Day: October 21, 2012

The Ultimate “Firewall” For Barack Obama: The Midwest

This author has commented before about the fact that the Midwest, an area of declining electoral votes and representation in Congress, because of the rapid migration from the “Frost Belt” to the “Sun Belt”, remains an area that has had a dramatic effect on American politics and Presidential elections.

Ohio and Missouri have been the ultimately accurate states to predict elections, with Missouri only voting with the loser twice—1956 and 2008—and Ohio, also only twice with the loser—1944 and 1960—since 1900.

And now, with Obama clearly winning Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois, and seemingly ahead in Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin, the President could afford to lose the three Southern states he won in 2008—Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina—and still win the Electoral College.

With 237 electoral votes in Obama’s camp, and only needing 33 more, Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin would give him 34, raising his total to 271, exactly what George W. Bush won in 2008, against Al Gore, who won the national popular vote by more than 500,000 votes.

With some observers seeing a popular vote surge to Mitt Romney, we could be witnessing a scenario of the same situation as in 2000- –the winner of the electoral vote NOT winning the popular vote, which would make it the fifth time in history, and the second time in 12 years, that such a situation occurred.

The difference is that this time the Democrat will have benefited, while the last time, the Republican benefited.

In a way, if that happened, it would be “justice” for Al Gore supporters and Democrats!

However, it would also lead to growing demands to change the Constitution and get rid of the Electoral College, with the reality being that the likelihood of such a change is near zero!

George McGovern: The Most Decent Politician Of Our Lifetime, Dies At Age 90

Former South Dakota Senator George McGovern, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1972 against Richard Nixon, has passed away at age 90 this morning, and his death brings back memories of the Great Society and the Vietnam War.

McGovern, a great supporter of Lyndon B. Johnson’s reforms, and the quintessential liberal Democrat in the nation, was a strong anti war advocate who used that issue in his 1972 Presidential campaign, against the most unethical and crooked President in history, and was smashed by a 49 state defeat by Richard Nixon.

Despite that massive defeat, McGovern kept his dignity, his decency, and his principles, and his 18 years in the Senate were among the most heroic and exceptional we have seen in that body which includes too many opportunists.

McGovern was an inspiration to the author when he was a young man, and he was, without question, the most decent politician of my lifetime, a man of peace and tolerance, and yet a man who had fought combat missions in World War II. and knew the horrors of war.

This author once wrote a post suggesting a “Progressive Mount Rushmore”, more in jest than expecting it to happen, with McGovern joining fellow Democrat Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, and Republican Senators Robert La Follette, Sr of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska, on that hallowed concept of a monument to great progressives and liberals who have impacted our nation and our lives.

It is hard not to be a bit emotional, hearing of McGovern’s death, but we know he was a man who, to the end of his life, affected the nation in a positive manner.

And we know that three future Democratic Presidents were impacted by McGovern’s idealism and principles–two directly (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton)—and Barack Obama more in a learning manner about a man who ran for President when our President was just starting to think about public affairs at age 11.

George McGovern will be part of the broad story of American history, and when people read about and learn about him, a smile will appear, as he was the epitome of what a decent politician is all about, and makes the word politician have new meaning.