ADULT IN THE ROOM

Obviously leaked rumors indicate that Hillary Clinton is considering former NATO Supreme Commander Admiral James Satvridis as a running mate. There's a lot to unpack here.

First, if I had to bet my life savings I'd call Vegas and put all $53.14 on this being a longshot. It's more likely a pre-screening of a guy who's at the top of the list to be Secretary of State or Defense in the future.

Second, as one of the commenters on Facebook put it, "bringing on a decorated military figure as a running mate should totally assuage fears of hillary being an unhinged hawk who will start four wars a year." I'm not inside the Clinton campaign, obviously, but I think it's pretty clear that they're adopting the attitude that with Sanders out of the picture, most people on the far left are going to vote for her simply because she isn't Trump so she doesn't have to worry too much about pissing them off. It's deeply cynical and pretty hard to disagree with.

Third, people I know in the foreign policy world speak very, very highly of this guy. Bear in mind I don't socialize with a lot of war hawks. He succeeded in getting NATO to stop acting like it's 1980 and the Soviets are about to come crashing through the Fulda Gap. And he does have a few interesting, albeit occasionally veering into corny, things to say about the nature of security today.

Fourth, the Grand Strategy for the Clinton campaign, of which the choice of a VP is only a small part, is strategically brilliant and highly likely to piss off a lot of people searching for excuses to talk themselves into voting for her. We all know how the media and older, more conservative types fawn all over military men. We know that Stavridis fits (just watch him speak for 30 seconds in that link) the stock description of a Very Serious Person to a tee. He could have no idea at all what he's talking about, but he looks and sounds like he does. So Clinton is going all in on a strategy of building a campaign of people who will make Trump look like the immature, half-assed bar drunk shouting at Fox News that he is. There is no way for any Democratic candidate to reach the people who love Trump, but older people (and older Republicans in particular) who are embarrassed at the thought of voting for Trump but also dislike Clinton might be convinced if they see just how stupid Trump looks and sounds next to a Very Serious Person. Trump will make his campaign a circus and fill it with people who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground; we're talking about a guy who wants Mike Ditka to speak at the GOP Convention. I guess Clinton is just going to play it safe and assume that when the small percentage of voters who are both rational and on the fence will break her way when they compare the idiots campaigning for Trump with her group of actual adults who sound like they've read a book at some point.

Remember above all else that VP picks tend to have little to no significant effect on vote choices in November. The expectation that they can "save" a shitty campaign is a fantasy, so in recent years the candidates who don't need Saving have been picking whoever they feel most comfortable around regardless of any perceived electoral benefits. Right or wrong, I think Clinton thinks she is going to win, so there's no need to pick a running mate she isn't 100% comfortable with in order to satisfy some bloc of voters or regional interests. That may be how running mates were chosen in the 19th Century, but those days are long gone.

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72 Responses to “ADULT IN THE ROOM”

  1. Andrew Laurence Says:

    So you don't think that undecided voters were turned off by McCain's choice of running mate in 2008, or was that an exception?

  2. Joseph Nobles Says:

    "Right or wrong, I think Clinton thinks she is going to win, so there's no need to pick a running mate she isn't 100% comfortable with in order to satisfy some bloc of voters or regional interests."

    Nothing but net.

  3. Scout Says:

    I have to agree with Andrew Lawrence. I know several people who were fervent McCain voters until he named Princess Wasillabilly as his running mate. She scared them so badly they held their noses and voted for Obama. Or so they claimed.

  4. Michael Says:

    Palin was such a fence post turtle that she's basically the exception to every rule.

  5. Robert Says:

    I have read that McCain wanted Lieberman, but the handlers and bosses insisting on Wasilla Wendigo to increase his appeal among the Fritters, Alabama wing of the party. I don't know how much of a difference having the War Gnome on the ticket might have made; while there are still Americans who are uncomfortable with a Christ-killer that close to the Presidency, there were almost as many appalled by the half-governor.

    At this point, Clinton could pick George McGovern as her running mate and not lose my vote.

  6. Skipper Says:

    Just from a pure marketing perspective, would you choose a guy with a foreign-sounding name that 90 percent of Americans couldn't pronounce? I know that sounds superficial, but it's a fact.

  7. J. Dryden Says:

    My admittedly limited experience with exit polls informs me* that, of late at least, the Veep choice is generally one that can only LOSE you votes–it never really serves as a gain. That is, while George H.W. Bush and John McCain absolutely lost votes as a result of their terrible, TERRIBLE choices (not that that loss was enough, in Bush's case, to get the voters to overlook the also-terrible choice the Democrats made in choosing their candidate that year), no recent president has picked up any significant number of votes as a result of a terrific choice. (Not sure what we'd consider to be a "terrific choice" in recent years–I love Joe Biden and always more affection/admiration for Al Gore than the mainstream media told me I ought to feel, but I don't know of any choices that struck me as brilliant…)

    * Seriously, I would cheerfully stand corrected if this notion has been debunked.

  8. Mignolio Says:

    So … after Clinton. A big failing of Ob was Biden, who I actually think was a good (and fun, for his media memes) VP. But there was no one of BO's generation or the next (yeah, I said that) there to receive the torch. Hence, Hillary (and Bernie, for the same reason, in a very different way). The country is trending left, quickly, and HRC needs to pick someone who reflects that, so in 4 or 8 years (or sometime in-between) we'll be farther along, with rw nutjobs more marginalized, and the country with a decidedly progressive POV, looking for a similar-minded president. It's gotta/gonna happen. She needs to pick someone who Berniephiles now will think, if not say, "Not bad," and who in eight years will seem a little conservative, given the prevailing winds, and a few dozen 5-4 or 6-3 Supreme Court decisions.

