Hubert Humphrey

Time For Pause, Calming Spirit, And Careful Consideration Of Future Tactics!

Having read a number of opinions, and calming down from the shock of last evening’s Presidential debate, this author and blogger is taking a deep breath and reflecting that it is not a good idea to panic, although many decent people are doing so.

One must remember that Joe Biden has always been underestimated his whole life, and has always recovered from disappointments and tragedies.

Joe Biden is one of the most decent, humane public figures in my lifetime, and in the mind of this author and blogger, he became the new Hubert Humphrey, after the tragic passing of Humphrey in 1978 at the early age of 66.

Biden, like Humphrey, and only a small list of other political leaders in my lifetime, exudes decency, compassion, and sincerity, and his Presidency has been the best, most accomplished in domestic affairs since Lyndon B. Johnson.

And Biden has shown courage and principle in foreign affairs, dealing with very complex international problems in a measured way, and has great respect and admiration from world leaders, who fear the return of the most massive liar and most crooked President in American history, Donald Trump!

No wonder experts and scholars agree overwhelmingly that Donald Trump is the worst President, raising the stature of those two Presidents, James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, that have been the bottom rankings for many years. This is demonstrated in the C Span Presidential Survey of 2021 and the Siena College Research Institute Survey of 2022, as well as the American Political Science Association Survey of 2024!

The struggle to stop Donald Trump requires commitment and truth, and Joe Biden deserves a chance to prove that what happened yesterday is not the norm. His rally in North Carolina this afternoon was inspiring, so give it a few days to a week for reflection, and then it might be time for action, but let us all pray for the best for Joe Biden and the nation he loves!

235 Years Since The Inauguration Of George Washington!

On this day in 1789, George Washington was inaugurated, 57 days late, as the first President of the United States, in the downtown Wall Street area of New York City.

Washington was the right person to start the Presidency of a new Republic, and he knew that it was essential that he give up power, in order to insure the survival and stability of the nation in the long term future.

We cannot thank Washington enough, or all of the later Presidents who knew when to leave!

And we can also be thankful that even in hotly contested elections in the future, Presidents who lost reelection—John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush–followed the tradition Washington had set by leaving office.

Also, we have to be thankful that in close elections, such candidates as Samuel Tilden in 1876, Al Gore in 2000, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 were gracious in defeat, and that Vice Presidents who lost the succession to their President—Richard Nixon in 1960, Hubert Humphrey in 1968—also were gracious in defeat, as was Gore in 2000.

Sadly, the crisis today is due to the reality that Donald Trump would not accept defeat graciously, and provoked a violent mob on January 6, 2021, for which he must be held accountable!

College Campuses And The Israel-Hamas War

The Israel-Hamas War in the Gaza Strip in the past seven months has led to the deaths of more than 34,000 Palestinians, including approximately two thirds being women and children.

It has become the biggest controversy on college campuses in many decades, and has led to massive demonstrations and occupations of many campuses by protesters, and by outside agitators not connected to the universities.

The ugly situation has many tones of antisemitism, endangering Jewish students, advocating violence, and calling for destruction of Israel.

Freedom of speech and the right to protest are basic constitutional rights, but it does not include the right to interfere with normal operation of educational institutions.

One can disagree with the strategy and tactics of the Israeli government, and yet also understand that a nation has the right to exist and to defend itself after the horrific massacre of about 1,200 people on October 7, 2023 by the extremist Hamas terrorist group.

One can also condemn right wing MAGA Republicans, led by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, Ohio Senator J D Vance, and other extremists, who want to employ military force to end the protests.

It is also disturbing that college students often have little knowledge and information, as they rely on social media, rather than established news sources, for their view of the world.

Colleges are supposed to be places for debates, education, empathy, and understanding, not for occupation and calls for genocide against an entire nation and people. To allow a small percentage of students and outside agitators to shut down a campus and threaten those who are opposed to their tactics is reprehensible.

