I'm Right Again Dot ComA new commentary every Wednesday — January 27, 2016
WHAT HAPPENS TO THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT
This weekend, the news shows were aflutter with a report leaked by someone alleged to be close to three-term mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. This infused the circuits not completely engaged with reporting on two football games with a rumor that multi-billionaire Bloomberg was exploring the possibility of running as a third party candidate for the highest office in the land.
Since I have not yet heard of a denial by Bloomberg, I must assume that he has launched an inquiry into the possibility of success of a late-blooming iceberg upon which other current candidates' hopes may founder.
Two other strong personalities have tried it thus far in our nation's history but no such third-party candidacy has ever met with success for a variety of reasons— the principal one being the lack of a giant party apparatus to raise money and see that adherents show up at the polling booths.
The first was Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, adored leader of American cavalry "Rough Riders" at San Juan hill in Cuba during the Spanish American war, naturalist of worldwide renown and holder of the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end to the Russian-Japanese conflict. He was once Governor of New York State.
As Vice-President, he became President upon the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 and was elected to a full term in 1904. Teddy was an outdoorsman from an early age and was the most important person in creation of our National Parks System. For that reason, his visage appears alongside those of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln on Mount Rushmore.
TR, as he was often called by reporters, wished to retire to the wild and hunt animals. Besides, he had promised not to seek a third term when he ran in 1904. He encouraged his friend William Howard Taft to run on the Republican ticket in 1908. Taft handily won the presidency. Teddy went on a well publicized safari to Africa, followed by a triumphant tour of Europe.
Dispatches about Taft, who had decided to be his own man, frustrated and angered Teddy. Failing to get the Republican nomination in 1912, Roosevelt formed a third party, the Progressive Party, and campaigned for a return to the White House. When asked by a reporter if his health would hinder his presidency, Teddy replied that he felt "Stronger than a Bull Moose." That became the image given to his party by opponents and partisans alike. The split in the formerly solid Republican front allowed the Democrats to win the White House and Congress. Roosevelt lost bigtime, retired from public life and died in his sleep on January 6, 1919.
Successful businessman H. Ross Perot tried twice to gain the presidency—in 1992, when he gained 19 percent of the popular vote and again in 1996, when he ran an "on and off," campaign of less force and effectiveness. Perot, whose father was a successful cotton wholesaler, built an empire by renting time to major companies on the giant computers on line at the time. He sold his Electronic Data System to General Motors in 1964 for $2.5-billion. He is most renowned for orchestrating the escape of two employees from Iran in 1979. He backed Matt Romney heavily in 2012.
Michael Ruben Bloomberg, born on February 14, 1942, The seventh richest man in the United States, may be exploring the possibility of gambling a billion dollars on trying to become the next president of the United States. He was once a Democrat, switched to Republican in 2007 and then re-registered as an Independent in 2007. He made his fortune by being CEO of a stock brokerage firm he founded in 1981 and owns an internet system of computers that permit other brokers to buy and sell stock in real time.
If he decides to go for the top job in the government, it is going to make an interesting race, despite the late entry.
-Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Menchen
THE PROSPERITY COAL COMPANY: My book about hard times and union wars in the coal fields, in times past.
$9.95, plus shipping For details on the novel, click: http://www.Amazon.com and enter "Prosperity Coal Company" in the search window.
Shop Amazon Fire TV - Say it. Watch it.
Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries
Learn About the Savings with Prime from Amazon.com