Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #24 - "SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!"

Only 6 Inauguration Days have fallen on a Sunday since 1789, Barack Obama's next and last as a president-elect will be the 7th. Only 2 were first terms, Zachary Taylor and Rutherford B. Hayes, while the other 5 were being sworn in for a second term. The first Inauguration Day to land on a Sunday was March 4, 1821, the start of James Monroe's 2nd term. After consulting the Supreme Court, Monroe waited until Monday, March 5, to be sworn in. Taylor continued the practice in 1849.

James Monroe was the first president to have Inauguration Day land on a Sunday in 1821.

James K. Polk left office at noon on March THIRD 1849 and since Taylor followed the precedent established by Monroe, the country did not have a chief executive or vice president since the Polk-George M. Dallas administration came to an official end Sunday the 4th at noon. Taylor wouldn't be administered the oath until Monday the 5th. It is believed that David Atchison, a senator and president pro tempore and thus next in line of succession after the vice president as it was back in the day, was acting president. It of course can't be true since technically his term as president pro tempore of the Senate would've expired the same as Polk's and Dallas and the rest of the government and wouldn't be sworn-in again as president pro tempore until minutes before Taylor and his vice president Millard Fillmore. Whereas Monroe was simply succeeding himself, in 1849 one president was leaving office while the other was entering all on a Sunday. That has only happened one other time, so far.

Zachary Taylor's one and only swearing-in ceremony was on Monday, March 5, 1849.

After the election of 1876 produced an unclear victor in various States, the Compromise of 1877 decided which candidate would receive the contested electoral votes needed to win, and just by one vote and just days before the Inauguration. While the popular vote winner, Democrat Samuel Tilden, governor of New York, didn't become president, Reconstruction of the South ended. Federal troops were removed. Just 12 years after the end of the Civil War, fear of a disrupted inaugural in light of the popular vote winner not becoming president. So Republican Governor of Ohio, Rutherford B. Hayes, the president-elect, had a private swearing-in ceremony in the Red Room at the Executive Mansion with outgoing president, Ulysses S. Grant by his side. Since March 4th was on a Sunday, a private ceremony was held on the 3rd and the public one on Monday the 5th. Hayes promised to serve one term.

Rutherford B. Hayes' second swearing-in for his first and only term as POTUS.

It would be 40 years until the next Inauguration Day fell on a Sunday, which was the start of Woodrow Wilson's second term in 1917. It would be the last March 4th Sunday and the first time a president had a private swearing-in ceremony on the Sunday, instead of simply waiting until Monday the 5th. Wilson was sworn in at the U.S. Capitol in the President's Room by Chief Justice Edward White and then again in a public ceremony on the 5th on the East Portico of the Capitol.

Woodrow Wilson's second second inaugural.

Another 40 years would pass for a Sunday inaugural, it's usually 28 to 40 years between Sunday inaugurals, until 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower's second inaugural. He was the first to have a January 20th Sunday, but continued the precedent established by Wilson and had a private ceremony. But instead of having it at the Capitol, Eisenhower had the Sunday swearing-in in the White House and the public ceremony on January 21st, a Monday.

Dwight D. Eisenhower being sworn-in for a 2nd term in the White House East Room on Sunday, January 20, 1957. The first January 20th Sunday inaugural.

Ike's public swearing-in ceremony the next day in 1957.

28 years after Ike, Ronald Reagan and the 50th Inauguration of a President would land on a Sunday. So Reagan the same as Ike, private Sunday ceremony at the White House and the usual public event on Monday. January 21, 1985 would be the coldest Inauguration Day on record, so cold that public ceremony was held in the Capitol Rotunda instead of outdoors.

Ronald Reagan being sworn-in on Sunday, January 20th, in a private White House ceremony.

The indoor public ceremony on the coldest recorded inaugural day, January 21, 1985. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger administers the oath both times.

Unless January 21, 2013 is less than 7 degrees. Barack Obama will follow in the footsteps of the other Sunday inaugural presidents, but will probably follow the precedent established by Wilson and Ike. There will be a private swearing-in at the White House on Sunday and a public event the following day. Obama will have taken the oath of office four times by January 21, 2013. In 2009, Chief Justice John Roberts, due to nerves, his first swearing-in, stumbled the oath of office which then made Obama stumble through it. Later that night, back at the White House, the two redid the oath of office. But it will be Obama's last time to say the oath.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts readministers the oath of office to President Barack Obama at the White House in the Map Room on January 20, 2009.

Three more times this century, an inauguration day will fall on a Sunday, each 28 years apart...and then after that last one in the 21st Century it will be another 40 years until the next Sunday inaugural. USA! USA! USA!

the 100th post

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Presidential Pictures - "HBO's John Adams"

the following is from HBO's John Adams mini-series based on the David McCullough book.

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #23 - "Good-bye to Philly"

In the nation's 3rd Inauguration ceremony, the incumbent and first Vice President of the United States, John Adams, became the first VPOTUS to be sworn in on Inauguration Day as president of the United States. It would also be the last time an inauguration ceremony took place in Philadelphia. Oliver Ellsworth became the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, now formally known as the Chief Justice of the United States reenforcing the judiciary's co-equal status next to the other branches of government, to swear in a president. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Chief Justice is to swear in the President. Since 1797, the Chief Justices of the United States have administered the oath of office to the president-elect on Inauguration Day.

John Adams, second POTUS, first VPOTUS. Oliver Ellsworth, 3rd CJOTUS.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #22 - "It's Not Always Inauguration Day in Philadelphia"

George Washington was unanimously reelected in 1792 and was inaugurated for a second term on March 4, 1793. This was the first inauguration of a POTUS on the date assigned by the Constitution and the first second term inauguration. New York City was the nation's capital at the start of the new government in 1789, but by the end of 1790 the young United States would have Philadelphia as its temporary capital until the City of Washington is ready to be populated as it is developed. So Washington is the first to be sworn in at Congress Hall in Philadelphia and also gave the shortest address.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #21 - "I'll Have Another, Please"

Only 16 presidents have had a second inaugural and Barack Obama will be the 17th. So this also means only 17 have been reelected.

17 Reelected POTUS
1. George Washington #1
2. Thomas Jefferson #3
3. James Madison #4
4. James Monroe #5
5. Andrew Jackson #7
6. Abraham Lincoln #16
7. Ulysses S. Grant #17
8. Grover Cleveland #22 & #24
9. William McKinley #25
10. Woodrow Wilson #28
11. Franklin D. Roosevelt #32
12. Dwight D. Eisenhower #34
13. Richard Nixon #37
14. Ronald Reagan #40
15. William Jefferson Clinton #42
16. George W. Bush #43
17. Barack Obama #44

16 of the 17 won reelection consecutively, while Grover Cleveland remains the only non-consecutive serving POTUS. He did win the popular vote 3 elections in a row, but in his first bid for reelection in 1888 he lost the Electoral College.

10 were sworn-in on a March 4th for a second term and 7 were or will be sworn-in on a January 20th. Two presidents had a different swearing-in date for their first term, George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Washington was sworn-in for his first term on April 30, 1789. Roosevelt's first term began on the 4th of March and his second term started on the current Inauguration Day, becoming the last to be sworn-in on March 4th and the first on January 20th.

10 March 4th Second Term Inaugurations
1. Washington
2. Jefferson
3. Madison
4. Monroe
5. Jackson
6. Lincoln
7. Grant
8. Cleveland 24
9. McKinley
10. Wilson

7 January 20th Second Term Inaugurations
1. Roosevelt 32
2. Eisenhower
3. Nixon
4. Reagan
5. Clinton
6. Bush 43
7. Obama

3 of the 16 that have already had a second inauguration did not complete their second term. Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley were assassinated in the first year of the second term, while Richard Nixon remains the only POTUS to resign. He left office almost two years into the second term.

3 of the 17 reelected were Democratic-Republicans (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe), three two term presidents in a row from 1800-1820 (plus the election of 1824, which any of the four main candidates would've been since the Federalist Party ceased to exist at the national level).

6 were Democrats (Jackson, Cleveland, Wilson, Roosevelt 32, Clinton, Obama), which had its first reelection victory with Andrew Jackson in 1832 and wouldn't have a consecutive reelection for the party until Woodrow Wilson's 1916 win. In 1892, Cleveland was the first Democrat reelected since Jackson in '32, however non-consecutively.

