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We interrupt this absence to ask this question:

Really, Cory Booker??

You’ve got something that all the others haven’t got?

Ok, whatever.

I’d like to think he’ll be out after the first primary debate when he is overwhelmed by the level of policy discussions but we all know how these things go.


29 Responses

  1. A lot of the democratic candidates are really looking a bit like amateurs… they all seem very intimidated and nervous to me. Like they aren’t prepared… there’s just a deer in the headlights vibe I’m getting from a lot of them. I will happily vote for whoever the nominee is other than Bernie and I am glad all these women are stepping up. But it really just drives home how strong and fearless and prepared Hillary was/is. And how damn LIKEABLE she was despite claims to the contrary. She was always so regal. I was never nervous for her because she handled everything with such dignity. These newcomers I’m a bit nervous for. It’s like they have a lack of self awareness? Am I the only one noticing this? it’s kind of like the general (Hillary ) went down in the war and all these field soldiers are left to take on the leadership role before their time. Kamala Harris is impressing me the most. She seems the most presidential… highly recommend her CNN town hall… she’s no doubt a gifted politician

    • I agree but I do think that Harris made a misstep on the private insurance question. I wish she’d said that older people have the basic Medicare plans and if they wish to have more coverage they can work through AARP which has partnered with United Health. Medicare for all would give basic coverage with the chance for those who wish and have the means (I know) to add on one, two or three additional plans. The idea of abolishing all private insurance will scare the shit out of people.

      • Sue, Health Care is not my area of expertise, but Upps is really down on AARP, basically a lobbying org that no longer has retirees best interests at heart. I agree about not abolishing private insurance in the short term at least and I would rather see competition among the private insurers with the ACA minimum requirements for all competitors. I have MC and BC/BS Fed Sup and I am doing fine. I think Kamala and the rest need a sit down with the Queen on Health Care. You have only so much political capital going in and there is a lot to do.

    • It is hard to predict who would be nominated. There are so many people to choose from. And more people are going to enter the race all the time.

      They all assume that the Trumpster will have worn out his welcome by 2020. By that time he should be easy to beat and defeat. So all these different people want their time in the sun.

      Who knows who will get nominated. It could be anyone. Maybe even Bernie. Maybe even Tulsi.

      If Bernie got nominated, and it looked like he might win, would you feel that he needs to be stopped any way possible? Would you vote for Trump to make sure of getting Bernie defeated, if that is what it took?

      • I rather stay home than vote for Bernie. Just like his asinine supporters did or voted for 3rd party. If they can throw tantrums and be influenced by Russian narratives then I don’t think he deserves to be president. I would never vote for the psychopathic occupant in the WH I don’t think anyone on this site ever would.

        • Well, that at least is something. At least there is that one final extreme you won’t go to.

          • And where exactly were you when his supporters decided to vote for Jill Stein and help install a sociopathic sexual predator in the WH? Don’t talk to me about extremes. Bernie isn’t a democrat. I’m voting for a democrat.

  2. I saw Michael Moore with Ali Velshi on MSNBC, tonight, and I swear that Moore is a Republican mole determined to keep the GOP in power, forever. He was bemoaning the fact that only those who’ve reached the age of thirty five are eligible to run for the Presidency. He wants AOC to run for the White House, right now! Could she maybe get one bill passed first?

    • Moore makes me skeeve and lunge for the remote, no matter how much I like the host. The age limit and the other requirements are there for a reason and AOC would be a disaster without a more mature personality, at least at this stage of her career (whenever i hear her my first thought is arrogant brat, her messages get lost in that vibe for me). She rubs too many people the wrong way and that is a sure way to tank an initiative and lose support. She needs schooling from the more experienced reps, esp Pelosi, if she wants to rise. Saw Ted Lieu on Joy this AM, I love him more and more! She should watch and learn, she has some excellent role models in both houses of Congress and Bernie ain’t one of them.

      • I half-heartedly watched that interview of Moore by Velshi. Beside that annoyance about the messianic AOC and Moore’s obnoxious football commentary diminishing the tragedy that befell the Saints, I was struck by how Velshi appeared to be getting increasingly annoyed by Moore in general and seemed to be chasing him off the set. There was no love lost, at least from Velshi’s vantage point.

  3. I look at the expanding field of Dems who are declaring their intentions to run for president and think “Meh.” They have one term in the Senate, not yet completed, and think themselves capable of being “Commander-in-Chief.”

    I think that this is one of the worst parts of the Obama legacy, which is experience is not necessary if you are smart enough.

    I’ve references this past week to being president is not an entry level position in regard to Howard Schultz’s possible candidacy.

    Agent Orange is showing daily that experience is necessary to understand how government works.

    I completely agree with Seagrl sentiments above. They do seem to be amature compared to Hillary and Obama was the biggest amature of all. And Obama is a large part of the reason, due to an ineffectual presidency because he was not a fighter, that we have a toxic president now.

  4. I admire Harris for bringing up the Medicare For All issue. It’s a discussion that must be had and we will have it for the next 2 years as a result. The present insurance system we have is out of control with the insurance companies buying off politicians and robbing the people blind, offering very little coverage and charging huge deductibles and co-pays. I am not going to hold Harris to the same impossible standard that was imposed on Hillary, because I have no doubt that all of the men running will have something they said or did which could be viewed as “questionable” and problematic. Hillary was expected to be perfect, while trump and sanders were given free rides. I am not going to do that to these women. In 2020, I am convinced that we will need a candidate who is willing to be bold and not afraid to take on those issues that everyone else tip toes around in order to be safe.

    I agree with RD that Cory Booker is not the right candidate at the right time. None of the men who are presently running have impressed me. I do hope Klobuchar throws her hat in the ring so that I can compare her to Harris and Warren. I still think it’s not in Amy’s DNA to take on the likes of trump and the republican party like Harris has shown she is. Amy did a great job in the hearings but she didn’t hang on and keep pushing for an answer when Kavanaugh or Barr gave non-answers the way Harris despite being reprimanded for doing so by the republican chairman. Harris has a palpable passion for standing up for those who have been left behind and taken advantage of. I haven’t seen that same intensity with the others, SO FAR. While I really like and admire Warren for all she’s done to take on Wall Street and the banks, she is too much like Bernie in so many ways which gives me cause for pause. That could change over time.

    My major difficulty right now is to not compare all of the candidates to Hillary. We had the best and she won, but the patriarchy would rather destroy the village than have the best qualifed person, A WOMAN, in charge. trump is proof positive of that theory!

    • My two cents: Hillary is the only person, man or woman, who could raise the ship after trumputin sinks it. Whoever else is the next president is going to have a monumental task before her or him. A 24/7 nightmare, at least for the first two years. I hope if a woman wins it, she doesn’t ruin it for the female candidates that follow (unfair I know, but that is the world we live in), because the next four years are going to be a Sisyphisian (sp?) slog on many, many fronts. This is not a job for amateurs, esp the likes of Biden or Bernie or any Repub I can think of. Who can juggle the most balls, make progress at the same time, and get the media, the people and our allies on their side?

  5. Cats,

    I agree with your assessment of the trumpian mess we are in, but Hillary is not going to run and we need to work for and support that candidate (so far for me it’s Harris) who we feel confident is going to not only take trump on but win. I see in Harris, at least at this point, the ability to rise to that occasion and juggle all those balls you mentioned. She’s obviously smart, is an idea person, knows how the system works and is not afraid to stand up and fight when she is facing an adversary.

    Along with all of the other qualifications we want in a president, the ability to fight and not give up despite all of the attacks and lies that will surely come is going to be key to winning in this next election. However, I am not convinced that trump will get through his first term when all the investigations are done, and that, of course, would change everything.

    • I hope you are right about Kamala, Kathleen. I don’t think trump is going to survive either, but the GOP, Russia and China are still deceitful, malevolent enemies, to name only a few of the forces we are up against; it’s not the winning that concerns me so much as what comes after. I guess Obama left a very bad taste in my mouth and I am wary of pretty, sweet talkin’ things. Kamala strikes me as a show horse and, as a workhorse all my life having show horses kick dirt in my face, I can both admire and suspect them at the same time! We shall see. Abrams is my kind of woman, but I know she is not in the race.

      P.S. I have never voted for the winning candidate in my 40+ years as a voter!

      • I would agree with your observations on Harris. Something rings insincere to me. I am much more impressed by the deadly understatement of Klobuchar and the long track records of both Klobuchar and Brown in the Senate. That awareness of process and governance is important. I am still concerned about a lack of international experience in any of the candidates, however. Who might fill that gap?

        • lililam,

          It still remains to be seen whether Klobuchar will get in the race. She has admitted that she is not the ambitious type because she ran for office to make a difference and not to be in the spotlight. I do agree that she is sincere and smart and understated and I like that too. Will that understatement she has get lost due to the dumbing down of America where nuance is a foreign quality in a person which will get lost in the media’s overbearing translation of her? If and when she does get in the race, I will be watching her closely.

          I don’t see insincerity in Harris, at least not yet. I believe she is tough and really does care about fairness for those who are not the top 1% and is willing to punch back. I have no doubt that the media will run a fine tooth comb through their background checks on all of the women running, while giving the men a “boys will be boys” approach, i.e., a pass for far worse things that may exist in their respective backgrounds. That’s precisely why any of the women who want to survive will have to have the ability to point that out every time it happens and not let them get away with it. Hillary wasn’t allowed to defend herself and unfortunately, the dems did precious little to defend her. So, all of the women have to be tough enough to defend themselves. BTW, I also believe Stacy Abrams is tough and shows many of the same qualities I see in Harris.

          Nonetheless, I haven’t made a final decision.

          BTW, I am sick of Michael Moore too! He thinks running for office or being in office is the equivalent of doing a documentary film which does not require constant scrutiny. He just doesn’t get it when it comes to how to be an effective politician in knowing how the game is played. AOC has a lot to learn and I hope she is smart enough to know that. Her youth can blind her to that reality and I hope someone wakes her up. Hillary understood that she needed to learn when she was elected to the Senate and is the reason why she kept a low profile when she first arrived. She was a very effective Senator as a result and her constituents (even the republican ones!) loved her not because she was cute but because she got things done which made their lives better. God I miss Hillary!

          • Katheen, admittedly i have seen only snippets of Kamala’s questioning of witnesses, and yes, she can throw a punch, but do they ever land? In my mind she can’t pivot to get to the answer she was looking for, she just repeats herself. And for some reason that pen in her hand drives me batty. Reminds of a school teacher marking papers! More a prop for affect than a utensil. I will however reserve judgement until we are closer to the primaries, they have all seasoned and i have seen at least one rally of each and all the debates. Is she your senator?

          • Well, Wynne, you are likely correct in stating that Amy’s nuance will be lost, which is a tragedy. Harris’s more outspoken personality (which is not an inherent negative, to be clear) will appeal more to the entertainment culture. Harris is my senator and she has been in for a relatively short time. Her presence has been more national than local. Her Senate opponent was a joke- Sanchez was caught making fun of native Americans, if my recollection is correct, in an attempt to be humorous, so Harris did not have serious competition. She filled Boxer’s big wonderful shoes.

  6. So many really good comments here. I agree that compared to Hillary, almost all of these candidates do not seem special. So many people ignored or even sneered at her unparalleled grasp of every single issue. This actually matters! But it’s not fun for the media, and the average voter cannot take the time to delve into it, so will settle for catchy slogans and their version of charisma. It is truly a great tragedy.

    We’re going to have to come up with someone of course, and we will voter for him or her, because what else can we do? I agree that Booker seems somewhat redundant, but then almost all of them do, in some sense. I am not at all an expert on healthcare plans, but I hope we do not spend the entire campaign debating “Medicare for all.” I have always felt that we needed our version of European socialized medicine. The Clintons tried for it, but were given very little support by people who now scream about how much we need it. Obama gave us the typical half loaf. There is no way that this Senate, or anything resembling it, is going to vote for a Medicate for all plan. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have that as a goal, but I am already tired of hearing people blast Sherrod Brown because he does not “go as far” as some of the others. It’s wonderful Democratic crowd-pleasing stuff, but people are going to be disappointed. In 2016, Hillary vowed to improve ACA; I thought that was a good step forward. No one seemed to care much, though. Sanders promises everything, like a carnival huckster, and so of course anything less than his fantasy list is called a copout by the usual people.

    I do not expect to become excited about any of these candidates. I would be wiling to settle for someone who is strong on ameliorating climate change; is for strong gun safety laws; is able to handle very complex foreign crises and is;willing to take on the oligarchs here, and raise corporate and high-end tax rates. Does anyone see any of this group fitting those modest criteria? I will probably get some heat for this, but I would almost be willing to support Bloomberg, because he is great on environment and gun control. He apparently is setting up a large national network which can help Democrats on a large scale, and it is staffed by a lot of ex-Hillary or ex-Obama people. I realize that Bloomberg is not exactly liberal, and that he is very rich. But he is not Schulz, and he was a good mayor of NYC. The idea that we are going to end up with Biden, who will pick Harris for VP, thus anointing her as the next candidate, is not appealing to me. Or Harris circumventing that and being the nominee. Bloomberg cannot win a Democratic primary, so it is probably not worth worrying about. At this point, I’d almost support Warren, even though I have serious doubts that she could win, just because I think that she really cares about wealth inequality, and would do more than just make speeches about “coming together,” or “a need for civility,” or any of the other bland truisms that we are going to hear again and again. What I see, and I don’t want this to sound snarky, is that we have a number of single-issue candidates, and others of identity. Warren (wealth inequality). Brown (labor issues). Inslee (environment). Biden (foreign relations). Castro (Latino issues). Gilliibrand (women’s issues), etc. It is like niche marketing. To me, it seems like the various fragments of Hillary scattered about the landscape.

