US Senators

Geographical Locations Of Democratic Presidential Candidates 2020: Every Area Represented

One thing is clear as the Democratic Presidential race heats up: Every area of the nation is represented, unless one wants to list the Great Plains as a separate geographical area.

We have three people from New England—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Seth Moulton.

We have five people from the Mid Atlantic states—Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, John Delaney, Andrew Yang (Entrepreneur and Philanthropist).

We have three people from the South—Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Wayne Messam (little known African American Mayor of Miramar, Florida).

We have three people from the Midwest—Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Tim Ryan.

We have three people from the Rocky Mountain West—John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock (not yet announced)

We have five people from the Pacific Coast—Kamala Harris, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson (Author, Lecturer, Activist), Jay Inslee, Tulsi Gabbard.

And the latest news and leaks say New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is about to announce.

And also, while no one takes him seriously, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (1969-1981), who is 88 years old, and also was an announced candidate for President in 2008, is also an announced candidate.

So if you count every candidate, even those who are not serious, we have 24 candidates announced, or soon to be announced.

No more than 20 will be in the debates, and one can be assured that Messam and Gravel will be unlikely to meet the threshold required to make the debates, and that de Blasio, Bullock, and Bennet, coming in after so many others, may not make the deadline either for the first debate at the end of June.

If one leaves out the two people who are not politicians along with Messam and Gravel, with none of those four seen as having any real chance to be the nominee, we are left with:

7 Senators–Sanders, Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, Klobuchar, Bennet, Harris

6 House of Representatives or former members–Moulton, Delaney, Ryan, O’Rourke, Swalwell, Gabbard

3 Governors or former —Hickenlooper, Bullock, Inslee

3 Mayors or former—Buttigieg, Castro, de Blasio

1 Former Vice President and Senator–Biden

Never Again Should America Elect A President Without Any Government Elected Or Appointed Experience, Psychological Testing And Full Financial Information

The experience of Donald Trump should be enough evidence so that never again do we allow a person with zero government experience to run for and win the Presidency.

In ideal terms, it would be good to have a constitutional amendment detailing what a President’s experience should be, but that is clearly never going to happen, and just passing a law would be declared unconstitutional.

But common sense and intelligence should make that a person to run for President should have to meet the following qualifications:

A Presidential candidate should have government service in elective office, including Governors, Mayors, US Senators, US Congressmen or appointed service, including being a Cabinet officer under one or more Presidents or have served in the US military, and reach a high level of rank in any branch of the armed forces of the United States.

However, also a requirement should be that a Presidential candidate must submit to psychological testing, as to his mental stability.

Additionally, any Presidential candidate must be required to submit full financial information for the previous 20 years, with no blocking of any information allowed.

IF these requirements are met, we would never again face the disaster of Donald Trump, a totally ignorant, uneducated, incompetent, and dangerous person to have control of the military and nuclear codes.

The point is that government is NOT a business, and so just being in business does not qualify one to be President of the United States!

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine A Great Choice For Vice President, And Possible Succession If Need Arises!

Hillary Clinton has made a great choice for Vice President, in selecting Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her partner to run the executive branch for the next four to eight years.

Tim Kaine comes from a crucial swing state, and would be the third Virginia leader to be Vice President, after Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler, who both became President. He is also the first Virginian to be on the Presidential election ballot, since Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and 1916, not a native Virginian, however, as Governor of New Jersey.

Kaine would be the second Catholic Vice President after Joe Biden, with John F. Kennedy the only Catholic President.

Kaine is a steady, stable, pleasant, well liked political leader who has proved by his experience and interaction with other government leaders that he is well qualified to be President, if the emergency arises. He is also, like Joe Biden, well liked personally by Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives who have dealt with him.

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are very comfortable together, and Kaine has a tolerant and mild temperament that engenders confidence.

Kaine has served as Richmond Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, Senator, and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and his resume is very diverse and broad.

Kaine has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, crucial committees and experiences in an age of terrorism.

Kaine has the great advantage that he speaks fluent Spanish, a big plus for the Latino community, which is now one out of every six Americans.

If Kaine is elected, his replacement is appointed by Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, which would not be true had Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, or New Jersey Senator Cory Booker been selected.

Kaine was already on the short list for Vice President with Barack Obama in 2008, a sign that he is well regarded in Democratic circles.

Kaine went to the University of Missouri, Columbia as an undergraduate, and to Harvard Law School, so has excellent academic credentials.

Kaine’s Catholicism and Spanish language ability will help him in states including North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada, and his working class roots will help in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Tim Kaine can be criticized on the issue of free trade, and on supporting the Iran deal, but it will not have that much of an effect on the election, as this blogger sees it. He is certainly not “perfect”, but then no one is.

This blogger was correct when he said that Kaine was the front runner for Vice President, and that the history of the Democratic Party nominees for President choosing a US Senator for Vice President would be continued, all but 1972 and 1984.

