Thomas E. Dewey

Presidential Concession Speeches An Endorsement Of American Democracy!

The story of American democracy over two centuries and more has been graceful concession speeches by the losers of Presidential elections. Despite vehement and emotional feelings on both sides of an election, being a “good sport” and conceding in a proper manner is an American tradition!

The only time there was, in effect, no concession speeches was when South Carolina, and eventually ten other Southern states, eventually refused to accept that Abraham Lincoln had won the Presidency in 1860, and began the civil insurrection known to history as the American Civil War!

Other than that one time, losers of Presidential elections have always been gracious and patriotic in their acceptance of the victory of their rivals, until 2020 when Donald Trump refused to concede and provoked the US Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021!

Some elections have been very close, as in 1876, when Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden, in an election which dragged on to final determination until just before Inauguration Day in 1877, with Tilden accepting his loss.

The same situation occurred in 1884, when the Republican Party lost the Presidency for the first time in a generation to Democrat Grover Cleveland by very small margins, but James G. Blaine accepted defeat graciously.

In 1916, we had the second closest Electoral Vote margin after 1876, until later in the year 2000, with loser Charles Evans Hughes being gracious in defeat to President Woodrow Wilson.

The upset election victory of President Harry Truman over New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 was accepted in a proper way by Dewey. And later, Truman had Dewey visit the White House!

Richard Nixon in 1960 had advisers suggest he challenge John F. Kennedy over the close Illinois vote, but Nixon, outgoing Vice President, refused to drag out the matter, and accepted defeat in a gracious manner.

President Gerald Ford was heartbroken in 1976, when he lost to Jimmy Carter, but was very gracious in concession, read by his wife Betty Ford, because the President had developed laryngitis. And the Fords and the Carters became fast friends in later years, a closer friendship than anyone since John Adams and Thomas Jefferson!

Michael Dukakis was way ahead of George H. W. Bush at one point of the 1988 Presidential campaign, but was very appropriate in his concession speech.

President George H.W. Bush was devastated by his loss to Bill Clinton in 1992, as was Bob Dole in 1996, but both were proper in their concessions.

Al Gore fought the good fight in 2000, contesting the result for 36 days, but then conceding, when the Supreme Court intervened, and as outgoing Vice President, rejected any further battle over the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2001.

Senator John McCain was totally decent and proper in his gracious concession speech, congratulating the nation in 2008, on the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney had the same decency when he lost to Obama in 2012, and Hillary Clinton conceded the morning after the 2016 election to Donald Trump, although totally stunned by the loss.

So there was no excuse, and still there is none today, for any candidate for the Presidency who loses the election to refuse to concede, and instead to cause chaos, disarray, and literal violence, as that provoked by Donald Trump against Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.

So the time has come for Donald Trump to pay the price for the bloodshed and violence he provoked, and to be convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

And his decision to continue to provoke violence and what he calls “retribution” should lead to his incarceration BEFORE trial, as an example to the American people what happens, when anyone, even a former President, chooses to promote undermining of American democracy and the rule of law!

Truman Vs The 80th Congress; Biden Vs The 118th House Of Representatives!

75 years ago, President Harry Truman, looking like a “loser” to many observers, chose to use an attack strategy against the Republican 80th Congress (1947-1949), calling them the “Do Nothing” Congress, and gaining a nickname, “Give Them Hell Harry!”

Everyone underestimated him tremendously, and he staged a magnificent upset victory, winning a full term in the Presidency despite low public opinion polls at the time, defeating the clearcut favorite candidate, Republican Presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey, and winning back control of both houses of Congress for the 81st Congress (1949-1951).

Now, President Joe Biden, who most observers never expected to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2020, and to have the Democrats win the Senate along with the House of Representatives in both 2020 and keep the Senate in 2022, is being given a golden opportunity to run a campaign against the small margin Republican House of Representatives in the 118th Congress, and they are making it very easy by their disastrous tactics and public image!

So Joe Biden will run a Truman like campaign and give the Republican House “hell”, with all of his accomplishments in his first two years.

He has a great chance to win reelection, with a low unemployment rate, lowered inflation, and courageous leadership against Russia in Ukraine. Just as Truman took a strong stand against Russia in the Berlin Blockade Crisis of 1948, Biden is coming across strongly in the Ukraine Crisis!