7 were Republicans, with Lincoln, the party's first to be reelected and Ulysses S. Grant the second to be reelected in 1872 and first to serve 2 full terms. Dwight D. Eisenhower would be the first Republican since Grant to serve 2 full terms.

Washington was the only one without a party, but during his second term his cabinet was dominated by Federalists.

George Washington's Second Inauguration, the young nation's second presidential inaugural ceremony held on March 4, 1793, the first second term inaugural. First to be held in Nation's new capitol, Philadelphia, PA.

George W. Bush's Second Inauguration was the 55th inaugural ceremony and the 16th second term inauguration, the most recent too. Held on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #20 - "On the First Inauguration..."

The first inauguration took place on April 30, 1789 in New York City. George Washington of Virginia was the first president under the nation's second and current constitution, the U.S. Constitution. Prior to 1789, under the Articles of Confederation, our nation's first governing document from 1781-1789, the president of the United States was a member of the Continental Congress but with nowhere near the powers of the office that have been in effect since the date in the first sentence. Not really a pointless pfact, but the start of the American Presidency.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Perspective President

Ronald Reagan was the first president I remember and associating with what a president should look like. Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States when I was born in 1978, so the 1980s was my childhood and Reagan defined the United States from 1981-1989, from a political-cultural level. Carter will always be a favorite president of mine because of the association but also because he only had the best interests at heart. He would be maligned, from within his own party in 1980 and of course the Republican Party. The GOP successfully lowered Carter's patriotism and increased Reagan's stature. But Reagan had the best interests of the nation at heart as well. He always showed the good of the United States while Carter told us the truth which was bad news. Either way, the idea of perspective shapes one's own view of a political figure and Reagan is a great example of a perspective is Carter.

As for me, I only knew Reagan as a president. As I learned his history, governor of California was next on the list and so I still only saw him as a politician. Reagan was a lifeguard at one point in his life. Those kids that grew up around him as swimmers under his watch, they would always see Reagan as a lifeguard. Probably whenever those former recreational swimmers saw a Reagan film, or as they might call it a picture, they saw him as that lifeguard guy in pictures. So when an actor-Reagan started showing a prospective political future, the movie going audiences as voters questioned "can a movie actor be a politician?" The swimmers were probably thinking "can a lifeguard be a politician?"

I'm sure those that only knew their State governor was Ronald Reagan and not some actor, would think "yeah, he can be president...he's the governor." So says a young Californian from between 1967-1975.

This of course goes without those above people not looking at the individuals political ideology, what they believe and have they put that into practice.

The Presidential Pictures - "The First President"

The clip is a scene from the HBO mini-series, showing Vice President John Adams (Paul Giamatti) addressing the Congress before George Washington's (David Morse) swearing-in.

the following is from HBO's John Adams (2008) mini-series based on the David McCullough book (2001).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Panel Love - Star Trek #5 (2011)

What is Captain Kirk doing? That's something that Captain Picard and his 24th Century buddies to communicate with each other. But this is the JJ-verse and the 23rd Century probably has better technology than Picard's 24th Century. I would hope so. Maybe in the 2009 film the flip communicators were on their way out, or maybe the delta shield tap is for on-board ship communication.

from Star Trek #5 (2011)
written by Mike Johnson
penciled by Joe Corroney

POTUS QUOTUS - USG18 SECOND INAUGURAL 1873 - "Eat Your Heart Out Obama"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Panel Love - Batman #1 (2011)

This is Batman sniff-sniffing.

from Batman #1 (2011)
written by Scott Snyder
penciled by Greg Capullo

The Would've Been 43rd President of the United States

The Presidential Election of 2000 went from being a close election like 1976, 1968 and 1960, to name a few, to becoming one of the unusual elections like 1800, 1824, and 1876. 1888 was pretty simple...popular vote winner: Grover Cleveland, electoral vote winner: Benjamin Harrison. No Congressional vote. No Commission. No Supreme Court.

The 2000 election pitted the incumbent vice president, Al Gore against Texas Governor George W. Bush. The last sitting vice president to run for president to win was Governor Bush's father, the 43rd Vice President of the United States, George Bush in 1988 and the last president to win over 50% of the popular vote until his son's reelection in 2004. Before Bush in 1988, Martin Van Buren was the last incumbent to run and win. But Gore had a shot. The administration of William Jefferson Clinton brought nothing but peace and prosperity to the United States in a post-Cold War planet Earth. But the scandals that the media covered and the Right Wing pushed, the Clinton administration would carry sexual scandal scars from Gennifer Flowers to Monica Lewinsky. While the Republican controlled Congress couldn't stop investigating Clinton, they'd relax on the next guy.

Which wouldn't be a third term of the Clinton administration, like Ronald Reagan had with his veep. Twice elected governor, MBA holder, and son of a president, George W. Bush presented a return to professionalcy after 8 years of the rowdy Clinton crowd from Arkansas, stature would return to the White House in the likes of George Herbert Walker Bush, Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower and no other president meets. With Gore distancing himself from Clinton and running on his own didn't help. Clinton, though impeached and acquitted, Clinton left office with high approval ratings. Had Gore used him even a fraction of the amount that President Barack Obama would use him in 2012, Gore would've been the victor in an election that would've been up there with 1968 and 1976.

But Election night 2000, would come and go with no winner. Gore had been predicted the winner in Florida and thus the presidency, but Florida went from the Gore column to undecided and then to Bush's. Gore conceded...and then he took it back after learning how close the Florida vote was. This was democracy in action. Lawyers flew in like the super heroes they are. Two former secretaries of state lead the campaign's legal teams. James Baker for Bush and Warren Christopher for Gore. Instead of recounting the entire State, Gore chose 4 counties that leaned heavy Democratic, but the Bush camp challenged the recount in the courts which led the Florida Supreme Court to side with Gore. The State Supreme Court leaned in Gore's favor, just as the Federal Supreme Court leans toward Bush. So with the recounts granted, the Bush team appeals to the Supreme Court, even though Bush represents the party that defends States' Rights...not when the electoral votes that will make someone the president of the United States at stake.

The Supreme Court would end the recounts and the electoral votes certified by the Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, a member of Bush's Florida campaign team, would go to Bush. Gore would have a chance to concede to Bush again, the day after the Supreme Court ruling. Here is his address to the nation from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on December 13, 2000.

FLASH-FORWARD to December 13, 2003.
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured hiding in hole. All thanks to the Decider, the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. USA! USA! USA!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

POTUS QUOTUS - JM5 SECOND INAUGURAL 1821 - "The Inauguration of Good Feelings"

Comments to the Internets - Secret Service Protection

from POLITICO: Ex-Presidents could get lifelong Secret Service protection

12/5/12 12:31 PM EST

Former presidents and first ladies of the United States would have Secret Service protection for as long as they live under a bill passed Wednesday in the House.

Passed in the House on a voice vote, the "Former President Protection Act of 2012" erases the 10-year limit of service protection previously imposed by a 1994 law, returning the statute to the original, lifelong mandate.

The previous law only granted 10 years of Secret Service protection to any former president (and first lady) elected after January 1, 1997. It did make room for exceptions, however, by allowing Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to grant Secret Service protection to former presidents and spouses after the expired period.

But now, national security interests, as well as the mobility and youth of former presidents, led Congress to push lifelong Secret Service protection.

“I think protection, public safety [and] security [are] the foremost responsibility of government and this is a different world, even from the 1990s, when this act was last revisited in terms of the threat that high profile people face,” said the bill’s main sponsor Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). “President Bush [and] President Obama are youthful in terms of how long we currently expect people to live. So it just struck me that when you have people that high profile, that have served the country, that it is not too much to ask that they be protected for the remainder of their life.”

Gowdy said that this act also addresses the “anomaly” of Barbara Bush receiving lifetime protection from the Secret Service herself, but her son, former president George W. Bush, only being protected for 10 years after his tenure.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) who cosponsored the bill, echoed Gowdy’s words.

“It’s not a matter of saving any money,” he said. “We shouldn’t have to wait for a tragedy to occur to remove the limitation that’s there now.”

