Barbara Bush wants Hillary Clinton to run for president.

August 27, 2013

Barbara Bush, not the former First Lady, but the daughter of former president, George W. Bush, has said that Hillary Clinton is “unbelievably accomplished” and hopes she will run for president in 2016.  It’s about as close to an endorsement as a Bush could give a Clinton and surely qualifies as news.  Former First Lady and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is a member of the Democrat Party.  Barbara’s father and grandfather were former presidents and both are Republican.  Her uncle, former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, is also a Republican and a possible candidate for president in 2016.

If Ms. Bush eventually endorses Secretary Clinton, it would not be the first time that a son or daughter of a president supported a candidate of the opposing political party.  Ron Reagan, Jr. and his sister Patti Davis, both offspring of Republican president Ronald Reagan, are openly Democrats.  Mr. Reagan addressed the Democrat National Convention in 2004

Democrat president, Franklin Roosevelt, had sons, who supported candidates and causes other than his own.   John Aspinwall Roosevelt, the youngest in the family, complained openly about the New Deal and became a high profile Republican.  He endorsed Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan for president.  In 1954, when FDR, Jr. ran for governor of New York, his brother, John endorsed his Republican opponent.  Meanwhile,  Jimmy Roosevelt, the eldest of FDR’s sons, led “Democrats for Nixon in 1972.”  FDR’s son, Elliott,  worked for FDR’s lifelong enemy, William Randolph Hearst.  When his father announced he would run for an unprecedented third term as president, Elliott told friends it should be unconstitutional.

Political and cultural differences between the generations is nothing new in political dynasties nor should it be surprising to the rest of us.  Each member of a family seeks a separate identity and that is often found in differing political views.  Helen Taft Manning, daughter of conservative, Republican president, William Howard Taft, was one of the most effective leaders of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and openly Democrat on many issues.   Barbara Bush is an advocate of Marriage Equality and other gay issues and has “partnered” with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Michelle Obama’s “let’s Move” campaign.

Children of presidents have often played a role in helping a candidate get elected and govern.  Robert Tyler, son of the tenth president, John Tyler, helped promote the career of Pennsylvania congressman, James Buchanan, who became the fifteenth president.  James Garfield, son and namesake of the twentieth president helped Theodore Roosevelt win the presidency.  His younger brother, Harry Garfield, helped elect Woodrow Wilson.  Both of the Garfield sons became cabinet officers with distinguished careers.  In all three cases the Presidents’ children not only offered a powerful endorsement, they had inside knowledge and experience that was crucial to the success of the candidates.

Help from  a presidents’ son or daughter is not always rewarded.  After he won the White House, James Buchanan shunted aside Robert Tyler whose presence was a reminder of his early political struggles in Pennsylvania.  Tyler moved to Alabama, became a newspaper publisher and passed from the public eye with dignity never complaining about the thankless role he had played and the president’s shabby treatment.

Caroline Kennedy nearly suffered the same fate.  Her endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama came at a crucial time in his race with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Kennedy, a political and social icon, gave Obama cache when he needed it most.  But the Obama White House staff chaffed at the idea they owed their election to Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the slain president, and derailed attempts to reward her.  If Barack Obama had not been re-elected in 2012, the Kennedy endorsement would have gone down in history as one of the greatest unpaid political debts in modern campaign history.  But Obama won re-election, some measure of sanity returned to the Obama White House and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the 35th president was nominated Ambassador to Japan.

It remains to be seen if Barbara Bush will formally endorse Hillary Clinton for president.  Most Bush watchers doubt it will happen until her uncle Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, officially declares his non candidacy.  If not, this statement is probably even better for Clinton, at least from a political standpoint.  It adds to the idea of Clinton’s broadening support without tying her to a president who is unpopular with her base.  It is the ultimate irony.  Having been sunk by one presidential daughter, a Kennedy, she now finds herself buoyed  by another, a Bush.

Advertisements

Almost Presidents: Sons of presidents who almost won the White House themselves

September 26, 2012

Eight men who might have been president.

Everybody knows that there were two sons of presidents who became president themselves.  John Quincy Adams, son of our second president, John Adams, was elected the sixth president of the United States.  And George W. Bush, who was the son of  George Herbert Walker Bush, was elected the 43rd president.  But there were many others who thought about it and eight who either declared or were promoted for the position or were highly expected to run.

1.) Charles Francis Adams

Charles Francis Adams was the son and grandson of presidents and might have become one himself.  He was fluent in several languages, graduated from Harvard at age seventeen and was elected to the House of Representatives.    As Ambassador to the Court of St. James during the American Civil War he is credited with many for keeping England from supporting the Confederacy.

2.) John Van Buren

Many said he was a better lawyer, businessman and politician than his father.  But when “Prince John” as he was called, was elected to the House of Representatives he kept fighting his fathers old battles.

