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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:05 pm 
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Primaries with zillions of candidates would be a great time to introduce an alternative voting method like, say, Approval, or Score. No need to pass a law. Though states might not want to assist with anything more complicated than Approval.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:24 am 
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arcosh wrote:
I suppose the danger of a meh candidate comes if a candidate wins, who's supporters go by "I bet that one is getting the moderate republicans" rather then actually supporting the candidate.

The one most likely to be perceived as a Republican-acceptable moderate is Joe Biden, who hasn't even declared he's running yet. He's run into trouble for being excessively handsy with women. He probably doesn't intend to be a creep, but he's probably never really had to think about whether women really appreciate this sort of friendliness.

Aside from Biden, the most plausible moderate appears to be Amy Klobuchar.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:31 am 
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I have not yet heared any supporters explain why they support Biden or Klobouchar, so i have no clue*, if they have some real support, or just tactical one.

A part of Beto O'Rourkes apeal seems to come from "he nearly won Texas", which is a bit of a danger sign in that regard. Though i don't know if he has genuine support as well.

I suppose some landlocked governors and such could fall into that as well.

* not even a misleading clue

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:48 am 
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Yeah I'm wary of O'Rourke as well. We should probably try to run someone we know can win an election.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:18 am 
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I would like O'Rourke to have actually achieved something significant before he tries to be president. From what I've heard, his campaign is based mainly on personal charisma. His positions are pretty squishy because he doesn't want to be nailed down to specific promises. He's too minor of a Congressperson to have any legislative achievements.

I'm hearing some good things about Pete Buttigieg, who has accomplished significant things, albeit on a very small geographical scale as the mayor of a smallish town. I'm wary of the hype bubble though. A month ago, nobody had heard of the guy. He might flame out in short order.

Although the president is a freaking game show host, so why even have standards anymore? Argh.

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I have not yet heard any supporters explain why they support Biden or Klobouchar, so i have no clue*, if they have some real support, or just tactical one.


I dunno really. Biden polls the most highly because being the former Vice President, he's the most famous of the lot. It is claimed that he is able to appeal to white working class voters, but that's just pundits' ideas of what they think other people will like. His record is centrist enough that he will have some explaining to do to the progressive wing of the Democrats about his previous decisions.

Klobuchar is trying to do the "I'm a nice Midwestern lady who wants everybody to be civil to each other" bipartisan thing, but we already know how well that worked for Obama when it came to passing actual policy. It might appeal to a certain type of moderate voter though.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:05 pm 
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Some article, that was linked in fivethirtyeight portrays Buttigieg as machiavellist weasel.
(https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete)

I don't really know anything about that source, so i can't say how fair it is.

To deal with todays Republican, you need the skills of a machiavellist weasel, but on the other hand if you have a machiavellist weasel working for you, you want to keep some sort of hold over it. So assuming that this is correct, he would IMHO make an excellent vice president.

"I'm nice and want everyone to to be civil to each other" can work very well, if you have a radical wing of your own "tribe", that yells "Sell out" whenever you compromise and if you don't already enter negotiations with a compromise solution. Because then casual observers, who navigate by how outraged each side is, will see how far you go to compromise, and in negotiations you can go "i would like to compromise more with you, but i have to bring some scraps home for my own radicals, and you don't want one of them to relpace me, right?".

Both conditions were missing for Obama. The own radicals in her neck would be there for Klobuchar, but i fear she would do too much preemptive compromising.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:25 pm 
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The impression I got from the critique of Pete Buttigieg you linked to isn't so much that he is a Machiavellian weasel but that he is a self-absorbed careerist. Someone so focused on his own achievements that the plight of the poor and downtrodden is invisible to him.

His point isn't so much that Buttigieg is a young Vetinari but that he is a creature of the system, not someone who will challenge it. A soulless hoop-jumper whose purpose in life is to pad his own resume.

Although I think half the writer's beef with Buttigieg is that he isn't progressive enough. The guy sounds like a small town Michael Bloomberg.

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:41 am 
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I would say Vetinari differes from ordinary Machiavellists in using his abilities more to advance the common good, then for his own wealth, fame and comfort.

And part of an Machiavellian aproach is often, that you find arrangements with thoose, who have power. Which means to join the system, to use it for your purposes, rather then oppose it.

So a soulless hoop jumper, who wants to pad his resume, is for me pretty much the same as a Machiavellist, who is in for fame.

And Buttigieg seems to be very skilled at this.

So i guess if you manage to tie his further fame to the success of good policies, it would be great. Making him VP for Warren or Sanders could do the trick.

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:47 am 
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I think most politicians are in it for themselves as well as wanting to advance the common good. Hillary Clinton never managed to articulate with a compelling reason why she should be president apart from "I'm really smart and I have a lot of policy ideas". Buttigieg reminds me a little of pre-2008 Obama. His main selling point was his personal charisma and background. His policies were pretty run-of-the-mill for a Democrat. Visionary, agenda-driven candidates like Sanders and Warren are the exception rather than the rule.

Trump is just extraordinarily selfish even by politician standards. He's completely in it for fame and prestige and doesn't care about anything else.

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:29 pm 
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Fame and prestige? I think he'd rather have money. The catch is that he's bad at making money, and is really bad at keeping it. If it weren't for white collar felonies he'd have died in poverty years ago.

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:40 am 
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That he wants money is a given, but this is also a man who thinks that "Your TV ratings are low" is one of the most grievous insults you can give somebody regardless of whether they are a TV star. Classic narcissist.

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:17 am 
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If Trump wasn't in for fame, the crowd size would not matter to him that much.

And yes, agenda driven politicans typically stay in the background, leaving the spotlight to attention seekers.

And while i would in general preferre agenda driven politicans to decide what happens, often enough they concentrate too much on their policies and get their feet cut out under them by politics. Politicans who are really good a politics however usually can't be trusted however.

And i think the comparison of Buttigieg with Obama is a good one.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:14 am 
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arcosh wrote:
And yes, agenda driven politicans typically stay in the background, leaving the spotlight to attention seekers.

This year might not be typical. Bernie Sanders is technically the most highly polling Democratic candidate. The only person ahead of him his Biden, who hasn't formally declared that he's running.

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