Lawmakers consulted Secret Service while proposing the bill. The agency felt that the bill was “appropriate,” in offering continued protection.

“Former presidents routinely engage in diplomatic and humanitarian activities overseas. They serve as diplomatic emissaries and require frequent overseas travel,” said a law enforcement official. “As former presidents they remain symbols of our country, as symbols they can be potential targets to those seeking to do harm.”

The bill also alters the protection of children of former presidents. Under the old statute, children were to be protected for up to 10 years after their parents’ service or when they turned 16, whichever occurred first. Under the new act, it will protect minor children until they turn 16.

my comment...
The 1994 law came at a time when there 5 living former presidents. Nixon died that April and also gave up secret service protection in the 1980s. The law most likely came about because there were so many living former presidents, which has happened in the past. When Secret Service protection began for former presidents in 1965 there were only two living former presidents, Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover died the previous year, and by a few days after Richard Nixon's second term there were no former presidents alive. So far the 1994 law only applies to George W. Bush, but it was his administration that probably had the Secret Service rethinking the 1994. The world wasn't always happy with the United States in the early years of the war on terrorism, so if the suggestion by the Secret Service that revision of the law is necessary then we should listen to them.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

POTUS QUOTUS - GW SECOND INAUGURAL 1793 - "The First Second Inauguration"

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #19 - "No State of the Union for YOU!"

The State of the Union is reported to the Congress every year. As it says in the Constitution: "He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." George Washington established the precedent of addressing a joint session of Congress on the State of the Union, a practice continued until Thomas Jefferson ended the appearances. They were too magisterial to TJ, so after his first he sent his messages. That practice of sending a message ended with Woodrow Wilson and has continued since.

There have been two presidents that have not sent a message to the Congress describing the State of the Union. William Henry Harrison (WHH or Harrison 9) gave his inaugural address on March 4, 1841 and by April 4 of the same year he was dead. The first to POTUS to die in office. Some attribute his death to not wearing an overcoat while delivering the longest inaugural address on one of the coldest days in the city of Washington. But his pneumonia didn't set in until 3 weeks after the swearing-in. Before the 20th Amendment, the message to Congress didn't take place until December.

The other president was also a 19th Century POTUS, James A. Garfield. The fourth to die in office and the second to die of an assassin's bullet. Garfield was sworn in on March 4, 1881, twenty years after Harrison 9. While WHH maintains the title of shortest presidency, Garfield isn't far behind. He was shot at a train station on his way to his college reunion. Charles Guiteau was a disgruntled office seeker, but was denied a job. Guiteau shot Garfield in the back on July 2, 1881. Guiteau proclaimed "Arthur is now president!" Such a proclamation kept Vice President Chester A. Arthur from looking like he was involved. But Garfield did not die until September 19th. The gun shot wounds did not kill the president, but rather the attempts by his doctors to save the president's life. Since the address to Congress wouldn't take place until December, Garfield never had a chance to deliver a message.

POTUS QUOTUS - FDR STATE OF THE UNION 1935 - "Thank you for being a friend."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

POTUS Photus - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight David Eisenhower commanded the liberation force of Western Europe as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied powers during the World War II. He helped end the War in Europe and go on to be speculated as a potential presidential candidate. Nobody knew whether Eisenhower, aka Ike, was a Democrat or a Republican. President Harry Truman offered to be Ike's vice president if he wanted the Democratic nomination. Fear of the isolationist wing of the Republican Party from resurfacing and the understanding that the United States needed to play a role on the post-World War II stage, which after hostilities ended a cold war began. Also Ike had grown disdain of the Democratic Party, which had been in power (executive and legislative) since 1932 (with the exception of the 80th Congress from 1947-1949) and revealed he was a Republican.

He won the nomination in 1952 after defeating the non-interventionist wing of the party represented in a presidential grandson, Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. To appease the conservative wing of the party, Ike selected Richard Nixon of California. Nixon brought 39 years to the ticket (he'd be 40 by inauguration) to Ike's 62, and anti-communist fighting spirit that was popular in the early days of the Cold War. Nixon fought commies!

Ike chose to run for reelection and kept Nixon on the ticket in 1956. Just as in 1952, the Democrats put Governor Adlai Stevenson from Illinois up against Ike in '56 and he lost. Ike would leave the presidency a popular president, but his popularity didn't help his vice president win the 1960 election...although it was a close one. Ike would go on to see Nixon sworn in as the 37th POTUS the same year he passed away.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th POTUS
January 20, 1953-January 20, 1953
New York

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Steven's Lincoln

I loved Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, both as a student of history and of film. No longer is Henry Fonda the Abraham Lincoln of cinema, now it is Daniel Day-Lewis. 1860s America was brought to life in the Dreamworks picture set in the last four months of Lincoln's life.

It tells the story of a recently reelected Lincoln that seeks to pass the 13th Amendment before the end of his first term. A year and a half prior, Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation which limited freeing slaves in the rebel States. The 13th Amendment was to abolish it for all time by writing it into the Constitution. He must bring a divided Republican Party, conservatives and radicals, together while still trying to get Democratic support in the House of Representatives, the place where the legislative action takes place. We see the two sides argue like nothing C-SPAN has ever shown. Another obstacle Lincoln must face is the peace envoy from the rebel States. The peace talks are used as a reason not to pass the amendment.

Legislative procedure and wartime diplomacy are turned into a screenplay with the main tension: will Lincoln get the 13th Amendment passed in the House of Representatives? With the tension of the 3rd Act, Lincoln meeting with envoy from the South. Like a good character in any film, Lincoln has obstacles he must over come and what we get a glimpse of is 19th Century politics, as Lincoln plays politics to accomplish a truly noble goal of abolishing slavery with the 13th Amendment. We see Lincoln the politician, which all great presidents are. We also see Lincoln the man.

Lincoln shows his human side from visiting the troops, to giving piggy-back rides to his son Tad, to arguing with his wife. We also get to see the human side of other 19th Century figures and the struggles with accepting equality with blacks, both from a tolerant and intolerant view. The human side was brought to life, giving a glimpse of world known through historical bullet points.

This film was about a politician trying to do good for his country and it happened that it took place two months before his death. The film never really touched on his assassination, except for a couple of beats, once in the beginning and then again at the end. But it wasn't a rehash of the conspiracy that is well known...well to a good number of people. I'm sure a good portion know the basics of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy which 1/3 of was played out on April 14, 1865. Spoiler alert, for real too, we never see the Lincolns and the Rathbones (a total 19th Century sounding name) at Ford's Theater, just that Lincoln is running late for an evening out with the young couple. Just telling that moment in time can be an entire picture. Spielberg approaches the moment of assassination moment from the average Washingtonian that night in nation's capital with the young Tad as our emotional and character connection. All that is accomplished to also resolve the politician, human, and character by introducing the historical figure of Abraham Lincoln.

Friday, November 16, 2012

the Longest Time Since...Presidential Terms

The first time a presidential term was interrupted was by the death of William Henry Harrison, the 9th POTUS. 52 years is the longest, from George Washington to Harrison 9. A presidential term can be interrupted by natural death (#9, #12, #29, #32), by an assassin's bullet (#16, #20, #25, #35), by resignation (#37) and by removal (no president has been removed from office by impeachment, two presidents have been impeached...that's another pointless presidential pfact or more so the law of the land). The second longest time, starting with the 57th presidential term on January 20, 2013, 39 years and counting, is the current period starting with Gerald Ford in 1974 and hopefully uninterrupted.

