Ulysses S. Grant

Beto O’Rourke Enters The Presidential Race: Is He The New Hope For The Democrats In 2020?

Former three term El Paso, Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is the newest entry into the Democratic Presidential race, and is exciting many young voters and others tired of the “establishment” veterans.

O’Rourke is 46, has three children 8, 10, and 12, and his wife Amy Hoover Sanders is 37. If he won the Presidency, it would bring a young family into the White House.

O’Rourke is seen as a moderate centrist, in the line of Joe Biden, but a full 30 years younger.

He came within about two and a half points of Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the Midterm Elections of 2018.

He shares the same first and middle name of Robert Francis Kennedy, the brother of John F. Kennedy, and himself the Attorney General and New York Senator who sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968 before being assassinated on June 6, 1968. And he looks as if he a spitting image of a younger Robert Kennedy but much taller than RFK, although not related to him.

It is an oddity that his wife has the first name of Democratic Presidential rival Amy Klobuchar; a middle name the same as President Herbert Hoover; and a last name the same as Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders. And their older son’s first name is Ulysses, the first name of President Ulysses S. Grant.

O’Rourke has charisma, charm, and personal appeal, and that could just be the right combination for 2020, and opens up the chance that Texas just might go “Blue”, making it easier to win the White House.

There is a long way to go in this Presidential competition, but O’Rourke has made it more exciting, as earlier Barack Obama did in 2008, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

37 Indictments And Plea Deals And Counting: And No Corruption And Trump Is Not Connected To Any Of This?

Donald Trump supporters, and I know some of them, claim that the corruption around Donald Trump has nothing to do with him, and that he has not broken the law in any fashion.

The Trump Presidency has so far seen 37 indictments and plea deals, including his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, his first campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, campaign aide Rick Gates, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and Trump adviser Roger Stone. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as many of his cabinet members or past figures in the White House have engaged in corruption, and many will likely face legal consequences in an investigation still being pursued by Robert Mueller and the Southern District of New York.

To claim that Trump has nothing to do with all this is totally preposterous, and Trump supporters forget that anyone is judged by the company they keep, and already, there is more corruption around Donald Trump, than around Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, or Ulysses S. Grant. And with the exception of Nixon, the other Presidents were not personally involved in corruption, and Trump is much more corrupt by comparison to Nixon.

And Nixon had some real accomplishments, while Trump has none, other than his Supreme Court Justice appointments.

The Wealthiest And The Poorest Presidents

The American Presidents have varied greatly in wealth acquired or inherited in their lifetimes.

Some were born poor, such as Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, due to family circumstances, with Clinton and Nixon acquiring wealth in their lifetimes, but Johnson would still be the seventh poorest President at death, according to statistics.

Materials gathered by scholars have led to conclusions on the net worth of our 44 Presidents, including their post Presidential years.

Easily, at least by the knowledge we have now, Donald Trump is likely the wealthiest President, although subject to change by further Congressional investigation of Trump’s finances, sure to come in the 116th Congress by congressional subpoenas. By estimate, Trump is wealthier than all the other 43 men who have been President of the United States.

After Trump, probably John F. Kennedy, had he not been assassinated, would have inherited close to $1 billion later in his life.

Other than Trump and Kennedy, George Washington would be considered the wealthiest President, in modern terms, around $580 million.

Behind him would be Thomas Jefferson ($234 million); Theodore Roosevelt ($138 million); Andrew Jackson ($131 million); James Madison ($112 million); and Lyndon B. Johnson ($108 million), with all those numbers being estimates.

Other Presidents who had substantial estimated wealth would include Herbert Hoover ($82 million; Bill Clinton ($75 million); Franklin D. Roosevelt ($66 million); and John Tyler ($57 million). Clinton acquired most of his wealth post Presidency by speeches and authored books, and will likely rise much higher if he lives a long life.

At the other end of the scale, we had 13 Presidents who had $1 million or less wealth by all estimates, in 2016 dollars, including in ranked order:

William McKinley

Warren G. Harding

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Chester Alan Arthur

Woodrow Wilson

Calvin Coolidge

Harry Truman

Notice that the bulk of these Presidents served in the years from Buchanan to McKinley, the last half of the 19th century, a total of seven out of eleven Presidents.

The three Presidents from Wilson through Coolidge also are on this list, and Harry Truman ends up as the least prosperous President at his death, as compared to Andrew Johnson the poorest at birth.

Barack Obama is rated just below John Tyler at number 13 on the wealth list at an estimated $40 million, with potential over a long lifetime to become one of the top few wealthiest Presidents by speeches, books, and other activities due to the stature and prestige of being a former President in modern times.

Other Presidents are rated in the middle on wealth, such as George W. Bush at $39 million; George H. W. Bush at $26 million; John Quincy Adams at $23 million; John Adams at $21 million; Richard Nixon at $17 million; Ronald Reagan at $14 million; Dwight D. Eisenhower at $9 million; and Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at $8 million each.

