Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
E-Mail: bergen.anthony@gmail.com
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Posts tagged "Election"

Anonymous asked:  How much would you pay to be able to laugh at Mitt Romney tonight and keep reminding him about how much he lost by? Good riddance to you Mittens.

Just because I voted for Barack Obama doesn’t mean that I want to see Mitt Romney destroyed, or even hurt.  I don’t agree with Governor Romney’s politics, but I don’t wish him ill and I certainly wouldn’t disrespect him.

This is the problem with American politics — Americans like the person who asked this question.  They are on both sides of the aisle and they are equally horrible for our country.  Last night, I found no glory in the fact that Mitt Romney lost; instead, I was hopeful and happy that Barack Obama won.  I didn’t go to the polls to vote against Mitt Romney; I was there to vote for Barack Obama.

Much like John McCain four years ago, Mitt Romney went out with class last night, and he deserves our respect.  I have never thought that Mitt Romney was a bad man.  I thought Obama would be a better President, but there was never any hatred on my part for Romney.  We can disagree with his politics or the way he campaigns, but there is no reason to look at Mitt Romney as a villain.

Yes, Governor Romney is incredibly wealthy and was probably out-of-touch with “average Americans” like you and me.  But with all of that money, Romney could live a life of leisure and never have to work at anything again.  Instead, what did he do?  He devoted himself to public service.  There’s no question that he loves his family and has a great relationship with them.  He spent a significant amount of time in a leadership role with his church — not just by sitting in a pew every Sunday but by taking a leadership role where he gave up time to help the families and people of his community.  Saving the Salt Lake City Olympics, serving as Governor of Massachusetts, running for President in 2008 and 2012 — none of those things were token jobs where Romney was a figurehead that got the credit while others did the work.  They were all challenges that Romney tackled with hard work and, in each instant, he “left everything on the field”, as he said in his concession speech last night.

Make no mistake about it — running for President is one of the most difficult, exhausting, and thankless journeys that an American can take.  Everyone who runs for President makes tremendous sacrifices, and nobody seeks the Presidency because they are bad people who want to do harm to the United States.  Candidates for the Presidency like Mitt Romney — win or lose — are patriots.  They have a vision for this country and the passion to put themselves on the frontline.  To serve all of us.

Laugh at Mitt Romney?  Taunt him?  No, I would thank Mitt Romney.  I’d tell him that I may not have cast a ballot for him, but that I appreciate the sacrifices he made in order to try to move our country forward.  I’d admit that I disagree with his politics, but that I respect his beliefs and admire his passion for going after what he felt was right.  I’d tell him that I know last night was probably one of the most difficult experiences of his life, but that he conceded with class, he demonstrated a remarkable work ethic throughout the campaign, and that I hoped that my fellow Democrats would have offered their support of him if Obama had lost as seamlessly and earnestly as he offered his support for the President during his concession.

We cannot and will not bridge the divisions in this country if we continue to be ugly towards each other.  Politics alone will not take us where we need to be.  There must be some magnanimity, some cooperation, some compromise between all of us — from the President and the Congress to the State Governors and Legislatures, and right on down to you and me and our neighbors.  “Politics” and “compromise” are dirty words because we drag them through the mud along with anyone connected to those ideas.  That has to stop.  It has to stop between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, it has to stop between the talking heads on cable news networks, and it has to stop with people who anonymously leave messages on blogs encouraging a celebration over the heartbreaking defeat of someone who put everything on the line to serve his country.  Celebrate Obama’s victory, not Romney’s defeat.  Congratulate Obama and his supporters, but don’t hesitate to appreciate Romney’s work ethic and devotion to service.