1-1789-1841 52 years - 9 POTUS, 13 terms, start of 14
1841-death #9 WHH, succeed by #10 JT

2-1841-1850 9 years - 3 POTUS, 14 & 15th terms (2), start of 16th
1850-death #12 ZT, succeed by #13 MF

3-1850-1865 15 years - 4 POTUS, 16-19th terms (4), start of 20th
1865-assassination #16 AL, succeed by #17 AJ

4-1865-1881 16 years - 4 POTUS, 20-23rd terms (4), start of 24th
1881-assassination #20 JAG, succeed by #21 CAA

5-1881-1901 20 years - 5 POTUS, 24-28th (5), start of 29th
1901-assassination #25 WM, succeed by #26 TR

6-1901-1923 22 years - 4 POTUS, 29-33rd (5), start of 34th
1923-death #29 WGH, succeed by #30 CC

7-1923-1945 22 years - 3 POTUS, 34-39th (6), start of 40th
1945-death #32 FDR, succeed by #33 HST

8-1945-1963 18 years - 3 POTUS, 40-43rd (4), start of 44th
1963-assassination #35 JFK, succeed by #36 LBJ

9-1963-1974 11 years - 2 POTUS, 44-46th (3), start of 47th
1974-resignation #37 RN, succeed by #38 GF

10-1974-present as of 2013, 39 years - 7 POTUS, 47-present which is the start of the 57th (11)

No Labels is their Label

No Labels:

No Labels is a non-partisan attempt at making our government work better, bringing people of different ideologies together for the United States of America. They suggest 12 ways to make Congress work, from common sense ideas of a work schedule and getting a non-partisan fiscal report, which would be televised. Some other ideas are more creative and interesting which makes the list different with things like question time for the president of the United States, like the Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, or "no budget, no pay". There is even a suggestion of bipartisan social mixers. "Hey! The Dems are having a mixer tonight at the GOP house, you want to come?" Well they might be the next thing up from from fraternity mixers, but some of the games might open these people up to one-another and as our history has shown relationships seem to make political ideology fall to love of country. See: the on-again off-again on-again friendship of presidential team (1797-1801) and twice opponents (1796 and 1800), John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; the 1976 opponents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter; and 1992 opponents George Bush and William Jefferson Clinton.

The odds of these things happening, are like a third party candidate winning a presidential election. These were the kinds of things I think of when I hear the word change, especially in then-Senator Barack Obama's 2008 "Hope and Change" election. As president, he would try to be above politics, but looked like he was letting the opposition walk all over him both in attitude and the "just say no!" take on every issue. He tried, but he could use the office more. Enjoy you're the president and do what Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan did and have members of Congress over for drinks. I'd be having cocktail nights, entertaining it up. Hopefully it'd be in the days where marijuana was legal, bhang chocolates would be served.

But I think of things like this list, so while I enjoyed the list and want to see it fulfilled, I think there are other things missing from my perspective. Here's what I would add:

1. Primary Election Reform: Most would say the Electoral College needs to be repealed, but that would require a Constitutional amendment and turn the large populated areas into the deciding factors in elections. It was created to prevent the big States like New York and Virgina deciding the election over the smaller States during the early republic. Today it would be California and Texas. But we do elect our State Governors by popular vote, so why not use the state model at the federal level. Aren't the States supposed to be the experiment in democracy? But with the exception of four elections (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000), presidents normally win both the popular and electoral votes. It's 2012, so it's a recent political event and fresh like it wasn't before since 1888 was the last time it happened. So, no Electoral College reform, but how the party's nominate the vice presidential candidate.

Since FDR presidential candidates have had a say over the second spot on the ticket versus the party or party bosses. While the vice presidential elected with the president in the general election, he is appointed to the nomination and the party basically gives him (or her) approval without question. So it's not a real vote for the would-be president. The primary election should either have a ranked ballot (first choice, second, third) or rated (vote for more than one and tally the overall votes). Another option is have the primaries contested like the pre-12th Amendment general elections. From 1789-1800, the winner with the most electoral votes was president and the gentlemen in second place became vice president. In 2004, the Democratic nominee, John Kerry, picked John Edwards, the person that came in second, as his running mate. So it's happened, but make that the party rules to get the vice presidential nomination. President Obama chose one of his opponents, but not the candidate with the second most number of votes. You have to go back to 1980, for the last time a Republican did that when Ronald Reagan picked George Bush.

The reason it shouldn't be the presidential candidate's decision, sometimes called the only presidential decision the non-incumbent gets. We get political-choice candidates, instead of governing choice. See: Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. But also Dick Cheney. Cheney was supposed to find someone for George W. Bush in 2000 and he came to the conclusion he was the right choice for the job. Cheney was right for the job, especially verse Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. But there's plenty of evidence that he had too much power as he's been described as the most powerful vice president in U.S. history, especially how he got his nomination, let alone the general election.

So if a first place in the primary gets the top of the ticket and the second place gets the bottom of the ticket you have an easy remedy. But there's even the other option, that some of the candidates openly run for vice president. Have a separate ballot for the vice presidential nomination, like some of the lieutenant governors in various states, California is one that elects the governor and lt. governor separately verse a ticket like the president/vice president. Most of the candidates aren't qualified for president (2012 Republican Primary) or don't register with votes unlike other candidates (Obama vs. Biden during the 2008 Democratic Primary, yes Biden had supporters but nowhere near enough to be a real threat to Obama). The only problem these last two options bring is the possibility of a poor working relationship and the president is the one that decides what the vice president does while in office.

2. Share Power with Vice President. The president will still be the most powerful person in the world and the head of government and state for the United States of America, it's just look at the responsibility and stress that ages a man in a single term. Just compare Obama's hair in 2008 vs. 2012. If the way we reform how a vice president gets the nomination, increase his or her's responsibility would seem only natural and elevate fears of being banished to attending funerals, casting tie-votes, and checking the health of the POTUS.

3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate. After the vice president, the next in line of succession is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the vice president, or President of the Senate's counterpart in the lower house of Congress. After the Speaker, the next in line is the President pro tempore, essentially the vice president to the President of the Senate. So when the vice president is absent, the President of the Senate is the pro tempore. Since the 81st Congress, the Senate has elected the senior most member of the party in power. Whereas before the pro tempore was elected to preside when the vice president was absent or the office was vacant, since before the mid-20th Century vice presidents didn't have much else to do but preside over the Senate and keep their mouth shut. The pro tempore should be treated like the Speaker of the House, elected by it's members. Essentially the Senate Majority Leader would be second in the upper house's leadership under the pro tempore. Give him or her similar powers as the Speaker, since the job comes with better pay and place in the line of succession. It shouldn't be for the senior member, who might not be ready for prime-time aka presidential readiness.

4. Regional Primaries. The States of the various regions should settle on a date for primary elections, which would save the sanity of the candidates and the voters. The States would still run their own elections, just coordinate the election day.

5. Simple Majority. The Senate needs to return to abiding by the "simple majority" rule to pass legislation in the upper chamber. For too long, in a 100 member Senate, 60 votes is needed to accomplish anything. The reason it is 60 instead of 51 votes, is because it takes 60 votes to end debate, which is known as cloture.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #18 - "The Winning Party"

It's not a competition, but if it were, the Republican Party has won more presidential elections out of the 57 that have taken place since the Constitution took effect in 1789. Sort of.

With George Washington having been unanimously elected twice in 1789 and 1792, he's always been associated with no political party. It can be argued that he leaned toward the Federalists rather than Jefferson's anti-federalists. But he was above all that, except by the end of his term it was getting politically heated. He warned famously in his farewell address to avoid political factions. Eventually a two-party political system would form and evolve over the course of U.S. political history. With Vice President John Adams' victory in 1796, Federalists remained in power. The only Federalist to be elected president.

In 1800, the country would experience the first change in power from one political faction to another. With Vice President Thomas Jefferson's victory in the election, which had to be decided in the House of Representatives because of a tie vote with Aaron Burr his supposed-to-be-running-mate, Jefferson brought to power his anti-federalist group which became known as the Democratic-Republicans. They would defeat every Federalist candidate in the elections from 1804-1824. That's 7 election wins. The 1820, the Era of Good Feelings was good because there was no opposition party. The Federalists were not a threat to James Monroe's reelection. He won all the electoral votes except one, so that Washington would remain the only president unanimously elected. Since there was no opposition, in 1824 four candidates ran for president as a Democratic-Republican. In that election, Andrew Jackson would receive a plurality of both popular and electoral votes, but with no clear majority the House of Representatives would decide. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, son of the 2nd POTUS, would be the winner in the House.

Jackson would campaign against the administration for the next four years and in a rematch in 1828 defeat President Adams, who ran as a National Republican. The next elections from 1832 until 1852, the new Democratic Party would go up against the Whigs. The Whig Party would win only 2 elections, 1840 and 1848.

