Political Parties and the Future of the GOP

When Political Parties are Born

Even before the Constitution, there were Federalist and anti-Federalist factions. In George Washington’s administration, the government was divided between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians. In his Farewell Address, Washington warned Americans about the danger of factions, but early Americans ignored the administration and rushed to form political parties.

The history of political parties in American history is referred to as political alignments. There are generally four recognized periods of alignment and realignment. The first alignment was a polarization between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, ending with the Era of Good Feelings. The second alignment was between the Democrats and Whigs; in 1852, Lewis Campbell of Ohio declared the end of the Whig Party: “The party is dead—dead—dead!” Out of the vacuum left by the collapse of the Whig Party, in 1854 John C. Fremont created the Grand Old Party dedicated to Federalism and the end of slavery. The party of the third alignment quickly became better known as the Republican Party. By 1932, however, the progressive Republican Party had become the party of laisse fair and small government. Almost incredulously, the fourth alignment occurred when President Franklin D. Roosevelt transformed the Democratic into the party of Federalism and Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson transformed the old party of the Confederacy into the party of Civil Rights.

He Did! So Can We!

The two enduring questions in the study of political parties in the United States are will there ever be a viable third party, and when will the next realignment occur? The Know Nothings, the Greenbacks, the Populists, and the Progressives have all failed to become permanent fixtures in American political history. One reason is that the two dominant parties have absorbed the issues of successful smaller parties.

Two of the most successful third parties in history, however, were not issued-based as much as personality-based. In 1912, the Cool Moose Party of former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt split enough of the Republican vote that the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, was elected President of the United States. The other significant third-party candidate, Ross Perot, won a significant portion of the popular vote in 1992, but it has never been completely clear whether he took more votes from President George H.W. Bush (R) or Governor Bill Clinton (D).

Popularism versus the Establishment

Both the Republican and Democratic Parties have internal divisions as well as their external struggles with each other. Most often, this is manifested as a battle for the soul of the party between populists and the establishment. The party that becomes more populist is usually the party that is out of power. The populist energy is often then harnessed into an electoral victory, wherein the populist party becomes the establishment and fuels the populist frustrations in the opposition party. Since the end of the Cold War, this dynamic has also been represented in the debate over internationalism as well.

The Fifth Alignment

There are those who believe that the fifth alignment has already occurred, whether it was the Reagan Democrats and the movement of Catholic voters toward the Republican Party or the Clinton electoral victory in 1992 and the Democratic embracing of Wall Street. However, in both of these situations, there was a movement from one pre-existing political party to another. While that is similar to the fourth alignment, the other three alignments occurred with the creation of a new political party ex nihilo.

In 2016, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said that Donald Trump should have dropped out of the presidential race and let (then) Governor Mike Pence lead the ticket. Another Republican presidential primary candidate, John Kasich, never endorsed his party’s nominee. In fact, Kasich reportedly voted for John McCain in the presidential election. Both former Republican Presidents Bush reportedly voted for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. Conservative journalists like George Will and Max Boot have left the Republican Party. Less famous Republicans like Susan Bevan and Susan Cullman have also publicly announced their departure from the Republican Party too.

The Libertarian Party has often thought to be the beneficiary of this fraternal division in the Republican Party. And, yes, Gary Johnson received 4,489,233 total votes (3.27%) of the national vote, coming in third in the election, and set a record for the Libertarian Party’s best performance. The other touted third-party candidate in 2016 was Evan McMullin. McMullin did receive 21.54% of the popular vote in Utah and 6.7% in Idaho. Yet neither candidate received a single vote out the 538 possible in the Electoral College or the necessary 270 votes to become President of the United States.

So, Who and When?

While the Freedom Caucus, Rand Paul (KY), and many so-called conservatives actually espouse a more libertarian philosophy than a traditional Republican platform, these politician and pundits are still affiliated with the Republican Party, not the Libertarian Party. Senator Paul is acutely aware that when his father ran for president as a Libertarian, there was not enough traction for a plausible victory. These Libertarian-Republicans are thus staying within the Republican Party to remake it in their image. With the victory of a populist Republican as President of the United States and the Freedom Caucus hold on the House Republicans, the question still remains: what will John Kasich, George Will, and traditional conservatives do in 2020 and beyond?

