As America heads to the polls tomorrow, it happens that today is the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon's election as President. Nixon had been a Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower, and ran unsuccessfully against John F. Kennedy in 1960. We all know the rest of the story, of course. After edging (outgoing) Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Alabama Governor George Wallace, Nixon rolled over George McGovern in 1972, only to see his second term end less than two years later in the wake of Watergate.
Back in the day, it wasn't that easy to predict who'd win. As this video shows, NBC anchors Chet Huntley & David Brinkley pulled the proverbial all-nighter, and this was the tail end of the coverage, after Nixon had won......
The current President, Donald Trump, aspires to be the second coming of Nixon or even Ronald Reagan, but doesn't come close. Anything positive that Trump does is buried under a cascade of headlines that would rather promote the idea that he is, in fact, the world's oldest man-child. His distrust of the majority of the news media is, in fact, childish, but it is part of the facade he has used the last three years, appealing to a base of disaffected, disenfranchised voters who resented the fact that America dared to elect an African-American 10 years ago. Those that buy into Trump's act don't realize they're being played, and most simply don't care.
Closer to home, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's bid for a third term isn't going to be that easy. Weekend polls show that Republican challenger Marc Molinaro has narrowed the lead to about 11-13 points. Bearing in mind that upstate NY went against the second generation governor in his primary bid vs. actress-activist Cynthia Nixon (no relation to Richard) two months ago, who's to say Cuomo makes it to a third term?
The Green Party is trotting out the same, tired old also-rans. Howie Hawkins for Governor, Mark Dunlea for Comptroller. Dunlea was in town on Saturday, stationed outside the Uncle Sam Atrium on opening day for the indoor farmer's market. The Green Party's platform is all but ignored, as the media would rather focus on the two major parties only, but it would help if the Greens were able to nominate some fresh faces. Hawkins is this generation's Harold Stassen, for example. If you don't know who Stassen was, he was a perpetual third party candidate for President who usually earned enough votes to buy a cup of coffee, if you get my drift. Independent candidates were ignored two years ago in the Presidental election, and likely will be again in 2020 unless they find someone who can put a dent in the big two. Good luck with that. Hawkins'll be lucky if he gets enough votes to qualify for the next election.