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Previewing the Democratic Presidential Debates (Part Two)

 

After yesterday the field should already be narrowed, although the ego of most politicians will not allow them to act against their personal ambitions until the final data is in.  And even then, for some with more messianic inclinations, they will continue onward, believing that they can somehow sway public opinion to their side.  This brings us to night #2, a battle of heavyweights alongside a few X-factors we will likely get to know much better.

 

Before this preview (and this is essential for me, all things considered), I would like to invite all of you, once again, to listen in to the Recording Editorial History podcast on demospinradio.com, broadcast weekly, Thursday nights at 9PM Western Standard Time (USA), which is 12 midnight here on the East Coast USA.  Tonight (6/27/2019) the discussion is on drastic change to weather patterns, climate change, and hopefully some interesting enough comments that it does not come across like a bland conversation you have with people whom you have nothing else to say–“Howzabout that weather?”  Anyway, enough of that for now.

 

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We all know Joe Biden, currently the presumptive nominee of the party.  If your criterion for the job of President of the United States is experience, no one can touch the man.  36 years in the Senate and the 47th Vice-President of the nation, Joe Biden has a long and sometimes checkered career that corresponds with the rise of our blistering tabloid media culture.  A man known for stumbling over his words, for his genuinely decent personality and waffling support of both sides of an issue, the other side of his vast experience, of course, comes in the reality that he has been responsible for numerous shameful incidents (both politically and personally) from the past.  And now, in this Trump-era firing line, he cannot even consider apologizing if he wishes to siphon any of the on-the-fence and disillusioned Trump supporters into his camp.  And that’s just it–it’s not as if Biden is the nominee the Democrats wouldn’t vote for him, regardless of their current preference.  He is seeking the moderate Republicans that have quietly gone underground.  After all, regardless of the highest office losses scattered throughout his resume, nobody really hates Joe Biden.  Expect him to be at the center of the most obvious and replayed (if not the most compelling) news of the night, his arguments with Sanders especially.  There we will see how ineffective Biden would be in a debate as he stumbles and huffs and puffs his inarticulate responses of suppressed rage.  Sanders . . . well, let’s get to Bernie Sanders . . .

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is certainly charismatic.  The leader of what essentially became a cult-like movement in the 2016 election, the far left supporters of the man were so resentful over the legitimately shady machinations behind his primary loss that they avoided and even publicly attacked Hillary Clinton in the lead up to Donald Trump’s victory.  And his followers, while smaller today than they were last election, are no less fanatical, seeing, as did many of the Trump diehards, a sort of messiah whom they believe will fix all of the ills imposed by the previous administrations.  And yet Sanders has remained remarkably consistent politically over his career, spanning more than four decades (three in Congress and the Senate).  He is, in fact, the longest serving Independent in Congressional history, and the only reason he is running as a Democrat is for the traction and publicity that it offers.  Does Sanders have a chance to win?  Sure.  But the chief problem that might erupt from his followers will be the civil war between his people and the followers of the other left-wing populist, Elizabeth Warren.  And this becomes between them little more than a close high school student council election, vicious children building up their friend and tearing down the opposition, who would ultimately amount to the same thing aside from small tweaks.  At the debate tonight, to steal the headlines, expect Sanders to mercilessly go after Biden.  Bernie’s stammering nastiness will also point out a deficiency in debating Trump.  Trump is shameless and cannot be embarrassed.  He cares nothing for personal dignity.  Sanders gets overwrought and makes himself easily interrupted in his rants.  Watch for that tonight with some of the up-and-comers, and see them rise in the polls.

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Senator Kamala Harris from California is a very impressive woman.  Certainly a dedicated worker, she is someone I expect to stay in the race until it is decided either for or against her.  She has a sharp wit and she knows her issues.  Of all the candidates she might be the one most capable of making Trump look terrible in a debate.  She is clearly smarter than most people she engages with (check out her frequent Senate questioning of Trump administration wannabes and cabinet members).  She can be brutal, merciless, and she takes shit from no one, all of which would translate well into the office of President.  Imagine her debating Trump, this biracial woman with a harder edge than the snowflake Trump when he is offended (always, always).  Trump will look weak next to her and he’ll know it, which will only fluster his irrational rage to the next level.  And if Trump were to attempt any of his condescending, racist-sexist jabs, I see her first laughing them off, and then slugging back hard.  Even Trump came close to acknowledging this about Senator Harris, declaring that she has “a little bit of a nasty wit.”  For Trump, regardless of his dismissive follow up to this remark, these words bleed terror on his part.  Of course on the left the main problem some people seem to have is that fact that she is the former Attorney General of California, something that some of them people wish to paint as a negative.  And while they can crow all they like about the potential issues working for the man might offer, for most of America this will seem like a plus.  Look for Harris to kill tonight–absolutely run the stage.  That “nasty wit” will seem good-natured compared to what Trump may have to endure.  She is a rising star, and is quite possibly the next President, or at least Vice-President, of the United States of America.

