Presidential Election of 2008

The Second Debate Mix: What To Expect

The second Democratic Presidential debate will take place on Thursday, June 27 from 9-11 pm on NBC and MSNBC.

It includes the following ten candidates:

Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders

Pete Buttigieg

Kamala Harris

Kirsten Gillibrand

Michael Bennet

Marianne Williamson

Eric Swalwell

John Hickenlooper

Andrew Yang

The group includes the former Vice President and US Senator; four other US Senators; a member of the House of Representatives; a Mayor; a former Governor; and two independent, out of government candidates.

This debate has more of the so called “heavyweights”—Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris—with the other six candidates seen as much weaker in likelihood of long term survival.

Joe Biden must defend himself as the clear front runner, and avoid any more gaffes, after some controversial statements about his past ability to cross the aisle and work with past racial segregationists, as well as his continued habit of touching and hugging women and children, violating their personal space. He could be harmed by a poor performance, but one must remember how good he was in debates in 2008, and against Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan in Vice Presidential debates in 2008 and 2012.

Bernie Sanders will come across strongly, but has many concerned that he cannot carry the nation in the upcoming Presidential election, with the fact that he embraces the word “Socialist”, which can be abused by Trump and the Republicans against him. He will be engaged in major combat with Biden for sure, as Sanders attempts to overtake him in future polls and fundraising.

Pete Buttigieg has been involved in a major crisis as South Bend, Indiana Mayor, with the recent murder of a black man by city police, and he is under attack for the racial troubles involving the law enforcement community. He should do well in the debate, but can he overcome the massive lead of Biden and Sanders over the rest of the contenders, is the question.

Kamala Harris should come on strong as well, but will need to clarify her stand on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which she compared months ago to the Ku Klux Klan. The assumption is that she will continue to flourish and possibly grow in support.

Some people think Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang, outsiders who clearly have great ideas and intellect, might shine, but somehow, this author and blogger does not see it succeeding.

Of the remaining four, it seems to this author and blogger that Eric Swalwell has the best shot of survival, just a gut feeling, but that Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, and John Hickenlooper have little chance of lasting much beyond the first couple of months of the debate season.

My gut feeling is that out of this group that Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Swalwell, and possibly Williamson and Yang will survive to go on for another day.

This would make the 20 candidates diminish to 12—-and one can say only possibly Steve Bullock, Montana Governor, who was not allowed in the first set of debates, might still have a shot of those few who are not in this debate, leaving Seth Moulton, Congressman from Massachusetts, and the new announced candidate, former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, out in the cold.

So expect out of 23 candidates, 13 will make it to the future debates.

Average Age Of Presidents Is 55: Should Democrats Choose A Younger Nominee?

The Democratic Party faces a quandary: Should they choose a younger nominee as more likely to attract younger voters?

Three times in the past half century, the Democrats picked a much younger nominee than the Republicans:

1976 Jimmy Carter 11 years younger than Gerald Ford

1992 Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush

2008 Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain

All three of those Republicans were far less provocative and controversial than is Donald Trump.

Is nominating someone (Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden) who is older than Donald Trump a wise choice?

Is nominating someone only a few years younger (Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper) a wise choice?

Or would it be far better to nominate someone much younger than Trump to attract younger voters, particularly millennials, someone in their 50s or 40s as a multitude of potential nominees are (ranging from Amy Klobuchar at age 60 down to Pete Buttigieg at age 39)–and including women, minorities, and a gay man to move the nation forward in the 21st century, with a greater guarantee that they will live out their one or two terms in the White House?

This is what Democrats in upcoming caucuses and primaries next year have to come to grips with, with no easy answer as to what should occur!

Beto O’Rourke Enters The Presidential Race: Is He The New Hope For The Democrats In 2020?

Former three term El Paso, Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is the newest entry into the Democratic Presidential race, and is exciting many young voters and others tired of the “establishment” veterans.

O’Rourke is 46, has three children 8, 10, and 12, and his wife Amy Hoover Sanders is 37. If he won the Presidency, it would bring a young family into the White House.

O’Rourke is seen as a moderate centrist, in the line of Joe Biden, but a full 30 years younger.

He came within about two and a half points of Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the Midterm Elections of 2018.

He shares the same first and middle name of Robert Francis Kennedy, the brother of John F. Kennedy, and himself the Attorney General and New York Senator who sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968 before being assassinated on June 6, 1968. And he looks as if he a spitting image of a younger Robert Kennedy but much taller than RFK, although not related to him.