These disturbances on college campuses are undermining the future of universities in the public mind, as extremism, violence, and occupation by many students and outsiders endanger public support for higher education.

It is also making more likely that many commencement ceremonies around the nation will be canceled, and this for students, who in many cases, did not have a high school graduation ceremony due to the COVID 19 Pandemic in the Spring of 2020.

Many of these demonstrators are destroying their education, as many will be suspended or expelled, will face possible criminal charges, and many corporations will be unwilling to hire people involved in civil disobedience without any conclusion.

Young people have a right to their beliefs, but not to stop the operations of universities, as many of these individuals will regret long term their youthful emotions that will not be good for their long term futures.

Every effort must be utilized to end the Israel-Hamas War and to free the remaining hostages, and Joe Biden has a major challenge ahead of him to convince Benjamin Netanyahu to change his strategy that has endangered the international community’s view of the conflict.

This issue could affect the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August, bringing back memories of the disastrous Chicago Democratic convention in 1968, that led to the defeat of Hubert Humphrey and the Presidency of Richard Nixon.

Kamala Harris Starting To Demonstrate Her Strengths As Vice President, And Potential Future President!

Kamala Harris has been Vice President for two and a half years now, and she has had a poor public image, being often portrayed as weak and ineffective, in public opinion polls.

A lot of this is pure right wing propaganda, with heavy elements of misogyny and racism.

If one examines earlier Vice Presidents of the Republican variety, one realizes how horrendous they were:

Mike Pence, unwilling even now to stand up to Donald Trump for his transgressions, including the threat to the lives of Pence and his family on January 6, 2021.

Dick Cheney, technically qualified, but a miserable wretch of a human being.

Dan Quayle, a total disaster and embarrassment as Vice President.

Spiro Agnew, a crooked felon, forced out of office.

And then the Republican Vice Presidential nominees who, thankfully, never were in that role:

Sarah Palin 2008

Paul Ryan 2012

Jack Kemp 1996

William E Miller 1964

And then, the potential Vice Presidential list for Donald Trump, if he became the Presidential nominee again, a total nightmare of lunacy and insanity!

Meanwhile, Democratic Vice Presidents and nominees were superior by far:

Hubert Humphrey 1964
Edmund Muskie 1968
Sargent Shriver 1972
Walter Mondale 1976, 1980
Lloyd Bentsen 1988
Al Gore 1992, 1996
Joe Lieberman 2000
Joe Biden 2008, 2012
Tim Kaine 2016

The only terrible choices were Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and John Edwards in 2004.

Harris has had an impressive career in California Government, and has been, by necessity, the most active Vice President, due to the narrow division of the Senate, necessitating that she break more tie votes in the Senate than any Vice President, surpassing John C. Calhoun under President Andrew Jackson from 1829-1832, recently!

Harris is now becoming significant, as she makes the issues of women’s rights and civil rights the center of attention, including attacking the end of abortion rights, and the promotion of outrageous interference with the teaching of American history and slavery, as advocated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and spreading nationwide in Republican states!

This is raising her profile, as she would certainly be the frontrunner to be President after Joe Biden, either when he leaves office, or if he was unable to finish his time in office!

Two Year Anniversary Of Joe Biden Presidency: Should He Run For Second Term?

Today at 12 Noon marks the two year anniversary of the Joe Biden Presidency!

Considering the difficult political circumstances, of an evenly divided Senate for only the fourth time in American history, and a five seat margin in the House of Representatives, Joe Biden accomplished a great deal in his first two years in office.

From a progressive view, he was the most successful in his first two years domestically than any President since Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s with his “Great Society” legislation, which was far greater, but with a massive margin of his party in control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Biden accomplished more than Democrats in the Presidency after Johnson, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and even Barack Obama, after their first two years in the Oval Office!

Foreign policy has been difficult, as it always is, but Biden’s strong support of Ukraine in its war with Russia, and backed by NATO, has been a very strong example of his promotion of democracy against totalitarianism, reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt coming to the aid of Great Britain in 1940-1941, before America’s entrance into World War II.

