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As Ford Did Not Offer VP Spot To Reagan in ’76, Obama Had No Obligation To Any Defeated Candidate

Taken as a general matter, since the current primary-heavy process of selecting nominees began in 1972, victorious Presidential nominees have not selected their nearest rival in contested nomination fights as the Vice Presidential nominee. 

Only twice in contested nomination battles beginning with 1972 has the Vice Presidential nominee been the second place finisher in total primary votes. The Democratic ticket in 2004 and the Republican slate in 1980 are the two.

The 2008 Democratic race was the closest in vote totals, but the ideological fight for the Republican nomination in 1976 (Convention photo above) may have been the more intense struggle.  

In 2008, Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York each won just over 48% of the popular vote in the primaries with Mr. Obama winning a few more votes than Mrs. Clinton. For Republicans, John McCain of Arizona took around 45% of the total with Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas each in the low 20’s.  

In going with Joe Biden of Delaware, Senator Obama has made his call. Senator McCain will do the same next week.

Here is some history on this matter—

John Kerry of Massachusetts won 61% of Democratic primary voters in 2004. His closest competitor, John Edwards of North Carolina, won 19% of all such voters and got a spot on the ticket. 

In 2000 Al Gore of Tennessee (76% of Democratic primary voters) did not pick Bill Bradley of New Jersey (20%). Nor did George W. Bush of Texas (63% of Republican primary voters) select Mr. McCain (30%). 

In 1996, Bob Dole of Kansas (61%) left Pat Buchanan of Virginia (24%) off the ticket.

In 1992, Bill Clinton  of Arkansas (52%) selected neither Jerry Brown of California (20%) or Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts (18%).

In 1988, George H.W. Bush  of Texas (68%) did not make Mr. Dole (19%) his running mate. Mike Dukakis of Massachusetts (43%) did not offer the spot to Jesse Jackson of Illinois (29%).

The 1984 Democratic race was hard fought. Still Walter Mondale of Minnesota (38%) denied Gary Hart of Colorado (36%) a place on the ticket. This was a race almost as close as 2008.

In 1980, incumbent Vice President Mondale stayed on the slate after President Jimmy Carter of Georgia (51%) beat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts (37%) for the nomination.

In the 1980 Republican race, the second place finisher did get the second spot. Ronald Reagan of California (61%) picked Mr. Bush (23%) as his number two.  

In 1976, Mr. Carter (39%) did not offer the job to Mr. Brown (15%), George Wallace of Alabama (12%) or Morris Udall of Arizona (10%),

In the fiercely fought Republican race in 1976 , President Gerald Ford of Michigan (53%) did not offer the Vice Presidency to Mr. Reagan (46%). Senator Dole was President Ford’s choice.

1972 was the last time the nominee was not the top vote getter in the primaries. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota won 26% of the vote against 25% for George McGovern of South Dakota and 24% for George Wallace. The nominee, Mr. McGovern did not offer the VP spot to either gentleman.

( Governor George Wallace stands in the schoolhouse door blocking integration in Alabama. Neither George McGovern or Jimmy Carter thought it best to run with Mr. Wallace in a Presidential election.)

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Libertarians—Not Wanted By The Electorate

We’ve heard a lot about Libertarian Presidential candidates in 2008, but the facts are that the voting public does not want these people.

Congressman Ron Paul’s Republican primary campaign was a flop. Despite raising a lot of money from a core of true believers, Rep. Paul did not have nearly the success of outsider primary candidates Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 or Pat Robertson in 1988

Wedded to his government job, Dr. Paul did not run for President on a third party ticket in 2008. Instead, he is running for reelection to Congress in Texas.

Libertarians have nominated former Congressman Bob Barr ( photo above) of Georgia as their 2008 nominee. Losing a 2002 Republican primary to keep his seat in the House, alleged Libertarian Barr is now looking for another government job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

No Libertarian nominee has ever won more than 1.1% of the total vote in a Presidential election. And that was way back in 1980. Ed Clark was the Libertarian who delivered the 1.1% for the faithful.

Libertarianism is a philosophy that says, when all is said and done, that no person has any obligation to assist any other person. Even in individualist America, this view has been soundly rejected at the pools. Mr. Barr in 2008 will be yet another in a long line of Libertarian electoral non-entities.

July 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Eunuchs Have A Long History In Government—Though Jackson Is Wrong To Suggest It For Obama

 

The Reverend Jesse Jackson has suggested in the past few days that Senator Barack Obama be castrated.