We are at our best when all of us — or at least the largest majority of us — are moving forward.  We are at our best when we remember the first word in our nation’s name is “United”.  The idea of a constant conflict pitting Democrats vs. Republicans where one side must win and one side must lose is not progress.  It’s Civil War without violence — but not without casualties.  As someone who knew something about Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, once said, “Let us have peace.”  We should follow General Grant’s advice and add, “Let us have progress.”  With peace and progress will come prosperity for all of our people.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
How much would you pay to be able to laugh at Mitt Romney tonight and keep reminding him about how much he lost by? Good riddance to you Mittens.
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Just because I voted for Barack Obama doesn’t mean that I want to see Mitt Romney destroyed, or even hurt.  I don’t agree with Governor Romney’s politics, but I don’t wish him ill and I certainly wouldn’t disrespect him.

This is the problem with American politics — Americans like the person who asked this question.  They are on both sides of the aisle and they are equally horrible for our country.  Last night, I found no glory in the fact that Mitt Romney lost; instead, I was hopeful and happy that Barack Obama won.  I didn’t go to the polls to vote against Mitt Romney; I was there to vote for Barack Obama.

Much like John McCain four years ago, Mitt Romney went out with class last night, and he deserves our respect.  I have never thought that Mitt Romney was a bad man.  I thought Obama would be a better President, but there was never any hatred on my part for Romney.  We can disagree with his politics or the way he campaigns, but there is no reason to look at Mitt Romney as a villain.

Yes, Governor Romney is incredibly wealthy and was probably out-of-touch with “average Americans” like you and me.  But with all of that money, Romney could live a life of leisure and never have to work at anything again.  Instead, what did he do?  He devoted himself to public service.  There’s no question that he loves his family and has a great relationship with them.  He spent a significant amount of time in a leadership role with his church — not just by sitting in a pew every Sunday but by taking a leadership role where he gave up time to help the families and people of his community.  Saving the Salt Lake City Olympics, serving as Governor of Massachusetts, running for President in 2008 and 2012 — none of those things were token jobs where Romney was a figurehead that got the credit while others did the work.  They were all challenges that Romney tackled with hard work and, in each instant, he “left everything on the field”, as he said in his concession speech last night.

Make no mistake about it — running for President is one of the most difficult, exhausting, and thankless journeys that an American can take.  Everyone who runs for President makes tremendous sacrifices, and nobody seeks the Presidency because they are bad people who want to do harm to the United States.  Candidates for the Presidency like Mitt Romney — win or lose — are patriots.  They have a vision for this country and the passion to put themselves on the frontline.  To serve all of us.

Laugh at Mitt Romney?  Taunt him?  No, I would thank Mitt Romney.  I’d tell him that I may not have cast a ballot for him, but that I appreciate the sacrifices he made in order to try to move our country forward.  I’d admit that I disagree with his politics, but that I respect his beliefs and admire his passion for going after what he felt was right.  I’d tell him that I know last night was probably one of the most difficult experiences of his life, but that he conceded with class, he demonstrated a remarkable work ethic throughout the campaign, and that I hoped that my fellow Democrats would have offered their support of him if Obama had lost as seamlessly and earnestly as he offered his support for the President during his concession.

We cannot and will not bridge the divisions in this country if we continue to be ugly towards each other.  Politics alone will not take us where we need to be.  There must be some magnanimity, some cooperation, some compromise between all of us — from the President and the Congress to the State Governors and Legislatures, and right on down to you and me and our neighbors.  “Politics” and “compromise” are dirty words because we drag them through the mud along with anyone connected to those ideas.  That has to stop.  It has to stop between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, it has to stop between the talking heads on cable news networks, and it has to stop with people who anonymously leave messages on blogs encouraging a celebration over the heartbreaking defeat of someone who put everything on the line to serve his country.  Celebrate Obama’s victory, not Romney’s defeat.  Congratulate Obama and his supporters, but don’t hesitate to appreciate Romney’s work ethic and devotion to service.

We are at our best when all of us — or at least the largest majority of us — are moving forward.  We are at our best when we remember the first word in our nation’s name is “United”.  The idea of a constant conflict pitting Democrats vs. Republicans where one side must win and one side must lose is not progress.  It’s Civil War without violence — but not without casualties.  As someone who knew something about Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, once said, “Let us have peace.”  We should follow General Grant’s advice and add, “Let us have progress.”  With peace and progress will come prosperity for all of our people.