Starting in 1856, the Democrats would face a new political party, the Republican Party. The Democrats would win 22 elections between 1828 and 2012, while the GOP would win 23 elections starting in 1860 through 2004. Yes, 23 is a bigger number than 22, but 3 of the elections that the GOP won actually had the Democratic nominee winning the popular vote in 1876, 1888, and 2000. So it can be said that the Democrats won the popular vote 25 times to the Republican's 20 wins in the popular vote. But like the Constitution says, it's the Electoral College winner that wins the presidency. 23-22.

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #17 - "Back-to-Back 50 Percenters (R)"

There have only been four Republican presidents that have been elected back-to-back with 50% or more of the popular vote. Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 an 1872. William McKinley in 1896 and 1900. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. The last Republican to win 50% or more of the popular vote was George W. Bush in 2004, which was the first time since his father's run in 1988. In 2000, Bush 43 had less popular votes than Al Gore but more importantly had a majority of electoral votes.

POTUS Photus - Harry S. Truman

Harry, and the "S" stands for neither Shipp nor Solomon, just S. Truman was the lucky one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice presidents. Not so lucky for FDR, of course. The first two terms of FDR, had John Nance Garner on the bottom of the ticket, the second of two incumbent Speakers to be elected vice president. The other was Schuyler Colfax, the 17th VPOTUS during the 18th president's first term aka Ulysses S. (here's another presidential name that needs talking about) Grant. JNG was the 32nd VPOTUS under FDR, the 32nd POTUS. Garner was a conservative, once an ally of FDR and his policy began to openly oppose President Roosevelt expanding the centralized power's of the government. Vice President Garner was even opposed to a third term, and ran against FDR for the nomination. FDR had no trouble getting the nomination for a third time and chose his secretary of Agriculture as his running mate, Henry A. Wallace. Vice President Wallace, the 33rd VPOTUS, was put to work for the administration. Wallace was popular and the opposite of conservative VPOTUS #32. In 1944, with FDR's health declining fear of a Wallace presidency sent the nomination to the senator from Missouri, Harry S. Truman.

Truman became the 34th VPOTUS on January 20, 1945 and became the 33rd POTUS 82 days later. One of the shortest vice presidency in U.S. political history. President Truman later appointed his vice presidential predecessor to head the Department of Commerce. Truman would come into office with no knowledge of the Manhattan Project, the atomic bomb being developed by the United States. Truman would use two bombs to end the war in the Pacific, ending World War II and launching the Cold War between the United States and it's western allies and the Soviet Union and their allied Communist governments. He was somewhere on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, when news of the first bomb was dropped.

While he helped reshape the foreign policy of a post-World War II Earth along with the other victorious nation, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the continuation of that long growth of understanding that the vice presidency is somewhat important to the governing of the nation, especially in a new world order. The Truman Doctrine, which wanted to contain communist expansion against the USSR and the Marshall Plan's rebuilding Europe, both integral to the early years of the Cold War. Passed In 1947, the National Security Act created the national security council which included the vice president. It also abolished the Department of War and put in its place the Department of Defense. The Presidential Succession Act was revamped, switching the order from Vice President, Secretary of State and the cabinet officers to the Vice President, then the Speaker of the House, then the President Pro Tempore, the cabinet offices in order of creation starting with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of Defense replaced the Secretary of War in succession.

He would go on to run for reelection in his own right in 1948. He would follow in the footsteps the other 20th Century vice presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge, that succeeded to the presidency through death and win in the next election. 1948 was a close election against New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, a Republican. The Chicago Daily Tribune ended election night with a paper headline declaring Dewey the winner. Truman went to bed not knowing if he won or lost, even as everyone was declaring Dewey president. The president woke up as the president-elect, something he had never been before.

The Cold War would turn hot with the proxy war in Korea. The communist north, supported by China invaded the free south. 30,000 U.S. soldiers died in a war that ended in a stalemate. Truman's popularity would go down.

Going down would also describe the piano leg that poked a hole into the first floor ceiling in the White House. The Executive Mansion was getting old and it needed to be reenforced. Truman abandoned the White House, the second president since James Madison. The Trumans moved into the Blair House across the street, while the insides of the president's house were gutted. The shell of the White House was not to be destroyed in any way. Vehicles were taken apart and put back together inside to tear down insides. The White House was updated to the best technology the middle of the 20th Century could provide when construction started at the end of 1949.

While living at the Blair House in 1950, two Puerto Rico nationalists, opened fire as they attempted to make their way into the house. A secret service agent was killed in the line of duty. The president was a sleep in bed, just up the stairs from the action. One of the attempted assassins was shot, while the other was sentenced to death. Truman commuted the sentence to life in prison in 1952, the same year he moved back into the White House.

When the Republicans briefly had control of the 80th Congress of the United States in 1947, the Do Nothing Congress, as named by Truman, they passed the 22nd Amendment which the States ratified by 1951. The amendment limited the president to two terms. It was a response to four election victories by Franklin Roosevelt from 1932-1944. But the amendment would not effect the incumbent president. So Truman was free to run for his own second term in 1952. Had he won, he would have served from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1957. (Assuming he wasn't going to run in 1956 for his own third.) He would've been in office for almost 12 years. But he saw the writing on the wall when he lost the New Hampshire primary. The Veep, Alben Barkley, Truman's vice presidential running mate in the 1948 election would be denied the presidential nomination because he was too old at the age of 74.

Truman would end his presidency very unpopular and would go on to be considered a great POTUS, something that President George W. Bush talked about a lot during the low days of his second term. Truman would go on to live almost 20 years out of office as a former president. During Richard Nixon's two terms in office, the last of the living former presidents would die, Dwight Eisenhower at the start of his first term and Harry S. Truman at the end of 1972 and three weeks later Lyndon B. Johnson, days after the inauguration of Nixon's second term. His wife Bess would live until 1982 and the rearranged government he established would last until Bush 43 reorganized it in 2003. It's the oval (office) of (presidential) life.

Harry S. Truman
33rd POTUS
April 12, 1945-January 20, 1953

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pointless Presidential 'Pinion - Hillary's Term Off

When the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton steps down from her cabinet position in President Barack Obama's administration, she will be leaving the political stage. She's been on it for twenty years as the First Lady of Arkansas, a wife of a presidential candidate, the First Lady of the United States, a United States Senator from New York, a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, and her current job. I thought she was ready for the job then, and even more so now.

Once she's no longer in office, she should enjoy some time to herself as a private citizen and think about the possibility of running for the presidency. The outcome of the 2016 election isn't certain. Remember, Obama is the third president to get reelected to a second term and the terms switched parties after 8 years. Sure, the majority of voters in 2000 voted for the incumbent party's Vice President Al Gore, the Democrats, but the Electoral College ended up favoring the Republican candidate, Governor George W. Bush of Texas. Before 2000, Vice President George Bush was the first incumbent vice president to succeed to the president since the 1836 team of President Andrew Jackson and Vice President Martin Van Buren. But before Bush 41 followed Ronald Reagan in office, the Republicans hadn't succeeded each other since Herbert Hoover succeeded Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

For the Democrats you have to go back to the 1850s of a Democrat succeeding a Democrat, both served one term. James Buchanan followed Franklin Pierce in 1856. This was excluding vice presidents that succeeded through death and ran on their own and won the following election, like Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Calvin Coolidge in 1924. There can be an argument made that is an example of another administration succeeding the one elected the previous election cycle but the president didn't complete the term. So all that is to show Secretary Clinton's non-guaranteed election in 2016 if she decides to run.

Just because she's a woman, with ambition, will be 69 in 2016, and she represents the past, not a move forward, are the things her opponents would suggest before digging up the things they threw at her as First Lady, but didn't seem to be an issue after two senatorial election wins, as the 2nd best vote getter in her party's race for the nomination, or her confirmation by the U.S. Senate to her cabinet post. Those people that hate Hillary, will bring up Benghazi since she was the head of the State Department when it happened and her vote for the Iraq War Resolution. In terms of Benghazi, she asked the Congress for appropriations to defend the embassy but was denied by Republicans. That needs to be answered and her role should not be a problem. In terms of Iraq, I can argue she made a political decision to look strong in 2002, she didn't face reelection like some of her other colleagues however. The Republican Leadership in the House put it to a vote in October of 2002, just before a mid-term election. Hillary probably didn't want to look weak as a future presidential candidate or just as women in politics, or she was just wrong. It hurt her big time in 2008, but somehow has faded away. What supporters of that belief, that her vote should mean something, forget that Bush 43 was president and pulled the trigger. She argues she didn't want to tie the president's hands in a time of war, just a year after 9/11. It didn't stop her from pursuing the nomination in 2008 and earned nearly 18 million votes in the primary, second to Barack Obama.