While I’ve written that I’m standing by Reverend Jackson in the broader sense, I oppose this specific suggestion.

I will say though that eunuchs have long played a role in government. In his classic three-volume work entitled The History of Government From Earliest Times, the late political scientist S.E. Finer made many references to eunuchs. 

( Above is 18th-century eunuch in some type of eunuch robe.)  

I count a total of 14 eunuch references in the index to the three volumes. They served in Rome, China, Persia and in other places.

From Finer—….Eunuchs, wherever we find them–in the late Roman and the Byzantine empires, in the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire, and in Imperial China—are humble menials, but some, more educated and talented then the rest rise to positions of influence….The Assyrian monarchs may have employed eunuchs extensively….If Herodotus is to be believed…Babylonia and Assyria had to supply the court with 500 boy-eunuchs a year….At first the ones mentioned by name are confidential emissaries, but from the time of Artaxerxes I the eunuchs appear in highly influential positions.

Why and how eunuchs could attain such importance is explained by Xenophon…”They are not made any less efficient horsemen…or less ambitious men…rather the contrary, and even if physically weaker ( which he doubts), steel makes the weak equal to the strong.”

Finer continues–“Men would put children, wives, and sweethearts first–Not so the eunuchs, whose chief affection would go to those who could make them rich, protect them, and give them high office. Furthermore, eunuchs were despised by the rest of mankind, hence they were dependant on a patron for protection.”  

Of course, it is also true that slaves throughout history were sometimes punished with castration.

Bottom line—While eunuchs have often held great power, they have not generally reached the top spot. Also, most eunuchs have been slaves or servants of one kind or another. If Reverend Jackson is angry at Senator Obama, I feel that some other expression of that anger would be more appropriate.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Sticking By Jesse Jackson

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, the senator from Chicago, has accepted the apology of the Rev. Jesse Jackson for crude comments he made about Obama when he thought a television station microphone was not on. Here, Jackson holds up an Obama campaign sign on Super Tuesday primary night at Obama's party on Feb. 5 in Chicago.

Jesse Jackson made some intemperate remarks about Barack Obama recently. Reverend Jackson made these comments in front of an open microphone.

Jesse Jackson has been out there for a lot of people over the years. He’s had his act on the road for 40 years now. I say that admiringly. Reverend Jackson has no real institutional base, yet he keeps going.

The great A. Phillip Randolph ran the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters for many years. He could pick his spots. He knew he had a gig waiting for him at the end of the day. Martin Luther King was dead at 39. But Jesse has had to be out there slugging it out.

Reverend Jackson may not be Mr. Randolph or Rev. King, but he presses ahead.

( Please click here for the best Martin Luther King reading list on the web.)

People forget how groundbreaking Rev. Jackson’s Presidential campaigns were in 1984 and 1988. He won a lot of votes and earned the right to go all the way to party convention in both years.

And the fact is there were elements of truth to what he was saying about Mr. Obama’s campaign. Senator Obama needs to focus on misdeeds by all people.

In 1988, I cast my first vote for President for Jesse Jackson in the Democratic primary. He’s part of the reason I’ll be voting for a black man in 2008 in the general election.

I’m sticking by Jesse Jackson.

(Please click here to read about the history of eunuchs in government.)

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What Identity Can Barack Obama Choose That Will Be Both Sincere And Successful?

What identity could Barack Obama choose that would be both sincere and successful?

Not long ago, people were asking if Mr. Obama was “Black enough.” Somehow maybe even Bill Clinton was more Black than Senator Obama.

Once Senator Obama established his color, he then had to figure out how to present himself as a candidate who is also a Black man in a nation with a rough racial history.

He’s not a self-styled centrist like former U.S. Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee.

He’s not a careerist in a safe district like Representative Charles Rangel of New York.

He’s not an old-style activist like Jesse Jackson.     

So who and what will Senator Obama be?

He is, like all of us, a work in progress.

My hope is that Senator Obama continues up a curve of personal maturity as he comes to fully understand how important his campaign is to the nation, and to people who never thought they’d see someone like Barack Obama running for President.    

Some heat and gravity where Senator Obama is currently cool and light might help.

Still, Senator Obama is doing well so far. He is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination and leads John McCain in polls. 

Senator Obama is at this point successfully navigating uncharted waters.

