Vice Presidency

Crucial Vice Presidential Choices In American History, Good And Bad

As Joe Biden decides soon who will be his Vice Presidential running mate, this is a good time to look at crucial Vice Presidential choices in American history, both good and bad.

There is a myth that the Vice Presidential choice does not matter, but it most certainly does.

Abraham Lincoln, in order to help his reelection chances in 1864, dropped Vice President Hannibal Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson. Johnson would go on to be the worst blunder of Lincoln, as he succeeded Lincoln after only six weeks in office, divided the country, and was impeached.

William McKinley lost his Vice President, Garret Hobart, in 1899, due to heart disease. If Hobart had not died, he would have become President in 1901, but instead, it was Theodore Roosevelt, who transformed the office of the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped third term Vice President Henry A. Wallace in 1944 in favor of Harry Truman, who succeeded him after 82 days as Vice President, and most scholars believe Wallace would have been a terrible choice to be President.

John F. Kennedy could not have won in 1960 without Lyndon B. Johnson, who would carry along to success the domestic goals of JFK, and expand beyond it in the “Great Society” programs in the mid 1960s.

Jimmy Carter had a perfect match for Vice President in Walter Mondale, who became the most active and engaged Vice President, practically a co-President.

Ronald Reagan had no foreign policy experience, and George H. W. Bush was a great asset to him in the 1980s.

Bush made a terrible choice in Dan Quayle as his Vice President, and made everyone pray for his health when he had an “atrial fibrillation” in office.

Bill Clinton was fortunate to have Al Gore as his VP, as Gore helped to direct Clinton on the environment, an issue Clinton had performed poorly as Arkansas Governor.

George W. Bush had a smart, intelligent, capable Vice President in Dick Cheney, except for the reality that he “ran the show” in the first term, and pushed us into unwise wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and managed to make millions of personal wealth from Halliburton.

He is often called the most powerful Vice President in American history, in the sense of his impact and powerful influence in policy under Bush, although somewhat less so in the second term, as Bush separated himself to some extent from Cheney.

The Barack Obama-Joe Biden “Bromance” was extremely close and influential, only matched by the Carter-Mondale partnership.

The relationship between Donald Trump and Mike Pence has been one of total sycophancy by Pence, as he hopes to become President at some point in the future. The evangelical Christian Right has been a major factor in the total degradation, and lack of ethics and morals of the Trump Presidency.

So for good or for bad, the Vice Presidency has made a difference!

Joe Biden Measured Up To Presidency In CNN Debate, And Inspires With Pledge To Choose Woman VP And Black Woman Supreme Court Justice!

Former Vice President Joe Biden measured up to the Presidency in last night’s CNN debate, while Senator Bernie Sanders performed well, too, but Biden demonstrated that he has no signs of dementia, certainly far more stable than President Donald Trump!

Biden also inspired us with his pledge to choose a woman for Vice President, and an African American woman for the Supreme Court.

Most likely, the VP choice will be Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and the choice for the Supreme Court will be Senator Kamala Harris of California, although there are other possible choices.

But as things stand at the moment, these choices seem like the best possible selections!

Joe Biden Needs To Agree That He Would Step Aside If Unable To Handle The Presidency, Unlike Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Ronald Reagan

We have had three circumstances where a President was unable to handle the job due to health issues, but refused to step aside.

Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in the fall of 1919, and was basically incapacitated for the remaining year and a half of his Presidency, but refused to resign, and his wife conducted cabinet meetings.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had congestive heart failure in 1944, and should not have run for a fourth term, but did anyway.,

Ronald Reagan had clear cut dementia, noticed by 1986-1987, but his wife Nancy and his top advisers covered for him in his last years in office.

Also, Donald Trump clearly has signs of mental deterioration for anyone who wishes to be honest.

And now, Joe Biden has what some people think are early signs of dementia, but not clear cut at this point.

We are likely to face a situation where either Donald Trump or Joe Biden will likely be President in the next term, but might not be able to finish the term.

It is sad but reality that Donald Trump would never resign if he was incapable of doing his job, but Joe Biden needs to be willing to step aside if his early signs become more evident during a future Presidency.