  9. Funkhauser Says:

    Did not click the audio link, but I'll say this: dude looks like Dick Vitale.

  10. Dave Dell Says:

    To my mind VP choices are similar to party platforms. Grist for the talking heads mill. Nothing more. Although… If I were Donald Trump I'd be very careful to pick someone with no desire to be President or even a Presidential nominee. I'd also have a food taster on staff.

  11. Ten Bears Says:

    Hmmm.. recently sighted at a Bilderberg conference, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, party's at Davos. I can see where she would be comfortable with that. I agree though, most likely Secretary of State, or War.

  12. John Danley Says:

    A little more trepidation than one would expect from a surface warfare officer, but that might explain the Ph.D.

  13. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @Skipper:

    Obama was a marketing nightmare on paper. This guy doesn't quite have Barry's charisma on the stump, though.

  14. I. J. Kennedy Says:

    Just to let you know, there ARE some Bernie supporters who will choose Trump over Hillary. They are people who feel like corporate money is what's really holding us back as a nation. Trump is the better candidate in this regard. We all knew the Hillary endorsement was coming, but it was bizarre to listen to him tell us that getting money out of politics was his top reason for backing her. In a perverted way I was glad he said it—it made me me feel like the loss wasn't so great after all.

  15. Katydid Says:

    It's been my experience that the Bernie supporters who won't vote for the Democratic nominee were never actually Democrats anyway, and in many cases have a very questionable grasp of world news, history, and, well, reality (yeah, I said it).

  16. geoff Says:

    So I guess Wesley Clark is off the bus? Hell, a few people out there might actually remember him. Ms. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that I can't see how anybody short of Jesus Christ Himself is going to make any real difference to her campaign.

    (I know: Henry Kissinger! He's tan, rested, and ready!!)

  17. Dave Dell Says:

    Katydid – I'm a Bernie supporter who's merely tired. Tired of holding my nose and voting for the least bad choice. I've been a lot of places and done a lot of things and interacted with a wide variety of people so I think I've a pretty good grasp of reality. I know that people 'One on One' are rarely evil. I know that in groups people lose some of their ability for rational thought. I know that as a species what we can't fuck up we'll shit on.

    I consider myself to be from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. Third generation Union (Chapter Steward). Antiwar Vietnam Vet. Pro gun control gun owner (inherited – locked up). Pro Public Education. Pro Choice patient escort. In favor of raising taxes that would cost me more money to help insure that our ideal of mutual self-government can thrive.

    I have the luxury of living in a deep red state (NE and not the district won by President Obama in '08) so my vote won't matter in the electoral college. I'll only vote for Sec. Clinton if the early November polls show it to be extremely close in my state.

  18. Katydid Says:

    @Dave, I spent last fall in Vermont, was on the Bernie train, but the more I learned about him, the more I realized he was dreaming–he wouldn't be able to accomplish those things he was espousing, especially not with the rightwing obstructionist idiots in Congress that we-the-people elected. Hillary Clinton has been shit on for the past quarter-century, and she's still there and still fighting. The media has attacked her for a quarter-century, and nothing has stuck because it's all b.s. Moreover, she has a track record of fighting for women, children, families for a quarter-century. Remember, she was the one with the health plan ideas in the early 1990s that got completely eviscerated. Bernie has no such record. And Trump? Please. Any of the Republican Clown Car were utterly repugnant.

  19. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    I get tired of hearing this argument about how my state's "safe" or whatever so I'll vote for Jill. Nader = W. That was the wild card. Period.

  20. Katydid Says:

    @Fiddlin Bill; exactly. All those people who were self-righteously voting for Nader "to send a message" helped give us multiple wars, a financial depression, and economic downturn.

  21. Dave Dell Says:

    At the risk of making this more acrimonious I'll just say that reality in Presidential elections is the electoral college. Nader made a difference in FL. Nowhere else. Sen. Gore would have won had he not lost his home state of TN. Bill Clinton was elected twice by the electoral college despite having less than 50% of the popular vote thanks to Ross Perot's candidacy. There are bitter electoral pills to swallow but that's the way it is.

  22. greatlaurel Says:

    Citizens United is a conservative non-profit which filed suit against the FEC to overturn the regulations on non-profit monies in federal campaigns. The SCOTUS ruling also overturned limits on corporations and labor union monies.

    Please note Citizens United was attacking Hillary Clinton. Many people act like Hillary was the victor not the victim of Citizens United. To imply Hillary Clinton is the recipient of corporate monies far in excess of any other candidates, Democratic or Republican, is revisionist at the best. Hillary Clinton has been targeted by conservative and corporate for at least 25+ years.

  23. X-RWU Says:

    Funny you should mention this, Ed, because I was ruminating yet again about crazy VP picks. (Case in point, McCain picking Palin in 2008.)

    I was wondering, once again… do some presidential candidates deliberately pick crazy people to be their vice presidents, as "protection" of sorts? No, seriously, think about it: If you kill the president, then you're stuck with the crazy vice president. It's like that alien having acid for blood. ("Shoot me, I dare you!")

