US Senate

Joe Biden Vs. John Kasich: The Most Experienced, Most Qualified Candidates For President in 2016!

We are now seeing the full emergence of the Presidential race of 2016, with four candidates having announced, and many more to come between now and July, six months out from the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary.

It is becoming quite clear that IF the two political parties are looking for the most experienced, most qualified candidates to compete against each other in November 2016, then they will nominate Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The nation would be very fortunate if this was the end result of the upcoming election, but it is not even certain that either Biden or Kasich will actually announce for President.

Biden seems to be avoiding the issue for now, fully aware that Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite, but also carrying a lot of “baggage” over the lost emails and the Clinton Foundation, and the general feeling among many people of distrust of the former First Lady, former New York Senator, and former Secretary of State. But with the growing possibility that Hillary might falter, he is waiting in the wings and could decide to challenge her, rather than leave it alone and allow Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee to challenge her instead.

It is a clear cut fact that none of these alternatives can fill the shoes of Joe Biden in pure experience, knowledge, and qualifications, with Biden having had, by 2016, a total of 44 years in government, 36 as a Senator, and 8 as Vice President. Biden has been a leader in both domestic and foreign policy, and was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and has been ranked as one of the best Senators in American history. His role as Vice President has been massive, and President Barack Obama acknowledged his role and significance at the White House Correspondents Dinner this past weekend.

Of course, Biden is not perfect by any means, but has far fewer controversies than Hillary Clinton, and his faults are primarily his loose mouth at times, and his loose hands recently with women at public events, all embarrassing, but not taking away from his great leadership role over more than four decades. And his personality is a winning one, and Joe Biden is the most accessible, genuine, authentic, decent politician in America today, bar none.

At the same time, John Kasich is a man of principle, who just this weekend said he would not change his views to appeal to any particular group or agenda, and he comes across as a man of decency, accomplishment, and experience that far outstrips any other Republican nominee for the Presidency.

Kasich served in the House of Representatives for 18 years from 1982-2000, and was House Budget Committee Chairman, and understand economic matters better than most. He also has been now the two term Governor of the most crucial state in any Presidential election, Ohio, with the reality that no Republican has been elected President who has not won Ohio. This makes Kasich, easily, the best possible nominee that the Republicans could nominate, and the nation would be a lot more secure and safe with him than with any other Republican nominee for the White House.

An election between Joe Biden and John Kasich would be in the best traditions of American history, and would give us, no matter who won, a competent, qualified person to be our President for the next four years from 2017-2021. Let us hope for such good fortune to be given to this country!

Pew Research Poll Shows Built-In Advantage Long Term For Democrats Over Republicans

It has been a tough time for Democrats in recent years with the loss of the House of Representatives in the 2010 Midterm Election and the loss of the US Senate in the 2014 Midterm Elections, plus the loss of so many state governorships in the last three two year cycles, along with many state legislatures.

A lot of the problem is due to the failure of the demographic groups that favor Democrats to come out to vote, particularly in the midterm elections.

But the long term advantage, at least on paper, is with the Democrats, according to a new Pew Research Poll of groups and which party they favor.

Blacks (69), Asians (42), religiously unaffiliated (36); postgraduate women (35), Jewish (30), Hispanics (30), and Millennials (16) all favor Democrats.

Mormons (48), Evangelical Christians (46), White Southerners (21), White Men with some or no college education (21), White Voters (9), and Voters 69-86 (4) all favor Republicans.

Overall, 48 percent of partisans favor Democrats, and 39 percent favor Republicans.

So the key issue is getting people out to vote and fighting Republican attempts in the states to make it more difficult for those who favor Democrats from registering to vote, a tactic that has been used particularly since the Supreme Court negated portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2013!

The Democrats Need A Competitive Presidential Race: Don’t Put All Eggs In One Basket!

Hillary Clinton may end up as the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016, and has the theoretical edge to defeat any Republican opponent!

But there is a need for a competitive race, as it would make Hillary a stronger candidate and nominee, to have to defend and enunciate her views on her record and on the future!

