Tag Archives: Sanders

205. How Candidates Really Get Elected

28 Feb

Commentators and reporters often make demands of candidates that only serve purposes such as dramatizing and attracting attention. At the same time, I am generally pleased by the way our traditional press and reporters operate. Some self interest is always present, so it is mostly up to the candidates themselves, to stay out of trouble. There are two types of potentially troublesome demands: urging attacks on fellow candidates, and the other is to provide detailed plans. 

Attacks and competition can lower the likely success of all candidates in a party. Providing a lot of details, sometimes is OK, but every detail can cause rejection by a certain segment of the population. For example, I would suggest that those in favor of Medicare-for-all should say something like this: “our general goals are to provide complete low cost and even zero cost, to all citizens. I (the candidate) will work hard towards this goal. And any such legislation brought to me that has the support of Congress and the people, I will sign into law. Healthcare is so complicated and with so many opposing interests, no one person can make final decisions. I will encourage the appropriate Congressional and citizen committees. And of course,  every plan developed will require OMB estimates of cost. A good immediate plan could simply be improvements to ObamaCare, while more comprehensive new plans are gradually implemented.

Traits for a successful candidate. 

The candidate must be likable. Sounds superficial, but very important for votes. This trait answers my title question: “How candidates really get elected.” This factor probably is most important, but some other traits below could be significant.

The candidate must emphasize key issues for voters, like wages, health care, and jobs.

The candidate must have a substantial history of worthy causes and patriotism.

The candidate should be free of scandals and dishonesty. Sometimes this does not matter much. If folks really like you, then these are less important.

The candidate must look and act “presidential.” This means reasonably good looks, and a mostly serious demeanor with only a few humorous exceptions. Sad to say,  superficial features are very important, particularly to less well educated people.

The candidate must answer questions well and have a pleasant voice.

The candidate must demonstrate that he/she has good judgement. This can be demonstrated by how he/she organizes and runs his/her campaign. All his interactions with people should be appropriate.

            A Good Candidate is Not Necessarily a Good President

The characteristics of a good “candidate” are not necessarily the same as a good president. A really good president would have very good analytic abilities. He would be able to understand and deal with very complicated issues. He should have working experience with this type of thinking.  A candidate could do well, even without this ability.

My assessment of the candidates.

When I study the current list of Democrat candidates for president, it appears to me that every major candidate has a significant flaw. First, I want to say that most are very decent people and all would be a great improvement over Trump. Here are the details.

Age is significant. Three contenders if elected, will reach age 80 in their first term in office. Bernie Sanders is the oldest and also the most radical. He has to lose some votes for these two reasons. In his first primary, I voted for him and I respect him a lot, but he is not as sharp as he was previously. Like POTUS, he has a very dedicated following. Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has some serious political problems, but could be a good president. He should be welcomed and respected because he promises a lot of financial support to whoever emerges. He has a lot of relevant experience and can deal with tough problems. Joe Biden (former vice-president) has a lot of support from black people and unequaled amounts of experience. He is likable in many ways and would make a good president. But he has always made “gaffs” and he tends to be even more inconsistent at his current age. I have personal experience with old age and realize the memory, mental capacity, and strength limitations. Ten years ago, all three could have done well in debating Trump.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is very capable and was my favorite for many years. But I and others were disappointed by her nasty attacks of other Democrat candidates. These attacks could be overlooked, but lately she has not pleased the voters enough. She also developed a health care plan that was very expensive — definitely a victim of too much detail in her plans. Also, she is losing some votes to Sanders.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is highly intelligent, strong, speaks well, and is very young. I think he has the ability to be a great president and could defeat Trump in debates. In my eyes, he has no flaws, but he will lose the redneck votes because of his love preferences. This is a shame because he is a great person.

The other candidates are good people, but so far, at least, have not gotten enough votes. Senator Amy Klobuchar is really outstanding and has the ability to be a great president. Also, she has a good record of electability. Billionaire Tom Steyer has a good recent record of the right values, but so far, not enough votes. I don’t know of any “flaws,” but for one thing, there is a lack of name recognition. There is a small possibility that he could emerge because others have serious flaws. Governor Jay Inslee dropped out, but I viewed him very favorably.

For me, the best choice is not so clear. One problem is that a candidate could do well with Democrat voters, but not so well with the general population (an example is Bernie Sanders). For people like me, it is best to wait and see who is most supported by the voters, before my actual decision.

 

 

39. Dem Dual Debate

5 Feb

I am an ethusiastic supporter of Bernie S. but I figured the debate to be a long snooze. Well I am really glad that I tuned in, because in spite of the fact that there really were no new ideas, the interaction between the two was well worth observing.  There was some competition, a lot of respect, and some warmth.  And that satisfied my main goal, which was to have a debate where both sides to showed friendship.  If these two were not competing, you can imagine them working together to promote progressive goals.  The contrast between the Democratic Party debates and the vicious, inane Republican debates is incredible.

I should also remark that I like Hilary Clinton and think she would make a good President, but I really like the optimism and idealism of Bernie Sanders.  Sanders and everyone else knows that he might not succeed in dramatic progressive changes, but it is nice to know that someone is willing to make a great and innovative effort to do this.  I think Sanders has some exciting ideas about implementing his goals, but feels this is not the time to describe them.

Overall  Bernie has done really well in speaking and debating.  I think he would have done better if he had avoided certain difficulties.  One is labeling himself as a “socialist.”  “Social Democrat”, which he later used, is better.  Regarding ObamaCare, he should have made clear that it would not be abolished until a “Medicare for All” plan was formulated and made into law.  Logically, there should be some overlap to avoid loss of insurance.  In spite of some minor imperfections, many of us feel that Bernie offers more hope for substantial positive change.

 

 

 

29. Hilary Clinton: Outstanding

23 Oct

After watching the recent Democratic debate and the House hearing on Benghazi, I saw a person who is articulate, logical, reasonable and in great control.  As I listened to her answers I was reminded of our past President Clinton, who I thought was one of the best speakers I have ever heard.

I admit that for a while I was enchanted with Bernie Sanders because I loved his message.  At first I thought he became a candidate to emphasize a point, but as his popularity increased I began to take his candidacy seriously.  After the two events mentioned above, however, I tend to favor Hilary because she seems most competent, knowledgable and strong. Even her emotion was balanced and appropriate.  She laughed when Republican Martha Roby asked her if she slept alone (all night) on the night of the event.  She was slightly annoyed, angry, amused, tired, happy, ernest, patient, and mostly calm.  Her strength over the 11 hours of badgering during the House hearing, is amazing.

Bernie has provided a wonderful service in pushing the entire party more to the left, forging a path towards real economic equality.  I now have restored my original analysis of Bernie’s candidacy, someone who is trying to shift policy and emphasize his (great) ideas.  But I think that Clinton, if nominated, is more likely than Sanders to win the presidential election.

 

 

28. Bernie Sanders on the Mark

11 Oct

The best political interview I have heard recently, is Bernie Sanders appearance (Oct 11, 2015) on Meet the Press. He made real and intelligent answers to the questions, rather than the typical avoidant “speech”.  He has a long history of supporting legislation that advances the economic goals of the American non-rich. His arguments are clear and sound — and reflect the views of most Americans. The long history of consistent viewpoints proves his sincerity.

He would be a shoe-in for the nomination if he looked a little more “presidential”, and was a little younger. I think all of the major Democratic contenders would make good presidents. But maybe a relative newcomer like O’Malley would be more likely elected, because he has the right “look” and voice. When Sanders became a candidate, I thought he would be popular, but could not be elected. But given the polling, perhaps he has a chance. If actually elected he might be more likely to succeed in his “progressive” agenda; than the others. I was wrong before: I instantly liked Obama, but at first thought he could never achieve the office.