Presidential Election Of 1980

In Midst Of Democratic “Morass”, Could Jerry Brown Come To The Rescue At Age 82, And Unite Democrats In 2020?

In the midst of Democratic Party “morass”, stirred up further by Donna Brazile”s new book, and the lack of leadership and a new agenda, other than to wait for Donald Trump to implode, it is alarming those who want an aggressive approach to revive Democratic fortunes.

The clear need for a new generation of leadership is clear cut, but at this point, some are starting to notice that the Governor of the largest state is actively on the attack against the Trump Administration on the issues of the environment, immigration, gun regulations, and more. He is the great progressive star. Who are we referring to?

We are talking about Jerry Brown, who is 79 years old, and will leave the Governorship a year from now at age 80.

Some are wondering could a 82 year old four time Governor of California, at age 36-44 and then 72-80, actually mount a Presidential campaign for the fourth time, after trying in 1976, 1980 and 1992–so 44, 40 and 28 years ago?

It seems crazy to imagine it, but it also demonstrates how weak the Democrats seem to be, as we start to consider Presidential candidates in 2020 for the Democrats.

All one can say is IF we are to even think about Jerry Brown, then we cannot dismiss Joe Biden (78 in 2020), or Elizabeth Warren (71 in 2020), and even Bernie Sanders (79 in 2020).

But this blogger still feels strongly that a new generation in the 40s, 50, and early 60s is the best route to travel, and would include such leaders as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Senator Kamala Harris of California, likely future California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and others not often mentioned.

Centennial Of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Birth: Most Prominent American Historian In Second Half Of Twentieth Century

Today, October 15, marks the centennial of the birth of renowned American historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, considered by many scholars to be the most prominent American historian in the second half of the 20th Century.

I was fortunate to have been a graduate student under Schlesinger at the City University of New York Graduate School from 1966 to 1975, and I was one of eleven graduate students to have had the opportunity to produce a Ph. D. Dissertation under his support and tutelage. That dissertation, later revised, was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press under the title: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL in 1981.

Schlesinger was a very cordial and supportive sponsor of my dissertation, and we kept in touch occasionally over the next three decades, and I was saddened by his death in February 2007 at the age 89.

Schlesinger helped for me to confirm my liberal and progressive convictions, and my blog that you are now reading was partly inspired by his influence, and has now been operated for more than nine years.

While I do not claim any of the greatness that Schlesinger represented, I am proud of my association with him.

Schlesinger was a public intellectual and social critic, and although he never went beyond an earned Bachelors degree from Harvard University, he was a leading historian, although he had many critics.

He was a Cold War Liberal, strongly anti Communist, and a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Reinhold Niebuhr in 1947, and was its national chairman in 1953-1954.

A professor at Harvard University from 1947-1960, he was the son of the renowned historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr, and related also to 19th century historian George Bancroft through his mother.

He was a speechwriter to Democratic Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956; speechwriter and Latin American policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy; speechwriter and adviser to Senator Robert F. Kennedy during his Presidential campaign in 1968; speechwriter and adviser to 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern; and also speechwriter and adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his 1980 Presidential primary campaign against President Jimmy Carter. That year, Schlesinger broke with his Democratic Party roots and voted for Independent Presidential nominee, Republican Congressman John Anderson, as did former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, both only revealed in their votes in the past few years.

Schlesinger was the author of more than 30 books and hundreds of articles, and was most famous for his two Pulitzer Prizes for his books: THE AGE OF JACKSON (1946) and A THOUSAND DAYS: JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE WHITE HOUSE (1966). He also wrote three seminal volumes on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, only getting as far as 1936, and telling me of his goal to finish in a few more volumes, but that never happened.

But he also wrote an important book on the threat of Richard Nixon–THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY (1973)—and also the standard study of his friend, Robert F. Kennedy–ROBERT KENNEDY AND HIS TIMES (1978).

Schlesinger was the recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities Chair at the City University of New Graduate School from 1966 to 1974, and that is how I became one of his graduate students.

His impact on the historical profession and American politics continues a decade after his death.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Fourth President In A Row To Hit Age 93! And New Age Records For First Ladies Too!

President Jimmy Carter turns 93 today, and it is a moment to celebrate!

Carter and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, have survived as a combo longer than any Presidential-Vice Presidential team, an amazing 37 years come next January 20.

Mondale will be 90 in early January, so Carter and Mondale will be the second team where both have reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Longevity has been an amazing situation in so many ways, as now we have four straight Presidents–Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush–who will have reached 93.

Only two other Presidents reached 90 and died at that age–John Adams and Herbert Hoover.

Additionally, however, two other Presidential-Vice Presidential nominee teams reached the age of 90 for both men—George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were the Democratic team in 1972; and Gerald Ford and Bob Dole, who were the Republican team in 1976, with Bob Dole still alive at age 94. And Bob Dole also was the Republican Presidential nominee in 1996.