And the odds of the House of Representatives going back to the Democrats is outstanding, and the Senate, while difficult, with Joe Biden on the same ticket, the odds increase of the continuation of a Democratic Senate for the 119th Congress (2025-2027)!

Two Presidential Deaths Commemorated: Harry Truman And Gerald Ford!

It has been a half century (1972) since President Harry Truman passed away.

It has also been 16 years (2006) since President Gerald Ford died.

These two Presidents, one a Democrat, the other a Republican, share the same day of death, 34 years apart.

Ford was elected to the House of Representatives from Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1948, the year of the miracle victory of President Truman against Thomas E. Dewey and the so called “Do Nothing” 80th Congress, with Truman gaining the nickname “Give Them Hell Harry”!

Both Truman and Ford have seen their stock rise in history, with Truman considered by many at the time of his retirement to be a “failure”, with a very low public opinion rating, but now generally acknowledged as either number 5 or 6 in all scholarly rankings of Presidents.

Gerald Ford remains in the mid 20s in scholarly rankings, but his reputation for his brief Presidency has improved dramatically. There is overall positive approval now of his transition from the corruption of Richard Nixon, and acceptance a quarter century after his pardon of Richard Nixon that he did the right thing to promote moving on beyond Watergate. And for many including this author and blogger, he has become a favored Republican President, more so than any Chief Executive of that party since Dwight D. Eisenhower, and with universal popularity of First Lady Betty Ford!

Presidential Losers Who Ran Again, And Donald Trump!

It has been reported that a former Trump advisor is planning to convince Donald Trump NOT to run again in 2024.

According to the report, this person has, or will tell Trump, that he would not wish to be a two time loser for the Presidency, amidst the belief that Trump’s ego could not handle that idea.

Former two time Democratic Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson (1952, 1956) is mentioned as the example of the most recent two time nominee who lost twice for the White House.

One would think that this advisor would have more knowledge than just mentioning Stevenson, as five other Presidential candidates lost either twice or three times.

These include Republican Thomas E. Dewey (1944, 1948); Democrat William Jennings Bryan (1896, 1900, 1908); and Whig Henry Clay (1824, 1832, 1844), along with Democrat Martin Van Buren (elected in 1836 but losing in 1840, and 1848 (Free Soil Party), and Federalist Charles C. Pinckney (1804, 1808).

All six of these two or three time losers had real credentials and validity, unlike Donald Trump, who will go down as the worst or near worst President in American history!

But also, Andrew Jackson lost the Presidency in 1824, but won in 1828 and 1832, and William Henry Harrison lost in 1836 but won in 1840.

Also, there is the example of Richard Nixon, who lost in 1960, but came back successfully in 1968 and 1972.

And finally, there is Grover Cleveland, elected in 1884, but losing reelection in the Electoral College in 1888, and yet coming back to a second nonconsecutive term in the White House in 1892!

The News Media And Public Opinion Polls On Trial On Election Day: Are They Reliable?

Today, Election Day 2020, it is clear that the news media, particularly the establishment media–the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC–need to be demonstrated to be reliable and accurate in their coverage of the 2020 election campaign.

Or will they have “egg in their faces” again, as in 2016, when there was total shock at the result of the election, the victory of Donald Trump?

And the same goes even more with the multitude of public opinion polls, which misjudged what was about to happen, and also the prognosticators, many well known, and some like this author and blogger, NOT well known, who all believed Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency!

A one time blunder, or error, can be explained, as it was in 1948 when no one thought Harry Truman would defeat Thomas E. Dewey!

A second time, when all evidence is that Joe Biden will likely win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, would be fatal in many ways, making Americans unwilling to believe the major news media and public opinion polls in the future!

Hopefully, the right wing news media, notorious for lies and deception, most notably Fox News Channel, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal, all Rupert Murdoch owned and operated, will be repudiated beyond any redemption! The same applies to right wing talk show radio hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and a host of other extremists who exploit the American people on a regular basis!

Hopefully, we will know sometime tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4!

Will Ohio Go Against The National Trend In 2020?

The state of Ohio has long been seen as a crucial state, and no Republican has been elected President without winning Ohio, including Donald Trump in 2016.

So only Gerald Ford has been a Republican President and lost Ohio, when he ran for a full term against Jimmy Carter in 1976. Once we knew that Carter had won Ohio, it was clear Ford would not have a full term, after succeeding the resigned Richard Nixon in 1974.

