Looking at post-Presidential and post-Vice Presidential aspirations:
It is during the presidential campaigns that the best and the brightest take up the torch in promoting differing solutions and agendas regarding the problems of the day. Money flows into numerous candidates, who then hire advisers, strategists, researchers, speech writers, and marketers. The candidates put their best foot forward. But as they age, these assets start taking more of a backseat, and the candidates’ views are likely to become more adamant, more calcified—their character more transparent. So it is interesting to see what these leaders or potential leaders do after they move on from either being president or planning to be.
1) Reagan v. Carter:
President Ronald Reagan was probably suffering early onset of Alzheimer’s disease by the end of his presidency; thus, retiring to the ranch was no doubt the best, most logical course of action. But one suspects that even if he had been healthy, President Reagan would have been totally content to spend the rest of his time with his beloved wife Nancy at the ranch.
President Carter, however, had so much more to offer. Within minutes of Reagan’s taking office, Carter’s much-criticized stance towards the Iranian hostages was vindicated, with the peaceful outcome. President Carter taught at Emory University, wrote numerous books, helped expand Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing. He established The Carter Center to advance human rights, alleviate suffering, promote democracy, fight disease, to mediate and prevent conflicts. By way of illustration, The Carter Center is credited with reducing Guinea worm disease by 99%—an illness that impacted 3,500,000 people a year. He helped President Bill Clinton get North Korea to freeze and dismantle its nuclear program. This agreement fell apart under Stupidparty Bush Jr.’s brilliant foreign policy strategies of calcifying eternal enemies by deeming them “axis of evil” countries.
In 2002 President Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize. Although he is about 90 years of age, President Carter remains actively engaged in helping others. His inclusive and selfless activities seem to be in line with actual Christian teachings.
2) George Bush Sr. v. Clinton:
President George H. W. Bush rose to the top by a process of impressive diplomatic and political accomplishments and seniority and founded a family dynasty. His Gulf War was at least an honest one, and his efforts to be inclusive and compassionate were hit and miss, in a party moving in the other direction, as he sets up “a thousand points of light” and selected Stupidparty apostle Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court—almost as awkward a choice as, but more damaging than, McCain selecting Palin as VP candidate. Although during his presidency the charity may have seemed somewhat expedient, he does stay involved after he leaves office.
After the presidency, Bush basically retired to the ranch. He now does some traveling (whilst in Iraq, there was an assassination attempt), becomes a chairman here and there, gets honored and makes various discreet appearances. He went into cruise control (in an August 2001 letter he told journalist Carl Cannon, “Now at 77, I find that I am perfectly content to let history be the judge of those things I got right, and of my mistakes as well”).
Ironically, it was Bill Clinton’s energy that would add more to George Bush’s retirement. As their friendship and joint projects grew, President Bush wrote, “You cannot get mad at the guy. I admit to wondering why he can’t stay on time, but when I see him interacting with folks my wonder turns to understanding, with a dollop of angst thrown in, Clinton is a fascinating character. He has opinions on everything—no matter what. He seems to have a great grasp of history’s events and people.”
President William Jefferson Clinton (paraphrasing and quoting Wikipedia):
President William Clinton does so much more than build the standard presidential library and write memoirs. In 2007 he released Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, which became a New York Times best-seller and garnered positive reviews. In the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Clinton to head a relief effort. After Hurricane Katrina, Clinton joined with fellow former president George H. W. Bush to establish the Bush–Clinton Tsunami Fund in January 2005.
Based on his philanthropic worldview, Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address issues of global importance. This foundation includes the Clinton Foundation HIV and AIDS Initiative (CHAI), which strives to combat that disease, and has worked with the Australian government toward that end. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was begun by the Clinton Foundation in 2005 (and has raised about $74b through 2013, three times more than the Bill Gates Foundation*). It attempts to address world problems, such as global public health, poverty alleviation, and religious and ethnic conflict. In 2005, Clinton announced through his foundation an agreement with manufacturers to stop selling sugared drinks in schools.
Clinton’s foundation joined with the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group in 2006 to improve cooperation among those cities, and he met with foreign leaders to promote this initiative. The foundation has received donations from a number of governments all over the world, including in Asia and the Middle East. In 2008, Foundation Director Inder Singh announced that deals to reduce the price of antimalaria drugs by 30% in developing nations. Clinton also spoke in favor of California Proposition 87 on alternative energy, which was voted down.
