United Nations Ambassador

Republican Split Begins, As Several US Senators Indicate They Are Ready To Fight Trump Cabinet Appointments

It is now clear that Donald Trump will NOT work to avoid Republican party splits, but instead will do everything he can to stir division within the party, and within America, as shown with his horrendous Cabinet appointments.

Democrats MUST fight tooth and nail against many of the Cabinet appointments, including the nominees for Attorney General (Jeff Sessions); Health and Human Services (Tom Price); Labor (Andrew Puzder); Education (Betsy DeVos); and Environmental Protection Agency (Scott Pruitt).

But there are Republicans unhappy over issues of foreign policy, including close association between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson: and the proposed nomination of John Bolton to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite his continued belief that the Iraq War was justified, and the opposition of many top Republicans who despise the former United Nations Ambassador by recess appointment under George W. Bush, who could not be confirmed by the US Senate.

Republican Senators, including Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins, and possibly others, could prevent some of these appointees in committee or on the floor, and in league with Democrats, create more Cabinet turmoil and rejections than any modern President, reminding us of the battles some earlier Presidents, including John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, had with Congress over their choices for the Cabinet and the courts.

Also, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are calling for a full investigation of Russian hacking of the Democratic Party campaign in the recent election, and many are alarmed by Donald Trump seemingly cozying up to Putin, and Trump’s denial that he believes the evidence of such hacking as concluded by the Central Intelligence Agency, undermining respect and support of the President Elect for the intelligence agencies. And Trump’s refusal to get intelligence briefings regularly and to show mistrust of the Intelligence community, which is so important for the national security of the nation, is very worrisome and alarms many in his own party, as well as the nation at large.

Disarray At Trump Tower: So Many Candidates, Some Totally Dangerous Or Ridiculous! And Major Problems For Midtown Manhattan!

There is disarray in Trump Tower in Manhattan, and massive traffic issues below in midtown Manhattan.

Donald Trump seems to want to live in Trump Tower a lot of the time, rather than the White House, which creates major traffic, economic, and security issues.

Fifth Avenue and 56th Street is now barricaded, and traffic will become impossible, and trying to protect the President-Elect is a security nightmare, as it requires tremendous manpower of New York City Police and the Secret Service, and is creating problems for businesses, auto traffic, and pedestrians, which will only get worse.

But also, Trump seems totally disorganized, and rumors are spreading of some candidates for different positions in the government who are totally dangerous or ridiculous!

For Secretary of State, the candidates seem to include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton; South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley; and former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The first two named are dangerous for the State Department, as they have no sense of personal diplomacy, and are both loud mouths, with Bolton being the more scary. Haley adds good looks and a woman to the list, but no real qualifications to be Secretary of State. Mitt Romney is the most credible, but really has no diplomatic experience to speak of. And Haley and Romney were bitter opponents of Trump, and did not endorse him.

Then we have the crazy idea of Sarah Palin being Secretary of Interior or Secretary of Energy!

Already, we have Stephen Bannon as Chief Counselor and Senior Adviser in the White House, despite his racist, nativist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, and misogynist behavior and utterances. And we have General Michael Flynn, fired by Barack Obama from the Defense Intelligence Agency leadership in 2014, who has also shown elements of antisemitism, and suggested that Hillary Clinton be jailed, to be National Security Adviser. These two appointments do not require Senate confirmation, but it is clear with the chaos in Trump Tower, that Donald Trump will have problems with confirmation of some of his cabinet and other appointments.

