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"THe Man On Horseback": Does America Need "A Woman On Horseback?"

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“The Man On Horseback”: Does America Need “A Woman On Horseback?”


George Washington, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy all had something in common, not only were they presidents, but they all had military careers before they became president.  These presidents could have collectively been called: “The Men on Horseback”.  I ask: “With the 2020 election ‘just around the corner,’ should the Democratic Party consider, as part of their ticket, “A Woman on Horseback?”


For a moment, before I pursue that approach, let’s take look  at each of the men who ascended to the presidency after a career in the military.  First and foremost, “The Father of Our Country,” George Washington.  One could say that Washington was the “sine qua non” when it came to the Revolutionary War.  What some may not have known about Washington was that during the French and Indian War, he had two horses shot out from under him and that four bullet holes go through his coat.


Our seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, “Old Hickory,” was considered the first “Common Man” president.  He was best known, militarily, as the “Hero of the Battle of New Orleans,” a battle in which he easily defeated the British.  His victory helped bring an end to the War of 1812, although the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, had already been signed a couple weeks earlier.


The ninth President of the United States was nicknamed, “Tippecanoe” (as in “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”).  William Henry Harrison gained national fame by leading U.S. troops and state militia forces against Native Americans at “The Battle of Tippecanoe”.  Harrison was subsequently promoted to major general and later, during the War of 1812, he took part in the Battle of Thames that resulted in the death of the Indian leader, Tecumseh.  Harrison was subsequently nominated for the presidency by the Whig Party in 1840.  He defeated the incumbent, Martin Van Buren.  However, Harrison died of pneumonia one month after taking the oath of office.


Moreover, Zachary Taylor, known as “Old Rough and Ready,” used bloodhounds to track down the Seminole Indians.  Taylor took part in many wars: the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole War and the Mexican War.  Taylor is probably best known for his victories in the Mexican War.  He is defeated the Mexicans at Monterrey and Buena Vista.  He was later elected president in 1848, but he died in office in 1850. 


Our 18th president was Ulysses S. Grant.  Grant’s real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, a name he did not like because he was often kidded about it by his West Point classmates.  His initials, H.U.G., were emblazoned on his trunk-locker  When he had earlier applied to West Point, he was quite pleased to learn that the congressman from Ohio who had submitted his name for the U.S. Military Academy had written on his application, Ulysses Simpson Grant (Simpson was his mother’s maiden name).  Thus, he was called U.S. Grant, or by close friends, “Sam” Grant.  Grant was also known as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant (Forts Henry and Donelson). Yet, he was sometimes known as “The Butcher” for the number of men who died under his command.  Yet, Lincoln would say, at the talk of Grant’s removal, “I can’t spare this man, he fights”.  Grant would go on to be a less than distinguished President of the United States.


Teddy Roosevelt would become the hero of “The Battle of San Juan Hill” (actually Kettle Hill) in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.  That attention catapulted T.R. into the Governor’s Mansion in Albany.  In 1900, he was selected as the vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party under William McKinley.  In 1901. T.R. became president when McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY.


Our 34th president, Dwight Eisenhower, was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War II.  Eisenhower became the successful two-term nominee of the Republican Party during the 1950s.  On both occasions, he defeated Adlai E. Stevenson, the Democratic Party nominee.


Finally, our 35th President of the U.S., John F. Kennedy, fought in the Pacific during World War II.  Kennedy was made famous for the saving his crew on “PT-109”.  He later was elected to the U.S. Senate.  He gained the Democratic Party nomination in 1960.  He went on to defeat Richard Nixon in a hotly contested election.


All this brings us back to the present.  First, I ask: “Should the Democratic Party consider a person with a military background?”  But, in this instance, I suggest that this person not be a man, but a woman.  A women with military experience.  A woman who has honorably served our country both at home, legislatively, but also, militarily, in foreign lands.


The name that comes to mind is the current U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, Tulsi Gabbard.  The 38-year old Gabbard is the first female combat veteran to run for the presidency.  In 2004, Gabbard would step down from serving as a representative in the Hawaii state legislature to serve a tour of duty in a war zone. Gabbard would be deployed first in Iraq as part of the Hawaiian National Guard, and then later in Kuwait. 


I believe that if former vice-president Joe Biden were to win the Democratic Party nomination for president, then Tulsi Gabbard would make an excellent choice for vice-president.  The ticket would bring together a more conservative, centrist Democratic presidential nominee, with a youthful, more liberal-minded vice-presidential running mate.  It would balance the ticket.  Further, this Democratic Party “team” would combine the wisdom that comes with age and experience with the enthusiasm that comes with youth.


In concluding, I believe the addition of Tulsi Gabbard to any Democratic Party ticket would be a welcome choice.  In the past, our country has been well-served by the men who had become president who had previously served in the military.  I ask: “Why not a woman?”  We would be adding to the ticket someone who has demonstrated proven leadership qualities through an honorable and distinguished career in the military.  Someone who answered the call.  Not someone who got out of serving in the Vietnam War for “bone spurs”. 


Further, It wasn’t that long ago that we laid to rest a national hero,  Senator John McCain.  I ask: “Do we want to continue with the man who is president who commented on Senator McCain’s service (5 and ½ years as a P.O.W. in the “Hanoi Hilton”) by saying, “He’s (McCain) not a war hero.  He’s a war hero because he was captured.  I like people who weren’t captured.” 


In my opinion, what an ungrateful comment!  How disgusting!  While POTUS is “living the high life” here in America; Senator McCain is wasting away in a North Vietnam P.O.W. camp. 


Finally, I ask: “How dare you be so critical of Senator McCain, who, when he ejected from his A-4E Skyhawk, broke both his arms and legs?”  “What were you doing, POTUS, when Senator McCain nearly drowned in a rice paddy?”  “What were you doing when, once on the ground, McCain’s shoulder is shattered by a rifle butt and he was then bayonetted?”  I ask again: “What were you doing, POTUS, during Senator McCain’s nearly half-dozen years in captivity in a North Vietnam P.O.W. camp?” 


Yes, I believe “A Woman on Horseback,” a woman such as Tulsi Gabbard, would be a welcome addition to a Democratic Party presidential team.


In conclusion, one thing’s for sure, there won’t be a woman on the Republican ticket.  I think that “ticket” should be a one-way one.  One that leads directly out of town, Washington, D.C.

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Welcome.  Good post.  The track record of Presidents with military experience isn't all good (Bush II, for example), but if all else is equal, I think it's an overall plus.


I like Tulsi.  She lacks experience, but I believe she has the right personal qualities.   I agree that she would be a good VP candidate for Biden.  They would certainly have my vote.

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A Biden/Gabbard ticket is a great way to make sure Donald Trump gets 4 more years. Biden's a centrist gaffe machine and Gabbard is a Faux Progressive without the credentials to back her up.  

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