Rick Santorum

Are We Entering An Age Of Older Presidents?

In American history, we have had only five Presidents who were 64 or older in office when inaugurated—Ronald Reagan, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, George H. W. Bush, and Zachary Taylor.

An additional five Presidents were ages 60-63 when inaugurated: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, but Truman and Ford were not elected at that age, but instead succeeded to the Oval Office.

This means 33 of our 43 Presidents were younger than 60 when being inaugurated President, with 24 in their 50s, and 9 in their 40s, and with Grover Cleveland in his 40s for his first term, and 50s for his second nonconsecutive term. The nine Presidents in their forties were, at the time of inauguration: James K. Polk and James A. Garfield (49); Franklin Pierce (48); Grover Cleveland and Barack Obama (47); Ulysses S. Grant and Bill Clinton (46); John F. Kennedy (43); and Theodore Roosevelt (42).

But it is now likely that the next President will be in his or her 60s, or even 70s, at the time of taking the Presidential oath. There are a total of eight potential Republican nominees in their 60s–ranging from, at the time of inauguration as follows: Mitt Romney (69); Rick Perry (66); Dr. Benjamin Carson (65); John Kasich (64); Jeb Bush (63); Mike Huckabee, Rob Portman, and Lindsey Graham (61). Romney and Perry would reach the age of 70 during a first term, and Romney, Perry, Carson, Kasich and Bush would all be in their 70s in a second term.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have four potential Presidential nominees who will be in their seventies when they would take the oath of office—Jerry Brown (78); Bernie Sanders (75); Joe Biden (74); and Jim Webb (70). All four, plus Hillary Clinton (69) and Elizabeth Warren (67) would reach the 70s during a first term, and Mark Warner (62) would reach 70 as well in a second term.

So a total of eight Republicans and seven Democrats would be over 70, either at the time of the inauguration, or within the next four years after, or the next eight years after!

When one realizes that only Dwight D. Eisenhower (70) and Ronald Reagan (77) were actually in the Presidency past their 70th birthday, and Ike was only three months beyond 70, it is clear that we are likely to create new ground, since much of the talent pool is comparatively old, and from the “Baby Boomer” generation born from 1946 onward.

Of course, there are younger Presidential candidates or potential candidates–for the Republicans–Rick Santorum (58); Mike Pence (57); Rand Paul and Chris Christie (54); and in the 40s in 2016, the following: Scott Walker (49); Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan (46); Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal (45), a total of nine other potential Presidents.

The Democrats have fewer alternatives: in the 50s in 2016 are: Andrew Cuomo (59); Amy Klobuchar (56); Martin O’Malley (54); and Kirsten Gillibrand (50). No one in their forties is seen as a potential Democratic nominee.

So we might end up with the oldest combination of Presidential candidates in American history, with Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney being front runners for now, and both reaching 70 within months of taking the oath of office!

The Republican “Insane Asylum” Rears Its Ugly Head!

The Republican Party is reveling in its midterm victories, but the victory will be short lived, as already, the GOP is self destructing in its reaction to the expected move of President Obama on immigration reform sometime soon.

Talk of impeachment of President Obama is rampant, along with threats to shut down the government once again, even though that was harmful to the Republicans, and hurt the American economy.

Obama is also infuriating right wingers with his plan to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, if the Senate approves the construction of this environmentally damaging project, which will create few jobs, and contradict treaties with native American tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota.

And potential Presidential candidates are acting as if they are patients in the “insane asylum”!

One example is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who advocates that we promote the kind of racial harmony that existed when Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were alive! Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and then the Christian Coalition, and Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina, did just the opposite of what Santorum claims, and makes us realize that Santorum is from a parallel universe!

Another example is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was perceived as moderate conservative in 2008, but then sold his soul by going to Fox News Channel, and has said reckless and dangerous things since. He is now on a speech tour stating that America is moving toward becoming Nazi Germany under Barack Obama!

Interesting and crazy statement, as it is precisely people like Santorum and Huckabee, and Fox News Channel, the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party Movement, who are moving us closer to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, with their reckless attacks on Obama.