Having said all the above, the question now is should Joe Biden, having reached the age of 80 precisely two months ago, run for a second term, and would he win a second term?

This author and blogger has always had great and warm feelings toward Joe Biden, going back to when he gravitated toward Biden as, in my mind, the replacement in commitment and personality traits of Hubert Humphrey, who was this author’s original political “hero”!

I wish that Biden had been able to run for President in 2016, but his son Beau’s death prevented that, as I believe he would have won the nomination, and would have defeated Donald Trump, and saved America from the nightmare four years of horrendous policies and criminal actions.

Hillary Clinton had too many barriers, including controversies surrounding her and her husband, along with simply being the first woman nominee for President. Of course, Hillary Clinton still won the national popular vote by 2.85 million, and only lost because of Russian collusion with Trump that threw the Electoral College vote to him in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Even a Republican controlled Senate committee came to that conclusion, despite the continued lying and deception that continues unabated to the present.

But the present is the issue, and this author and blogger sincerely believes that while Joe Biden would win a second term, against Donald Trump or anyone else on the horizon, that for the future of the Presidency and of Joe Biden’s own lifespan, that he should announce that he will retire.

It would make him a “lameduck President”, but freed from politics of his own ego, he could be seen as a statesman, helping to bring the future of the nation toward a Democratic Party successor, who would pursue his principles, goals, and common decency and compassion!

We need a future President who has the character traits of Joe Biden, as we do not want to promote selfishness, greed, nastiness, and lack of compassion and common decency, which too many Republicans who plan to run for President, possess as their basic character traits!

This way, Joe Biden can leave office at age 82, with head held high, having accomplished a decent record under difficult circumstances, having assisted for his own succession. And he can have peace of mind, planning his own Presidential Library and Museum, writing his own memoirs, and enjoying his wife, Dr Jill Biden, and his family in a relaxed, well deserved retirement, which is likely to lead to a longer life, than having the stress of another four years in office!

He should not join the list of Presidents who either died in office or had very short retirements, such individuals as Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Lyndon B. Johnson!

So, President Biden, do what is best for you and for the nation you have served so well, and announce your decision to leave office two years from today, having insured the succession of a Democratic President who will carry on with your commitment to decency, fairness, and compassion!

Two Years Of Kamala Harris As Vice President: Very Underrated!

Kamala Harris has been Vice President for two years, but unfortunately, she has been very underrated by many observers.

Most people fail to understand that Vice Presidents have no power or influence, other than what the President gives them.

Joe Biden has been kind and engaged in making sure his Vice President has important duties and responsibilities, but the criticism of Harris fails to take into account how most Vice Presidents have had very little influence.

The only modern Vice Presidents who have stood out in a positive manner are Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; and Joe Biden under Barack Obama.

Even such outstanding individuals as Lyndon B. Johnson under John F. Kennedy; Hubert Humphrey under Lyndon B. Johnson; Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford; George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan; and Dick Cheney under George W. Bush had far less impact than one would have expected.

It seems clear, sad to state, that much of the criticism of Kamala Harris is due to her being a woman, and of mixed race ancestry!

One would think such bigotry would be gone, and much of it promoted by extremist religious factions, both Christian and Jewish! But sadly, it is still a reality!

The Vice Presidency A Thankless Job!

The American Vice Presidency has been described as “stand by equipment”, as there is no great power in the office.

It is a frustrating office, as any Vice President must avoid seeming to take away attention from the President.

If anyone was to ask many Vice Presidents, if not all, how they felt about the position, the likelihood is that the response would be unprintable!

Ask Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Nelson Rockefeller, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, and Mike Pence, as just a few examples!

They would all have plenty to complain about, if able to openly express their feelings and thoughts!

And one can be sure that Kamala Harris already has similar feelings and thoughts!

Sad 44th Anniversary Of The Passing Of Hubert Humphrey, My Original Political Hero!

On this day, January 13, 1978, 44 years ago, my original political hero, Senator, Vice President, and Presidential nominee Hubert H. Humphrey passed away from cancer at the young age of 66.