Trump, The Most Repudiated Presidential Nominee In American History, Starts Off With Controversial Appointees

Donald Trump not only is the most unpopular President in American history in public opinion polls before his election, and not only in the popular vote margin of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, nearing one million and counting, but also in the total repudiation of his candidacy by:

Republicans who refused to endorse and support him
Conservatives who also refused to endorse and support him
Economists who warned against his election, as dangerous to the economy
Historians who warned against his election, looking at history
Defense and Security personnel who thought he was dangerous
Diplomatic personnel who were alarmed at his nomination
Newspapers that were traditionally Republican and conservative endorsing his opponent
Foreign Governments alarmed by his candidacy

Now all of these opponents must come to grips with the fact that Donald Trump is our President Elect, and alarm is spreading, as Trump has announced Stephen Bannon as his Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the White House, despite his misogyny, racism, nativism, antisemitism, islamophobia, homophobia and white supremacy views.

Trump also is considering neocon John Bolton, a highly abrasive personality, who was a controversial recess appointment as UN Ambassador under George W. Bush, to be Secretary of State, with the leading alternative being abrasive and egotistical former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York!

“Crossing The Aisle”: BiPartisanship Of America’s Presidents From FDR To Obama

A common theme in American history is the “crossing of the aisle”, the bipartisanship encouraged by just about every American President, and the utilizing of leaders of the opposition party to help make his administration successful.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had Henry Stimson as his Secretary of War from 1940-45, with Stimson having served as Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover. He also had Frank Knox as Secretary of the Navy from 1940-1944, who had been the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 1936.

Harry Truman had Warren Austin as his United Nations Ambassador from 1947 to 1953.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had Robert Anderson in various roles, as Secretary of the Navy, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Treasury, during his eight years in office from 1953 to 1961.

John F. Kennedy had Robert McNamara as his Secretary of Defense and D. Douglas Dillon as his Secretary of the Treasury and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (who he had defeated for the Senate in 1952, as his Ambassador to South Vietnam.

Lyndon B. Johnson kept on McNamara, Dillon and Lodge as close advisers in his administration, after he succeeded to the Presidency upon Kennedy’s death.

Richard Nixon had Sargent Shriver as Ambassador to France, John Connally as Secretary of the Treasury, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan as Ambassador to India.

Gerald Ford had Moynihan stay on as Ambassador to India, and then as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Jimmy Carter had James Schlesinger as Secretary of Energy, and Lawrence Eagleburger as Ambassador to Yugoslavia.

Ronald Reagan has Mike Mansfield at Ambassador to Japan, Jeane Kirkpatrick as Ambassador to the United Nations, William Bennett as Secretary of Education, and Paul Volcker as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

George H. W. Bush had Richard Stone as Ambassador to Denmark, and Robert Strauss as Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Bill Clinton had Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and William Cohen as Secretary of Defense.

George W. Bush had Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation.

And Barack Obama has had Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, Ray LaHood as Secretary of Transportation, Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China, John McHugh as Secretary of the Army, Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and now has pending the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.

Notice that Obama has had more members of the opposition party in his administration than any President!

The Susan Rice Controversy: The Final Disgrace Of John McCain And Lindsey Graham!

The announcement by Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador, that she is withdrawing her candidacy to be Secretary of State, due to the controversy over the Libyan terrorist attack in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on September 11, is a great tragedy.

It is the character assassination of a woman who has devoted her career to public service, and was only stating what was known on September 16, five days after the attack.

If anything, the CIA head, David Petraeus, now disgraced by an affair with his biographer, should be held accountable for this mess, but of course, he is so much idolized by many that he is given a free pass by politicians, and just allowed to resign, when he should be investigated for the danger he represented as our chief spy, allowing himself to be compromised!

It is not a question of whether Susan Rice is the best qualified person to be Secretary of State, as this author truly believes that Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, is the best person available.

But to trash the reputation of Susan Rice over something she was not responsible for is a human tragedy, and shows how far Republicans are willing to go to destroy others in their desire to damage President Obama, even after his second term victory!

Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham both had reasonable reputations before now, but what they have done is enough to destroy their historical image and their effectiveness for the rest of the time they might serve in the upper chamber!

They are two bitter men who have become negative forces, and are part of the problem of the Republican Party for the future!