229 plays
Marvin Gaye,
The Master (1961-1984) (Disc 4)

Marvin Gaye: The Star-Spangled Banner (Live at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game)

•••CHOICES•••

On this day, throughout our nation, something remarkable will take place.  The fact that it happens quadrennially does not diminish its wonder.  In fact, the longer the tradition continues and the more often that it occurs as expected and as designed makes it seem something like a miracle; like an extraordinary experiment that perpetuates itself peacefully and successfully despite the flaws of humanity and the blemishes of our stubborn beliefs.

Across the country, Americans like you and me; men and women; old and young; Democrat, Republican, Independents, and undecideds will stand in lines at churches, in firehouses, in school cafeterias, in community centers built for the public and the normally private garages of local volunteers.  All of the campaigning, the signs, the bumper stickers, the television ads, the newspaper headlines, the e-mails seeking donations, and the chatter with friends, family, and co-workers will be silenced as we step into a polling place and take our ballots.  Some of us will poke holes in paper, some will fill in bubbles like an elementary school quiz, and some will use high-tech touch screens.  What we all will do, however, is participate.  We will make a choice.

That doesn’t seem like it should be all that amazing, does it?  Making a choice?  Yet, it is.  It’s a privilege that Americans are able to claim as a right.  It’s something that many people around the world can’t imagine doing.  It’s a right and privilege that some people still alive today — gray-haired and stooped but very much alive — had to march against hatred and ignorance to gain access to.  Because of where we were born and where we live, we have the ability to make choices today that will have a significant impact on each of our lives.  That is not only a privilege and a right, but a special responsibilty that we have a duty to fulfill.

After all of the money and energy spent on the campaign for President of the United States, the seemingly endless campaigns reach the finish line today.  The candidates have dominated our lives for nearly two years in the most expensive and most visible Presidential campaign in American history.  Yet, this one ends exactly like the 56 Presidential campaigns that preceded it — with people like you and me making a choice.

Despite the divisive nature of politics, we go to the polls today because “politics” is not really a dirty word.  Instead, it’s the system we use to find solutions.  As fractured as our nation is, there is something unifying in the collective act of streaming into polling places across the continent and making the choice we believe is best for our country.  Tense disagreements and heightened emotions are calmed by the singular majesty of millions of individual Americans exercising their right, responsibility, and privilege of voting.  The loud arguments, the angry words, and the destructive vitriol hurled at political opponents in debates, on cable news networks, and on partisan internet sites is quieted by the dignified power of casting your ballot.

Our country has many problems and our political leaders can be difficult, disappointing, and seemingly defeatist, but that’s why there is such beauty in what we do today. 

Yes, there is something beautiful and inspiring about Election Day, and it is us.

On another Election Day — Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, which seems like a lifetime ago — then-Senator Barack Obama told a crowd of supporters, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”  Whether you support President Obama or Governor Romney, that is still the case.  There have been a lot of problems in the United States of America lately, and there will continue to be problems tomorrow.  But today is the day where we can start solving those problems.  The solution lies with us.  We have the power to change things and set things right because that amazing privilege/right/responsibility — the ability to make a choice — belongs to us. 

For all of the ugliness we see and experience in this country, there is definitely beauty and bliss in the ballot.  We can continue to scream at one another and cast shadows over our nation’s future because of petty political differences, or we can make righteous choices that benefit the most Americans possible.  We can choose leaders who seek solutions rather than those who think our political system is based around a scoreboard and that they only win if the other side loses.  The American experiment is a not a competition between liberals and conservatives, so on this day where we continue our remarkable history of peacefully making important choices, let’s remember that our country doesn’t progress unless we all move forward together. 

Choices are marvelous things.  Whether you see your ability to make a choice as a privilege, a right, or a responsibility, remember that it is also a gift of power.  Use that power.  Make a choice, make a difference, go vote, and let’s move our nation forward.  Together.