   

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Obama & Clinton Supporters Must Approach Race With A Fonz Like Cool

While I’m frustrated Senator Hillary Clinton is staying in the Democratic nomination race, please allow me to restate my view that I will support the final nominee of the party.   

My own view is that if Senator Clinton could win, or if she were a message candidate like a Jesse Jackson or a Pat Buchanan in recent nomination fights, then she would have a reason to keep going.

It feels that she is staying in for her own good and not for the good of the party or the nation.

Still, Mrs. Clinton has the right to continue and we have to respect this fact.

Polls, to the extent they are worth anything, continue to show Senator Barack Obama running slightly ahead of John McCain. Mrs. Clinton runs basically even with Mr. McCain.

I’m playing this all cool. Very cool like the Fonz. There is plenty of time before November.  

The bottom line is winning in November.

We have to always keep in mind that either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton would be much better than Mr. McCain.

We will we win if we stay cool like the Fonz.

Here is the Obama for President webpage.

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

History Of The Pennsylvania Primary

The Pennsylvania presidential primary has a history that goes back to the Progressive Era origins of presidential nominating primaries.

In 2008, the Pennsylvania primary will be held April 22. Here is a selected history of the Pennsylvania primary, and, at the end of the post, some basic facts about Pennsylvania.

( Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008. Please click here for other political history posts.)

1912—The Republican fight between President William Howard Taft of Ohio and former President Theodore Roosevelt of New York, was a test between the more conservative wing of the party, represented by Mr. Taft, and Mr. Roosevelt’s progressives. Mr. Roosevelt won 60%-40%.

Pennsylvania was at the time the second largest state in the nation and an anchor of Republican support in general elections. But primaries were not as important as they are today, and Mr. Taft won the Republican nomination despite a string of losses to Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Roosevelt on the Bull Moose ticket won Pennsylvania in November of 1912.

1916Henry Ford of Ford Motor fame won 7.5% of the Republican vote as a write-in. Mr. Ford had already won his home state of Michigan and finished strong in Nebraska. Though in the end his campaign stalled.

1920-–The terrible Mitchell Palmer won the Democratic primary. Mr. Palmer had been a Congressman from Pennsylvania and Attorney General under Woodrow Wilson. As AG, he rounded up American Communists and others on the left during a World War I “Red Scare.” He did this with a frequent disregard for the basic rights of Americans. Mr. Palmer did not win the 1920 nomination.

(Photo is of former steel plant in Bethleham, Pennsylvania that has closed and has been replaced with a casino in the same location.)

1932—Governor Franklin Roosevelt of New York scored an important  57%-43% win over 1928 Democratic nominee former Governor Al Smith of New York. Mr. Smith had been the first Catholic to win the nomination of a major political party.

On the same day in 1932, April 26, Mr. Smith beat Mr. Roosevelt in Massachusetts. Irish-Catholic Democrats in Boston carried the day for Mr. Smith in Massachusetts. Mr. Roosevelt was the winner just about everywhere else in 1932.

1948—Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota was the 32%-30% winner over Governor Thomas Dewey of New York in the Republican primary. Many know of Mr. Stassen as a perennial candidate who would announce a White House bid every four years until the 1990’s. He was at one time a serious candidate. Not serious enough though. Mr. Dewey was the 1948 Republican nominee.

( Below is a photo of Mr. Stassen from his service in WW II.)

1964—Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton was the 52%-20% winner over Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. This was part of a fight within the Republican party, as seen in 1912 and to some degree in 2008, between more moderate conservatives and the red meat types. After Senator Goldwater’s 1964 win, the red meat types would hold an edge they’ve yet to give up.

1972—Senator and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota won 35% against 21% for Governor George Wallace of Alabama and 20% Senator George McGovern of South Dakota. Senator McGovern’s anti-war liberalism was not a good match for Pennsylvania Democrats. 1972 was a long time ago, but you get a sense of the challanges faced by Senator Barack Obama of Illinois as he competes in Pennsylvania.

1976–-Former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia took 37% against 25% for Senator Scoop Jackson of Washington and 19% for Congressman Morris Udall of Arizona. This win was a big step in Mr. Carter’s nomination fight. While the late entries of Governor Jerry Brown and Senator Frank Church of Idaho gave Mr. Carter a bit more trouble down the road, Pennsylvania turned out in retrospect to have ended the process.