In 2009, Clinton traveled to North Korea on behalf of Euna Lee and Laura Ling who had been imprisoned for illegally entering the country from China. Jimmy Carter had made a similar visit in 1994. After Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Kim issued a pardon.
Since then, Clinton has been assigned a number of other diplomatic missions. He was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti in 2009. In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Clinton and George W. Bush would coordinate efforts to raise funds for Haiti’s recovery. Clinton continues to visit Haiti to witness the inauguration of refugee villages and to raise funds for the earthquake victims. These activities highlight a different attitude on Haiti than that of various Stupidparty leaders. In 2010, Clinton announced support of, and delivered the keynote address for, the inauguration of NTR, Ireland’s first environmental foundation. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Clinton gave a widely praised speech nominating Barack Obama.
One suspects that health permitting, Bill Clinton has many more chapters left in him.
3) George Bush Jr. v. Al Gore:
President George W. Bush retires to the ranch. Well, not literally. That rather ugly bit of land in Crawford where he would forever claim to be clearing scrub for no apparent reason other than pretending to be a cowboy. He moves to a Dallas suburb where, most notably, he conducted the opening coin toss at a 2009 Dallas Cowboys game.
Okay—perhaps I am being a little unfair. In this context, keeping silent is impressive and as president, he had at least meant well with his African focus; he has now been spotted doing stuff in Africa. But with any AIDS-related efforts, the more they are linked to abstinence, the more counterproductive they are likely to be.
President not-to-be Al Gore (Wherein I get to bask, benefit, and steal from all his glory)
Even though he won the popular vote and may have won Florida, a combination of Governor Jeb Bush, the overtly partisan Florida secretary of state (Kathleen Harris), and the Supreme Court, ended his ambitions in a highly questionable manner. Regardless and in spite of this crushing blow, Al Gore was far from done.
He continued to demonstrate that he has a very frustrating gift, that it was not only regarding the Internet that he is a man living ahead of his time. He was quick to see what was happening on the Bush Jr. Iraq war front, ahead of the curve on gay marriage; he refused to endorse his own VP choice and future Stupidparty convert, Joe Lieberman. He identified the dangers of Stupidparty religious zealotry, and he continued campaigning on the environment. He warned of the ever-increasing assaults on democracy:
In 2002—in a speech in California he lays out why he thinks that George Bush and Congress are far too much of a hurry to Invade Iraq. This criticism was prescient since it was before the invasion and before it had become evident that the country had been misled.
In 2004—in a speech, Gore correctly accuses Bush of betrayal—by misleading the country—an analysis he is well equipped to deliver since he had always been ahead of the curve anyway.
In 2004—Gore is honored to open the Democratic National Convention.
In 2004—Generation Investments Management is born; he is co-founder and Chairman. Later he launches the Alliance for Climate Protection (Note to Benefactors: this means protecting the environment, not raping it for personal gain.) He now also heads the climate change solutions group within the venture-capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Gore also helps with the Live Earth benefit concerts.
In 2005—an ever-on-the-ball Gore warns of Religious Zealots, pretty much making the same points as I have been echoing in this book.
In 2005—no doubt horrified by the incompetence of Bush Administration, Gore discretely does a “heck of a job” in chartering two planes to evacuate almost 300 people from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2006—wins Academy Award for Best Documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. (As I’ve been on the case since around 1978, maybe I was ahead of his curve? Who knows?)
In 2007—writes a Stupidparty-type book, thus showing how remarkably ahead of the curve he is—but his book is called The Assault on Reason. He also argues that democracy is under threat but that the internet can help save us all. He clearly has a point, as anyone can see if they have been enjoying all the hyperlinks and hot links contained in this book.
In 2007—Gore receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2008—again before public sentiment on the issue had fully taken hold Gore argued against the ban on same-sex marriage. He stated, “I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women to make contracts, have hospital visiting rights, and join together in marriage.”
Data extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore
4) Pat Robertson v. Jerry Brown:
Presidential hopeful Pat Robertson
This Stupidparty founding father (has been covered at some length already) is surely massively ill-suited to living life outside of an asylum or apparently a jail cell, as The Guardian reports in “Mission Congo: how Pat Robertson raised millions on the back of a non-existent aid project”:
“The televangelist claimed Operation Blessing was giving vital aid in response to the 1994 Rwandan crisis. A documentary opening at the Toronto film festival paints a less flattering picture. Some of the most damaging criticism of Pat Robertson comes from former aid workers at Operation Blessing.