It is an oddity that his wife has the first name of Democratic Presidential rival Amy Klobuchar; a middle name the same as President Herbert Hoover; and a last name the same as Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders. And their older son’s first name is Ulysses, the first name of President Ulysses S. Grant.

O’Rourke has charisma, charm, and personal appeal, and that could just be the right combination for 2020, and opens up the chance that Texas just might go “Blue”, making it easier to win the White House.

There is a long way to go in this Presidential competition, but O’Rourke has made it more exciting, as earlier Barack Obama did in 2008, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

One Year To The Iowa Caucuses, And The Democratic Presidential Race Is Wide Open And Even Chaotic

One year from February 3, a Monday in 2020, we will witness the 2020 Democratic Presidential Caucuses, the first test on the road to the Presidential nomination, as it turned out to be exactly 11 years ago on January 3, 2008, when Barack Obama won out over Hillary Clinton.

One year out, it is impossible to figure out who will be the Democratic Presidential nominee, but with the urgency that it is essential that whoever is selected is able to win the Presidency, and save the nation from a second term of Donald Trump or a succession of Mike Pence.

Within just one month, February 3 to March 3, assuredly, the field, which may start as high as 25 candidates, will be winnowed to no more than 5, and March 3, Super Tuesday, with California and Texas and a vast number of other states voting, could cut it down to no more than 3 finalists.

A prognostication, which may prove to be totally preposterous in retrospect in a year, this blogger senses that the following five will be the ultimate finalists:

Vice President Joe Biden, representing the older, establishment, experienced group of candidates and the Barack Obama legacy.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, representing the Midwest heartland, and like Biden, appeal to white working class voters.

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, a Latino, and younger by months if he became President than Bill Clinton, from Texas, representing the largest minority in America in a state and section of the nation with growing potential to turn Blue in the next decade, and transform the Electoral College in favor of the Democrats long term.

Senator Kamala Harris of California, mixed race (mother from India and father from Jamaica), often called “the female Barack Obama”, representing a candidate who revolutionizes the whole election process with her presence, and if she wins California, it could propel her into front runner status.

I would sense that the Presidential-Vice Presidential team will come from this group of five, but we shall see as the next year transpires.

The Biggest Villains Contributing To The Present Political Stalemate: Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell

With a new year beginning, and a new Congress with Democratic control of the House of Representatives, we need to look back and understand who the biggest villains are who have contributed to the present political stalemate that is undermining America in both domestic and foreign policy.

The biggest villain of all is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who set out nearly 30 years ago to create turmoil, disarray, division, and enrich the ruling class at the expense of ordinary Americans. He declared open warfare on civility and cooperation between the parties across the aisle, which had existed much of the time from the Lyndon B. Johnson-Everett Dirksen cooperation in the 1960s through Ronald Reagan–Thomas “Tip” O’Neill cooperation in the 1980s. Gingrich continues to sow hate and guerrilla warfare in the present time.

Rudy Giuliani was seen as a “liberal Republican” as recently as his early campaign for the Presidency in 2007-2008, but now has become a total liar and the epitome of hypocrisy and erratic behavior as the so called “lawyer” for the authoritarian oriented Fascist who is setting out to destroy our domestic and foreign policy. Giuliani was once an honorable spokesman for the law, and now has become totally lawless and violating of all sense of truth and decency.

Ted Cruz was perceived by intelligent, decent people as the biggest threat to American values, even more in many ways than Donald Trump, in the Presidential campaign of 2016. The depth of his sickening persona is shown by the fact that Lindsey Graham once said that if Ted Cruz were to die, none of his colleagues in his own party would mourn him. Another such piece of evidence of his hypocrisy and despicable nature is that Trump trashed Cruz’s own father and wife, and then he and his wife chose to overlook that fact and agreed to have dinner at the White House, a total sellout that only a Ted Cruz could manage.

And then, there is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is a totally amoral leader, who would do anything to avoid confronting Donald Trump, with the reality that McConnell lacks all ethics by the fact that his wife, Elaine Chao, is Secretary of Transportation for Trump. On that fact alone, McConnell should be forced to resign as Majority Leader, or have his wife resign from the Cabinet.

But these four men above have no morals, ethics, scruples or common decency as part of their character. All four should face public disgrace, and all four should face legal prosecution for the damage they have done to the American political system.

Three Potential Democratic Presidential Contenders In 2020 From Virginia: Terry McAuliffe, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner

As the 2020 Presidential campaign begins, there are three potential candidates who come from Virginia, which has become a very “Blue” state.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe has hinted he plans to run. He is probably the most controversial of the three Virginians, having been the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the first George W. Bush term, as well as Chair of the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign for President, and co-chairman of the reelection campaign of President Bill Clinton in 1996. He is certainly the most hard nosed politician of the three Virginians.

Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, may run, but does not seem drawn to the idea of running at this point. Many observers feel that Kaine did not help Hillary Clinton, and was a lackluster campaigner. Also, Kaine is seen as moderate in a party moving to the left rapidly.

Senator Mark Warner, also seen as a moderate, and about the wealthiest member of Congress, has long been thought of as a potential candidate, and he has been very active in pursuing the Russian Collusion investigation in the Senate, as the ranking member or Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Interesting point is that all three Virginians have been Governors of their state, and all three have been seen as successes in that position, leading to Kaine and Warner being elected to the Senate.

But none of these three seem at this point, even if they announce, to be likely to win the Democratic nomination.

The one who might have the best chance is Warner, but although he is a more dynamic person than Kaine, it still seems unlikely that he will get very far in the various primaries and caucuses in 2020.

But of course no one can be sure what will happen in any Presidential campaign, so it will be interesting to see if any of these three Virginia politicians move forward toward the nomination in 2020.

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.

Two Outliers: Republican Governors In Heavily Democratic States—Larry Hogan In Maryland And Charlie Baker In Massachusetts

In the midst of highly partisan elections being the norm in America under Donald Trump, we have the two outliers that are hard to explain.

In Maryland and Massachusetts, two heavily “Blue” states, we have very popular moderate Republican governors on their way to easy reelection victories.

Maryland, a heavily Democratic state, with strong backing from those living in the Washington DC suburbs, Larry Hogan has a 68 percent rating in his popular support, and is way ahead of Ben Jealous, the African American Democratic nominee for Governor, who was former head of the NAACP. Barack Obama twice and Hillary Clinton won the last three Presidential races by 25 to 26 points in each of those contests.

But somehow, Hogan is seen as an easy victor for a second term. He has 65 percent approval from Democrats, 64 percent backing from Independents, and 81 percent support from Republicans. Hogan has avoided being supportive of Donald Trump, and in fact, has been clearly critical of the President.

Every poll shows Hogan winning, as high as 58 percent, with a undecided percentage being as high as 10-18 percent in some polls, indicating the likelihood that Hogan will win a landslide victory of more than 60 percent in November. Hogan has had to deal with a heavily two thirds Democratic legislature and a Congressional delegation (7 Democrats to one Republican) dominated by Democrats.

Massachusetts, another heavily Democratic state, and a heavily (80 percent) Democratic legislature, and an all Democratic Congressional delegation, yet has had Republican Charlie Baker as its governor for the past four years, and in polls, Baker is ahead of his Hispanic Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, by margins of 52 to 68 percent, depending on the poll. Barack Obama won by 26 and 23 percent, and Hillary Clinton by 27 points in the last three Presidential elections.

Baker has also shown himself to be a moderate Republican who has been regularly critical of Donald Trump, and has had as high as a 71 percent majority of popularity in his term of office, higher even than Larry Hogan in Maryland. One can assume that he will win two thirds or more of the vote on November 6.

So both Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker are outliers, on the way to what is conceived as a “Blue Wave”.

Senator John McCain: Rest In Peace, You Did Your Country Well, And Will Be Well Remembered In The Annals Of American History!

One of the giant figures of the US Senate, a true “Lion of the Senate”, Arizona Senator John McCain, has left us as of last evening, and the nation is in deep mourning for his family, and for the loss to the nation by his passing.

Let me make it clear, that I did not vote for Senator McCain in 2008, but I have always had deep respect for him as a human being.

I did not always agree with his views on issues either, but I knew his viewpoints were sincere and based on his conservative values.

Ironically, McCain died on the same day that his good friend and also rival, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, passed away nine years ago.

McCain worked well across the aisle, and was particularly close with Democratic Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Joe Biden of Delaware, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, along with Ted Kennedy. McCain promoted campaign finance reform with Feingold, something we desperately need in 2018. And probably his closest friendship was with South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

He thought of creating a bipartisan Presidential ticket with Joe Lieberman, and who knows, if he had done so, would the Presidential Election of 2008 ended up differently?

He knew he had made many mistakes in his life, and did not deny that, but he was always a decent man, who while so many were attacking Sarah Palin in 2008 and ever since, he never said he had made a mistake in selecting her as his running mate, even though he certainly knew that was the case.

