Tag Archives: VPOTUS

Mondale blazed a VP trail

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The modern U.S. vice presidency has as its godfather a man known as Fritz. That would be Walter Mondale, who today died at the age of 93.

Say what you might about the likes of Democrats Al Gore and Joe Biden who came along after Mondale’s single VP term during the Jimmy Carter administration. Then we have Republican Dick Cheney.

All those men left their imprint on the vice presidency, too. They became key policy advisers to the presidents they served. Thus, the well-known phrase that former VP John Nance Garner attached to the office he occupied during Franklin Roosevelt’s first two terms as president, which he said wasn’t worth “a bucket of warm pi**,” no longer was relevant to the office.

Then came Mondale’s historic choice of a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, to run as vice president along with him as the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 1984. They lost in a historic landslide to President Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Ferraro was the first woman to run on a national ticket. Republican Sarah Palin would run as VP in 2008 with Sen. John McCain and, of course, Kamala Harris would be elected vice president in 2020.

There you have it. Walter Mondale made history by rewriting the vice presidency and then made it again by starting to clear away the obstacles that kept women off the national ticket.

Fritz Mondale was a great man and a dedicated public servant. May he rest in eternal peace.

This question is vital

David Gergen has hobnobbed at the center of power for decades, going back all the way during the Ford administration.

He has served Republican and Democratic presidents. The CNN political analyst has crystallized the Big Question that Joe Biden must be able to answer as he ponders who he wants to run with him on the Democratic ticket against Donald Trump. According to CNN.com, it goes like this:

But the Biden campaign should be paying the most attention to this question: If history calls, will his vice president have the capacity and talent to become a first-class president?

There you have it. Compatibility with the presidential nominee is important; so is personal chemistry; same for whether she will be a political asset.

The threshold question must be whether the VP is ready from Day One to step into the big job.

Look, let’s be candid. Joe Biden will be 78 years of age were he to take the oath of office next January. He will be the oldest president by a good bit ever to assume the office. That does not mean that the vice presidential nominee should start preparing for the job.

Lyndon Johnson was selected by John Kennedy to run for VP in 1960. Kennedy was 43 years old, the youngest man ever elected president. Fate intervened on Nov. 22, 1963. JFK chose well, as it turned out.

Joe Biden will have to choose equally well as he selects the person to run with him in what figures to be the nastiest, filthiest campaign in modern history … maybe of all time!

The other stuff is window dressing. The first and last criterion must be presidential readiness.

Read Gergen’s essay here.

The man knows his stuff. Pay attention to the advice this guy offers, Mr. Biden.

Is there a surprise VP pick coming?

This is just me, so take it for what it’s worth. Don’t laugh and suggest it’s not worth a damn. Maybe so, but here it is anyhow.

I am wondering in the deepest recesses of my gut whether Joseph R. Biden Jr. is going to pull a serious surprise out of his fedora when he announces who he wants to run with him as the vice presidential nominee.

I keep hearing about the “top four” contenders in the veep sweepstakes: Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Stacy Yates of Georgia and Susan Rice of D.C. They all have something in common. They are “women of color.”

But are they the best candidates Biden could select? I don’t know. I just keep thinking that with a nation as huge and diverse as this one, does it make sense for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to go with the “conventional wisdom” candidate?

I cannot help but wonder whether there is someone lurking in the tall grass, perhaps someone few of us have heard of, let alone considered as a VP candidate.

Joe Biden has guaranteed the VP nominee will be a woman. He is getting plenty of heat to select a woman of color. 

This waiting game is getting a bit tense … don’t you think?

Former VP heading for last stand in South Carolina … maybe?

I have quit relying on my proverbial trick knee to give me insight into all matters political, but this brief observation is worth a mention.

It is looking to me as though Joseph R. Biden Jr. will have to go all-in for the South Carolina Democratic Party primary if he has a prayer of continuing his bid to become the next president of the United States.

Biden might finish in the middle of the pack tonight when they count the New Hampshire primary ballots. He could be in fourth, or fifth — maybe even sixth place! If he fails to make any sort of noise at all in the Granite State, he is going to likely put everything he has into South Carolina to inject viability into his faltering campaign.

