Democratic Primary 2020

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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:58 am

These assholes are determined to make Gillibrand earn my vote, and I'm pretty angry at them for it because I don't even like her that much.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/ ... 20-1014697

Gillibrand has defended her approach by insisting she placed deeply held personal values over party loyalty. But the still-burning resentment among the donor class now confronts Gillibrand as she explores a presidential bid, cutting her off from influential and deep-pocketed contributors and their networks at a time when an expansive 2020 field will compete for their dollars.

Among those donors is Susie Tompkins Buell, a prominent Democratic fundraiser and co-founder of Esprit and the North Face clothing brands, who said the matter remains fresh in her mind and among those in her circles. The episode, she said, “stained [Gillibrand’s] reputation as a fair player.”

“I do hear people refer to Kirsten Gillibrand as ‘opportunistic’ and shrewd at the expense of others to advance herself, and it seems to have been demonstrated in her rapid treatment of her colleague Al Franken,” she said. “I heard her referred to as ‘She would eat her own,’ and she seems to have demonstrated that. I know [Gillibrand] thought she was doing the right thing, but I think she will be remembered by this rush to judgment. I have heard [that] some of her women colleagues regret joining her.”

The anger is at least in part a testament to donors’ fondness for Franken, a comedian who rose to fame as a “Saturday Night Live” cast member and remains in the eyes of his supporters one the Senate’s greatest champions for women — even after his resignation. Several of those who talked to POLITICO also spoke of an inner-party struggle to keep Franken from resigning, fearing he was swept up in a panic at the time. A Change.org petition opposing Franken’s resignation had 75,000 signatures. Some blamed the media for rushing to publish allegations without a full vetting.

“I could stay on the phone all afternoon talking about this,” said a Manhattan-based member of the ‘Majority Trust’ of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, an elite group of top donors, who has donated to Gillibrand in the past. “Let me tell you how strongly I felt about it — I didn’t even vote for her in the recent election. I left it blank.”


And check out this article by one of Franken's media supporters, expressing confusion over what he (Franken) did wrong and anger at Gillibrand for "betraying" him. The Gillibrand campaign should reproduce the whole thing in print ads--I've never read anything that made me want to donate to a political campaign more.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:25 pm

I feel you. Gillibrand was my top choice before I discovered Klobuchar, largely because a lot of Democrats still don't seem to understand why they should have to take sexual misconduct allegations seriously when Republicans definitely aren't.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:29 am

I guess the primary has properly started, with four of the major candidates (Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker) now officially running.

From what I can tell, my favourite of the four (not that I can vote what with being foreign) is Kirsten Gillibrand, primarily for the stuff mentioned in the above posts - she's challenging some very powerful people on something that they really do need to be challenged on, and I think it's terrible she's not received more recognition for doing that. I don't really know anything else about her, though, because the other three get a lot of attention over here but British media never talks about Gillibrand at all.

Kamala Harris seems perfectly competent. I've heard negative things but apart from historical allegations of an affair with a married man I don't remember what they are (so they can't be something that would affect my thinking much), and I've not seen anything from her that would worry me about her chances in the election if she won the primary, or the competence of her administration if she won the election.

Elizabeth Warren has already demonstrated Trump is able to get to her, so I would be reticent about making her the candidate to beat him. Her entire handling of the Native American thing (summed up quickly in this BBC News article) was such an embarrassing lapse of judgment, and he riled her into doing that through the most basic playground tactics imaginable. I don't think someone who can't handle name-calling is going to handle running against him properly.

I genuinely find Cory Booker a bit creepy. A lot of people seem to find him friendly-seeming and exciting, and he's clearly going for that, but every time I see him I really feel like there's something not quite right about him. Does anyone else feel this way, or am I sensing something that's not there?
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:55 am

gisambards wrote:From what I can tell, my favourite of the four (not that I can vote what with being foreign) is Kirsten Gillibrand, primarily for the stuff mentioned in the above posts - she's challenging some very powerful people on something that they really do need to be challenged on, and I think it's terrible she's not received more recognition for doing that. I don't really know anything else about her, though, because the other three get a lot of attention over here but British media never talks about Gillibrand at all.


Gillibrand's big problem is that she comes off as an opportunist who takes whatever position is most convenient, largely because she "flip-flopped" in the direction of political convenience on various cultural issues like guns and immigration when she ran for Senate, and accepted the Clintons' considerable support for a long time before deciding to denounce Bill as a sex predator at what happened to be the moment of maximum political utility. This is the same inauthenticity problem that made Hillary such a weak candidate. Given that Gillibrand is also occupying Hillary's old Senate seat and had substantial ties to the Clintons until quite recently, she's often viewed as "Hillary 2.0", and we all know how that went. I don't know that the comparison works given that AFAIK there's no hint that Gillibrand has engaged in criminal behavior, but it's been damaging for her prospects nonetheless.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:28 am

I would rank the candidates who are official candidates according to Wikipedia and I think have a non-zero chance of winning thusly:

1. Kirsten Gillibrand
2. Julian Castro
3. Tulsi Gabbard
4. Cory Booker
5. Pete Buttigieg
6. Kamala Harris
7. Elizabeth Warren

My dream candidate is still Tammy Duckworth, and my preferred likely candidate is still Amy Klobuchar.

My views on Kirsten Gillibrand are similar to Gis's, however the same concerns Crimson expresses have been baked into my views of her from the start. The fact that a lot of public Democrats have condemned her over her reaction to Franken (which I think was premature, but vindicated) and "betrayal" of the Clintons moved her up dramatically in my eyes.

Julian Castro seems solid and seems to hold fairly generic Democratic beliefs on policy. He also doesn't have any obvious issues I am aware of aside from being an insider and not all that charismatic, which are issues most of the current crop of Democratic candidates would also have. I think he has a decent chance of winning Texas if he's the nominee, but if he wins Texas, he's probably winning Florida, Arizona, and the election. And in light of this, I still wish he'd run for Senate instead, but would vote for him over a candidate I like less in the presidential primary.

Tulsi Gabbard is obviously a long-shot, but of the three main points of criticism against her, I see two of them as points in her favor. The fact that she could change her mind on gay rights, and was a staunch advocate for gay rights in spite of her personal views before she came around there, shows that she's capable of overcoming her gut instincts. And while meeting with Assad was a misstep, her general positions on Syria seem fairly pragmatic, which I approve of. I'll take a secular dictatorship over an equally oppressive theocracy any day. I can't tell if she's still involved in the Hare Krishna cult (she identifies simply as Hindu), but I've seen no evidence that it matters.

With Cory Booker, I don't like how close to pharmaceutical industries he is and how he voted against some bills that pharma opposed, but that's the only issue I can see with him in terms of policy objections I wouldn't have with a generic Democrat. And there's actually a lot for me to like about him in terms of policy. But the thing is, Booker kind of comes across as knockoff Obama, which I know is unfair since his time as mayor of Newark is really impressive.

My views on Pete Buttigieg are similar to my views on Castro. However, I think a gay man from a deep red state that's growing redder probably has less upside in the general election than a Hispanic former mayor of a large and growing city in a light red state which is rapidly turning purple. He could do better than a generic Democrat in the Midwest, maybe, but right now I'm not super confident of that.

I've mentioned multiple times my concern over how Kamala Harris got her first two jobs, though I think that's something she could overcome if, when the subject inevitably arises, she handles it with grace and possibly even a bit of self-deprecating humor, instead of lying, getting defensive, and trying to change the subject (as Hillary did with her emails). Now, however, my main concern is that she apparently off-the-cuff endorsed a version of single-payer which would ban private insurance. This seems like a really bad judgment from the perspective of both politics and policy, and it's on the issue Democrats have made their main focus since 2008.

Elizabeth Warren is looking less concerning on policy, especially since she isn't likely to make a dangerously ill-conceived off-the-cuff remark on policy the way the presumptive frontrunner did on healthcare. However I've said from the beginning that she combines the politics of Bernie Sanders with the charisma of Hillary Clinton. And she performed worst relative to her state's partisan lean of any incumbent senator, which I think reinforces that. I've also said that the Pocahontas thing, though inconsequential, is something Donald Trump would beat her with the way he beat Clinton with the emails, something which is likely to resonate with Obama-Trump voters, who poll after poll showed were driven by racial resentment. And then she let Donald Trump get to her and poured gasoline on the first with that DNA test, a stunt which was premeditated and yet somehow didn't involve consultation with the relevant Indian tribes. I now am convinced she is probably much the least electable Democrat with a shot at winning the nomination. The best I can say of her at this point is that if the nomination comes down to her vs Sherrod Brown or Oprah, I'd vote for Warren.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:16 am

I think I like Booker the most, followed by Gillibrand. Booker does remind me a lot of Obama, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I like the positive messaging and I like the platform he announced. Gillibrand for the same reasons as above.

I don't hate any of the announced candidates. Harris seems fine, although I worry about her inexperience at the federal level. I think Warren would be an excellent president but I worry about her political instincts and her baggage (shades of Hillary, fair or not). Buttigieg/Castro/Gabbard aren't experienced enough but I mostly like what I've heard from them.

Of the not-announced but much-discussed other candidates, I also really like Klobuchar. Biden is too old and I think he's a poor debater, Sanders is too old and a little too lefty, Beto is fine but not exciting, and Sherrod Brown seems to be kind of an idiot.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:25 am

A bunch of sites are reporting that Klobuchar has a habit of abusing her staff, reports that apparently originated from this HuffPo article. On one hand, this is the Huffington Post, but on the other hand, calm, soft-spoken, and reasonable publicly but controlling, undermining, and constantly critical in public describes someone else I know very well, so not only can I believe it, but I'm now picturing her as that person.

I wouldn't want this person I'm picturing her as running the country, but honestly Klobuchar's ability to govern wasn't the reason I favored her. Her positions on trade, criminal justice, and technology issues are all somewhat concerning to me (she's a little worse than the average Democrat on all of these, but only a little), and the main reason I liked Klobuchar is that she didn't seem too bad on policy relative too other Democrats and I considered (and still consider) her the candidate most likely to beat Trump.

Part of this is that her soft-spoken and gentle demeanor seemed like the perfect contrast to Trump, and if more stories come out confirming her as the queen of mean, that aspect is not only gone but I will start to personally dislike her. However she is still a candidate who won bigly in a state Trump nearly swung, in a region where Trump swung several states. So I still think she's the strongest general election candidate by a notable margin, and I still narrowly prefer her. At this point, I can see myself voting in the primaries for Klobuchar or for any of the declared candidates except Harris or Warren.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:05 pm

Meh. Big league politics is a high-pressure environment and not everybody is going to get along. If the worst dirt you can find on a third-term senator is "she isn't universally beloved by her staff", I think I can live with that.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:19 pm

It does look like Klobuchar is going to announce a run soon. She put this on Twitter:

which definitely doesn't seem like a prelude to her announcing she's not going to run.

I think some of the stuff described in the articles about her habits is a boss is actually pretty dodgy if true. Her using strong language to criticise staffers work is fairly forgivable, I think, but cc'ing in other staffers who've got nothing to do with it just to make the criticism public does seem pretty close to bullying, if that's true. That said, thus far all the sources running the story have been fairly untrustworthy (HuffPo, the Daily Mail and Bloomberg - I don't know what Bloomberg's reputation is normally but given that Michael Bloomberg's reportedly considering a run* it definitely shouldn't be seen as a viable source for reliable information on his likely opponents).

*speaking of which, what do people think of Michael Bloomberg as a potential candidate? I don't know enough about him to comment.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:50 pm

@Absentia:
In addition to the points gis raised, she has the highest staff turnover on Capital Hill (this much is not in dispute), and the articles suggest that her reputation is such that she is having a hard time finding a campaign manager.

@gis:
Bloomberg has remade his political convictions several times, and I'm not sure if those were real conversions of changed of convenience. The only thing I know about him is the NYC giant soda ban. As a libertarian, that horrifies me. As someone who thinks sugar is the main driver of obesity, I'm worried that moves like this which seek to treat sugar like tobacco may make it harder to convince people to give up sugar voluntarily.

As mayor of NYC, a city with more powers than most municipalities, I think he's at least marginally more qualified on paper than Castro or Buttigieg. But while Castro has a natural constituency in Hispanic voters and a shot at winning Texas, and Buttigieg seems like he at least could do well in the Midwest, I'm not clear what natural constituency Bloomberg has. Moreover, I'm concerned that nominating a white billionaire businessman to run against Trump looks a bit too much like nominating Trump to catch Trump.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:51 pm

Normally, he wouldn't be viable in the current dem climate, but he could try and play himself up as "Not like Howard Schultz".
cmsellers wrote:
As mayor of NYC, a city with more powers than most municipalities, I think he's at least marginally more qualified on paper than Castro or Buttigieg. But while Castro has a natural constituency in Hispanic voters and a shot at winning Texas, and Buttigieg seems like he at least could do well in the Midwest, I'm not clear what natural constituency Bloomberg has. Moreover, I'm concerned that nominating a white billionaire businessman to run against Trump looks a bit too much like nominating Trump to catch Trump.


Buttigieg fits better in the VP slot anyway. I mean, just imagine, a gay man named Peter Booty-Judge debating Mike Pence.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:10 pm

Klobuchar had the highest staff turnover years ago, but of late she's not even in the top ten.

https://www.legbranch.org/2018-4-3-whic ... r-in-2017/

Beyond that, I've been looking for details, but they're thin and kinda underwhelming. One story featured staffers reacting with "incredulous laughter" when Klobuchar chastised them for showing up late (?!) and then being shocked when she chewed them out, which makes me wonder if the problem is that she lets people walk on her until she blows up completely, aka the classic "nice guy" mistake.

Needs moar information, ultimately. We'll see if any more allegations are made public.
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Last edited by Crimson847 on Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NathanLoiselle » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:18 pm

I know who'd I vote for. No silly! Not Cthulu! He's a republican. No. I'd vote for no one 'cause I'm not American.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:56 am

Most Likely Winner of those announced or presumed to be running, barring any surprises:
1. Harris: I picked her as the frontrunner a while back, and I continue to hold to that. The only thing I would worry about with her (Something I will mention in Sanders/Warren) is that she would split the black vote with Booker. She had the best rollout of the candidates, she has the sharp elbows, and she has the name recognition.
2. Biden: Assuming he doesn't split the moderate vote with Klobuchar, and I don't think he will, he has the experience, obviously has the name recognition, the moderate tone, and the political skills to win this thing. I don't know who it was that said he was a bad debater, but you don't remember him curb-stomping Paul Ryan in the VP debates? The only problems he has is his age and his handsiness.
3. Warren: She played the Native American thing real poorly, and now more's coming out. I don't know how much it will matter in the primaries, but it's definitely dimmed her stock in my mind. Still, she has seemed to make up lost ground of late, and I think she could be compelling in much the way Bernie was (in that her appeal is her message) but with a lot more numbers and thoroughness than Bernie.
4. Sanders: I think there's a solid chance that he and Warren split the vote. I think he'll find that his stock has diminished since the last go round. Much like Trump, I think he underestimates how much of his success had to do with the person he was competing against. Warren also brings leftist populism (though I should note, they're not exactly the same in policy) but brings it with more brain than he does, and I think that will matter here.
5. Beto: I'm going to lightning round these, because I take them less seriously. Beto is great and all, but I think he's been too bigheaded by his Texas loss in which he got close to beating the most hated senator in Washington. He has little experience, not a very clear policy, and most importantly, doesn't have a massive nationwide following.
6. Klobuchar: Not enough notoriety, would be an excellent VP pick. She's just a little too boring, I think, but she does have a powerful midwest and rural appeal which may power her through.
7. Booker: I don't know why, I just have zero faith in Booker. Is it that he's too bland? Too baldly opportunistic (which also sinks #8)? The Wall Street coziness? All of the above? I'm not sure.
8. Gillibrand: Why does everyone seem to consider her a frontrunner? I think there's about zero appetite for her in the primaries. As for the Franken thing, I think it's disgusting that people hate her for it, I thought it was brave, but it is what it is. Otherwise, she's been unremarkable and boring, draws easy comparisons to Hillary Clinton, and is a little too flip-floppy.
9. Castro: Nope. Feel like he's more of a person that the media is aware of than the electorate. I know nothing about the guy but for his place in Obama's administration, and that it's all I know should show you there's a problem.
10. Buttegieg: Not happening. It's not that he's gay, I just don't think people are going to want a mayor. Nice guy, but I think he's just too bland and uninspiring.
11. Gabbard: I picked her in 2017 as a dark horse possibility, and now I get to look smart since she climbed in and everyone was like "Holy shit, Doods mentioned this one". Anyways, her rollout was a dumpster fire, and now I'm pretty sure it's not happening.
12. Delaney: K.
13. Bloomberg: I have my own opinion that I think Schultz is going to be more unappealing than people think to Democratic voters. I think the same about Bloomberg.
14. Brown: Nope.
15. Hickenlooper: Nada.
16. Mccauliffe: Man, the last thing you want to be to democratic voters right now is a former Democratic governor of Virginia.

5 ones I want most: On reflection, after the midterms, I think the best president we could ask for is a candidate fare more moderate in tone though not necessarily in policy. So with that in mind...
1. Klobuchar: So she treats her staff shitty, oh well. It's not good, of course, but hardly the greatest offense in the world. I think she would be a great compromise choice, would calm shit down in the country at least a little bit, and has the political skills needed.
2. Biden: If it's about moderate tone, there's nobody better. But he also has a nasty habit of "oops" moments and I don't think is quite as sharp-elbowed as he's gonna need to be for the presidency.
3. Warren: I happen to find her a much more nuanced leftist that Bernie with policies that actually might work. Of course, the Fox News crowd would hate her more than anyone here, though I wonder if that would change with 1 or 2. With that said, however, I find her policy more appealing than anyone else on this list.
4. Harris: I like her well enough, and I think she clearly has the political skills to make a good president. Although she's not exactly moderate in tone, she hasn't been excessively combative in tone, either, which I think will really help her candidacy and presidency.
5. The Rock: Come on. You know why, and it doesn't matter what you think.

I think that one of these candidates is likely to win with 33-40% of the primary electorate. I also don't think the electorate is quite as massively leftist as everyone seems to want to think, which is why I think moderate candidates will have good appeal, especially if they're more moderate in tone but quietly leftist in policy. I also don't believe Howard Schultz will be Al Gore, as many people seem to think. I also believe people underestimate the chance of him drawing Trump voters away, as if it's only Democrats he could ever appeal to.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:39 am

I'm wary of Biden's ability to come across as particularly reasonable and bipartisan in a general election, particularly against Trump. His approach to the man thus far has repeatedly been to talk about beating Trump up, which doesn't inspire confidence and will be used against him, along with his various other insults toward more conventional Republicans (like his role in the Bork affair, or the time he told a mostly-black crowd in 2012 that Mitt Romney's campaign would "put y'all back in chains"). And being reasonable and bipartisan is his only thing; he's sure not going to be much of an olive branch to progressives with his record.
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