1980—Both the Republican and Democratic primaries produced interesting results. For Republicans, the more moderate George H.W. Bush of Texas beat former Governor Ronald Reagan of California 51%-43%.  This in a year that Mr. Reagan won 61% of all Republican primary votes against 23% for Mr. Bush. Pennsylvania was a late arrival to the Reagan Revolution.

Among Democrats, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts beat President Carter by the small margin of 45.7% to 45.4%. Any time an incumbent President loses a primary, he has trouble. Mr. Kennedy , like Senator McGovern in 1972, was the more liberal candidate. And as was Mr. Smith in 1932, he was  Catholic. Yet unlike those two men, he won the Pennsylvania primary.  This reflected a changing Democratic electorate, a tough economy in 1980, and the political weakness of President Carter.

The victories by Mr. Bush and Mr. Kennedy in 1980 were the last time Pennsylvania primary voters did not support the eventual nominee for either party. The Pennsylvania primary has taken place late in the process after the nominations have been wrapped up and not been important since 1976 and 1980.

Jesse Jackson won 18 % in 1984 and 27% in 1988 in Pennsylvania. These were showings consistent with his national showings in Democratic primaries.

In John McCain’s previous run on the Pennsylvania primary ballot in 2000, he lost to George W. Bush by 74%-23%. Mr. Bush had clearly won the nomination by that point.

12.4 million people live in Pennsylvania. It has the 6th largest population. Just under 10% of its people are black and just over 3% are Hispanic. John Kerry won Pennsylvania 51%-48% in 2004. Here is some more basic information about Pennsylvania.

Here is some information about presidential politics in Pennsylvania from the 2008 Almanac of American Politics—

For the last 70 years Pennsylvania has been a swing state in every close presidential election and even in some that were not close. Yet it is not typical of the country. With its older, deeply-rooted population, it tends to be culturally more conservative than the rest of the country; with its long-dying blue-collar communities, it tends to be economically more liberal—though both tendencies have been muted with time. But it does present a problem for political strategists of both parties: Combinations of issue positions which work for Democrats on the East and West Coasts or for Republicans in the South and the Heartland do not work well here. 

Here is a history of Pennsylvania.

The Field Negro is my favorite Pennsylvania blogger.

April 7, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

History Of The Mississippi Primary

 

In a state never swift to embrace democracy for all, the Mississippi presidential primary has a brief history.

It was not until 1988 that a real two-party presidential primary was held in Mississippi.

In 2008, the Mississippi primary will be held March 11.

Just over 2.9 million people live in Mississippi.  61% are white and 36% are black. That is the highest percentage of black people of any state in the nation.

Here are some basic facts about Mississippi.

In 2004, George W. Bush won Mississippi 59%-40%.

For many years Mississippi was a one-party Democratic Solid South state that used a whites-only primary.

Here is one link about the white primary.

Here is another.

The great Fannie Lou Hamer  (photo above) led the fight for an integrated Mississippi Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic convention in Atlantic City.

She had some success, but this was one event of many during the Civil Rights era that led many–though not all–white citizens of Mississippi to join the Republican party.

In 2004, Mississippi whites voted for George W. Bush by 85%-14%. Blacks voted for John Kerry 90%-10%.

( President George W. Bush.)

With the Republican party in control of much of Mississippi–though Democrats still control the state House of Representatives—it could be argued that the Republican primary is an updated white primary.

A difference is that black people are legally allowed to vote in the Republican primary. It’s just that they have little reason to want to do so.

The winner of the first Democratic presidential primary, held on Super Tuesday 1988, was Jesse Jackson. He beat Al Gore 45%-35%. Mike Dukakis ran a distant third.

This was great progress for Mississippi. But it also showed that many Mississippi whites had become Republicans.

(Please click here for a history of Super Tuesday.)

(Jesse Jackson in 1983)

In 1992 George H.W. Bush, and in 1996 Bob Dole, won easy Republican victories over candidates that ran from the right.

Pat Buchanan ran poorly in both ’92 and ’96.

David Duke gave it a shot in 1996.

He was rejected by Republican voters.

Again, on one hand this was progress. Yet on the other hand, it reflected a mainstream Republican party that white voters felt comfortable with on issues of race.

2000 and 2004 produced unremarkable results in Mississippi. Republicans did not hold a primary in 2004 since President George W. Bush was the certain nominee.

Please click here for other political history posts on Texas Liberal. 

(The Largemouth Bass is the official fish of Mississippi.)

March 7, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

History Of The Texas Primary

The Texas Presidential Primary, to be held March 4, is a big deal.

