Vice Presidential Nominees

Hillary Clinton Health Reminds Us Of Importance Of Vice Presidential Choice

The fact that Hillary Clinton has Pneumonia has drawn attention once again to the issue of Vice Presidential choices.

Ignorant people have argued that the Vice Presidency does not matter, and has no effect on electing the President of the United States.

But that is not true, as any intelligent voter should be concerned about the quality and competence of a person who is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency on a daily basis.

it has been a long time since we faced a Presidential death, 53 years since John F. Kennedy, and even the resignation of Richard Nixon is now 42 years ago.

So the odds are getting better that we could have a Vice President once again ascending to the Presidency during a term, and with the combination of the two oldest Presidential nominees to run since Ronald Reagan, who had early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is urgent that we think about the Vice Presidential running mates much more than we usually have done.

Right now, any sane person would agree that Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia is far superior to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, if either had to assume the Presidency, based on experience, viewpoints on issues, and basic character.

Pence is a right wing extremist on so many issues, while Kaine is a mainstream Democrat, and well liked by his colleagues in the Senate, and capable of “crossing the aisle” in a way as Joe Biden, the present Vice President, has done so often.

Pence is an ideologue, and not good at “crossing the aisle”, and very mean spirited and judgmental on so many issues, a perfect fit for Donald Trump, but not good for the nation at large.

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!

Mike Pence Another Horrible Republican VP Pick, Following Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, And Sarah Palin

The Republican Party has had a horrible history regarding Vice Presidential running mates, and twice, the nation was saddled with the choices as Vice President, making us pray for the health of the sitting President.

First, Richard Nixon selected Spiro Agnew, Governor of Maryland, who turned out to be the most worrisome VP of the 20th century, a true demagogue going after the news media and liberal critics with a vengeance,and turning out to be involved in illegal money laundering and bribery, forcing him to resign in October 1973, but saving us from an Agnew Presidency, and instead giving us Gerald Ford as the next President when Richard Nixon resigned.

Then, George H. W. Bush selected Dan Quayle, Senator of Indiana, who turned out to be a not very bright and informed Vice President, and when Bush had an atrial fibrillation, we had to worry that “Danny Boy” might succeed him. Quayle proved to be lacking in intelligence or brains.

Finally, we had John McCain select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin,who was a total nightmare and still haunts us eight years later as a true pest, who has no brains and no character at all, and yet has millions of clueless people who love this new “reality star”.

Now we have Donald Trump selecting Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who was a major supporter of the rise of the Tea Party Movement; promoted an anti gay accommodations bill, which he had to backtrack on over protests from corporations who withdrew plans for expansion in the Hoosier state; has stated his lack of belief in evolution or climate change; has come across as a Christian right wing extremist of the worst order including opposition to a women’s right to choose on abortion and refusal to accept gay rights and gay marriage; has said tobacco is not a health risk; and this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

The Republican Party has added to its history of having horrible, scary Vice Presidential nominees, and this is just another reason to fight against Donald Trump in this year’s election.

Historic Moment To Revel In! First Female Presidential Candidate Of A Major American Political Party, And Of Course, A Democrat!

It has finally happened!

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Presidential nominee, the first woman to gain that opportunity on a major party line!

But remember that it is the Democratic Party which gave us the first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, and the first African American President, Barack Obama!

Also, it was the Democratic Party that gave us the first woman Vice Presidential nominee, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York and the first Jewish Vice Presidential nominee, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, along with the first Catholic Vice President, Joe Biden.

It was a Democratic President, Woodrow Wilson, who gave us the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis.

The Democratic Party is the party of equal opportunity, including three Jews presently on the Court (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan); three women presently on the Court (Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor) ; and the first Latina Supreme Court Justice (Sotomayor).

And it was great today to see the first African American President, Barack Obama, wholeheartedly endorsing the first woman Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton!

British Betting Odds On Democratic Vice Presidential Nominees

If one goes by British betting odds, the list of potential Democratic Vice Presidential nominees is as follows:

In front is Julian Castro, former San Antonio Mayor, who is presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; Virginia Senator Tim Kaine; Secretary of Labor Tom Perez (from Maryland); and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (who was in the Democratic Presidential race).

After those five, the odds on others, in their order, are New Jersey Senator Cory Booker; Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown; and then Minnesota Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar.

Looking at the list, the “safest” choices to make are Castro, Perez, O’Malley, Franken, and Klobuchar, as the first two are cabinet members and not potentially giving up a Senate seat; O’Malley is out of office; and Franken and Klobucar come from a solidly “blue” state that has a Democratic Governor able to appoint a Democratic replacement were either to be elected Vice President.

Warren and Booker come from states with Republican Governors, who would be able to appoint a Republican temporarily as their replacement, while Kaine and Brown comes from “swing states” with a Republican governor in Ohio, and a Democratic Governor in Virginia now under federal investigation in a state which would be Republican if not for northern Virginia’s strong Democratic bent.