And since Hillary had a health issue, there is always a chance that a health crisis could arise, and if there is no opponent in the Democratic Party, that could lead to the Democrats throwing way the Presidency if something went wrong, which is unpredictable, so there is a need for a backup plan and for opponents in the Presidential race.

The new revelations about the Clinton Foundation, and questions about Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, also make Clinton a more controversial candidate, who needs a closer look before the Democrats give their soul to her!

It does now seem that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley; former Rhode Island Governor and Senator Lincoln Chafee; former Virginia Senator Jim Webb; and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will soon make it a multi candidate race, and even Vice President Joe Biden may yet decide to enter the race.

All of this is all to the long term good of the Democratic Party and the nation, no matter what the eventual results might be!

The Ideal 12 Characteristics For A President: Who Fits The Mold?

With a new Presidential campaign now beginning, we hear, constantly, the debate over what characteristics we feel a President should have.

Among them are:

High Level of Intelligence
Deep Level of Experience
Vast Knowledge of many issues
An open mind and willingness to change when convinced of the need to change
Compassion and Empathy for the problems of the average American
Able to communicate well with the public and seen as a dynamic speaker
Able to get along with the news media, not seeing them as the “enemy”
Avoiding an image or reality of being overly materialistic or having lack of integrity
Understanding other cultures and nations
Realizing that negotiation and compromise are unavoidable to bring progress and avoid stalemate and gridlock.
Demonstration of proven ability to “cross the aisle” in a time of so much partisanship
Coming across as “one of us”, naturally gregarious and warm personality

The question is whether any person can fit this challenging list of characteristics, and it is clear such persons are few and far between. To expect anyone to fulfill all of the above 12 characteristics may be expecting too much, but it is worth it to examine potential and real candidates for President in 2016 to see who among them comes the closest to this list of ideal characteristics.

So having done so, the result is the following:

Republicans—former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Florida Senator Marco Rubio; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in that order.

Democrats—Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that order.

Easily, Huntsman and Biden lead their parties in fulfilling this list of characteristics, and Joe Biden, is without question, the most ideal of all potential Presidential candidates.

The Problem And Burden Of Family Members For Presidential Candidates

Many Presidential candidates have had the problem and burden of family members who make their candidacy and, if they win, their Presidency, more difficult, because of their behavior or utterances.

So we have, for instance, the problem of Lyndon Johnson’s brother, Richard Nixon’s brothers, Jimmy Carter’s brother, George H.W. Bush’s sons, Bill Clinton’s step brother, and George W. Bush’s daughter causing grief.

And now, we have candidates for the Presidency who face the same problem, specifically:

Jeb Bush–his brother, former President George W. Bush
Hillary Clinton—her husband, former President Bill Clinton
Rand Paul—his father, Ron Paul
Ted Cruz–his father, Rafael Cruz

Any and all of these four candidates could be harmed greatly by the controversies over their brother, husband, and fathers, and yet none of them can or would repudiate their family connections, but they could all discover the negative impact of family on their Presidential campaigns!

An Analysis Of Vice Presidential Selection 1960-2012 Strongly Favors The Democrats Over The Republicans

One can gain a lot of understanding about the two major political parties when one examines the history of Vice Presidential selection by the major party Presidential candidates between 1960 and 2012, a total of 14 national elections.

If one looks at the Democratic Party, it is fact that ALL but one time, the Democratic Presidential nominee chose a sitting United States Senator to be his running mate as follows:

1960–Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas
1964–Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota
1968–Edmund Muskie of Maine
1972–Tom Eagleton of Missouri
1976–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1980–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1988–Lloyd Bentsen of Texas
1992–Al Gore of Tennessee
1996–Al Gore of Tennessee
2000-Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
2004–John Edwards of North Carolina
2008–Joe Biden of Delaware
2012–Joe Biden of Delaware

The only exception was 1984, when Walter Mondale selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Also, after Tom Eagleton dropped out as the Vice Presidential running mate of George McGovern in 1972, due to having been revealed as having had psychiatric treatment, Sergeant Shriver, the former Peace Corps Director, head of the War On Poverty, Ambassador to France, and Kennedy in law, replaced him on the ticket.

