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Mynnion
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In continuation of the candidate series we are (not so)pleased to announce that Hillary has entered the race. As a once conservative who has moved to just left of center I have to ask "Can't we do better?"

Hillary has a massive amount of baggage much of which is based on constant attacks since she was First Lady by the far right.

To her credit her strong personality along with her experience with negotiation could allow her to accomplish at least some of her goals even with a hostile Congress.

I am hoping however that the Democratic party can come up with a candidate with a little less history. I have pretty much given up on the GOP producing anyone one better.

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NobleHunter
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I don't know why we haven't seen anyone suggest themselves as the not-Clinton candidate. For all that she cultivates the air of a juggernaut, there should be fertile ground for an opposition. Between the spectre of a Clinton v Bush rematch, the e-mails, and the always popular anti-establishment track, someone could at least start positioning themselves as VP or Clinton's successor by running. Especially since it looks like there'd only be one alternative so there won't be a repeat of the not-Romney circus.

It's a weird looking in from the outside. How much of her support in the party is genuine belief and how much is people trying to avoid being on the wrong side? It's all so chimerical. Americans (said to the tune of Barryarans)

The other problem is the belief that success in the primary requires the party to first grant preliminary approval. That the People aren't free to choose their candidates without interference from the party's backroom. So even if there is significant grassroots opposition to Clinton, without top-down support there doesn't seem to be a path for it to succeed. Obviously, Republicans suffer less from this delusion; although it appears to hold true for GOP Presidential candidates.

Even so, I judge Clinton to be similar to Jean Chretien and the pre-Paul Martin Liberal Party: more interested in being successful than as being right. The former seems more conducive to good government than the latter. Republicans (and our Conservatives) seem more interested in being right.

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D.W.
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quote:
"Can't we do better?"
Nope

This may be intentionally antagonistic. If the Democratic party can provoke what can be spun as irrational and extreme oposition and even more obstructionist, perhaps they feel they can drive the entire nation further left by "selling it" as seeming sane and calm.

"Even if you don't agree with us, you got to admit the other side is filled with crazy people!"

It may even work. Playing it safe with a more "acceptable" or less contentious candidate seems almost counterproductive at present. Even if it means several more years of not getting **** done. It could be a better long term strategy for the party.

[ April 13, 2015, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
perhaps they feel they can drive the entire nation further left by "selling it" as seeming sane and calm
The part of the Democratic Party that likes Hillary Clinton is not the part that wants to drive the nation further left.
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D.W.
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Wanting a far left candidate is not the same as having a realistic goal of pushing the entire country to the left.

What is it you think those backing Hillary do want?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What is it you think those backing Hillary do want?
I think you have three main lines of support for her:

1) People who really want to elect a female president and have sympathized with Clinton since the '90s.
2) Democrats who believe that only an established, middle-right candidate with good name recognition can possibly win the general.
3) Fiscal conservatives who are social liberals and don't want the Supreme Court to swing fully and irreversibly Republican.

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DJQuag
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I've become a hell of a lot more cynical over the last few years, but I can't help but think that a large portion of the left Clinton support will be solely getting behind the idea of a woman candidate who can win, for the principle of the matter. Less about what people think about how she will actually govern.
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D.W.
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All makes sense to me Tom. Not sure I agree with #2 but I'm sure there are a lot who do still.
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Wayward Son
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One big problem is that there really isn't any alternative to Hillary for the Democrats. [/url=http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-hillary-clinton-steamroller-rumbles-to-life/]Really.[/url] She is in the strongest position of any candidate at this point in who knows how long, if ever. And as FiveThirtyEight states, this time "there is no Barack Obama waiting in the wings."

So with all her warts and problems, it's either Hillary or the Republican. [Frown]

And you have to remember, D.W., Hillary is not a far-left candidate. Bill was pretty middle-of-the-road. And she is endorsed by the full spectrum of the Democratic Congressmen. (See the FiveThirtyEight link above.) The only reason she may seem to be far-left is because the Republicans have swung right in the past few years. [Frown]

(If you have any doubts, just look at the Affordable Care Act, which the Republicans have drafted 50+ bills to repeal in the House over the past few years. An Act that is very, very similar to one proposed by the Republicans back in the early 90s. If that is not proof of a swing, I don't know what is.)

So while she may not be the Democrats first choice, especially with all her baggage, she's not that extreme, and there's not much choice.

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D.W.
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I did not mean to suggest Hillary was a far left candidate. Sorry if it came off that way. I was only pointing out that the right seems to hate her with great passion. That could be spun in such a way to make them appear unreasonable and immature to such an extent that the public could become so disgusted with the party they would distance themselves. In doing so, move the country to the left.

That she is more moderate will facilitate the ease with which this could be leveraged.

After re-reading my, "Wanting a far left candidate is not the same as having a realistic goal of pushing the entire country to the left." I see how it came off that way. I meant that wanting to push the country left is not the same as wanting to push the party left.

