Walter Mondale

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!

Strategies For Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Selection

Former Vice President Joe Biden is forming a committee to consider who should be his running mate for Vice President.

The choice of a future Vice President and possible President is crucial, so many of the proposed choices should not be seriously considered.

Any Vice President has to have the experience, the knowledge, the intelligence to take over on a moment’s notice.

That person needs to be much younger than Biden, who will reach 78 two weeks after the Presidential Election of 2020.

Such a person has to have the success of being an officeholder with state wide success.

Such a person should likely not be a Governor, as such a person should be kept busy dealing with the CoronaVirus Pandemic, not running for Vice President.

Such a person should not come from a state where if such person became Vice President, that state’s Senate seat might switch to the Republicans.

So already, just from what this author and blogger has stated, it is his belief that Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams, Gretchen Whitmer, or Michelle Lujan Grisham, and any member of the House of Representatives should automatically be eliminated, such as Val Demings of Florida.

So who is on the list, and clearly stands out, and has already run for President, giving much needed extra national exposure?

Two US Senators are the finalists, with the reality that the Democratic Presidential nominee has always selected a US Senator as a running mate since 1944, except twice.

In 1972, it was George McGovern who chose Senator Thomas Eagleton, but he was forced out due to fears because he had undergone psychiatric treatment, and was replaced by Kennedy brother in law Sergeant Shriver.

And in 1984 ,Walter Mondale blundered in naming Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential choice.

It should also be pointed out that those two times were the most disastrous for the Democrats, running against second term candidates Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and in both elections, McGovern and Mondale only won one state and Washington, DC in the Electoral College.

Those two US Senators are Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, with California certain to have a Democratic replacement in the Senate.

But Minnesota is much more uncertain, although right now that state has a Democratic Governor, Tim Walz.

But in a followup election after a temporary appointment, Minnesota could not be guaranteed to elect a permanent Democratic replacement in the US Senate.

So while either Harris or Klobuchar (age 56 or 60) are the two best choices, Harris has a slight edge in the sense her Senate seat is safely Democratic, but either woman would make an excellent VP, and a potential President of the United States!

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.

14 Weeks Until First Vote In Iowa Caucuses

As the House of Representatives is working on its impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, the political calendar is starting to close in on many Democratic Presidential contenders.

It is now only 14 weeks until the first Americans vote on 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday, February 3.

Iowa is not truly decisive on who wins the nomination and the Presidency in either major political party, as the only times that Iowa was a sign of the future was when an incumbent President was not on the ballot, and even then, not very often.

Democratic Party

Walter Mondale in 1984

Al Gore in 2000

John Kerry in 2004

Barack Obama in 2008

Hillary Clinton in 2016

George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992 failed to win Iowa.

Republican Party

Gerald Ford in 1976

Bob Dole in 1996

George W. Bush in 2000

Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 failed to win Iowa.

So only George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008 won Iowa and went on to win the Presidency in the fall of those years.

So do not expect that who wins Iowa will automatically be the nominee for the Democrats in November 2020.

Since 1972, Iowa has been accurate on the Democratic nominee 43 percent of the time, and 50 percent accurate on the Republican nominee.

Iowa is not representative of the nation in its population mix, but it gives a leg up to a few of the candidates, while dashing the hopes of so many others.

Hallelujah! Jimmy Carter Reaches His 95th Birthday, A True Gentleman And Statesman!

Hooray! Hallelujah! Former President Jimmy Carter has reached the age of 95 today, and this is a moment of great celebration!

The longest lived President, now almost 39 years out of office, and his wife and Carter about to set a record of longevity of their marriage on October 17, as longer than George H. W. and Barbara Bush, and with former Vice President Walter Mondale nearing 92 in January—these events are worthy of national celebration!

Carter had a rough time in office from 1977-1981, but much of it was not his fault, but circumstance, and his longevity has added to his stature, and his historical stock is rising, although certainly not top third of Presidents by any measurement. But as a human being, almost no President surpasses Jimmy Carter!

