Utah

Is Presidential Race Of 2020 Beginning Early? Rumors About Mitt Romney And Joe Biden Emerge

Hard to believe, but on the 13 month anniversary today of Donald Trump’s inauguration, rumors and gossip are spreading about the Presidential race of 2020 beginning early.

Early speculation talks about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, now running for the open Senate seat in Utah, being vacated by Senator Orrin Hatch, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, leaving after 7 terms and 42 years of service. Rumors have it that Romney is positioning himself for another Presidential run against Donald Trump or if he leaves office, Vice President Mike Pence, in two years.

Of course, Romney denies such rumors, but it is said that many mainstream conservatives want Romney to run, and possibly Trump realizes that potential, as he has now come to endorse Romney for the Senate, after having encouraged Hatch not to retire,

Romney is well known for his bitter denunciation of Trump’s candidacy in 2016, and then being manipulated by Trump for the possible post of Secretary of State, but passing him by for that position, so this will be something to watch, if Romney decides to challenge Trump or Pence.

Also, former Vice President Joe Biden, ahead in early polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination, over both Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Oprah Winfrey, is making clear through friends that he is seriously considering another run for President, as he is well aware that many have said had he run in 2016, and been the Democratic Presidential nominee, that he would have won the working class white vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and defeated Trump. Of course, the tragic death of son Beau Biden prevented that, and is seen by many as a tragic turning point in American history.

Realize, however, that were Romney and Biden to be their party nominees, we would have a candidate who would reach 74 after two months in office (Romney), and a candidate who would reach 78 two weeks after the election in 2020.

Either would be the oldest Presidential first term winner in American history, and once again, despite loyalty of many to both Romney and Biden, as being “Presidential”, one has to wonder if younger voters would be turned off by two “Grandpa” candidates, rather than moving toward supporting nominees in their 40s, 50, or early 60s, as preferable.

There is a long list of such potential nominees, and this will all be explored over time, but for now, the “Old Guard” is in the forefront of speculation.

Is Our Future Leadership Our Past Contenders, And “Old” Leaders (Those Over 70 In 2020)?

At a time when many observers would say we need to look to a new generation of leadership for America. instead the potential for our past contenders or “old’ leaders to end up competing for the Presidency in 2020 is very clear.

On the Democratic side, we could have Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (age 79 in 2020); former Vice President Joe Biden (78 in 2020); former 2016 Presidential nominee and First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton (age 73 in 2020); and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (age 71 in 2020) all announcing for President.

Some rumors even put retiring California Governor Jerry Brown (82 in 2020); former 2004 Presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Senator, and former Secretary of State John Kerry (77 in 2020); and former 2000 Presidential nominee and former Vice President Al Gore (72 in 2020) also in the mix.

On the Republican side, we could have President Donald Trump (74 in 2020) and former 2012 Presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor, and future likely Utah Senator Mitt Romney (73 in 2020), announcing for President.

The question that arises is whether the voting population would be turned off to “Baby Boomers” and some born even before 1946, with Sanders, Biden, Brown and Kerry born between 1938 and 1943, being the competitors who make it to the final stage of the election campaign.

It is certainly likely that at least some of this above list is in the mix, but the likelihood still is that a Senator or Governor of a younger generation will be, at least, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2020, and a slight chance that such would be the case in the Republican Party.

Conservation Lands Foundation And Other Environmental Groups Fight Donald Trump On Cutting Down Of National Monuments

The Conservation Lands Foundation and many other environmental and conservation groups went to federal court this week to stop the attempt of Donald Trump, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to cut down two National Monuments created by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and by President Barack Obama in 2016, both in Utah.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, declared by Clinton, would be cut by about half, and the Bears Ears National Monument, created by Obama, would be cut by 85 percent.

The aim of the Trump Administration is to promote mining, and drilling, taking away two million acres of protected land, which also has native American sacred sites within its midst.

The purpose is also to destroy scientific, historical, and cultural areas, in the first time we have seen any President make major cuts in public lands.

The Antiquities Act, passed under Republican President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 has led to 157 National Monuments, but now the future is endangered by the reckless actions of the Trump Administration.

The reason why the author has titled this entry with one specific organization of many is due to the fact that his older son works as a lobbyist in Washington, DC for the Conservation Lands Foundation, fighting against the loss of protection of conservation lands.

And this author and blogger is proud of the fact that his son has the commitment to the environment that his dad has long held.

Orrin Hatch Says Trump Is One Of The Best Presidents Of His Lifetime: Time To Retire!

Republican Senate President Pro Tempore, Orrin Hatch of Utah, is third in the line of succession at age 83, the longest serving Republican after 41 years in the upper chamber, and is coming up for reelection to an 8th term in 2018, although he may be challenged, if he decides to run, by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee.

Hatch’s longevity and age is a good argument why he should retire, or face possible defeat by Romney for the nomination.

Hatch has often made ridiculous statements, but this latest one, saying Trump is one of the best Presidents of his lifetime, is shocking, and it makes one wonder if his mental health is solid, as it seems delusional, and a sign of his possible dementia.

The thought that in theory Hatch could succeed to the Presidency if Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Paul Ryan were all found to be engaged in collusion, is terrifying.

This blogger has long believed that the line of succession should not be the way it is, and instead be changed to the Senate Majority Leader, who is always younger and has been elected by his party colleagues based on his ability to lead, while the Senate President Pro Tempore is simply in that position based upon seniority, not upon qualifications. So we need the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 to be changed now.

