Ross Perot for President

1992—George H. Bush vs. Bill Clinton

Independent Ross Perot throws his hat into the ring, takes it back and then throws it again.

Liz Cheney in 2024 could play the role of Perot.

After supporters gathered enough signatures to place him on the ballot in every state, Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot surged to the top of the polls in the spring of 1992. Advocating for a balanced federal budget, campaign finance reform and congressional term limits, Perot capitalized on low public support for President George H.W. Bush.

Despite his support, Perot made the sudden decision to drop out of the race in July 1992, saying that he no longer believed he could win the presidency with the improving performance of Democratic nominee Bill Clinton. He later said the decision was based on his belief that the Bush campaign planned to spread rumors about his daughter and sabotage her impending wedding. Weeks before Election Day, Perot made the equally surprising announcement that he was resuming his campaign. The independent candidate’s poll numbers remained high enough to permit his inclusion in the presidential debates with Bush and Clinton.

With his folksy manner and half-hour infomercials on broadcast networks, Perot received 19 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Bush. Some Bush campaign officials believed Perot spoiled Bush’s re-election by drawing more votes from Republicans than Democrats. However, in a one-on-one contest, Clinton consistently led Bush in public polling from the summer of 1992 onwards. According to an analysis of the second choices of Perot supporters conducted by Voter Research & Surveys for major news organizations, Perot’s third-party run did not alter the outcome of the election. One national exit poll found that Clinton would have beaten Bush by a half-million more votes had Perot not been on the ballot.

In 1996, Perot made a repeat bid for the White House as a candidate for the Reform Party, which he established a year earlier. In that election against Clinton and Republican Bob Dole, Perot garnered just over 8 percent of the popular vote.

Liz Cheney in 2024 could play the role of Perot. Trump would lose to a socialist candidate.

2000—Al Gore vs. George W. Bush

Ralph Nader and the Green party earn votes, but it all comes down to Florida.

The election was so tight that it took a 36-day legal battle and a controversial 5-4 Supreme Court ruling before Al Gore conceded, although he won the national popular vote by more than a half-million votes.Green Party Candidate Ralph Nader

The race not only centered on the candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties, Al Gore and George W. Bush, but on third-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader. An American lawyer, political activist and consumer advocate Nader was Green Party candidate.

Nader hoped to earn 5 percent of the popular vote, which would have given his party access to federal matching funds in the following presidential election. Nader fell short of his goal, receiving 2.9 million votes and less than 3 percent of the popular vote. However, some believe Nader’s third-party candidacy siphoned enough votes from the Democratic nominee, Vice President Al Gore, to swing the victory to Republican George W. Bush.

The difference was Florida, which Bush won by fewer than 600 votes to give him a 271-to-266 Electoral College edge. Had even a small percentage of the nearly 100,000 votes garnered by Nader in Florida shifted to Gore, the Democratic candidate would have won the election. In addition, the 22,000 votes won by Nader in New Hampshire were three times the size of Bush’s margin of victory in that state. If New Hampshire had flipped to Gore, that too would have given him the victory.

Liz Cheney in 2024 could play the role of Nader. Trump would lose to a socialist candidate.

1912—William Taft vs. Woodrow Wilson

Theodore Roosevelt challenges the sitting president and creates the Progressive Party.

The title for highest share of votes ever earned by a third-party candidate in American history is still held by Theodore Roosevelt during the election of 1912.Theodore Roosevelt - Quotes, Children & Presidency - Biography

After serving nearly two full terms in the White House, President Theodore Roosevelt opted not to break tradition and run for a third term in 1908. But, when Roosevelt’s close friend and hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft, failed to advance his reform-minded agenda during his first term, Roosevelt challenged the sitting president for the 1912 Republican Party nomination.

Although Roosevelt overwhelmingly won the most votes during the primaries, the Republican National Convention nominated the more conservative Taft to stand for re-election. A bitter Roosevelt broke with the GOP to form the Progressive Party, nicknamed the “Bull Moose Party” because Roosevelt often declared himself “fit as a bull moose.” The party advocated the direct election of U.S. senators, women’s suffrage, tariff reductions and social reforms.

Democrats willing to support Liz Cheney for now…

Later, not to much…

Democrats willing to support Liz Cheney for now...
Democrats willing to support Liz Cheney for now…

Marxists, socialists, progressive Democrats are ready to back Liz Cheney so long as she’s posed to cost Donald Trump the White House a second time.

Liz Cheney did not prevail in her Republican primary, but her effort to convince Democrats and independents to support her candidacy appears to have paid off in Wyoming’s bluest county, Teton, where Ms. Cheney lives.

Interviews at polling places turned up a stream of socialist voters registering as Republicans in order to participate in the party’s primary and vote for Ms. Cheney. The anti-Trump voters were turning out in equally large numbers.

Forsaken by her home state and the many voters who once revered her, Cheney must now decide how to continue her crusade to purge the party of Donald Trump and what, if anything, he stands for, an aim she announced bluntly in what passed for her concession speech. There has been widespread speculation that she will mount a run for the 2024 presidential nomination … as a Republican. Although she is aware that she is facing a climb more arduous than Gannett Peak, the highest mountain in Wyoming, Cheney’s goal would likely be more to impact the process than to actually win the nomination. She will NOT be able to rid the party of Donald Trump or other populist.

Given she can’t be the Republican candidate… so she plans on wrecking Mr. Trump in November

Socialist almost guaranteed a winner, if Cheney siphons off just 4% of the capitalist vote.