If these two men have become destructive forces, that is a sign that the Republican Party is dying, and will soon be replaced by a new, moderate centrist party!

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower are all in deep mourning in the afterlife, wondering how their beloved party became so self destructive and hateful, and the dirty deeds of McCain and Graham will, likely, be two of the final nails in the coffin of the “Grand Old Party”!

And the best thing Barack Obama could do now is select Susan Rice to be National Security Adviser, a position not subject to the whims of the US Senate for confirmation! Prove that John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been upended by putting Rice in a position on an equal footing with the Secretary of State, and make the Republicans scream and yell in protest! It would be just desserts!

Susan Rice: Perplexing Problem For Barack Obama

If UN Ambassador Susan Rice is chosen to be Secretary of State, with the Libya controversy still boiling, due to Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and Susan Collins having problems with her, Barack Obama could have a major headache at a time when he needs to choose his battles.

But if Obama decided to pick John Kerry instead, it will look as if he is caving in to GOP opposition, particularly after his very strong defense of Rice in a press conference.

So Obama has pluses and minuses in this Susan Rice matter, and it will be interesting to see what path he takes.

The Susan Rice Controversy: Much Ado Over Nothing, And Making John McCain, Lindsey Graham And Kelly Ayotte Look Ridiculous!

The continuing controversy over UN Ambassador Susan Rice and her statements on Sunday talk shows about the events in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on September 11, has been blown so out of proportion that it borders on the ridiculous at this point!

A Fox News Channel and Mitt Romney inspired incident, it has led Senator John McCain to look like a total fool; Senator Lindsey Graham to look as if he is seeking for an issue to hold off Tea Party opposition to his reelection in South Carolina in 2014; and Senator Kelly Ayotte to come across as a freshman woman Senator who is hitching on the issue to make herself noticed, but in an embarrassing way that will trivialize her hope to become a national figure, after she was passed over by Mitt Romney to be his running mate for Vice President. Meanwhile, Senator Joe Lieberman, usually part of the “gang of three”, but now retiring, has decided NOT to join this cry for Rice’s head, showing some real intelligence as he leaves the Senate, but with Ayotte replacing him, to her degradation!

For anyone to be held so accountable for what he or she says on Sunday talk shows as Susan Rice is being held, is totally off the wall, and by that standard, Dick Cheney would have been impeached and removed from the Vice Presidency; Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell would have been drummed out of office, or in the case of Rice, denied the chance to be Secretary of State; and McCain and Graham themselves would be forced out of the Senate for past incorrect, inaccurate, or stupid comments!

Susan Rice is perfectly qualified to be Secretary of State, and instead has been pilloried in a manner unbecoming her distinction, her education and academic accomplishments, and her distinguished public career. Her education and brilliance, when compared to the measly such accomplishments of McCain, Graham, and Ayotte, makes them all look more like the jealous competitors for academic excellence who decide to downgrade their successful competitor by spreading innuendo, rumors, character assassination, and ridicule, because they have nothing else to offer.

All three Senators should apologize profusely to Susan Rice, stop their bull “feathers”, and get down to serious business serving their constituents, and stop seeking the limelight. And if Kelly Ayotte, the only one with serious long term potential, wishes to be seen seriously, she had better abandon these two Senators past their prime, and stake out her own identity, or become totally irrelevant, and a “joke” in Senate circles!

Secretary Of State John Kerry Or Secretary Of State Susan Rice? Kerry Should Be Favored!

With all of the hullabaloo over Senator John McCain’s derogatory comments about United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice in regards to the September 11 Libyan ambassador death controversy, a momentum has built up in the Obama Administration to double down on Rice, and decide to nominate her to be Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State.

Susan Rice is certainly qualified for the position, and would do a fine job in the State Department. She has excellent qualifications, and educational and scholarly credentials to back her up for the nomination.

But what this struggle between John McCain and Barack Obama has done is minimize the possibility that the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry, might gain the position.