It's acceptable for all the men that have run for office to seek it no matters the odds against him, but not for a woman. If we lived in another time, a political party would step aside for someone with Clinton's background, but there might be some men that challenge her. If a woman wants to be ambitious, she should expect a man to treat her as he would treat a male opponent. But that could hurt the party if someone with less political capital won the nomination for some reason, since Clinton does so well with blacks, Latinos, and of course women and as the highest approval ratings as a politician in 2012. Her opponent on the left, and her would-be-Republican-general-election opponent, would only be able to offer "youth and inexperience," to quote Reagan.

Just like Reagan, she'll be 69 if she gets the nomination. Age shouldn't be a factor for her, but more so for Vice President Joe Biden if he decides to run as a 73 year old turning 74 about 2 weeks after the November 2016 election. Alben Barkley was 74 and told his age lost him his support. And Clinton's mom lived until she was 92, if like mother, like daughter.

While "Forward" was this year's campaign phrase for President Obama, a 69 year old former secretary of state on the political stage for so many years might not seem appropriate if she were the nominee. But it could be. Her age shouldn't matter to begin with just her health, so any woman candidate would be change, something that every election (reelection included) and new president bring. This would be the first female, since the office began in 1789. White males aren't the future, but there will be another white male president, there were 43 in a row. There might be one elected in 2016, Republican or Democrat...pretty sure no independent (but that would be cool). Her past makes her the most qualified female. Some would argue a female State governor could too, like a Nikki Haley, of South Carolina. Wouldn't that be interesting? The first female nomination for president is from both major political parties. Right now, no females are in the whisper campaign on the Republican's also a week after the 2012 election and gentlemen with a brief political resume like Obama, Grover Cleveland, and Abraham Lincoln got their nomination verses someone like Buchanan, Johnson 36, Nixon, and Bush 41. A young woman can be ambitious too.

But everyone has time. A lot in our political system needs to change. Make the government something that every citizen can be proud of rather than disparage it. Especially the process to elect the president and vice president. When Hillary has time off these next four years, she should not only rest and relax but enjoy the United States. She's traveled the world these last four, she needs to get reacquainted with the home-front. But not run to Iowa and New Hampshire...all the 50 States in some non-political order. Shake things up. A small populated state of white Iowa, doesn't represent the United States. Also, save political candidates from all sides and the nation of news followers by having the States coordinate their primary elections into regional events. But that will never come, because change never seems to happen...or it does. But it's real slow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

POTUS Photus - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 44th Governor of New York the year he was elected POTUS in 1932. He defeated the incumbent, Herbert Hoover, who had to deal with the stock market crash of 1929. Prior to his term as governor of New York, he served as Woodrow Wilson's Assistant Secretary of the Navy, just like his cousin Theodore Roosevelt, who was the 33rd Governor of New York and the 26th POTUS. While TR went from the governorship to the vice presidency in 1901, the ticket of James Cox and FDR lost the White House in 1920, so FDR never served as vice president but was his party's choice for the office.

When FDR was sworn in as the 32nd President of the United States on March 4, 1933, the Great Depression was in full force. Since there was such a lag between the November 1932 election and the inauguration in March of 1933, the 20th Amendment was passed establishing the new start date for both the new Congress (January 3rd) and the new president, January 20th, which would take effect by the next presidential term. FDR used the federal government to help turn the tide of the depression by creating federal programs called the New Deal which would shape American politics for a generation. He would break with a precedent established by George Washington of serving two presidential terms by running for a third term in 1940. During his second term war broke out in Europe and in his 3rd term the Japanese Empire "suddenly and deliberately attack" our base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. FDR would become a wartime president and use that mantle as a reason not to change horse midstream when the 1944 election came around. He would win a fourth term, but not live to see the end.

He had 3 vice presidents, John Nance Garner of Texas served the first two terms, Henry Wallace served the 3rd and with FDR's health on the decline fear of the left-leaning Wallace becoming president, a more suitable candidate replaced him, Harry S. Truman was his 4th term VPOTUS and his successor. FDR would eventually be ranked behind Washington and Abraham Lincoln as one of our nation's greatest presidents, having presided over the nation during the Great Depression and World War II. Because of his monopoly of presidential elections from 1932-1944, the 22nd Amendment was passed establishing a two-term limit for presidents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd POTUS
March 4, 1932-April 12, 1945
New York

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #16 - "Back-to-Back 50 Percenters (D)"

Barack Obama is one of only 3 Democratic presidents to be reelected back-to-back with over 50% of the popular vote. Franklin Roosevelt received over 50% of the popular vote in all four of his elections (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944). Before FDR, you have to go back to the first Democrat elected president, Andrew Jackson won both his elections (1828, 1836) with over 50%. In 2008, Obama was the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter's 1976 election to receive 50% of the popular vote.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #15 - "Florida, Florida, Florida"

With the Romney campaign conceding Florida, the State's role in presidential elections goes beyond being a swing state. Unlike in 2000, the State's outcome would determine the next president. 2000 was the last presidential with where the popular vote winner was not the electoral vote winner. In 1876, the first time the popular vote winner was not also the electoral vote winner, Florida played a role. Florida was one of three States, where their electoral votes were in dispute. Each party claimed the right to their slate of electors, those that would vote in the Electoral College. Rutherford B. Hayes had a majority and one more electoral vote than Samuel Tilden, his opponent. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ended the recounts in Florida, which then allowed George W. Bush to claim the needed electoral votes to win the presidency against Al Gore. In 1876, a commission of 15 was set up to determine the disputed votes and the Compromise of 1877 gave Hayes the presidency and removed federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.

Pfuture Presidential Politics - Clinton/Bush '16

Hillary Clinton leads in the Iowa polls for the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 2016. Yes, it is too early to even think of politics from the future, since the politics in Mrs. Clinton's past show that from 2002-2008 you can be the frontrunner for the next presidential election and still not get it. But really, 2016 is more her's now than it was in 2008. Vice President Joe Biden comes in second to her in the poll and in the lead if she is not in the poll. She is the most popular politician in the United States and I'm sure the vice president is not far behind.

The lead Republican candidate, not in an Iowan poll but considered by political insiders, is another familiar name, Jeb Bush, son of the 41st POTUS and brother to the 43 POTUS, and governor of Florida. He was a candidate the base of the GOP wanted among a few others, instead of the options before them in 2008. He a moderate in a party that leans more right, so he's more 41 than 43, but still Bush 43 is more moderate than the current make-up of the GOP. Bush also appeals to Hispanic and Latino voters, not just because of his governorship of State with a large population of those voters, but he is fluent in Spanish and married a Mexican-born American.

The idea that 2016 will bring back the two famous political families is what political junkies crave for in the long four years away. The Bushes have been on a ticket in 6 elections, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004. The Clintons just 1992 and 1996. The families are now closer than in the year 1992 and even 2000, when George W. Bush challenged William Jefferson Clinton's vice president, Al Gore. Defeating Gore, even without the popular vote was vindication for Clinton defeating George H. W. Bush in 1992. I can only imagine what a former first lady against the son of a former president would mean.

But since the families are closer now, than they were in the past, they should use that to their advantage. President Bush 41 and President Clinton have had to work together for Hurricane and Earthquake relief throughout the world on behalf of President Bush 43 while he was in office. Clinton as a youth lacked a father, and some have said Bush 41 has become a father-like figure to him as they've boned as former presidents. Bush 43 is a month older than Clinton, so Bush 41 as a father figure to Clinton makes sense. Just as these two political opponents have come together, maybe it will take these two political families to unite a divided nation. Divided maybe by realities, but the hatred and vitriol towards the person of another political persuasion. All that's missing is a 21st Century Fort Sumter. But a Clinton/Bush ticket could help remedy it.