If Donald Trump, in fact, runs for president in 2020, there is little doubt that John Kasich will mount a Republican primary challenge. But could Kasich upset a sitting president? The evangelical wing of the Republican Party will support Trump because, among other motivations, the presence of Mike Pence on the party ticket. This is, of course, mere political conjecture. The potential Republican primary battle will be shaped by the outcome of the midterm elections in 2018 as well as the eventual Mueller report. If Trump wins another presidential election, however, many conservatives will likely just wait out the end of Trumpism and hope for a return to conservatism in 2024. After all, Trump neutered the Congressional Republicans by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and nominating Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

So, the fifth alignment will likely not appear anytime soon. There are no term limits on Congress; traditional Republicans will wait out the Trump Presidency, whether Trump is a one-term president or a two-term president. The loudest critics Kasich and Will are still employed, and others like Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) are merely shooting backward while riding off into the subset. Perhaps the soon-to-be U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) will battle on the floor of the Senate Chambers for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, but there is not a viable third party on the horizon. Americans may have ignored Washington’s aversion to political parties, but Americans are loath to allow more than two parties or abandon the parties that have governed the United States since 1854.

Was I wrong?

In my May 5, 2005 post, I suggested the Democrats were too late for ’08….was I wrong?
Gov Mark Warner could be the man:

http://markwarnerforpresident2008.blogspot.com/

http://www.draftmarkwarner.com/

Kerry lost by 19 electoral votes…with a strong moderate southern democrat, Warner would take VA’s 13 votes (as long as George Allen can be kept off the GOP ticket) and surely he could pick up three more from either Iowa (7 votes) or New Mexico (5 votes)…all things being equal, its Warner’s election….if he can get to the general election! If the Democrats want to win, we can not nominate a northern (liberal or not) democrat! In addition, Warner is from the state executive branch and not the Federal legislative branch that has been a curse for politician’s since 1960.

Va. Governor Hires Former Gore Adviser
By BOB LEWIS, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 10, 9:04 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Mark Warner is taking another step toward a possible presidential run by establishing a federal campaign committee and hiring a top political aide to
Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, two advisers said Friday.

Monica Dixon will begin working for the Democratic governor next month and will be paid through a federal leadership PAC Warner is setting up, said Mame Reiley of Alexandria, director of a state political action committee the governor controls.

Steve Jarding, a Harvard University political science professor who managed Warner’s 2001 campaign for governor, said Dixon will work part-time advising Warner on a possible run for the White House in 2008. Warner’s term as governor ends in January.

Warner, 50, has not said whether he will seek the Democratic nomination, but he has done little to quiet speculation about his future aspirations. He was in Iowa earlier this week to talk about high school education and prepare for a meeting later this year of the National Governors Association.

The Iowa caucuses are the traditional start of the presidential nominating process every four years. “I can honestly say, to quote my colleague from California, ‘I’ll be back,'” Warner said, a reference to the movie line often uttered by actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Warner was in New York on Friday and not immediately available for comment. A telephone message left for Dixon in Washington, D.C., was not immediately returned.

Why I am a Democrat:

Governor Mark Warner on “Why I am a Democrat.”

Remarks to Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson-Hamer Dinner by Governor Mark Warner of Virginia.

Jackson, Mississippi, May 31, 2003

In Virginia, we have had to cut $6 billion from our state budget in 16 months. That’s because my predecessors cut taxes, increased spending, and assumed the go-go days of the 1990s would last forever.

And this year, while we were busy trying to increase funding for public education – they wanted to eliminate the estate tax to benefit about 400 wealthy families.

But we said, when you’re in a hole – the first thing you do is stop digging.
While we were launching the most extensive reform of state government in a generation they tried to kill important reform legislation just to keep me from winning a political victory.
In Washington the last couple of years, we’ve seen lots of talk, but few results. And we’re heading in the wrong direction.

The last time we had a Democratic President, America saw the first budget surpluses in a generation.

Just three years later, the Republicans’ own numbers show a future filled with deficits as far as the eye can see.

The last time we had a Democratic President, unemployment fell to record lows. But today it climbs a little higher every month.

