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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:39 am 
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Yes, it’s nineteen months away, but enough people have declared now that we probably have something to talk about.

Hillary Clinton has formally announced her candidacy for the Democratic side. At this stage, I don’t see who else could possibly beat her for the nomination – the field is pretty sparse. Her issues will be her age (as with McCain and Reagan) and the regard in which the Obama Administration by November next year. If it has become unpopular she will struggle to separate herself from it given that she is such a major player in it.

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio (Senators from Texas, Kentucky and Florida respectively) have formally announced their candidacies for the Republican side. Jeb Bush (former Governor of Florida) and Scott Walker (current Governor of Wisconsin) also seem to be attracting a lot of comment, and either would have weight behind them should they officially enter the race. Conservatives within the GOP have been unhappy with the results of the nomination process in 2008 and 2012 (and, for many, every election since Reagan was on the ballot) and I know that they are hopeful that Cruz, Walker or (too a much lesser extent) Rubio will get up. Given that the electoral cycle must favour the Republicans next year, a lot will hang on the nomination.

In short, I think the most interesting action will be on the Republican side.

(I didn’t put ‘Presidential’ in the thread title in case people want to talk about congressional, gubernational or other races).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:19 pm 
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Of course, at this point 8 years ago, people were saying much the same thing about Hillary Clinton and the nomination. But I don't see any thing like the "Obama phenomenon" that overwhelmed her then. And I suspect that she and her team will have learned something from the mistakes that they made the last time around. I'm pretty sure that there will be some challenger or two, but no one serious enough to make a difference.

I see the wildcard on the GOP side being Ted Cruz. I don't think most people realize just how intelligent he is; most on the left dismiss him as a crazy wingnut, but he was a brilliant student at both Princeton and Harvard Law School, like Obama was the primary editor of the Harvard Law Review (the first Hispanic to do that, just as Obama was the first African-American), and was a clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist. While at Harvard, he assisted the renowned constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz (who is known mostly as a liberal), and Dershowitz described him as "off-the-charts brilliant." I think that everything that he has been done has been carefully calculated. It certainly seems like he is too radical to get the nomination, much less get elected, but I would not count him out. Scary as that thought is to me.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Is it true that he was born in Canada? Is it also true that there's a law that only people born in the U.S. can be president?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:51 pm 
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You don't have to be born in the US, you have to be born a US citizen, which I believe he was.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:46 pm 
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John McCain was born in Panama, I believe. But if you're born to a U.S. citizen, you're a U.S. citizen no matter where you're born.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:17 pm 
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If one of your parents is a citizen and the papers get filed on time, you have birthright citizenship no matter where the birth actually happened.

I'm not sure which is more distressing. Cruz's shtick or the fact his schtick works well enough he made it to the Senate.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:53 pm 
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What I find most distressing is that someone that smart has concluded, apparently correctly, that that schtick is effective and successful.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:33 pm 
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IAWVtF. :(

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‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:50 pm 
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All that having been said, it is hard for me to imagine that the same forces that resulted in George W. Bush becoming the GOP nominee (and eventual victor) in 2000 won't lead the nomination of his smarter, younger brother, Jeb. Jeb Bush will likely have the most money, the best GOP political operatives, and most sophisticated operation in the GOP field. The question about him is whether is the party as a whole has moved so far to the right that his slightly more moderate stances on immigration and some other issues dear to the conservative cause will be enough to prevent him from winning the nomination (even though they would make him a stronger candidate in the general election). The prospect of Clinton versus Bush is a bizarre one, though quite likely I think.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:24 pm 
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If it comes to that, I'll probably with I had paid more attention when Bush was my state's governor. :beard:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:03 pm 
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He may or may not have the most money. In the present political landscape, thanks to SCOTUS, a single billionaire could anoint the candidate he wanted and provide funding that would dominate everyone else who didn't have a personal billionaire.