And yet we thought that Obama was a Communist, a Socialist, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, a black power racist–and now, suddenly, he is on the other side of the political spectrum with Nazism and Fascism, even though he is African American, and Nazis and Fascists would be out to kill people of so called “inferior” races!

This demonstrates how nuts and looney the GOP is becoming, and they will discover that their extremism, racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia will destroy their Senate majority and chances for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond!

Potential For Four State Rivalries For President In Republican Caucuses And Primaries, And The Rest Of The Cast Of Characters!

As the 2016 Presidential nomination battles begin, now that the Midterm Elections of 2014 are history, there is the potential for four state rivalries for President in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

Florida sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.

Ohio sees the potential candidacy of Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman.

Texas sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Wisconsin see the potential candidacy of Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Paul Ryan.

At this point, it seems likely that the Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin rivalries are likely to occur in reality, while Ohio is more questionable.

But, ironically, it is Ohio that has the best combination of potential candidates who could be serious competitors in November 2016, as both Kasich and Portman, while strongly conservative, come across as having a good chance to compete for the moderate center and Independents, and have not shot themselves in the foot, as five of the six others mentioned above have done on a regular basis.

The only other potential candidate of the above group of eight, who has a chance to accomplish the same as Kasich and Portman, is Jeb Bush.

Rubio, Cruz and Walker represent Tea Party right wing views, while Perry is an also ran and an embarrassment to himself, and Ryan was on a losing ticket with Mitt Romney, and has made no effort to moderate his harsh views on the poor of society, or his budget plans which do not add up to reality.

Add to this list a cast of characters which should be interesting but self destructive: Maryland pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Pennsylvania Governor Rick Santorum; and of course, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney!

Oh, and one more Governor, who should not be ignored, as a possible “Dark Horse”, and having the ability to do what Kasich, Portman, and Bush could do–appeal to the center—Indiana Governor Mike Pence!

The Future Of The Republican Party: Rob Portman Vs. Mike Huckabee As A Symbol!

With Gay Marriage rapidly expanding, by refusal of the Supreme Court to stop it in eleven states, raising the total of states to 30 and counting, the Republican Party now faces its future!

With a majority of states and population now supporting or accepting gay marriage, and with a majority of people under 50, and even a majority of Catholics and even evangelical Christians in support, how long will the Republican Party hold out and be on the wrong side of history?

Do they wish to be recorded and remembered in the long run for their refusal to accept that marriage is NOT something to be voted on, to have a popular vote (which would not be lost in any case) on a basic human right, both in race in Loving V. Virginia and on sexual orientation now? Do they wish to be seen for what they are now, biased, prejudiced, hateful, narrow minded, and allowing religious beliefs of some people to dictate the lives of everyone else, when we have separation of church and state?

Conservatives were wrong on civil rights for African Americans, wrong on interracial marriage, wrong on women’s rights, wrong on immigration then and now, and wrong on gay rights and marriage, and for the Republicans to continue to follow their hateful, narrow minded views, will guarantee the demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

The Republican Party has a choice! It is time for MORE Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors and other office holders to come out in support of gay marriage NOW! So far, only four sitting US Senators and a few members of the House of Representatives have had the courage to speak up. The Senators are Liza Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

The GOP will have a massive problem being elected to the House and Senate majorities in 2016, as it is, and the suddenly emerging “dark horse” status of Rob Portman, the only one of the above four Senators, who MIGHT consider running for President, and have a shot at being the nominee, present the Republican Party with a choice!

Either demand that any GOP nominee accept the inevitable, OR nominate Senator Portman as the most legitimate candidate for 2016, bypassing all the other extremist, lunatic, whacky candidates in the field, picking a moderate mainstream conservative as the future of the party!

Republicans, reject Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and anyone else who refuses to accept gay marriage, and ONLY support a person such as Rob Portman, who has accepted it, and is from a key swing state, Ohio, which every winning President has won except in 1960 in modern times!

It is true that Portman supported gay rights and gay marriage due to his son coming out as gay, but he could have done what many so called “religious” people do, and repudiated his son, a most despicable act for any so called “religious” person to do, a mockery of the idea of religiosity!

