Ronald Reagan

Republican Presidential Nominees And Presidents, And Their Running Mates: No Love Lost, Historically!

It is clear from the study of history and news coverage over the past half century that Republican Presidential candidate and even Republican Presidents have NOT been enamored with their Vice Presidential running mates or Vice Presidents.

We go back to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew as the first example, with Nixon using Agnew to attack the news media and Democrats in the midterm 1970 Congressional elections, but having little personal regard for him, and unwilling to come to his support when Agnew was revealed to be engaged in corruption, which would force his resignation in October 1973.

Then, Nixon selected Gerald Ford as his Vice Presidential replacement more on the idea that he felt that Ford, while well liked in Congress, would not be seen by opposition Democrats as all that competent to replace Nixon during the impeachment crisis of 1973-1974.

Gerald Ford seems to have really admired and felt comfortable with Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President under the 25th Amendment, but agreed to drop him from the ticket in 1976 to please conservatives, led by Ronald Reagan, and to select Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his replacement.

Ronald Reagan may have utilized George H. W. Bush’s expertise, but had little personal regard for Bush, and the Bushes were never invited to dinner at the White House during the eight years of their association.

Bush certainly had little faith and trust in Dan Quayle during his Presidency, and the nation knew it, and worried about the incompetence of Quayle.

Bob Dole’s selection of Jack Kemp in 1996 to be his running mate as Vice President certainly was not as a result of friendship or warmth, and they seemed an ill fit, often disagreeing during the campaign.

George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney in 2000 due to his vast experience, and allowed himself to be dominated in the first term, but their association soured dramatically in the second term.

John McCain seems to have been forced to select Sarah Palin in 2008, and Palin helped to undermine McCain, but McCain continues to defend Palin even today, although it seems clear how uncomfortable he is when answering questions about Palin.

The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan connection in 2012 seems also not to have been one of great warmth and friendship.

And Mike Pence is squirming a lot as Vice Presidential running mate for Donald Trump, seeing Trump contradict him openly and making clear his lack of regard for Pence, including being upset that Pence performed better in his debate with Tim Kaine, than Trump did with Hillary Clinton in their three Presidential debates.

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

What Would Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan Say About Donald Trump And Russia?

Joseph McCarthy, the infamous “witch hunter” of Communism and the Red Scare of the 1950s, saw Russia as the enemy and had no tolerance for anyone who showed anything other than antagonism toward the Soviet Union.

But Donald Trump acts as if Russia under Vladimir Putin, formerly in the Soviet Secret Police, the KGB, is somehow just a strong man who is “popular” in his country, and seems to admire him.

Even one who is a harsh critic of McCarthy and his demagoguery, including this blogger, somehow knows that the Wisconsin Senator would be leading the charge against Donald Trump if he were alive today.

But the same could be said of Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both who dealt with the Soviet Union and Communism, but had no illusions about the Russian leadership.

It is astounding how many Republicans, of a party that made Communism and Russia the biggest villain for decades, now sit back and accept Donald Trump’s “bromance’ with Putin.

It is not that America should not deal with Putin, but rather that America’s leadership understand his tactics and purposes, and not be living in an illusion as to the history and culture surrounding Russia and its leader.

Such illusions could lead to total disaster in international affairs!

Jimmy Carter Turns 92, Time To Reconsider His Legacy, And That Of George H. W. Bush

Happy Birthday, President Carter, who reached his 92nd birthday today, October 1!

Despite his cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2015, Jimmy Carter has reached the pinnacle of being 92 years of age, although thought to be likely to die within months of the bad news last year.

He becomes the second living President to reach 92, with George H. W. Bush achieving that on June 12 of this year.

Within the next 18 months, both Bush and Carter could surpass Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan as the two longest living Presidents, and we wish them both well on that potential achievement.

Both of these one term Presidents have been too long overlooked for their achievements, and their longevity insures that over time they will be seen as far better in office than they were seen after their defeats for reelection in 1980 and 1992.

Barack Obama Becomes Best Presidential Booster Of A Potential Successor In American History

When one looks at American history, it is indeed rare that a President leaving office really goes out of his way to boost and promote his party’s nominee to succeed himself.