And that ain’t looking too promising … at this point.

Biden’s once-vaunted African-American support reportedly is withering away. It is being scooped up by other contenders running alongside him.

If the stars are misaligned for the former vice president and he finishes anywhere but first or second in South Carolina, I am virtually certain it will be curtains for Biden.

That saddens me greatly.

Joe Biden brings sparkling credentials to this campaign. Thirty-six years in the U.S. Senate, a compelling personal story, eight years as a consequential vice president, great working relationships with lawmakers of both major parties, a vast international network of friends and political allies.

He isn’t perfect. Biden has stumbled all along the way. He says things that require “clarification.” He has seemed at times baffled, bemused and bewildered while answering questions.

Biden is my preferred choice to run against Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president. However, I am sorry to acknowledge that he might not make the cut.

Oh, my.

Waiting for the ‘perfect headline’ to present itself

I won’t belabor this topic, but it deserves a quick-hit mention anyway.

I am waiting for the chance to use several acronyms in the same headline. I am don’t yet know the circumstance will present itself, but I’m going to look for it.

They are: POTUS, VPOTUS, SCOTUS and FLOTUS, referencing the president, vice president, U.S. Supreme Court and first lady.

I use them individually whenever I write about them on High Plains Blogger. I’ve even written a headline a few times that contains two of them. Three is a stretch. Four seems impossible.

But bear with me. I’m on the hunt. Patience is the key.

First things first, Mr. VPOTUS: you gotta be nominated

This is just my view, but my sense is that the national political media are getting ahead of themselves with regard to Joe Biden’s entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.

The former vice president is the 20th Democrat to enter his party’s primary. A lot of highly qualified, well-heeled, articulate candidates have been in the game for a good while.

Yet the media have become focused on Biden’s campaign rollout and the ire he is incurring from Donald Trump, who is responding to Biden’s direct criticism of him.

I hope Biden keeps getting under Trump’s skin. The president deserves to be rankled and riled. I want him to lose the next election. I want him gone from the White House. He has disgraced the office. He has sullied and soiled our nation’s good name. He has proven to be an incompetent imbecile, a lying narcissist.

However, I am not yet willing to say that the former VP is the man who should beat him. Biden has a towering hurdle to clear if he hopes to win his party’s presidential nomination. He has to get past those 19 other Democrats. That’s just for starters.

I just want the media to stop inching toward treating Biden as if he’s the presumptive nominee already.

Former VP pondering early running mate decision

Dare I take any credit for this bit of news?

I think not, but I have to share this tidbit anyway. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s considering whether to seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020 is considering whether to select a running mate early, rather than waiting for the nominating convention.

I thought one option might be to name Beto O’Rourke as his running mate; I mentioned it in an earlier blog post. But then O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, announced his own presidential bid.

Biden reportedly is pondering this decision, which could echo what Ronald Reagan did in 1976 when he challenged President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. Reagan selected Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running in advance of the GOP convention.

It would be a gutsy move by Biden to do something out of the ordinary. However, as the election of Donald Trump demonstrated in 2016, we have entered an era of many definitions of the “new normal” in politics.

CNN reports that Biden has discussed the possibility of naming a VP candidate early. Well, the former vice president has a huge number of hopefuls who I reckon would like to run with him.

My only advice would be for the 77-year-old candidate to find someone who is willing — and able — to step into the presidency.

If you get my drift.

VPOTUS is getting roasted … for loyalty to POTUS?

I am going to shock, maybe stun, critics of this blog — and perhaps supporters of it — by offering a word in defense of Vice President Mike Pence.

He is getting roasted, skewered, sliced and diced because he expresses admittedly blind loyalty to Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

I am baffled a bit by the criticism. It’s as if his praise of the president has caught critics by surprise, that he shouldn’t be saying all those nice things about the guy who selected him to run on the Republican Party presidential ticket in 2016.