  24. Gabe Says:

    Jill Stein is not Nader 2.0.

    I live in NY. So no, a vote for Jill Stein is not a vote for Trump. If the polls look close I'll vote for Clinton. But NY is not up for grabs no matter how many people get the vapors when I say I won't vote for Hillary.

    Look at it this way: Hillary will probably win big. Strategically speaking this is the optimal time for a third party push from the left.

    If Hillary has to consider how progressives will react to her decisions she will be a better president.

  25. Emerson Dameron Says:

    I don't recall Nader 1.0 being in Florida state government or on the Supreme Court in 2000, both of which helped Bush a lot more than he did. Condescending to engaged progressives is a pretty awful long-term strategy for Democrats, yes? As Katydid mentions, Clinton has plenty of strengths to run on after the primary wounds have healed a bit.

  26. geoff Says:

    On the other side of the aisle, I don't see how That Guy With The Stupid Hair could possbly choose anyone as his running mate other than the truly odious Newt Gingrich. Not only is he an asshole, but he's a SOUTHERN asshole (balance!), and even better, he's been baiting the Clintons for over twenty years. It's win/ win!

  27. Mignolio Says:

    @Katydid; For me, it hardly matters that Bernie could never achieve what it is on which he's campaigned. Why is he held to that when no other candidate is equivalently accountable? It's about vision, and objectives for the future. We need change, and *UGE change, and to set the course towards those changes now.

    In the face of that, it drives me nuts that HRC's team proclaims proudly that her micro approach is an asset. Old conservatives are going to be disappearing, and replaced by progressive youngsters (voters). That's a huge opportunity, and they're going to be *impatient*. Making a form shorter to apply more easily for Obamacare isn't going to do it.

  28. Emerson Dameron Says:

    Even Newt is distancing himself from Trump. I expect the RNC to play matchmaker with someone like Pence, over Trump's insistence on Christian Laettner.

  29. Khaled Says:

    @Dave Dell

    I don't know if you live in the 3rd or 1st district in NE, but if you're in the 3rd district, yeah, I can totally see voting Stein in the general since that district will likely vote R with an overwhelming majority, even if it is Trump. Nebraska is a very, very deep red state (I grew up in Lincoln) and it is really an reflection of how deeply unpopular the Iraq war and Bush was that Obama was able to get any electoral college votes from Nebraska.

    While Florida state government and the Supreme Court had a huge hand in suppressing voters and delivering those electoral college votes for Bush, let's not forget all the "protest" Nader votes in Florida would have guaranteed victory for Gore. So yes, if you live in a swing, or close to swing state, and you vote for Stein or Johnson or your cat, you are voting for Trump. Protest votes only work in places where the result really won't matter, i.e., Hillary will get stomped in the plains states and the deep south, so go ahead and do your protest vote. If you're in a Blue state or a swing state, don't get cute. Have a beef with Hillary? Join the club. Think the Democratic primary process was a load of shit? Think that the coronation of Hillary was awful? Again, when the major opposition to Hillary was a screaming old dude from Vermont and someone who is best known as the guy who Carcetti in The Wire was based on, you didn't really have a "choice". But the alternative is so unbelievably awful, so suck it up and work to hold your local officials accountable and get good people elected to those posts so the increased dark money presence in local elections gets stopped before it ruins everything.

  30. Pete Gaughan Says:

    Dryden, "the Veep choice is generally one that can only LOSE you votes–it never really serves as a gain." ExACTly. Maybe Reagan needed Bush Sr for foreign-policy, insider, and Establishment angles; but other than that I'm not sure a VP candidate has done anything *for* the ticket, and certainly Palin showed what a disaster it can be.

    As for Gore "failing" to carry TN — c'mon people, that was never going to happen. If Clinton picked John Bel Edwards, they would still get routed in Louisiana.

    Villaraigosa, Hickenlooper, Dayton (all aged 63 or more) would all be too old to run after Hillary. Julian Castro (41) would be perceived as too-young and under-experienced. Martin O'Malley is 53, Thomas Perez is 54, Tim Kaine is 58: whatever type of policy profile Clinton is looking for, that's probably the demographic her pick will come from.

    I say, blow up ALL the heads, pick Muriel Bowser of D.C.

  31. mothra Says:

    It DOES sound very serious to have a Supreme Commander as a VP. However, i would argue that nothing would entice even rational Republicans to vote for Hillary. The Hillary hate is UGE with the Republicans. I have a few rational Republican friends (well, I don't know if I would call them rational because they ARE Republicans) who say they will simply not vote this year.

    I am VERY disappointed that Hillary apparently is not considering one of those cute Castro boys from San Antonio. They've got it all: young, progressive, inspiring and of course, Hispanic.

  32. Katydid Says:

    @Mignolio; yes, yes, the Millenials are soooo smart and focused and sooooo wonderful that they're going to revolutionize society, just like their parents, the Boomers, did.

    In the real world, change only comes so fast. Bernie wanted to tilt at windmills (ironically, not the windmills that would most affect women, children, or families…), but the facts are that were the impossible occurred and he were to be elected, he'd still have to deal with the obstructionist Republicans and Tea Thugs in Congress. He has a track record of not playing well with them *now*–what makes you think he'd suddenly become effective as POTUS?

  33. Major Kong Says:

    @Pete Gaughan

    2nd what you said about Gore and Tennessee.