The last time we had a Democratic President, the stock market soared. Today, it just sputters.
In 2000, America was promised something called “compassionate conservatism.” And you know – that sounded familiar to a lot of us in the South. We had been saying for a long time – balance the budget, but not on the backs of working people.
But they meant something else – and all we got was more of the same.
Look at public education. Two years ago, the No Child Left Behind Act became law. It was a sweeping effort to raise academic standards, improve the quality of teaching, and close the achievement gap.

But there was no money to back it up, and current budget plans leave it almost $10 billion short.
Or look at health care. The rebuilding has begun in Iraq – and they’re starting with health care.
If you listened closely after the fighting ended, you might have heard that, “In one year, the US hopes to rebuild 6,000 Iraqi schools, to repair 100 clinics and hospitals, and to provide basic universal health care to 25 million Iraqis.”

That’s the right thing to do in Iraq – and it’s the right thing to do here at home, where more than 40 million Americans still don’t have health insurance.

Or look at homeland security. You know, the images of September 11 will always remain in the minds of every American. For me – I was in the middle of a heated campaign. The polls were close, a big debate was coming up, and no one was getting enough sleep.

Our campaign office was just a few miles from the Pentagon. We all climbed up on the roof and watched the smoke rise. And none of the political battles seemed important.

Over the weeks that followed, I found myself inspired by the work of the firefighters, the police, the EMS workers in Virginia, in New York, and in Pennsylvania. They made us all proud to be Americans.

But in many ways, it seems like they have been forgotten – because we’ve never seen the
billions that states were promised to train first responders, help prevent future attacks, and respond to emergencies.

You know, back in February, Governors from both parties met with the President and top White House officials. We shared our concerns about these issues and others.
And we were told, very politely – there simply is not any additional money at the federal level, and you should not expect any.

But the next day – we learned that the federal government had found $26 billion to entice Turkey to cooperate with the war with Iraq.

Now I support our troops and their efforts to change the regime in Iraq. But if the federal
government can find the money for a worthy international goal, they should be able to find it for worthy domestic priorities as well.

That’s just a snapshot of what’s going on in Washington. You know, it looks like the Republicans
will keep on talking a good game – and we’ll keep cleaning up the mess.
But that means we have to strengthen our party – starting with the grass roots. That means strengthening local Democratic committees. It means identifying good candidates to run for office at all levels.

It means remembering that TV commercials don’t win elections – but knocking on doors and meeting people one-on-one does.

It means reaching out to new voters and new Americans – and inviting them to be part of our Democratic family.

And it means having a message that reaches out to all Americans.

We did it in Virginia in 2001 – and if we can do it there, we can do it here in Mississippi, and we can do it again for America.

Virginia hasn’t voted for a Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. When I ran, the Republicans controlled both houses in the legislature and every statewide office – and the White House picked our Governor to run the Republican National Committee. And despite those odds, we won because we built a new coalition of Virginians. We did that by laying out a message that focused on meeting the needs of an information age economy – a message that stressed economic opportunity, educational opportunities, and fiscal responsibility.
We started with the most loyal Democrats. We said to African Americans and to working people – We know that you have been taken for granted in the past. Those days are over. You will help lead this team.

We said, we’re going to bring people together – just like Governor Winter showed us how to do here in Mississippi.

And then we reached out to Virginians in rural communities – to people who hadn’t voted for a Democrat in a long, long time. And we asked them to give us a chance.

In a 21st century economy, you can be successful anywhere – if you have a good education and job skills.

We talked about giving young people the chance to get a good job in the place they grew up. Because you shouldn’t have to leave your family or your hometown to get ahead.
We said, Virginia will never prosper if all the good jobs are in one area, and other places get left behind.

And then we said something that a lot of people had never thought of – you can like NASCAR – you can like hunting – you can like bluegrass music – and you can still vote for a Democrat.
We did all this because we recognized that if you’re going to offer people economic hope, you can’t spend all your time talking about the same old social issues that have divided us for too long.

You can’t move forward if every discussion is about abortion and guns.
Those are all important issues, and we can’t ignore them. But they create passion that often distracts us from more fundamental issues.

And let me say it again – if we can do it in Virginia, we can do it for America.
We have to do it for America. Because America deserves better than failed fiscal policy. America deserves better than an economy that leaves millions of people and whole communities behind.