Let me stipulate, as if I need to do so: I detest the idea of Donald Trump serving as president. I cringe, too, when I hear Mike Pence speak so sickeningly about the president’s so-called accomplishments. I want Donald Trump removed from the office at the earliest possible opportunity. I also want Pence to hit the road right along with Trump.

Trump’s amorality is stunning in its scope. I am puzzled as well that Pence, a deeply religious man, even would have agreed to run alongside the slug who won the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

But he did agree to run as VP. The two of them won the election. Pence serves at the pleasure of the president. I am going to presume, therefore, that he likes being vice president and that he finds plenty to do to keep himself occupied during the day.

So I am left to ask: What do the Trump-Pence critics expect the vice president to do or say about the president? When has any vice president been openly contemptuous of the head of state, head of government and the commander in chief?

Perhaps the VP could dial back the tone and tenor of the praise he slathers all over the president. Do you remember how former Defense Secretary James Mattis praised the men and women who served under him, but didn’t offer a single word of praise for POTUS as he was announcing his resignation from the Pentagon?

Is that what Trump critics want from the vice president?

Let’s get real. It ain’t going to happen. The vice president took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, just as the president did. However, there is no way on Earth that the U.S. government’s No. 2 man is going to turn his fire on No. 1.

Bale sticks a former VPOTUS in the eye . . . needlessly

Christian Bale more or less demonstrated the kind of behavior I wish wouldn’t occur at these awards ceremonies.

The actor — who I recognize is a brilliant artist — decided to stick it in the eye of former Vice President Dick Cheney while accepting his Golden Globe award Sunday night for best actor in a dramatic film. Bale portrays Cheney in the film “Vice,” and I must say he turns in a stellar performance.

Bale thanked director Adam McKay for casting him to portray the former VP. But . . . then he described Cheney as “absolutely charisma free and reviled by everybody.” Sigh.

Bale wasn’t finished. He said in the future he would be “cornering the market” on portraying “charisma-free assholes.”

“Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration,” Bale added.

Again, sigh.

I have already stated my wish that actors and others in the entertainment industry would refrain from making political statements at these events.

It’s fair to wonder, though, why Bale would decide to launch a gratuitous assault on an individual who — regardless of how you feel about him — is a significant, historic American political figure. Why then? In that moment? In that context?

I just don’t get it.

Oh, one more thing: Christian Bale is a Brit. Meaning that he didn’t have a voice in determining whether Dick Cheney would occupy any of the public offices he held.

Just sayin’, man.

Pence’s stony silence most disturbing image

Look at the picture. The person to Donald Trump’s right is none other than the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence.

Of all the chatter we’ve heard about that meeting, the one image that continues to stick in my craw is of Pence sitting there, silent, not saying a single word. Meanwhile, the president argues with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer about the federal budget and financing construction of The Wall on our southern border.

The image of Pence sitting there mute reminds me of what President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden said of their relationship during their eight years in power.

Obama has made it abundantly clear, and Biden has affirmed it, that Biden was the last person to leave any room where the two men were present. Biden would argue with Obama, telling him — sometimes with great emphasis — where he believed the president was wrong. The president would fire back. The two men would go at it tooth and nail.

But through it all, as the former president has recounted their service together, they forged a lasting friendship and partnership.

Do you think the current vice president and the current president have anything approaching that kind of relationship, let alone any semblance of a friendship? Of course not!

Trump comes from a world where he was The Boss. He made decisions. Those who worked for him did what they were told to do. If they didn’t, they were out. Indeed, we’ve seen evidence of that background even as he has morphed into what passes for the chief executive of the federal government.

Thus, when Trump, Pelosi and Schumer were haranguing each other in the Oval Office, one couldn’t possibly expect VP Pence to chime in with his own view. I mean, after all, he’s only the No. 2 man in the executive branch of government. He was elected right along with Donald Trump to lead the nation. Isn’t that right?

Doesn’t that by itself give him any “cred” to say what he believes, to tell the president anything at all that might contradict whatever passes for the president’s world view?

One would think. Except that we are talking about Donald Trump, who is unfit for the office he holds. He wanted an obsequious lap dog to serve as VP and, by golly, he got one.