Hey, Governor Romney, did you hear that?  In case you missed it, it’s the quote right above these sentences.  You know, the one by the Mormon former Governor who should be President.  No…no, not the one in the mirror — the one that is completely reasonable and intelligent and actually gives me hope that we can actually heal the divisions in our country.

It’s the big night and I am back to bring you my Smart-Ass Commentary for the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention as President Obama and Vice President Biden prepare to accept their party’s nomination for a second term and this seemingly endless campaign cycle officially kicks in to gear with the stretch run to Election Day.

Listen, I have to be very honest.  I’m having a much more difficult time coming up with Smart-Ass Commentary this week.  I guess part of it is that I am a Democrat and I did work for Barack Obama in 2007/2008, but to be fair, I was able to be a smart-ass during the President’s State of the Union Address earlier this year.  I think the bigger problem is that last night I was reminded why the 1990s were so awesome and why Bill Clinton should still be President, and instead of joking about it, I was just really sad.  I’m going to try to do a better job tonight, but I must note that my love for Joe Biden is just a little below my love for Bill Clinton, so just know that I know that I might be disappointing in this role tonight.

You know, if only there was something to help bring out the inner cynic within me.  If only there was a ghost from campaigns of the past.  If only there was some sort of a specter to remind me and my fellow Democrats of how far we’ve come and how low we once were.  If only there was a speed bump placed in between the utter awesomeness of Bill Clinton and Joe Biden in order to keep the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte from exploding due to the fact that Clinton and Biden are the coolest fucking Democrats alive.  If only we could be interrupted by the political personification of a vacuum…



YES!  Now, THIS is something I can be a Smart-Ass about.  Let’s kick the night off with the only man who was less popular than George W. Bush in 2004 — Senator John Forbes Kerry of Massachusetts!

•It’s nice to see that Senator Kerry could take time off from being on the $20 bill to speak to us.
•If he salutes and says he’s “reporting for duty” like he did at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I’m voting for Mitt Romney.
•Hey, fellow Democrats, remember when we nominated John Kerry to be President?  Man, that sucked.
•Let’s be straight here — John Kerry and Mitt Romney are pretty much interchangeable.
•What a weird speech.  It’s like Kerry started up from the middle of the speech.
•This reminds me of 2004 when everything was really shitty and I looked at my ballot and said, “Well, I can’t vote for Bush, so…I guess it’s Kerry.”
•Oh…another memory…remember when he picked John Edwards as Vice President?  That guy turned out to be a star.
•I have absolutely no interest in anything that John Kerry is saying and, as his speech goes on, my body is beginning to shut down in order to protect itself.
•John Kerry had everything backwards — your human form is not supposed to look like a Mount Rushmore sculpture. 
•In case you don’t understand, I’m insinuating that John Kerry is a fucking rock-headed bore.
•I do like the fact that Kerry’s talking about Osama bin Laden’s death.  As I’ve mentioned, if I were President Obama, I’d just have a photo of bin Laden’s body on the stage at every campaign stop.
•Kerry says that Romney/Ryan are the most inexperienced foreign policy two-some to run in decades.  Or, since that goofy Kerry/Edwards ticket.
•Is John Kerry criticizing somebody for being a flip-flopper?  Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle “John Kerry”?
•Just think, if John Kerry had his way, this speech would be capping off his second term as President and he’d probably be nominating husband-of-the-year John Edwards as POTUS.
•”Let me say something else.  Let me say something else.” — YOU HAVE THE MICROPHONE AND THE STAGE, STONEHENGE FACE, GO AHEAD AND TALK.
•Jesus, I can’t believe I voted for this man to be President of the United States.
•John Kerry just spoke for twelve-and-a-half minutes without saying a goddamn thing.  •That might be #2 on my list of “Biggest Wastes of My Life”.  #1 is the entire year of 2004.  Congratulations, Senator Kerry, you finally won something!