And Democrats offer better. We offer optimism, and we offer hope for the future.
Now as you might guess, a lot of Republicans and Independents supported us. And since then, a lot of them have asked me, Mark – Why exactly are you a Democrat?
And I just smile. Because if you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.

Amy Tuck clearly wouldn’t understand.

I am a Democrat because since Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence – and since Jackson spoke for the common man – our party has never been the party of the status quo.
Instead, we have been the ones to see a challenge – and do something about it. Let’s be honest – it hasn’t always worked perfectly. Sometimes it has gotten us in trouble. Sometimes it has split us apart. But sometimes, those are the wages of progress.

And yet, I am a Democrat because the greatest and most noble political experiments of our time had their birth in our party.

I am a Democrat because the New Deal literally saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

I am a Democrat because a generation after a Democratic president started the Peace Corps, you can still find faded photographs of John F. Kennedy on the walls of homes from South Africa to South America.

I am a Democrat because fighting for working men and women is always the right fight.

I am a Democrat because our party led the struggle for civil rights – in the tough places like Virginia and Mississippi – and because we recognize that discrimination and bigotry are not dead – and that we must continue to seek equal opportunity for all.

I am a Democrat because despite our failures, our missteps, and our excesses – we know that waging a war on poverty does not mean fighting the individuals who are poor.

I am a Democrat because we know that today’s battle is about the future versus the past – and it’s time to put aside yesterday’s battles of us versus them.

I am a Democrat because we know that criticizing success won’t create a single job.
And most of all, I am a Democrat because when my three daughters go out into the world to make their lives, I want them to find a world where there’s less hopelessness – less selfishness – and less violence.

I want them to find a world where there is more opportunity – more understanding – and more hope.

That is the mission of this party.

That is what we work for.

That is why we get up every morning.

That is why we’re here tonight.

And our work is not done.

Catholicity and Politics

Who “should” Catholics vote for?

Who is a pro-life Catholic to vote for? The Presidential election in 2004 has marred the picture. The media constantly questioned and attacked John Kerry’s voting record and support for abortion. Unfortunately, much of the secular media’s coverage of the life issue has been skewed.. Conservatives constantly decry the “liberal media,” yet it was George Bush who “won” the battle of the media. The pro-life positions of the Catholic Church clearly include much more than abortion: the death-penalty, euthanasia, stem-cell research, hospital life-support devices and the concept of living wills. There is a double standard for Catholics and politics. Democratic politicians, as we have seen, are forced to defend their Catholicity, yet Catholic Republicans who support the death-penalty are given a free pass.

Too many articles about the life issue give misleading or false information. Rhode Island’s own congressional delegation is comprised of three Catholics: two also support abortion and one is “pro-life.” Yes, Rep. James Langevin, is against abortion, but he supports stem-cell research. Such research also runs contrary to the “life platform.” In national politics, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (R) is famously regarded as a devout Catholic; his son is even an ordained priest. Scalia, however, supports the death penalty. So do other “famous” Republicans such as Clarence Thomas, Rick Santorum, Frank Keating, Arnold Swartzeneger, Jeb Bush, and Sam Brownback.

Frank Keating supports the death penalty, but was named Chairman of the Bishop’s committee on pedophilia? Would a Catholic who supported abortion be given such a position?

Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback (member of Opus Dei), who strongly support the death penalty, were given free “face-time” during John Paul II’s funeral and the election of Benedict XVI. Isn’t it curious that they were, but not John Kerry?

Jeb Bush, in a recent interview, was “allowed” to explain how “difficult” it was for him to be Catholic and sign death warrants. Read the article and replace Jeb Bush with John Kerry and death penalty with abortion.

Jeb Bush Given ‘Pause’ When at Odds with Church (Reuters)
By Phil Stewart Sat Apr 23, 3:14 PM ET

Whether it is the war in Iraq or the death penalty, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he is given “pause” when the policies he and his brother support run against the views of the Roman Catholic Church. Bush, who converted to Catholicism to share the faith of his Mexican-born wife Columba, will lead the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of Pope Benedict on Sunday on
behalf of President Bush.

