Today is Super Tuesday and one of the states involved is my adopted home state of Colorado.
And later tonight I will be caucusing for one of our Democratic candidates.
And that candidate is…
Our President, Francis J. Underwood
President Underwood has a long career in politics. He graduated from The
Sentinel in 1980 and graduated from Harvard Law School four years later. During
this time, he met Claire Hale, a
debutant from Dallas who was attending Harvard pursuing her master’s in public
health. The two forged a long courtship and married on 3 September 1987.
With his hometown of Gaffney as a power base, Underwood won a seat in the South Carolina State Senate in 1984. He was comfortably re-elected in 1988. In 1990, Underwood announced that he was challenging incumbent John M. Spratt, Jr. in the Democratic primary election for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. The political class in South Carolina thought that Underwood was not experienced enough to make a congressional run. Perhaps he should wait his turn until Strom Thurmond retired or there was a more favorable political environment where he could run for governor.
Underwood’s campaign hit the congressional district hard stumping for every vote available. Many political observers thought that Underwood’s primary campaign was a novelty act at best and that there was no way he was going to unseat an incumbent.
On primary night, it was Underwood who had the last laugh as he claimed a 51-49 victory. Despite upsetting an incumbent in the primary, Underwood crushed token Republican opposition in 1990. In 1994, Underwood’s district was targeted by Newt Gingrich and the Republicans in their efforts to flip the House, but survived re-election and was one of the few bright spots in that election for Democrats. Representative Underwood in a debate in 1998 said he would not vote to impeach Bill Clinton drawing many boos by the crowd. The front page of the Gaffney Ledger noted that standing with Clinton would end his political career. Once again, Underwood proved them wrong with a 54-44 win and keeping his seat. At a victory party with fellow supporters, the newly re-elected congressman held up a copy of the Gaffney Ledger with the cover claiming his political demise and ripped it apart.
After every election, Underwood rose through the House Democratic Leadership ranks. When the Democrats reclaimed the House in 2006, Underwood was tapped as the new House Majority Whip. Underwood’s tactics as whip were noticed when passing Obama’s stimulus package, Dodd-Frank, and health care reform law.
In early 2011 with unemployment skyrocketing to 15%, President Obama shocked the country in a nationally televised address that he would not seek re-election. The front runner for the Democrats was former Colorado Governor Garret Walker. Despite an incumbent Democratic president abdicating the presidency, Walker won the 2012 election comfortably in the electoral college and with 70 million popular votes.
Underwood proved to be a useful ally in the Walker administration with pushing through the president’s education reform bill. Though there were criticisms from teachers’ unions that the bill was heavy on testing and supported charter schools, it was the only way it could pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
Congressman Peter Russo (PA, D) was a turning point for Underwood. After Jim Matthews resigned as Pennsylvania Governor upon becoming vice-president, Russo announced he was running for that seat. The Russo campaign was going well until disastrous radio interview where Russo cursed and was obviously drunk ended all hopes. Three days later Russo was discovered in his garage with the car engine running. Investigators ruled Russo’s death a suicide.
Vice-president Matthews announced that he was running for his old seat in part due to politics to keep the governorship for the Democrats. This created a vacancy for vice-presidency.
As a surprise, President Garret Walker tapped Underwood as his vice-president. Rachel Maddow noted that the Underwood appointment was “not the most inspiring choice for vice-president, a nod to Congress tapping one of their own,” and “no real wow factor.” Despite this, it was Underwood in his role as vice-president and president of the senate who whipped the Senate into passing bold entitlement reform. It appeared that the Walker-Underwood ticket was headed towards re-election in 2016.
Unfortunately, the Walker administration was undone due to a trade war with China and illegal campaign finances. The latter prompted the House, controlled by Democrats, to begin Articles of Impeachment hearings. Businessman Raymond Tusk confirmed to a House sub-committee that Walker knew everything. With facing impeachment and likely removal from office, Garrett Walker became the second president to re-sign the presidency. On 28 October 2014, Francis Underwood was sworn in as the 46th President of The United States.
