American University

John F. Kennedy’s Two Great Speeches In Two Days: Unmatched In American History!

John F. Kennedy was one of our most brilliant orators in the history of the American Presidency, but many may not have realized that he gave two speeches in two days, which rank among the greatest speeches ever delivered by an occupant of the White House!

As stated on my June 11 blog entry, Kennedy spoke up on the need for a Civil Rights law, immediately after the infamous George Wallace tried to prevent the integration of the University of Alabama earlier on that June 11, fifty years ago.

But the day before, June 10, at an American University commencement speech, only seven months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy called for peace between the superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union, calling for an end to the Cold War.

Kennedy managed to accomplish, before his death that November, the accomplishment of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, with the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France, a treaty still being obeyed by the Russians today, an amazing development!

So as we near the 50th anniversary of JFK’s tragic death, we are coming to realize more than ever, even with his shortcomings and warts, just how great a leader JFK really was, on the premier issues of his time, Civil Rights and the Cold War!

Historian Allan J. Lichtman And Presidential Election Predictability

Professor Allan J. Lichtman of American University in Washington, DC has published over many years his theories about predicting Presidential elections.

Originally publishing THE KEYS TO THE WHITE HOUSE in 1984, Lichtman has continued to update his predictions and his theory.

Lichtman suggests that there are 13 factors involved in a Presidential election, and that IF a candidate is positively rated on EIGHT or more of the 13 factors, he wins the election.

Based on this, Lichtman now predicts that Barack Obama will win the 2012 election, since he has NINE of the 13 factors in his favor!

The positive factors include:

1. No serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
2. The President in office is running for reelection.
3. There is no significant third party challenge.
4. The party in power has brought about major policy changes.
5. There is no major social unrest during the term.
6. There is no major scandal during the term.
7. There are no major foreign policy failures during the term.
8. There are major successes in foreign and military policy.
9. The candidate of the incumbent party is charismatic and well liked personally.

The four factors against Obama include:

1. The party in power has lost seats in the midterm election in the House of Representatives as compared to the number of seats in the previous midterm election.
2. The economy is in poor shape.
3. The long term economy outlook is not good.
4. The challenging candidate may be charismatic.

Lichtman claims this series of factors has always worked, going back to the beginning of our popular vote elections for President in 1824.

There is much debate about the validity of this series of factors judging who will win Presidential elections, both past and the future.

Nate Silver of the NEW YORK TIMES contests the validity of much of what Lichtman says.

If nothing else, however, the Lichtman formula makes for interesting discussion and debate, and it will be interesting to see if his prediction of an Obama victory holds up.

For that, we will have to wait 14 months!