Day: February 22, 2009

The 2009 C Span Presidential Poll

I have spent the past week trying to recover LOL  from the latest Presidential poll from C Span, following up on the earlier 2000 poll.

While I had some problems with the last poll in 2000, I have MANY problems with the new poll, which includes former President George W. Bush for the first time.

My major issues with the 2009 poll are as follows:  Ulysses S. Grant shot up from 33 to 23; John F. Kennedy from 8 to 6; Dwight D. Eisenhower from 9 to 8; Ronald Reagan from 11 to 10; Bill Clinton from 21 to 15.  Also, Woodrow Wilson fell from 6 to 9; Lyndon Johnson from 10 to 11; Jimmy Carter from 22 to 25; Richard Nixon from 25 to 27; Rutherford Hayes from 26 to 33.

Grant, in my opinion, was the WORST President we have had and was in office longer than other failed Presidents due to his Civil War heroism and the Republican dominance in the years after the Civil War.  The historians in the poll were supposed to ONLY consider his Presidential record, which is absolutely horrible!

While I admire JFK, to make him number six with less than three years in office and not much success in domestic affairs and only late improvement in foreign affairs boggles the mind.  Again, are these historians thinking about how he died, his looks, his beautiful children, his glamorous wife, or what?

Eisenhower may have an element of nostalgia about him, as his times look much more innocent and appealing than we have had to deal with since the 1950s, but did he really address the major issues of his times?  The answer is NO!

Reagan has had a fan club, but recently new books that have emerged have started a sustained attack on  his record, and already many are saying that his supervision of the government has helped to lead to the present economic emergency we now face, the greatest since the Great Depression.  I think he is definitely overrated.

Bill Clinton also has a fan club, but having lived through and watched him for eight years, I consider him a great disappointment who was better at talking up a storm than accomplishing very much in office.

Woodrow Wilson has had his critics of late, but his accomplishments, particularly in domestic affairs, are still one of the best in US history, so I think lowering him to almost out of the top ten and below Kennedy and Eisenhower is not warranted.

Lyndon Johnson dropped only one point, but out of the top ten, and to put him under Reagan seems unjust, as much of the Great Society programs still have a great impact on the nation today, in a positive way.

Jimmy Carter certainly was in many ways a disappointment, but to knock him further down on the list, even below Grant, seems ridiculous to me!

Richard Nixon has plenty of faults, no question about it.  If anything, I have always been a major critic but further reflection in recent years makes me think that he is horribly underrated, again even under Grant!  How ridiculous can we be!

Finally, Rutherford Hayes is far from a great President, but to knock him down seven places makes no sense, and again under Grant!  This is preposterous, and he is the biggest victim of this poll, just as Grant is the biggest beneficiary.

Again, the poll, in my opinion, needs reworking, and I challenge its accuracy for sure!

Michelle Obama’s Debut as First Lady

Michelle Obama has made a fantastic debut as First Lady, visiting various government agencies, hosting gatherings of children at the White House, and visiting public schools, all within the first month of her husband’s term.

She has already changed the image of First Lady and is on the road to being considered one of the most prominent and influential First Ladies.  She is proving to be a great asset to her husband, and it is refreshing how she always refers to her daughters, Malia and Sasha, as her first priority, while enjoying her public interactions with various groups and causes.

At a time of great national emergency, she presents an image that may historically, if it continues as it is now, put her into the category of Lucy Hayes, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Hillary Clinton in the sense of activism and social commitment, and in the category of Frances Cleveland and Jacqueline Kennedy in the sense of glamor and social grace.

Watching her and her beautiful daughters will be lots of fun over the next four to eight years, for sure!  🙂

Hillary Clinton’s Debut as Secretary of State In Asia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just completed a tour of several Asian nations, her debut on the world stage.

She has made a very good impression in the process, demonstrating patience, realism, firmness and principle in her dealings with the various nations, including China, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

First impressions lead to the conclusion that our image in Asia and the world in general will be greatly improved by her approach to international issues, and the Obama administration will rapidly make progress in improving our standing in the world, not only with our friends, but also with our rivals.

Hillary Clinton faces a tremendous challenge over the next four or more years, but I think the American people can feel confidence that our ship of state in foreign policy is in excellent hands!

Bill Clinton’s Advice to President Obama

Former President Bill Clinton has recently praised President Obama’s early performance in the White House as excellent, but suggests that Obama cease and desist from alarmist rhetoric.

I think that it is true that constant reference to the reality of the economic situation has had some effect on causing the further downturn on the stock market.  In other words, speaking in a negative manner can have a counterproductive effect. 

At the same time, there is also no point in hiding the reality of the economic mess we are in, as it is essential that the nation fully understand the need for a major involvement by the national government in dealing with the situation, as doing nothing, as some suggest, is certainly not a solution.

My advice would be as follows:  President Obama, tone down somewhat your message of gloom and doom.  President Clinton: In the future, consult with the President in private and avoid your apparent dire need for constant public media attention.  Your advice is welcomed, but in private, not public.  Thank you!  🙂

A New Office of Urban Affairs Created by Obama

It is very encouraging news to hear that President Obama has created a new Office of Urban Affairs, which will work out of the White House.

The nation’s cities have always been treated like step children, as narrow minded and prejudiced groups, particularly in the South and in the geographical heartland of the nation, have wished a  plague on the wide variety of ethnic, racial, and religious groups which populate urban areas.  This rural resentment of the cities goes back a  long way, and part of it is due to the jealousy that it is the nation’s cities which have been central to the economic, social, political and cultural growth of our nation to super power status.

I can remember when Southern Democrats made clear in the 20 th century their condemnation of the cities and saw the election of a Catholic President in  1928 (Al Smith) and 1960 (John F. Kennedy) as the end of the world as we know it.  It took the federal government intervening with the National Guard in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama  to force change on the race issue, and there is still great resistance and resentment in the Bible Belt to the reality that we will rise or fall in the future based on dealing with urban problems, instead of ignoring or condemning our cities.

So Obama has taken a giant step toward confronting a reality that must be faced:  Our future is in our cities!

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlie Crist: Common Sense Republicans

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Governor Charlie Crist both have demonstrated statesmanship and common sense in endorsing and backing President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan.

Both on Sunday talk shows have made it clear that the time for politics and division is not now, when the country is in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Charlie Crist said he has to think about the welfare of the people of his state, not about partisan politics.  Arnold Schwarzenegger declared that when there is an emergency and people start bickering and act small minded, that sends the wrong message to the people and creates an element of fear and uncertainty that only makes the road to economic recovery more problematical.

It is time for more Republicans besides Schwarzenegger, Crist, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter to come to the rescue of the nation and stop the partisan bickering, particularly when it is the GOP who is primarily responsible for this economic mess, going as far back as Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich.  The Age of Reagan from 1980 to 2008 has led to this irresponsible financial mess, just as the era of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover from 1920-1932 led to the earlier Great Depression.  The American people reject the reckless, insensitive reaction of all Congressional Republicans except for the few courageous ones already given credit for courage and principle!