“I get uneasy when the Vatican writes me letters when a death penalty case is about ready to take place in Florida. I’ll be honest with you, that gives me pause. It makes me pray harder,” Bush told reporters in Rome on Saturday.

“Even though it’s the law of our land and I have a duty to uphold that law, when there is a conflict .. it does give me concern. “But having said that, I think the president’s decision (on Iraq) was the right one,” he added, returning to an original question about Iraq.

Pope John Paul, who died on April 2, sought in vain to avert the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and was a stern and vocal opponent of capital punishment. Jeb Bush considered postponing an execution earlier this month until after John Paul’s funeral on April 8. He decided to proceed after speaking with the victims’ family, and the 47-year-old was killed by lethal injection for the 1999 strangling of a store clerk. He was the 60th person to be put to death since Florida reinstated the death penalty in the 1970s.

President Bush oversaw the most executions of any U.S. governor in modern history when he was governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. Texas executed 152 people. The Republican party receives strong support from Christian conservatives and is often allied with the Catholic Church on divisive issues like abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage and euthanasia. “It’s not a question of picking or choosing. I don’t believe it’s related to that … All of us can improve our relationship to God,” said Bush, who will meet the Pope following the ceremony on Sunday.

Like his brother did earlier this month, Gov. Bush spoke about the papacy’s important role in cultivating the “culture of life” and cited the case of Terri Schiavo. The brain-damaged Florida woman died last month after a U.S. state court ordered her feeding tube removed at her husband’s request. The decision drew strong opposition from the Vatican, her parents, Jeb Bush and the U.S. president.

How does it read now?

As a Catholic American, it concerns me that some people lose sight of the big picture in the world: the environment, children’s rights, women’s rights, working conditions, labor rights and peace. All of these are issues of importance to the church. Of course, nothing is as important to church teaching as the centrality of life, but it is wrong to rank the life issues in personal preference and project that opinion on candidates to serve your own agenda.

There are persons, especially members of the clergy, who would tell people that “abortion is the gravest evil.” As leading Democrats have finally stated, of course this country is better off when abortions are rare. Abortion is a sin to Catholics. However, a selective interpretation and preaching of the Church’s teaching is not the act of a Christian –it is the act of political hacks and psychological manipulators. Look at the
website http://www.cfpeople.org/page6.html maintained by Catholic priests who purport to be “pro-life.” Do you see the phrase “death penalty anywhere? Where is the line between “people of faith” and “people of agenda”?

When was the last time any secular publication questioned the Catholicity of a Catholic who supports death-penalty? Catholics should not be guilted into voting for one party or another. Catholics should look at the whole picture and decide for themselves without the manipulation of others.

Democrats too late of 2008?

About this time last year, I told a friend that I thought John Kerry would loose the election by fifteen votes. Part of the deal was that, if I was wrong, I had to publicly admit it. So this spring, I am writing to say I was wrong. Kerry lost by nineteen votes. Presumably had he been the nominee, Jonathan Edwards would have won his home state and its fifteen votes. Then the Democrats would be down only four electoral votes and the ambiguity of New Mexico’s results would have been a lot more interesting.

The point is that Edwards was always a more viable candidate than Kerry. In fact, Edwards actually came in third in the 2004 Presidential Election ahead of Ralph Nader: one Minnesota electoral delegate voted for Edwards (source U.S. National Archives). Perhaps Kerry actually believed that the selection of a Vice-President had an impact still?

Why does the national Republican Party have a better handle on Presidential politics than my Democratic Party? There are three key lessons which must be accepted: first, we are in a time of neo-sectionalism in which the Democrats tend to dominate the coasts and the northeast. Republicans dominate the south, the Rockies and the Plains while the Upper-Midwest is a toss-up. Electorally, that gives the Republicans the advantage and the Democrats must run a candidate from a GOP state in order to win (Clinton, 1992/1996).

Secondly, winning candidates have come from state governments (Bush 2004/2000; Clinton 1996/1992; Reagan (1984/1980; Carter 1976) and not from the Federal government (Kerry 2004, Gore 2000, Dole 1996). In that regard, we might explain why even with NC’s fifteen votes, Edwards would have been short.