Some would say we have the 25th Amendment to allow for the Vice President to be “Acting President”, but that is more useful for physical ailments than mental ailments.

Looking back, Reagan was the first President under the 25th Amendment situation, and now Trump, both of them the oldest Presidents in office.

Joe Biden, or even Bernie Sanders, would be easily the most advanced in age, and while the 25th Amendment could be used, it does not seem adeqate if mental deterioration is present.

If anything, this situation that we are now presented with is an argument for Joe Biden to pick the best possible Vice President, who could be fully ready to take the oath of office if Biden, at some point, could not handle the job of President.

The Magnificent Joe Biden Revival The Greatest In American History

Former Vice President Joe Biden completed the greatest turnaround of political fortunes in American history in the last four days.

Thought to be a “lost cause”, he accomplished the winning of 10 of 14 primaries on Super Tuesday, after winning South Carolina last Saturday, and left Bernie Sanders in the distance.

He also caused Michael Bloomberg to withdraw today, but pledge all financial help to the Biden and Democratic Party campaign to retire Donald Trump from the Oval Office.

What Biden did is in many ways a miracle, but it could not happen to a nicer, more decent, more compassionate, more empathetic, and more genuine man than Joe Biden.

Biden has dedicated the past half century to public service, serving 36 years in the US Senate, and 8 years as the most active and engaged Vice President in American history!

His persona looks even better when compared to the Vice Presidents before and after him–Dick Cheney and Mike Pence!

Joe Biden is not perfect, and has votes and statements and silly flubs as part of his record that can be used against him.

But he KNOWS domestic and foreign policy, and would be the most experienced public official in total years ever to be President.

The man knows how to lead, as he did as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

And he knows the importance of “crossing the aisle” when possible. which is essential for any progress on any public issue.

There are some worried about his mental lapses, but my thought is that if it ever was clear that he needed to step aside and resign, he would do so, and that makes the Vice Presidential nomination more important than ever before.

He would not stay on in poor condition as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan did, and as Donald Trump would do.

Biden needs to select a much younger person, who could be his successor, and this blogger suggests Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris as his top three choices.

We need to pray for him, that he can meet the challenge of retiring Donald Trump, and restoring faith in American government.

The Vice Presidency More Crucial Than Ever Before In The Presidential Election Of 2020

The office of the Vice Presidency has become an office of real substance and significance since the time of Richard Nixon as Vice President under Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953-1961.

Before that, the Vice Presidency was an office ignored and forgotten, except when a President died in office.

Only three Vice Presidents, all early on in American history (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren) had been elevated to the Presidency by election, rather than succession due to death of the President.

Only when George H. W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan by election in 1988, did we again have a Vice President elected directly to the Presidency.

However, we did have Nixon lose the Presidency after Eisenhower, only to win it eight years later in 1968. And we did have Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Al Gore run for President and lose.

Now, we have former Vice President Joe Biden having a good chance to be the Presidential nominee of his party in 2020.

But in many ways, even more significant now than the Presidential race, is the reality that the odds of a future Vice President succeeding during the term is magnified by the fact that all four leading individuals who might be President in 2021 are old men–Donald Trump at 74, Joe Biden at 78, Michael Bloomberg at 78, and Bernie Sanders at 79, when the term begins in January 2021.

All except Bloomberg have known health issues–Trump both mentally and physically, Biden mentally, and Sanders physically. Bloomberg at this point seems free of any mental or physical health issues.

But the reality that the three Democrats will reach 80 in either the first or second year of the next term is alarming and worrisome, and magnifies the importance of choosing the right Vice Presidential choice, with the odds growing that whoever it is, he or she is likely to occupy the Oval Office before January 2025.

It is a sobering thought, but one must face reality, so the choice of a running mate is more crucial than ever before.

Stunning Action Of Pete Buttigieg, But He Saw Handwriting On The Wall!

This author and blogger was truly stunned by the sudden decision of Pete Buttigieg, after a fourth place showing in South Carolina’s Presidential Primary on Saturday, to announce his withdrawal from the Presidential race.

