Ronald Reagan

Crucial Vice Presidential Choices In American History, Good And Bad

As Joe Biden decides soon who will be his Vice Presidential running mate, this is a good time to look at crucial Vice Presidential choices in American history, both good and bad.

There is a myth that the Vice Presidential choice does not matter, but it most certainly does.

Abraham Lincoln, in order to help his reelection chances in 1864, dropped Vice President Hannibal Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson. Johnson would go on to be the worst blunder of Lincoln, as he succeeded Lincoln after only six weeks in office, divided the country, and was impeached.

William McKinley lost his Vice President, Garret Hobart, in 1899, due to heart disease. If Hobart had not died, he would have become President in 1901, but instead, it was Theodore Roosevelt, who transformed the office of the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped third term Vice President Henry A. Wallace in 1944 in favor of Harry Truman, who succeeded him after 82 days as Vice President, and most scholars believe Wallace would have been a terrible choice to be President.

John F. Kennedy could not have won in 1960 without Lyndon B. Johnson, who would carry along to success the domestic goals of JFK, and expand beyond it in the “Great Society” programs in the mid 1960s.

Jimmy Carter had a perfect match for Vice President in Walter Mondale, who became the most active and engaged Vice President, practically a co-President.

Ronald Reagan had no foreign policy experience, and George H. W. Bush was a great asset to him in the 1980s.

Bush made a terrible choice in Dan Quayle as his Vice President, and made everyone pray for his health when he had an “atrial fibrillation” in office.

Bill Clinton was fortunate to have Al Gore as his VP, as Gore helped to direct Clinton on the environment, an issue Clinton had performed poorly as Arkansas Governor.

George W. Bush had a smart, intelligent, capable Vice President in Dick Cheney, except for the reality that he “ran the show” in the first term, and pushed us into unwise wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and managed to make millions of personal wealth from Halliburton.

He is often called the most powerful Vice President in American history, in the sense of his impact and powerful influence in policy under Bush, although somewhat less so in the second term, as Bush separated himself to some extent from Cheney.

The Barack Obama-Joe Biden “Bromance” was extremely close and influential, only matched by the Carter-Mondale partnership.

The relationship between Donald Trump and Mike Pence has been one of total sycophancy by Pence, as he hopes to become President at some point in the future. The evangelical Christian Right has been a major factor in the total degradation, and lack of ethics and morals of the Trump Presidency.

So for good or for bad, the Vice Presidency has made a difference!

Strategies For Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Selection

Former Vice President Joe Biden is forming a committee to consider who should be his running mate for Vice President.

The choice of a future Vice President and possible President is crucial, so many of the proposed choices should not be seriously considered.

Any Vice President has to have the experience, the knowledge, the intelligence to take over on a moment’s notice.

That person needs to be much younger than Biden, who will reach 78 two weeks after the Presidential Election of 2020.

Such a person has to have the success of being an officeholder with state wide success.

Such a person should likely not be a Governor, as such a person should be kept busy dealing with the CoronaVirus Pandemic, not running for Vice President.

Such a person should not come from a state where if such person became Vice President, that state’s Senate seat might switch to the Republicans.

So already, just from what this author and blogger has stated, it is his belief that Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams, Gretchen Whitmer, or Michelle Lujan Grisham, and any member of the House of Representatives should automatically be eliminated, such as Val Demings of Florida.

So who is on the list, and clearly stands out, and has already run for President, giving much needed extra national exposure?

Two US Senators are the finalists, with the reality that the Democratic Presidential nominee has always selected a US Senator as a running mate since 1944, except twice.

In 1972, it was George McGovern who chose Senator Thomas Eagleton, but he was forced out due to fears because he had undergone psychiatric treatment, and was replaced by Kennedy brother in law Sergeant Shriver.

And in 1984 ,Walter Mondale blundered in naming Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential choice.

It should also be pointed out that those two times were the most disastrous for the Democrats, running against second term candidates Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and in both elections, McGovern and Mondale only won one state and Washington, DC in the Electoral College.