When I was young, Humphrey became my political hero, with his strong liberal championship of views on civil rights, and introducing many ideas that became part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society in the mid 1960s.

Not well utliized by Johnson, Humphrey became the nominee of the Democratic Party for the Presidency in 1968, a divided party that had elements rallying around Senator Robert F. Kennedy before his tragic assassination, and also those who backed fellow Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy.

In a three way Presidential race, Humphrey would fall short, losing to Richard Nixon, and with George Wallace being a strong third party candidate.

Humphrey, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis, and then a US Senator from 1949-1965, returned to the Senate in 1971, replacing the retiring Senator McCarthy, and competed unsuccessfully for the Presidential nomination in 1972, and remained a major figure until his untimely death in 1978.

This author and blogger literally wept when Humphrey died, as I was drawn to his humanity, empathy, decency, and compassion.

And once he passed away, I looked around the US Senate for a successor leader I could believe in, and found the young Delaware Senator Joe Biden, still in his first term at age 35.

I feel fortunate that although there were many barriers to Joe Biden’s advancement to the Presidency, that after serving in the Senate for 36 years, and as Vice President under Barack Obama for eight years, that four years later, on his third try for the Oval Office, Biden finally won, and saved the nation from the menace of Donald Trump.

Neither Humphrey nor Biden were or are perfect, no such situation exists, but the two men shared characteristics that caused me to fall in love with them as political leaders.

I am sure that Humphrey would be very proud of Joe Biden, and the two men stand out as uncommonly models of leadership!

Vice Presidents Who Have Accepted Defeat Of Their Party In Electoral College Count

One of the roles of the Vice President of the United States is to count and announce the Electoral College vote at the end of a Presidential term.

Every Vice President has done so, constitutionally, in modern times, even when the Vice President may have been the Presidential nominee for the next term in office.

So we have Richard Nixon in 1961, Hubert Humphrey in 1969, and Al Gore in 2001, who have played their proper role.

Also, Walter Mondale in 1981 and Dan Quayle in 1993 were on losing tickets as Vice Presidents, but played their proper role.

And Dick Cheney in 2009 and Joe Biden in 2017, both leaving office, did their duty!

Finally, after much hesitation and the intervention of Dan Quayle led Mike Pence in 2021 to do what he was required, constitutionally, to do in his role as Vice President!

Many groups and individuals, including those who are clearly conservative in nature, argue that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, enacted a decade after the disputed Presidential Election of 1876, and two close elections in 1880 and 1884, needs to be overhauled to prevent the crisis that occurred in 2021, only prevented by Mike Pence, at the last minute, following his duty, despite threats to hang him or murder him by mobs engaged in the US Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021!

Mike Pence Stands Up For His Role In Presidential Election Of 2020 At Reagan Library: A Moment To Be Praised!

This blogger and scholar is no fan of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence’s hardline right wing Christianity is distasteful to the extreme, and the thought that he, after being a total sycophant to Donald Trump, might become President, is a monstrous nightmare.

But on January 6, 2021, Pence did his duty to uphold the Electoral College vote that clearly demonstrated that Joe Biden had won the Presidential Election of 2020.

He did the same thing as Richard Nixon did in 1961; Hubert Humphrey did in 1969; and Al Gore did in 2001; and also what Nelson Rockefeller did in 1977, Walter Mondale did in 1981; Dan Quayle did in 1993; Dick Cheney did in 2009; and Joe Biden did in 2017.

Pence defended his role in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum last night, and he faced the threat of being lynched by the Capital Insurrectionists, with his own boss, Donald Trump, unwilling to intervene or care about the health and safety of his loyal lieutenant.

Donald Trump deserves life in prison for his treason and sedition, and lack of concern for human life on that day, and in many other cases over his destructive four years in the Oval Office.

So while not supportive of any future for Pence, he should be saluted for doing his constitutional duty, as other Vice Presidents have done throughout American history!