That is the case, however, with Barack Obama, who is vigorously campaigning for Hillary Clinton in a manner no one would have predicted after the 2008 Democratic primary battle between the two candidates.

Of course, not everyone, and in fact, no one, except Abraham Lincoln, has picked his leading rival for the nomination to the most important cabinet post, Secretary of State.

Lincoln selected Senator William Seward of New York, who turned out to be a great Secretary of State under Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. And despite attacks, Hillary Clinton did a good job as Obama’s first term Secretary of State.

It is rare in modern times that a President gets his chosen successor to be elected, and none spent the time or effort that Obama has done and will do through the election, as he sees the victory of Hillary as a way to promote his own legacy.

Ronald Reagan backed George H. W. Bush as his successor, but did not go out of his way in the same way that Obama is for Clinton.

And Dwight D. Eisenhower was far from enthusiastic about his Vice President, Richard Nixon, succeeding him.

And Bill Clinton was not allowed by Al Gore to campaign for him, because of Gore’s belief that Clinton’s sex scandal and impeachment trial made him someone to avoid during the election campaign, a mistake that probably helped to defeat Gore, ironically, as the nation overall embraced Clinton despite the scandal, with Clinton keeping high popularity ratings.

Hillary Clinton Health Reminds Us Of Importance Of Vice Presidential Choice

The fact that Hillary Clinton has Pneumonia has drawn attention once again to the issue of Vice Presidential choices.

Ignorant people have argued that the Vice Presidency does not matter, and has no effect on electing the President of the United States.

But that is not true, as any intelligent voter should be concerned about the quality and competence of a person who is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency on a daily basis.

it has been a long time since we faced a Presidential death, 53 years since John F. Kennedy, and even the resignation of Richard Nixon is now 42 years ago.

So the odds are getting better that we could have a Vice President once again ascending to the Presidency during a term, and with the combination of the two oldest Presidential nominees to run since Ronald Reagan, who had early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is urgent that we think about the Vice Presidential running mates much more than we usually have done.

Right now, any sane person would agree that Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia is far superior to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, if either had to assume the Presidency, based on experience, viewpoints on issues, and basic character.

Pence is a right wing extremist on so many issues, while Kaine is a mainstream Democrat, and well liked by his colleagues in the Senate, and capable of “crossing the aisle” in a way as Joe Biden, the present Vice President, has done so often.

Pence is an ideologue, and not good at “crossing the aisle”, and very mean spirited and judgmental on so many issues, a perfect fit for Donald Trump, but not good for the nation at large.

The Health Issue With Two “Senior Citizen” Presidential Nominees

This blogger has discussed on this blog and on History News Network and in other social media posts of his concern about having two older nominees as the final competitors for the Presidency, as Donald Trump would be older than Ronald Reagan at inauguration, and Hillary Clinton would be only about eight months younger than Ronald Reagan at inauguration.

No one wants to say that older nominees, those who are “senior citizens”, are at greater danger of having health issues or even facing death, than younger nominees, but that is a basic reality.

What is now required after the near fainting and buckling of Hillary Clinton at the September 11 commemoration event in New York City is the demand and requirement that both Clinton and Donald Trump MUST be expected to give FULL details on their health, and that should include a basic psychological testing as well, as Donald Trump’s behavior and statements make one wonder about his mental stability.

Full transparency is required, but it also should not be demagogically exploited by Donald Trump and his surrogates, which, unfortunately, is guaranteed to occur in the coming days and weeks, making it a major campaign issue.

The now emerging news that Hillary Clinton has Pneumonia, which was diagnosed on Friday, complicates the issue of the first scheduled Presidential debate to weeks from Monday, whether it will have to be delayed or canceled. And Pneumonia is a serious issue, and right now, we have to hope for a full recovery for Hillary Clinton, and no one should play politics with this.

It is clear that Hillary Clinton wanted to follow through on honoring the dead from September 11, and that is why she showed up today, although having the diagnosis on Friday.

But knowing Donald Trump, do not be surprised that he will exploit it in a disgusting way, which should, if people are decent, backfire on him, whether it is done indirectly by Rudy Giuliani or some other despicable surrogate, or by the candidate himself.

