Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past contributor to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.


  1. I had seen this prior, but it’s just as good a second time.

    No Mormon ex-financiere from Mass. has ever won. No African-American ex-community organizer from Ill. has been ever been able to win a second term. So it seems clear that Gary Johnson has the inside track.

    • No president won a 2nd term w/fewer votes than his first. [HT: Michael Medved]

      “From the dawn of the republic, no president has ever won consecutive terms while drawing less support (in both the electoral college and the popular vote) in his second bid for election than he did in the first successful campaign. In other words, presidents who win reelection manage to earn more backers, not more opponents, during their first four years in the White House. If, on the other hand, their critics multiply and the pool of admirers shrinks in response to their record of leadership, the embattled president always loses. When some significant portion of the voters who backed a president the first time now feel disillusioned and join the opposition (or stay home), and if the incumbent can’t replace these losses with comparable gains from people who rejected him four years before, it’s an indication of a failed presidency.

      Those who doubt the relevance of this rule to the present race should address a revealing question: what’s more common in today’s public discourse—people who say they voted for Barack Obama but now feel disappointed and betrayed, or voices declaring that they backed John McCain four years ago but now support the president because they’re inspired by the magnificent job he’s done?”

      “Democrats should ask themselves whether President Obama bears a stronger resemblance to the three recent winners (Reagan, Clinton, Bush II) or the three recent losers (Ford, Carter, Bush I). In terms of his economic situation, the unemployment rate is much higher, and the growth rate much lower than for any of the second-term winners in the last 40 years—and also far worse than for one of the second-term losers (the first President Bush). As far as temperament is considered, Barack Obama hardly comes across as a genial, sunny, easy-going people-pleaser like Reagan, Clinton, or even George W.—let alone recapturing the unshakable optimism of his hero, FDR. His dour personality may fit the national mood of the moment, but with his slashingly negative campaigning and inveterate blame-gaming, he hardly contributes to lifting the gloom. The tightly wound, suffering-servant aura that has clung to his presidency at least since the 2010 GOP landslide, links him far more closely to the electorally challenged trio of Ford, Carter, and Bush I than to the irresistible cheerfulness of the successfully reelected recent incumbents.”

      • I don’t entirely disagree, though what Medved’s saying, without realizing it, is that here’s a president who’s ripe for being defeated soundly, if only the guy running against him could whip up any enthusiasm for himself. Imagine if Reagan or Bill Clinton were running as the challenger this year; there’d be no doubt at all. Instead there’s Mitt, as phony as a three hundred million dollar bill, the last one left after all the others were voted off the island of misfit toys.

        • Reagan was even on 10/28, won by 10. Stay tuned. Me, I like Mitt, and as people have got to know him his favorables and “likeability” have come up to Obama’s.

          10/15:Obama’s enduring personal popularity has been a key reason for his political resiliency. But Obama and Romney are now essentially tied on likability: 53 percent of those surveyed have a positive impression of Obama personally, and 45 percent do not. The same percentage view both Romney and Obama strongly favorably as view them strongly unfavorably.

          GOP voter enthusiasm is also 10 points higher if you feel like looking it up for yourself. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information.

          [BTW, I voted for John B. Anderson. Silly child.]

  2. I have to wonder if Americans are the stupidest people on the planet.
    The stupidest people I’ve come across, but I’ve only a few wetbacks & Irish nationals (& Danes, and a handful of Croatians) to compare them to.

    The good news:
    Americans might not be the stupidest people on the planet.

    The bad news:
    There might be people stupider than us somewhere.

    It’s a no-win.

Comments are closed.