    It says a lot more about Tennessee (and the South in general) than it does about Al Gore.

  34. Major Kong Says:

    If the thought of Donald Trump rubber-stamping every crazy bill the GOP Congress puts on his desk, AND naming one or more Scalia clones to the Supreme Court isn't enough to make you vote Democratic then I don't know what will.

    Both parties are NOT the same. One look at the GOP platform should tell you that.

    You might find it hard to believe, but even FDR was considered the "lesser of two evils" candidate in 1932.

  35. Greg Says:

    FFS I was in Florida in 2000, I voted for Gore, and the Fl Supreme Court ordered a halt to the umpteenth recall and left the count requirements where Gore would have w

  36. Greg Says:

    FFS I was in Florida in 2000, I voted for Gore, and the Fl Supreme Court ordered a halt to the umpteenth recall and left the count requirements where Gore would have won, which is WHY Bush went federal and Scalia got to decide.

  37. defineandredefine Says:

    @geoff –

    Kissinger being anywhere within spitting distance of the Oval Office would be enough for me to vote 3rd party. Or abstain.

    Not that it really matters…I live in North Carolina.

  38. philadelphialawyer Says:

    "She needs to pick someone who Berniephiles now will think, if not say, 'Not bad…'"

    No, she doesn't.

    She should pick whoever she thinks will help her win the most. Most Berniephiles were already on board before the High Sparrow finally conceded and endorsed. Now that he has, and with Warren, Biden and Obama backing her too, her left is firmly covered. If picking General Whoeverheis helps her cover her right, then she should do it.

    The only thing Hilllary "needs" to do is win. I couldn't care less how she does it.

    The other side is going to nominate Hitler/Huckster. All that matters, in terms of HRC's campaign, anyway, is beating him. What the Berniebros "think" or want is the least important thing in the world.

  39. philadelphialawyer Says:

    "Have a beef with Hillary? Join the club. Think the Democratic primary process was a load of shit? Think that the coronation of Hillary was awful? Again, when the major opposition to Hillary was a screaming old dude from Vermont and someone who is best known as the guy who Carcetti in The Wire was based on, you didn't really have a 'choice.'"

    This is the load of shit, right here.

    Hillary won. Fair and square. She got almost four million more votes than her closest opponent. The process was open to everyone, including non Democrat Sanders. Who by the way, is a sitting US Senator and former Congressman, not merely a screaming old dude. And, as you say, a third candidate, who was the mayor of a major city and a State governor, ran as well. How is that not a choice or even a "choice?" Because you can type shit about the losers?

    Most people who vote in Democratic primaries think Hillary, with her experience and her policies, is the best qualified candidate. Why is your totally ginned up "process" claim supposed to supercede that? There was no fucking "coronation." There was a series of primaries and caucuses, with the latter being less, not more democratic than the former. And yet that is where Hillary's main opponent did the best, in the anti democratic caucuses. The Democrats don't have winner take all elections, so the proportion of pledged delegates closely follows the proportion of actual votes. Hillary had more votes, more pledged delegates, more State wins, and larger State wins than Sanders, and even than Obama back in 2008. Hillary was the clear choice of women, African Americans, Asian Americans, the GLBT community, and Latinos. And that's enough to win the nomination. Sorry if that hurts the white male Berniebros' amour propre.

  40. philadelphialawyer Says:

    "Not that it really matters…I live in North Carolina."

    Huh? BHO carried NC back in '08, and it is definitely in play now. Some polls even show HRC leading there.

  41. Khaled Says:

    @Philadelphia Lawyer:

    I am not some dumbass Bernie Bro, I will happily vote for Clinton in the general. She did receive the most votes in the primaries, they were not "stolen" from Bernie, and any of his supporters that whine about the closed primaries don't understand how a party system works. I do realize that Bernie lost, fair and square, and that states with large minority populations voted in large blocks for Hillary. Bernie Sanders message of "free college" may make the millennials little heartbeats accelerate, but that's not gonna happen.

    As for the "Coronation" argument, it's not just me who has said it.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a32840/if-not-hillary-who-1114/

    Read Pierce's argument about the Democratic nomination process, written long before the primaries started. Hillary is a fine candidate, but Jesus, why is the only person the Democrats can run against the idiots from the clown-car is the wife of a former president? We do not live in a monarchy, a person's last name should not be a reason to vote for the candidate.

    I would rather at least get a candidate other than a "democratic Socialist" and a former governor of Maryland to run against Hillary so that the Democrats had a real primary process. By paralyzing the field and pretty much sucking the air out of the room, the Democratic party set up Hillary to be the nominee even before voters got around to voting.

    Is she qualified? Yes, absolutely. But the hate machine from the right already has 20 years of crap to fling at her, and it's only gonna get worse from here on out with the stupid email nothingburger that the Gowdys of the world get to scream about for months, unhindered by actual reality. We have a candidate that a large number of Americans dislike. Most of that dislike isn't based in reality (BENGHAZI!!!) but it's there, and if it results in a President Trump, everyone will suffer.

  42. philadelphialawyer Says:

    "Hillary is a fine candidate, but Jesus, why is the only person the Democrats can run against the idiots from the clown-car is the wife of a former president? We do not live in a monarchy, a person's last name should not be a reason to vote for the candidate."