Democrats Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton are working to the take the largest share of the 228 delegates to be awarded.

( Photo above is of Galveston at sunset. If you live near the Texas coast, this might be your concept of Texas.)

Mike Huckabee hopes Evangelical Christians in Texas will help him add to a number of Southern victories gained so far against John McCain. 140 delegates are up in the Republican race.

32 of the Democratic delegates will be superdelegates. (Please click here for a Texas Liberal history of the superdelegate idea. )

I maintain that the superdelegate idea is undemocratic and goes against the idea of an open and fair Democratic Party.

( The process by which Texas delegates are selected is mind-numbing and not the province of this post. Here’s a link to part one and part two of an explanation of this system by the Texas political blog Burnt Orange Report.)

Not surprisingly, given the lack of enthusiasm for democracy found historically among the Texas political class—-and from many of the Anglo voters who have dominated Texas politics—the Texas Presidential primary does not have a long history.

The first Texas presidential primary was held in 1980.

( Here is a concept of Texas some might have—An oil rig in the middle of town.  I’ve never seen this in my nine years in Texas. Though I have seen oil rigs within the city limits of Houston.)

Texas was for many years part of the one-party “Solid South” that anchored Jim Crow segregation in America.

This system had multiple parts.

The two-thirds rule at the Democratic National Convention assured that the South would have a veto over any presidential candidate who threatened progress on Civil Rights. It took two-thirds of all delegates to ratify a nominee.  That rule is now gone.

On Election Day in November, the South, including Texas, would almost always vote for the Democratic nominee.  A Texas exception to this was in 1928 when Republican Herbert Hoover defeated Catholic Al Smith. (Some Texans  must have sat around the dinner table deciding if they disliked Catholics or black people the most.)

( Here is Al Smith with Babe Ruth. You can likely figure out who is Smith and who is Ruth. )

This Southern unity prevented the Democratic nominee from pushing Civil Rights during the campaign (If he had any inclination to do so to start with.) since he could not alienate such a large block of states.

In Congress, Southern Democratic Senators and Representatives, often reelected without opposition, built seniority and gained control of important committees. This also stopped any progress on Civil Rights.

Here is a link to a history of the “Whites Only” Democratic primary used in Texas for many years to determine nominees–and certain November winners in a one party state–for the great majority of Texas offices.

In the U.S. Senate, the filibuster rule allowed Southern Senators to block Civil Rights legislation.  This may all seem a bit off the topic of the Texas Primary, but it gets at the political climate in Texas for many years and how it was that the Progressive-era reform of the presidential primary did not reach Texas until 1980.

Today Texas, along with Hawaii, California and New Mexico, is a state where the majority of people are not white. That’s amazing when you think of the John Wayne/roughneck image of Texas.

Many of these non-white folks are immigrants.

(The Port of Houston is immense and it connects Houston and Texas to the world. Many immigrants come to Texas today and they are–for the most part so far–accepted.)

Most of these immigrants are accepted. Even undocumented immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere have not  been disturbed much as of yet. If this has to do with the role these immigrants play in the Texas economy, or the possible–mostly unrealized– political clout of Hispanic voters in Texas, I could not fully say.

Roughly one-third of Texans are Hispanic. Though many are not legally here. And of those that are here legally, many do not vote. Texas is just over 11% black. Almost 24 million people live in Texas. Here is a link to some basic facts about Texas.

(Below is the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Hard to see any distinctions between people from this perspective.)

George W. Bush won Texas with 61% of the vote in 2004. Republicans are in firm control of Texas politically.

That first presidential primary in 1980 produced an interesting result. Ronald Reagan of California defeated George H. W. Bush of Houston, Texas by a 51%-47% margin. This was on May 3, 1980.

Mr. Reagan had mostly wrapped up the nomination by that point, but it still shows the strength conservative in the Texas Republican party against a strong home-state candidate.

On the other side, President Jimmy Carter beat Ted Kennedy 56%-23%. I think today the liberal would do somewhat better.

Texas was a Super Tuesday battleground for Democrats in 1988. Mike Dukakis rook first place with 33% against 25% for Jesse Jackson and 20% for Southerner Al Gore. This win helped confirm Mr. Dukakis as the front-runner, though it would take another round of primaries to make it more certain. (Please click here for a Texas Liberal history of Super Tuesday.)

Vice President Bush was an easy home state winner in 1988.