All of the ten US Senators who ran for Vice President came to the national ticket as outstanding legislators with solid records of accomplishments, while Ferraro might be considered the weak link, the only real such case, for the Democratic national tickets. The only Senator who, in retrospect, might be considered not an ideal choice would be Edwards, for the personal life scandals that were revealed in later years.

Also, all of these Vice Presidential selections sought the Presidency after being chosen as a VP running mate, and Mondale, Gore, and Biden served notably as Vice President, all adding to the prestige of the office.

On the other hand, the Republicans had a very different scenario, as only four times out of fourteen did they select a United States Senator as their Vice Presidential choice for a national campaign, as follows:

1960—Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (former Senator 1936-1952)
1976— Bob Dole of Kansas
1988—Dan Quayle of Indiana
1992—Dan Quayle of Indiana

Three times, the Republicans selected state governors as their Vice Presidential nominees, as follows:

1968—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
1972—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
2008—Sarah Palin of Alaska

But most commonly, the Republicans for a total of seven times selected a member or former member of the House of Representatives, as follows:

1964—William E. Miller of New York
1980—George H.W. Bush of Texas
1984—George H. W. Bush of Texas
1996—Jack Kemp of New York
2000—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2004—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2012—Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Out of these 14 cases, it is clear that Quayle, Agnew and Palin, in particular, stand out as horrible choices, and with the nation being burdened with nearly five years of Agnew and four years of Quayle in the Vice Presidency.

At the same time, Miller seems a nonentity who was chosen, and Cheney and Ryan, while competent, both stood out as particularly controversial selections, based on their public record in the past and the future as well.

Only Dole, Bush, and Kemp stand out as noncontroversial choices.

So it is clear that the Democrats have been much wiser in their Vice Presidential choices than the Republicans in the past half century!

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

150 Years Since Final Confederate Surrender Of Robert E. Lee To Ulysses S. Grant At Appomattox Court House In Virginia, Ending Civil War!

Today, April 9, marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy, with General Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general, surrendering to Union General and future President Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

This tragic war ended a four year conflict, just three days before its fourth anniversary, having killed an estimated 620,000 men, with the Union military losing about 360,000 and the Confederate military losing about 260,000 men.

The Civil War ended slavery forever, and upheld nationalism over states rights, and was an inspiration to many people in England and France, which saw it as a movement toward the evolution of democracy.

But sadly, the end of the war did not change the minds of many white Southerners, and over the generations, the Democrats of the South continued to promote Jim Crow segregation; brutal lynchings of African Americans and others, including Jews and Catholics; and fought toot and nail against civil liberties and civil rights, while parading the Confederate flag, which even today flies in South Carolina and some other Southern states.

And when civil rights laws were forced on the South fifty years ago under Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democrats lost their tight control of the South, and the Republicans, the party that had freed the slaves under Abraham Lincoln and promoted civil rights under Dwight D. Eisenhower, abandoned their principles and decency and became the new party of Southern resistance to justice and civil rights. Today, all of the Southern governors, with the exception of Virginia, and the Senate, with the exception of the two members from Virginia and one from Florida, are Republicans, working to undermine voting rights and promote racism and nativism at full speed, a total disgrace.

So while we celebrate the end of the Southern rebellion a century and a half ago, in many ways, the rebellion still lives on, poisoning the political atmosphere in many states, and in the national government, and particularly so with the very clear disrespect of Southern office holders for the African American President of the United States, who has been vilified in a manner unlike anyone since Abraham Lincoln!

Rand Paul: An Interesting, But Flawed Candidate For President Who Cannot Fulfill His Promises!

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky became the second declared candidate for President yesterday, and he gave a fiery speech, surrounded by his admirers who are clearly very loyal and committed to him.

But to believe that Rand Paul can become the GOP nominee for President, and occupy the White House after January 20, 2017, requires a lot of illusion, and “smoke and mirrors”. It will, most certainly, NOT happen!