Those two US Senators are Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, with California certain to have a Democratic replacement in the Senate.

But Minnesota is much more uncertain, although right now that state has a Democratic Governor, Tim Walz.

But in a followup election after a temporary appointment, Minnesota could not be guaranteed to elect a permanent Democratic replacement in the US Senate.

So while either Harris or Klobuchar (age 56 or 60) are the two best choices, Harris has a slight edge in the sense her Senate seat is safely Democratic, but either woman would make an excellent VP, and a potential President of the United States!

“Red” States Are Suicidal In Thinking They Are “Safe” Due To State Lines, As If CoronaVirus Pandemic Does Not Cross Borders!

We have now seen about 44,000 people die from the CoronaVirus Pandemic, increasing more than 2,000 per day.

Twenty thousand of these deaths are in the Tri State Area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

But there are even more deaths in the other 47 states, and not just the coastlines, meaning not only the Pacific Coast and Atlantic Coast.

The virus has hit everywhere, although not equally, but there is no certainty or security that numbers will not grow dramatically, in the so called “Flyover States”.

And yet, the “Red States”, the Republican states of the “hinterland” are living in a delusion that they can conveniently “open up” in the next few days or week, particularly in the Southern states of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and Florida planning to join this “suicide mission” in effect soon, as well!

These states, which tend to be highly religious, as compared to most of the nation, and are so oriented toward Pro Life on the issue of abortion, seem ready to sacrifice loss of life because the capitalist system demands opening up, even if workers are endangering their own lives, and that of their families!

And we have people who cannot tolerate delaying haircuts, having their nails done, going bowling, and a myriad of other activities, and are not concerned that they are endangering their own family members and friends, and strangers too, along with themselves, because they are so spoiled and only think of “Me, Myself, and I”!

We are losing an American life every 32 seconds right now, and have lost more than the top five European nations combined, but profit and greed still rule in Republican states, as if the virus does not cross state lines!

Within the next two weeks if not sooner, we will have lost more Americans in two months than all of the years of the Vietnam War–58,000–which took 12 years, not 60 days!

When will Republicans and Southerners value life over profits? This is what Donald Trump has done to the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan and H. W. Bush, a total disgrace!

CoronaVirus Pandemic Proves Need For An Empathetic President, And Another “New Deal” And “Great Society” In Future!

The present CoronaVirus Pandemic proves the need for an Empathetic President, and another “New Deal” And “Great Society” in the future!

“Big” Government is needed, as it was in the 1930s “New Deal” and the 1960s “Great Society”!

We need leaders such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, as with all their foibles, as all human beings have, they demonstrated empathy and understood the need for federal government action!

Yes, state governors, such as Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, and many others, have stepped up in this present crisis, but the lack of concern and competency of Donald Trump and his advisers, only concerned about politics rather than human lives, needs to be repudiated once and for all!

Conservatism and limitation of national government since the time of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich and many others has led to this debacle, and now needs to be in their death throes, as they have caused this debacle!

We need a nation where we do not have a few people having as much wealth and assets as half of the nation!

We need a nation where everyone is entitled to decent, affordable health care, and the opportunity for an education that meets their needs and abilities!

We need a nation where we do not have a wide percentage of people who are homeless, or are unable to gain enough nutrition, and where racism, nativism, and misogyny are actively prosecuted, rather than becoming government policy!

We need the kind of nation where everyone has opportunity to move forward, as was the aim and policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson!

America On The Verge Of A Second “Great Depression”, All Caused By Donald Trump’s Ignorance, Stupidity, And Corruption!

It is hard to believe, but America is on the verge of a Second “Great Depression”, all caused by Donald Trump’s ignorance and stupidity!

America had 123 million population in 1930, as the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover began.

Now in 2020, it is 330 million, so more than 200 million people higher, about 270 percent higher.

This coming Great Depression is likely to last as long as the first Great Depression, a decade or more, as even the Great Recession of 2008 continued to reverberate for at least another five years after that.

We already have poverty and deprivation much too prevalent BEFORE this event, and now it will get much worse!

