Presidential Election of 2008

Donald Trump Democrat, Donald Trump Independent, Donald Trump Republican: Which Is The Real Donald Trump? None Of Them!

At this point, Donald Trump is surging ahead for the Republican Presidential nomination, but one has to wonder if he has the staying power to go all the way to the convention in Cleveland with enough delegate support to become the GOP nominee for President.

Right now, Trump sounds like a conservative Republican, but he has been a public figure for decades, and when one investigates his entire public record, Trump comes across as inconsistent, and wishy washy in his political views and statements.

Trump has been a declared Republican,then an Independent, than a Democrat, then a Republican although registered as an Independent.

Trump gave money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President in 2007-2008.

Trump once praised a single payer health care system, similar to Medicare for all, but now he opposes ObamaCare, although ten years ago he supported “health marts” very close to RomneyCare and ObamaCare.

Trump opposed the war in Iraq, but now says he would use military force to fight ISIL (ISIS).

Trump once supported a surtax on the rich, but now want the top income tax rate cut in half, and is against the inheritance tax.

Trump is best at attacking everyone personally, but has no set stands or details on most public issues, and prefers to use slogans and emotion to gain public support of those disillusioned with government as it is.

Trump has become most notorious for his “Birther” claims about Barack Obama, but otherwise is constantly contradictory on many issues.

Trump is hard to figure out, as he supports private sector labor unions; is against cutting Social Security and Medicare; reluctant to send military forces all over the world; and against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

But he is against teachers unions and public employee unions generally; against an increase in the minimum wage; against those who claim there is climate change; against gun control; and against any path to citizenship for undocumented workers, and already infamous for his attacks on Mexican immigrants and Mexico.

Ultimately, Donald Trump is for Donald Trump, a person who will prostitute himself and change his views when it is convenient; a man who is a publicity hound who is more in this race for the attention he gains; a man who appeals to fears and frustrations and discontent among average voters unhappy with their government, and easily accepting conspiracy theories.

In that regard, Donald Trump is a demagogue, in ways like Huey P. Long on the left; and like George C. Wallace on the right, and sadly, we know what happened to these two men, one assassinated, and the other paralyzed for life by an assassin.

The story of Long and Wallace are covered in my forthcoming book on Presidential Assassinations, coming out August 15 from Rowman Littlefield, entitiled: “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”, available on this website at a 30 percent discount, using the discount code 4M15ATAP with order from the publisher!

The Uncertainties Of American Politics: Envisioning Donald Trump As Possible President!

Some observers are starting to wonder whether billionaire celebrity Donald Trump could actually be elected President of the United States!

It would seem to be impossible, a crazy idea!

And yet, when one looks at history, one has to consider the following:

In 1911, who would have thought that a recently elected Governor of New Jersey, and former Princeton University President, named Woodrow Wilson, would become President in the Presidential election of 1912?

In 1959, who would have thought that a mediocre Senator of Catholic religion, named John F. Kennedy, would overcome his faith and become President in the Presidential election of 1960?

In 1967, who would have thought that a losing Presidential candidate in 1960 and losing gubernatorial candidate in California in 1962, named Richard Nixon, would overcome his losses and bad press and become President in the Presidential election of 1968?

In 1975, who would have thought that an obscure one term Governor of Georgia, who many ridiculed, named Jimmy Carter, would overcome his obscurity and Southern heritage, to become the first elected Southerner to the Presidency in the Presidential election of 1976, since Zachary Taylor in 1848?

In 1979, who would have thought an aging actor, who had already tried twice for the Presidency, named Ronald Reagan, would overcome disadvantages to become President in the Presidential election of 1980?

In 1991, who would have thought the governor of a small Southern state, Arkansas, named Bill Clinton, would overcome a sex scandal that had destroyed Gary Hart in 1987, and go on to become President in the Presidential election of 1992?

And in 2007, who would have thought that a mixed race African American with the strange name of Barack Hussein Obama, would overcome Hillary Clinton, and go on to become President in the Presidential election of 2008?

So who is to say that Donald Trump cannot overcome obstacles and go on to become the 45th President of the United States in the Presidential election of 2016?