If the GOP decides to follow the route of the above candidates who have made it clear that they will not accept gay marriage, the ideal candidate for them would be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a once seriously mainstream conservative candidate for President in 2008, who has gone off the deep end, become a lunatic, a bigoted man with crazy views, since he joined Fox News Channel, and now mirrors the lunatic right wing talk show hosts on radio, as well as Fox News Channel!

Huckabee has made clear that he will NOT accept what is happening on gay marriage, and if the GOP continues to give in to Supreme Court actions or lack of action on gay marriage, that he will leave the Republican Party!

The best thing the GOP could do is repudiate Huckabee, who has already destroyed his name in history, and have him leave the Republican Party, and let the swinging door hit him in his rear end, or in fact, kick him out the door, declaring to him and others like him, “good riddance!”

The best thing the GOP could do is nominate Rob Portman, or others who finally accept gay rights and gay marriage, and look to a future of NOT accepting prejudice, bias, and the power of the Religious Right, which should be escorted to the door, and told to go to Hell, where they belong!

A great ticket right now would be Portman of Ohio for President and Susan Collins of Maine for Vice President, and that would also overcome the misogyny of the Republican Party!

Imagine A Presidential Election Battle Without Any Previous Candidates In The Race!

The thought has crossed this blogger’s mind what it would be like if for once, just once, no one who had previously competed for the Presidential nomination of either party, nor had been a Vice Presidential running mate, became involved in the upcoming Presidential Election campaign of 2016.

Think of who would be eliminated from consideration:

Democrats (8)–Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore, Jerry Brown, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich

Republicans (11)–Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, John Kasich

Who would be left to compete?

Democrats (13)–Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner, Corey Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Jay Nixon, John Hickenlooper, Brian Schweitzer, Deval Patrick, Rahm Emanuel

Republicans (13)–Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Peter King, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Scott Walker, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley

One can wonder who would be competitive for the Presidential nominations, and who would galvanize support among the population and go on to be the nominees of the two major political parties!

We would have a true “donnybrook” situation, with anyone having the potential to be the nominees, “catch fire”, and go on to be the 45th President of the United States!

If this author was to venture an educated guess, one would come to the following conclusions:

Democrats–The major battle would be among Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O’Malley and Mark Warner.

Republicans–The major battle would be among Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence and Rob Portman.

The final battle would be between Warren and O’Malley for the Democratic nomination, and between Marco Rubio and Mike Pence for the Republican nomination.

The two finalists would be Martin O’Malley and Marco Rubio, with O’Malley being the winner and the 45th President of the United States!

This is due to the reality of the Electoral College, which strongly favors the Democrats to win the White House in 2016 and beyond, as the Northeast, New England, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast are strongly “Blue”, and most of the “swing states” are favored to go “Blue” as well, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.

Florida and North Carolina would be more difficult for the Democrats, particularly if Rubio is the GOP nominee, but the electoral vote would still be heavily Democratic, even without those two states!

The Argument For A Midwestern Governor For The Republican Party In 2016 Presidential Race!

There is a growing feeling in the Republican Party, and among prognosticators, that the pool of GOP candidates for President in 2016 is lacking in so many ways.

Chris Christie is in trouble due to the scandal over the George Washington Bridge, and his handling of Hurricane Sandy money.

Scott Walker is in trouble over charges that he was involved in corruption during the 2012 recall campaign in Wisconsin.

Ted Cruz has made enemies every time he opens his mouth, and his push to close down the government in 2013 backfired, and caused division within Republican ranks.

Rand Paul is leading a fight against the “Establishment”, and is unlikely to be able to win support to be the nominee, with his libertarian and isolationist views.

Marco Rubio made enemies with his immigration reform plan, and is seen as having floundered ever since.

Paul Ryan has come across as someone who has no understanding of what middle class people go through, and with little compassion for the poor, and even fellow Catholics are often critical of him.

Bobby Jindal has come across as insincere, uncaring about his own constituents, and has lost whatever luster he once had.