[ April 13, 2015, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Mynnion
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The primary reason i would vote for Hillary if she wins the Democratic nomination is the 2nd half of Tom's third reason. The court already has leaned right but only by one vote. Add another GOP nomination and the court would be even more messed up.
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Wayward Son
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This pretty well summarizes Hillary for liberals.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
What is it you think those backing Hillary do want?
I think you have three main lines of support for her:

1) People who really want to elect a female president and have sympathized with Clinton since the '90s.
2) Democrats who believe that only an established, middle-right candidate with good name recognition can possibly win the general.
3) Fiscal conservatives who are social liberals and don't want the Supreme Court to swing fully and irreversibly Republican.

1 is a huge reason, just like all those voting Obama because he's black. 2, Putting Hillary as middle right is absurd and, 3, as a fiscal conservative is beyond ridiculous. I almost think you are thinking of the wrong Hillary Clinton.

Someone that feels she is above the law and can do anything she wants, including creating her own secret intelligence apparatus, is the worst kind of person we need in charge.

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Seneca
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Heard a good term to describe the #1-type voters: genitalians. People who will vote merely based on gender.
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TomDavidson
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*sigh* Well, we can already see what Republicans want the narrative to be.

Guys, can you try to not be so obnoxiously predictable?

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Wayward Son
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Alas, they cannot. They simply cannot. (And it hasn't even been a week!)
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Fenring
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My main concern about Hillary is simply...nothing happens. I don't think she'll begin a disastrous new series of policies, or even make any significant shifts in policy at all. I think it'll just be more of the same, except that I consider that a serious problem. But I suppose compared to crazy candidates that's the lesser of evils.

I predict President Clinton will be celebrating with the First Gentleman at election's end. Or maybe you're not the First Gentleman if you're already President. Hm. [Confused]

[ April 15, 2015, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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scifibum
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Yeah, it would be a shame, sort of, for the first woman president to essentially represent the status quo. But that seems relatively likely.
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ScottF
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I was trying to objectively imagine what people would think about Hillary with her track record and accomplishments unchanged - but as a man, unassociated with Bill Clinton. I honestly think "he" would not even be a blip on the upcoming democratic radar.
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scifibum
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That's tricky, since she was already a Senator, a contender for Democratic nominee in a presidential race, and since then has served as a cabinet member. Maybe none of those things would have happened if she wasn't a former First Lady, but they have, and they are part of her present qualifications.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I was trying to objectively imagine what people would think about Hillary with her track record and accomplishments unchanged - but as a man, unassociated with Bill Clinton. I honestly think "he" would not even be a blip on the upcoming democratic radar.

As long as we recognize the primary qualification of a politician as having connections then the things you mention make her eminently qualified. With some exceptions, it seems like most successful politicians who reach a high level do so due to a combination of the correct background/grooming, correct associations, and at least one or two serious assignments (such as Senator, Governor, or VP). I wish other merits such as 'wisdom' or 'integrity' were even on the list of relevant skills listed on their CV.

So therefore, no, if Hillary didn't have her specific past she'd not be a contender, but the same can be said for many others.

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hobsen
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Hillary has been active in politics since 1960, when she was a Nixon supporter, which means she is older than I'd prefer. But her background as a lawyer is a plus, as Presidents change what laws get passed. She's been the wife and close confidant of a governor and a President, and has herself been a Senator and Secretary of State; nobody else comes close to matching her experience. And I suspect Obama sees her as the best chance for securing his legacy; if a Republican takes over and reverses everything he's done, he'll be remembered as the first black President - and a failure. In 2008 she was still too closely connected to Bill Clinton's scandals, and short on foreign policy and military experience, but 2016 looks to be her year.

And someone has to be the first woman President. If nothing else she'll clear the way for others, by demonstrating the country will not collapse if a woman takes charge for a while.

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Seneca
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quote:
if a Republican takes over and reverses everything he's done, he'll be remembered as the first black President - and a failure.
Pretty absurd that we should have to live with horrible policies just because the first President who wasn't completely white put them in place.

quote:
And someone has to be the first woman President. If nothing else she'll clear the way for others, by demonstrating the country will not collapse if a woman takes charge for a while.
I'm not sure any significant number of people believe that. Any proof or is this just rhetoric?

It is absurd to believe that race and gender are distinctions that help qualify one for government. That is literally racist and sexist. Ethnicity and gender should not matter at all for public office. However, it is clear the race and gender hustlers running the democrat party think otherwise.

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scifibum
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The lack of gender and racial diversity in our leadership matters. It both reflects and perpetuates inequality in other ways. As long as that's true, we can't settle for "it shouldn't matter".
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
The lack of gender and racial diversity in our leadership matters.

It does, but voting for someone based on their gender or race is something I'd personally be emarassed about. Then again, I'm ok with not having every aspect of our world be diverse.
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Seneca
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quote:
The lack of gender and racial diversity in our leadership matters.
Maybe I'd grant this as a very low priority issue that should only be addressed if a well qualified candidate just happened to also fill that need as well. But if someone is truly well qualified and can do a great job, who cares what their genitals are or what color their skin is?
But the political world we're in now where those are the primary qualifications being thrown around is horribly twisted. This is especially true given that questioning someone's experience and credentials often leads to accusations of misogyny or racism

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
But if someone is truly well qualified and can do a great job, who cares what their genitals are or what color their skin is?
To respond to your question: People care about that, because it's suspected/feared/believed that people show conscious or unconscious favoritism to the groups they belong to, rather than the groups they don't belong to.
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D.W.
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Ya, I wish nobody cared about race or gender when considering a candidate but they do.