Is Al Gore Or John Kerry Viable As A Presidential Candidate In 2016? The History Of Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Richard Nixon!

Speculation has risen not only that Vice President Joe Biden might announce for President, but also that former Vice President Al Gore and Secretary of State John Kerry, both who lost the Presidency to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 respectively, might decide to try for the White House yet again.

Although Hillary Clinton seems to many like a shoo-in for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, there are signs of discontent with her, and feelings among many that she is too secretive, not trustworthy, and not all that likable.

The odds are still heavily in favor of her nomination, but there are many who feel Biden, and possibly Gore and or Kerry, should consider running, as it is felt that Bernie Sanders, while performing well right now in regards to crowds and fund raising, ultimately cannot be expected to win the nomination, with his Socialist connections being harmful, due to many Americans misunderstanding the term, and being told it is harmful and dangerous.

But the question arises about Gore and Kerry, that they have both been out of the Presidential game for a very long time, with Gore out 16 years and having no public office since his loss in 2000, despite having won the popular vote over George W. Bush; and Kerry, having served in the Senate after his defeat, until he became Secretary of State after Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013, but being out of the Presidential race for 12 years by 2016.

So history is a guide here.

It turns out four Presidential candidates had been out of the Presidential field for very long times, as follows:

Henry Clay lost the Presidential race in 1824, and then 8 years later in 1832, he was nominated again. Then 12 years later, in 1844, he was nominated for the third and last time. Twelve years is a long time!

Abraham Lincoln last held public office in 1848, when he left the House of Representatives after one 2 year term. But then, 12 years later, he ran for President and won!

Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for Vice President in 1920 and lost, and then was sidelined by polio, not running again for public office until 8 years later, when he won the Governorship of New York in 1928. Four years later, and 12 years after losing the Vice Presidency, he won the Presidency in 1932!

Finally, Richard Nixon lost the Presidency in 1960 and lost, then ran for California Governor in 1962 and lost, and yet came back 6 years later, after 8 years out of office, and yet won the Presidential Election of 1968!

Are Al Gore and John Kerry as long shots as Clay, Lincoln, FDR, and Nixon were?

That is the issue to confront, and this author would say that while both of them seem “long shots”, we have had other “long shots”, who few thought had a chance to win the Presidency, and in recent times yet—John F. Kennedy (Catholic issue) in 1960; Jimmy Carter (Southern issue) in 1976; Bill Clinton (Sex Scandal issue) in 1992; and Barack Obama (Race issue) in 2008!

So literally, anything is possible in American Presidential politics!

Bernie Sanders Takes Off: Is This Barack Obama in 2008 Or Howard Dean In 2004?

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has become the sensation of American politics, and his numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire are gaining, while Hillary Clinton’s numbers are declining.

Bernie has gained large crowds, the largest of the 2016 campaign, in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Vermont, and Maine, among other places. People are enthusiastic over him. He has a great amount of appeal for his genuineness and principles.

He has also gained $15 million in contributions from 250,000 individual contributors, nothing as compared to Hillary Clinton’s $45 million, an all time record for a three month period.

He needs to gain support from the African American community, a group he has little appeal with at this point of time, since they strongly favor Hillary.

Also, women seem to want Hillary overwhelmingly.

So to say that he can go all the way to the nomination and election in 2016 is a tall order.

Can a Jewish guy from Brooklyn, who would be 75 years old on Inauguration Day, and is a democratic Socialist, who allies with the Democrats, win the nation?

Is he Barack Obama or is he Howard Dean, fellow Vermonter who was causing a sensation in 2003, and then flopped completely?

Much more likely he is Dean, not Obama!

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders: An Embarrassment To The Republican Party’s History: Part I

With Hillary Clinton having begun her active campaign for the Presidency yesterday, it is time to begin a serious examination of the “Clown Bus” group of Republican Presidential contenders, all of which believe they are qualified to be her opponent in the Presidential Election of 2016. The vast majority are totally pitiful!

We have Chris Christie who faces possible indictment at some point on the “Bridgegate Scandal” about the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey; who has a very low public opinion rating in his state; who has totally messed up the finances of New Jersey; who has a belligerent, bullyish personality; and who would be a health crisis in the making, with his extreme weight matching that of President William Howard Taft, but Christie not having the intelligence and accomplishments of the 27th President.

