Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Could “Uncle Joe” Biden become POTUS?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) official portrait

Joe Biden (D), official VP portrait

Much is being made about the impending Sanders v Biden match-up in the Democratic party for the 2020 General Election.

Detractors of the Democratic party say that Biden has a better possibility of being the party’s nominee because – as one Republican pundit wrote – “Biden, and others running for the Oval Office, are terrified that Hispanics and blacks – who reliably vote Democratic – might be swayed by rising wages or better job prospects, to vote for Trump.”

News writers, who are supposed to have (one hopes) some degree of objectivity, seem to have also fallen prey to the Biden 2020 siren song, and have written remarks like “Mr. Biden’s advantage with black voters not only helps him amass delegates ahead of the Democratic convention, but helps counter the widespread perception that he is a candidate running on a bygone appeal to the white working class.”

Recently, a Quinnipiac University Poll published May 15, 2019 found that in Pennsylvania, “former Vice President Joseph Biden is over the 50 percent mark in a matchup with President Donald Trump, leading 53 – 42 percent.” Quinnipiac University is “a private, coeducational university in Southern New England” with campuses “in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut.”

Overall, the poll found that “Trump leads 90 – 7 percent among Pennsylvania Republicans. Biden leads 93 – 6 percent among Democrats and 51 – 37 percent among independent voters.”

Other top Democratic contenders matched up against Trump as follows:
• Senator Bernie Sanders (I) VT 50% – 43% Trump
• Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 47 % – 44% Trump
• California Senator Kamala Harris 45% – 45% Trump
• South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg 45% – 44% Trump
• Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) 44% – 46% Trump

In stark contrast to assertions by GOPers and other naysayers of the Democratic party that economic conditions are favoring the GOP and Trump’s re-election, Mary Snow, a Polling Analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll said that “More than half of Pennsylvania voters say they are better off financially than they were in 2016. But the economy isn’t giving President Donald Trump an edge in an early read of the very key Keystone State.”

Other general detractors to the Democratic party note with some sense of disdain that Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has called himself a “democratic socialist,” and seek to add credence to their argument by noting that some national-level GOP elected officials and others have said that “If we can run a race against a person that’s an out-of-the-closet socialist and promoting socialist ideas, it’s a great contrast for us.”

Donald Trump

Yet the poll also found that among respondents, 53% said “it is more important for a presidential candidate to be a great leader” while 38% said “it is more important for a candidate to have great policy ideas.” And that sets up an immediate turn away from policy to personality – a veritable cult of personality.

In the modern sense, the term “cult of personality” refers to a scenario in whicha public figure (such as a political leader) is deliberately presented to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved,” and originated from a report and speech entitled “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences” given by Nikita Khrushchev February 25, 1956 to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which was pointedly and negatively critical of the reign of the late former General Secretary and Premier Joseph Stalin and his political purges which had characterized the last years of Russian government in the 1930s. Khrushchev, who at the time was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, said in his speech that Stalin fostered a leadership cult of personality despite ostensibly maintaining support for the ideals of communism.

Joseph Stalin

Nikita Khrushchev

At the time, the Bolshevik Communists who had overthrown the existing Russian government by the ruling royal Romanov family, justified ridding the developing party of members who had joined simply to be on the winning side. At the time, the major criteria for Bolshevik party membership was one’s social status – membership in working class jobs, aka hourly wage workers, were normally accepted without question – and contributions to their revolutionary cause. It’s an eerie parallel to the modern American scenario in which some hourly blue collar workers and others have supported Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency.

In July 1988 the rock group Living Colour had a hit song by the name “Cult of Personality” from their debut album “Vivid” which opened with a soliloquy excerpted from a speech given by Malcolm X in Detroit, MI November 10, 1963, which said in part, “And during the few moments that we have left, we want to talk, right down to earth, in a language that everybody here can easily understand.” Shortly after giving that speech, Malcolm X departed the Nation of Islam, which is a political/religious movement focusing primarily upon African-Americans, and founded by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad July 4, 1930.

