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