My comfort is that it is still necessary for actual people to actually vote for someone before he can be elected; however warped our elections system has become, it still isn't just a fund-raising contest. There were a lot of bitterly disappointed billionaires in 2012.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:35 pm 
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For this ignorant foreigner, can someone tell me what the shtick of Ted Cruz is? Are you referring to something in particular, or just his general platform & persona?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:53 pm 
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How familiar are you with the Tea Party faction of the American Right Wing? Cruz has basically set himself up as their standard-bearer. Really plays to the lowest common denominator of their base. Supports a theocracy. Engineered the 2013 government shutdown over a doomed attempt to defund Obamacare. Is generally regarded as an a-hole by his peers in the Senate. Says nutty things that may or may not be based on fact but do get headlines (Michelle Bachmann was known for this too, but Cruz is smarter and saner).

He actually had dual citizenship with Canada until a year or two ago, when talk of a presidential campaign started and journalists started asking questions (technically, Americans can't have dual citizenship but in practice no one cares unless you're in a position of great power or you're trying to get a hard core security clearance). He first claimed that getting rid of the Canadian citizenship would be too complicated. Then a rep from the Canadian government came forward and refuted the claim. I'm not sure what his response to that was but he did eventually file the paperwork.

He's a complete and utter longshot for the nomination. His main purpose is going to be building up a rabid fanbase and dragging the GOP even further to the right. The eventual nominee will have to deal with that fanbase while trying to also pick up voters from what passes for the center in this country. Or maybe he'll implode. But he's really smart so, unless he's hired some real idiots to manage his campaign, I doubt that he'll implode. But he'll play a key role in the GOP's circular firing squad during the primaries. In 2012 they managed to nominate the most moderate of the actual contenders but he was so badly damaged by the primaries he couldn't overpower Obama. And this was after four years of the GOP doing everything within their power to weaken Obama and the Dems do sweet ****-all to fend them off.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:20 am 
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FiveThirtyEight isn't optimistic about Cruz's chances, although he seems to have quite a bit of conservative support.

This touches on what I think keeps skewering the conservative wing of the Republican Party at presidential level - they can't settle on a single electable candidate and throw all their support behind them. They keep winding up having these Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea fights before they get steamrolled by the campaigns of Romney and McCain (and arguably also Dole and both Bushes, although I wasn't following things back then).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:49 pm 
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This is the phase of the campaign where generating excitement is the point, and the Republican base can provide this. The Republican mainstream can be patient.

It seems unlikely that there will be anything amounting to this phase on the Democratic side, which is too bad; I would love to see Hillary Clinton courting the Democratic base. She won't anyway, they never do. They know that we will show up and vote for the Democrat even if we're not beside ourselves with enthusiasm—because we will not want the Republican candidate to win, no matter who it is. A Republican President, no matter how moderate he professes to be during the campaign, would still sign bills and make appointments that progressives strongly oppose; this in combination with a fully Republican Congress could, in the eyes of liberals, set this country back thirty years and spread a lot of misery.

Much the same objection that strongly conservative people have had for the past six years. :P

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:02 pm 
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I look forward to having Hillary as President, and will vote enthusiastically for her when she runs against Jeb Bush in the 2016 general election (see what I did there? ;)), but in the meantime I am very much digging Bernie Sanders and hoping he throws his hat in the ring. He doesn’t stand a chance of winning, but at least he might force Hillary to actually pay attention to the Democratic base and may even spice up an otherwise bland primary.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:25 pm 
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He sure sounded like a candidate on Rachel Maddow's show last night. Rachel preceded his interview with a segment on why it might not be a good thing for Hillary to have no competition from the left. And he just . . . talked like a candidate.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:54 pm 
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I haven't followed him closely, but I keep seeing quotes attributed to him here and there, and I find myself in strong agreement.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Well, you did grow up among communists.

I like him. I like flamingly unapologetic liberals. He all but admitted in talking to Rachel Maddow that the point of his running would be to get flaming-liberal issues into the campaign and make Hillary take positions on them (which presumably would be supportive ones if she wants to differentiate herself from her Republican opponent). Run, Bernie, run!

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:47 pm 
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If Bernie's in I'll be backing him until he's out.

As for Bush vs. Clinton...do we need to do that again??

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