Here’s the Living Colour video:

Yet other top-level elected GOPers have noted (in an attempt to appear somewhat pragmatic) that “It is entirely possible that the American people would vote for an avowed socialist. We are a closely divided country. If Bernie were the nominee, he could win.”

Of course, the dread “socialism” to which such detractors refer is pure hyperbole, because socialism is the condition in which the government owns the means and method of production – and there is not a “government factory” in our nation – never has been, never will be. All materials and manpower come from the Private Sector. Every single solitary paper clip, ream of paper – including the ink and paper our currency is printed upon, the printing and stamping presses for making coinage, the metals, and all manpower – comes from the Private Sector via open, public, competitive bidding. Even the uniforms our military Service Members wear are made by the Private Sector via open, public, competitive bidding. Reiterating, there is NO “government factory” in our nation. Even Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are NOT examples of socialism precisely because each of those three agencies are merely government payers for services rendered by the Private Sector – Medicare and Medicaid for healthcare services, and Social Security for retirement annuity, having yields from investments in the Treasury market (T-bills) sold on Wall Street. The exclusive role of the Federal government is as a payer – only that, and nothing more. And the money used to pay for those services comes from payroll taxes.

The GSA (General Services Administration – https://www.gsa.gov/) is an independent agency of the United States government that supplies materials and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space for federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies and other managerial duties from the Private Sector. The GSA website states in part that “If you want to sell to the government, securing a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) — the government agency that connects government buyers with contractors — is a great way to start. Securing a contract with the GSA is also called “getting onto the GSA Schedule,” which means you’ve been approved to do business with the government.

“If you’re interested in getting on the GSA Schedule, you may want to pay for a Past Performance Evaluation report from Open Ratings. The report assesses your performance relative to businesses in the same industry, and is often requested as part of a vendor bid process. Your company must register and provide the names and email addresses of six to 20 of your customers.”

The FBO (Federal Business Opportunities – https://www.fbo.gov/) is the Federal government’s official procurement opportunities website that allows prospective Private Sector contractors to find and compete for goods and services needed by the Federal government.

The Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/) is the official journal of the United States Federal government which contains government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices, and is published daily, except on federal holidays. Their website states in part that, “The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) jointly administer the FederalRegister.gov website. We developed this website to make it easier for citizens and communities to understand the regulatory process and to participate in Government decision-making.”

In response to, and of his GOP naysayers and others, Senator Sanders has said that “they underestimate me at their own peril,” because he has a “forward-leaning agenda” to campaign upon, noting that his opponents and others “have to figure out some boogeyman that they think they can run against.”

Statistically however, history doesn’t favor Joe Biden’s election as POTUS. That is, of course, presuming that he gets the Democratic party’s nod as Presidential nominee for the 2020 General Election.

Here’s why: The number of VPs who ever became POTUS by being elected in their own right is a very rarified, even elitist, class. In other words, it’s mostly uncommon for a VP to get elected as POTUS.

In the 243 years the United States has existed, here have been 57 Presidential elections, of which only 13 Vice Presidents have ever been POTUS, either through succession (because of the POTUS’ death in office, of which there have been 8 – 4 natural deaths, and 4 assassinations), or through election independent of succession (of which there have been 5 – Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Nixon, and G.H.W. Bush).

It’s worth repeating, that only 5 Presidents, who were elected independently of succession, were ever Vice President.

That’s 5/45, or 11.1%.

However… the United States Senate website writes this about Senators:
“To date, 16 senators have also served as president of the United States. Three Senators, Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.”

That’s 16/45, or 35.5%, of all POTUSes who were ever a Senator. And 3/16, or 18.75%, were elected as POTUS directly from the Senate.