This nomination also shows once again that Southerners are favored for Vice President now 9 times since 1944 onward in the Democratic Party, even though Tim Kaine is very different than most earlier Southern nominees for Vice President, much more progressive. Also, Southerners have been on the Presidential ticket at either end of the Democratic ballot in all elections since 1944, except 1968, 1972, 1984, 2008, and 2012, a total of 14 out of 19 times.

Tim Kaine will be an asset to Hillary Clinton, both during the campaign, and as an active Vice President in the mold of Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden!

Republican Views On Donald Trump

Much of Wall Street is against Donald Trump, and many corporations are refusing to sponsor or support the Republican National Convention.

And many Republicans are either refusing to support Trump or, at least, are refusing to attend the convention, and or speak. Others, however, have supported Trump, and some of them are on the Vice Presidential “short list”. The incomplete list below contains 51 names.

Among them are the following who refuse to endorse Trump: (24)

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman
Former Florida Senator Mel Martinez
Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman
Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul
Former Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman
Former Oklahoma Congressman J C Watts
Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
President George H W Bush
President George W Bush
Bush I National Security Adviser Brent Scowcraft
Retired General Colin Powell
Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge (Also Secretary of Homeland Security)
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford
Ohio Governor John Kasich
Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Nevada Senator Dean Heller
Utah Senator Mike Lee

Among others who will not attend the convention and or do not plan to speak: (10)

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte
South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy
Texas Senator John Cornyn
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Utah Congresswoman Mia Love
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker

However, others have endorsed Trump, including the following: (17)

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry
Dr. Benjamin Carson
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown
Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst
Florida Governor Rick Scott
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton
Maine Governor Paul LePage

The Age Issue In The Presidential Campaign

This blogger has discussed before the reality that we are likely to have the oldest President in American history being elected in the Presidential Election of 2016.

Only Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower were past 70 when President, with Ike only three months beyond 70 when he finished his time in the White House, while Reagan was just weeks short of 70 when elected, and almost 78 when he left office after two terms.  Of course, Reagan showed signs of mental decline in his second term, as his son Ron Jr testifies to, and there were many hints that there was concern of his staff and his wife about his ability to deal with the responsibilities, and efforts to “protect” and “shelter” him.

The point is that there is no question that anyone beyond the age of 70 is more likely to have a health crisis, such as a heart attack, a stroke, Alzheimer’s, or cancer, than someone under the age of 70.

Yes, we live in a time when many people continue to work full time, including Supreme Court Justices, US Senators and Congressmen, corporate leaders, media figures, actors and musicians, and average Americans.

And yes, many “senior citizens” work part time, some because they need to in an economic sense, and others because they wish to keep active and engaged.

No one is saying that people over 70 should be “farmed out to pasture”!  But the pressures of the Presidency are greater than any other job, and affect all of us in the country, unlike any other job.  And that makes it ever more important that the best possible Vice Presidential candidates are chosen, and that he or she be substantially younger than an elderly President, since the odds of a Presidential succession during a term of office is far greater statistically.

Also, we have not had a Presidential succession in 41 years since Richard Nixon resigned, and 52 years since a President died in office (John F. Kennedy), so we are fighting against the tides of history, and more so with a President over 70!

Potential Republican Presidential Field: Eleven Governors, Four Senators, A Corporate Executive (Female), And A Pediatric Surgeon (African American)!

The potential Republican Presidential field, at least that developed by Crowdpac.com, contains the following mix of potential Republican Presidential candidates:

ELEVEN Governors or former Governors–Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, John Kasich, Rick Snyder, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney

FOUR Senators or former Senators–Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul

ONE Corporate Executive (female)–Carly Fiorina (Hewlett Packard former Chief Executive Officer)

ONE Pediatric Surgeon (African American)–Dr. Benjamin Carson

Some think, because of these circumstances, that it is likely that a Governor, past or present, is the likely GOP nominee, and that would seem to be a good bet!

However, from this blogger’s perspective, only three of the above are at all acceptable—Jon Huntsman, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush. The rest of the list is horrific to imagine in the White House!

50 Years Of Republican Vice Presidential Nominees Tells Us A Lot About The GOP!

When one looks back at the history of Republican Vice Presidential nominees in the past 50 years, one realizes a lot about the attitude of the Republican Party toward that office, just a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

The Republican Party has chosen true disasters for an office that has seen two people in that office go on to become President, and three others run for and lose the Presidency in the past fifty years.

Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush are the two Vice Presidents who went on to become President, while Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Al Gore were defeated for the Presidency.

