As of this writing, there are 20 announced candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
There’s the trivia question for today.
Name all 20 of those formal candidates.
How about 5?
I suspect you can go to Las Vegas and make a wager on which will be the first to quit the campaign trail.
Also, don’t forget that the actual election is a year and a half away.
My guess is there could be another hat tossed into the ring before we vote in November of 2010.
I wonder just how many of these office-seekers really want the job.
Is this decision to seek the office simply a way to get some name recognition or to jockey for another post?
We shall see.
In a way, it’s gratifying to see so may who want to seek America’s highest office.
Some might say a few of these people aren’t really qualified.
However, the U.S. Constitution only says you need to be at least 35 years of age and a natural-born citizen.
Martin Van Buren was the first U.S. President born an American citizen. All of the previous office-holders had been British subjects.
Doesn’t say you need a degree or even have to go to school.
Nine presidents did not go to college, including Washington, Lincoln and Truman.
Presidents don’t need to be married or attend church.
James Buchanan was the only President who never married.
Three Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Johnson had no specific religious affiliation.
However, 19 U.S. Presidents have been either Episcopalian or Presbyterian and JFK has been the lone Catholic.
Presidents can also be something other than career politicians or lawyers.
Grover Cleveland was a hangman in Erie County New York.
Andrew Jackson was a tailor and Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender and had a bar in Springfield, Illinois known as “Berry and Lincoln”.
Warren G. Harding was a teacher, an insurance agent, a reporter and owned a newspaper.
Despite what current trends indicate, Presidents don’t have to be perfect.
Presidents can have peculiarities.
John Quincy Adams went skinny-dipping in the Potomac River, especially in the early mornings, because he said it helped him deal with the pressures of the presidency.
Thomas Jefferson believed soaking your feet in a bucket of cold water would prevent you from catching a cold.
James Earl “Jimmy” Carter reported seeing a UFO in 1973 while serving as governor of Georgia.
Carter was also the first President to be born in a hospital.
Wants to become President?
Being named James might help.
Six presidents, Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield and Carter all had that first name.
Make sure you have at least one brother or sister.
No U.S. President has been an only child.
Gerald Ford was adopted.
He was Leslie Lynch King at birth.
Ford was also the only politician to serve as both Vice-President (succeeded Spiro Agnew) and President (Succeeded Richard Nixon) without being elected to either office.
Harry S Truman had no middle name; it was just the letter “S” that we see.
Calvin Coolidge was the only American President so far to be born on the 4th of July.
James Madison and George Washington were the only signers of the U.S. Constitution to become President.
It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re real short or real tall, either.
James Madison was but 5 feet 4 inches tall while both Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Baines Johnson were both 6 feet 4 inches tall.
William Howard Taft tipped the scales at more than 330 pounds but it’s just an “urban myth” that he got stuck in a bathtub.
There was a bit of a hub bub when some new members of Congress were sworn in without placing their hand on a Bible.
But President Franklin Pierce placed his hand on a law book instead of a Bible when he took the oath of office.
It seems like much is made regarding Presidents traveling while in office.
But, in addition to being the first Chief Executive to visit China, Richard Nixon was the first U.S President to visit all 50 states.
When I started this discussion, I wondered how many folks could name the Democratic candidates for President.
But studies say only 1 in 100 of us can identify all of our American Presidents.
So, who will survive this Democratic gathering and become the standard bearer for the party?
It’s sort of up to us but when the slates are set, we’ll vote in November of 2020 and those state electors will actually make the call.
First of all, nothing in the U.S. Constitution says the states have to hold a popular election just that the legislatures have to decided.
Abolish the Electoral College, you say?
It was established by Article II of the Constitution.
To abolish it or alter it requires:
a) A two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate
b) Three-fourths of the states to ratify the change…within 7 years.
The last time that happened was in 1992 with the 27th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Seems to me our Founding Fathers felt we should really think through these things before we start making changes.