Presidential Election Of 1992

Two Experienced National Presidential Campaigners Who Could Challenge Hillary Clinton For Democratic Presidential Nomination: Al Gore And Jerry Brown!

The basic belief that goes around in political circles is that Hillary Clinton has the Democratic Presidential nomination for the asking, and has more experience and background than anyone who could possibly run against her in the primaries, with the major exception of Vice President Joe Biden!

But it is also noted that, actually, there are two very experienced Democrats who have run for President before, along with Hillary and Joe, and yet few are paying any attention to these two men!

I am talking about former Vice President Al Gore, who lost the Presidency in 2000 to George W. Bush, despite having won the national popular vote by about 540,000, but losing the contested election in Florida in the Supreme Court case of Bush V. Gore. Also, Gore sought the Presidency in 1988, before losing the nomination to Michael Dukakis.

I am also referring here to three time Democratic Presidential seeker, California Governor Jerry Brown, who sought the nomination in 1976 and again in 1980 against Jimmy Carter, and against Bill Clinton in 1992!

Both are tested, although both are from “long ago” in many people’s minds, since Gore has never tried for public office since 2000, and sixteen years is a very long time in politics. One could say that Hillary and Joe are also from “long ago”, but they have continued to hold public office consistently since the new century began, with Hillary only “retiring” in 2013 to write her memoir on her years as Secretary of State!

Jerry Brown goes back much further having been Governor of California at age 35, serving from 1975 to 1983; then later being Oakland Mayor and California Attorney General; and then returning to the Governorship 28 years after leaving it, and becoming the oldest Governor in the history of the state in 2011, and now running for a second term at age 76.

There have been rumors that Brown would love to run again, and dog the Clintons, as he did Jimmy Carter. It would be ironic if he was to challenge Hillary as he did her husband in 1992!

Of course, Brown would be nearly 79 were he to become President in 2017, and Al Gore would be nearly 69, just five months younger than Hillary Clinton, while Joe Biden would be 74 at the time of the inauguration!

One might say that having all these “old folks” running or considering the Presidency is disturbing, and add to that mix, two liberals who are rumored to run, If Hillary chooses not to run, or possibly even if she does—Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who would be 67 on Inauguration Day, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (technically a Socialist), who would be 75.

While we are at it, why not add Secretary of State John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, to the list, with him being 73 if elected to the Presidency in 2016!

These people, all seven of them, represent a lot of talent and experience and brilliance, but ranging from 67 to 79 is NOT a good trend, particularly with the strong likelihood that the Republican Party will nominate someone much younger, probably by a full generation, or close to it, in years!

Happy 90th Birthday, President George H. W. Bush!

Today is the 90th birthday of former President George H. W. Bush, whose wife, Barbara Bush, celebrated her 89th Birthday just four days ago! Bush is the third of four recent Presidents to reach the age of 90, along with Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and when Jimmy Carter reaches 90 on October 1, it will mean four consecutive Presidents have reached that magical age. Only John Adams and Herbert Hoover, of earlier Presidents, reached that age!

The Bushes are the longest lasting marriage of all Presidential marriages in history, and will reach 70 years early next year!

President Bush seemed close to the end just 19 months ago, at Thanksgiving 2012, but miraculously overcame the crisis, and now, despite being in a wheelchair full time, the 41st President remains active with family and intellectual matters!

Bush has now been out of office for 21 plus years, and his time in office began a quarter century ago in 1989!

Bush has become much respected and loved as the years have gone by, even though he suffered a bitter defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992, the second worst performance of an incumbent President running for reelection in American history.

The Bush Presidency continues to be an area of growing interest and debate, but Bush has become an elder statesman, much admired and appreciated.

So Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Age Issue Shows Itself Again With Karl Rove Statement On Hillary Clinton

The age issue is rearing its ugly head again with Karl Rove’s comment on Hillary Clinton and her health issue in the last months of her time as Secretary of State, when she fell, hit her head, and was hospitalized for a few days, and took a month to recuperate.

One must remember that Hillary Clinton set records for travel mileage as Secretary of State, enough to cause anyone health issues temporarily, but there is no hint that she is not up to the challenge of running for President.

Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden too, are both extremely qualified for the Presidency, and Karl Rove is going in dangerous territory in using the age issue, particularly when it is clear that Ronald Reagan was never the same after his gunshot wound ten weeks into his Presidency, and seemed lacking in alertness when debating Walter Mondale in the first Presidential debate in 1984; fell asleep with the Pope, and at cabinet meetings; is rumored to have been in early stages of dementia and Alzheimers in his second term; and had trouble answering questions on a constant basis at press conferences. It was often said that Nancy Reagan was his eyes and ears in more ways than one.