Rand Paul has appealing elements, no question about it. These include the need to protect our civil liberties from government encroachment by the National Security Agency; the need to rebuild our economy and help forgotten Americans to gain economic advancement, both middle class and poor; the need to stay out of foreign intervention unless essential, and avoid so many bases and expenses overseas, including no more increased spending on foreign aid; and changing the law enforcement system, including the unfair justice system that imprisons too many young African Americans for overly severe jail terms.

But at the same time, Rand Paul talks about balancing a budget, by cutting fundamental programs that are an entitlement for Americans through their payment of taxes (including Social Security and Medicare); has no solution for health care for millions on ObamaCare and those without ObamaCare and not able to gain Medicaid; talks about limiting federal intrusion in our privacy, a goal almost impossible to accomplish in an age of terrorism; has expressed doubts about the civil rights laws, including the basic one passed in 1964 under Lyndon B. Johnson; has to deal with the influence of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul who is much more controversial with his public record of actions and utterances that many Paul supporters seem to be aware of; and has major opposition and criticism from the massive hawkish influence within his party in the Senate and from the neoconservatives, who seem to want war with Iran, and do not want to cut defense spending dramatically, if at all!

Additionally, Rand Paul is anti abortion and anti gay marriage, and while that will please the Republican Party, it will undermine his opportunity to attract a majority of women and young people, despite the fact that many young people claim to be libertarian, but mostly because they are truly ignorant of what the true nature of libertarianism is. Libertarianism will NOT gain power in America, and is a bankrupt philosophy not achievable in the real world!

Rand Paul will certainly make the Presidential race more interesting, but his connection to the Tea Party will also undermine him, and no scenario that is realistic puts him down as the 45th President of the United States!

Carly Fiorina: The Republican Female Alternative To Hillary Clinton! No Match For Hillary Clinton!

The Republicans have their obligatory woman candidate for President in former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and hope to gain the women’s vote with her competing in the primaries.

Instead of Michele Bachmann, who anyone intelligent knew was more of a joke than anything else in the 2012 Presidential race, we have a woman who certainly has more brains, but not much else.

The odds of Carly Fiorina ending up on the national ticket in 2016 for President or Vice President are highly unlikely for many reasons, but one stands out—her lack of any political experience.

Were Carly Fiorina to become the Republican Presidential nominee, she would have to overcome the reality that she would be only the second Presidential nominee in history, after Republican Wendell Willkie in 1940, to be on a national ticket, not counting third party Presidential nominee Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996.

But there are more obstacles to overcome, such as her personality and her viewpoints on major issues.

Fiorina is not exactly Ms. Charming, and is actually extremely arrogant, snobby, elitist, with a sense of entitlement that borders on obnoxious. She thinks she is very smart, which she may be in the business world, but she wears it as she goes about her daily life, and it is not exactly appealing.

Fiorina comes across as someone who we cannot resist, as she says she is above 90 percent likely to run for President, quite an egotistical, insufferable statement, which makes one want to say: “OK, Carly, if that is the case, what are you waiting for then? Go ahead and announce!”

The fact is that Carly Fiorina made enemies as CEO of Hewlett Packard, made many enemies in the corporate world, and would be very hard to work with, as she thinks she has all of the answers to everything, and that we are blessed to be in her presence. She was so “popular” that she was fired from Hewlett-Packard, and given a “golden parachute” upon leaving, making her extremely wealthy, and therefore, totally unconcerned about other women who are not as fortunate as her! She has been rated one of the ten worst CEOs ever in American history, making many enemies and critics.

Carly Fiorina showed her true nature when she ran for the Senate in California against Barbara Boxer in 2010, losing by ten points. And she has now shown her true lack of concern for the drought issue in California, by stating it is not part of climate change, but simply the result of “liberal environmentalists’ who have harmed industrial development while working to save endangered species, a totally outrageous, asinine statement. She had accepted big contributions from both oil and coal industry lobbyists during her Senate campaign, and takes the typical Republican view on most issues.

Fiorina has gone on the attack against Hillary Clinton with relish, but it is clear that while Hillary Clinton has faults, her record of experience and abilities far surpasses Carly Fiorina in every measurement.

So let’s just say, Carly Fiorina is no match for Hillary Clinton!