Though as an incumbent President, Mr Bush’s 69% against 24% for Pat Buchanan in 1992 was not so impressive.

The son, George W. Bush, beat John McCain 88% to 7% in 2000. Not a close call. Mr. McCain may do better this time.

In 2004, while Bush was unopposed among Republicans, John Kerry won two-thirds of the vote on his way to the nomination.

2008 promises to be the most interesting and most relevant Texas presidential primary yet held.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 9, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Elections, History, Houston, Immigration, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Louisiana Primary Is February 9—Facts, History & Links About Louisiana Politics & The Primary

The Louisiana primary will be held for both parties this upcoming Saturday, February 9.

Democrats will award 56 delegates and Republicans will have 20 delegates at stake. (Though some of these Republican delegates have already been spoken for in an earlier caucus.)

For Democrats in the South in 2008, Senator Barack Obama has so far won the Deep South states of South Carolina,( Here is a Texas Liberal history of the South Carolina primary.) Alabama and Georgia. Hillary Clinton has won Arkansas, where she lived for many years, and the border state of Tennessee.

Mrs. Clinton was the winner of the Florida poll, but due to a dispute over the date of the primary, a full campaign was not fought in Florida.  ( Here is a Texas Liberal history of the Florida primary.)

Senator Obama does well in states where much of the primary electorate is black.

For Republicans, Mike Huckabee has been the strongest candidate in the South. Though John McCain’s wins in South Carolina and Florida have been very important to his campaign.

( Satellite image of New Orleans.)

In November, Louisiana has gone Republican in the past two elections. Going back a bit further, after many years as a “Solid South” one-party Democratic state, Louisiana has mostly voted for Republicans for President beginning with Barry Goldwater in 1964. Southern Democrats Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 were able to carry the state.

Louisiana has not played a large role in the recent history of the presidential nominating process with one positive exception. In 1996 the forces of the far right-wing Texas Senator Phil Gramm  arranged for early caucuses in Louisiana to help the Gramm campaign. That was a bad move. Turnout was low and Pat Buchanan won the most delegates.

Louisiana did not hold its first Presidential primary until 1980. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were the winners.

Indicative of the strength of black voters within the Democratic Party there, Jesse Jackson was the Louisiana Democratic primary winner in both 1984 and 1988.

The Obama campaign must be aware of that fact.

( Photo below of Bald Cypress Swamp in Louisiana.)

Here is an excerpt from the Louisiana entry in the 2008 Almanac of American Politics—-

Louisiana often seems to America’s banana republic, with its charm and inefficiency, its communities interfaced by family ties and its public sector sometimes laced with corruption, with its own indigenous culture and its traditions of fine distinctions of class and caste. It is a state with an economy uncomfortably like that of an underdeveloped country, based on pumping minerals out of soggy ground and shipping grain produced in the vast hinterland drained by its great river, an economy increasingly dependent on businesses typical of picturesque Third World countries—tourism…. and gambling…..Louisiana has a hereditary rich class and a large low-wage working class. It has conservative cultural attitudes….but Louisiana also has a lazy tolerance of rule-breaking.

Louisiana has a lower population today than it did in 2000. This is because, of course, of Hurricane Katrina. The 2000 population was 4.468 million. The 2007 estimate was 4.293 million.

Here are some basic facts about Louisiana.

The population of Louisiana is around 30% black. The Hispanic population is much smaller. If it has gone up since Katrina, it is unlikely that many of the Hispanics involved in rebuilding New Orleans are registered to vote. Hispanic voters have been supporting Hillary Clinton so far in the Democratic race.

It was not just New Orleans proper that lost population after Katrina. Strongly Republican Jefferson Parrish in the New Orleans suburbs has also lost people and this fact may offset at least some of the black population decline.

Here is the Louisiana progressive blogger Moldy City.

Here is the Louisiana progressive blogger CenLamar.

Here is the Louisiana progressive blogger Library Chronicles.

Here is the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.

Here is the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Here is the Green Party of Louisiana.

Here is the Louisiana Republican Party.

(Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008. )

(Does this unique Louisiana cuisine make up for years of poverty and racism?)

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, Hurricane Katrina, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Liberal Super Tuesday Live Blogging–Still Worth Reading Even Though The Day Is Done

Texas Liberal Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Is Up & Running—(And Now That The Day Is Done, It Is Still Worth Reading!)   

Huckabee Wins W.V.—-6:00 PM 

Mike Huckabee got his Super Tuesday started right by winning the West Virgina Republican convention. He takes all 18 delegates from West Virginia.