Kerry has has a long, distinguished career in the Senate, and had he been President, he would have had to deal with all of the many international matters that would have arisen. He has been a forceful spokesmen on foreign affairs for many years, and having been an anti war advocate in the past, SHOULD be seen as a positive factor, unlike conservative commentator Bill Kristol’s assertion on Fox News Channel yesterday that Kerry’s past anti war stands should disqualify him for the position. Kerry truly deserves this position, and would not be the first losing Presidential candidate to become Secretary of State, joining a long list who have served in the State Department after losing the Presidency, including

HENRY CLAY
JOHN C CALHOUN
DANIEL WEBSTER
LEWIS CASS
JAMES G BLAINE
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
CHARLES EVANS HUGHES

Also, there have been former Presidential contenders, who failed to win the nomination, who have later served as Secretary of State, including:

WILLIAM SEWARD
EDMUND MUSKIE
HILLARY CLINTON

So TEN former Presidential seekers have gone on to serve as Secretary of State, and anyone with knowledge of American diplomatic history KNOWS that they are among the very best people we have had in that position, particularly the case with Clay, Calhoun, Webster, Blaine, Hughes, Seward, and Clinton. So if seven out of the ten have made a major impact, that is an excellent argument for John Kerry as Secretary of State!

The Future Secretary Of State: Senator John Kerry Or UN Ambassador Susan Rice?

The sudden introduction of foreign policy into the Presidential campaign of 2012, due to the events in the Middle East this week, bring attention on who might be Secretary of State in a second Obama Presidency.

Hillary Clinton has reminded us once again of her brilliance, courage, and statesmanship in her four years as Secretary of State. But every indication is that she will be leaving early next year, and therefore, if Barack Obama is reelected, one of the major questions to be resolved earlier, rather than later, is who shall be her successor. in the State Department.

The two front runners are Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador!

Rice has been on television today, trying to explain and defend the Middle East policy of the Obama Administration against attacks by the Republican opposition, including Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Kerry has had a lot of attention due to his magnificent presentation at the Democratic National Convention a week and a half ago! His expertise in foreign policy is seen as unmatched, and he comes across as more authoritative and legitimate than even when he ran for President in 2004.

Rice has been a loyal supporter of Obama, and has done her job well, but the appointment of Kerry seems more politically smart, if for no other reason that if the Senate goes Republican or the Democrats keep the majority but cannot gain much in seats, and it might be a more evenly divided Senate with a Democratic majority, the issue of Senatorial courtesy will play a role, making the nomination of Kerry more likely to go through without controversy, that that of Susan Rice.

Kerry, with his massive experience on the subject, trumps Rice, who is good, but not seen as on the same level of excellence as Kerry!

Losing Vice Presidential Candidates And Their Careers

In the past fifty years, since the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960, we have had a total of 12 losing Vice Presidential nominees of major parties, not including Vice President Walter Mondale under President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Vice President Dan Quayle under President George H. W. Bush in 1992.

What ever became of these 12 losing Vice Presidential nominees?

Henry Cabot Lodge, who ran with Richard Nixon in 1960, went on to be Ambassador to South Vietnam for President Kennedy in 1963-1964, a sign of bipartisan cooperation, even though Lodge had lost his US Senate seat to President Kennedy in 1952. He then was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1964, but did not get very far in the race. Lodge had had a distinguished career as Senator from Massachusetts from 1937-1953, played an influential role in drafting Dwight D. Eisenhower for President in 1952, and served as Ike’s United Nations Ambassador for eight years, before becoming Nixon’s running mate in 1960. Overall, a very distinguished career, to say the least!

William E. Miller, who ran with Barry Goldwater in 1964, served as a member of the US House of Representatives from upstate New York from 1951-1965, and was Republican National Chairman from 1961-1964. His public career ended with the Goldwater defeat, but his daughter, Stephanie Miller, is a comedian and radio talk show host, and also on Current TV five mornings a week. Interestingly, she is very liberal, while her father was a solid conservative.

Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine ran with Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968, after having served in the US Senate for ten years, and continued to serve in the Senate until 1980, when he agreed to be President Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State for one year. He also sought the Presidency himself in 1972, was considered a front runner, but his candidacy floundered.

Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was George McGovern’s first running mate in 1972, but was forced out over revelations that he had undergone shock treatments and taken psychiatric medication. Despite that, he served in the US Senate for 18 years from 1969-1987, and served with distinction, with whatever mental problems he had not interfering with his performance.

Sargent Shriver, the brother in law of President Kennedy, replaced Eagleton, and was well known as the head of the Peace Corps under Kennedy, and as head of the War on Poverty under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Then he served as Ambassador to France under Johnson and Richard Nixon, before running for Vice President. He also ran for President unsuccessfully in 1976, and became the head of the Special Olympics. His daughter, Maria Shriver, became an NBC reporter and the wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. His decline due to Alzheimer’s Disease had an impact on publicity about that disease. He died a much beloved public servant.

Gerald Ford had Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his running mate in 1976. Dole had been a member of the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, and served in the Senate from 1969 until his resignation in 1996, when he became the Republican nominee for President. He remains active today, and is highly honored for his public career, and his wife Elizabeth also served as a United States Senator from North Carolina. Additionally, Dole had served as Republican National Chairman from 1971-1973 under Richard Nixon. He also was, at different times, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader.

Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, becoming the first woman to run for Vice President. She had been a Congresswoman from Queens County, New York City from 1978-1984, and was later US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights under President Bill Clinton from 1993-1996. She ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1992 and 1998, and later was involved in the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign of 2008.

Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas was the running mate of Michael Dukakis in1988. He served in the House of Representatives from 1949-1955, and as US Senator from 1971-1993, winning his seat the first time over future President George H. W. Bush, He was also Senate Finance Committee Chairman, and Treasury Secretary under BIll Clinton in 1993–1994.

New York Congressman Jack Kemp, a former football player for the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League, served in the House of Representatives from upstate Buffalo, New York, from 1971-1989. He ran for President unsuccessfully in 1988, before agreeing to be Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. He also served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the first President Bush from 1989-1993. He was a major supporter of economic conservatism, and a follower of President Ronald Reagan. He continued to advocate his views after losing the Vice Presidency.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, and was the first Jewish nominee for Vice President. He had served in the Senate since first being elected in 1988, and will retire from the Senate in 2012, after four complete terms, as a controversial independent Democrat, progressive on social issues, but hard line conservative on foreign policy. He was called conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr’s “favorite Democrat”.

In 2004, North Carolina Senator John Edwards was John Kerry’s Vice Presidential running mate. He served in the Senate for one term from 1999-2005, and sought the Presidency in 2008, and when his campaign failed, he was revealed to have a consensual affair with a woman while his wife was sick with cancer, and the liaison produced a daughter, and now has led to a trial that might lead to his imprisonment on charges of illegal use of campaign funds to cover the affair and the needs of the child and mother. This is truly a sad situation, still to be played out.

And finally, who could forget Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who came out of obscurity as the second woman to run for Vice President, with John McCain in 2008. She became a lightning rod, and many blamed the debacle of the McCain campaign on her, and her obvious ignorance of the issues and the facts of American politics and history. She has remained a controversial figure, who has made millions writing some books and giving speeches,and is seen by many as a major factor in the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Her future is still ahead of her, and we will not be able to ignore her, as she will be part of political news for a long time.

So who stood out among these losing VP candidates?

Clearly, Lodge, Muskie, Eagleton, Shriver, Dole, Bentsen, Kemp, and Lieberman had a positive effect on American history.

The same cannot be said for Miller, Ferraro, Edwards, and Palin.

However, all of them contributed to our history, and should be remembered!