After recovering from the shock, however, it makes total sense, as it is clear after the massive victory of Joe Biden, that the only legitimate alternatives left are Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Michael Bloomberg.

And even Bloomberg, if he does not perform well on Super Tuesday, should withdraw, and give his financial support to Biden, to stop Bernie Sanders.

One would think that Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar will withdraw after Tuesday, but hoping they win their home states’ primaries in Massachusetts and Minnesota, and deny support to Bernie. But even if they do win, they have no realistic chance of being nominated, and as moderates, should join Pete Buttigieg in support of Joe Biden as the best hope for the party.

Having stated the above, it is still disturbing that the final three choices are all to be octogenarians in the next Presidential term, so the importance of who is Vice President under any of the three is extremely crucial.

And also, the Zero Election Year Syndrome, which led to seven Presidential deaths, one President shot, and one President seriously threatened on September 11, will rear its ugly head again in 2020. With three candidates, all being far older than Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump, this is a worrisome matter. So we must have the best possible VP choice, because the odds grow that such person might very well end up in the Oval Office at some point!

Is Joe Biden “Done”? Not So Quickly, One Might Say!

Former Vice President Joe Biden has done poorly in the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, being 4th and 5th respectively, and many observers are thinking he is “done”.

Not so fast, as Biden is still favored to win in South Carolina, and in theory, is the only Democrat to have widespread African American support.

And Super Tuesday on March 3 will be the ultimate decider on his fate, as if he performs poorly in the 14 state primaries on that day, then it will be time for him to drop out.

Biden has been trying to be President for a third of a century, longer than any Presidential contender in American history, having first tried in 1988, and then 2008, before now.

He has never come near being a serious potential candidate, and his age is a detriment, plus his seemingly declining public performance.

This blogger and author has been a long time fan and supporter of Joe Biden, who exudes the most important trait any President should have, empathy. He is the kind of person who one could imagine that if he was your neighbor, he would ask if he could help you with anything.

He is a genuine, sincere, decent man, with more experience than any Presidential contender or President ever came with to the Oval Office.

But we know that experience and capability is not always a plus, and that many Presidents we have elected were far from the best choices, but they had the magic and the luck to be able to win.

We may be seeing the final conclusion on the public life of Joe Biden in the next month, but he can still be an adviser or participant under another Democratic President, and of course, he can stay in the public eye through speeches and writings, contributing to public discourse.

And since he is in his late 70s, he can also choose to enjoy his retirement, his family, and recall all of the contributions he made as a six term US Senator, and as one of the best Vice Presidents in American history!

Time For A New Generation Of Leadership: My Endorsement Of Pete Buttigieg For President!

With the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday evening, followed by the New Hampshire Primary, the Nevada Caucuses, and the South Carolina Primary later in February, and then Super Tuesday on March 3 (14 states voting), it is time to consider who would be the best choice for President of the United States.

Anyone who has read my blog for the past eleven and a half years knows of my genuine affection for former Vice President Joe Biden.

I wish he had been the nominee in 2016, and believe he would have defeated Donald Trump.

But at age 77 now, and concerned about the idea of an octogenarian Presidency if Joe, or Bernie Sanders, or Mike Bloomberg wins the election, I do not think any of these three would be the best choice for the future of the party and nation.

I wish to make it clear that I will support whoever the Democratic Presidential nominee is in 2020, but prefer a younger candidate who represents the future.

So therefore, I am endorsing former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for President!

I believe that Pete, while seen as a “dark horse”, represents the future of the party, and would move the nation forward in a rational, reasonable way.

He would be the John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama of his time, as the thought of a Catholic, a Southerner, a Governor of a small state, and a mixed race African American President was unlikely, but occurred in 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008.

Pete was the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a small city, but there is no description of who a President should be, and what matters more is the inspiration that a candidate brings to the race.

And Pete represents a new generation; a man who would be the youngest President in history; a man who served in the military in Afghanistan; a Harvard and Oxford graduate; a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship; and a scholarly man who can speak seven languages.

