Theodore Roosevelt

New York City Mayors, Other Mayors And The Presidency

New York City has had Mayors who have sought the Presidency, but never has a NYC Mayor reached the White House.

With the announcement by present NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio of him becoming number 23 to run for the White House, this is a good time to look back at failed runs for the White House by NYC Mayors, and the history of other Mayors who have run for President.

DeWitt Clinton was the Federalist nominee for President in 1812 against President James Madison, but lost.

John Lindsay switched from the Republican to Democratic Party in 1972, but lost early in the process and withdrew his candidacy by April.

Rudy Giuliani was leading in polls in 2007 as a potential Republican nominee, but flopped badly and withdrew in January 2008.

Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, then an Independent, then a Democrat, considered announcing in 2016 and 2020, but decided not to at the present time, due to Joe Biden entering the race with similar views.

Additionally, a future President ran for Mayor of NYC in 1886 as a Republican, and ended up third, and yet went on to the White House, and that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Additionally, we have former Buffalo, New York Mayor and New York Governor Grover Cleveland who went on to the Presidency in 1884.

Other Mayors who ran for the Presidency include:

Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who went on to the Senate and Vice Presidency, but lost the Presidential election of 1968 to Richard Nixon.

Sam Yorty of Los Angeles, who ran for the Democratic nomination unsuccessfully in 1972.

Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, who also served in Congress, and was a Democratic candidate unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2008.

Martin O’Malley of Baltimore, Maryland, who also served as Maryland Governor, and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Additionally, two Presidents who succeeded after the death of the incumbent President, had served as Mayors of small cities–Andrew Johnson as Greeneville, Tennessee Mayor; and Calvin Coolidge as Northampton, Massachusetts Mayor, and was successful in winning his own term as President in 1924.

And now, of course, we have four former Mayors running in the Democratic Presidential competition:

Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey

Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas

John Hickenlooper of Denver, Colorado

Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vermont

We also have three sitting Mayors now running for the Democratic nomination:

Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

Bill de Blasio of New York City

Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

Today, May 8, Is The 135th Anniversary Of Harry Truman’s Birth, And The 74th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II In Europe

Today, May 8, is a momentous day, as it is the 135th Anniversary of the birth of President Harry Truman, and also the 74th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

There are very few veterans left from World War II, as the only survivors would be at least 92 if they had just entered war service in the last months of the war in 1945.

The “Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called the veterans of World War II, made great sacrifices and we honor them every Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.

And we honor President Truman, who despite much controversy over his actions in office, is ranked in polls of scholars and experts as either number 5 or number 6 among all our Presidents, something no one in his time in office ever imagined he would reach.

Truman proved that an “ordinary man”, the only modern President not to have attended or graduated college, could be an effective President, and a voracious reader, proving that not all education and drive comes from a college degree, but from ambition and motivation to overcome one’s shortcomings.

This author and blogger would rank Truman Number 4, ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, now rated in the C Span 2017 Poll of Historians above him, as he faced crises greater than all Presidents except George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We were blessed to have two exceptional Presidents in a row in FDR and Truman.

The Case For The Impeachment Of Donald Trump For The Historical Record, Even With Understanding That Republican Controlled Senate Will Not Remove Trump From Office

The time has come for the House of Representatives, under Democratic control, to begin the ground work needed for the impeachment of Donald Trump, for having committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” in office.

The historical record needs this impeachment action, even with the understanding that the Republican controlled Senate will not remove Trump from office.

If the Republicans went ahead in 1998-1999 to impeach and attempt to convict and remove Bill Clinton from the Presidency, on a case far less abusive and dangerous than Donald Trump, knowing it would not succeed, then there is no excuse for the Democrats to avoid doing the same.

The Republicans will be condemned for allowing the abuse of power that Donald Trump has been waging since Day One of his Presidency, and while it will distract somewhat from the basic agenda of ideas that Democratic Presidential candidates are pursuing, it is part and parcel of the essential responsibility that the Democrats have, to hold Donald Trump accountable.

If they fail to do that, they will be pilloried in history for having overlooked and ignored the movement toward authoritarianism, and it would encourage future Presidents to abuse power in the same manner.