Jimmy Carter Surpasses Record 13,000 Days In Retirement As A Former President!

As of five days ago, August 25, 2016, former President Jimmy Carter has been in retirement for 13,000 days!

Carter passed former President Herbert Hoover on September 9, 2012, as the longest retired President.

Carter will finish 36 years in retirement by Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

His political career before the Presidency and in the Presidency was a total of 12 years–four as a State Senator, four as Governor of Georgia, and four as President.

Carter will be 92 on October 1, and if he lives another 18 months, he would have lived longer than any President including Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, except maybe George H. W. Bush, who is about four months older, and already 92 years of age.

Carter has had cancer in the past year, but is in remission, and seems in good shape, considering his age and cancer diagnosis.

By having lived so long, he has become a legend in many ways.

Let us wish him more years of health and contribution, as he has already set a record for accomplishment as a former President, which has been a model for Bill Clinton, and for when Barack Obama is retired in 2017!

Immigration Turned California From “Red” To “Blue” State, And Is Now Doing It To Nation, Destroying Republican Party’s National Future!

In 1994, California Republican Governor Pete Wilson promoted the passage of Proposition 187, to bar any services to undocumented or illegal immigrants, including education, health care and other social services in the Golden State.

It passed, but divided the state, and ultimately, was declared unconstitutional in 1998, and was never put into effect, but its long term effect was to destroy the Republican Party in California, with the only statewide office holder since then being Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself a celebrity and an immigrant as Governor.

The Republican Party has been decimated in the state legislature and in Congress, and the state has been steadily “Blue” in Presidential elections ever since, even though the state had had a long history of conservative Republicans in office, headed by Ronald Reagan, but including others before and after his time as Governor of the state.

So the Democrats have a great edge in national elections, with the automatic 55 electoral votes of California insuring a Democratic advantage for the Presidency.

But the Republican Party nationally has not learned from this, and instead has alienated both Hispanic and Latino Americans, and also Asian Americans, and in the last election, both groups have gone Democratic with more than 70 percent support, and probably higher in this next Presidential election.

There is a very good chance that North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, Arizona, and even eventually, Texas, will go “Blue” either this year or certainly by 2020 or 2024, and when that happens, the Republican Party nationally is doomed in its efforts to win the White House for the long term.

So Donald Trump’s nativism is the disaster equivalent to what Pete Wilson did a generation ago to the largest state in the Union.

The old saying is: “As California goes, so goes the nation!” Nothing more true can be said!

The Strength, Stamina, Stability Of Hillary Clinton Vs Donald Trump: A Million Miles As Secretary Of State Vs Privilege Of A Undisciplined Man!

Donald Trump and his campaign surrogates are now bringing up the issue of Hillary Clinton’s health.

The fact that in 2012 Hillary Clinton had a fainting spell and hit her head has been dramatized to say that she is seriously ill.

Ironic when Donald Trump by his daily behavior makes many wonder if he is demented.

It is also the fact that the physician issuing a brief statement claiming Donald Trump’s health is excellent is not a general physician, but rather a gastroenterologist, which begs the question why would Trump have a specialist as his doctor if he did not have problems in that area that required him to go to a specialist?

If anything, it is worrisome that both Trump and Hillary Clinton are the oldest nominees for President other than Ronald Reagan, and we know that Reagan demonstrated signs of decline, and his eventual Alzheimers diagnosis in his second term, with the assassination attempt in 1981 probably hastening that medical condition.

But Hillary Clinton has demonstrated strength, stamina and stability, as she traveled the amazing amount of a million miles over four years as Secretary of State in the first term of Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, the privileged, undisciplined man named Donald Trump never did any such thing, as his life has been one of barking orders as a corporate leader, born with s silver spoon in his mouth, who never had to struggle or face adversity in his life.

If Donald Trump, God forbid, were to be elected President, he would face the greatest stress in his life, and one can doubt that he could handle it very well.

At least with both candidates, we have a Vice Presidential running mate (Mike Pence and Tim Kaine) who is in the late 50s, a much better age for a future President than the early 70s!