Pete is a moderate progressive, which is the mainstream of the Democratic Party, and this blogger and scholar does not believe that Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren can win the election. And were either to win, the strong odds are against their agenda as more ambitious than the next Congress would be.

To accomplish their goals would require a Congress similar to that under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid 1930s, or Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid 1960s, but that occurring is close to zero, in reality!

The fact that Pete Buttigieg is gay and has a husband would not, in my estimation, be a major factor in the election, except for extremist religious Christians and Jews, but realistically, they would be unlikely to vote Democratic anyway.

And as far as African American voters, while they might favor Joe Biden now, and there are some issues with Pete’s handling of racial issues in South Bend, can one really imagine African Americans backing Donald Trump for a second term?

The prospect of a woman nominee, either Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren, would be appealing, particularly after the disappointment in 2016, and the fact that the centennial of the Woman Suffrage 19th Amendment, is in 2020. But I think the odds of midwestern white men supporting a woman over a gay male is highly questionable.

A great idea, however, would be to select a qualified woman for Vice President, with Amy Klobuchar the front runner in that regard, older by a generation than Pete, but Obama had Joe Biden who was a generation older as well.

Having a Midwestern ticket of Pete and Amy would insure, in my estimation, a Democratic victory in November, with two firsts–a gay male President and a woman Vice President–two advancements brought to us by the Democratic Party, the party of reasonable revolutionary change as in the case of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, half a century apart, and now looking into the future of the nation.

So again, I am in for whoever the Democrats nominate for President as the best choice for the nation, but enthusiastically endorse Pete Buttigieg for President, and welcome all commentary by any reader!

Major Moment: Joe Biden Confronts Voter Who Challenges His Age And His Son Hunter Biden

Yesterday was a major moment in the Presidential campaign of 2020, with Joe Biden confronting an Iowa voter who challenged his age and his son, Hunter Biden.

Biden answered in a very appropriate manner, and gave this blogger renewed confidence in his candidacy, after many doubts earlier.

Biden has gone through the worst tragedy anyone could experience, the loss of a son, Beau Biden, which clearly put him into a period of depression, and Biden has known what tragedy is, with the loss in 1972 of his first wife and their daughter in an auto accident, in which both Biden sons, Beau and Hunter, were seriously injured.

Joe has been a survivor, but has also shown his humanity and compassion as a result of these tragedies in his life, including his aneurysm that nearly killed him in 1988, requiring brain surgery.

One could wish that Joe was younger, but in comparison to Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg, both around the same age, with Bernie 14 months older and Bloomberg nine months older, this author would still prefer Joe in the White House.

Joe needs not to defend his son Hunter, as when one looks at the careers of Donald Trump’s sons and daughter, and how they have used their father’s name and reputation to benefit themselves, there is no need for Joe to defend his son.

As far as the concern with Joe’s age, as with the other two future octogenarians, it would still be preferable to have a younger nominee, such as Pete Buttigieg, but at this point, while this author likes Pete, it will ultimately be up to the voters in the next few months as to whether youth is preferred over age and experience.

Any concerns about Joe’s ability to perform against Trump now seems laid to rest after the way he handled this Iowa voter.

And as far as what if something happens to Joe in the White House, it could not be worse than with Donald Trump, and the same basic concern is there for Sanders, who suffered a mild heart attack, and Bloomberg, as no one can guarantee health.

That makes, however, the smart choice of a Vice President ever more urgent, no matter who the Democratic nominee is in 2020!

Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker: All These Candidates On Free Fall

California Senator Kamala Harris, former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are all in free fall as Presidential candidates.

Raising money, doing well in polls, and stirring media interest has been very difficult, and unless the situation changes drastically in the next two months, it could be some of these potential candidates may not survive to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, and certainly not beyond then.

Any of these candidates could still, theoretically, be in the running for becoming the Vice Presidential choice of the Presidential candidate, of course.

But it is reaching the time when the number of candidates needs to dwindle down dramatically, in order for the Democrats to have competitive candidates debate in a smaller group, and in a more serious in depth manner.