I think the truth is somewhere in between though. I don't think people would vote against their political leanings (if they have any) just to vote for someone based on their race or gender. I don't think they would willingly vote for a candidate they felt was inferior just because of race or gender.

The problem with those statements is a lot of people don’t' have strong political leanings. They don't care about qualifications. We talk a lot about the problem we have with voter turnout but there are also a lot of voters who vote for who their favorite pundit tells them they should, who their facebook friends suggest they should or who they "relate to" most.

It can be depressing if you think about it but I don't know as it's any more "horribly twisted" now than before. The only real change is that now there are options to shallowly appeal to more than just the old white men voters. It's not the public's standards that changed, just their options.

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Greg Davidson
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I would like to ask a broader question:

What demographic characteristics of a Presidential candidate do you consider are relevant in considering their candidacy? Age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual preference or national origin?

Warning: all answers may be checked against past statements to detect hypocrisy

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D.W.
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Age and national origin out of that list. I would also consider religion but it would be how vocal they are about it and how much they claim it influences their governing rather than what religion they belong to.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
The lack of gender and racial diversity in our leadership matters.

It does, but voting for someone based on their gender or race is something I'd personally be emarassed about.

And yet the record shows that that's happening, or else we'd see more diversity.

quote:
Then again, I'm ok with not having every aspect of our world be diverse.
And here you contradict your previous statement. Which is it? Being fin with a lack of diversity means, implicitly, that you are selecting based on characteristics that support that lack of diversity.

Lack of diversity in a given area is direct evidence of a biased system where selections are made, even if unintentionally, in a lopsided manner based on whatever characteristic is uniform. Unless you take active action to stop that biased selection process, it will automatically perpetuate itself. You have to find the qualified candidates that do exist but are currently being selected against due to the characteristic in question and actively push back against the systemic pressures that are preventing them from being represented, orelse those pressures will keep excluding them.

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D.W.
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Or it's a chicken or the egg question which lead to a specific group making up the "qualified" group.

You can vote purely based upon qualifications and be disgusted with voting based upon race or sex. At the same time you could be for opening up the system so that a wider range of candidates of any race or sex was able to achieve those qualifications you value.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Or it's a chicken or the egg question which lead to a specific group making up the "qualified" group.
It is. That's why outside action needs to be taken to break the cycle, or else it perpetuates itself. It's another form of the kind of monopolization that all systems tend toward if people aren't taking active and conscious effort to prevent it from happening.
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D.W.
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Fortunately I believed Obama, and believe Clinton to be qualified. I for one couldn't support an affirmative action President. Hurray for idealism and reality lining up, at least a little, now and then.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Or it's a chicken or the egg question which lead to a specific group making up the "qualified" group.
It is. That's why outside action needs to be taken to break the cycle, or else it perpetuates itself. It's another form of the kind of monopolization that all systems tend toward if people aren't taking active and conscious effort to prevent it from happening.
In other words that's why you need to purposefully vote for people you might think are unqualified as long as they are black or a woman so that the cycle breaks and in the future you can have qualified women and minorities.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:


quote:
Then again, I'm ok with not having every aspect of our world be diverse.
And here you contradict your previous statement. Which is it? Being fin with a lack of diversity means, implicitly, that you are selecting based on characteristics that support that lack of diversity.

No contradiction at all. I'm asserting that in an ideal world, all decisions are almost exclusively merit based. Being merit based means there may be situations (correctly) in which there is less diversity.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
Being merit based means there may be situations (correctly) in which there is less diversity.

Uh oh! This concept is anathema to the left right now, so expect heavy resistance.
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hobsen
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Greg Davidson had a good question about what characteristics matter for a candidate for President. Age does, because if a President becomes incapacitated or dies, the voter will no longer be represented by the person for whom he voted, which is more likely for older persons. Perhaps national origin matters in the sense the Constitution requires a candidate be born a citizen. But can anyone think of a naturalized citizen who could have been elected?

As for experience good governors tend to make good Presidents, because the jobs are similar. Good Senators usually don't, as they are not originally administrators. And good generals usually disappoint, as civilian and military life are too different. But those are generalizations, and some Presidents adapt to the differences very successfully.

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Fenring
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hobsen, are these comments based on some study done on Presidents and their previous career? I don't even know that there would be enough data points to support any thesis of this sort.
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Seneca
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Looks like some democrats finally remembered that Clinton has changed virtually all of her major policy positions.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/16/martin-omalley-hillary-clinton_n_7083278.html

So why would any of you trust Hillary given her huge flip-flops on almost every issue? How do you know she isn't merely saying whatever she thinks people want to hear as Martin O'Malley accuses her of?

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