Here's how I see the politics of it in an ideal world. This country already has two realities, let's see a third. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush run as one ticket. Democratic on top and Republican on the bottom. The ticket can even run as the National Union Party, a la Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Andrew Johnson, a Democrat. But if that's too Civil War era-ish, then it should be a split ticket. Hillary should be the presidential nominee because, the Democrats are in power and she is the frontrunner in her party. She also holds the higher title in the government as a former secretary of state verses a former governor. The two could only campaign for their ticket of unity and not for congressional (House and Senate) candidates. If elected, a Vice President Jeb Bush has the option to opt out of reelection but can't run against Clinton's reelection unless of course he resigns. That would have to be a dire circumstance, since the idea is to show the two can work together. They would work toward reelection together four years later (now we're talking about the 2020 election). In 2024 (yep another election), assuming reelection of the unity ticket is a success, a President Hillary Clinton can abstain from endorsing a successor or endorses her Vice President, to not only show that she was right to select him (selecting a vice president is a whole other story) but that it would go with their administration's example of country first, instead of political party.

But those things don't happen in the United States anymore.

POTUS Photus - Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States. He was the last cabinet secretary to become president. He served as Commerce Secretary to President Calvin Coolidge before winning the presidency in 1928. His term would be marred by the stock market crash of 1929. He would run for reelection in 1932 against New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and lose. Democrats would run against Hoover for a generation. President Harry Truman would help rehabilitate Hoover's image by putting him to work overseeing what the US needed to do to help Germany recover and later to help reorganize the federal departments of the government. Hoover died in 1964, until his death he had the longest retirement post-presidency until Jimmy Carter surpassed him in September 7, 2012. He was also the second longest-lived president after John Adams, both were surpassed by Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

Herbert Hoover
31st POTUS

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #14 - "Reelection to a 2nd Term"

This is what I messaged upon the reelection of Barack Obama: 3 presidents were reelected in a row...hasn't happened since Jefferson, Madison, Monroe. nerdalert!!!

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #13 - "Calling the Winner!!!"

After the People cast their votes determining which candidate wins the electoral votes of the States, the electors cast their vote for both president and vice president in the Electoral College. In a Joint-Session of Congress, the VPOTUS, as president of the Senate, presides and counts the votes. Sometimes the new president that is proclaimed ran against the VPOTUS during the general election, Richard Nixon announced JFK in 1960, Hubert Humphrey announced Nixon in 1968, and Al Gore, the popular vote winner, announced George W. Bush in 2000. We'll see if Joe Biden will get to do what Dick Cheney did in 2004 or what Dan Quayle did in 1992 (or similar to Cheney in 2008 announcing the opposition party the victory.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

POTUS Photus - Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge became the 30th President of the United States on August 2, 1923, after the death of Warren Harding. Coolidge was the incumbent Governor of Massachusetts, when he was elected the 29th vice president in 1920. Coolidge became the second successful vice president that ascended to the presidency after the death of a president to go on to become elected in his own right in 1924. Theodore Roosevelt was the first twenty years prior. Coolidge was the 3rd vice president to succeed to the presidency after the president died of natural causes, while he's the 6th to succeed because of death, aka an assassin's bullet. Coolidge was a conservative president in a prosperous America becoming a favorite of the man ten president more, Ronald Reagan. Whereas Reagan was known as the Great Communicator, Coolidge was more of a quiet guy with the nickname Silent Cal. This was a president known for not saying much. The famous story of a dinner guest sitting next to President Coolidge at a dinner goes like this...The guest leans over to the president and tells him that she bet a friend she could get the president to say more than two words. Coolidge says, "You lose."

Calvin Coolidge
30th POTUS
August 2, 1923-1929

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #12 - "The Popular Candidates"

In 2008, Barack Obama received the most popular votes in a single election with 69.5 million votes. The second most number of votes in a single election went to George W. Bush in 2004 with 62 million. The person with the next most after Bush 43 went to John McCain in 2008 with 60 million, followed next by John Kerry in 2004 with 59 million. Ronald Reagan is next in 1984 with 54.5 million, a number that made him the person with the most popular votes in a single election until Bush 43's reelection. Before 2004, the closest any presidential candidate came to Reagan's 54.5 million was Al Gore in 2000 with 51 million votes. All numbers rounded.

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #11 - "Popular Vote Losing Presidents"

Four times in our nation's history the person that lost the popular vote became president. The first one was in 1824, but not all the States counted the popular votes. In that election, 4 candidates spread out the popular votes cast and the electoral votes won. However, Andrew Jackson had a plurality of both the popular and electoral votes, but since there was no majority the House of Representatives decided the winner and they chose John Quincy Adams.

The next time the person with more popular votes would lose the Electoral College was in 1876. By then all the States in the Union were casting popular votes. Democrat Samuel Tilden lost to Rutherford B. Hayes by one electoral vote. In this election, the electoral votes of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina were in question, both parties claimed victory in those States with electors ready to vote for each candidate. To determine which candidate received the votes, a commission was set up and just days before the March 4th inauguration the Compromise of 1877 took place giving Hayes the votes to win if he promised to remove federal troops from the South, thus ending Reconstruction.

12 years after that election, the outcome had the popular vote winner losing the presidency. President Grover Cleveland was defeated by Benjamin Harrison. Unlike 1876, there was no confusion just a clear victor in the popular vote and and Electoral College, just two different people. No problems like in '76 or in the next election with a similar outcome.

The country wouldn't experience an election like 1876 or 1888 again until the year 2000. But this election was more like 1876 and 1824 than 1888. This time one State, Florida brought about the chaos. The vote count in Florida was so close that Vice President Al Gore rescinded his concession because a recount was possible since it was so close. The Florida Supreme Court allowed the recounts, but the Bush campaign appealed to the United States Supreme Court which then stopped the recount, thus awarding the State's electoral votes to Bush.

Some pointless similarities...All the popular vote winners in 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000 lost the Electoral College and were Democrats (Andrew Jackson would eventually go on to form the party by the next election). Jackson and Grover Cleveland ran four years after losing the Electoral College and defeated the incumbent presidents, Samuel Tilden and Al Gore never attempted a rematch. With the exception of 1876, all the Electoral College winners were ancestors of a president. 1824, John Quincy Adams' father was the 2nd president. 1888, Benjamin Harrison's grandfather was the 9th president. 2000, George W. Bush's father was the 41st president. Out of all the popular vote losers from those four elections, George W. Bush is the only one to win reelection, winning both the popular and the electoral votes in 2004.

Pointless Presidential 'Pinion - Obama's a Divider, not a Uniter?

It's funny that Obama is considered the divisive politician or the reason for the divided nation when he was the one that ran on HOPE and CHANGE in '08. That hope and change was changing the divided nation of the previous 8 years. What happened...the Republicans did the opposite of what they did from 2001-2007, they took Nancy Reagan's advice and just said no to anything President Obama proposed or suggested. Anything he was for they were against, even though they were for it before they were against it (John Kerry!). Then their plan is made clear by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring the GOP goal is to make Obama a one term president. How is this divided country Obama's fault? George Bush was elected with a minority of the popular vote in 2000 (oh no there's that history again) and after Gore conceded, Bush proclaimed he was a uniter not a divider. Instead of uniting the country he acted as if he had a mandate to do whatever he wanted. It took the 9/11 attacks (Obama's failure with Benghazi is much worse than Bush's failure for the original 9/11, re: sarcasm), to unite the country and then Bush fucks that up (he didn't fuck everything up) by declaring/creating the Axis of Evil which was our march to the war of choice. Blaming Obama for our problems (he's not perfect) just proves we as a nation have a short attention span. To think Bush created a mess over his 8 years and Obama was to fix it in just 4 while dealing with politicians that can't behave like professionals simply because Obama is a Democrat.

POTUS Photus - Warren G. Harding

44 days before the November 6th election day of 2012, I instagramed (or is it instagrammed) a countdown to the election pictures of all the presidents starting with George Washington and ending today with President Barack Obama.

For most of the POTUS Challenge the pictures were simply the portraits of the presidents. But as I started posting the presidents of the early 20th Century the pictures became more candid shots.

Warren Harding was the 29th POTUS. Elected in 1920 from Ohio. He was the first incumbent senator to win the presidency, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama were the only other incumbent senators elected. Harding was a Republican that promised a return to normalcy after the two term Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Harding would end up dying in office in 1923 while on a visit to the West Coast. His vice president, Calvin Coolidge would succeed him.