He fought bitterly with George W. Bush for the GOP nomination in 2000, and against Barack Obama for the Presidency in 2008, and often disagreed with both Presidents’ policies, but he asked both of them to give eulogies for him at his upcoming funeral.

At the same time, Donald Trump never showed any respect for McCain, and the suffering he went through as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years, and could not show any common decency toward McCain in his declining days. So rightfully, McCain ordered that Trump NOT attend his funeral, which was his right to assert that. For what Trump has done regarding McCain, as well as the innumerable sins Trump has visited toward everyone imaginable, the 45th President will pay the price in the after life, and his funeral one day will not have the deep mourning that we are witnessing for John McCain.

McCain will be best remembered for his defense of Barack Obama at that campaign rally in 2008, when that crazy woman was saying Obama was an Arab. This was a moment that stands out for the ages, when we need unity, and not racism and nativism.

Also, in his last appearance on the Senate floor, John McCain, who had voted against ObamaCare, saved ObamaCare from Donald Trump and the evil Republican leadership and membership, which wanted to destroy it in 2017, without any alternative for millions of Americans. That showed the true statesmanship of the Arizona Senator.

John McCain will go down in the annals of American history as one of the small number of US Senators who made a real difference in a positive way in the evolution of American history.

And unbelievably, his mother Roberta is still alive at past the half way point from 106 to 107 in age, making her one of a very small number of Americans still alive who were born in the year of the most dramatic election of the 20th century, 1912, when McCain’s favorite President, Theodore Roosevelt, ran as a “maverick” against President William Howard Taft. And McCain was proud to be called a “maverick”.

It seems likely that Cindy McCain, now a widow, will replace her husband by appointment for the next two years, and it is believed she is a moderate, and could have a dramatic effect on the Senate if she indeed moves toward shifting the momentum of the party in votes, whether the Republicans remain the majority, or end up in the minority in the next two years.

God bless John McCain, rest in peace, as you did your country well, and will be well remembered and honored in the annals of American history!

The Complete Destruction Of The Reputation Of Rudy Giuliani Before Our Eyes

Rudy Giuliani once had a career one could admire.

Rudy Giuliani began as a Democrat, became an Independent, and then a Republican politically.

He became noted as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York during the 1980s, prosecuting significant cases against Organized Crime , and against corrupt corporate financiers.

Giuliani served as New York City Mayor from 1994-2002, and the quality of life improved, and the rate of violent crime went down dramatically.

Giuliani was Mayor at the time of September 11, and was hailed for his reaction and performance in that tragic moment, and was honored as Time Magazine Man of the Year, and given an honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

After first entering the Senate race of 2000 in New York against Hillary Clinton, he withdrew after a prostate cancer diagnosis, but recovered from that. He became engaged in a business career, but was for awhile the front runner in polls for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, perceived as a liberal in that race, but then faltered. He also considered running for Governor of New York in 2010 and for President in 2012, but chose to do neither.

Giuliani became an informal cyber security adviser to Donald Trump in 2017, after many decades of knowing and associating with him, and became part of his legal team involving the investigation of Trump for Russian collusion and obstruction of justice in April 2018.

Despite an impressive career in many ways, Giuliani has, in the eyes of many observers, totally destroyed his credibility and his reputation, and has become noted as a person who many think has had mental deterioration, based on his public statements and activities.

He has become a massive liar and manipulator, similar to those characteristics in Donald Trump.

He has disgusted many people who once admired him, and his private life of now three failed marriages, including a very public and messy second divorce while he was Mayor of New York, has caused many people to dismiss his earlier achievements.

When Rudy Giuliani says something, it is soon shown to be pure propaganda and working to confuse the situation surrounding Donald Trump.

So we are witnessing the complete destruction of Rudy Giuliani’s reputation before our eyes.

A few generally unknown and surprising facts about Giuliani:

When he was a Democrat in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Giuliani volunteered for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, was a Democratic commiteeman on Long Island in the early 1970s, and supported Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern in 1972.

Giuliani’s father served time in Sing Sing Prison for felony assault and robbery, and was an organizer for the mob in Brooklyn, all this after having trouble holding a steady job.

Also, Giuliani considered a career in the priesthood, laughable, when one considers his love life since his youth.

Also, Giuliani was blamed by some for the tragedy of September 11, for having decided to locate the Office of Emergency Management in the World Trade Center, undermining coordination between police and fire forces, and causing lack of preparedness of first responders at the time of the attack. And many observers feel that Giuliani built up his reputation as a “hero” on false pretenses.

In any case, Rudy Giuliani remains highly controversial in 2018 as he has been all of his public life.