“One of the stranger sights of the refugee crisis that followed the 1994 Rwandan genocide was of stretcher-bearers rushing the dying to medical tents, with men running alongside reciting Bible verses to the withering patients.
“The bulk of the thousands of doctors and nurses struggling to save lives—as about 40,000 people died of cholera—were volunteers for the international medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) [Doctors without Borders]. The Bible readers were hired by the American televangelist and former religious right presidential candidate, Pat Robertson, and his aid organization, Operation Blessing International.
“But on Robertson’s US television station, the Christian Broadcasting Network, that reality was reversed, as he raised millions of dollars from loyal followers by claiming Operation Blessing was at the forefront of the international response to the biggest refugee crisis of the decade. It’s a claim he continues to make, even though an official investigation into Robertson’s operation in Virginia accused him of ‘fraudulent and deceptive’
claims when he was running an almost non-existent aid operation.”
Presidential hopeful Jerry Brown
Paraphrasing and quoting Wikipedia:
In 1999 after leaving the Democratic Party, disillusioned by the two-party system. Brown easily became mayor of the troubled, overwhelmingly minority city of Oakland. Brown was “more interested in downtown redevelopment and economic growth than political ideology.”
The city was rapidly losing residents and businesses, and Brown is credited with starting the revitalization of the city, using his connections and experience to lessen the economic downturn, while attracting $1 billion of investments, including refurbishing the Fox Theatre, the Port of Oakland, and Jack London Square. The downtown district was losing retailers, restaurateurs, and residential developers, and Brown sought to attract thousands of new residents with disposable income to revitalize the area. Brown surpassed the stated goal of attracting 10,000 residents according to city records and built more affordable housing than previous mayoral administrations.
Attorney General of California (2007–2011).
In June 2008, Brown filed a fraud lawsuit, claiming mortgage lender Countrywide Financial engaged in “unfair and deceptive” practices to get homeowners to apply for risky mortgages far beyond their means. The suit was settled in October 2008 after Bank of America acquired Countrywide. The settlement involved the modifying of troubled “predatory loans” up to $8.4 billion.
Governor of California (2011–present).
Through budget cuts and tax increases, it appears that California’s dreadful economic performance under the previous Stupidparty Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is on the mend.
5) Dan Quayle v. John Kerry:
Dan Quayle, VP 1988–1992.
After leaving politics and failing to get any presidential traction, Quayle just decided to focus on making money.
Paraphrasing and quoting Wikipedia:
In 1999 he joined Cerberus Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar private equity firm, and is chairman of the company’s Global Investments Division. He has also been a member of the board of directors of Heckmann Corporation. Quayle is also a director of Aozora Bank, Tokyo. Quayle has also been on the board of directors of other companies.
John Kerry, 2004, unsuccessful bid for president.
Like Jimmy Carter and like Al Gore, Kerry had to handle an absurd election outcome. This may have been worse than the Carter and Gore scenarios, for three reasons. By 2004 the country should surely have figured out that the Iraq war was built upon lie—but polling showed the 67% of Stupidparty voters remained clueless about the lack of a terror link or WMDs. Secondly, the impossible happened: George W. Bush, whose dad found a way to ensure that his son was safely engaged with the Texas Guard (and his record there is highly questionable), successfully swift-boated John Kerry, a certified was hero, where every investigation has corroborated his heroic actions during the Vietnam War, and thirdly, there were the shenanigans in Ohio, issues that John Kerry chose not to pursue—for the sake of national best interests, not to undermine the (rather sad) faith in the democratic process.
Since then, Kerry has continued serving in the Senate, focused on foreign affairs issues. He is presently Secretary of State and has revived the Middle East process—something that Romney had said (during his covertly recorded 47% Moocher gathering) was impossible, thus not worth trying. What Stupidparty foreign policy prognosticators fail to understand is that simply trying to be an honest broker in the Middle East goes a long way in mitigating hatred of the USA in the Middle East.
They also fail to understand that hating foreign countries, in general, tends to undermine foreign policy.