What a shock that Republicans have winner take all primaries and conventions!

West Virginia was one the most Democratic states until George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004. It seems 71% of West Virginians live in a gun-owning household. I wonder if gun ownership entitles those folks to health insurance? 

John Kennedy’s 1960 primary win in West Virgina over Hubert Humphrey proved a Catholic could win an overwhelmingly Protestant state.    

Obama Takes Georgia—6:00 PM

Barack Obama has been called as the winner of the Georgia Democratic primary.

Georgia is 29% black. This means the Democratic electorate in Georgia has many blacks.

President Bush won Georgia with 58% in 2004. That means Georgia whites vote strongly Republican.

If Mr. Obama is nominated, by how much will Southern black turnout increase? Will Southern whites be open to a black candidate? CNN says Mr. Obama won 40% of the white vote in Georgia. But a Democratic primary is different from a General Election. 

Wrong To Bribe Voters, But Okay To Give Them Alcohol—6:15 PM 

Today I was reading America’s Three Regimes—A New Political History by Morton Keller.  

Here is what this book says about 18th Century Southern elections—

“…there was much treating of voters to drinks on Election Day—“swilling the planters with bumbo”—just as in English towns. But there appears to have been little overt vote buying of the sort common in 18th century English parliamentary elections.”

Seems like progress. I would not refuse a drink at the polls.

McCain Best In Connecticut—7:00 PM

John McCain has won Connecticut.

Mr. McCain had the endorsement of Connecticut Senator Joe Liberman. Mr. Liberman’s endorsement might help Mr. McCain with so-called “Independent” voters in November. It seems less clear this endorsement will help with the more conservative voters Mr. McCain is struggling to win.  

Unlike G.W.H Bush In 1980, Romney & Obama Win Home States—7:17 PM

Mitt Romney has won his home state of Massachusetts and Barack Obama has won his home state of Illinois.

It’s reassuring to win your home state

The first George Bush lost his home state of Texas to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Texas Republican primary. The margin was 51–47%. 

Hillary Clinton Projected In Oklahoma–Oklahoma 2nd Best State For Socialist Eugene Debs In 1912—7:25 PM

Hillary Clinton is the projected winner in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one state Democrats will be avoiding in the general election campaign. President Bush won the Sooner State 60-38 in 2000 and 66-34 in 2004.

Oklahoma voters were not always so misguided. The great Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 16.4% of the Oklahoma vote for President in 1912. Nevada was the best Debs’ state that year. His national total was 6%. 

I have faith in the people of Oklahoma and I know they will wake up someday soon. 

McCain Winner In Tiny Delaware—He Could Be A Threat In Some Northeastern & Middle Atlantic States—7:50 PM

John McCain has won Delaware. This goes with wins already tonight in Connecticut and New Jersey. All three of these Atlantic seaboard states have voted for Democrats for President in recent elections.

If there is any Republican who could make a run at these places next fall it would be Mr. McCain.

Delaware was the only state to vote for the winner in every Presidential election between 1952 and 1996.  In 2000 and 2004 Democrats carried Delaware. 

Italy Moves Towards Elections—Rest Of The World Continues To Exist– 8:15PM

The center left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi has lost its governing majority and an election seems likely within the next two months. Regretfully, conservative Silvio Berlusconi may return yet again as Prime Minister. Based on the last few Italian elections, it will be close.

No matter how focused we are on ourselves, the rest of the world still exists.   

Obama Is Alabama Winner–2nd Black Man To Win That Primary— 8:35 PM

Between 1932 and 1944, Franklin Roosevelt won at least 81% of the vote in the one-party Solid South state of Alabama.

In 1948, after Harry Truman desegregated the army, Strom Thurmond, running on a States Rights ticket, won 80% of the vote.

Now Barack Obama has won the Alabama Democratic primary. He is in fact the second black man to do so. Jesse Jackson won it in 1988.  

Obama Winner In Kansas—Governor There Possible VP, But She Most Likely Could Not Deliver Her State—9:24PM

Senator Obama has won Kansas. That state’s governor, Kathleen Sebelius, has been out working for Mr. Obama and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. But Kansas is so Republican that I don’t think she deliver Kansas on Election Day.

That would be just as John Edwards did not help in North Carolina in 2004, or Lloyd Bentsen did not help Democrats in Texas in 1988.