Thirdly, the vice-president is meaningless. The only purpose of the office is to check the pulse of the president each morning and to break ties on the rare occasion they arise in the U.S. Senate. Did Cheney swing Wyoming into the Bush column? Did Quayle offer cover for Bush (41)? Vice-President Bush was so meaningless that, when Reagan was shot, Alexander Haige declared himself in charge. The last meaningful selection of a VP was Ford and that was only ex post facto. That is, if Nixon hadn’t resigned, Ford would not have been important. Truly, the last time a vice-presidential selection affected the outcome of an election was Lyndon Johnson in 1960.

So where are we now? One year out from the last primary season and about two or three years from the next primary season. Already the hopefuls are visiting Iowa and New Hampshire. Who is in the mix? U.S. Senators John Kerry (MA), Jonathan Edwards (NC), Hilary Clinton (NY), Joe Biden (DE), Evan Bayh (IN) lead the Democratic pack. Meanwhile the Republican nominee will likely be one of the following: MA Governor Mitt Romney, NY Governor Pataki, fmr. NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (TN) or U.S. Senator John McCain (AZ).

Isn’t it interesting that the Democratic list is inundated with Senators? The very people that history has scorned? The only candidates that even make an electoral dent are Bayh and Edwards since they come from traditionally Republican states. If the Democrats have to rely on NY or MA then the election is already lost; there is no electoral advantage.

On the other end of the pendulum, the Republicans have mastered the strategy that the Democrats desperately need: the GOP list has three executives from two of the most Democratic states in the country!

The Democratic Party is the party of the people. It is the party that represents the greatest good for the greatest number of Americans, but its being out-maneuvered in Presidential contests. It is crucial that Rhode Island Democrats help like-minded candidates get elected in southern, Midwestern and battleground states. We can not sit by and concentrate only on local issues, however important they may be. In truth, it may be already too late for 2008, unless we can unite the country behind a Gov Easley (NC), an Evan Bayh (IN), or another Democrat from a GOP state.

For better or worse, the Democratic Party has done it again

For better or worse, the Democratic Party has done it again. Are we resurrecting “President” Dukakis or President Kennedy? Senator Edwards has dropped out of the Presidential race and John F. Kerry is the presumptive Democrat nominee. Sen. Kerry is a successful politician and a great American. He would make an excellent President of the United States, but can he win? Electorally, what does he offer as a candidate? Massachusetts would vote for any Democrat. (Remember when Massachusetts was the only state to stem a Nixon sweep in 1972?) Senator Edwards on the other hand would have offered the Democrats the chance to alter the Electoral Map: make North Carolina a “blue” state instead of a “red” state and swing 15 Electoral votes into the Democratic column. That would give the Democrat 275 to Bush’s 263. That would give the Democrats victory. Can a Democrat from the Northeast be elected? Sure, it’s been done before…. 44 years ago!

President Kennedy was the last Northern Democrat to be elected and, of course, he slipped in with a 119,450 vote difference. Why? Because we are living in times of party de-alignment and neo-sectionalism. In order to win the Presidency, the Democrats must run a candidate from an area Republican strength and/or sweep the Midwest and Florida (Carter/1976, Clinton/1992, Clinton/1996).

Similarly, it has also been 44 years since a sitting legislator was elected President. Since JFK, we have had four governors (Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush), two Vice-Presidents (Nixon and G.H.W. Bush) and four incumbents, (Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton) elected President of the United States. Not one single legislator has been elected President in nearly a half-century. Why? Because legislators leave legislative paper trails; it is too easy to attack legislators voting record. Although President Kennedy was a legislator with six years in the U.S. House and eight years in the U.S. Senate, he spent a significant amount of time in the hospital. Furthermore, the Kennedy election was arguably the last of the old-style political machinery elections. And even Kennedy barely won…one of the four closest elections of all time (1824,1876,1960,2000).

John Kerry has been a legislator for 18 years, but there are no corpses from Cook County Illinois to vote for him; John Kerry does not have a Boss Tweed or a Tammany Hall to carry his campaign; and John Kerry does not have the South voting for him.

I hope I am wrong. I pray I am wrong. In November, I will vote for John F. Kerry to be the next President of the United States. He will make an excellent President and I wish him the best, but what color will North Carolina be: red or blue?