Woodrow Wilson

Reality: Candidates Ahead In Public Opinion Polls In Third Year Of Presidential Term Never Are The Nominees For President

Public opinion polls have been notoriously inaccurate in the third year of a Presidential term in who would be the Presidential nominees of major parties the following year.

In 2003, Vermont Governor Howard Dean was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but John Kerry ended up as the nominee in 2004.

In 2007, New York Senator Hillary Clinton was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but Barack Obama ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2007, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but John McCain ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2011, Herman Cain was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Mitt Romney ended up as the nominee in 2012.

In 2015, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Donald Trump ended up as the nominee in 2016.

Beyond these examples, in the third year of many Presidential terms, who could have known that the next President would be someone not seriously considered at that time to have a chance to be elected.

Witness John F. Kennedy in 1959; Richard Nixon in 1967; Jimmy Carter in 1975; Ronald Reagan in 1979; Bill Clinton in 1991; Barack Obama in 2007; and Donald Trump in 2015.

Also add the following: Abraham Lincoln in 1859; Woodrow Wilson in 1911; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1931; and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951.

So, to assume that Joe Biden, currently ahead in all polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, will be the nominee is quite a gamble, based upon history.

William Barr, Most Corrupt Attorney General Since John Mitchell Under Richard Nixon

Attorney General William Barr will go down as the most corrupt person in that position since John Mitchell under Richard Nixon.

Earlier Attorneys General who were disastrous include A. Mitchell Palmer under Woodrow Wilson and Harry Daugherty under Warren G. Harding; and after Mitchell, Richard Kleindienst under Richard Nixon; Edwin Meese under Ronald Reagan; Alberto Gonzalez under George W. Bush; and Jeff Sessions under Donald Trump.

Barr was Attorney General in the last year and a half under George H. W. Bush and helped to arrange the pardon of those who had engaged in the Iran Contra Affair; and now has become Donald Trump’s Attorney General, rather than the nation’s Attorney General, with his covering up on the Robert Mueller investigation into wrong doing by Trump.

While all of the above Attorneys General have besmirched the reputation of the Department of Justice, Barr will stand out as ranking with Mitchell as a person who had no issue with engaging in corruption.

Only Nixon and Trump have had two horrible Attorneys General, a sad commentary on the cabinet officer responsible for enforcement of the law and the Constitution.

April 2, 1917: Woodrow Wilson Asks Congress To Declare War On Germany, Ending US Isolation From World Affairs

On this day 102 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson transformed America forever, as he went to Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, putting America into the “Great War”, World War I, four days later.

Other than intervention in Latin American affairs, and the gaining of island territories overseas in the late 1890s, the US had avoided foreign controversies, other than Theodore Roosevelt winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for being the mediator bringing about the peace treaty at the end of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.

But from this point on, with the exception of a virulent isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, which did NOT keep us out of the necessary involvement in World War II, the United States has faced its responsibilities of world leadership since the 1940s, committing to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership and leadership in official ceremonies on April 4, 1949, seventy years ago.

Barack Obama Fortunate For History That He Is Between George W. Bush And Donald Trump In The Order Of Presidents In Office

In the long run of history, where a President is in the order of attaining the Presidency really matters.

So, for instance, John Adams is between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and while Adams ranks around the middle in ranking of Presidents by historians and political scientists, he is rated much lower than the two Presidents before and after him, who are in the top ten of any listing.

The same goes for William Howard Taft, who is between Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom are in the top quarter of Presidents, while Taft is rated in the mid 20s.

And the same is true for George H. W. Bush, who is between Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, both of whom are rated higher than Bush, who is rated in the later teens as President.

On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln comes between the two men usually rated the two worst Presidents, James Buchanan before him and Andrew Johnson after him.

And it is now clear that Barack Obama, rated 11th in one poll, 8th in another poll, and 17th in a third poll, all within the two years he has been out of the Presidency, is fortunate to have George W. Bush, rated in the 30s, and Donald Trump rated either at the bottom under Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, or at most just above them, insuring he will, like Lincoln, always be rated much better.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: A New Rising Star In The Presidential Race

A new rising star in the Democratic Presidential race is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Buddhajudge) who has been the mayor of this mid sized city/ college town since 2012, and has won both four year terms handily with 74 and 80 percent of the vote in his two races.