But Jimmy Carter, whether one agrees with him on policy or utterances in his long lifetime, is such a contrast to the present incumbent of the White House.

Carter is compassionate; has empathy; truly cares about people; and has done so much good in his life. His post Presidency is a time of great achievement in promoting human rights, encouraging democracy, fighting diseases, building housing personally even at his advanced age with Habitat For Humanity, and demonstrating what true religiosity is all about.

Anyone who could be overly critical of Carter because of some failed policies is a person who would not be worth one’s time, as most likely, he or she would be a supporter of Donald Trump, a complete and total opposite.

The fact that Carter is diametrically different from Trump will be explored by this author and blogger in an History News Network article scheduled to be published around October 20, to celebrate the two achievements of the Carters in this month of October. This article will coincide with the 1,000th day of the Trump Presidency, as he moves ever more so toward danger for the nation with his insane utterances and mental instability.

It cannot be soon enough for Donald Trump to be removed from the Presidency in order to save the nation and democracy!

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

Is It Essential To Have A Woman On The Democratic Ticket In 2020, The Centennial Of The 19th Amendment? If So, Amy Klobuchar Is The Right Choice!

The question arises whether it is essential to have a woman on the Democratic Presidential ticket in 2020, the Centennial of the 19th Amendment.

The experience with women on the national ticket is not a good one. Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York ran with Democratic Presidential nominee Walter Mondale in 1984, and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska ran with Republican Presidential nominee John McCain in 2008.

Having said that, the potential women who could be on the national ticket are far superior to Ferraro and Palin.

Many observers have the feeling that no woman could engage in adequate verbal combat with Donald Trump on a debate stage.

But what about engaging in debate with Vice President Mike Pence? That seems much more promising.

The issue is which woman would be seen as best to debate, in the sense of coming across as even tempered, calm, rational, and effective in any debate with a male opponent, as neither Ferraro nor Palin came across well when debating George H. W. Bush in 1984 in the case of Ferraro, or Joe Biden in 2008 in the case of Palin.

The gut feeling this blogger and scholar has is that Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar would probably be most effective in a debate. She is not seen by the population as emotional, shrill, or as someone who would be perceived as overly feminist in her views. Understand that this whole issue is not a problem with the author, but he is trying to perceive how white working class males would judge a woman candidate.

Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand would all have “problems” that would make them negatively seen by the group which helped to elect Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. This is reality, not what the author wishes was so, but we cannot deny the issue of misogyny.

Klobuchar would make a great Vice Presidential running mate, from the Midwest, and yet with a tradition inherited from Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone, of Democratic Farmer Labor commitment that made Minnesota one of the most advanced states politically in the last half of the 20th century and into the 21st century.

The odds of her being the Presidential nominee seem highly unlikely at this point, but she would be an excellent choice to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency with an older man as President, such as Joe Biden.

Vice Presidency Has Led To Presidential Nominations Multiple Times Since The 1960s

The Vice Presidency was never good breeding ground for Presidential nominations since the Civil War.

Only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and John C. Breckinridge were nominated for President before the Civil War, with all winning the Presidency, except for Breckinridge, who had been Vice President under James Buchanan from 1857-1861, and then nominated by Southern Democrats who refused to accept the official Democratic nominee, Stephen Douglas in 1860.

The only Vice President from 1860 to 1960 who was nominated for President was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term Vice President, Henry A. Wallace, who ran as the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1948 against his own successor in the Vice Presidency, President Harry Truman.

But since 1960, six Vice Presidents have run as Presidential candidates, including;

Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968

Hubert Humphrey in 1968

Gerald Ford in 1976 (who had succeeded Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment)

Walter Mondale in 1984

George H. W. Bush in 1988

Al Gore in 2000

Nixon and Bush won the Presidency, while Ford lost a full term after finishing the partial term he succeeded to, and Gore won the popular vote, but failed to win the Electoral College.