The possibility of widespread violence and bloodshed, in a population much more diverse than it was in 1930, and with the much greater prevalence of firearms, at least equal to the population numbers, is a totally terrifying prospect!

And to learn that the wealthy want ever more tax cuts, as their greed and selfishness continues to grow, is totally outrageous. They need to give up much of the Trump, Bush II, and Reagan tax cuts they gained undeservedly in the past four decades, while the middle class deteriorated, and the the number of poor, homeless, and hungry people escalated!

The stupidity and bias of millions of Americans who thought Donald Trump was a savior, and the involvement of Fox News Channel, Conservative Talk Radio, and the Evangelical Christian right pastors and ministers in backing the corruption and venality of Donald Trump is infuriating! His corrupt collaborators in Congress and the judiciary is also a total repudiation of the American people and their welfare!

There has to be a place in Hell for all of these perpetrators who have no ethics, morals, conscience, or scruples!

Joe Biden Needs To Agree That He Would Step Aside If Unable To Handle The Presidency, Unlike Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Ronald Reagan

We have had three circumstances where a President was unable to handle the job due to health issues, but refused to step aside.

Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in the fall of 1919, and was basically incapacitated for the remaining year and a half of his Presidency, but refused to resign, and his wife conducted cabinet meetings.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had congestive heart failure in 1944, and should not have run for a fourth term, but did anyway.,

Ronald Reagan had clear cut dementia, noticed by 1986-1987, but his wife Nancy and his top advisers covered for him in his last years in office.

Also, Donald Trump clearly has signs of mental deterioration for anyone who wishes to be honest.

And now, Joe Biden has what some people think are early signs of dementia, but not clear cut at this point.

We are likely to face a situation where either Donald Trump or Joe Biden will likely be President in the next term, but might not be able to finish the term.

It is sad but reality that Donald Trump would never resign if he was incapable of doing his job, but Joe Biden needs to be willing to step aside if his early signs become more evident during a future Presidency.

Some would say we have the 25th Amendment to allow for the Vice President to be “Acting President”, but that is more useful for physical ailments than mental ailments.

Looking back, Reagan was the first President under the 25th Amendment situation, and now Trump, both of them the oldest Presidents in office.

Joe Biden, or even Bernie Sanders, would be easily the most advanced in age, and while the 25th Amendment could be used, it does not seem adeqate if mental deterioration is present.

If anything, this situation that we are now presented with is an argument for Joe Biden to pick the best possible Vice President, who could be fully ready to take the oath of office if Biden, at some point, could not handle the job of President.

The Magnificent Joe Biden Revival The Greatest In American History

Former Vice President Joe Biden completed the greatest turnaround of political fortunes in American history in the last four days.

Thought to be a “lost cause”, he accomplished the winning of 10 of 14 primaries on Super Tuesday, after winning South Carolina last Saturday, and left Bernie Sanders in the distance.

He also caused Michael Bloomberg to withdraw today, but pledge all financial help to the Biden and Democratic Party campaign to retire Donald Trump from the Oval Office.

What Biden did is in many ways a miracle, but it could not happen to a nicer, more decent, more compassionate, more empathetic, and more genuine man than Joe Biden.

Biden has dedicated the past half century to public service, serving 36 years in the US Senate, and 8 years as the most active and engaged Vice President in American history!

His persona looks even better when compared to the Vice Presidents before and after him–Dick Cheney and Mike Pence!

Joe Biden is not perfect, and has votes and statements and silly flubs as part of his record that can be used against him.

But he KNOWS domestic and foreign policy, and would be the most experienced public official in total years ever to be President.

The man knows how to lead, as he did as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

And he knows the importance of “crossing the aisle” when possible. which is essential for any progress on any public issue.

There are some worried about his mental lapses, but my thought is that if it ever was clear that he needed to step aside and resign, he would do so, and that makes the Vice Presidential nomination more important than ever before.

He would not stay on in poor condition as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan did, and as Donald Trump would do.

Biden needs to select a much younger person, who could be his successor, and this blogger suggests Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris as his top three choices.