3.) Robert Todd Lincoln

After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln rose to prominence in America.  After graduating from law school, every major corporation looked to his services and many offered him positions on their board of directors.   Within decades he became one of the richest men in America and was a cabinet officer and an ambassador.  Heads of State who visited America, often stopped to call on Mr. Lincoln as well.  But many were concerned that his political rise was unhealthy.   At one point, no less than Joseph Pulitzer, himself, railed against the possible presidency of Mr. Lincoln “simply because he is the son of a president.”

4.) Jesse Grant

Jesse Grant, son of President Ulysses S. Grant, joined his mom and dad on their famous round the world trip during their retirement years.  Jesse fell in love with the lavish lifestyle foreign potentates showered on the son of a former head of state and succumbed to their flattery.  Failing to understand how American elections worked, and living in cultures where power rested in a few families, many foreign leaders anticipated that Jesse Grant, himself, would one day be an American president.  It all apparently went to Jesse’s head.  He eventually returned to America and announced he was running for president but the press and the public largely ignored him and his campaign fizzled.

5.) Theodore Roosevelt , Jr.

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. was on the fast track to the presidency.  His father had been appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy on his way to the White House, and so had his cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt.  So when TR, Jr. received the same appointment many expected the pattern to be repeated.  But fate did not comply.  Ted served as governor of Puerto Rico and the Philippines.  He was a hero in World War II but recent disclosures show a jealous FDR restricted his press coverage.  TR, Jr. was the only General to land with his own troops on the first wave, on the first day of the Normandy D Day invasion during World War Two.  He died shortly afterward and was awarded the Medal of Honor in absentia.

6.) Robert Taft

Senator Robert Taft, son of President William Howard Taft, is considered by many to have been one of the top five greatest lawmakers in American history.  He ran for president three times and very nearly won the Republican nomination in 1952.

7.) John Eisenhower

John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, son of President Dwight Eisenhower,  is one of America’s greatest military historians.  He served as U. S. ambassador to Belgium in the Nixon administration. In the 1960’s, the Democratic National Committee commissioned a private poll which showed John Eisenhower as their most formidable Republican opponent for president, beating out both Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller but Eisenhower was not tempted.  He is in retirement and is the oldest living child of a president.

8.) John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Many observers believed that JFK, Jr., son of John F. Kennedy, had the best chance to retrace his father’s steps and win back the White House for a Kennedy family member.  Kennedy never traded on those expectations and wisely kept his own counsel about any political ambitions.  His sister made a brief appearance in public life, jockeying for appointment to the Senate.  It did not go well.  JFK, Jr. died in a plane crash in 1999.  He was 38 years old.
.
Caroline Kennedy’s public moment

War Breaks out in GOP: Broken bones

June 3, 2012

“In yet another instance, Ron Paul supporter Alex Helwig, Chairman of the Rules Committee who made the motion to remove the chair, was arrested by Shreveport police and released.  During his brief detainment, some of his fingers were broken and when he returned to the event he was walking with aid of a cane.”

Join the discussion at Doug Wead

This report from inside the Ron Paul campaign gives you a glimpse of the resistance from establishment Republican Party operatives as they seek to hold power.  Meanwhile, the GOP continues to experience its transformation.  Ron Paul supporters are enduring false arrests, detainment, broken bones and slander as they simply exercise their constitutional rights of voting and participating in party politics.  Keep in mind, the final outcome, as explained to me, was a good one.  And in spite of brutal tactics from some in the establishment who are trying to cling to power, the Republicans of Louisiana will be represented in Tampa.  Most of them will be supporters of Ron Paul, cheering on the GOP nominee.

Here is the report:

“Louisiana GOP officials ignored the vast majority of duly elected delegates and attempted to use illegally adopted rules to deny Ron Paul supporters an opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa.  Louisiana has 46 delegates.  Five were pledged to Mitt Romney based on the March 23rd primary result and Rick Santorum received 10, meaning most delegates were contestable at the state convention.

“Delegates to the state convention were chosen at caucus meetings on April 28th.  Ron Paul slates won four of six congressional district contests.  Of the approximately 180 delegates attending the state convention, 113 voted to remove the LAGOP chairman when he failed to respond to requests for information and other motions from delegates.  Nearly two-thirds of the delegates began physically moving their chairs, literally turning their back on the GOP chair appointed by the party hierarchy.

“In another instance, State Central Committeeman and Ron Paul supporter Henry Herford Jr. of Franklin Parrish was attacked by some security officials who didn’t realize that the body had voted out the previous chairman.  Mr. Herford has a prosthetic hip and according to a doctor at the scene it appears as though the prosthetic was dislocated and may require replacement.  The injury occurred as he was beginning to call to order the newly re-formed convention.