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

Impeachment Investigations Of Government Officials In American History Mostly Without Basis, More For Political Purposes

The impeachment of Donald Trump seems possible in 2019 IF the Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, which seems highly likely, based upon polls 100 days out, and with the reminder that the party out of the White House always gains seats in the midterm elections, with the exceptions of 1934 under Franklin D. Roosevelt and 2002 under George W. Bush.

Having said that, it is reality that impeachment does not lead to convictions and removals from office, with the exception of seven federal district court judges over the long span of American history.

Richard Nixon would have been an exception if he had not resigned, but Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton both were found not guilty in their impeachment trials.

Other Presidents have been threatened with impeachment, but it was more just a threat or simply could not gain enough support in the House of Representatives to lead to impeachment.

That list of threatened impeachments include: John Tyler in 1842 and 1843; James Buchanan in 1860; Ulysses S. Grant in 1876; Herbert Hoover in 1933; Harry Truman in 1951; Ronald Reagan in 1987; George H. W. Bush in 1991; George W. Bush in 2008; Barack Obama in 2013: and Donald Trump in 2017 and 2018. Notice most of these were not serious, and in many cases occurred in the last year of the President’s term or near the end of his last term in office.

Vice Presidents who have faced impeachment threats are: Schuyler Colfax in 1873, as he was leaving the Grant Administration; Spiro Agnew in 1973 as he neared resignation due to scandal under the Nixon Administration; George H. W. Bush in 1987 as the Iran Contra scandal emerged; and Dick Cheney in 2007 as the second Bush Administration dealt with the Iraq War continuation. None of them gained any traction.

Impeachment motions against Cabinet officers and other federal officials have been mostly just a gesture, a threat, as with, for example, Attorney General Eric Holder in 2013; Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in 2007; and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2004. Most recently threatened with impeachment is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the past few days, but unlikely to gain any traction, more used as a political ploy.

Presidential Campaigns Lost By 15 Presidents

In our final examination of Presidents and their background and experiences for the White House, we will now examine Presidential campaigns lost by Presidents.

A total of 15 Presidents ran unsuccessful campaigns for Presidents as follows:

Thomas Jefferson lost the Presidential Election of 1796 to John Adams, but then won in 1800 and 1804.

Andrew Jackson lost the Presidential Election of 1824 to John Quincy Adams, but then won in 1828 and 1832.

William Henry Harrison lost the Presidential Election Of 1836 to Martin Van Buren, but then won in 1840.

Martin Van Buren received the most votes on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in 1844, but failed to win the required two thirds majority, and lost the nomination to James K. Polk. He also ran on the Free Soil Party ticket for President in 1848, and finished behind winner Zachary Taylor and second place finisher Lewis Cass. However, he had won the Presidency earlier in 1836.

James Buchanan competed for the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1848 and 1852, but failed to get the nomination, losing to Lewis Cass and Franklin Pierce, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1856.

Millard Fillmore ran on the American (Know Nothing) Party ticket for President in 1856, but finished behind winner James Buchanan and loser John C. Fremont. Earlier, he had served as President after the death of Zachary Taylor.

Andrew Johnson competed for the Democratic nomination in 1860, but lost the nomination to Stephen A. Douglas. He later served as President after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Ulysses S. Grant competed for the Republican nomination in 1880, losing the nomination to James A. Garfield. He had earlier been elected President in 1868 and 1872.

Theodore Roosevelt competed for the Republican nomination in 1912, losing the nomination to President William Howard Taft. He ran in the general election as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party candidate, having earlier served as President, after succeeding to the officer upon the death of William McKinley, and then being elected in his own right in 1904.

Herbert Hoover competed for the Republican nomination in 1920, but lost the nomination to Warren G Harding, but then won the Presidency in 1928.

Lyndon B. Johnson lost the Democratic nomination to John F. Kennedy in 1960, became his Vice Presidential running mate, and succeeded to the Presidency upon Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and was elected for a full term in 1964.

Richard Nixon lost the Presidency to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but then won the Presidency in 1968 and 1972.

Ronald Reagan competed for the Republican nomination in 1968 and 1976, losing the nomination to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1980 and 1984.

George H. W. Bush competed for the Republican nomination in 1980, losing the nomination to Ronald Reagan, but became his Vice Presidential running mate, and then Vice President, and then was elected to succeed him as President in the Presidential Election of 1988.

Donald Trump competed for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, but withdrew before Pat Buchanan won that party’s nomination, and later won the Republican nomination and was elected in 2016.

Also, two future Presidents competed for the Vice Presidency, with Franklin D. Roosevelt being the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in 1920, losing to Calvin Coolidge; and John F. Kennedy competing for the Vice Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 1956, when Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson opened up the Vice Presidential nomination to be decided by the convention delegates, and Estes Kefauver being selected over Kennedy.

Presidents Without Prior Elected Occupation

A total of 6 Presidents have been elected without any prior elected position in government.

Three of them had careers in the military:

Zachary Taylor who was a Major General in the US Army, and served in, and became famous in the Mexican War of 1846-1848, and was elected President in 1848.

Ulysses S. Grant, who was a General in the Civil War, gained the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to end the war, and was elected President in 1868.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was General of the Army during World War II, and planned the D-Day invasion on France on June 6, 1944, and was elected President in 1952.