So this is a character lesson for the future of the American Presidency and American democracy, and there is no room for weak leadership, whether from House leadership or Senate leadership of the Democratic Party. Courage and principle are required, and Donald Trump needs to be held accountable, so that in future generations, young people will learn about the evil and the wrongs visited upon the American people by a very evil man, far more evil than even Richard Nixon.

Our future national security and ability to have foreign alliances with democratic nations is also at stake, as well as the perpetuation of the wonderful domestic programs promoted by Presidents of both parties from Theodore Roosevelt through Barack Obama.

When one looks back at impeachments in the past, not only that of Bill Clinton pales by comparison, but also that of Andrew Johnson. And as dangerous as Richard Nixon was, he looks like a choir boy by comparison to Donald Trump.

25 Years Since Richard Nixon Death On Earth Day

It is now a quarter century since President Richard Nixon died, ironically on Earth Day, April 22, 1994.

Nixon has been rightly criticized and attacked for the Watergate Scandal and related illegal actions, which led to his impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee, before his resignation when the Supreme Court ordered he hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, Leon Jaworski.

But historians regard Nixon as the second best Environmental President of modern times, just behind Theodore Roosevelt, and ahead of Jimmy Carter, as he went along with the Democratic Congress in promoting the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and could have prevented it by a presidential veto.

Many might say that other Presidents belong that high up in the rankings, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy, and Obama’s involvement is still being evaluated as to where he should rank in the listings.

One thing for sure, other than TR and Nixon, no Republican President ranks high, except in the damage done, as for instance, particularly with Ronald Reagan, Warren G. Harding, and more than either of them, Donald Trump.

Bill Weld Begins A Quixotic Race Against Donald Trump For Soul Of Republican Party

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (1991-1997), who also was the Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Party line with Presidential candidate Gary Johnson in 2016, has begun what is seen as a Quixotic race against Donald Trump for the soul of the Republican Party.

The question is whether the GOP has a soul, and there is much doubt about it, as they have allowed themselves to become an extremist right wing party that is against the American tradition of fairness, equity, and its own early history of support for civil rights under Abraham Lincoln, and progressivism under Theodore Roosevelt.

This is the time for two others, who are much more likely, if they ran against Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020, to have a real chance of stopping him, or at least, of tarnishing him enough to cause his defeat in the election.

This blogger is referring to former Ohio Governor and former Congressman John Kasich, and former Utah Governor, former Ambassador to China, and present Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.

These two were the only decent, reasonable candidates of the Republican Party for the Presidency in 2012 for Huntsman and 2016 for Kasich.

Both have their shortcomings, as all candidates do, but have a distinct record of accomplishments, competency, and decency to revive the Republican historical image that has been lost in recent years, and accelerated by the disgrace that is Donald Trump.

Three Millennial Presidential Contenders: Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, Eric Swalwell

The Presidential Election campaign of 2020 includes three millennials, those born in the 1980s, which means anyone of the three, if elected President, would be far younger than Theodore Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell, born in November 1980, would be 40 years and about two months old on Inauguration Day 2021.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, born in April 1981, would be 39 years and about nine months old on Inauguration Day 2021.

And South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, born in January 1982, would be 39 years and one day old on Inauguration Day 2021.

John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President, and was about 43 years and almost eight months old in January 1961, while Theodore Roosevelt, succeeding to the Presidency upon the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901, was about 42 years and and 10 and a half months old when he became President.

All three fit the image of a new generation of leadership, similar to Kennedy in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992, and Barack Obama in 2008.

The odds are growing that Pete Buttigieg may be that leader, after his official opening of his campaign on Sunday, with an inspired message to his supporters in South Bend, Indiana.

April 2, 1917: Woodrow Wilson Asks Congress To Declare War On Germany, Ending US Isolation From World Affairs

On this day 102 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson transformed America forever, as he went to Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, putting America into the “Great War”, World War I, four days later.

Other than intervention in Latin American affairs, and the gaining of island territories overseas in the late 1890s, the US had avoided foreign controversies, other than Theodore Roosevelt winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for being the mediator bringing about the peace treaty at the end of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.