Since both Hillary and Joe are, clearly, intellectually, superior to Reagan, Rove’s comment only draws more attention to the shortcomings of Reagan, but also to other recent GOP nominees Bob Dole and John McCain, both of whom were in their 70s. Or is this sexism, because Hillary is a woman?

Having said all of the above, it is still reality that a younger Republican Presidential nominee in 2016 will likely be seen as having some edge over a much older Democratic nominee, as only Reagan has had the edge as the older nominee over much younger opponents. So it brings up the question as to whether it would be better for a younger, newer generation Democratic nominee, as with JFK in 1960, Carter in 1976, Clinton in 1992, and Obama in 2008. It is well worth careful consideration!

March Of Second Year Of Presidential Term Not Good Time To Assume Presidential Nominees For Next Term, Proved By History!

As March 2014 ends, Hillary Clinton is the runaway favorite for the Democratic Presidential nomination, which is comforting to her, but going by history, no guarantee of her nomination in the summer of 2016.

Witness the following facts:

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was the front runner in polls for 1976, 1980, and 1984, in March 1974, March 1978, and March 1982.

Senator Gary Hart of Colorado was the front runner in polls for 1988, in March 1986.

Governor Mario Cuomo of New York was the front runner in polls for 1992, in March 1990.

Former Vice President Al Gore was the front runner in polls for 2004, in March 2002.

Senator Hillary Clinton of New York was the front runner in polls for 2008, in March 2006.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani was the front runner in polls for 2008, in March 2006.

Did anyone ever know of a President Ted Kennedy, a President Gary Hart, a President Mario Cuomo, a President Al Gore (other than the contested Election Of 2000), a President Hillary Clinton for the past five years, or a President Rudy Guiliani?

Who was seriously thinking of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama in 1974 or 1990 or 2006? And who was seriously thinking of Michael Dukakis in 1986 or John Kerry in 2002? The answer is that none of the top five in polling in all these different March second year of the term polls were these five listed in this paragraph, including the last three Democratic Presidents!

So the game of Presidential candidacy is far from resolved at this early point of the battle for the next Presidential nominations in both parties!

Jerry Brown: A Legend In California Politics!

California Governor Jerry Brown has had an amazing career, and apparently, will continue it at nearly age 76, as he has announced a campaign for a second consecutive term as Governor of the largest state in the Union!

Brown, the son of former Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, who governed the state from 1959 to 1967 (and lost in 1966 to Ronald Reagan), first was elected to office in 1970, serving as California Secretary of State, at age 32. Then, he won two consecutive terms as Governor in 1974 and 1978, becoming Governor at age 36. He also was a Democratic contender for the Presidency in both 1976 and 1980 against Jimmy Carter. He later challenged Bill Clinton and other Democrats for the Presidency, in a third round, in 1992.

After leaving the Governorship, Brown was out of politics for 16 years, having lost a Senate race, his only political loss in 1982. But he went on to become Mayor of Oakland from 1999-2007, and then State Attorney General from 2007-2011. until elected Governor again, after 28 years earlier having left the Governorship.

So Brown was the youngest California Governor in modern history, and is now the oldest, and will be nearly 81 when he finishes his fourth term in that office in January 2019. an election this fall which is guaranteed to succeed.

Brown has become a legend in California politics, and one should not be so sure that IF Hillary Clinton seems to falter, Brown just might enter the Presidential race in 2016, although he denies any such intention.

The Potential For A Massive Hillary Clinton Landslide Of Historic Proportions In 2016!

The Republican Party is managing, by its rhetoric, including most recently, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, to insult women about their libidos, and that only helps the Democratic Party and its likely Presidential nominee in 2016, Hillary Clinton.

Between the issue of women, and also alienation of African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, gays and lesbians, labor, environmentalists, the struggling middle class, the poor, those who believe in science’s validity over religious dogma, and those who have an open mind on social issues, the GOP is continuing to promote its own suicide, and the potential is there for a massive Hillary Clinton landslide of historic proportions, particularly for a Democrat!

The assumption is that Hillary Clinton can count on the 26 states and the District of Columbia which voted for Barack Obama in 2012.

Additionally, the potential for Indiana and North Carolina, which voted for Obama in 2008 but then turned “Red””, to go back to the Democrats, is seen as highly likely.