Two other Presidents had appointed experience in the US government as Cabinet Officers before they were elected President:

William Howard Taft, who served as Secretary of War under Theodore Roosevelt, and was elected President in 1908.

Herbert Hoover, who served as Secretary of Commerce under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, and was elected President in 1928.

And then, finally, there is Donald Trump, in a category by himself, as Chairman of the Trump Organization, his whole career in real estate, and also a reality star on television, a public figure for decades, but never holding office in any form by election or appointment, or by military service, but elected President in 2016.

Trump Cabinet Members: One Disaster After Another, From Tom Price To Ronny Jackson!

The Trump Cabinet is one disaster after another.

Trump has dismissed many people behind him, both those in his Cabinet, and others in positions of authority, and others have come under fire, but are still there.

Rex Tillerson, Tom Price, David Shulkin are gone, along with Reince Priebus, Michael Flynn, H. R. McMaster, and Sean Spicer, and Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Jeff Sessions, Steve Mnuhcin, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Ben Carson, Mick Mulvaney, and now Ronny Jackson are under scrutiny. Even John Kelly, the second White House Chief of Staff, has lost his reputation serving Trump.

There has been more turnover, including the White House Chief of Staff, National Security Adviser, and White House Press Secretary, than under any President after just 15 months.

The above mentioned list of present cabinet officers, as well as Ronny Jackson, the White House Physician now nominated to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs, have had issues of corruption and malfeasance, and are under a cloud that may force all of them to leave the administration over time.

Just about the only Trump advisers who are seen as “clean” are Secretary of Defense James Mattis and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all had a substantial number of people who served in their administrations forced out, or indicted, convicted, and sentenced to prison, but it looks as if Donald Trump is presiding over the most disgraceful group of advisers we have ever seen in any Presidency!

Republican Presidential Administrations From Richard Nixon To Donald Trump: Indictments, Convictions, Prison Time, Plus Warren G. Harding And Ulysses S. Grant

We are in the midst of the most corrupt series of Presidential scandals in American history in the 15 months of the Trump Administration.

An investigation of Presidential scandals since Richard Nixon left office demonstrates the following:

Under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, there were no serious, protracted scandals of note.

Under Ronald Reagan, there were serious scandals that led to 26 indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 sent to prison–most outstanding being the Iran Contra Affair, which led to indictments of the Secretary of Defense, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, two National Security Advisers, Deputy Chief of Staff, as well as criminal prosecution or resignation of the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under George H. W. Bush, he gave pardons to a number of people convicted under Reagan, and some wondered if the President was covering his own rear end, and potential involvement in the Iran Contra Scandal in particular.

Under Bill Clinton, while there were a lot of investigations under Republican Congresses after 1995, and the President was impeached in regards to the sex scandals with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, there were no serious scandals that led to any indictments or convictions.

Under George W. Bush, there were a lot of scandals, leading to 16 indictments, 16 convictions and 9 sent to prison, and many people working for Bush resigned rather than testify in many investigations. There were many abuses centered around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the promotion of national security, and led to resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Lewis “Scooter” Libby who was the aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and White House Adviser Karl Rove among others.

Under Barack Obama, there were no serious violations of the law or scandals, despite many investigations by Republican Congressional committees, including Hillary Clinton after the Benghazi Libya attack on the US Embassy by Muslim extremists.

When one adds the massive scandals under Richard Nixon, and now Donald Trump, it is clear that under Republican administrations, corruption and abuses have been widespread, although not under Gerald Ford, and that the three Democratic Presidents, despite much criticism, had no serious scandals on the level of Nixon, Reagan, Bush 2 and now Trump!

And when one goes back to earlier scandals under Warren G. Harding in the 1920s and Ulysses S. Grant in the 1870s, both Republican Presidents, it only adds to the image and reality of Republicans presiding over scandalous times, as well as nine of the last ten economic downturns since 1953, along with the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover after 1929!

Stormy Daniels Scandal Not Going Away, And Neither Is Robert Mueller: Dual Threats To Trump Presidency

The Stormy Daniels Scandal is not going away, and it is causing Donald Trump to avoid commenting on Twitter or in public utterances, very unlike the behavior of the 45th President.

And Trump is having great trouble finding good attorneys to supplement his defense against the upcoming interview with Robert Mueller, which assuredly will not save him, his family, and his administration from a massive series of indictments and convictions, including the removal of the President sooner rather than later.

Trump is doomed, and he knows it, and his administration will go down, ultimately, as the most corrupt administration in all of American history, worse than Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, and Ulysses S. Grant, with the latter two not personally involved, as Nixon was, so Nixon and Trump will be in exclusive company with each other.

But Nixon will, by comparison, look like a choir boy in the extent and seriousness of scandals.

Trump will be seen as a traitor; as a person who obstructed justice; as a President who broke the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution; as a Chief Executive abusing power; as someone who openly colluded with Russia in fixing the Presidential Election of 2016; as a leader involved in illegal financial activities that could land him in prison in New York, outside of the Presidency itself, and also put his family members in prison as well.

Donald Trump will rue the day that he decided to seek the White House!