Tag Archives: Nelson Rockefeller

Trump-Pence 2020 in possible doubt?

It’s not unheard of, but in recent years it’s a rare occurrence when a president of the United States jettisons a vice president and runs with a new running mate while seeking re-election.

Newsweek magazine is reporting that Donald Trump’s key advisers are floating the notion of replacing Vice President Mike Pence with U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.

Why? Because the vice president was highly critical of that hideous “Access Hollywood” tape in which the future president disclosed how he could grab women by their genitals. Pence, a devout Christian, reportedly was incensed over what he heard … and Trump hasn’t forgiven Pence for the apparent “disloyalty,” according to Newsweek.

I am not going to dictate what I think Trump should do. That’s his call. Frankly, the vice president’s future is of little interest to me, other than whether he would ascend to the presidency if — dare I suggest it — that Trump doesn’t finish his term.

The most recent president to switch VPs was Gerald R. Ford, who kicked Vice President Nelson Rockefeller — who was appointed to the office — to the curb. President Ford selected Sen. Bob Dole as his 1976 running mate. The president lost his bid for election to the office to which he was appointed to Jimmy Carter.

Newsweek reportsThe president could be considering new strategies for his next campaign after Republicans were dealt major blows in last week’s midterm elections. Democrats picked up at least 36 seats to retake the House and prevented Republicans from further bolstering their lead in the Senate. This was an election Trump had turned into a referendum on his first two years in office.

Indeed, as I watched the returns roll in, it appears to many of us that Trump lost that “referendum” … bigly, if you know what I mean.

Does he toss the vice president overboard in some sort of hail-Mary effort to save his presidency? Not a damn thing would surprise me.

Trump’s wealth becomes issue of interest


Does it really matter how much wealth Donald J. Trump has acquired?

Should voters really care? Should we concern ourselves with all of this?

Under normal circumstances, probably not. But here’s the thing: The presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee has been making his wealth an issue all along the primary campaign trail.

He brags about his “world-class business.” He boasts about how he built his company from scratch … although that’s not true. He shows off his opulent mansions.


We’re hearing now that Trump’s net worth is around $10 billion. No one has ever believed he has that kind of dough laying around. Trump filed a 104-page financial disclosure form — and he even bragged about that, calling it the largest such disclosure form in history.

As Politico reports: “Many of his assets and liabilities are simply too large — reaching far above the top disclosure threshold on the filing — for their value to be captured in the report. Trump, for instance, reported at least $315 million in liabilities on the form, many of which are loans and mortgages on his properties. The forms cover Trump’s last 17 months of financial activity.”

Where is all this going? I am not entirely clear, but ultimately it’s going to end up with discussion and debate about Trump’s tax returns, which he still has yet to release.

You see, this is what happens when the candidate makes a big deal of his material holdings. It mushrooms into realms that under normal circumstances wouldn’t necessarily be of voters’ concerns.

Voters knew that the Kennedy family was wealthy. The Kennedy men who ran for the nation’s highest public office — John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy — didn’t make it an issue. Nelson Rockefeller’s family had acquired immense wealth as well. Rocky didn’t dwell on it, either.

Trump, though, makes his wealth an issue all … the … time.

I’m more interested in debating Trump’s views on the whole array of issues that should be front and center.


Sanders’ ‘revolution’ might be overstated


Sen. Bernie Sanders is now using the word “revolution” to describe the nature of his bid to become president of the United States.

He’s leading Hillary Clinton in every poll there is in New Hampshire, which I think is filling the Vermont senator’s head with visions of overinflated grandeur.

It’s not that his Democratic support is fake. It’s real. But let’s cool the “revolution” talk for a bit.

Three presidential campaigns of the late 20th century also were labeled “revolutions” in some quarters. How did they do?

1964: Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona took the Republican Party presidential nomination by storm, defeating “establishment” candidates, such as New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in a wild primary fight. He went on to lose the general election that year to President Lyndon Baines Johnson in a historic landslide. LBJ, of course, traded a good bit on the legacy of his slain predecessor, John Kennedy, and vowed to continue pursuing JFK’s unfinished agenda.

1968: Just four years later, the Vietnam War caused another revolution. LBJ’s popularity had gone south. Democrats looked for an alternative. They turned to one in Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, who stunned LBJ with a stronger-than-expected showing in the New Hampshire primary. In came another anti-war candidate, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York, brother of the murdered president and a political hero to many Americans — including yours truly. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, another “establishment” candidate, won the nomination, but then lost to Republican Richard Nixon by a narrow margin that fall.

1972: Let’s call this one the Anti-Vietnam War Revolution 2.0. The flag bearer this time would be U.S. Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota, who beat the party “establishment” led by Sen. Ed Muskie of Maine to win the nomination. McGovern drew big crowds to rallies, too, just like Sanders. Did they equate to votes that November? Ummm, no. President Nixon won 49 out of 50 states and buried McGovern’s “revolution” under the landslide.

Yes, some “revolutions” succeed. Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in 1980 is one. Barack Obama’s election in 2008 could be considered another one. But they required extraordinary circumstances. The Iranian hostage crisis hurt President Carter grievously in voters’ minds in ’80 and the economic free-fall of 2008 helped lift Sen. Obama into the White House eight years ago.

Sanders might think he’s carrying the torch for another revolution. Then again, Republicans such as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and perhaps even Marco Rubio might want to say the same thing . . . for entirely different reasons.

I just want to remind the revolutionaries out there that the political establishment doesn’t get to be so entrenched and powerful by being made up of pushovers or patsies.



Who you calling ‘diverse’?

I have to agree with George Will on this one: Liberals dislike diversity in thought and conservatives now appear to be embracing it.

Will, one of the more noted conservative commentators and columnists in America, made the assertion on the Fox News Channel Sunday.


It’s an interesting twist.

Republicans are eating their young, as the late GOP state Sen. Teel Bivins of Amarillo used to say.

The party is waging war within itself, which Will says is not knew among the Grand Old Party. He cited the 1912 Teddy Roosevelt-William Howard Taft fight and the 1964 feud between the Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller wings of the party. He didn’t mention the 1968 and 1972 fights among Democrats.

But Will’s point about the Republican battle is that it’s becoming the more interesting party these days, as Democrats seem to be singing off the same page.