Ulysses Grant

Loss Of Best General Since World War II: General Norman Schwarzkopf!

The news this evening of the death of General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of troops in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, at the age of 78, is sad news, indeed.

Schwarzkopf was easily the best General we have had in America since the giants of World War II—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, Omar Bradley, and George Patton!

Schwarzkopf was not an egotist, like MacArthur and Patton. He was not a liar as William Westmoreland was in the VIetnam War. He was not a man of poor character and judgment as David Petraeus has proved in recent days, after heading our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was not a drunk, as Ulysses Grant was in the Civil War.

Schwarzkopf was a modest man, of great achievement, who gave all Americans pride in a job well done, and in a war that lasted only six weeks!

May he rest in peace, with the high regard of his countrymen on a job well done!

Barack Obama Joins A Unique “Fraternity”: Presidents Who Have Won A Second Term In The White House!

Barack Obama last night joined a unique “fraternity”—Presidents who have won a second term in the White House.

The following Presidents won a second term:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Abraham Lincoln
Ulysses Grant
Grover Cleveland (with one term in between where he won popular vote, but lost the electoral vote in 1888)
William McKinley
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt (who won 4 terms before 22nd Amendment was added to the Constitution)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

So 17 Presidents, out of 43 who have held the office, have had a second term.

Of course, Lincoln, McKinley and Nixon failed to finish their second term, with the first two assassinated, and Nixon resigning.

This is a select group, a little more than 40 percent of our Presidents, but what it offers is the likelihood that Obama will end up in the top ten of our Presidents if he has any major success in his second term!

The Month Of April In Presidential And American History

The month of April is particularly rich in Presidential History.

The following Presidents were born in the month of April:

Thomas Jefferson April 13
James Monroe April 28
James Buchanan April 23
Ulysses Grant April 27

The following Presidents died in the month of April:

William Henry Harrison April 4
Abraham Lincoln April 15
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 12
Richard Nixon April 22

Additionally,

John Tyler became President in April.
The Civil War began in April. (Lincoln)
The Civil War ended in April.(Lincoln)
Andrew Johnson became President in April.
The Spanish American War began in April.(McKinley)
American entrance into World War I was in April. (Wilson)
Harry Truman became President in April.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba occurred in April.(Kennedy)
The unsuccessful attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran occurred in April. (Carter)

Ranking Presidents Affected By Being A One Term Or Two Term President?

The game of ranking Presidents is a continuous topic among historians, political scientists, journalists, and ordinary citizens.

In the upcoming June issue of Presidential Studies Quarterly, Professor Curt Nichols, an assistant professor of political science at Baylor University in Texas, comes up with a new theory and premise about how Presidents are ultimately ranked in history.

Nichols used a statistical method known as regression analysis, utilizing Presidential ranking polls conducted by C Span, the Wall Street Journal, and the Siena Research Institute.

Each poll has different factors in judging Presidential leadership, with C Span having ten.

But Nichols says the rating score of Presidents is ultimately raised if the following six factors are considered:

Number of years served
Wartime leadership
If transformation of political landscape occurs in their term
If they are part of the Founding Fathers group
If they are considered “progressive” and pursue “equal justice for all”
If they are assassinated progressives

At the same time, two factors will decrease the rating scores of Presidents:

If the President is impeached, resigns, or has major political scandals during his administration
If they push the nation into political crisis or are unable to lift the country out of a political crisis

Going by this discussion, Nichols believes that IF Barack Obama is defeated for re-election, he will rank only as “average”, as number 22, between William McKinley and George H. W. Bush.

But Nichols also believes that If Barack Obama is re-elected to the Presidency, he could end up as high as number FOUR, behind Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George Washington, and ahead of Thomas Jefferson!

There is lots of room for debate on the Nichols viewpoint, but it certainly will cause much more discussion and analysis of the men who have been President of the United States.

A few observations here:

If wartime Presidents have an edge, then why is James Madison, William McKinley, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush rated quite low on the rankings list generally accepted?

One term Presidencies that stick out as better include James K. Polk and John F. Kennedy.

Two term Presidencies that are seen negatively include James Madison, Ulysses Grant, Grover Cleveland, and George W. Bush.

So whether having a second term really helps raise the stature of a President is still very debatable.

And whether Barack Obama could end up ranked ahead of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton is something that will be hotly debated into the long term future.

The Profession Of Politics And The Field Of Business: Never The Twain SHOULD Meet!

The field of politics, despite many cynics, is a PROFESSION, and requires a lot of training and expertise to do it well.

That is why people who go into politics run for local office and state office usually before running for national office, such as the Senate and House of Representatives.

That is why ALL Presidential winners in our history, except for three generals–Zachary Taylor, Ulysses Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower–have had some kind of political experience before becoming President.

Only two people have ever been nominated for the Presidency WITHOUT any political or military experience–Wendell Willkie in 1940 by the Republicans, and Ross Perot, who ran as an Independent and Reform Party candidate in 1992 and 1996.

The thought of Herman Cain running for the Presidency without any knowledge or expertise in any field of government policy turned out to be a total disaster, beyond his own moral and ethical issues. It is obvious that Herman Cain undermined the respect of the Presidential office by having the gall to run, knowing full well that he was not qualified by any measurement!