Rick Perry may have gained classy glasses to wear, but he is still a horrible candidate in so many ways.

Rick Santorum is trying to reform his image as well, but he is still a former Senator who lost his seat ten years ago.

Mike Huckabee is an also ran from the 2008 Presidential campaign, and has sounded more looney than ever each month as his Fox News Channel show pushed him much further right than he had been in 2008, when he actually sounded reasonable.

Jeb Bush looks much better by comparison with other Republicans, but he is still a Bush, and has supported immigration reform and the common core education curriculum, both unpopular with his party, and besides, he certainly represents the “Establishment” more than anyone.

Mitt Romney claims not to be interested at all in running again, but yet he is seen by many as the fallback choice, despite his losing the Presidency in 2012.

Jon Huntsman, arguably the best candidate possible, seems to have absolutely no chance to convince the Republican Party that his moderate, practical conservatism is the right path.

The more one thinks about it, it makes sense that the Republican Party should seriously consider finding a candidate, preferably a Governor, from the Midwest, which is the true battleground of the Presidential Election of 2016!

None of the above mentioned candidates for the Presidency are from the Midwest, except for Ryan and Walker, both from Wisconsin, but both have fatal flaws hard to overcome.

But all of the Midwest, except Illinois, is arguably a battleground, although only Indiana and Missouri went Republican in 2012, and only Missouri in 2008!

Ohio and Iowa are true battlegrounds, and Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are potentially up for grabs by either party.

So what seems to make sense is to give a hard look at two Midwestern Republican Governors, both of whom have served in Congress, and understand Washington, DC, but have also governed key states that are good models for preparation for the White House, at least in theory!

These two Governors are:

John Kasich of Ohio

Mike Pence of Indiana.

A lot more attention will be given to these two men as we get closer to the real beginning of the Presidential race at the end of 2014 and going into early 2015!

If Once You Do Not Succeed, Try, Try Again—Republican Mantra For Presidency

Historically, Republicans who have sought the Presidency have discovered that the first try does not work, and that the old saying–“If once you do not succeed, try, try again!”–applies.

Such is the case in the past 50 years with:

Richard Nixon, 1960 and 1968
Ronald Reagan 1968 and 1976, 1980
George H. W. Bush 1980 and 1988
Bob Dole 1980 and 1988, 1996
John McCain 2000 and 2008
Mitt Romney 2008 and 2012

So such potential candidates as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Jon Huntsman all have history on their side, although it is unlikely to be of much help in their favor, except, possibly for Jon Huntsman, the only “mainstream” candidate of the group!

Republican “Retreads” Emerge, Demonstrating The Sad State Of Their Presidential Race For 2016!

The Republican Party has a long list of potential Presidential candidates for 2016, many of them “new,” including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and even Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, who have never run before for President.

Then, they have the “retreads”, including Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, those three being a sorry lot as alternatives.

All three are way out of the mainstream of American politics, with Rick Perry making a total fool of himself in 2012; Mike Huckabee, once seen as fairly “moderate” in 2008, having converted into a right wing extremist due to his Fox News Channel weekly show; and Rick Santorum, well just a total embarrassment to himself and everyone around him!

The Republican Party is a sorry lot, with lots of candidates on the bench, but none having the slightest chance to become President!

Instead, the GOP looks completely past former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also former Ambassador to China and Singapore), the only solid, foreign policy experienced, sensible, mainstream candidate, who could attract support across the aisle, and make Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any other Democratic nominee squirm, as he did for awhile in the Barack Obama campaign in 2012, with them considering Huntsman a real threat.

Huntsman is sitting on the sidelines, and considering an independent run on a “No Labels” campaign, and reminding people that the Republican Party of the pre Ronald Reagan era is the only hope for a revival of GOP fortunes, as the country has passed by the anti immigrant, anti gay, anti women, anti labor, anti environment mentality of the Tea Party Movement, which may be able to win gerrymandered Congressional seats, but cannot win the US Senate majority or the White House anytime soon!

New Reality: Foreign Policy Will Matter More Than ObamaCare In 2016 Presidential Election!