But from this point on, with the exception of a virulent isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, which did NOT keep us out of the necessary involvement in World War II, the United States has faced its responsibilities of world leadership since the 1940s, committing to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership and leadership in official ceremonies on April 4, 1949, seventy years ago.

Barack Obama Fortunate For History That He Is Between George W. Bush And Donald Trump In The Order Of Presidents In Office

In the long run of history, where a President is in the order of attaining the Presidency really matters.

So, for instance, John Adams is between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and while Adams ranks around the middle in ranking of Presidents by historians and political scientists, he is rated much lower than the two Presidents before and after him, who are in the top ten of any listing.

The same goes for William Howard Taft, who is between Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom are in the top quarter of Presidents, while Taft is rated in the mid 20s.

And the same is true for George H. W. Bush, who is between Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, both of whom are rated higher than Bush, who is rated in the later teens as President.

On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln comes between the two men usually rated the two worst Presidents, James Buchanan before him and Andrew Johnson after him.

And it is now clear that Barack Obama, rated 11th in one poll, 8th in another poll, and 17th in a third poll, all within the two years he has been out of the Presidency, is fortunate to have George W. Bush, rated in the 30s, and Donald Trump rated either at the bottom under Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, or at most just above them, insuring he will, like Lincoln, always be rated much better.

The Donald Trump Plan: Attack Democrats As Anti Semitic, Anti Israel, And As Socialist

Donald Trump has a plan to win the Presidential Election Of 2020, attack Democrats as Antisemitic, anti Israel, and as dangerous “Socialists”, equating that term with Communism, in relation to totalitarian dictatorships such as the old Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and Cuba.

This is pure demagoguery, as two thirds of Jewish Americans regularly support the Democratic Party, and many American Jews, while supporting Israel in a broad sense, do not support the hard line view of Benjamin Netanyahu and his right wing government in Israel.

And Socialism is part of American history, as with policies of many Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt through Barack Obama in both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

We are a capitalist nation, and always will be, but Socialist ideas have made America a better place.

The Democrats will have to deal with the manipulation of Donald Trump to overcome these accusations, but the new push of Trump to abolish ObamaCare completely, without any replacement for tens of millions of Americans, should be made the major issue among many others in the upcoming campaign.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: A New Rising Star In The Presidential Race

A new rising star in the Democratic Presidential race is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Buddhajudge) who has been the mayor of this mid sized city/ college town since 2012, and has won both four year terms handily with 74 and 80 percent of the vote in his two races.

We have never had a small city mayor elected President directly, and only three Presidents have been mayors, including Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge of Northampton, Massachusetts, but with Johnson and Coolidge succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding, and none of them in office as mayor for what is now seven years for Buttigieg.

If Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the second Indianan after Benjamin Harrison to become President, but with six Indianans being Vice President (four Republicans and two Democrats)—Schuyler Colfax under Ulysses S. Grant; Charles Fairbanks under Theodore Roosevelt; Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Mike Pence under Donald Trump; Thomas Hendricks under Grover Cleveland, first term; and Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, William English ran with Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, and John Kern ran with William Jennings Bryan in 1908.

Also, if Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the first gay President, and also have a husband, who would become First Gentleman, instead of Bill Clinton, who would have had that title if his wife, Hillary Clinton, had won the White House in 2016.

Additionally, he would be, by far, the youngest President at age 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day, 2021, making him about three years and ten and a half months younger than Theodore Roosevelt, and four years and seven and a half months younger than John F. Kennedy.

Buttigieg is impressive as a successful and popular Mayor of South Bend, who has improved the city during his mayoralty; and as a graduate of Harvard University, he went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Great Britain. He also served in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant, and was a Naval Intelligence Officer who served in the war in Afghanistan, and is still in the Naval Reserve.

Also of note is that Buttigieg won the competition for the “JFK Profiles In Courage Essay Contest” in 2000, writing about the integrity and courage of then Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, and traveled to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to accept the award from Caroline Kennedy, and met other members of the Kennedy family. Buttigieg had been valedictorian of his high school class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature.