This Is a Blog: 2020 Candidates In Brief

Thursday, June 27, 2019

2020 Candidates In Brief

EDIT 1/14/20: Six months later, it's a completely different field, so I'm giving this list a makeover.

Not Just Old White Men

Elizabeth Warren, Senator-MA: The clear best choice for now. She has a plan for everything. She has ideas, but against this incumbent, will her low-key demeanor be a plus or a minus? Will people see her and her ideas and see a leader, or just a collection of great policies? EDIT 1/14/20: A part of me wants to believe that the smartest person in the room will win. But another part of me watches a candidate who isn't really impressing me as a politician. I worry about her facing off against the president.

Amy Klobuchar, Senator: Maybe if she wasn’t the only boring candidate, she’d be worth listening to. But she’s like the fifth most popular boring candidate. Good on her for tearing apart Brett Kavanaugh. We thank you for your service. EDIT 1/14/20: With most of the other women out, Klobuchar might be able to pull off the old Kamala gamble, to lay low and stay in the pack until it's time to make her move. If we're going to go with a middle of the road, mostly boring candidate, can it at least be a woman? More importantly, she might be the best option now to stand on the stage with the president and tear him down.

Pete Buttigieg, Mayor-IN: Make no mistake, the mayor of a city of 100,000 people is in no way qualified to run the country. But it’s 2019, and I said the same thing about a one-term Senator in 2008. Pete’s young, he’s exciting, he’s white.

Old White Men

EDIT 1/14/20: My thoughts on these guys haven't changed. They're all too old to do the most complex, stressful job ever conceived by man. We're seeing now what an old white man does with the job. It's too much for him. Why do you think he golfs so much? But this country in its times of needs always turns to the warm embrace of a safe, old white guy, and if that's the case, consider them in this order.

Mike Bloomberg, Former Mayor-NY: I hate to say it, but Bloomberg might be the safe choice now. He's like competent Biden. I really don't like the idea of a businessman and the owner of a media company becoming President, but he's smart, he has vision, and I know he can at least do the job. That being said, he's not a good choice, he just might be the best left. (ADDED 12/3/19)

Bernie Sanders, Senator-VT: If Warren isn’t far enough left for you, Sanders is your guy. I get he has a loyal following, but if you really support him and his vision, ask yourself, is he really a better choice than Warren?

Joe Biden, Former Vice President-DE: Elections are a referendum on the status quo. If you’re happy with the way things are, Biden’s your man.

Seriously, You're Still Running? Why???

Tom Steyer, Rich: That's it. He's rich. It's his money, so let him blow it. Whatever solutions he offers don't matter because he either has no intention of following through or he has no idea how politics works. We've spend three years now seeing how a businessman can't just slide into politics and get stuff done. They're two completely different worlds, and I see no evidence Steyer can do the job. (ADDED 12/3/19)

Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman: No way to be certain she’s not a cult leader. But she’s fun to watch.


Kamala Harris, Senator-CA: It's impossible to watch her in those Senate hearings and not imagine her tearing down the president. She's a smart rising star, a party favorite with broad appeal. Against this field, though, I find myself wondering what she stands for and how she's going to reach out more to progressives.

Julian Castro, Former HUD Secretary-TX: He’s not all that exciting, but he’s young, compassionate, and you better believe he’s going to clean up the atrocities at the Mexican border. And he might actually put Texas in play.

John Hickenlooper, Former Governor-CO: A boring moderate, but he’s worth a look. He’s a consensus builder, and the only major candidate with real executive experience.

Cory Booker, Senator-NY: Does Booker know his focus on criminal justice reform doesn’t make him a serious candidate? But maybe that level of chutzpah is what keeps him alive long enough to outlast them all.

Andrew Yang, Former Tech Executive: We do not need another businessman in the White House, but he is the only one talking about automation changing our economy. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be drastic. Do not vote for him, but listen. EDIT 1/14/20: I still stand by this. I don't think a businessman should be president, especially one from the tech world. Big tech is about dehumanizing efficiency being more important than any individual. If we take him at face value, he's trying to change all that, but he's a politician now. Don't take anything he says at face value. On the other hand, when it comes to power, charisma, vision, he might be the best we got. And it's about time diversity in our politics didn't just mean black or white.

Jay Inslee, Governor-WA: He said it himself, he’s not in it to win. He’s in it to talk about climate change. He's not worth for vote or your donation, but for the love of god, listen to what he has to say.

Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator-NY: She’s focused on gender equality, and what she has to say is very important. We can only hope whoever wins takes up her mantle.

Beto O’Rourke, private citizen: Time to climb off the Beto train. Maybe one day he will be ready, but right now, he has done two things on the national stage: lose an election and now blow a debate appearance.

Deval Patrick, Former Governor: I'm just kind of left wondering why. Every box he checks, from his politics, to his experience, to his home state, even down to his gender and race, a better candidate checks it too. And at this late stage of the game, what's the point? (ADDED 12/3/19)

Michael Bennet, Senator: In his first question at the debate, the moderator asked him about something he said, and he wasn’t sure if the question was directed at him. Is he just in it to legalize weed? That's obviously a joke, but is it?

John DelaneyFormer Congressman: What's not to love? He's boring AND he’s not even currently a serving member of government.

Bill de Blasio, Why is the mayor of New York City running for President??? Try governor of New York first, buddy.

Tim Ryan, Congressman: Who? Isn’t he the tall guy from Veep? Why does a Congressman think he can run for President?

Eric Swalwell, Congressman: just because he’s good on TV doesn’t mean he should be president. That’s what the other side thinks.

Marianne Williamson, Author: Sorry, but just because Oprah likes you doesn’t mean you get to be president.

Steve Bullock, Governor: Popular, consensus-building Governor from a tiny red state would be a good sell if there weren’t a million candidates. Keep up the good work, though.

Wayne Messam, Mayor: Uh, I guess he had money to spare...

Seth Moulton, Congressman: Not sure if you heard, he’s a veteran. It’s literally all he talks about.

Joe Sestak, Former Congressman: Okay, like, I get why he thinks he would be a good president, especially given his military career. But no one else thinks so.

Mike Gravel, 89 years-old: He was the highlight of the 2008 democratic primary. The craziest of crazy old men. If you’ve already donated to a real candidate and have money to spare, give it to Gravel. Like, for his own good and the good of the country, he should drop out, but I really want to see how far he can take this.

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Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

Been watching your blog for a few years now for your presidential opinions. You and I disagree on a few things but that doesn't stop me from being entertained by your posts. Just wanted to chime in and say keep up the good work!

Also, I see you've been updating this by crossing out those who have left. I figure you must know Messam is out now, since oddly the suspension of his campaign was where it got its most coverage. On a similar note, kudos to you for being one of the few people to acknowledge Gravel was part of this election cycle. It's a shame he didn't get up on the debate stage.

I'm interested in seeing your opinions on the three who have joined since you made this post (Steyer, Patrick and Bloomberg), as well as on Ojeda even though he dropped out long before the season really got to rolling. I'm sure all four fall in the last two categories but I'd still like to read your input on them. I'd also love to see your thoughts when the pool is finally thinned down to the ones who actually have a shot at the nomination. And of course, I'd LOVE to see your take on Trump's three (now two) challengers.

For the record, I think the nom will be Biden or Sanders. Biden can't keep his foot out of his mouth and there has been a good deal of dirty laundry aired out (mostly his more controversial positions resurfacing), but as recent trends show that doesn't matter near as much as it should. He also has a strong following among the black community, which is a vital pool of voters to have if you're going to win the primaries, and the support of a lot of moderates for being perceived as the most electable candidate. He could end up being like Giuliani in 2008 though; that is, he's the frontrunner until voting actually starts.

Sanders, meanwhile, still has his loyal following, which will follow him even after he drops out, and he's also making headway with other groups. His popularity among women and black voters is increasing and he always manages to get the youth vote out in droves. He's kind of a modern Eugene McCarthy in that way, but with sustainability. If he were any other candidate, his heart attack would have knocked him out of the race, but I think it was actually one of the best things that could have happened to him since the bounce back has, in some ways, dispelled the notion that he's too old and frail for the office. I expect we'll see his support start to swell as others drop out and the voting truly begins, just like last time.

November 29, 2019 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

(Apologies for the double post, the whole message was too big for one post!)

Buttigieg is likely just another flavor of the month like Harris was. I honestly think he's just using this as a spring board to a congressional or gubernatorial run, maybe even something as innocuous as a book deal (just like half of the candidates in this election). I'll admit his polling has been impressive but I don't think it's sustainable.

Now, Warren, her campaign has been an odd one. In any other cycle I honestly think she would have already crashed and burned, and probably would have before she even got to take off. She got lucky being stuck with a bunch of boring candidates with no hope in hell of attaining the nomination in her first debate, which allowed her to seem like she was shining brighter than she really was, and since then she's only been part of debates with ten or more people participating. She has the most fair weather support of any other main candidate, so once the debates are thinned down around January and she's even more prominent, I'd expect to see her numbers falter. Even if my belief that her supporters are fair weather is wrong, I still believe a lot of her people will jump ship when she finally comes under more fire during the time when more people are watching the debates. She's not that good of a debater and that time is when it matters most. But who knows, it might be that if that stuff is accurate, its been put off long enough to make her a real contender.

All that being said, I won't swear any of this in blood or anything. I'm just looking at past elections for reference and the recent election years have shown trends are changing so who knows. I just have fun guessing at it.

Anyways, looking forward to your further thoughts on this primary season. Keep at it man!

November 29, 2019 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

Alright, I REALLY need to see your thoughts on this whole Iowa debacle. I think a whole post is called for as soon as possible.

February 6, 2020 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Daroff said...

Not much to say. An app failed, as they do. The question of who “won” is moot, since five candidates split up a relatively small pool of delegates. Pete and Bernie basically tied. And sometimes it takes weeks to get accurate numbers. Not really worth a whole post.

February 11, 2020 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

I get where you're coming from. I was just more annoyed by it than I normally would be because this was my first time watching a primary season unfold as it went on and while I was braced for a close one, I at least expected to know more than two percent of the results by the end of the night. All the same it was still exciting.

How's the race looking to you right now, by chance? It seems like Joe and Warren have floundered. It could be shaping up to be Sanders vs. Buttigieg but I'm not sure since Pete's support among minorities is pretty abysmal, but I guess momentum from these two good showings could help with that. I guess Biden could still recover but after placing fifth last night, I dunno man. I think he's about done. Some have been saying Bloomberg could rise to be his replacement in the moderate support, and I guess I could see that. Might be kind of tricky this late in the game but this has already been shaping up to be an unusual primary season.

Have you ever thought about doing another presidential series, but on primaries and conventions? I'd really love to hear your thoughts on some of these processes. You could call it "Selections in Brief" or something like that.

February 12, 2020 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Daroff said...

Thank you again for your praise. I doubt I’ll do another big series anytime soon. I started when I had a job that taxed my brain a whole lot less. You should do it. Go to a library and start ingesting books. That’s what I did.

Good luck taking in the primaries. Just keep in mind how much of what you read is soon. fivethirtyeight is by far the best site for election analysis, and even they got 2016 wrong. No one know anything, and every side is just cherry picking facts to make their side’s point. I don’t prognosticate. I voice opinion and do math.

To put Iowa in perspective, we used to inaugurate the president in March because the process takes so long. A few extra days to get accurate results is not a big deal at all.

No, I don’t think Biden and Warren are out yet. Wait until after Super Tuesday. Only two states voted. Over fifty contests left to go. Let’s not give two tiny states more power than they deserve. Biden is only behind by 20 delegates. Hillary picked up more than that in multiple primaries.

February 12, 2020 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

No problem man, thank you for giving me a lot of great content to read! :) I've thought about doing stuff like that, even making an entire website dedicated to presidential elections. I first got into presidential stuff around 2012 when I learned all of the presidents, in order. Then in 2016 (sensing a pattern? :P) I got into more things about them, like who their VPs were, the elections and primaries they won, so on and so forth. Now I can name every president, vice president, who they defeated in the primaries, the losing nominees, their running mates and the states all of them were from. I can also remember pretty well all of the electoral vote recipients, though a few faithless voters here and there occasionally slip my mind. I've spent nearly four years consistently studying up on this stuff and speculating what sort of president so many people would have been, how they won, what the other nom did to lose and much more, so I think if I ever get the will to, I'd have a lot of fun making analysis' that could be informative and hopefully fun for folks to read like yours.

I'm about like you with it, though I sometimes let biases blind me. I try to mostly take in all sides though and have well rounded thoughts on the matters, as well as realistic expectations of things. A lot of people speculate downright ridiculous stuff - Like Hillary announcing a run this late in the game, which yeah, sure, it's possible for her to be the nom due to the convention rules, but I highly doubt that would happen. I think at this point in our nation's history we're past the time where we'd nominate someone who didn't even run in the primaries. I feel like it would effectively be suicide for whatever major party did it.

Yeah the few days to get the final results wasn't really a big deal. I do feel like the momentum normally seen from it was a bit blunted, but we'll just have to see if that's the case. What was more a problem to me was that they even entrusted it to an app seemingly without a backup plan, and while I do respect that it takes time to get accurate results sometimes (see the Republican caucus in 2012 and numerous statewide elections in recent memory), it was a bit irritating we had nearly no results by the end of the night. That was the main thing that irked me a bit - I expected a close race but I also expected to have some idea of how it was going by the next morning, haha. I was also curious as to why they even did an app in the first place, because for years it has been done differently and it typically worked out just fine, so why fix something that ain't broken? An attempt at making it more convenient and cutting back on people required to do the counting is my only guess. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

February 13, 2020 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

(Ran out of room, Post Continued)

Biden could very well bounce back, though it will probably be a bit hard for him right now. If it were up to me, Iowa and New Hampshire wouldn't have near as much power as they get from being the first two states to vote, but the fact of that matter is they do (I don't think it's as much as is claimed but it is there, usually). I could see him coming back from these losses if he manages to hold onto Nevada or South Carolina and then do well in the states he is expected to in Super Tuesday, but to be honest man, I have my doubts. It's true that in 2008 Hillary had an unexpected defeat in Iowa when she placed third, but although Obama beat her and Edwards by about eight percent, her third placing to Edwards was by a very slim margin and she managed to recover with a victory in New Hampshire right after. Biden not only lost both times, he did worse going into New Hampshire, even placing behind a candidate he beat in Iowa, which ends up making him look like a weak candidate. Ideally that wouldn't be the way it works but it's likely how voters will perceive it. All that being said, going by past precedents he seems to be in shaky territory right now, but if he managed to make a come back I wouldn't be too surprised because flukes do happen.

As for Warren, as I previously stated I think she was just a long lasting flavor of the month candidate who managed to stay high in the polls longer than most because she kept getting lucky breaks. She got to shine in her first debate because she was pretty well the only one who was really significant and was the most well known, and subsequently she was mostly in debates that consistently had nine other people on the stage that usually avoided damaging her. I figured once the debates got thinned out and it got closer to the actual race she'd start to flounder. Also, as sucky as it is, a big part of who wins these things has to do with charisma, and she's lacking in that pretty significantly. Her Iowa loss was one that could have been overcome but after seeing how badly she did in New Hampshire, I think her campaign is toast at this point, so much so that I could see Biden coming back before her. This has already proven to be an unusual primary season though, so who knows, it could turn into Biden vs. Warren after Super Tuesday. Nothing would surprise me at this rate!

February 13, 2020 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

(Ran out of room yet again)

Right now I think Bernie has the best chance at the nomination, but as you said it's still pretty early to make a call. If he does end up winning it'll be interesting how similar his rise was to Reagan's in '76 and '80. Like Reagan, he'd be an older guy who runs against a well established figure the previous election (in Reagan's case the incumbent and in Sanders' a former member of the current administration), does well but not enough to win (though Reagan did much better, of course), then takes that name recognition and goes on to be a much bigger force in the next, though I don't think he'll sweep like Reagan did. If he goes on to win the general that'll be another similarity since Reagan also beat a pretty unpopular incumbent, though unlike Carter, Trump hasn't received a significant primary challenger. That being said, Trump's primary challengers have held public office before, which makes them the first elected officials to challenge a sitting president of their own party since Ted Kennedy did it to Carter in 1980... Well, other than Harold Stassen, but by the time he was challenging Reagan and Bush he was long accepted to be a perennial candidate. Trump's challengers are token opposition, yes, but not what you'd call perennial since they haven't made a habit of doing stuff like this just yet; additionally, Walsh has at least held office in recent years and Weld has managed to win a single delegate, which is the first time a challenger has done that on either side since Buchanan in '92 (a couple of Obama challengers did pretty well in one or two states but they didn't get any delegates due to paperwork errors, I believe it was). Anyways, I'm not saying this is a direct parallel to what happened with Reagan at all, it's just a couple of interesting similarities I've noticed.

That's probably the most I've talked about politics in a good while, so in addition to the blog posts, thanks for the stimulating conversation as well!

February 13, 2020 at 4:34 PM  

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