  7. lililam,

    Admittedly, Harris has not been your senator for very long; however, let us not forget that this was not an issue when obama decided to run for president. The media fell in love with him and his consitutents did not complain. Kamala is the female version of obama in many respects, except she has more experience.

    My hope is that all of the women running will be given the same consideration and fairness that the men are given. I can’t accept the kind of media coverage we had for Hillary again this time around. Hell, even Bill Maher, who interviewed Jake Tapper (one of the pundits who routinely attacked Hillary in 2016) told Tapper that the media spent way too much time on Hillary’s e-mails which he termed as “bullshit” and did not vet trump at all. When Bill Maher sees the double standard in how women are covered as opposed to the men, then you know it’s got to be bad.

    Cats, I am keeping an open mind until we learn more about all of the candidates. BTW, on AM Joy this a.m., they had an associate law professor from San Francisco who did an op-ed on Harris’ time as prosecutor claiming she was not the progressive prosecutor she claims to be now. The others on the panel pointed that she was working within a system which she wanted to change and was hamstrung from demanding major changes immediately. Everyone expects the woman to come in and single handedly change what has been in place for decades and set up by men. Realistically, that’s not going to happen and we all know it. Hillary understood this when she was elected to the Senate. She understood that one must first build coalitions and consensus and that change comes incrementally, and not all at once. Didn’t we learn anything with sanders running around the country wagging his finger at us constantly while promising he could offer free college and free healthcare for all without one clue of how he would accomplish this?!

    I hope Amy jumps in because I do believe she would be a great candidate, but she must be able to fight against a patriarchy which will pull out all the stops to keep a woman from the WH. If we want to see a woman in the WH, I believe the major support will have to come from women themselves and we must not hold women to a higher standard than we do the men. Regardless of what anyone thinks about any of the women running, I think any of them would be better than the men who are running. so far

    • I am keenly aware of the fact that Obama, similarly, had very little experience. That is one reason why I did not vote for Obama and I complained vociferously at the time. I am giving Harris much more credit than I gave Obama, as Harris actually appears to have some actual views and some actual experience. I still would prefer Klobuchar or Brown, but am fully aware that what I prefer has minimal value in the larger scheme of things.

      • Harris has been in the Senate for about two years, during which time she has not done much more than market herself, just like Obama. She won the AG race in CA by about 100 votes, when every other Democrat swept the ticket. I don’t think that anyone ran against her for nomination to Senate, to fill Boxer’s seat.

        I honestly do not know why Harris gets all this support (now second in Iowa poll to Biden). I will honestly express the opinion that if Harris were White,, she would have about a fifth as much support as she does. No one pushed Boxer for President, and she was more liberal, and more knowledgeable about issues than Harris. Boxer was in the House for years, and then a many-term Senator. Harris has no executive experience, little legislative experience;. How would she handle all the daunting foreign issues we face? And is she really all that liberal? I can’t do anything about it, but I think that once again the Democrats are about to choose image over substance. Yes, Obama’s lack of experience, and his unwillingness to fight politically, cost this country, despite his overall decency and civility. We are either going to have an absolutely cataclysmic victory of Trump or another Republican, or we are going to have a Democrat win.. We had better pick a Democrat who has a strong chance of winning, and who would make a potentially great President. Who that is, is hard to say, but I do not think that Kamala Harris would make a great President, or would even champion many liberal causes. And would she win in the crucial Midwest, or would she be just be the darling of the Coasts? One should always remember that Obama probably would have lost, had not the economy collapsed two months before the election. It looks as if Democrats may have already decided whom they want as candidate, Biden or Harris. To me, this is ridiculous and wrong. If Biden and Harris run 1 and 2 in Iowa, that will be the race the rest of the way, as that is how these things go, particularly with open primary voting, and still some caucuses in states.

  8. William,

    How do you know at this time, who has the best chance to win and who doesn’t? I can’t believe people have forgotten how badly Biden did when he ran twice and still give him any credibility at all. Neither he nor sanders have really taken advantage of their very long time in the senate and produced as much as they should or could have. Therein lies the biggest problem with our congress. Too much talk and not enough action. Maybe with 100 more women in the House, we might see something get done for a change.