“In yet another instance, Ron Paul supporter Alex Helwig, Chairman of the Rules Committee who made the motion to remove the chair, was arrested by Shreveport police and released.  During his brief detainment, some of his fingers were broken and when he returned to the event he was walking with aid of a cane.

“By 10:50 a.m. today, the newly formed convention completed its work.  Newly-elected national delegates met with the Romney campaign’s Louisiana Chairman, Scott Sewell, who graciously said ‘that he supported the effort and would do everything he could to make sure the delegation was seated’ in Tampa.

“Despite the divisiveness that characterized the Louisiana state convention initially, we are thankful that the Paul and Romney campaigns took the high road to guarantee the enfranchisement of Republicans whose candidate preferences differ.

“Republicans of goodwill agree that following the spirited primary season, the general election presents us with an opportunity to defeat Obama and place the nation on a path to recovery.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured at the convention.  And, we thank all responsible convention participants for ending the day on a more unified note.”

See “Smoke and Mirrors in the GOP,” the Louisiana State GOP convention.

Warning:  The following Youtubes have been taken down continually in the last few hours.  If you are able, copy them yourself and circulate them.  And while you are at it, I have added at the bottom a third Youtube that is old and has been removed from production numerous times.  If you are savvy with this technology, make a copy of it as well and keep it safe.  It is a stout defense of Dr. Paul when his record was under attack.  And an interesting expose of the FED and its impact.


Caroline Kennedy in the Senate? An historic perspective

December 7, 2008

 

I am getting a ton of calls from journalists wanting some historical context for Caroline Kennedy’s likely appointment to the U. S. Senate.   Even one of the presidential historian – talking heads has checked in, asking for example, if there have been other children of presidents who have served in the Senate.  “Just Adams and Taft, right?” one famous historian wanted to know.  Gotta make sure before going onto TV to tell the world.

Yep, just Adams and Taft.  Caroline Kennedy would make three.  Although there have been eight who served in the House of Representatives, four in the cabinet, five ambassadors and two governors, both Bushes.

Of course, Kennedy is not in yet.  Presumably she would be appointed to finish the term of Hillary Clinton, whom President Elect Obama is going to make his Secretary of State.  A lot of history there.  Clinton will be the first former first lady to serve in the cabinet, although Eleanor Roosevelt was Ambassador to the United Nations and Edith Galt Wilson practically ran the whole country for her incapacitated husband.

 

U. S. Senators who were children of presidents

1.) John Quincy Adams was the first son born to an American president.  Born in 1767 to John and Abigail Adams, he was a bit of a child prodigy, who accompanied his father on foreign trips and was serving at the ambassadorial level for the new United Sates in his twenties. He served as a U. S. Senator from Massachusetts from 1803 – 1808.  He would later be an ambassador again, secretary of state, and president before returning to the House of Representatives in his later years.

2.) Robert Taft, son of the 27th president, William Howard Taft, served as a Senator from Ohio from 1939 – 1953.  He ran for president three times, and for awhile, was considered a front runner in the 1952 election.  Although a Republican, Taft was named one of the five greatest senators of all time by a committee chaired by Caroline Kennedy’s own father, then Senator John F. Kennedy.

Referred to as “Mr. Republican,” Bob Taft was the father of the modern conservative movement.

If Caroline Kennedy becomes the third presidents’ kid to serve in the U. S. Senate, there were three others who tried and failed, two of them ran for the elusive California seat.

 

The other candidates for the U. S. Senate who were children of presidents

1.) U. S. “Buck” Grant, Jr. was at the heart of a major scandal, talking his father, the former president, into joining the ill fated Grant and Ward brokerage firm.  Some concluded that the only thing that saved the young Grant from prison was the conclusion that he was more incompetent than culpable.  Years later, when he tried for a comeback by entering into the race for the U. S. Senate from California, the old charges resurfaced along with new ones, including bribery.  The new charges were eventually proven to be false, the product of “dirty politics.”  But the race was lost.

2.) Maureen Reagan ran for the Senate from California in 1982.  Her own father, who was then president, refused to break his pledge of remaining neutral in primary battles and wouldn’t endorse her.  Maureen lost.  She tried again for the House of Representatives and lost.  But Maureen is the only child of a president to serve as the Chairman of a major political party.  During her father’s second term, and in spite of White House aides trying to shoot down the idea, thinking that her public persona was only a reminder to the masses that Reagan had been married and divorced, she was elected the Republican National Co-Chairman.

3.) John William “Jack” Carter, a millionaire investment consultant, and eldest son of President Jimmy Carter, ran for the Senate from Nevada in 2006.  Carter won the primary and might have pulled off an upset against a well heeled opponent but Carter became gravely ill in the last months of the campaign and was hospitalized.  Most say he has a political future if he wants it.