    What does that even mean? That she is "the only person the Democrats can run?" The process was open to everyone. Biden could have run. So could have Warren. So could have any other Democratic Senator, Congressman, Governor, Mayor, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier or Spy. Shit, even non Democrats are allowed to run. We do NOT live in a monarchy, and that's why we have a general election, and a primary process…to choose, democratically, our Head of State and Head of Government.

    The voters chose Hillary, and it just horseshit to say that they did so merely because of her last name. She is a former Senator from one of our leading States, and a former Secretary of State, as well as a former First Lady. And a Yale Law School graduate, and a fine lawyer. And sharp as a whip. And a great debater. And a policy wonk, etc, etc.

    "I would rather at least get a candidate other than a 'democratic Socialist' and a former governor of Maryland to run against Hillary so that the Democrats had a real primary process."

    Again, what does that even mean? The "primary process" was completely
    "real." Hillary was the so called "Establishment" candidate. Sanders was the insurgent. And why is a former Governor of Maryland (a reliably Blue State), not a real candidate? Because someone made fun of him on a TV show? What makes you entitled to "get" the imaginary, perfect, dream candidate that you say you would "rather" have?

    "By paralyzing the field and pretty much sucking the air out of the room, the Democratic party set up Hillary to be the nominee even before voters got around to voting."

    More horseshit. The Democratic party, if by that you mean the super delegates, under rules long in place, have a role. And, yeah, they favored Hillary. So what? And why wouldn't they? She is the most prominent national Democratic party politician. She is the runner up from 2008. She loyally campaigned for Obama and served in his Administration. She has worked withing the party, and for down ticket candidates, for decades. Even if there were no supers, most sitting Democratic officeholders and other pols would have endorsed her. What's wrong with that?

    And, even so, again, the field was open to anyone who wanted to try it. That one candidate was always the favorite does not make the process "rigged," much less somehow "unreal."

    "Is she qualified? Yes, absolutely. But the hate machine from the right already has 20 years of crap to fling at her, and it's only gonna get worse from here on out with the stupid email nothingburger that the Gowdys of the world get to scream about for months, unhindered by actual reality. We have a candidate that a large number of Americans dislike. Most of that dislike isn't based in reality (BENGHAZI!!!) but it's there, and if it results in a President Trump, everyone will suffer."

    Please. Whomever the Dems nominate, the hate machine will spew endless garbage at them. They did it to Obama, they sure as hell would have done it to Sanders, and they would do the same to Biden, Warren or whoever. We can't let the asshole Republicans pick our candidate for us, by the mere fact of them being assholes.

  43. Skepticalist Says:

    Interesting video and I pretty much like the guy. It would be fun watching Trumpsters try to deal with him. Probably too smart for VP though.

    Letting Trump win would be like shooting ourselves in the foot with hand grenades. The Republicans need no help from us. Democrats may not do everything right but at least they don't try to make things worse.

    Vote for Hillary.

  44. Katydid Says:

    Thanks, philadelphialawyer. You made some outstanding posts.

  45. Mignolio Says:

    @Katydid; It's a different USA today (and even more in 8 years) than it was in 1972, or whatever election year you'd like to choose. Demographics say it's a historically progressive group that's on the horizon, with old, conservative voters dropping off the voting rolls just as fast. So it's not a matter simply of white kids being rebels. (How can you even imply that?) It's people with skin in the game, which isn't a metaphor, except that it's not a game. We can agree to disagree about the need for initiative to bring about change, and how to go about it. Unfortunately, external to our conversation, stuff is happening. Now — especially w/ TheRump running as an opponent, with the potential for a historically huge victory from the top of the ballot down to town races — is the time for vision and bold steps, when things like expanding Social Security (which is hugely popular) could blast the Senate into the Dem column, and make inroads in the House. Yet, how much ya wanna bet it's a marginal issue this fall? Global warming is already nuts, and it's just begun. (I live in the northeast, and I remember when it used to rain without branches breaking off trees … without tornado warnings. Stuff like that.) Inequality of wealth, or race relations or college debt destroying futures, or lots of other issues. Yet you say, "In the real world, change only comes so fast." Oh, sure, let's let those issues simmer and make incremental change. Yikes. If HRC has no interest in being president during a time of change — what in various ways may be the most significant period of external pressures causing change in our country's history since the FDR presidency, and more so in particular ways — why is she running? It actually baffles me, and I've never heard a good answer. Is she going to surf … catch the waves and whitecaps of extraordinary events, and slide over them while seemingly standing still?

    You ignored my comment that I don't care if Bernie were able to achieve all he's said — I'd certainly want his campaign points to become law, but even if not, it'd be part of a plan and a vision and he'd be a vital model for other elected officials (as he already is for candidates). If he were president, he'd try to make major, positive differences. And try. And try. And try. In doing so, he'd get more done than Hillary ever would. Except for things like foreign intervention. She'll definitely do more there than he ever would.

  46. defineandredefine Says:

    @philadelphialawyer –

    My mistake – I did not know that. I'm new to Carolina.

    Also I don't know shit about who won which state or what the current polling shows.

  47. philadelphialawyer Says:

    Mignolio:

    You don't seem to realize that your candidate, who said most of the same stuff you're saying, lost. Big time. And, by the way, FDR pretty much "caught the waves and whitecaps" back in his day. Do you know that he actually ran on a balanced budget platform back in 1932? He certainly did not run promising radical change. Events will compel change, if the events are really as compelling as you make them out to be. HRC represents progress in all the fields you mentioned, but in ways that are realistic given the current state of affairs in Congress, the States, and the country in general. That's why she's running. To build on the progress made under BHO.