The point is that Joe Biden would be the 7th Vice President who ran for President after serving as Number 2 in the executive branch.

And Nixon the first time, Mondale, Bush, and Gore all had a jump start on the nomination of their party for the Presidency, with only Humphrey and Ford having major challengers.

So at least by recent history in the past half century plus, being a Vice President gives a leap forward to those who wish to run for President.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Longest Lived President! Hooray! And His Legacy Will Be Remembered In History!

President Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, became this morning the longest lived President of the United States, surpassing George H. W. Bush, who passed away last November 30 at the age of 94. After 111 more days, Carter is now longer surviving than Bush, who broke the record of Gerald Ford, who broke the record of Ronald Reagan, with all four having reached 93, and Bush and Carter becoming 94 last year.

On October 1, Carter will reach the age of 95, and on October 17, Carter and his beloved wife Rosalynn, will have had a longer marriage than George H. W. and Barbara Bush, with 73 years and about three months duration.

Carter, much vilified, and not appreciated in his time in office, has become much more respected and honored with his longest retired Presidency of 38 years, two months and two days as of today. And his Vice President, Walter Mondale, still survives as well, and they are the longest surviving team in American history, with Mondale past the age of 91, and no other Presidential and Vice Presidential team reaching that age except for Reagan and H. W. Bush.

Carter may have the possibility to reach 100, as he has combated brain cancer for three and a half years, and continued to do good deeds. He is the model of what a President should be like in his conduct in retirement, as well as his basic behavior in office.

He is diametrically opposite of Donald Trump, who is the most horrendous President in his behavior, or at most, ties with Andrew Johnson.

Carter is a truly religious man in his words and actions, while Trump only worships himself, although he has the gall to sign Bibles and appeal to people by literally wrapping himself in the flag at a recent event, taking advantage of the hypocrisy of right wing evangelical Christians who have no issue with his conduct or behavior, while they condemned the moral behavior of Bill Clinton.

The Decision Of Sherrod Brown Not To Run For President Opens Opportunity For Amy Klobuchar Of Minnesota To Be The “Midwest” Candidate

The decision of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to forego an opportunity to run for President as a Midwesterner in a time when the Midwest is clearly the battleground in the Electoral College in 2020 is a open opportunity for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to be the “Midwest” candidate.

Klobuchar is the only Midwesterner likely to run, although Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, a fellow moderate, has hinted at running, but being a United States Senator is an edge over being a House member.

The main point against Klobuchar is the report that she is a nasty, unpleasant person to work for, but even if that is true, the record shows many others also have that reputation, including Presidents ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, to Donald Trump in the last half century.

Also, it is said she is too ‘moderate” in that she does not believe that everything promoted and promised by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others is possible in the next term, and that she will not promise what she sees as campaign propaganda, leading to disillusionment when it is not possible to accomplish these massive pledges.

This seems perfectly reasonable to this author and blogger, and Klobuchar has a solid record of accomplishment, and of “crossing the aisle” to gain bipartisan support on legislation. She is in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) tradition in Minnesota, the heir of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and even Al Franken (unfairly forced out of the Senate) by bullying over unproved charges of sexual harassment promoted aggressively by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for whom this author and blogger lost all respect.

Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020, close to the ideal average age of most Presidents taking office, and she would bring to the Presidency a sensible commitment to social justice, avoiding extreme statements that would only assist Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their reelection campaign.

She would also bring a reasonable woman into the Presidency, more cautious and sensible in her rhetoric than the alternative female candidates.

And if she chose Julian Castro of Texas, we would have a Democratic ticket of a woman and a Latino, overcoming two barriers at once, and leaving Castro, who would be age 46 in 2020, open to a future run for President after two terms of President Klobuchar, and be the precise average age of Presidents, mid 50s, in 2028.