Tag Archives: William Weld

Will primary challenge ‘doom’ Trump? Maybe, but …

There once were a few presidential political truisms upon which one could count.

  • Incumbent presidents were almost impossible to defeat.
  • Presidents who faced intraparty challenges on the way to their nominations were damaged goods going into the election; they would lose.

Then along came Donald J. Trump to upset many politically traditional thoughts.

I am looking at the Republican Party challengers that are already running or are considering a run against Trump. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld already is in the hunt for the GOP nomination. Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford might get in.

Will either or both of them be able to inflict enough damage on Trump to ensure he gets beat in November 2020? I wish.

Let’s flash back for a moment. President Johnson got challenged in 1968 by Sens. Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy in the Democratic primary. LBJ dropped out. RFK was murdered. Clean Gene lost the nomination to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who then got beat by Richard Nixon. Republican President Ford faced a 1976 challenge from Ronald Reagan, and then lost the election to Jimmy Carter. President Carter got challenged by Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1980 and then wiped out by Reagan.

The future might seem bleak, then, for Donald Trump as he seeks re-election.

I am not going to count him out strictly on the basis of one or possibly two GOP challengers.

Trump has this way, strange as it seems, of demonizing his foes. He did so in 2016 while wiping out 16 GOP contestants and then as he did against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What’s more, the cult following the president has developed within the Republican Party voting base suggests to many of us that the core Trump support is going to hold firm no matter what.

I do hope that Weld — and maybe Sanford — can soften up this guy enough for whomever the Democrats nominate, enabling the other party nominee to finish him off in the fall election next year. I want him out of office.

Except that Donald Trump has obliterated so many conventional political norms that it would be folly to presume any sort of tradition will remain true to form.

Run, Gov. Weld, run!

Wouldn’t it be just a kick in the backside if William Weld re-creates a Eugene McCarthy moment in the 2020 race for the presidency of the United States?

Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, has formed an exploratory committee to determine whether to mount a primary challenge against Donald Trump. Weld said many other Republicans “exhibit all the symptoms of Stockholm syndrome, identifying with their captor.”

Weld ran for vice president in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket headed by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. The ticket didn’t do too well, gathering just 4.5 million votes, or about 3 percent of the total.

He wants back into the fight, this time as a Republican.

The McCarthy moment? In 1968, the Vietnam War was raging and Sen. McCarthy, a Minnesota Democrat, mounted a Democratic Party primary challenge against President Lyndon Johnson. McCarthy — a vehement anti-war candidate — took his campaign to the nation’s first primary state, New Hampshire.

He then finished a very strong second to President Johnson, sending shockwaves through the Democratic Party establishment. McCarthy’s strong showing brought Sen. Robert F. Kennedy into the race. Then on March 31, 1968, LBJ spoke to the nation to announce an end to the bombing campaign against North Vietnam — and then said he would not seek or accept the Democratic nomination “for another term as your president.”

History does have a way of repeating itself. If only Gov. Weld can mount any sort of serious challenge to the wack job serving as president of the United States.

One’s hope must spring eternal. Mine does.

Gary, we hardly knew ye


Pity poor Gary Johnson.

He (almost) had me, then he lost me.

The former New Mexico governor is running for president as a Libertarian. His running mate is former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld. They’re both Republicans, actually.

Johnson’s main claim to notoriety has been his long-standing belief that we should legalize marijuana.

He’s now known as a presidential candidate who, in short order, froze up when asked about Aleppo. “What’s Aleppo?” he asked when quizzed about the largest city in Syria, the epicenter of the refugee crisis that has erupted in the Middle East and Europe.

Then, when he was asked this week by MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews to name his “favorite world leader,” he couldn’t come up with a single world leader who he admires. Oh, he finally blurted out “Shimon Peres,” the former Israeli prime minister and president — who died this week of a stroke.

I had considered backing this guy for president, hoping he might exhibit some semblance of knowledge of issues other than legalizing grass. Alas, it’s not to be.

Let’s make it a three-way race for POTUS


It’s official.

Americans are going to have three — count ’em, three — legitimate candidates for president and vice president of the United States to consider.

You may now count me as among the millions of Americans who are going to ponder the third path to the White House.

The Libertarian Party has nominated two accomplished former governors as its ticket to ride: Republicans Gary Johnson of New Mexico for president and William Weld of Massachusetts for vice president.


Here’s my dilemma.

I’ve told you already that I’ve voted exclusively for Democrats for president/VP since I started voting back in 1972. I’ve split my down-ballot ticket, though, over the years; I’ve voted for many Republicans for U.S. Senate and House, and for state and local offices in the two states where I’ve lived.

I do not yet know how I’m going to vote this year for president and vice president.

Under no circumstances would I vote for the likely GOP nominee Donald J. Trump and whoever he picks as his running mate. That’s a given.

The likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is presenting some potentially serious concerns for me. They center on that “trust” thing that’s dogging her. Am I ready to forsake her? No, but I am ready now to look carefully at what the third-party ticket of Johnson-Weld has to offer.

Both of these gentlemen were moderate Republicans when they governed their respective states. Today’s version of hard-core Republicanism would call them RINOs, Republicans In Name Only. Johnson is most well-known for advocating the legalization of marijuana. He also did a creditable job running New Mexico. I know a whole lot less about Weld.

Both are men of substantial financial means … although I don’t hear either of them brag about it the way Trump boasts of his y-u-u-u-g-e fortune.

Given that I understand that voting preference is a private matter, I’m not likely to reveal who will get my vote. That might become evident as I continue to comment on matters as the campaign progresses.

OK, you already know who won’t get it.

I suppose, then, that my choices now are just two — which is what they’ve always been in the past.


I now declare myself ready and willing to examine a ticket other than one from either of the two major political parties.

That’s a big step. At least it is for me.


Nazi references beyond the pale


“I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear that, honest.”

So said former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld. What drew that hideous description? Donald J. Trump’s proposal to round up 11 million illegal immigrants and deport them to their country of origin.

Weld, though, just isn’t any former politician. He is about to become a vice-presidential candidate seeking election on a Libertarian Party ticket led by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Weld’s reference is to Adolf Hitler’s persecution of Jews in Europe.

I’ve already lamented the careless references to Hitler and to the atrocities he committed prior to and during World War II.

This is another such reference.


I’ve already noted in this blog that I am giving the first hint of consideration to a third-party ticket when I get ready to vote for president this fall.

What’s more, I happen to think highly of Gov. Weld, the former Republican governor of the Bay State — and of Gov. Johnson, another Republican.


I do not wish to hear more of these Hitler references, though, when discussing Trump’s moronic idea of rounding up every illegal immigrant and booting them out of the country.

It’s unrealistic, cruel, and un-American.

The idiocy of this idea can produce plenty of arguments against without referencing Hitler.



Third party looking more like an option … really

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22:  Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson speaks in the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate featured the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

I am a dedicated two-party presidential election traditionalist.

My tendency is to dismiss third-party candidacies. My thought always has been that they have no chance of winning, therefore I won’t waste my vote, which I value greatly.

I am now about to announce that I am considering following the lead of one of my sons, who declared just the other day that he’s likely to vote for someone other than Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton.

There, I’ve announced it.

Two former moderate Republican governors have teamed up as Libertarians seeking to run for president and vice president.

New Mexico’s Gary Johnson is running for president; he’s tapped Massachusetts’ William Weld as his running mate.

The Libertarian Party must nominate them. My strong hunch is that they will.

This won’t be Gov. Johnson’s first rodeo. He ran four years ago and collected about a million votes. I’ll bet you some serious money he and Gov. Weld will do a lot better than that this year.

The last major alternative to the two parties came in 1992 when Henry Ross Perot challenged President George H.W. Bush and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. He won 19 million votes, but not a single Electoral College vote.

And, no … he didn’t cost President Bush his bid for re-election. I’ve seen ample polling data that suggest that even without Perot on the ballot that Clinton would have won by roughly the same margin he rolled up in 1992.

Why am I thinking about a third party? I’m not entirely thrilled with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. Trump never — in a zillion years — would get my vote.

Don’t misinterpret me here. I haven’t yet committed to a third party candidate. I’m merely thinking about it, which by itself represents a major shift from my normal political thought process.

Johnson’s major claim to political fame was his call for legalization of marijuana. I was working for a newspaper — the Amarillo Globe-News — at the time he issued that call and the paper’s corporate ownership never would support legalization of marijuana; therefore, I wrote editorials criticizing Gov. Johnson’s “wacky” notion. I’m now writing my own blog, under my own name, and my view on that issue is, well, evolving.

Weld is another moderate former GOP governor. No single stands out, but I’ve long perceived him to be far from what’s becoming the Republican “mainstream” that wants to round up illegal immigrants, wants to criminalize abortion and wants to send American troops into battle at the slightest sound of gunfire.

Yes, this is just another example of how wacky this election campaign has become.