    Sure, sure, in the future, a tidal wave of progressivity is going to sweep over DC and the entire country. Maybe. People did think that same way back in '68 and '72, and it didn't happen. But if the current state of affairs metamorphasizes, and more sweeping and fundamental change is possible, all the better. If it does, the Democratic party is surely going to be positioned to run with it, whereas the GOP, not only in terms of issues, but in terms of demographics as well, is not. And that is true no matter who HRC picks as her Veep candidate. If it doesn't, we are still light years better off with HRC than with Trump.

    Again, the point is for HRC to win now…this year. The future, if it is as rosy as you think it is, will take care of itself; if it isn't, we still have to avert the looming Trump disaster.

  48. philadelphialawyer Says:

    "You ignored my comment that I don't care if Bernie were able to achieve all he's said — I'd certainly want his campaign points to become law, but even if not, it'd be part of a plan and a vision and he'd be a vital model for other elected officials (as he already is for candidates). If he were president, he'd try to make major, positive differences. And try. And try. And try. In doing so, he'd get more done than Hillary ever would."

    I see no reason to believe any of this, either. Sanders has been a back bencher his entire career. That is not dishonorable, but it is no track record for "getting things done," either. To get things done in our non parliamentary system you have to be a coalition builder, not a non compromising outlier. Sanders has been in DC for decades, and his MO is more about staking out perfectly justifiable, but also perfectly unachievable, positions, and then getting voted down, than he is about actually getting anything done. And his campaign showed this, as well. He could never broaden his supporter group. HRC, by way of contrast, knows how to work the system, and knows how to get things done. Bernie is not even a member of either of the two major parties, for Christ's sake! He's a loner, not a bridge builder. Whereas Hillary has put together the multiracial, and otherwise diverse, coalition we need to beat the Republicans and to govern. And she has worked tirelessly for down ticket Dems. Team player versus loner. The latter is not a good fit for executive office.

  49. Mo Says:

    philadelphialawyer: The Adult In The Room.

    Booyah! [do people still say that?]

  50. philadelphialawyer Says:

    defineandredefine: no worries, just please go out and help turn NC blue…

    Thanks Katydid and Mo….Hillary is a great candidate and it burns my butt to hear her constantly run down, particularly by folks on the Democratic side…also, the Democratic party is one of the few institutions in our country that is open to folks of all races, genders, orientations, and so on. It has a completely fair and transparent nominating process. A process that, again, thanks to the votes of a majority of women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and GLBT folks, and significant support from hetero, white men, has now led to a woman being poised to succeed a POC for the most important office in the whole fucking world. So, I don't like to hear it run down either. The other party is yet another American institution completely dominated by hetero white men. It is to our party's credit that it nominated Obama and now Hillary. NOT something we should be apologizing for….

  51. Katydid Says:

    @Mignolio; if you read for comprehension, you'll find I never actually said the words you attributed to me: "So it's not a matter simply of white kids being rebels. (How can you even imply that?)" As for the rest, philadelphialawyer beat me to the punch (and said it better than I did).

    @philadelphialawyer; it gripes me to hear Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton described in the same sentence. Sarah Palin, who quit as mayor of a town of 5,000–but not before bankrupting them. Who quit as governor of Alaska less-than-halfway through, amidst multiple ethics charges. Who once brayed that there's a special place in hell for women who tear down other women…and then proceeded to tear down other women. Who went to five colleges in six years without proof of graduating any of them. It was absolutely terrifying to me that had she been part of the winning team, she was just a poisoned meal or a push down the stairs away from being POTUS (and she's now making statements about Trump needing a food taster–or, as she calls it, a "taste-tester", revealing that the idea of poisoning food has crossed her mind). The Republican party embraced the racist, batshit and delusional, and in Trump they found their perfect candidate (and it terrifies some of them).

    The Berniebros (note I did not say Bernie supporters) are also delusional, imagining their candidate would usher in a world of rainbow-farting ponies and free Netflix for all, despite the fact that he has been particularly ineffective in getting anything he wanted. His history of holding women's and children's issues in disdain in addition to his inability to work well with others to pass the initiatives that I agreed with meant he wasn't the candidate for me. He wasn't the candidate for the majority of the voters that philadelphialawyer so thoroughly documented. In a perfectly legal and democratic process, he lost the vote. Villifying Hillary Clinton will not change the fact that more people prefer her. It's astounding that after 20 years of active attack against her, more people still prefer her. I guess a lot of people are aware that it's all lies, lies, lies against her.

  52. Katydid Says:

    I posted this a few weeks ago, but it needed sharing again to highlight the ridiculousness of the hate-campaign against Hillary Clinton. Courtesy of http://www.marketwatch.com/story/all-the-terrible-things-hillary-clinton-has-done-in-one-big-list-2016-02-04:

    1. When she was first lady, she murdered White House lawyer Vince Foster and then dumped his body in a park.

    2. She drove Vince Foster to commit suicide through her temper tantrums.

    3. She was having an affair with Vince Foster.

    4. She’s a lesbian.

    5. Chelsea isn’t Bill Clinton’s child.

    6. She murdered Vince Foster to cover up that she once bought a tract of undeveloped land in Arkansas and lost money.

    7. She murdered Vince Foster to cover up her role in firing the White House travel department.

    8. After she murdered Vince Foster, she ransacked his office in the middle of the night and stole all the documents proving her guilt.