We have never had a small city mayor elected President directly, and only three Presidents have been mayors, including Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge of Northampton, Massachusetts, but with Johnson and Coolidge succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding, and none of them in office as mayor for what is now seven years for Buttigieg.

If Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the second Indianan after Benjamin Harrison to become President, but with six Indianans being Vice President (four Republicans and two Democrats)—Schuyler Colfax under Ulysses S. Grant; Charles Fairbanks under Theodore Roosevelt; Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Mike Pence under Donald Trump; Thomas Hendricks under Grover Cleveland, first term; and Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, William English ran with Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, and John Kern ran with William Jennings Bryan in 1908.

Also, if Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the first gay President, and also have a husband, who would become First Gentleman, instead of Bill Clinton, who would have had that title if his wife, Hillary Clinton, had won the White House in 2016.

Additionally, he would be, by far, the youngest President at age 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day, 2021, making him about three years and ten and a half months younger than Theodore Roosevelt, and four years and seven and a half months younger than John F. Kennedy.

Buttigieg is impressive as a successful and popular Mayor of South Bend, who has improved the city during his mayoralty; and as a graduate of Harvard University, he went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Great Britain. He also served in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant, and was a Naval Intelligence Officer who served in the war in Afghanistan, and is still in the Naval Reserve.

Also of note is that Buttigieg won the competition for the “JFK Profiles In Courage Essay Contest” in 2000, writing about the integrity and courage of then Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, and traveled to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to accept the award from Caroline Kennedy, and met other members of the Kennedy family. Buttigieg had been valedictorian of his high school class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature.

March 4 Presidential Inauguration History Significant So Many Times In American History

Today is the original Presidential Inauguration Day through 1933 every fourth year.

Some March 4ths stand out.

1801–Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated, the first time an opposition party takes over the Presidency, and without any bloodshed or violence.

1829–Andrew Jackson is inaugurated, and a mob descends on the White House to celebrate, and windows, glasses, and China are broken.

1841–William Henry Harrison is inaugurated, gives the longest inaugural address in history, and takes sick with pneumonia that evening, and dies after one month in office.

1861–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated at a time when Southern states have broken away from the Union and declared their independence.

1865–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term, and gives the greatest Inaugural Address in American history, calling for peace and reconciliation when the Civil War ends, and his future assassin, John Wilkes Booth is in the crowd and moving toward the inaugural stand as Lincoln speaks.

1913–Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the Democrats, after a half century of Republican dominance of national government.

1933–Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated at the worst moments of the Great Depression, and FDR talks of a New Deal for the American people, the second greatest Inaugural Address, and the Congress pushes through the 20th Amendment, setting up future inauguration dates to be on January 20, starting in 1937.

The “Achilles Heel” Of Ten Presidents: What Harms Their Historical Reputation

When one studies the Presidency, it always comes down to one issue that can undermine their historical reputation.

So for John Adams, for example, it is the passage and enforcement of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

For James Madison, it is the burning of the White House and Capitol Hill in 1814 by the British during the War of 1812.

For Andrew Jackson, it is the forced removal of five Indian tribes to Oklahoma in the 1830s, the so called “Trail of Tears”.

For Franklin Pierce, it is the signing of the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854, bringing the nation closer to the Civil War of the future.

For Woodrow Wilson, it is the violation of civil liberties during the First World War, and immediately after, during the Red Scare of 1919-1920.

For Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

For Lyndon B. Johnson, it is the escalation of the Vietnam War in the mid 1960s.

For Richard Nixon, it is the engagement in the Watergate Scandal in the early 1970s.

For George W. Bush, it is the provoking of the Iraq War in 2003 and after.

And for Donald Trump, it is the collusion with the Russian government Vladimir Putin, which is going to bring down his Presidency.

Latest Presidential Ranking Survey For Presidents Day Changes Ratings Of Several Presidents Upward And Downward

The game of Presidential rankings is one always changing, and the newest survey of scholars, including this author as a participant, does not disappoint in that regard.