And only in the Presidential Election of 1980 did we have all four on the ballot—President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale–and nominees Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush—live to the age of 90 and beyond and be in the Presidency and Vice Presidency, if Mondale survives until his 90th birthday on January 5, just three months away.

Amazingly, George H. W. Bush will pass Ronald Reagan in longevity of age on October 11, and Bush will be the longest lived President, beyond the age of Gerald Ford, who outlasted Reagan by 45 days, on November 25.

And Carter, who seems in better health than Bush, despite Carter’s having had brain cancer diagnosis more than two years ago, but being in remission, seems likely to outlive Bush, if he can survive Bush by less than four months, a total of 111 days!

Also, with Rosalyn Carter having reached the age of 90 in August, it is now reality that four straight Presidents who reached 93, also saw or are seeing their First Ladies having accomplished reaching the 90s—Rosalyn Carter now 90; Barbara Bush now 92; and Nancy Reagan who lived to 94, second longest lived First Lady, only behind Bess Truman, who was 97; and Betty Ford who reached 93, fourth longest, with Lady Bird Johnson being 94, but a few months less than Nancy Reagan, so third longest lived. So six First Ladies, all since World War II, have managed to reach the 90s, an amazing fact!

49 Years Since Robert Kennedy’s Assassination: The Beginning Of The End Of The Triumph Of Liberalism In The 1960s

It is now 49 years since Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York was tragically assassinated in Los Angeles, where I am right now, in my first visit to the number two city in America.

RFK was seen as likely to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968, and it is believed that he would have defeated former Vice President Richard Nixon in a close race, without being tied to the Vietnam War policy of Lyndon B. Johnson, which Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey had as an albatross around his neck, from which he was unable to escape.

It often seems as if RFK’s death marked a turning point to the right, from which America has never fully recovered, despite the best efforts of Barack Obama, the most liberal President since LBJ, but with the reality of a strong Republican opposition that helped to prevent much of his agenda.

Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, while certainly more “liberal” than any Republican President in the past half century, were unable, and also to a great extent, unwilling to go anywhere as far as Obama attempted.

So in a sense, America lost its liberal champion, which Ted Kennedy represented after his brother’s death, but due to his own Chappaquiddick scandal, was unable to promote, with one failed attempt in 1980 against President Carter.

RFK was certainly one of the most talented and creative politicians we have seen, and had a broad appeal, and his goals and aims to unite people of all backgrounds in promoting progressive change, remain the goal of Democrats as they look ahead to 2020, and wish to find the best Presidential nominee possible.

“Change” Elections: 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1912, 1932, 1960, 1968, 1980, 2000, 2008, And Now 2016?

America has now had 58 Presidential elections, and it can now be said that 12 of them, about 20 percent, have been transformational elections.

In 1800, for the first time. the “opposition” won the Presidency, when Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams.

In 1828, the “common man”, Andrew Jackson, was elected over John Quincy Adams, and all white males over 21, whether or not property owners, were able to vote, and Jackson was perceived as representing the western frontiersman and the urban worker.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln’s victory ushered in a new political party, the Republican Party, as dominant for the next half century, and the Civil War developed out of the split over slavery and its expansion between the Union and the Confederacy. But the sectionalism of that period still exists in many ways in 2017.

In 1896, William McKinley’s victory over William Jennings Bryan promoted the growth of industry and urbanizastion over the previously predominant agricultural and rural nature of America, but in reality, that conflict still exists in 2017.

In 1912, the high point of progressive reform, and the evolution of government playing a major role in the economy from that point on, became a long term reality, with three Presidents–the past President Theodore Roosevelt; the incumbent President William Howard Taft; and the future President Woodrow Wilson—all competing in promoting what one could call the most reform oriented election, with all three Presidents being “progressive” to different degrees.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s victory over Herbert Hoover, was the time of the beginning of Democratic Party dominance, and ever bigger national government, even beyond the Progressive Era of the early 20th century.

In 1960, the election of John F. Kennedy was the triumph of overcoming the “religion issue”, as our first non Protestant President, a Roman Catholic from Massachusetts, was accomplished.

In 1968, the election of Richard Nixon marked the beginning of a turn to the Right, although Nixon actually continued and expanded elements of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in domestic affairs.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan’s victory marked the sharpest turn to the Right since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, and began an era of conservative government, that in many respects, continued under his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

In 2000, the Supreme Court intervention in the Florida vote count, and the awarding of Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes, giving him the Presidency, was a revolutionary change that changed the course of history, when Al Gore won the popular vote by more than a half million, and with the economy having improved during the Clinton years, should have led to Gore in the White House.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain was a sharp turn to the left after what were arguably 40 years of conservative government to different degrees, including under Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and Obama overcame the race issue, in becoming the first African American President.