    I think it’s too early to judge Harris or any of the other candidates as not being THE ONE. One thing is dangerous for us to do is to compare everyone to Hillary. No one is more qualified than she was because most are not willing to do the work. Prejudging the candidates (except for biden and sanders who have had their chance) is only going to bring in personal baggage that will blind one to a clear eyed and fair assessment, which is even worse.

    It’s too early to decide who can win and who can’t. The debates and their responses to the press and the people in the next year and a half will give us a better idea on who has the best chance. Frankly. I would love Pelosi to step in and Mueller indict trump and pence and get them out of the WH pronto! She would be an excellent president considering how she has handled herself with trump and the republicans these last months. Unfortunately, she is not running and the public and the press would accuse her of being too old.

    Any of the women running would do a better job than obama and bush (trump doesn’t even count) because one thing people forget — a woman would be expected to do the job and she would not be given any free passes or excuses like the men are given, which is why so little has gotten done, except for when Bill Clinton was in office and he had Hillary as an advisor!

  9. Wynne05, I do not disagree with any of what you wrote above. Of course, while we listen to debates, and study policy positions, others seem to have already made their choice. There are usually not wild swings in polling numbers, unless there is some scandal. If Harris is already running ahead of any declared candidate, she will likely stay there, particularly as Democrats ordinarily do not run scorched earth campaigns against primary opponents, as Bush did against McCain, e.g. JFK ran a particularly harsh campaign against Humphrey in 1960 in West Virginia, but that was years ago, and Democrats do not do that now. So someone who is ahead, often stays there, because there is nothing to change the voters’ minds.

    I will just add one more thing to think about, which is how we lost immense numbers in Congress and state legislatures under Obama. Not all his fault, of course. But clearly, his ethnicity was a rallying point for Republicans; and his own unwillingness or inability to create a strong Democratic organization, led to all of the problems we have today, with states suppressing votes via their Republican majorities, and even constricting the power of newly elected Democratic governors. We cannot let that happen again.

    I am certainly not saying, “We must never elected an ethnic minority President again,” that would neither be just or smart.. But I do think that a particularly polarizing one, as Harris may be, is not a good idea, not when we are desperately trying to capture votes in the Midwest, not just in this election, but in the midterms, which is where we were “shellacked” under Obama.. I would feel much more comfortable with Klobuchar, because she has more experience, and she is from the Midwest. And Sherrod Brown, too. There are many things to consider when choosing the best candidate, and I think that many people somehow see it as akin to an awards show, where they just pick their favorite based on charisma or Identity/ No great harm in such a fantasy realm,, though I am not at all happy with the recent trends in Best Picture nominations. But electing a President, and trying to get to a point where Democrats have a strong national base, and can compete all over the country, year after year, is indeed crucial.

  10. William,

    How is Harris polarizing? Because she said we should have Medicare for all? Because she has been accused of not being a progressive prosecutor and therefore must be guilty of some wrongdoing? Do you feel the same way about AOC because she says things that make most politcians squirm (especially the rich) when talking about taxing the rich? These are subjects that get flirted with every campaign but then after the election, nothing is done. Also, every election whenever a woman stands up and speaks boldly, there is a knee jerk response to find fault with her. They did it to Hillary all the time and people bought it. Now we are lamenting on how great she is and what could have been. I refuse to follow this path again. Our country needs bold leaders and the time is now to support them, not find a reason to dismiss them before we’ve had a chance to see how things play out.

    I think the American people are ready for a conversation about how to achieve Medicare for all and changing the tax code to close the loop holes which protect the very rich. Change cannot happen if we are afraid to face the truth about issues which have plagued us forever because we label them as “polarizing” and unachievable.

    Most politicians tell people what they want to hear in order to be elected. trump is a master at this. We need to break this cycle of responding to any one who dares think outside the box we have been systematically put in by the power elites in order to keep us under their control.

    Anyone running for office can be labeled as “polarizing” if we don’t agree with them. I think more people agree with a major change in our healthcare system than don’t because the costs are going through the roof and we have very little healthcare to show for it. Anyone who doesn’t take this issue on, IMO, is polarizing because they are not thinking of the best interests of the average American citizen. Aren’t you tired of the same old approach to how one gets elected? I am. I remember how many of those male representatives who did not want Nancy Pelosi to be speaker were urging her to give in to trumrp’s demandsand give him “some” money for his wall in order to appease him because they were afraid to call his bluff. She stood firm and was proven right I think we need to call the republican’s bluff when it comes to healthcare and taxes and that’s going to take the kind of guts Nancy Pelosi showed by taking on the guy and his party which everyone else has been afraid to challenge. Most of Americ is mad as hell at trump and the republicans and this is the time to be bold.

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