Then, the states of South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas in the South, along with Arizona and Montana in the West, and Missouri in the Midwest, (usually a bellwether state but not so in 2008 and 2012) to go Democratic in 2016, particularly with the growing Hispanic and Latino population, is seen as possible, or if not in 2020 for sure.

That would make 34 states, and then there is the issue of five other states which went for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, but then turned “Red”, so the question is could the wife of Bill Clinton, because of the Clinton brand 20-25 years ago, by 2016, be able to convince those five states (West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana) to switch over to the Democrats, with those states also having growing numbers of Hispanics and Latinos? After all, Arkansas is the Clintons’ “home” state, and Tennessee was Vice President Al Gore”s “home” state, while the other three states, all extremely poor and deprived, were Democratic in the 1990s!

So the maximum number of states could be 39, plus the District of Columbia, leaving only eleven states which were solidly Republican in the 1990s, and have remained “Red” ever since—Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska.

So were those eleven states to vote predictably, which is extremely likely, the GOP nominee for President would have ONLY 55 electoral votes, meaning Hillary Clinton would have won a grand total of 483 electoral votes! Imagine an election of 483-55 for the Democratic Party, which would certainly make for a Democratic dominance in the Senate and a majority in the House of Representatives, as well, as such an electoral vote landslide would insure a “coattail” effect!

The Dominance Of Political Family Dynasties

It now seems clear that Hillary Clinton will be running for the Presidency, and that she is very likely to become the 45th President of the United States, and its first woman President.

Every poll imaginable shows her far in the lead against any Democratic challenger, including Vice President Joe Biden, who is the only other Democrat to even score more than a couple of percent in any poll, but about 50-60 points behind the former First Lady, former Senator, and former Secretary of State.

And every poll also shows that NO Republican comes anywhere near Hillary Clinton, with the only one who seemed to compete, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, rapidly collapsing in the midst of the “Bridgegate ” and associated scandals, with the issue of funding of projects with federal money for Hurricane Sandy the more dangerous scandal for Christie and his future.

Hillary Clinton enters the 2016 campaign almost as if she was an incumbent, and really, no one has ever been in as enviable a position as she seems to be. But this means that she must not take anything for granted, run hard and vigorously and not assume victory as Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey thought in 1948, before he lost in an upset victory by President Harry Truman.

Hillary Clinton must be able and willing to take as much flak and attacks on everything imaginable in her record and life story, and she does seem to be tough enough to deal with that, plus the inevitable death threats which will be visited upon her at a rate probably at least equivalent to Abraham Lincoln, and possibly at the same astronomical rate of President Barack Obama, who faces, approximately, 30 death threats in some form per day!

Many might think that a person who will be 69 and three months of age at the time of the inauguration, making her the second oldest inaugurated President in American history, after Ronald Reagan, who was about eight months older at his first inauguration, would think twice about spending the next ten years of her life, until age 77 and three months, if she served two complete terms, with the pressure cooker and stresses of running for President, and dealing with an increasingly complex and troubled world and nation. But she seems game for the challenge, and would certainly come into office more experienced and better equipped for the Presidency than almost any occupant of the Oval Office we have seen.

But her likely accession to the Presidency, with the full team support and financial backing of many Obama Administration and campaign functionaries, is a true sign that Vice President Joe Biden should give up the quest for the White House, as he is about five years older, and would be the oldest first term President, and if he were to serve two terms, would be past 82 at the end. This author is a great Joe Biden fan, but it does seem time for party unity, in the midst of Republican chaos and anarchy, for him to accept reality, and as soon as Hillary Clinton announces, to be gracious and announce he will not challenge her for the nomination.

There is no likelihood of any Democrat bothering to challenge her, particularly if Biden drops out, and the long range shot by former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer would only be like a Don Quixote battling a windmill!

If Hillary Clinton succeeds in her quest, she will have made the Clinton dynasty the most dominant in modern American history, without any debate. Consider that her husband, Bill Clinton affected the nation from the time he ran in 1992 until he left in 2001, followed by Hillary as Senator from New York for eight years, and then four years as Secretary of State, making for a total of 21 years, now followed by two years in private life, but ten years into the future of campaigning, and possible two terms in the Presidency, which would make for a grand total of 31 years of national influence. And even these two years of private life, Hillary Clinton remains a national figure of great respect and renown, so one could say 33 years, a third of a century, the Clintons may have been the dominant influence in American history–between 1992 and 2025!