The Siena College survey, now done six times since 1982, once for each new President being considered in the rankings, has some surprises.

157 experts, questioned by the Siena College Research Institute, raised two of the Founding Father generation to the top ten, with James Madison number 7 and James Monroe, his successor at number 8. In so doing, two modern Presidents were dropped out of the top ten, with Ronald Reagan at number 13 and Lyndon B. Johnson at number 16.

A rare occurrence was that Abraham Lincoln was number 3, when usually he is on top, although in earlier Siena College surveys, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been number one, now number two, with George Washington moving up to number one.

Barack Obama, number 8 in the American Political Science Association survey in 2018, and number 12 in the C Span 2017 survey, ended up number 17 in the Siena College survey, so below such Presidents as Woodrow Wilson, James K. Polk, John Adams, and Bill Clinton.

And Donald Trump, who was dead last in the APSA poll, was number 42, above James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, with Johnson ending up below Buchanan, the opposite of both the C Span and APSA surveys.

Of course, the game of Presidential ranking is a never ending and highly debatable one, and the way that Presidents are ranked is purely in the eyes and expertise of the beholder.

Should a great man, such as Madison or Monroe, but not as accomplished as more modern Presidents, such as Reagan or LBJ, be higher in the ratings?

That is left up to how people perceive Presidents, and whether they include the whole life, or just the actual years of the Presidency, in their judgments.

Losing Presidential Candidates Who Should Have Been President: Henry Clay, Charles Evans Hughes, Hubert Humphrey

When one looks back in American history at losing Presidential candidates who should have been President in their times, three names stand out:

Henry Clay of Kentucky, 1824, 1832, 1844

Charles Evans Hughes of New York, 1916

Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, 1968

All three of these Presidential candidates were exceptional public servants.

Henry Clay was the most important legislator of the first half of the 19th century, known as the Great Compromiser, for his promotion of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850. He was the youngest Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and also served a number of terms in the US Senate. He stood for a stronger national government, in the Alexander Hamilton model, and had a great impact on many others including Abraham Lincoln, who became a Whig Party member due to the influence of Clay on him.

Charles Evans Hughes was the progressive Republican Governor of New York, in the Robert LaFollette-Wisconsin model in the early 20th century, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, resigned to run for President against Woodrow Wilson in the closest electoral vote election since 1876, and third closest electoral vote election of all time, and then went on to be Secretary of State. Finally, he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1930s, the New Deal era.

Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, a leading liberal figure, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis before going to the Senate. He was seen as a premier liberal in Congress, responsible for many of the ideas that became the Great Society. He was Vice President under Lyndon B. Johnson, unhappy in that position and forced to support the Vietnam War in speeches, which undermined his Presidential campaign in 1968 against Richard Nixon. He came back to the Senate after his Presidential defeat, and sadly died at the young age of 66 in 1978.

If these three losing Presidential candidates had won, the history of the United States would have been vastly different.

America Will Never Be A “Socialist” Country, But We Have “Socialist” Ideas Americans Want To Keep: Social Security, Medicare, Environmental, Labor, Consumer, Health Care, Education, And Civil Rights Laws, All Which Make Capitalism Work Better!

Donald Trump attacked “Socialism” in the State of the Union address, knowing full well that is simply a code word to attack progressive reforms that have become part of the American tradition and system of social justice.

“Socialism” in America is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Environmental Laws, Federal Labor Laws, Federal Consumer Laws, Federal Health Care, Education and Civil Rights Laws.

These laws are the hard, years fought for, efforts of primarily Democrats and some moderate Republicans over the century since Theodore Roosevelt, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even contributions of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and innumerable Senators and Congressmen and state governors who saw these laws as essential for American advancement.

We are a nation of capitalism but with “socialism” mixed in, due to the promotion of such legislation by the Socialist Party of the 20th century, and its leaders, including Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and most Americans support and see the need for the laws we have.

We are not going to go back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, as the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the 1960s, and the Obama era have made our nation better, and the right wing attack on all these reforms will be fought bitterly and defeated!