It is becoming clear, as a result of recent events involving Russia and Ukraine, that the foreign policy issue will matter more in the Presidential Election of 2016 than domestic policy, including ObamaCare.

This is NOT what many progressives and liberals would prefer, as there are many domestic problems that need attention on the agenda, and President Barack Obama has been trying to deal with many of these issues, despite obstructionism and stalemate caused by the Republican control of the House of Representatives.

But national security and defense, and the possibility of armed conflict in Europe, related to NATO and the European Union, may force the hand of President Obama and his successor to focus more on foreign policy in the next Presidential term of office.

In a way, it reminds us of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, able to run for a third term, and seen as the only legitimate person to be our President in the midst of an international crisis, the victory of the Axis Powers in Europe and Asia, at that time. Alternative possible candidates, such as Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, Vice President John Nance Garner of Texas, and Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana, were all isolationists, the wrong viewpoint at the time. When Wendell Willkie came along as a surprise opponent of FDR, it was clear that on foreign policy, they had an agreement, which was good for the nation as it faced the likelihood of engagement in World War II.

Now, of course, an experienced and wise President in foreign policy, not rushing into conflict, and using his diplomatic skills, is ineligible to be President for another term, so it becomes extremely important that the proper person be elected to succeed Barack Obama.

When one looks at the cast of characters on the Republican side, and the alternatives on the Democratic side, it is clear that ONLY three potential future Presidents meet the need for appropriate foreign policy experience in a delicate and dangerous time, as we may now be entering. Not only is there the threat of war in Europe over Ukraine or other Russian attempt at advancement west, but also the looming threat of Iran and North Korea, as well as the Syrian Civil War and its effect on the entire Middle East, and the growing influence of China.

So reality tells us ONLY Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Jon Huntsman fit the bill to be our Commander in Chief, based on their experiences, expertise, and skills!

There are other Democrats who have positive aspects, but do NOT have the diplomatic experience of Clinton, Biden and Huntsman.

On the GOP side, it is literally horrifying to imagine a Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, or anyone else as Commander in Chief, with many of them purely ignorant, or bullyish, or extreme in their rhetoric, or in the case of Rand Paul, a flaming isolationist! Only Jeb Bush, conceivably, due to his intelligence and connection to his dad, but not his brother, MIGHT be otherwise acceptable, but not with the same sense of confidence in Clinton, Biden and Huntsman!

So the best we can hope for is a Clinton-Huntsman or Biden-Huntsman race for the security and safety of our nation, because we would know that any one of them could perform well as our 45th President, and do the best we can hope for in the area of foreign policy!

CPAC Straw Poll: Great News For Democrats!

The Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC from Thursday to Saturday did Democrats a great favor in the straw poll that was conducted on Saturday.

The winner of this extremist right wing organization’s straw poll was Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky with 31 percent, after winning the poll last year with 25 percent.

In second place was Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is certainly simmering under the surface that he ended up a very poor second, with 11 percent.

Third was whacko retired neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson from Maryland with 9 percent, who has demonstrated very quickly how hateful, how nasty, how clueless, how crazy he is, and that he should have stuck to his brilliant neurosurgical career, and stayed out of politics, as he is rapidly losing any respect he had in his medical career.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ended up fourth with 8 percent, but it will do nothing to revive his flagging campaign for President, as he still has a lot to answer to in the New Jersey scandal investigation going on.

So all of the other conservative “stars”, including Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and others of their ilk, all got minimal support.

Looking ahead, there is no better message than Rand Paul, who is certain to be a total disaster for the GOP, if he is the nominee of the party. But if he slips, then Ted Cruz offers an even greater likelihood of a total collapse of the Republican Party.

And were the GOP to decide to pick a notable surgeon who has proved totally ridiculous and, actually, dangerous in his rhetoric, and be able to exploit the fact that he is African American, they will discover that very few African Americans, and very few others, would give Ben Carson the time of day, and even wonder about his hate filled rhetoric and sanity!

So this is good news for Democrats, and the best message to send CPAC and the Republican Party is: “Bring it on for 2016!”