The dominance of the Clintons is only matched recently by the Bushes, with father George H. W. on the political radar from his 1980 challenge to Ronald Reagan until his forced retirement in 1993, after losing to Bill Clinton. Then, his son George W. came on the scene as Texas Governor in 1995 and son Jeb as Florida Governor starting in 1999. When George W. ran in 2000, and then won two terms, leaving in 2009, it meant a total of 14 years of senior Bush, followed by 14 years of junior Bush, for a total of 28 years. Ironically, if Jeb were now to run, which his mother does not advise him to do, and which Speaker of the House John Boehner thinks he should do, and were he to win, he could surpass the potential Clinton family record!

Compared to the Clintons and the Bushes, no other family dominates, as the Kennedy generation of John and Robert only lasted 8 years, and after Ted Kennedy lost his only real chance for the Presidency in 1980 against Jimmy Carter in the primaries, it meant a total of maybe 20 years of Kennedy dominance, although Ted did stay as an influential Senator until his death in 2009.

The only other family worthy of mention are the Roosevelts, if one counts Teddy and Franklin as part of the same dynasty, although different parties and generations completely. But even TR and FDR were only dominant for a total of 20 years combined, although TR remained a national figure for the ten years after his Presidency until his death.

It would certainly be ironic if we ended up with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush opposing each other in 2016, as a battle of the titans, the two families who have more dominated American politics than any other in American history!

“Wild Cards” To The Extreme: Jerry Brown And Howard Dean Presidential Candidacies?

We are entering 2014 in ten days, and yet, we are going back to the past, the extreme past, in fact, when we learn that California Governor Jerry Brown and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean are considering running for President in 2016.

Jerry Brown is not just a “wild card”, but also he is the “wildest card” of all, having run for President three times in the past 40 years, and being age 78 in 2016. Brown was Governor of California for two terms from 1975-1983, and after being Attorney General and Oakland Mayor, came back as Governor in 2011, making him the youngest and oldest Governor in California history.

Brown ran in 1976 against Jimmy Carter in the primaries and caucuses, and then challenged the reelection campaign of Carter, along with Ted Kennedy, in 1980. Then, he ran in the 1992 campaign against the ultimate winner, Bill Clinton, and bad blood was spilled between the two men. Now, if Brown ran, he would be challenging Hillary Clinton, stirring up again the bad blood that developed 22 years ago.

Brown has always been a gadfly, an annoyance, and both Southern Democratic Presidents elected in the past 40 years saw him as an annoying “mosquito”, as he was seen as weird and flaky by many, and is still seen as that in his old age by many observers.

Howard Dean was Governor of Vermont from 1991-2003, and was the frontrunner for awhile in the 2004 Presidential campaign, but collapsed quickly and made a fool of himself by his shrieks after the Iowa Caucuses, and John Kerry went on to become the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004, losing to George W. Bush. Dean has been a commentator on public affairs, and a left wing critic of Barack Obama, but at age 68 in 2016, could be part of the race again, although the odds are heavy that he will not get very far in his challenge to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and any other Democrats who might decide to run, including former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who has the virtue of being a “new face” in the race, and a lot younger than either Brown or Dean.

Brown particularly, and even Dean, could be seen as being almost like Harold Stassen was in the Republican Party, politicians who have had their moment in the sun, but fail to realize that the time has passed on them, and that we are not about to nominate a 78 year old “has been”, or even a 68 year old “wannabe”!

“What Ifs” Of Presidents Defeated For Reelection

The game of “What If” is a fun game, trying to imagine what would have changed history!

An example is to wonder what changed circumstances would have caused Presidents defeated for reelection to have won reelection.

Since World War II, three Presidents have been defeated when running for another term—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush.

What are the common bonds among these three Presidents that caused them to lose?

Presidential Primary Opposition—Gerald Ford from Ronald Reagan in 1976; Jimmy Carter from Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown in 1980; George H. W. Bush from Pat Buchanan in 1992.

Bad Economy and Recession—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush

Third Party Candidate Opposition In Election Campaign—Jimmy Carter from John Anderson in 1980; George H. W. Bush from Ross Perot in 1992.

Communication Problems With the American People—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush.

Additionally, Gerald Ford had the problem of the Richard Nixon Pardon, which hurt him; and Jimmy Carter had the problem of the Iran Hostage Crisis, which dogged him through Election Day and beyond.

Finally, all three Presidents had the problem of an opponent who became very appealing as an alternative—Gerald Ford with Jimmy Carter; Carter with Ronald Reagan; and George H. W. Bush with Bill Clinton. Carter and Clinton represented a generational change–eleven years between Ford and Carter, and 22 years between Bush and Clinton, while Reagan represented a charismatic actor who had a loyal following able to overcome doubts by the perceived weaknesses of Carter.

