Monday, August 17, 2015

Ted Cruz ’92, Mark Milley ’80

You might have heard that there's a campaign underway for the U.S. Presidency.

This is a campaign unlike any other that TigerBlog can remember. Maybe this is just how elections are going to be from now on?

There are 17 Republicans - extra credit if you can name them all. There are three Democrats so far - at least three who are actually campaigning. Again, it might be just as tough to name all three, as one appears to have gotten a bit more publicity than the other two. And of course, there may be a fourth entrant on the Democrat side, one who may shake some things up if he gets in.

TigerBlog is a huge student of politics. He majored in U.S. history, political history at that, and he's been tuned in ever since.

MotherBlog was an even bigger political animal than TigerBlog, though they seemed to have slightly different perspectives on things.

Anyway, TB can never remember this many contenders on one side and, essentially, one anointed one on the other side, unless that anointed candidate was a sitting President looking for reelection.

The last three elections that came after a President had served two full terms were the elections of 2008, 1988 and 1960. In 2008, there were 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats. In 1988, there were nine Republicans and 13 Democrats.

To show you how much times have changed, in 1960 there were three Republicans and five Democrats. How many of each can you name? Hint - two attended Princeton and one graduated from Princeton.

Anyway, the 2008 election and 1988 election, the two most contemporary ones, had crowded fields on both sides. This time, it seems that one party has not attracted too many contenders.

There's a long way to go between now and Election Day 2016, which will be Nov. 8. The fields will narrow to one on each side, and the one who comes out of the Republican field will hardly remember that there were 16 others who wanted to be the one who did.

For now, though, it's fascinating theater.

Oh, and in 1960, the fields shaped up this way:
Democrats - John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Adlai Stevenson (he's the Princeton alum), Hubert Humphrey and Wayne More
Republicans - Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller

If you got them all, that's pretty good.

Meanwhile, back at this current race, there is one Princeton alum in the field, Ted Cruz, Class of 1992. TigerBlog was already covering Princeton sports from the time Cruz arrived on campus, and TB wonders how many times they crossed paths - if ever - without any sense of the fact that he was a future Presidential candidate.

For that matter, how many athletic events did Ted Cruz go to as a Princeton student? What athletes was he friends with as an undergrad?

Here's TigerBlog's real question: If you're a liberal Princeton alum, what do you think of Ted Cruz?

On the one hand, he's a Conservative Republican. On the other hand, Princeton loyalty is a serious thing. Hmmm. What would that polling date reveal.?

Whoever wins the Presidency will be, of course, the next Commander-In-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.

There is a new Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, which brings with it a spot on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The newest member has been on the job only three days, and he too is a Princeton alum.

And, in this case, a former Princeton athlete.

General Mark Milley, Class of 1980, lettered in hockey while at Princeton. Now he is one of the most important members of the United States Military.

TigerBlog wondered what both of these men wrote their Senior Theses on, so he looked it up. If you're keeping score:
Ted Cruz - Clipping the Wings of Angels: The History and Theory behind the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the United States Constitution
Mark Milley - A Critical Analysis of Revolutionary Guerrilla Organization in Theory and Practice.

There have been two Princeton alums who have gone to become President of the United States: James Madison and Woodrow Wilson.

There have been a ton who have gotten as close as Cruz has already, only to fall short. A few have made it even further than this, including Stevenson, who was the Democrat nominee in 1952 and 1956, losing both times to Eisenhower.

And of course, Bill Bradley - maybe the best athlete in Princeton history but at least in the top two with Hobey Baker - made a serious run in 2000, coming in as the runner-up to Al Gore on the Democrat side.

Will Cruz still be in the Presidential mix when the primaries start to roll by? Will he make a serious run?

Will liberal Princetonians root for him?

Stay tuned.

It's going to get more and more fascinating.

Oh, and by the way, you do know where Donald Trump went to college, right?

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