    9. When Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, she was a partner in the state’s top law firm, and it sometimes did work involving the state government.

    10. She once invested in commodities futures on the advice of a friend and made $100,000, proving she’s a crook.

    11. She once invested in real estate on the advice of another friend and lost $100,000, also proving she’s a crook.

    12. Unnamed and unverifiable sources have told Peggy Noonan things about the Clintons that are simply too terrible to repeat.

    13. The personnel murdered at Benghazi make her the first secretary of state to lose overseas personnel to terrorism — apart from Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, George Schultz, Dean Rusk and some others.

    14. Four State Department staff were murdered at Benghazi, compared with only 119 others murdered overseas under every secretary of state combined since World War II.

    15. She illegally sent classified emails from her personal server, except that apparently they weren’t classified at the time.

    16. She may have cynically wriggled around the email law by “technically” complying with it.

    17. She once signed a lucrative book contract when she was a private citizen.

    18. Donald Trump says she “should be in jail,” and he’s a serial bankrupt casino developer in Atlantic City, so he should know.

    19. Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay says his “law-enforcement sources” tell him she is “about to be indicted” — and if a man once convicted of money laundering and conspiracy doesn’t have good law-enforcement sources, who does?

    20. She’s a hard-left radical who wants to break up the nuclear family.

    21. She’s a conservative “mousewife” who refused to break up her own family.

    22. She’s in favor of single moms.

    23. She refused to be a single mom.

    24. When she was first lady of Arkansas, she pandered to conservative voters by dyeing her hair.

    25. Before that, she totally insulted them by refusing to.

    26. She’s a frump.

    27. She spends too much money on designer dresses.

    28. She has “cankles.”

    29. She has a grating voice.

    30. She yells into the microphone.

    31. She spent 18 years in Arkansas and some of the people she knew turned out to be crazy rednecks and crooks.

    32. She’s in the pay of the mafia.

    33. She’s in the pay of the Chinese government.

    34. She’s in the pay of the Wall Street banks.

    35. In order to suppress the billing records from her time at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, she cleverly packed them up and took them to the White House rather than shredding them.

    36. When she handed over the documents to public officials, they couldn’t find any evidence she’d committed any crimes, so she must have doctored them.

    37. Congress spent tens of millions of dollars and six years investigating her investment in the Whitewater real-estate project, and, while they didn’t actually find anything, they wouldn’t have spent all that money if there weren’t something there.

    38. By cleverly hiding all evidence of her crimes in the Whitewater affair, she caused Congress to waste all that taxpayers’ money.

    39. When she ran for senator of New York, she was still a fan of the Chicago Cubs.

    40. She once said the Clintons were thinking of adopting a child, and they didn’t follow through.

    41. She was photographed holding her hand near her mouth during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

    42. She’s got brain damage.

    43. She’s old.

    44. She’s really ambitious and calculating, unlike all the other people running for president.

    45. She secretly supported Palestinian terrorists, Puerto Rican terrorists and Guatemalan terrorists.

    46. She secretly supported a group that wants to give Maine back to the Indians.

    47. She’s a secret follower of “radical prophet” Saul Alinsky.

    48. She did her law degree at Yale, and it’s a well-known “socialist finishing school.”

    49. When she was young, she did things to build up her résumé rather than just for their own good.

    50. When Bill was president, she “allowed” him to keep people waiting.

    51. She’s married to a sex addict.

    52. She’s an enemy of traditional marriage.

    53. She didn’t divorce her husband.

    54. His philandering is her fault because she is too strong, and too weak, and too frumpy, and too fat, and too cold.

    55. She’s hostile to women who fool around with her husband.

    56. A divorced taxi driver in Florida told me that if Hillary is elected president, “women will take over everything.”

    57. She insulted Tammy Wynette.

    58. When they left the White House, she and Bill bought a big house in New York that they couldn’t afford.

    59. She sometimes calls her staff during dinner, even when they’re out at a restaurant.

    60. She claimed there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband, and it turned out there was nothing but a bunch of tycoons financing private investigators, and some fake think tanks and books and news sites and stuff.

    61. When she got married, she didn’t “stay at home and bake cookies.”

    62. She supported the Iraq war because she’s a secret foreign-policy conservative.

    63. She’s a secret foreign-policy radical with a plan to impose worldwide “radical social experimentation” through the World Bank.

    64. She is secretly plotting to let children sue their parents for making them take out the garbage.

    65. She looked bored during the Benghazi hearings.

    66. Oh, yeah — and she totally has a vagina.

    It’s clear: Hillary must be stopped. Hearings now!

  53. geoff Says:

    @MK, Pete Gaughan, the Clinton/ Gore ticket won TN in 1996, so I don't think it's unreasonable at all to have expected Gore to win the state he represented in the US Senate for eight years in 2000. Hell, TN had a Democratic governor from 2003-2011. (I voted for him!) The state has only recently (ish) really gone off the deep end.

    Hmm… kind of like NC!! Which iirc is actually kind of purple. I'll be watching the polls pretty carefully. I don't expect the race to be close at all here, but if it is I may have to hold my nose and vote HRC, even though she scares the hell out of me.

  54. geoff Says:

    @Katydid, #57 IS pretty excellent, thank you : )

  55. Katydid Says:

    @Geoff, the whole list just points out how absolutely batshit insane so much of the hatred against her is.