While this blogger is not at all thrilled about Mitch McConnell, at least he has been voted into his position and is younger than Hatch.

So, Orrin Hatch, time to announce your retirement at age 84 and after 42 years, half your life in the US Senate.

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

If Joe Arpaio Ran For US Senate, He Would Be Oldest First Term Elected Senator At Age 86 And Seven And A Half Months!

Donald Trump is suggesting that former Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, just pardoned by Trump, run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate against Republican critic Senator Jeff Flake next year in Arizona.

Whether Arpaio would actually take such a step is unsettled, and it would seem that Arpaio would be unlikely to win the nomination or election, with both Flake and Senator John McCain highly critical of him, and of Trump’s pardon of the controversial former Sheriff in Phoenix.

However, were Arpaio to run and be successful, he would be the oldest first term U S Senator ever elected in American history, at age 86 and 7 and a half months in January 2019, making him older than the oldest members of the present US Senate, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Utah Senator and President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Previously, only two US Senators were sworn in at an older age than Arpaio would be, but both were appointed to finish out a term, not elected by popular vote.

Andrew Jackson Houston of Texas, son of the famous Sam Houston, served by appointment for 67 days to fill a vacancy from April 21, 1941 to June 26, 1941 as a member of the Democratic Party, and he was 86 years 10 months and 1 day old when he became a member of the Senate. His brief term ended with his death, and he had been ill most of the time while a Senator, mostly being in a hospital during his tenure in the upper chamber. His death came five days after his 87th birthday.

Rebecca Felton of Georgia was the first woman to serve in the US Senate, and the only one to date from Georgia, and the oldest person ever sworn in to the US Senate, at age 87 years, 3 months and 24 days old, and serving only one day in the Senate as a Democrat from November 21 to November 22, 1922. Her husband had served in the House of Representatives, and Rebecca Felton had been a prominent reformer in the Progressive Era, an advocate of women suffrage and equal pay for equal work for women, as well as prison reform. However, at the same time, Felton supported white supremacy and had been a slave owner in her younger years, and had spoken in favor of lynching of African Americans, so her so called “Progressivism” had major shortcomings. She died at age 94 in 1930.

Trump Appointment Of Jon Huntsman As Ambassador To Russia A Mixed Message, Not Necessarily Good For Huntsman

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has finally been formally appointed by Donald Trump to be Ambassador to Russia, although news of the appointment emerged in March. Why it took this long to make it formal is a mystery.

Certainly, we can say that this is, by far, the best appointment Trump has made, without question.

Huntsman is a true statesman, a brilliant figure in politics and diplomacy, and this blogger has said in the past that Huntsman was easily the most qualified and competent GOP Presidential candidate in 2012, and only Ohio Governor John Kasich of the 2016 Republican field came close in competence to Huntsman, although not being equal to him.

But why Huntsman would agree to this appointment in the midst of the Russian collusion scandal is beyond understanding, as it gives cover to Trump, and complicates the whole investigation.

It will be important for Huntsman NOT to allow himself to be manipulated by Trump, as it would undermine Huntsman’s credibility.

One could still wish that Huntsman had become President, rather than Trump, and it is still an open question how he will be involved in the whole Trump–Putin “bromance”, which endangers our government and our national security.

So this blogger feels that Huntsman is making a mistake in legitimizing Donald Trump, particularly now after the revelations about the Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner meeting with Russians in June 2016, and the newly discovered hour discussion at the G-20 Summit between Trump and Putin without any other American involved, not even an interpreter!

The Perplexity Over Jon Huntsman Accepting Russian Ambassadorship From Donald Trump

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to Singapore and China Jon Huntsman surprised many when he accepted the Ambassadorship to Russia offered yesterday by President Donald Trump.

Huntsman was the best Republican Presidential candidate in the 2012 cycle, and even John Kasich, who this blogger thinks was the best Republican Presidential candidate in the 2016 cycle, does not match up to him in background, experience, and solid quality.

Huntsman has solid credentials for diplomacy, including knowledge of several foreign languages, including Mandarin Chinese, and did an excellent job for Barack Obama in that nation as our ambassador from 2009-2011.

While of course we need an excellent ambassador to Russia, why oh why, would Huntsman allow himself to be associated with our despicable President, particularly in the midst of the controversy over his Russian connections, which might force Trump out of office at some point?

Huntsman is 57 this month, and was rumored to be planning to challenge Senator Orrin Hatch, President Pro Tempore, and third in line for the Presidency, for his seat in 2018, when Hatch would be running for his 8th term at age 84. That would have made sense for Huntsman long term.

This blogger’s head is shaking in disbelief!

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

Donald Trump Delusional: North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia All Gone

Donald Trump is totally delusional, running all over the nation, claiming he is winning, when it is assured he will lose big time in tomorrow’s election!

Trump seems to think he will win North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Virginia, but they are all gone!

Trump will have trouble keeping “Red” states, including Arizona, Utah, and even Texas, and is assured to lose North Carolina, which went for Barack Obama in 2008 but for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Trump will have to keep all “Red” states, and win all “Swing” states too, or take a “Blue” state, and anyone who is betting on all that is a fool!

The surging Latino vote and women’s vote insures that Trump will lose Florida, and that will be, effectively, the end of the election before November 8 ends!