One has to wonder what might have been had Ford been elected in 1976, preventing a President Carter; what might have been had Carter been reelected, preventing a President Reagan; and what might have been had Bush been reelected, preventing a President Clinton.

Reagan might still have succeeded President Ford, but after what would have been 12 years of Nixon and Ford, one wonders?

Would Ted Kennedy have had an open season to win in 1980, or Jerry Brown, or who else, as a result? If Reagan had not been President, would Bush have been so, and if not, would his son, George W. Bush have been President? Unlikely, but also if father Bush had defeated Clinton, who would have been the likely front runner for the Democrats in 1996, after what would have been 8-16 years of GOP control?

And would we be speaking about Hillary Clinton as a likely Presidential candidate, and even winner, now in 2013?

This is all food for thought, and a fun game, and a great novel, in the lines of Jeff Greenfield”s book on a “Second Kennedy Term”, due out on the book market very soon!

The Case For A New Generation Of Democrats For The Presidential Election Of 2016!

As the Presidential race begins, and it has started already, like it or not, it is clear that Hillary Clinton, who will be 69 in 2016, and Joe Biden, who will be 74 in 2016, are the frontrunners, and that Hillary is using up most of the oxygen in the room, way ahead of Biden in polls, with other potential Democratic candidates in single digits.

But despite the confidence and optimism about Hillary and even Joe as a backup, there is a growing case for the argument that the Democratic Party should bypass both Hillary and Joe, no matter how much one may love or admire either of them, and go for a new generation of Democrats, as was done in 1960 with John F. Kennedy, in 1976 with Jimmy Carter, in 1992 with Bill Clinton, and 2008 with Barack Obama!

All of these successful Democratic Presidential winners were young–43, 52, 46, and 47 respectively at the time of the inauguration. All were younger than their GOP opponents, although Richard Nixon was only four years older, but represented a continuation of Dwight D. Eisenhower, our oldest President at the time when he retired in 1961!

But Jimmy Carter was eleven years younger than Gerald Ford; Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush; and Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain!

The fact is ONLY three Presidents were inaugurated at age 65 or older—William Henry Harrison at age 68 and dying a month later; James Buchanan at age 65 but only 50 days short of age 66, and rated by many historians the worst President in American history; and Ronald Reagan, inaugurated at just weeks before his 70th and 74th birthday, and judged by many to have deteriorated mentally, with early Alzheimers in his second term of office!

And we have seen Bob Dole defeated at age 73 in 1996; John McCain defeated at age 72 in 2008; and Mitt Romney, defeated at age 65 inn 2012, but also about 50 days short of age 66 if he had been inaugurated, the same exact age as Buchanan was when he won in 1856!

Meanwhile, the Republican Party future is clearly in the hands of young politicians, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and others, with these candidates being mostly in their 40s and 50s, and all younger than Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden!

Historically, in most elections, the younger candidate wins, and the party of the President usually does not do well if it utilizes someone connected with the administration leaving office, no matter what level of popularity reigns when that President leaves office, as witness:

Richard Nixon lost after Eisenhower
Hubert Humphrey lost after Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford lost after Richard Nixon
Walter Mondale lost after Jimmy Carter
Al Gore lost after Bill Clinton

If Hilary Clinton runs, she represents Obama’s foreign policy record, for good or for bad, and also brings back the good and the bad of the Presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton.

If Joe Biden runs, he represents what happens to a Vice President under a President, that the negatives of that President harm the Vice President, as with Nixon, Humphrey, Ford, Mondale, and Gore.

Only George H. W, Bush was able to overcome this hex, and succeed Ronald Reagan in 1988, although then losing reelection in 1992, the greatest percentage loss of any President in American history, except William Howard Taft in 1912!

It is reality that Democrats will be heavily favored in the Electoral College in 2016, no matter who runs, but it would be easier for a “New”, younger Democrat to be the Presidential nominee, such as Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo, KIrsten Gilllibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Mark Warner, John Hickenlooper, or Elizabeth Warren, all of whom are much younger than Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, with the exception of Warren, who would be 67 in 2016, which makes her a less ideal candidate based upon age!

It is important for Democrats to think carefully before they decide for a continuation of the Obama Presidency through Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, as nominating someone younger and separated from the Obama Administration would be preferable, and easier for the grueling campaign ahead!