We have Rick Perry, who is actually under indictment for corruption in Texas, making him the first indicted candidate for President in American history; who was a total disaster in his 2012 Presidential run, not being able to remember which agencies of the federal government he wished to eliminate; who has new glasses in the past year, which make him look intellectual, but still do not make him intellectual in reality; who promoted the idea of Texas secession from the Union a few years ago; and who has prevented more poor people from having health care under Medicaid than any other Republican governor.

We have George Pataki, who is more moderate in his record as New York Governor than any of his opponents, but despite September 11, is hardly remembered, while NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani is still someone noticed and remembered. Pataki, whose most notable accomplishment was to defeat Mario Cuomo’s fourth term bid for Governor in 1994, has absolutely no chance to be the nominee, and one wonders why he did not try for the Presidency closer to his leaving the Governorship in 2006, such as in 2008 or 2012, rather than waiting till now.

We have Bobby Jindal, who has been a total disaster for Louisiana government; has tied himself to right wing evangelical Christianity in an extreme way; has destroyed the public school system in his state; has an extremely low public opinion rating in his state; and has made many reckless statements that one wonders about his sanity at times, including promoting the study of creationism in science classes. He also comes across as extremely mean spirited and intolerant!

We have Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and seemed moderate at the time, but since then, went to Fox News Channel as a talk show host, and it seemed to infect his brain. Huckabee has become a right wing whacko, evoking extremist Christianity; making ridiculous and divisive statements about women, gay rights and marriage; and embracing defense of reality show crazies, along with asserting he would not enforce Supreme Court decisions that he does not agree with, a shocking sense of lawlessness by anyone who would wish to be President!

The author will comment on other contenders in a Part II and Part III over the short haul, and then make clear which candidates have real legitimacy!

35 Years Of CNN!

On this day in 1980, the Cable News Network began, and it is hard to recall the time before cable news, news 24 hours a day, came to be the norm!

CNN, founded by Ted Turner, has undergone a tremendous amount of change, and has been much criticized, but it set the standard for cable news all over America, and was unchallenged, until the emergence of MSNBC and Fox News Channel in 1996.

CNN first became widely popular during the Persian Gulf War; and also gained by its coverage of the O J Simpson Murder Trial; the Bill Clinton Impeachment Trial; the controversial Presidential Election of 2000; the September 11, 2001 attacks of Al Qaeda; the Iraq War; Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; the election of Barack Obama in 2008; and the Boston Marathon Bombing, among many other historic and, often, tragic events.

As much as there is room for vast improvement in news coverage, CNN has contributed a great deal to public discourse and discussion, informing the American people of what they need to know to be good American citizens, and to understand the world we live in!

Long Out Of Office Republican Presidential Contenders, Or Never In Office: A Record Number In History!

It is not totally uncommon for politicians who have left office to run for President years later.

Abraham Lincoln had not been in public office for 12 years, after serving one term in the House of Representatives, when he ran for and won the Presidency in 1860.

Richard Nixon had not been in public office for 8 years, although he ran for California Governor two years after leaving the Vice Presidency in 1960, and won the Presidency in 1968.

Ronald Reagan had not been in public office for 6 years, although he ran unsuccessfully for the Presidential nomination of his party two years after leaving the Governorship, and won the Presidency in 1980.

But now, in 2015, we have a whole slew of candidates out of public office for a long time.

Jeb Bush left the Florida Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office.

Rick Santorum lost his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2012.

Mike Huckabee left the Arkansas Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008.

George Pataki left the New York Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office.

Jim Gilmore left the Virginia Governorship in 2001, so it will be 15 years since he held office, although he ran briefly for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008, and lost an attempt at a Senate race in 2008, as well.

Bob Ehrlich left the Maryland Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for reelection in 2006 and lost, and tried again for the Governorship in 2010 and lost both times to Martin O’Malley.

This is a record number of candidates who have been out of office for so long, 10-15 years in duration.

Also, three candidates have NEVER held public office–Carly Fiorina, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Donald Trump.

