Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Not Hopeful


Unfortunately, this (only presumably, given Twitter pseudonyms) guy Seth McNeil is right:

In a far more complex manner, Ezra Klein lays it all out in this cogent analysis with the apt section titles "Hopeful liberals, concerned conservatives;" "Democrats miss Obama;" "Pete Buttigieg's play for the 'hope and change' vote;" and "It's not 2008 anymore" (more on that one later).

Objectively, in the last seven presidential elections- 2016, 2012, 2008, 2004 (arguably), 2000, 1996, and 1992- the more charismatic and engaging presidential nominee emerged victorious.  Additionally, in each of those contests- 2016, 2008, 2000, and 1992- in which there was no incumbent, the less experienced candidate won.

Neither is likely a coincidence.

The more personally appealing and less experienced candidate may prevail because, as McNeil understands, getting elected is not about policy or ideas but about emotion and reflecting "back what we want to see."

That played a major role in the election of Barack Obama, as many Americans sought to prove (as they saw it) that neither they nor their country is racist.  His nomination, aided by opposition as a state senator to the Iraq War that Hillary Clinton voted to give a GOP president authority to conduct, also was boosted by the appeal of the hazy "hope and change."  While once it was "who would you rather have a beer with?" it is now the "it" factor, or who grabs the voter's attention, or a similar factor..

Of course, another obstacle Elizabeth Warren faces is occupation of the ideological "lane" (insofar as the lane concept isn't actually lame) by Bernie Sanders as the one candidate who ran in 2016 and amassed a deep and loyal following. However, if Klein's analysis suggests that the mayor of a mid-sized Midwestern city is inevitable, he warns that it isn't still 2008 and

Another challenge for Buttigieg is that Obama didn’t win just by impressing openness-minded liberals. He won by building a coalition between them and black voters. As of yet, there’s little evidence of Buttigieg breaking through among nonwhite voters — and, notably, nonwhite voters aren’t as sorted by the openness dimension between the parties, so the messages that work for white liberals in New Hampshire often fall flat with black churchgoers in South Carolina.

That of course opens the door for a minority woman (Harris), the loyal servant to Barack Obama (Biden), and a few others to counter the support and experience Senator Sanders picked up the last time around.  If that too is hazy, we do know that if recent history is any guide whatsoever, any combination of brilliance, experience, and thoroughly researched policy prescriptions is not the path to the presidency.








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