I feel like we need to start a new post in order to cleanse ourselves after that reminder of the political abyss that John Kerry and John Edwards dragged us down into in 2004.  The good news:  Joe Biden is next!

Back in January, I jotted down my smart-ass thoughts as I watched President Obama deliver his 2012 State of the Union Address.  I did something similar back in August 2009 while watching Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral (Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV).  Since then, I’ve had requests to do it again, so what better opportunity than Mitt Romney’s speech accepting the Republican Presidential nomination last night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida?

Even though I am posting this the following morning, in a way, I guess it’s like a liveblog.  These are the notes I wrote down as I watched the proceedings at the Convention on Thursday night.  As an added bonus, I’m starting off by including the notes I made while watching the RNC’s introduction video about Romney as well as the speech by “mystery guest” Clint Eastwood.

CLINT EASTWOOD’S SPEECH
•Good Lord, it’s the old lady from the bathtub in The Shining!
•My mistake, that’s Clint Eastwood, star of such classics as Space Cowboys and that one Super Bowl commercial.
•He hasn’t spoken a word yet, but I’d bet all of my money that he uses a phrase from one of his movies.
•Actually, no joke, Eastwood is starting to look like President John Tyler.
•WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS DODDERING OLD MAN SAYING?
•This is really embarrassing for America.
•If they wanted a drunk Republican to speak, they could have just used Rick Perry.
•Wow, it’s a skeleton talking to an empty chair.
•I don’t even know what smart-assed things to say; this is kind of frightening and sad.
•Even the highly-partisan audience in Tampa is worried.
•There’s a significant chance that Eastwood genuinely believes Obama is sitting in that empty chair.
•Did he just make a “go fuck yourself” joke?  Why are these church-going conservatives laughing at such filth?
•He just called a plane a “truck”.
•Eastwood thinks that he’s endorsing Wendell Willkie.
•Lots of white folks in that crowd.
•What a surprise — he used a phrase from one of his movies.  That never got old when Governor Schwarzenegger did it in every speech for almost eight years. 
•That was…I just don’t know…but I hope he goes and sees Ronald Reagan’s doctors ASAP.

I’m almost too stunned to continue, but it’s time for the introduction video.

MITT ROMNEY INTRODUCTION VIDEO
•I remember having to watch a similar video about Barack Obama approximately 900 times during the 2008 campaign, so this should be equally unbearable.
•Generic shots of winter sports = Presidential leadership.
•Dan Jansen shouldn’t have fallen asleep on the beach with his sunglasses on.
•Listen, I’m not a total dick; I liked how he talked about his relationship with his wife.  That was a nice touch and a good story.
•That Romney family is the ideal Aryan family.
•All of Romney’s sons look like meteorologists from some mid-sized American city like Spokane, Washington or Boulder, Colorado.
•If what Ann Romney was doing was more important than what Mitt Romney was doing, why isn’t she running for President?
•EWWW…did Mitt Romney say “knuckle snorts” as a playful name?  Disqualified.
•Lots of white folks in this video.
•I wonder how much money the Romney family annually spends on khaki Dockers.
•Mitt Romney can’t replace a lightbulb on the stove correctly.  Elect this man!
•The dude from Staples: “Mitt is a cheap son-of-a-gun.”  How great would it be if this video was just incredibly profane? “Mitt is a cheap motherfucker.”  Or if one of his uber-white sons said, “My dad is my nigga.”
•In the two-shot, as Ann Romney speaks while Mitt is creepily staring at her, we can’t see that he is actually gripping her leg with his hand and digging his fingernails into her skin in order to keep her saying nice things.
•That’s right — I’m alleging that Mitt Romney is an intimidating, wife-beater despite having no evidence whatsoever that would lead any sane individual to that conclusion.
•Sorry, that last comment was fact-checked by the Washington Times.
•To be fair, that was a good video that served its purpose well.

Alright, it’s time for the main event, Governor Romney’s acceptance speech, which gets it own separate post.