When one looks at party history since the Republican Party was founded in 1854, we find only five elections in which the Republican candidate lost Ohio to a Democrat, as follows:

John C. Fremont 1856 lost to James Buchanan

James G. Blaine 1884 lost to Grover Cleveland

President Benjamin Harrison 1892 lost to former President Grover Cleveland

Thomas E. Dewey 1944 lost to President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Richard Nixon 1960 lost to John F. Kennedy

So only three Democratic Presidents have won the White House without winning Ohio–James Buchanan in 1856, Grover Cleveland in 1884, and John F. Kennedy in 1960, with Cleveland second time and FDR fourth time winning a return to the White House without winning Ohio.

Right now, polls show Donald Trump winning Ohio by 5 points instead of the 8 point lead he had over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So if polls hold up, Joe Biden will be the fourth Democrat to become President without Ohio, only the sixth time in 166 years, and the first time since 1960.

Ohio has been steadily losing electoral votes, as the balance of population has moved South and West, and will likely lose one electoral vote in 2024 and 2028, going down from 18 to 17, so will have less impact politically in the future!

The Potential Exists For Youngest President In American History To Be Elected In 2020!

With disillusionment with “the older generation” widespread, the possibility now exists that America could elect a President in 2020 who could be younger than any President in American history.

Theodore Roosevelt succeeded to the Presidency at age 42 years and 10.5 months in 1901, upon the assassination of President William McKinley.

And John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President, taking the oath of office at age 43 years and 7.5 months in 1961.

We have also had three younger Presidential nominees of a major party who lost their campaigns for the Presidency:

Thomas E. Dewey in the 1944 election, who would have been 42 years and 10 months if he had taken the oath in 1945

John C. Breckinridge in the 1860 election, who would have been 40 years and 1.5 months if he had taken the oath in 1861

William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 and 1900 elections, who would have been 36 years and 11.5 months and 40 years and 11.5 months respectively, if he had taken the oath in 1897 and 1901.

Now, in the upcoming election for President in 2020, there are seven theoretical candidates who would be younger than TR and JFK.

They include:

Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who would be 42 and three months on Inauguration Day

Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, who would be 40 and three and a half months on Inauguration Day

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, who would be 40 and two months on Inauguration Day

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who would be 39 and nine months on Inauguration Day

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is running to be Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, in June 2019, who would be 39 and eight months on Inauguration Day

South Bend, Indiana Mayor (since 2012) Pete Buttigieg, who would be 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has no political experience, who would be 36 and eight months old on Inauguration Day

The odds of any of these seven being the Democratic nominee are very long, and highly unlikely, as four are members of the House of Representatives (and only James A. Garfield was ever elected to the Presidency from the lower house); and two are or will be Mayors, and only Andrew Johnson, in Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland, in Buffalo, New York: and Calvin Coolidge in Northampton, Massachusetts were mayors, although Theodore Roosevelt ran for New York City Mayor in 1886, but lost.

Finally, Zuckerberg would only be the second person never in public office after Donald Trump, and seemingly, a real long shot. If Zuckerberg were to become President, he would be the youngest nominee ever, three and a half months younger than William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

January 20 Presidential Inauguration Days

Since 1937, as a result of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, we have had the President of the United States inaugurated every fourth year, so there have been 21 such inaugurations from 1937 to 2017.

Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the exception of Gerald Ford, has been inaugurated on January 20 since 1937. So 13 Presidents have had the excitement of inauguration at the US Capitol before crowds of varying sizes.

The greatest inauguration crowd was in 2009, when Barack Obama took the oath of office for the first time, and this author and blogger was fortunate enough to have been at his inauguration with his older son, and a video of that experience is on the right side of this blog.

The electricity in the crowd in 2009 was special, as it was in 1961, when the youngest elected President, John F. Kennedy, was inaugurated, and gave one of the top three inaugural addresses in American history, after Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, both on the original Inauguration Day of March 4.

In 1941, FDR was sworn in to an unprecedented third term in the Presidency, and in 1949, Harry Truman was sworn in after shocking America with his surprise victory over Thomas E. Dewey, something no one other than Truman himself, expected to occur.

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in after the greatest popular vote percentage victory in all of American history.