We need to pray for him, that he can meet the challenge of retiring Donald Trump, and restoring faith in American government.

The Vice Presidency More Crucial Than Ever Before In The Presidential Election Of 2020

The office of the Vice Presidency has become an office of real substance and significance since the time of Richard Nixon as Vice President under Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953-1961.

Before that, the Vice Presidency was an office ignored and forgotten, except when a President died in office.

Only three Vice Presidents, all early on in American history (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren) had been elevated to the Presidency by election, rather than succession due to death of the President.

Only when George H. W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan by election in 1988, did we again have a Vice President elected directly to the Presidency.

However, we did have Nixon lose the Presidency after Eisenhower, only to win it eight years later in 1968. And we did have Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Al Gore run for President and lose.

Now, we have former Vice President Joe Biden having a good chance to be the Presidential nominee of his party in 2020.

But in many ways, even more significant now than the Presidential race, is the reality that the odds of a future Vice President succeeding during the term is magnified by the fact that all four leading individuals who might be President in 2021 are old men–Donald Trump at 74, Joe Biden at 78, Michael Bloomberg at 78, and Bernie Sanders at 79, when the term begins in January 2021.

All except Bloomberg have known health issues–Trump both mentally and physically, Biden mentally, and Sanders physically. Bloomberg at this point seems free of any mental or physical health issues.

But the reality that the three Democrats will reach 80 in either the first or second year of the next term is alarming and worrisome, and magnifies the importance of choosing the right Vice Presidential choice, with the odds growing that whoever it is, he or she is likely to occupy the Oval Office before January 2025.

It is a sobering thought, but one must face reality, so the choice of a running mate is more crucial than ever before.

Stunning Action Of Pete Buttigieg, But He Saw Handwriting On The Wall!

This author and blogger was truly stunned by the sudden decision of Pete Buttigieg, after a fourth place showing in South Carolina’s Presidential Primary on Saturday, to announce his withdrawal from the Presidential race.

After recovering from the shock, however, it makes total sense, as it is clear after the massive victory of Joe Biden, that the only legitimate alternatives left are Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Michael Bloomberg.

And even Bloomberg, if he does not perform well on Super Tuesday, should withdraw, and give his financial support to Biden, to stop Bernie Sanders.

One would think that Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar will withdraw after Tuesday, but hoping they win their home states’ primaries in Massachusetts and Minnesota, and deny support to Bernie. But even if they do win, they have no realistic chance of being nominated, and as moderates, should join Pete Buttigieg in support of Joe Biden as the best hope for the party.

Having stated the above, it is still disturbing that the final three choices are all to be octogenarians in the next Presidential term, so the importance of who is Vice President under any of the three is extremely crucial.

And also, the Zero Election Year Syndrome, which led to seven Presidential deaths, one President shot, and one President seriously threatened on September 11, will rear its ugly head again in 2020. With three candidates, all being far older than Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump, this is a worrisome matter. So we must have the best possible VP choice, because the odds grow that such person might very well end up in the Oval Office at some point!

Eleven Presidents With Compassion And Empathy, And Eleven Presidents Who Had Neither

Since today is Presidents Day, this author and blogger is posting two entries after the one yesterday, to commemorate the holiday.

So here is the second entry today, and the third and last entry to celebrate Presidents Day!

The most important traits that any President should have, but many do not, is compassion and empathy.

There are Presidents who have compassion and empathy as very clear parts of their personalities, and there are those who have absolutely no such compassion or empathy, making them uncaring and harsh in personality.

A list of eleven Presidents WITH compassion and empathy would include the following in chronological order:

John Quincy Adams

Abraham Lincoln

James A. Garfield

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Jimmy Carter

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

Those eleven Presidents who most lacked compassion and empathy chronologically would include:

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

Andrew Jackson

John Tyler

Andrew Johnson

Woodrow Wilson

Herbert Hoover

Richard Nixon

Ronald Reagan

George W. Bush

Donald Trump

Debate and discussion on this and the earlier two entries is welcome!