So NINE potential candidates out of what are now a potential 18-19 in total have long ago left office, or never held office!

Divorce And The Presidency: Adlai Stevenson To The Present

The news of the death of Happy Rockefeller, the second wife and widow of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, brings to mind the issue of “domestic bliss” or the lack of it in our politicians, past and present.

Rockefeller was thought to be the leading Republican candidate for President in 1964, but when he divorced his first wife and married his second wife, his chances for the nomination evaporated very quickly.

Only Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, had been a nominee and been divorced before Rockefeller’s situation came along a decade later.

This did not mean that there were never liaisons and love triangles before, as Warren G. Harding had been cheating on his wife, but never had thought of divorce.

And Franklin D. Roosevelt had stayed with Eleanor Roosevelt, knowing that if he divorced her, his chances for a political career were over.

There was plenty of sexual “hanky panky” throughout American history, without any thought of divorce, including, besides Harding and FDR the following: Franklin Pierce, James A. Garfield, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and others.

But none of them ever considered divorce seriously, and Stevenson was hurt by his divorce, as was Rockefeller.

But that changed when Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, and had been divorced more than 30 years earlier.

And since Reagan, we have had Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain, all divorced, but nominated by their parties, although no other divorced person has been elected President.

So divorce, so common in politics now, is no longer an issue, as it was throughout our history!

Seymour Hersh Unsubstantiated Article Tries To Take Away Obama Accomplishment Of Killing Osama bin Laden In 2011

Seymour Hersh, the legendary investigative journalist known for scooping many stories over a long career, has revealed in an article what he says proves that Barack Obama lied about the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

Hersh, using one unsubstantiated source, claims that the story of how Osama was killed is false, and that Pakistan knew about the operation, and was in on the entire event, in ways that have been earlier denied by the Pentagon and the White House.

It is not an issue of whether Osama was killed, but how the operation came about. If it was true, which it most certainly is not, it would mean a vast number of people, both political and military, were engaged in a coverup, only adding to conspiracy theories that abound all of the time.

But even responsible Republicans in Congress, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, the rival of the President in the 2008 Presidential election, and a major critic since, has deplored the unsubstantiated story, and said that the government explanation is correct, and that Obama deserves full credit for the successful action.

It is amazing how Obama cannot have credit for anything without accusations that have no basis, but it is good that McCain and other responsible Republicans have backed the President.

Of course, that does NOT mean that the Right Wing lunatics will not claim the story to be true, and assuredly, some of the GOP Presidential candidates will claim the Seymour Hersh story is true. This is based on the total lack of credibility and responsibility of these demagogues who will do anything to manipulate the evangelical Right in the Iowa Caucuses that begin the Presidential campaign next January!

Bill Clinton A Major Problem For Hillary Clinton, But Not Controllable!

Hillary Clinton may be far ahead in polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination over any conceivable opponent, and ahead of every GOP Presidential possibility, but it is not a fool proof situation for her, by any means.

Besides the problems surrounding her destruction of emails on a personal server, instead of the State Department servers; and the controversy over the Clinton Foundation and contributions that may have been a conflict of interest while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton also faces the burden of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton is a double edged sword, in that he is extremely popular and adored by many millions of Americans, and yet, he is also a detriment because of his personality and his statements and actions.

Bill Clinton harmed Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina primary in 2008, by what was perceived as his racist statements about Barack Obama; as well as the reality that he had a “loose mouth” generally, which got him and her into trouble in the minds of many observers.

This time around, Bill Clinton has made clear that he will continued to speak his mind unimpeded, and he is bound to harm his wife’s candidacy by so doing.

Already, he has said that he will continue to give speeches for a fee up to an astronomical $550,000, because the Clintons “have bills to pay.” Really? Does Bill Clinton NOT realize how that sounds, and adds to the image that the Clintons are out of touch with reality, including Hillary’s statement last year that the couple was “broke” when they left the White House in 2001!

The Clintons are, clearly, part of the one percent, and to act as if they are “normal” people, and to exploit their celebrity can be understood as part of the capitalist mentality of America, but it is bound to cause Hillary grief as the Presidential campaign wears on for the next 18 months!