  56. Henry Schump Says:

    "That may be how running mates were chosen in the 19th Century, but those days are long gone."

    Well, the DNC & Hillary Clinton are proud to welcome you back to the the 19th Century.

  57. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @Katydid:

    I started laughing at #12 and didn't stop. This does kind of put things in perspective.

  58. Katydid Says:

    @Emerson; I find it hilarious how many times she killed Vince Foster. That poor dude was killed like 17 times!

  59. Katydid Says:

    @Henry Schump; did you think that was clever?

  60. seniorscrub Says:

    @katydid; probably just pissed that the DNC & Bernie won't be welcoming us to the 27th century…either that or he cant wait for trump to welcome us all back to the 5th century.
    Hard to tell; the clever is too thick.

  61. Katydid Says:

    @seniorscrub; yes, the entire Republican party is dedicated to bringing our society back to the Middle Ages, where life for anyone but the 1% was nasty, brutish, and short. Bernie has some great ideas, but he'd never be able to enact them.

  62. sluggo Says:

    @katydid
    She only murdered Vince Foster five times not six. Stop embellishing the HRC resume.

  63. sluggo Says:

    and Chelesa is Bill's love child not hers, the maternity test was inclonclusive…….. and she only has one cankle……..

    resume embellishing, sheesh.

  64. sluggo Says:

    and Chelesa is Bill's love child not hers, the maternity test was inconclusive…….. and she only has one cankle……..

    resume embellishing, sheesh.

  65. S M McBean Says:

    A lively exchange. Brings to mind the scene from Life of Brian "Brothers, we should be fighting together"

    Here are the first comments

    http://www.ginandtacos.com/2016/07/12/adult-in-the-room-2/comment-page-1/

  66. Art Says:

    Katydid:
    Come, come now. You left out some of the many really juicy accusations of crimes and conspiracies, one of my personal favourites because it connects to pretty much everything:

    – The Clintons were evidently part of a huge conspiracy under the Bush Sr and Reagan administrations to import cocaine into Arkansas and cover up the murder of Gary Seal. This would be part of the even larger Contra/ CIA/ Oli North conspiracy. The primary evidence of the Clinton's were a part of this is that Bill Clinton was governor a the time. In a nutshell, I think anyone into conspiracies can easily see the numerous possibilities.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mena_Intermountain_Municipal_Airport

    http://prorev.com/connex.htm

    Conspiracy theories are interesting because it is based upon the hypothesis that all connections are substantial and meaningful and there are no coincidences. There are also the well established rules of evidence:

    Definitions:
    Research – cruising the internet and shelves of self-published books with your confirmation bias turned up to eleven.

    Evidence – Somebody said it, wrote it or imagined it. Even if they said, wrote, or imagined it after you told them about it.

    Negative confirmation is confirmation – Evidence can confirm your hypothesis. A lack of evidence is proof of a cover-up. If a person denies a claim it is proof of their participation in the cover-up. This justifies digging deeper and looking for a wider conspiracy. If a person admits to the claim it is a sacrifice play where they admit to a small conspiracy to cover up a larger conspiracy. This also justifies digging deeper and looking for the wider conspiracy.

    Holistic conspiracy theory – Everything is connected. If anyone wants, or does not want, something to happen, it is part of a conspiracy.

    A sparrow does not fall to the ground without it being part of a conspiracy.

    You are part of a conspiracy so deep, twisted, and well concealed that you, yourself, do not know about it. Know yourself; if you need help contact the FBI.

  67. Katydid Says:

    @sluggo; you're right, that list is totally embellished! You're too smart for me; I'm going away now to hang my head and feel bad, LOL.

  68. Katydid Says:

    @Art, yup, you nailed it. I have conspiracy theorists in my extended family and yup, that's exactly how they think.

  69. defineandredefine Says:

    @ geoff:

    "Hmm… kind of like NC!! Which iirc is actually kind of purple. I'll be watching the polls pretty carefully. I don't expect the race to be close at all here, but if it is I may have to hold my nose and vote HRC, even though she scares the hell out of me."

    Yeah…that's kind of where I'm at, too. Only it's not that HRC herself scares me – more what she represents, which is just the same shit we've dealt with for the last 16 years. Hawkish foreign policy – more drone strikes, a unilateral position on Israel, etc. And domestic policy that, simply put, just isn't enough. Now, I understand that quite a lot, if not most, of that is due to how much horseshit BHO had to eat from Congress, and he was certainly much better than W, but…

    I don't know…I don't have much hope for things turning around under HRC. On the other hand, given my background as a Brown American, I can't really abide by a Drumpf presidency, either.

    Choice, indeed…

  70. seniorscrub Says:

    @defineandredefine: You may have to expand your horizons a little beyond 16 years to find a different type of foreign and domestic policy…
    Probably back to William Henry Harrison (but as the Simpson's President's song said about him, "I died in thirty days.")

  71. seniorscrub Says:

    https://youtu.be/r8N7BSsU5oo

  72. geoff Says:

    Pretty sure everybody's moved on from this thread, but Andrew Cockburn has an awesome takedown of Satrividis over at Counterpunch:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/15/admiral-fabuloso-hillary-syria-and-the-destructive-career-of-james-g-stavridis/

    Fun fact: Stavridis was Donald Rumsfeld's Senior Military Assistant back when Dandy Don was SecDef.