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South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has easily replaced Beto O’Rourke as the “It Boy” of the Democratic Party.  A smart, handsome, very eloquent man, with some great ideas, a military background, and the benefit of being a homosexual as the millennial generation rises to the forefront of the political hierarchy, I honestly believe that Buttigieg will someday be President.  Just not this time.  Is he too young?  Well, he seems more qualified than many of the older and more seasoned politicians.  He really appears to have everything going for him and strikes me as far too sharp to take cheap shots at (anti-gay “Butt” jokes, or pointing out the handful of issues he has faced in South Bend).  I expect Buttigieg to solidly hold his own, although he will likely be drowned out in the second hour by Biden and Sanders, and the outside sniping of the others desperate to have a say.  He will stand there politely, smiling, looking far more professional than most of them, and simply wait his turn.  He might be Vice President, or he will easily be a Senator.

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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.  Yes, I had no idea who he was either.  The first big question mark is the fact that he was born in India, although with American citizenship.  It would draw into question whether he was eligible to even be President.  Fortunately for him he won’t have to worry about that.  He has absolutely no chance and might be gone after tonight.  A man strongly in favor of increasing education and welfare benefits, he seems genuinely concerned about the future (and being from Colorado he is possibly in the pocket of the emerging Big Hemp corporations).  He has recently declared himself “furious.”  He is “Furious because we spent more than $10 trillion on tax cuts and wars in the Middle East. We might as well have lit that money on fire.”  As a successful businessman, Bennet can convincingly make himself sound like he knows about economics, and maybe he does.  Maybe his vision is the best thing for America.  Maybe he might potentially be our savior.  But we’ll never know, will we?  We will never, ever know.  He will barely be heard from and his chief issues will be covered by everyone.  He will not stand out.

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Something about New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand bothers me and I can’t quite pinpoint what it is.  It certainly isn’t her gender (re-read, if you will, my takes on Amy Klobucher, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris), and it is not that she is from New York or any nonsense like that.  I don’t know.  Her voice?  Maybe.  She seems insincere, or at least more ambitious than caring.  She seeps a noxious stink of power hunger and of all the candidates strikes me as the one most willing to take advantage of the changes to the office imposed by Trump and his minions.  She will do just fine in the debate tonight, neither gaining nor losing support.  And she will remain Senator from New York for a very long time.  I believe her career has peeked.  Whomever she eventually offers her support to will gladly take it.

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One time Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper seems like a great guy.  If you watch him interviewed on TV he has a calm demeanor and a surprisingly sharp sense of humor.  No doubt he knows he doesn’t have a chance, and he might be done after the first debate.  He will get his words in, garner some applause, and then quietly leave the stage at the end with no one in the press except those also on the outside seeking him for a comment.  He will, however, I believe, get one of those talking head pundit jobs on TV, possibly even on Fox.

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Twenty years ago California Representative Eric Swalwell would have been a great losing candidate for Vice President.  You can see him beside Al Gore, or someone else from that era.  He might even have had a temporarily rising Presidential campaign himself.  As it is, the engaging, mostly decent Swalwell will never get out of Congress.  Oh, this does not mean that his influence will not continue to grow, his power continuing to rise until he may someday in his dotage ascend to Speaker-of-the-House.  And I am sure he will do just fine in the debate, a man who knows his stuff and can handle a stage.  He will always be a regular guest on television, across the networks, able to handle opposition one-on-one far better than the chaotic mess he has to look forward to tonight.

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Marianne Williamson.  Why is she running for President?  We can see the signs behind the above picture: “Poor People’s campaign.”  “Revival.”  Does any of this trouble you?  Does it mean anything?  An author of odd, frequently strange spiritualistic self-help books, more than any candidate she comes across like a cult leader.  The titles of some of her books are

  • Imagine What America Could Be in the 21st Century: Visions of a Better Future from Leading American Thinkers
  • Emma & Mommy Talk to God
  • Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens
  • Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships
  • Illuminata: A Return to Prayer
  • A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever

and numerous others more or less on the same themes, covering the gamut of the most popular self-help topics.  Some of these books have been best-sellers.  Imagine the boost in her sales as a result of her presidential run.  (Here: https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Williamson%2C%20Marianne&cm_sp=det-_-bdp-_-author.  They are pretty cheap right now, mostly).  I have no idea, nor frankly much interest, in what Williamson stands for.  Her only other political experience was losing a Congressional race in California.  She will disappear from public consciousness shortly after leaving the election, get a few spots on the nightly news to promote her forthcoming memoir, and then sink back into whatever new religion she long ago founded.  She will say nothing of substance in the debate.

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Andrew Yang is a very wealthy man.  A liberal with ideas on the future of technology, he will surprise people in the debate and get a momentary bump.  This man knows what he is aiming for and no one else on the stage will really understand what he’s talking about.  He will promote the future to the young, offer them hope in their brain-drained technological haze, and interest them for a second while they await a response to their last text.  Of course Yang will not win, but the profits he will make promoting his new technology will be enormous, ultimately succeeding in what Trump intended to do when he expected to lose the election.  This is a smart guy.  Let him have his moment.

 

So these are the ten on stage tonight and it should be interesting.  Last night was far more exciting than I believe anyone expected, and we watched some lesser candidates emerge while others crashed and burned.  Tonight’s cast seems to be set with ratings in mind, a promoted battle royal of political exchange that will likely convince no one to change their already made up minds until whomever they support drops out.  Happy viewing, and I will return to sum up the debate after it is over, after my 9PM western standard time (USA) and 12 midnight eastern standard time (USA) podcast on demospinradio.com.  Please tune in.

 

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