In order of their election as POTUS, those Senators, and their political affiliations, are:
1.) James Monroe – Democratic-Republican
2.) John Quincy Adams – Democratic-Republican
3.) Andrew Jackson – D
4.) Martin Van Buren – D
5.) William Henry Harrison – Whig
6.) John Tyler – Whig, Independent
7.) Franklin Pierce – D
8.) James Buchanan – D
9.) Andrew Johnson – National Union, Democrat
10.) Benjamin Harrison – R
11.) Warren G. Harding – R
12.) Harry S. Truman – D
13.) John F. Kennedy – D
14.) Lyndon B. Johnson – D
15.) Richard M. Nixon – R
16.) Barack Obama – D

After 36 years as a Senator from Delaware, Joe Biden became Vice President of the United States after Barack Obama, also a Senator from Illinois, chose him as a running mate.

Bernie Sanders is the nation’s longest-serving Independent, and has served as Vermont’s U.S. Senator three times, having been elected in 2006, 2012, and 2018. Before then, he was elected as Vermont’s U.S. Representative in 1990, and served for 16 years before election as Senator.

Vice Presidents who became POTUS

1.) John Adams – Federalist (to Washington)
1st VP – 1789-1797
2nd POTUS – 1797-1801

2.) Thomas Jefferson – Democrat-Republican (to John Adams)
2nd VP – 1797-1801
3rd POTUS – 1801-1809

3.) Martin Van Buren – Democrat (to Andrew Jackson)
8th VP – 1833-1837
8th POTUS – 1837-1841

4.) John Tyler – Whig (to William Henry Harrison – 1st POTUS to die in office)
10th VP – 3/4/1841 – 4/4/1841
10th POTUS – 1841-1845 (succeeded after Harrison’s death in office, 31 days after taking office)

5.) Millard Fillmore – Whig (to Zachary Taylor – 2nd POTUS to die in office)
12th VP – 3/4/1849 – 7/9/1850
13th POTUS – 1850-1853 (succeeded after Taylor’s death in office)

6.) Andrew Johnson – National Union, then Democrat (to Abraham Lincoln – 3rd to die in office, 1st assassination)
16th VP – 3/4/1865 – 4/15/1865
17th POTUS – 1865-1869 (succeeded after assassination)

7.) Calvin Coolidge – Republican (to Warren G. Harding – 4th to die in office)
29th VP – 1921-1923
30th POTUS – 1923-1929 (succeeded after Harding’s death in office)

8.) Chester A. Arthur – Republican (to James A. Garfield – 5th to die in office, 2nd assassination)
20th VP – 3/4/1881 – 9/19/1881
21st POTUS – 1881-1885 (succeeded after assassination)

9.) Theodore Roosevelt – Republican (to William McKinley – 6th to die in office, 3rd assassination)
25th VP – 3/4/1901 – 9/14/1901
26th POTUS – 1901-1909 (succeeded after assassination)

10.) Harry S. Truman – Democrat (to Franklin Delano Roosevelt – 7th to die in office)
34th VP – 1/20/1945-4/12/45
33rd POTUS – 1945-1953 (succeeded after FDR’s death in office)

11.) Richard Nixon – Republican (to Eisenhower)
36th VP – 1953-1961
37th POTUS – 1969-1974

12.) Lyndon B. Johnson – Democrat (to Kennedy – 8th to die in office, 4th assassination)
37th VP – 1961-1963
36th POTUS – 1963-1969 (succeeded after assassination)

13.) George H.W. Bush – Republican (to Reagan)
43rd VP – 1981-1989
41st POTUS – 1989-1993

Interesting “factoids” about John Tyler:
Thought the President should set policy instead of Congress, and sought to bypass Whig party establishment, notably Kentucky Senator Henry Clay (Democrat-Republican 1797-1825, National Republican 25-33, Whig 1833-52). Most of Tyler’s Cabinet resigned shortly into his term, and the Whigs, who called him “His Accidency,” expelled him from the party. Was the first president to see his veto of legislation overridden by Congress. Faced a stalemate on domestic policy, but accomplished several foreign-policy objectives, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty (established USA’s northern borders, Great Lakes use, and outlawed high seas slavery) with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia (7/3/1844) with Qing China, the last imperial dynasty.

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