In 1973, Richard Nixon was sworn in for his second term, with no former President present, as Lyndon B. Johnson was not feeling well enough to attend, and then his passing two days later, at age 64.

And in 1977, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were sworn in as President and Vice President, with no one able to know that 41 years later, today, that they were both alive and in their 90s, and flourishing.

And in 1981, former movie actor and California Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn in, and at the same time, 52 Americans who had been held hostage in Iran were freed.

So January 20 has had its historic moments, including Donald Trump taking the oath exactly a year ago, after a much smaller crowd to witness, and followed by a Woman’s March the next day.

Harry Truman And Gerald Ford Share Death Date Of December 26 in 1972 And 2006

The day after Christmas is a day shared by two Presidents in death.

The 33rd President, Harry Truman, died on this day in 1972.

The 38th President, Gerald Ford. died on this day in 2006.

These two Presidents, the first a Democrat, the second a Republican, shared many common traits.

Both were from the Midwest–Truman from Missouri, and Ford from Hichigan.

Both faced challenging times and issues–Truman with the end of World War II; the Atomic Bomb issue; the Berlin Blockade and Airlift; the Korean War;-McCarthyism;–and Ford with the pardoning of Richard Nixon; the final end of the Vietnam War; the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia; the two assassination attempts 17 days apart in September 1975; and the challenge of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Both faced public opinion polls that made their governing difficult, with Truman surprising everyone with his upset victory over Thomas E. Dewey in 1948; and Ford almost winning a full term in 1976, and only losing because of close vote returns in Ohio and Hawaii.

Both had no desire to be President, and had not sought it, with both succeeding to the Presidency when Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.

Both died at advanced ages, with Truman seven and a half months past the age of 88; and Ford five and a half months past 93, and the longest lived President until George H. W. Bush passed his age on November 25, a month ago, and also to be surpassed by Jimmy Carter on March 16, 2018.

Both Presidents have gained in stature in death and in retrospect, although Truman is in the top ten Presidents of all time, usually around number five or six in most scholarly polls, while Ford is in the mid to high 20s as an average President.

But both came along, unexpectedly, and performed their responsibilities in an admirable way, and have gained respect that both might not have imagined in their lifetimes.

Hillary Clinton’s New Memoir: Will It Destroy A Possible Future Candidacy Or Promote It?

Hillary Clinton’s new memoir on her Presidential campaign is out, and the question is whether it will destroy a possible future candidacy for President, or promote it.

Clinton certainly blames herself for some of the actions and statements that doomed her, but also places a lot of blame on others, including former FBI Director James Comey; her rival for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Today Show Host Matt Lauer, who moderated a debate that she feels was poorly handled by him; and of course, Donald Trump.

She points out her belief that there was definite Russian collusion for Donald Trump; makes clear her disgust at Trump’s tactics during the campaign; makes clear her belief that Trump was and is totally unqualified on experience and judgment to be our President; and tells us she is not going anywhere into the distance, but will continue to speak up on issues and personalities, including on Donald Trump.

Clinton recognizes that millions love her and voted for her, and gave her a 2.85 million popular vote margin, but that millions others hate her with a passion, and that sexism played a major role in her defeat, along with disgust by many at her husband, Bill Clinton, even though millions of others admire and support her husband and his Presidency in the 1990s.

Clinton informs us that while she will continue to be part of public discourse, she will NOT run for President again, which seems totally sensible and rational.

While she has run twice already, there is no desire to match Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan, who ran and lost three times; or Thomas E. Dewey and Adlai Stevenson, who ran and lost two times.

It is indeed time for fresh leadership, and so the idea of Bernie Sanders at age 79 in 2020 running for President is a terrible idea, and even Joe Biden, who this blogger loves, and believes that he would have defeated Donald Trump had he been the nominee, running again at age 78 in 2020, is not a good way to go.

Rather, we need YOUNGER leadership, such as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas; Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California (running for Governor in 2018); Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon; Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York; Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Senator Mark Warner of Virginia; Senator Al Franken of Minnesota; Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia; and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, among others.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also talked about, as with Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but being in the 70s by 2020 makes her NOT a good choice, and she is also extremely controversial, and would be unlikely to gain any more support in the proper places and states to be elected President, because if anything, she is more vehement and more controversial to many than Sanders or Clinton.

Again, we need NEW leadership, with a preference for the YOUNGER part of the above group.