With the Electoral College map so tight, a potential running mate needs to be able to put a state in play. Kansas is not such a state for Democrats.

Romney says losing is “fun and exciting.”—9:38PM

Well, he did say “fun and exciting” and he was referencing the campaign—But I am paraphrasing to a degree. Romney said he is going to stay in the race past tonight. 

Governor Romney’s father, former Governor George Romney of Michigan, won exactly 3,830 Republican primary votes when he ran for President in 1968. So there is at least one threshold the son has surpassed.    

Obama First In Minnesota Caucus—I Think Paul Wellstone Would Have Been Pleased—10:09 PM

I can’t know for a fact, but I think the great liberal Paul Wellstone of Minnesota would have taken to the campaign of Senator Obama. Here is the link to Wellstone Action! They do a lot of good work for the liberal and progressive side of the debate. 

McCain Makes Lousy Surrender Comment—10:30 PM

I had the misfortune of watching Senator McCain on CNN today. He was saying that Democrats who favored a times withdrawal from Iraq were advocating “surrender.”

What does “surrender”mean here? Does Senator McCain think that Democrats advocate American troops in Iraq turning over their weapons to the militants and asking for mercy? That’s what surrender is.

Would a real man of honor make such a comment? No Democrat supports any type of surrender.      

Huckabee Somewhere Between George W. Bush and Pat Robertson–11:00 PM

Mike Huckabee has won Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alabama this evening. He says he is in the race to stay.

Governor Huckabee has the string support of Evangelical Christians. Evangelicals played a large role in the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000. But Bush also had the support of low-tax conservatives and the Republican establishment. Governor Huckabee is no George Bush.

On the other hand, he is more of a candidate than was Pat Robertson in 1988. Mr. Robertson never won a primary and as a “message candidate” won only 9% of primary voters. Running the same year on the other side, Jesse Jackson won 29% of Democratic primary voters. 

So Mr. Huckabee is more than Pat Robertson was in 1988–Though that will not be nearly enough.

McCain in California And Missouri– Can Schwarzenegger Make McCain Viable In California This Fall? 11:36 PM 

All night we’ve been hearing McCain had not made the knock-out punch. Well, it seems to me he at least has everybody else on the ropes pretty good. These two late night wins are most helpful to Mr. McCain.

An even bigger question than who will win the California primary tonight, will be is the more moderate Westerner McCain viable in California in November. You can bet that subject is already on the Republican radar. Just forcing the Democratic nominee to campaign in California this fall will be a Republican victory.

I’m certain McCain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger is already thinking it out. (While his wife Maria Shriver will no doubt continue her work for Senator Obama.)   

Signing Off With Obama’s Alaska Win—The Race Now Moves On Texas, Ohio & Other Points–12:08 AM

Barack Obama is the winner is Alaska.

  

The race now moves on to Texas, Ohio, and other points.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Ron Paul Is A Serious Candidate While, Sadly, Dennis Kucinich Is Not

It pains me to say it, but Republican Representative Ron Paul of Texas is a serious candidate for President who should, for the moment at least, be included in debates, while Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio is not serious.

A serious candidate for the Presidency is not by exclusive definition someone likely to win the nomination. It can be a “message” candidate who represents an important wing of the party. 

Democrat Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 is an excellent example of such a candidate.

By this standard, both Congressman Paul and Congressman Kucinich might qualify.

The difference is that Ron Paul is raising money and he ran ahead of some of the so-called serious candidates in Iowa. None of this can be said of Dennis Kucinich.

Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 won a few primaries and finished strongly in number of others. He earned inclusion as a serious candidate all the way to the convention.

Republican Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996 was another example of a credible message candidate.

As the primaries begin, Rep. Paul will have to prove he can routinely win at the least 10% of the vote to establish he can do more than raise money from a core of zealous supporters.

In 1988, Jesse Jackson won 29.1% of Democratic primary votes. In 1992, Pat Buchanan won 22.8% of Republican primary votes.

In 2004, Dennis Kucinich won 3.8% of primary votes. His campaign for 2008 seems no stronger than 2004.  

Texas based political blogger Jobsanger has a post today on the subject of Rep. Paul’s unfair exclusion from the Fox News debate last night.  

1/16/08—Update—Congressman Paul has run poorly in both New Hampshire and Michigan. He is not winning nearly the votes gained by either Pat Buchanan or Jesse Jackson. I’m not sure you can say Dr. Paul is for real anymore.

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , | 7 Comments