disgusting these crowds were, true examples of what Hillary Clinton correctly called “deplorables”, but even that word is too nice, as trash and garbage might be the more appropriate terms!

But then to Donald Trump, attacking Mexican Americans, who are more than 36 million people in America, eleven percent of the population of the nation, only a small amount less than the African American population, saying they are worse than how he described them in his announcement speech in June 2015? This is far worse than anything Alabama Governor George Wallace ever uttered in his Presidential campaign in 1968!

Trump continues to attack John McCain who is still hospitalized and clearly dying of cancer, and one wonders, when McCain passes, will Trump say something totally disgusting about his death?

Trump continues to deny Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, while his national security team makes clear what Russia did, and the direct threat they are presenting every day now.

Trump lies all the time, including about the reality that he was 15 minutes late to meet Queen Elizabeth II, and that he, inappropriately walked in front of her, blocking her.

Trump has refused to allow undocumented immigrants who have broken no laws, and who are married to American citizens, to remain, even after clear pleas for clemency, as just happened with a woman forced out, breaking up a marriage, with that woman saying about Trump, “May God forgive you!”

Trump is a very sick and demented man, clearly deteriorating before our eyes, but Vice President Mike Pence is like a bobblehead doll, nodding yes standing on the left behind every Trump rant!

Donald Trump has led a life of darkness, of being in league with demonic forces, and Karma will come, and Donald Trump will pay the price for his lying, his meanness, his nastiness, his lack of humanity, compassion, empathy, ethics, morals, and decency.

This is a continuing nightmare, seemingly with no end, and will likely lead to widespread violence against journalists, who he is constantly attacking with viciousness, and it could lead to the total breakdown of order, and the outbreak of civil war.

Something has to give, and someone needs to step in and excise the cancer in our midst, before our enemies in the world totally overcome us!

Fifty Years Since Robert F. Kennedy’s Assassination: What Could Have Been

Impossible to believe, but it has been a half century since Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, right after winning the California primary in the 1968 Democratic Presidential race.

The course of history changed dramatically with that horrendous event.

It led to the Presidency of Richard Nixon.

It led to the rise of the Right in American politics, begun under Nixon, greatly expanding under Ronald Reagan, and reaching its most destructive stage under Donald Trump.

It seems highly likely that Robert F. Kennedy would have been elected President, and would have transformed the future of America in a very different direction than it took at the time.

The war in Vietnam would have ended sooner, and saved many lives on both sides of the war.

The Supreme Court would have been dramatically different if RFK had had four appointments, instead of Richard Nixon.

The reforms of his brother, John F. Kennedy, and his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, would have continued, and led to a more equitable, fair minded government.

Instead of taking steps backward, civil rights and civil liberties would have been greatly enhanced.

No one is saying that Robert F. Kennedy would have been a perfect President, and he had his own demons, including his association with Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, and his often secretive and narrow minded views and personality shortcomings that every human being has.

But it can be believed that Robert F. Kennedy would have made America a greater nation than it turned out to be in the past half century!

This is the time for my readers and supporters to read Chapter 10 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, 2015, Paperback 2017), available from the publisher, and from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million.

Presidential Campaigns Lost By 15 Presidents

In our final examination of Presidents and their background and experiences for the White House, we will now examine Presidential campaigns lost by Presidents.

A total of 15 Presidents ran unsuccessful campaigns for Presidents as follows:

Thomas Jefferson lost the Presidential Election of 1796 to John Adams, but then won in 1800 and 1804.

Andrew Jackson lost the Presidential Election of 1824 to John Quincy Adams, but then won in 1828 and 1832.

William Henry Harrison lost the Presidential Election Of 1836 to Martin Van Buren, but then won in 1840.

Martin Van Buren received the most votes on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in 1844, but failed to win the required two thirds majority, and lost the nomination to James K. Polk. He also ran on the Free Soil Party ticket for President in 1848, and finished behind winner Zachary Taylor and second place finisher Lewis Cass. However, he had won the Presidency earlier in 1836.

James Buchanan competed for the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1848 and 1852, but failed to get the nomination, losing to Lewis Cass and Franklin Pierce, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1856.

Millard Fillmore ran on the American (Know Nothing) Party ticket for President in 1856, but finished behind winner James Buchanan and loser John C. Fremont. Earlier, he had served as President after the death of Zachary Taylor.

Andrew Johnson competed for the Democratic nomination in 1860, but lost the nomination to Stephen A. Douglas. He later served as President after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Ulysses S. Grant competed for the Republican nomination in 1880, losing the nomination to James A. Garfield. He had earlier been elected President in 1868 and 1872.

Theodore Roosevelt competed for the Republican nomination in 1912, losing the nomination to President William Howard Taft. He ran in the general election as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party candidate, having earlier served as President, after succeeding to the officer upon the death of William McKinley, and then being elected in his own right in 1904.

Herbert Hoover competed for the Republican nomination in 1920, but lost the nomination to Warren G Harding, but then won the Presidency in 1928.

Lyndon B. Johnson lost the Democratic nomination to John F. Kennedy in 1960, became his Vice Presidential running mate, and succeeded to the Presidency upon Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and was elected for a full term in 1964.