Underwood’s administration has been a difficult one. The pardons of Walker and Tusk were controversial. In an appearance on The Colbert Report, Underwood was put under the spotlight by truthiness expert Stephen Colbert. In the interview Underwood revealed the name of his economic program and promised to eradicate unemployment. To which Colbert replied, “the same way you’ve eradicated your approval polls?”
America Works – or AmWorks – was revealed in a primetime address to the country to aggressively employ the 10 million currently out of work. In that same address, President Underwood announced that he was not running for re-election in 2016. Congress, now controlled by Republicans, balked at passing Underwood’s economic plan despite that it contained things that Republicans have advocated for such as tax breaks and completely overhauling Social Security, Medicare, and other safety net programs. Some Democrats as well balked at supporting Underwood as they saw it went against the things the party advocated for starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Lyndon Johnson to Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton and a lesser extent Barack Obama.
Underwood strong-armed FEMA to declare Washington, DC a disaster area due to high unemployment. Despite what was seen as a power grab and an unconstitutional abuse of power, this action employed 50,000 people in the District of Columbia. However, doing this to tackle unemployment quickly depleted FEMA funds. A hurricane threatened the east coast and Congress passed an emergency spending bill to replenish the FEMA coffers with the stipulation that the funds are only to be used for natural disasters. Underwood signed the bill, but the hurricane turned north minimizing the storm’s impact on our east coast.
President Underwood announced that he was changing course and would campaign for president on AmWorks’s DC success.
And this bold move is why we need Underwood as our president.
Yes, the appointment of his wife, Claire, as United Nations Ambassador was a foreign policy disaster as well as his Jordan Valley joint-peacekeeping mission. There is much to be desired in dealing with Russia and their president,
But as shown throughout his career and with promoting AmWorks, America needs the boldness and ruthless pragmatism of Francis Underwood.
The other candidates running for the Democratic nomination are good but severely flawed. Heather Dunbar, former solicitor general during the Underwood administration, is seen as someone who has an axe to grind against her former boss. The only reason why people know her name is because her family owns a security company and she was appointed special prosecutor to investigate the Walker administration. Dunbar at a rally talked about income inequality, but during the Iowa Debate Representative Jackie Sharp (CA, D) slammed Dunbar for basically being born on third base. It is hypocritical for Dunbar to talk about living in this economy while at the same time she sends her own children to private school.
Representative Sharp was effective as Underwood’s replacement as Democratic Whip, but she wasn’t Underwood. It is confusing why she decided now would be time to run for president. Despite being a military veteran, the California congresswoman does not have much national recognition. It is also odd that she endorsed Heather Dunbar during her campaign suspension speech. There were rumors that Sharp could either be tapped as Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State in a possible future Underwood administration or even put on the ticket as Underwood’s vice-presidential nominee. I have heard from my California friends that Sharp might consider running for either US Senator to replace Diane Feinstein or Governor to replace the term-limited Jerry Brown in 2018.
The announcement of Doug Stamper as his White House Chief of Staff will definitely shake up the campaign. Underwood won Iowa narrowly, but adding Stamper is seen as a kick in the pants. Stamper was the difference while Underwood was in the House and many say was why he won in 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2010.
One more thing, let me address the rumors surrounding President Underwood: they are nothing more than paranoia and a well-funded right wing smear campaign to try to divide Democrats. I enjoyed reading Zoe Barnes’s columns in the Washington
Herald and Slugline.
Her tragic death was a loss for journalism, and she was a rising star. She slipped and feel on the
tracks into the path of an oncoming train.
Lucas Goodwin was a reporter with the Herald but was caught hacking into AT&T’s servers. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence for cyber terrorism. Apparently Zoe and he had a romantic affair, and after her death became so distraught that he claimed that Zoe and Underwood had an affair as well as Underwood murdered Zoe to cover up Russo’s death which Underwood was a part of.
Other rumors include that Underwood strangled a dog, Francis and Claire have split up, Francis had a same-sex lover while at The Sentinel and other gay rumors, and the most bizarre: Frank, Claire, and a male secret service agent engaged in a drunken threesome.
Even the most ridiculous is the idea that Underwood was passed over as Secretary of State in January 2013 and orchestrated a sort of a coup d'état as revenge against Walker. If that was a television show, it would barely last one season.
Pardon me while I roll my eyes at these accusations.