Vice Presidency More Significant Than Ever Before In 2016, With Oldest Presidential Nominees In American History!

The Vice Presidency has been growing in significance and stature in the six decades since Richard Nixon was Vice President and started to grow the office.

We have had outstanding men in the Vice Presidency since then, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden.

We have also had “lemons”, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to scare us at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Now that our Presidential candidates will be the oldest in American history in combination, with average age of past 70, combining Democrat Hillary Clinton at 69 plus and Republican Donald Trump 70 plus on Inauguration Day, it is more essential than ever that we have the best possible men or women placed in that position for the upcoming Presidential election!

But so many of the proposed nominees, that have been bandied about by the news media and the candidates’ campaigns are far from the best possible candidates, and they can cause worry about succession, if the winner of the election dies in office of natural causes or by assassination in the next four years, with the odds growing on each possibly occurring.

The idea of two “senior citizens” competing for the most stressful job in the world is not comforting, and the fact that it has been 53 years since John F. Kennedy was killed, and 71 years since the natural death of a President in office (Franklin D. Roosevelt), as well as 42 years since Richard Nixon resigned.

We need distinguished Senators or Governors ready to come forth and offer a strong backup to the two nominees, but particularly in the case of the Republicans, the odds of such a person arising is not likely!

Likely Republican Vice Presidential Candidates

Now that Donald Trump “seems” likely to be the Republican Presidential nominee, after last night’s five Northeastern primary victories, it is time to consider who might be his Vice Presidential running mate.

Many of the potential choices could be seen as true horrors, something to be worried about were Trump elected, and something happened to him, requiring the Vice President to succeed the President!

The list would include:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

Dr. Ben Carson of Maryland

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots football team

Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

At this point, this blogger would think that Christie, Blackburn, Carson and Huckabee are the most likely choices in that order.

The worst choices in this blogger’s estimation would be Scott, Walker, Palin, and Sessions in that order.

Rubio and Haley would probably be much better choices than anyone on the list, but unlikely that either would be selected.

Tom Brady is just a real long shot, but since his ego is as great as Trump’s ego, it could be possible, but unlikely!

And Joni Ernst–good looking, young, and just as dim witted as Sarah Palin, but if Trump is looking for a Palin clone, it could happen!

The Era Of The Elderly Running For President: Possibility Of Three Candidates Past 70 Competing For White House In 2016!

We may be witnessing an event that has never happened in the history of Presidential elections–three candidates, or even if only two candidates, all over the age of 70!

The only two cases of a President serving in his 70s are Ronald Reagan, who came to office 17 days short of age 70 and left office nearly 78 years old; and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who left office at age 70, three months and six days of age.

We also have had Senator John McCain running at age 72 in 2008, and Senator Bob Dole running at age 73 in 1996.

Now we have the potential for Donald Trump, who would be 70 years seven months and six days old on Inauguration Day; Bernie Sanders, who would be 75 years four months and twelve days old on Inauguration Day; and Michael Bloomberg, who would be 74 years 11 months and six days old on Inauguration Day!

And even if Hillary Clinton were to replace Bernie Sanders, she would be 69 years, nine months and six days old on Inauguration Day, so would reach age 70 after less than three months in office!

With two former Presidents alive at age 91 (Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush); four consecutive Presidents having reached age 90 (Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, additionally); and four former First Ladies since 1963 having reached age 90 (Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush); and with the average American living much longer and in better health, it should not be surprising that we have Presidential candidates in good health, running at an older age than ever in American history.

But one requirement is that younger Vice Presidential nominees be available as backups in case fate occurs, and the older Presidential winner dies in office!

Since World War II, many of the Vice Presidents have been older than their President, as with Harry Truman and Alben Barkley; John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; George W. Bush and Dick Cheney; and Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

So now the opposite may likely happen.

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!

Choosing A Sitting House Member For Vice President Not Productive!

This author mentioned last week that Paul Ryan was the fifth member of the House of Representatives to be nominated for Vice President in the past half century, which is true.

However, two of those five House members were not still in the House of Representatives when nominated for Vice President, and had accomplished beyond being a member of the House. These are Jack Kemp, nominated with Bob Dole in 1996, who was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H. W. Bush from 1989-1993; and Dick Cheney, nominated with George W. Bush in 2000, who was Secretary of Defense under the first President Bush for the same years as Kemp, 1989-1993.

But the only SITTING House members to be nominated were William E. Miller with Barry Goldwater in 1964; Geraldine Ferraro with Walter Mondale in 1984; and now Paul Ryan with Mitt Romney in 2012.

The first two experiments were a total failure, with Goldwater losing all but six states in 1964, and Lyndon B. Johnson winning the highest percentage in history, 61.1 percent of the popular vote. And Mondale lost all states except Minnesota and the District of Columbia, with Ronald Reagan winning 525 electoral votes, an all time high, and 59.4 percent of the total popular vote!

No one is saying that Romney and Ryan will do as disastrously as the other two cases, but the prospects for victory are based on very long odds!