Ross Perot, Billionaire & Presidential Candidate, Dead at 89

 

From the Associated Press:

Ross Perot, the billionaire businessman who twice ran for president in the 1990s, has died at the age of 89. The Dallas Morning News reports Perot died following a five-month battle with leukemia. Born in Texas, Perot made his fortune by founding and running two technology companies, Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems. He ran as an independent presidential candidate in the 1992 election and as a third-party candidate in the 1996 election. Perot’s wealth, fame and confident prescription for the nation’s economic ills propelled his 1992 campaign against President George H.W. Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton. Some Republicans blamed him for Bush’s loss to Clinton as Perot garnered the largest percentage of votes for a third-party candidate since former President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 bid.

(Photo: Ross Perot speaks at a petition drive in Orange County California. 1992. Credit: shutterstock.com.)

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There are 14 comments.

  1. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Wow. I’m reading Jon Meacham’s book on Bush right now and it got me thinking about Perot. “Is he still alive?” Perot is a name that I haven’t thought about in years. I googled last night and he was alive, now this a few hours later. Crazy timing.

    • #1
    • July 9, 2019, at 8:58 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Miffed White Male Member

    I was very excited when he first started running in 1992.

    Then I figured out he was nuts.

    And that was before the whole “quitting the race because the Bush’s are messing with my daughters wedding, then getting back in again” thing.

    • #2
    • July 9, 2019, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Gary Robbins Reagan

    The one great contribution that Perot made was the focus on the National Debt which was $4.065 trillion in 1992 and was 62% of our GDP.

    The National Debt is now $24.057 trillion which is 106% of our GDP. This is the highest since 1946 which spiked at 119% of GDP, immediately after the Second World War.

    https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-by-year-compared-to-gdp-and-major-events-3306287

    We need a Perot now to address the National Debt, and I don’t see anyone on the horizon.

    • #3
    • July 9, 2019, at 9:19 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Bishop Wash Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I was very excited when he first started running in 1992.

    Then I figured out he was nuts.

    And that was before the whole “quitting the race because the Bush’s are messing with my daughters wedding, then getting back in again” thing.

    I wondered if his getting out was because he was getting close to actually winning and it scared him. Maybe he ran to get his ideas noticed, but didn’t expect a third party candidate to win. Then he kept climbing in the polls. The wedding excuse was strange.

    As it was, he still came in second behind Bush in my tiny home county in Kansas.

    • #4
    • July 9, 2019, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    His greatest contribution is if Bush won in ‘92 we would never have had a Republican House in ‘94

    • #5
    • July 9, 2019, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Seawriter Member

    I always thought the real reason H. Ross Perot ran for President was to put a spoke in GHW Bush’s career. Had Bush won re-election Bush would have been a bigger Texan than Perot. Perot could not abide the thought of that because Perot had been born in Texas, and Bush got to Texas as soon as he could.

    Does that sound petty? I always thought Perot was capable of major league pettiness.

    • #6
    • July 9, 2019, at 9:56 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Perot taught me that general elections are binary, and that votes outside the top two electable candidates are effectively half-votes for the opposition.

    • #7
    • July 9, 2019, at 10:37 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Valiuth Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The one great contribution that Perot made was the focus on the National Debt which was $4.065 trillion in 1992 and was 62% of our GDP.

    The National Debt is now $24.057 trillion which is 106% of our GDP. This is the highest since 1946 which spiked at 119% of GDP, immediately after the Second World War.

    https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-by-year-compared-to-gdp-and-major-events-3306287

    We need a Perot now to address the National Debt, and I don’t see anyone on the horizon.

    I think it is very clear that he had no contribution on the issue, or on anything other than helping to get us President Clinton, who more or less created the culture of political shamelessness that now governs our politics. 

    • #8
    • July 9, 2019, at 11:13 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Manny Member

    I always thought he was a crackpot but he did fade out of the limelight with grace. May he rest in peace under eternal light.

    • #9
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. EJHill Podcaster

    Gary RobbinsThe one great contribution that Perot made was the focus on the National Debt which was $4.065 trillion in 1992 and was 62% of our GDP.

    Focus awards? Are they anything like wearing ribbons to “raise awareness?”

    Probably not. At least the ribbon wearers actually contribute both time and money to their pet causes. For thirty years the Principled Conservatives™️ talked about all the things they were going to do once the got all the levers of power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. And what exactly did they do with it besides sit in a corner and wet themselves every time the Democrats called them “meanies?”

    • #10
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Perot taught me that general elections are binary, and that votes outside the top two electable candidates are effectively half-votes for the opposition.

    Except that it was Perot who was the top electable candidate until the skulduggery or head fake or whatever rattled him around his daughter’s personal life. He had taken the lead but never recovered after showing weakness or indecision for that week or so.

    He was a successful entrepreneur who criticized the self-licking ice cream cone of American CEOs, who (with their think tank and pundit platoons) insisted that American workers absorb the hit of global wage and employment competition while not subjecting their own gilded packages to critical comparison with the then ascendant Japanese executives.

    He treated the American voters like corporate customers, with charts, facts, figures rather than campaign puffery.

    He seemed more likely to actually address the fundamental problems of government spending than the two establishment party candidates who only differed on how much government cheese should be served up to whom.

    • #11
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:57 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Except that it was Perot who was the top electable candidate until the skulduggery or head fake or whatever rattled him around his daughter’s personal life. He had taken the lead but never recovered after showing weakness or indecision for that week or so.

    Yup. He fit the Buckley rule at that point. He didn’t fit it on election day. Lesson learned.

    • #12
    • July 9, 2019, at 2:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Except that it was Perot who was the top electable candidate until the skulduggery or head fake or whatever rattled him around his daughter’s personal life. He had taken the lead but never recovered after showing weakness or indecision for that week or so.

    Yup. He fit the Buckley rule at that point. He didn’t fit it on election day. Lesson learned.

    I was on the west coast, in Washington state. On the way to the polls after the duty day, the early returns from east of us pointed to a good chance Clinton would win, so I strategically switched my vote to Bush from Perot. I believe my father did pretty much the same.

    That is how badly Bush bungled the brand.

    • #13
    • July 9, 2019, at 2:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. RyanFalcone Member

    I voted for him in 96′ (my second election cycle). I voted Clinton in 92′ to my eternal shame. He was the only candidate who treated the voters like they had a brain and there have been few if any since. Out of despair, I listened to his speeches and decided to actually study the issues he spoke about. I learned a great deal about economics as a result and that has shaped the rest of my life. I consider him the father of the Tea Party movement. He may have been a bit goofy but he was far from a crackpot or stupid.

    He is one of the few people who ran for President with an earnest desire to make the country a better place and accomplished the feat even in defeat.

    Sure, he had a role in delivering Clinton to the WH which was awful but he also created the climate for the 94′ midterm. In my opinion, Clinton 92′ plus Contract With America 94′ was a net gain for conservatism.

    Thanks Ross Perot.

    • #14
    • July 10, 2019, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 1 like