Archive for August 18th, 2020


Potato Potatoe

August 18, 2020, Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – There is a political convention going on today, sort of a TV event. Watchers will get doused with speeches about issues, and positions, and planks and platforms and worthiness. When a person runs for political office, they wind up smack in the middle of the bullseye; everything they’ve ever done, or haven’t,  is attacked, or praised, or tangled up with spin control and one-jump-ahead-itis. One must filter wisely.  Lots of buzz about a female VP on the Democratic ticket. Lots of buzz about AGE too. Something I notice myself, being 81. I did a little research, on that matter, and others.

AGE. Assuming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get through the convention as The Democratic Candidates for 2020, and assuming that Donald Trump and Mike Pence get through next week’s convention as The Republican Candidates for 2020, here are their birthdates and how their ages stack up, oldest to youngest. See how old they will be on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021 and again in 2025.

  • 1942, November 11 – Joe Biden 78-82
  • 1946, June 14 – Donald Trump 74-78
  • 1959, June 7 – Mike Pence 61-65
  • 1964, October 20 – Kamala Harris 56-60

That means an average age of 67 for the Democrats, and 67.5 for the Republicans on Inauguration Day, for those who are concerned about AGE. Don’t forget – lifestyle is as much a part of aging as years out of the womb. The youngest elected president was John Kennedy who was 43 when he took office; Teddy Roosevelt was 42 when he took office after McKinley’s assassination.  Nine vice presidents have become president unexpectedly – John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson through a president’s death and Gerald Ford through a president’s resignation. The oldest elected president was Donald Trump, who was 70 when he moved into the White House.

There is also a lot of talk about APPEARANCE. Who has the prettiest hair, and the most of it? Who has the nicest smile? This counted for a LOT during the Nixon-Kennedy debates. Remember that? We’ve had some really FAT presidents and really TALL presidents and some BALD presidents. What should POTUS look like? Dignified? Commanding? Trustworthy?

Do you believe EDUCATION is important? Where a person went to school, and what they studied. You’d think grades might be important, but those records are closed, for some of the candidates. Here’s what I found about college, alphabetically.

  • BA Hanover College & JD Indiana University – Mike Pence
  • BA Howard University & JD University of California, Hastings – Kamala Harris
  • BA University of Delaware & JD Syracuse – Joe Biden
  • BS Wharton School – Donald Trump

RELIGION. Does that make a difference to you? That also factored large in the Kennedy-Nixon campaign. Kennedy was a CATHOLIC and non-Catholics had great fear that the Vatican would rule the US with a Catholic president. But remember, Kennedy was good looking enough to overcome that. Here’s the religious preferences the four claim.

  • American Baptist; grew up attending Black Baptist Church and Hindu Temple, husband is Jewish – Kamala Harris
  • Catholic, attends mass regularly with wife Jill – Joe Biden
  • Evangelical Catholic; grew up Catholic, switched to Grace Evangelical megachurch – Mike Pence
  • Presbyterian, doesn’t attend; wife Melania Catholic – Donald Trump

FAMILY. Spouse, kids? Some good stories here, as the years have gone by.

  • 1966 – Joe Biden married Neilia Hunter, they had three children, Hunter, Beau and Naomi
  • 1972 – Joe Biden was widowed when Neilia was killed in an automobile accident; daughter Naomi, age 1, died too
  • 1977 – Donald Trump married Ivana Zelníčková, they had three children, Donald Jr, Ivanka, Eric
  • 1977 – Joe Biden married Jill Jacobs, they had a daughter, Ashley
  • 1985 – Mike Pence married Karen Batten, they had three children, Michael, Charlotte, Audrey
  • 1992 – Donald Trump and Ivana Zelníčková divorced
  • 1993 – Donald Trump married Marla Maples, they had a daughter, Tiffany
  • 1999 – Donald Trump and Marla Maples divorced
  • 2005 – Donald Trump married Melania Knauss, they had a son, Barron
  • 2014 – Kamala Harris married Douglas Emhoff, he has two children, Cole and Ella, who call Kamala “Momala” rather than stepmom

BIRTHPLACE. This has been a topic of note in previous campaigns. Where were they born? Where did they grow up? How many in their family? Which state can claim them?

  • California, Oakland. Kamala Harris was born here, grew up in Berkeley with one sister Maya; mother, Indian, was a biologist in cancer research; father, Jamaican, a professor of economics at Stanford.
  • Indiana, Columbus. Mike Pence was born and raised here, along with five siblings; mother Irish ancestry, father, Irish/German descent, operated a group of service stations.
  • New York, NYC Queens. Donald Trump was born and raised here with four siblings; mother born in Scotland, father German descent, real estate businessman.
  • Pennsylvania, Scranton. Joe Biden was born here, grew up here and in Delaware with three siblings; mother Irish descent; father Irish, French, English, a used-car salesman.

POLITICAL OFFICE. Also bandied about – how many times has a candidate been ELECTED and SERVED in public office?

  • 10 Joe Biden: 1 Delaware Councilman, 7 US Senator, 2 Vice President
  • 5 Kamala Harris: 2 District Attorney, 2 State Attorney General, 1 US Senator
  • 4 Mike Pence: 2 US Representative, 1 State Governor, 1 Vice President
  • 1 Donald Trump: 1 President

NAME. What’s in a name? Names are good for name-calling, nick-naming, and campaign buttons, such as I Like Ike. Or Honest Abe. What is their actual spelled out name their Mama gave them? And what chemical reactions, or memories, or associations pop into your head when you see the words?

  • Donald John Trump
  • Joseph Robinette Biden
  • Kamala Devi Harris
  • Michael Richard Pence

I didn’t get any info on their favorite TV shows. That is a telling qualification too. Favorite foods…pets…hobbies…where they go on vacation…if they do. Knowledge of geography. Spelling skills.