But look at the Vice Presidential nominees chosen by the GOP since 1964:

William E. Miller Congressman (NY) 1964
Spiro Agnew, Governor (Maryland) 1968, 1972
Bob Dole, Senator (Kansas) 1976
George H. W. Bush, former Congressman (Texas) 1980, 1984
Dan Quayle, Senator (Indiana) 1988, 1992
Jack Kemp, Congressman (NY) 1996
Dick Cheney, Congressman (Wyoming) 2000, 2004
Sarah Palin, Governor (Alaska) 2008
Paul Ryan, Congressman (Wisconsin) 2012

Out of this group of nine Vice Presidential nominees, the ONLY ones that could be considered truly competent and qualified to be President would be Bob Dole, George H. W. Bush, Jack Kemp, and Dick Cheney. And many might consider Kemp more glorified since his death than in life, and Cheney as a corrupt, arrogant, dangerous man in office, the true motivator of the Iraq War. Also many might consider Paul Ryan competent, but when one examines his hypocrisy and lack of compassion for those less fortunate on a broad scale over his years in Congress, one has to wonder.

The others are true disasters, with Miller considered mediocre at best; Sarah Palin purely stupid and ignorant; Dan Quayle an embarrassment to the office of Vice President, making many shudder when President Bush had health issues in office; and Spiro Agnew a crook, as well as being totally terrifying in his nearly five years as Vice President, until his criminal activity was known and he was forced to resign. Imagine having to pray for Richard Nixon’s health during Agnew’s Vice Presidency, and being relieved by Gerald Ford becoming the successor to Nixon, instead of Agnew!

Also notice that five of the above nine, along with Gerald Ford, came from the House of Representatives, when usually no one would consider the lower chamber a place for future Presidential leadership! By comparison, the Democrats have never nominated a House member for Vice President since the disaster of John Nance Garner, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first two terms Vice President from 1933 to 1941, with the one exception, also a disaster, of Geraldine Ferraro being the VP nominee for Walter Mondale in 1984.

So when one compares the Democratic nominees for Vice President, we see true competence and a sense of their understanding of the importance of that office:

Hubert Humphrey 1964
Edmund Muskie 1968
Sargent Shriver 1972 (after Thomas Eagleton withdrew)
Walter Mondale 1976, 1980
Geraldine Ferraro 1984
Lloyd Bentsen 1988
Al Gore 1992, 1996
Joseph Lieberman 2000
John Edwards 2004
Joe Biden 2008, 2012

All of the above, except the disastrous Ferraro, and Shriver were US Senators, and even if one does not agree with Edwards’ ethics and morals, it can be honestly said that all nine, including the withdrawn Eagleton, were totally competent and qualified to be President of the United States, if such responsibility had been thrust on them! No one would contest Shriver’s qualifications for the office either, as he stands out as the most prominent non elected office holder ever to be in public life since World War II!

So the lack of respect for the Vice Presidency of the Republican Party in the past 50 years reveals another problem for the party, the promotion of mediocrity by a party once proud of its leadership, and the likelihood of another GOP Vice Presidential nominee in 2016, who will make us roll our eyes and pray for the Presidential nominee’s good health, being highly likely!

Massive Turnover In The US Senate In Past Three Two Year Cycles!

The US Senate is a fascinating institution with a long, distinguished history of exciting personalities and significant historical actions.

But the US Senate is now in the midst of so much turmoil and upheaval that its image and reputation are in great danger of being irreparably harmed for the long run!

46 percent of the Senate membership will have changed since the inauguration of Barack Obama as President in 2009, including the announced retirements over the next two years, and the likelihood of possible defeats of sitting members in primaries or reelection contests in 2014 making an even higher percentage than 46 percent by the beginning of the 114th Senate in 2015!

Retirement has been the most utilized method of leaving the Senate, including such luminaries as the following:

Evan Bayh, Chris Dodd, George Voinovich, Judd Gregg in 2010

Kent Conrad, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Herb Kohl, Joe Lieberman, Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson, Jon Kyl in 2012

Tom Harkin, Frank Lautenberg, Jay Rockefeller, Saxby Chambliss, Carl Levin in 2014

Defeat has been another way to remove members of the Senate, including:

Russ Feingold, Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Specter, Bob Bennett in 2010

Scott Brown, Richard Lugar in 2012

Death has also taken away the following:

Robert Byrd, Edward Kennedy by 2010

Daniel Inouye by 2012

Moving to other positions in government or political groups include:

Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Ken Salazar by 2009 or 2010

Jim DeMint by 2012

John Kerry by 2013

Altogether, the totals are as follows from 2009-2014

Retiring: 25
Defeated: 6
Dying: 3
Resigning: 12

46 and counting, when one adds the likelihood of the defeat of some sitting Senators in primaries or elections in 2014, making HALF the Senate likely having changed since the 111th Senate met in January 2009!

And the statesmanship and experience that will be lost will be replaced by many Senators unwilling to negotiate or compromise, a hallmark of the historic Senate, which played such a major role in American history!