Cain took advantage of his race to enter the race, knowing no one would dare challenge it because of his race. But all he did was exploit the publicity that one gains running for the Presidency to sell books, promote more lucrative, highly paid speeches, and to gain the opportunity for a likely television show, because now he is a celebrity, who loves the spotlight and the ability to profit from it by his associations with the political class that he knows nothing about!

This disaster of Herman Cain is good enough reason to say that never again should an arrogant businessman, including Donald Trump, think he or she is qualified to hold our highest office! If one wishes to strive for such, get serious and get experience in politics and political office first before lessening the dignity of the Presidency for one’s own selfish gains!

Political Experience, Public Office, And The Presidency

One would think that to be President of the United States, one should have political and governmental experience, and have been voted into office by American citizens. That is, the Presidency is NOT a place to learn how government works, and experience of some type electorally is essential!

And yet, Herman Cain is running without ANY government credentials, and having never been elected to any office by any part of the American population!

What gall to think that he is qualified because he is a businessman, when government is NOT a business, and business experience is greatly overrated, and does not train one to run a government, on the scale that being in elective office DOES qualify someone to lead the American people!

The question arises as to how many Presidential candidates or Presidents have had no government electoral experience.

There have been two businessmen who ran for President–Wendell Willkie in 1940 as a Republican and Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 as an Independent candidate for the White House. Both had a much more distinguished business career than Herman Cain could ever even dream of!

We have also had military generals who have run for office without political experience, with three being elected President–Zachary Taylor in 1848, Ulysses Grant in 1868 and 1872, and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, with only Eisenhower rated highly by scholars of the Presidency.

Three other generals ran and lost the Presidential race–Winfield Scott in 1852, George McClellan in 1864, and Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880.

Also, there were two cabinet members who never served in elective office, other than the Presidency–William Howard Taft in 1908 after serving as Secretary of War; and Herbert Hoover in 1928, after serving as Secretary of Commerce. But neither is rated very high among the Presidents.

So the best way to look at it is: If you wish to run for President and lead our nation, you MUST have electoral experience, particularly in the modern era when the job requires political experience as crucial, not business experience as head of a corporation whose only aim is PROFIT!

George W. Bush: Two Years Later, Is He Delusional? :(

George W. Bush has been out of the White House now for two years, and has been avoiding the public spotlight, while preparing his memoirs, which will come out next week!

But excerpts of the memoir have been leaked to the press, and it does not make Bush look very good! In fact, it makes one almost wonder if he has taken to drinking again, something he writes about in his memoir!

Well known as an alcoholic, joining the short list of Presidents who are defined as such (the others being distant relative Franklin Pierce, and Ulysses Grant), Bush reveals a great deal about himself in his memoir!

He tells us that he thought of replacing Vice President Dick Cheney with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, an interesting scenario, because had it happened, Frist might very well have been the Presidential nominee in 2008, rather than Senator John McCain!

He feels that Barack Obama has not been a success, forgetting the mess that he left for the new President, the worst situation since Herbert Hoover handed over the Presidency to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933!

Even more interesting is his assessment of his greatest failure: the inability to privatize Social Security in his second term! This would have led to the total destruction of the whole system had it occurred, with the stock market crash in 2008!

But somehow, Hurricane Katrina, September 11, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War–all of these are not depicted as failures, as compared to Social Security privatization! What planet is George W. Bush on? πŸ™

Also, what was his greatest disappointment and upset? Not any of the above events, but when recording artist Kanye West called him a racist for his slow reaction to the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, particularly the flooding of New Orleans! Not the hurricane, but Kanye West calling him names, is the greatest upset Bush experienced!

By this statement of Bush, President Obama should be constantly upset over the crazy, loony verbal attacks on him by the “wingnuts” and the talk show hosts who don’t give him a pass on ANYTHING! πŸ™

George W. Bush seems to the author to be a very troubled man who fails to face reality, and can too easily be “upset” by words of criticism!

Bush needs to learn the following: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” He needs to get off liquor and have some serious psychiatric help!

The question is how will the American people be able, finally, to overcome the damage he has wrought on this nation! πŸ™

Ronald Reagan On American Currency: Vast Numbers Say NO!

Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry (no Patrick Henry LOL) of North Carolina has introduced a bill to put Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill, replacing Ulysses Grant, but polls show 79 percent oppose such an idea, including 71 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats, and 79 percent of Independents! It is good to see that even sensible Republicans realize how crazy an idea this is!

Reagan is already memorialized on the Florida Turnpike, the largest federal office building in the national capital, and on the Washington, D. C. airport, and there is an active campaign to name as many places after him as John F. Kennedy, but it is apparent that there is no support for the former President to be on our currency supply.

People tend to forget that while Grant was an alcoholic, and presided over the Panic of 1873 and had tremendous corruption occur during his Presidency, he also won the key battles of the Civil War which kept our nation whole.

And when one considers that Reagan promoted economic policies where the rich became richer, the poor became poorer, and the middle class declined; environmental policies that were the worst in American history; tripled the national debt; destroyed the labor union movement; and promoted an anti government, anti intellectual attitude in America, how can anyone think he should replace historical figures such as Grant, who represent the concept of the saving of the Union and the downfall of states rights? Without Grant’s military prowess, the country would not be what it has become in the past nearly 150 years!

As time goes by, it is already evident that Ronald Reagan has been built up by Talk Radio and Fox News Channel, and certainly, there are positive things that could be said about the 40th President. But historians are also coming to grips with the faults of Ronald Reagan, and the love affair that many have had with Reagan is starting to crumble!