Democrats willing to support Liz Cheney for now...
Democrats willing to support Liz Cheney for now…

To keep Donald Trump from winning the general election Cheney will need to run as an independent. This, in theory, will split the GOP vote and allow the socialist to win in 2024.

America’s two-party political system makes it difficult for candidates from outside the Republican and Democratic parties to win presidential elections. Since 1920, in fact, only four third-party candidates—Robert La Follette in 1924, Strom Thurmond in 1948, George Wallace in 1968 and John Hospers in 1972—have been able to win even a single electoral vote. That doesn’t mean, however, that third-party candidates haven’t altered the outcomes of presidential elections over the course of American history.

 

Jeffrey Salkin observes

According to By Jeffrey Salkin…

Based on what I am seeing on Facebook, there is a new political trend afoot among my friends on the center-left.

They are posting memes that proclaim “Cheney 2024!”

I reached out to one of my neo-Cheneyite friends.

“Are you crazy? Are you aware of Liz Cheney’s political positions?” For example:

• She has staunchly opposed a woman’s right to choose.

• She is pro-gun, though, in June, she supported a bipartisan bill on gun safety.

• She has opposed creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

• She has opposed legislation to combat climate change.

• She had been opposed to same-sex marriage, even though her sister Mary is a lesbian, but later changed her mind on that.

“You do understand, don’t you? Let’s be clear, Liz Cheney is a conservative Republican.”

“So, what gives?”

My friend pauses, takes a deep breath and responds.

“I hate everything that she believes in. But, here’s the thing about her.

“Yes, she believes in what Trump believes in. But she is anti-Trump. She has pledged to ‘do whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.’ That takes integrity.”

I get it.

Like my friend, I disagree with Liz Cheney’s political positions.

But there is something about her.

As much as I disagree with her, I trust her.

Why? Because she has demonstrated a quality that is so rare in American politics today — perhaps, also, in American life — that we cannot help but find that quality to be attractive.

Funny word, integrity. It comes from the word “integer,” as in a numeral. It is related to such words as “integral” and “integration.”

What does “integrity” really mean? It means “one.” As in: being one person, being whole, being who you are in all circumstances. The Hebrew phrase tocho k’voro comes to mind — what is inside is what is outside. It is why the ancient ark in the tabernacle was covered with gold both on the outside and on the inside.

We can understand why there might be gold on the outside, but why on the inside? The Talmud (Yoma 72) says: A person’s outward appearance should be like that person’s inside nature. In other words, be real.

A little more. This week’s Torah portion lists the animals that are permitted for consumption, and those that are forbidden — the basic laws of kashrut.

A land animal must have both split hooves and chew its own cud. Which brings me to why pigs are not kosher. True, they have the outer manifestations of a kosher animal — split hooves. But they lack the inner part — chewing their cud.

Be one (as God is one). Be real.

That is the thing about Liz Cheney. She believes in truth. As in, emet — what the ancient sages said is the very seal of the Holy One of Being. She’s real.

You will ask: Aren’t other right-wing conservatives “real”?

Yes, they are. Often, frighteningly so.

But what we like about Liz Cheney is that her principles as an American took precedence over her principles as a Republican. She loves this country more than she loves her party.

When I see Liz Cheney, I feel that I am in the presence of an American patriot. True, I disagree with her. But I know we would have a respectful conversation. Like I said, I trust her.

Liz Cheney makes me think of one of the later verses of “America the Beautiful” — the ones that we rarely sing, but which I think are among the finest lyrics to ever appear in a patriotic song.

O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved

And mercy more than life.

The verse might have been referring to American heroes who proved themselves in military battles. They loved their country more than they loved their own lives. That is the meaning of sacrifice.

Liz Cheney exemplifies those words as well. When she led a principled fight against Donald Trump, she knew she was sacrificing her run for reelection. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Because she loved her country even more than she loved her political career. Who more than self, her country loved.

My Cheney-philic friends are drawn to Liz Cheney’s political courage and her willingness to throw herself under the political bus for a larger principle. She, almost alone of all Republicans, was willing to call out Trump for what he had done to this country.

In this sense, she was channeling just a little of that old Hebrew prophetic temperament. That is what biblical prophets did — they challenged and rebuked kings, as Nathan did to King David, and as Elijah did to King Ahab. When Nathan rebukes David, however subtly, regarding the seduction of Bathsheba and the killing of her husband, Uriah, he says to the king (in good King James English): “Thou art the man!”

That is precisely what Liz Cheney has been saying to Trump. “Thou art the man!”

For that is the precise Hebrew translation of “integrity” — yoshrah. It comes from the word yashar — to be straight, upright, honest. The word is even found in the name of the Jewish people — Yisrael, yashar-el — the one who tries to be upright and honest before God.

Would I like to see Liz Cheney as the Republican candidate for president? It would be highly unlikely. But her (fantasy) presence on the ticket would be redemptive. It would show us that American patriotism is alive and well — and not merely in the vulgar, jingoist, xenophobic sense.

One more thing.

If you look at that list of Liz Cheney’s political positions, you will notice that, in some cases, she changed her mind.

Imagine that — she changed her mind.

That, too, is significant and even crucial. The ability to reflect and reconsider and reconfigure is a precious human and political commodity.

As we say: kol ha-kavod, Liz.

A long-distance, virtual fist bump.