Warren Harding
29th POTUS
1921-August 2, 1923

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #10 - "Cleveland's Popular, the President not the City"

Grover Cleveland gets remembered for being the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms or as the first Democrat elected president since the Civil War. He was also the second bachelor elected in 1884, after James Buchanan in 1856, but that changed when he became the first to get married in the Executive Mansion to the 21 year old, he was 49, Francis Cleveland, the youngest first lady. His non-consecutive two terms wasn't intentional, he lost reelection in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison. Harrison 23, not to be confused with his grandfather William Henry Harrison, the 9th POTUS, won the Electoral College and Cleveland won the popular vote. Unlike the other elections where the popular vote winner lost the Electoral College, this was the only one that was accepted and no commission formed, no Supreme Court involvement, and the Congress didn't have to decide anything. Harrison won, Cleveland lost. When Cleveland returned 4 years later for a rematch, President vs. Former President, he won becoming the first former president to do so. Cleveland's buddy Theodore Roosevelt would come close in 1912 to be the second but no luck there. So Cleveland won the popular vote 3 elections in a row, but he never got over 50% of the vote, and he wasn't renominated in 1896 to try for a fourth consecutive run because of the economic depression, aka the Panic of 1893. The worst depression to face the country until the Great Depression, where a four consecutive term president would handle that and a second world war. That's another Roosevelt and another pointless presidential pfact.

2012 Prediction

My first time voting was in 1996, and after I cast my vote I felt I was voting for the winner of the election. In the end, I was was William Jefferson Clinton. I didn't predict his election, but somehow knew he'd be reelected. I was a registered Republican for a couple of months before switching to the Democratic Party just before the election. I turned 18 in July of '96 and, of course, the election was in November.

In 2000, I voted for the incumbent vice president, and somehow believed and thought he would win. I voted the day of the election and of course had no idea that the outcome would not be revealed until December 13, 2000. I don't know why I thought he'd win, even though the popular vote would support my notion that Al Gore was more popular among the electorate than the actual winner, Governor George Bush of Texas. I should've known better since only 4 incumbent vice presidents have won a presidential election. At that point in 2000, Vice President George Bush was the first incumbent vice president to win since Martin Van Buren in 1936. Notice I used the Bush's titles to differentiate them rather than their middle initials. Of course, had Gore used more of President Bill Clinton and simply won his own home state he'd have won the election.

Historically, with the exception of Samuel Tilden, the person that won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote, returned 4 years later and defeated the president elected simply by the Electoral College. Andrew Jackson had the most votes in 1824, but John Quincy Adams was eventually elected president by the House of Representatives because neither candidate had a majority in the Electoral college. President Grover Cleveland won the popular vote in 1888, but Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College. Four years later, former president Cleveland defeated President Harrison in a rematch. In 2004, Gore joined Tilden by not running again against the man that lost the popular vote but won the presidency. Most likely, Gore didn't run in '04 because Bush was a wartime president and no Democrat was going to beat him. If you asked me on September 10, 2001, if Gore were to run in '04, I'd say he would win. But if you asked me on September 12, 2001, in a post-9/11 America, I'd tell you that Bush would win reelection. I predicted it on that tragic day and proof that Bush was unbeatable is that Gore didn't run and the other most popular Democrat, Hillary Clinton, didn't run. Sure she was a first term U.S. Senator from New York, but in 2002 she was considered a front-runner for the presidential nomination on the Democratic side. But she knew, like Gore did, that she'd lose to a popular wartime president. Called it!

If you follow President Bush's ratings from 9/11, you'll see he has the highest approval rating since his father after the Gulf War. But if you follow those numbers they go down, and a chart would show that if the election of 2004 were in December the president would probably lose. And his poll numbers just kept going down from there. So by 2008, there was no way a Republican could win the presidency. The presidential election of 2008 was pretty much determined during the 2008 Democratic primary/caucus elections between then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Once Obama won the nomination it was clear that he'd be winner in November.

As I write this and explain my justifications for the '04 an '08 election predictions, the evidence for reelection was so clear. Since Obama's election in 2008, I've predicted his reelection. As Election Day approaches, it looks like 2012 will be another 2004, 1976, or a 1968 to name a few close elections. But I've always thought that he was unbeatable, maybe it's like my vote for Clinton in '96 and Gore in '00, but the evidence for his reelection is there. The Republicans in 2012 nominated Mitt Romney out of a field that included fringe candidates and the lone logical candidate in Jon Huntsman, and he got no love whereas all those others scared Romney at least once by out polling him. In 2012, the Republicans had to choose a candidate out of the B-team (I don't think B-team is right, maybe Z-team), the no-love-candidate Jon Huntsman, and Etch A Sketch Mitt Romney. The A-Team of the Republican Party didn't show up, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Jeb Bush, to name a few. Jeb Bush at least had his last name as a reason not run.

My prediction of Obama's '12 victory was confirmed by the A-Team GOPers skipping the race because they knew they couldn't defeat a popular president like Obama, just like Gore and Hillary skipping '04. Now if I am wrong, I'll admit it and those A-Team GOPers will be upset that they didn't step up. If I am wrong, I'll still predict that a President Romney will win reelection in 2016, because the economy will be better in the 2013-2017 presidential term and that president will get the credit. Meaning a President Romney will win reelection or President Obama will be able anoint his successor whether that's Vice President Joe Biden, probably-by-then former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or some other popular Democrat in four years, just like President Theodore Roosevelt did with William Howard Taft in 1908 or Ronald Reagan with Vice President Bush in 1988. Had Gore relied more on the popular Clinton, he too would have received the love of a popular outgoing incumbent. But Gore felt the Lewinsky scandal should not touch him, even though Clinton was popular post-impeachment and more so as an outgoing POTUS.

I don't see my 2012 prediction being wrong, although in the days leading up to election night I'm reminded of the days before 2000. I'm probably questioning myself because of all the articles I read that say how close the election is, or how friends or comments-online-people declaring a Romney landslide victory. I just wonder where are they getting their info since they bash any poll that says Obama will win. Obama's reelection will not just be the first for someone of African ancestry, but also the first time that 3 presidents have been reelected back-to-back since James Monroe succeeded James Madison in 1816 and Madison succeeded Thomas Jefferson in 1808. I'm sure the 57th U.S. Presidential Election will result in the reelection of the 44th President of the United States and 47th Vice President. Why is it the 57th election and 44th POTUS and 47 VPOTUS? That sounds like that can be a pointless presidential pfact, which is probably better than this pointless presidential 'pinion.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #9 - "4 Out of 5 Elections Recommend These Candidates"

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon both ran on a national ticket 5 times and won 4 out of the 5 elections. FDR ran (pre-Polio days) as the vice presidential candidate in 1920 with James Cox (yeah he was a presidential candidate), but Americans wanted a return to normalcy and voted the GOP ticket of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge into office. In 1932, 12 years after that election, FDR would begin his 4 term winning streak in 1932, then winning again in 1936, 1940 and 1944. Dominance in 4 presidential elections by one individual led to the creation of the 22nd Amendment, limiting a president to 2 terms.

RN ran on a national ticket 8 years after FDR's last run for office. Nixon ran as Dwight Eisenhower's running mate in 1952 and 1956 and they defeated Adlai Stevenson, both times. In 1960, Nixon became the first incumbent vice president to run for president since John Breckenridge ran as a Southern Democrat 100 years before. Nixon was also the first two term incumbent VP to run since John Adams in 1796. Nixon lost a close election to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but 8 years later the former vice president ran again and in another close election defeated the incumbent vice president Hubert Humphrey. In 1968, it was Vice President vs. Former Vice President. The former vice president won and then won reelection in a landslide in 1972. Nixon was also the only former vice president to win a presidential election. So two people won 4 out of 5 national contests, one for president, the other for both president and vice president. FDR was one and Nixon's the other one. (see what I did there? No? NERDALERT!)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pointless Presidential Pfacts #8 - "Party Out Party In Party On"

The 1800 election (that one again) was the first presidential election that transitioned from one political party to another. John Adams and the Federalists were out of power and would never hold the presidency again, while Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans came into power, lasting until 1824.