Richard Nixon lost the Presidency to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but then won the Presidency in 1968 and 1972.

Ronald Reagan competed for the Republican nomination in 1968 and 1976, losing the nomination to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1980 and 1984.

George H. W. Bush competed for the Republican nomination in 1980, losing the nomination to Ronald Reagan, but became his Vice Presidential running mate, and then Vice President, and then was elected to succeed him as President in the Presidential Election of 1988.

Donald Trump competed for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, but withdrew before Pat Buchanan won that party’s nomination, and later won the Republican nomination and was elected in 2016.

Also, two future Presidents competed for the Vice Presidency, with Franklin D. Roosevelt being the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in 1920, losing to Calvin Coolidge; and John F. Kennedy competing for the Vice Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 1956, when Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson opened up the Vice Presidential nomination to be decided by the convention delegates, and Estes Kefauver being selected over Kennedy.

Fifty Years Ago Today, Lyndon Johnson Announced He Would Retire; Right Timing Now For Donald Trump To Do The Same!

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had been elected in 1964 by the largest popular vote margin ever in American history to the present moment, announced his decision to bow out of the 1968 Presidential race, and retire, effective at the end of his term on January 20, 1969.

Johnson recognized that he had divided America, and had lost his credibility, and he did the right thing when he announced his decision.

Johnson had done a lot of good, as his Great Society brought the greatest domestic reforms since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, three decades earlier.

Now, five decades since 1968, we have a President who is destroying all of the good works of both LBJ and FDR, as well as Barack Obama, and he is the most crooked, corrupt President in American history, far more than Richard Nixon, who also did a lot of good in the Presidency.

It is, therefore, proper timing for Donald Trump to show the courage and sense of reality of LBJ, and he SHOULD announce today, which this author realizes will not happen today, but hopefully soon, that he is resigning from the Presidency, as Richard Nixon did, not wait another ten months as LBJ did.

Trump has lost all credibility, and is a plague on the nation, endangering our domestic tranquility and national security, and MUST go, NOW!

Robert F. Kennedy, The “Un Trump”? Two Wealthy, Privileged People, And Their Diverse Evolution

Two NBC/MSNBC anchors, Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell, have just published books on the life of Robert F. Kennedy, and on the Presidential Election of 1968, respectively.

Both books are well worth your attention, as they bring back a half century ago, when a wealthy, privileged person, Robert F. Kennedy, united white working class and minority working class people together in a time of tumult, making him a rare political leader.

He also attracted the support of wealthier liberals, and had the capability to unite the country in a time of the civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam.

Had he not been assassinated, RFK would likely have been the Democratic Party nominee, instead of Hubert Humphrey, and would have likely defeated Richard Nixon, and there would have been no Watergate scandal.

No one is saying that RFK would have been God, but certainly, the history of the United States would have been better with him than with Richard Nixon.

Now we have a leader of similar wealth and privilege, but with a totally different bent on every issue imaginable.

Donald Trump revels in dividing people, and using race, religion, and ethnicity to cause tumult and turmoil.

Donald Trump does not have a decent bone in his body, and sees everything in terms of the dollar sign.

Donald Trump has no concern for the average American’s life and future, and instead, promotes demagoguery and hate.

The damage he has done in the year since his election tomorrow, November 8, is so long lasting, that despite no legislative accomplishments, he has set back the nation in so many ways, often to before the years of the New Deal in the 1930s.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and back in the 1920s before the Great Depression and World War II.

And it is highly likely that the damage he has perpetrated in one year will lead to another Great Depression, social turmoil, and World War III, since he has no clue or understanding of domestic or foreign affairs, and only the top one percent will benefit from his destructive agenda.

So Robert F. Kennedy is indeed the “Un Trump”, but sadly, we have no one on the horizon at this moment who seems capable of emerging with the image and agenda of Robert F. Kennedy.

If we did find such a person, we would have optimism about the long range future of the nation, so the goal must be to find the right individual to lead the Democratic Party into the future, and return to the RFK commitment to social, economic, and political change.

Most Significant Years Since 1945: 1968, 1989, 2001 And Now 2017

When historians look back at the year 2017, they will agree that this year of Donald Trump, and the tumult and disarray it has engendered, will make 2017 a path breaking year in American history.

Every year is significant in some way or other, but 2017 will join four other years since the end of World War II as a turning point year, with the inauguration of Donald Trump, and the tumultuous events leading to the possible removal of Trump sometime in 2018 or beyond, due to the criminal activities of the President and many of his cabinet officers.

1945, the end of World War II, the atomic bombing of Japan, the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the evolution of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, will always stand as an especially pivotal year.

1968, the year of assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, of the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War which caused the withdrawal of Lyndon B. Johnson from the Presidential race, the disarray and tumult in America over civil rights and Vietnam, the election of Richard Nixon, has long been considered an historic year.

1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, the Tienanmen Square Massacre in China, and the inauguration of George H. W. Bush make that year historic.

2001, the year of the September 11 attacks which made us aware that we were no longer safe from worldwide terrorism, and the inauguration and crisis leadership short term of George W. Bush after a highly contested 2000 Presidential election, also always seen as a turning point year.