And now, in 2016, Donald Trump’s victory MIGHT be a sign of another “change” election, with the white working class voting for Trump, giving him the victory in the Electoral College, even though rival Hillary Clinton won the biggest popular vote margin of a losing candidate (2.85 million), greater than many Presidents won on their road to the White House,

But it may eventually be seen as a “fluke” election, and may not be long lasting, and only time and events will tell us what the reality is.

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

Jimmy Carter Turns 92, Time To Reconsider His Legacy, And That Of George H. W. Bush

Happy Birthday, President Carter, who reached his 92nd birthday today, October 1!

Despite his cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2015, Jimmy Carter has reached the pinnacle of being 92 years of age, although thought to be likely to die within months of the bad news last year.

He becomes the second living President to reach 92, with George H. W. Bush achieving that on June 12 of this year.

Within the next 18 months, both Bush and Carter could surpass Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan as the two longest living Presidents, and we wish them both well on that potential achievement.

Both of these one term Presidents have been too long overlooked for their achievements, and their longevity insures that over time they will be seen as far better in office than they were seen after their defeats for reelection in 1980 and 1992.

Confidence In American Future: FDR, Reagan, Obama; Gloom, Doom, Fear View: Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Donald Trump

A positive view of America’s future always is the better approach, one of hope and confidence, and we have had American Presidents who have campaigned on that theme.

Franklin D. Roosevelt did such in 1932.

Ronald Reagan did such in 1980

Barack Obama did such in 2008.

On the other hand, we have had Presidents who did just the opposite, promoted gloom, doom, and fear.

Herbert Hoover was very negative in 1932.

Richard Nixon was very negative in 1968.

And now, Donald Trump is doing such in 2016.

As with FDR, Reagan, and Obama, the result was victory.

And with Hoover and Nixon, their rating in history is very low.

And, well, with Donald Trump, he will go down as the most disastrous Presidential nominee in all of American history, even though he will not lose 49 states, as George McGovern in 1972 or Walter Mondale did in 1984, or 46 states as Alf Landon did in 1936. The number of states lost does not matter, as all three campaigned with dignity, something impossible of achievement by Donald Trump.

Concern About Ages Of Presidential Candidates And Possible Vice Presidential Candidates

This blogger has written about his concern over the fact that instead of having younger Presidential candidates, a “new generation of leadership”, we are now faced with having the oldest combination Presidential nominees in American history.

Donald Trump would be 70 years and past seven months old when he would take the oath, and Hillary Clinton would be 69 years and nearly three months if she was to take the oath.

Only Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower were past 70 in office, and Trump would be eight months older than Reagan was for the first term, and older than Eisenhower by four months for Trump’s first term.

Hillary Clinton would be the second oldest first term President behind Reagan at inauguration, at eight months younger than he was for the first term, age 69 and three months.

And now, there is the strong possibility that Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, might be the Vice Presidential running mate for Trump, making him the oldest VP nominee since 1904, at age 73 and seven months. Only Henry G. Davis, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee with Presidential candidate Alton B. Parker in 1904, was older, at the age of 80, and Theodore Roosevelt won a landslide victory over the obscure and mediocre pair of rivals. Davis had served in the US Senate from West Virginia, but it had been 21 years since he finished his service.

As it is, Gingrich has not served in office for 18 years, a tremendously long time, unmatched except for being surpassed by Davis a century ago.

Additionally, if Hillary Clinton selects Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as her Vice Presidential running mate, as inspiring as that would be, it would mean that we would have the second oldest combination of candidates after Trump and Gingrich, with Warren being 67 and seven months to Hillary’s age of 69 and three months by Inauguration Day.

This is worrisome, as it would be better with two “old” candidates, that the Vice Presidential nominees be substantially younger, rather than three years older in the case of Gingrich and two years younger in the case of Warren.

The Libertarian Presidential Ticket: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson And Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld!

In a year when there is great disillusionment with the Establishment and the Democratic and Republican Parties, the Libertarian Party, a small third party, suddenly is gaining notice, as it has two substantial former Governors as its Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election:

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (R—1995-2003) and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (R—1991-1997).

One public opinion poll shows the potential for the Libertarian Party to gain 10 percent of the vote, because of discontent with the two major party nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

But neither Gary Johnson nor William Weld are household names, and both are from the past, with Johnson out of the Governorship of New Mexico for 13 years, and Weld out of the Governorship of Massachusetts for 19 years.

So while the fact that they were officeholders of some note in the past, the odds of that party, with its libertarian platform, being able to gain a chance to be in Presidential debates, with a minimum 15 percent average in polls needed by September to accomplish that goal, as occurred with Ross Perot in 1992 and John Anderson in 1980, seems a real long shot!