Hillary Clinton Picks Tim Kaine As Her Running Mate

As expected, Hillary Clinton went with the 'safe' choice, and has selected Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate.

Hillary Clinton Tim Kaine

In an announcement issued late yesterday afternoon, Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign announced that their candidate had chosen Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her Vice-Presidential running mate:

TAMPA, Fla. — Hillary Clinton named Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia to be her running mate Friday, selecting a battleground-state politician with working-class roots and a fluency in Spanish, traits that she believes can bolster her chances to defeat Donald J. Trump in November.

Mrs. Clinton’s choice, which she announced via text message to supporters, came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against Mr. Trump

In the end, Mrs. Clinton decided that Mr. Kaine, 58, a former governor of Virginia who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had the qualifications and background, and the personal chemistry with her, to make the ticket a success.

Mrs. Clinton had entertained more daring choices. She considered Thomas E. Perez, the secretary of labor, who would have been the first Hispanic on a major party ticket; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who would have been the first African-American to seek the vice presidency; and James G. Stavridis, a retired four-star Navy admiral who served as the supreme allied commander at NATO but had never held elected office.

Ultimately, Mrs. Clinton, who told PBS that she was “afflicted with the responsibility gene,” avoided taking a chance with a less experienced vice-presidential candidate and declined to push the historic nature of her candidacy by adding another woman or a minority to the ticket.

Instead, the campaign, which had become concerned about its deficit with white men, focused on Mr. Kaine and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and looked more closely at Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

At a campaign stop with Mrs. Clinton in Annandale, Va., last week, Mr. Kaine tried out for the role. “Do you want a ‘You’re fired’ president or a ‘You’re hired’ president?” he asked the crowd. “Do you want a trash-talker president or a bridge-builder president?” He compared Mrs. Clinton’s record of public service to that of his wife, Anne Holton, Virginia’s secretary of education. In recent days, former President Bill Clinton and the White House had expressed support for Mr. Kaine.

Mrs. Clinton will formally introduce Mr. Kaine as her running mate at a campaign stop on Saturday at Florida International University in Miami, which has a large number of Hispanic students.

The announcement came after a day of campaign events in Orlando and Tampa in which Mrs. Clinton tried to offer a rebuke, both in actions and in words, to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

In Orlando, she laid flowers on a makeshift memorial outside the Pulse nightclub, where a gunman who expressed sympathy with the Islamic State killed 49 people last month. At an earlier round-table discussion with emergency medical workers and elected officials, Mrs. Clinton nodded solemnly and hardly spoke, an implicit contrast with Mr. Trump’s 75-minute speech on Thursday night.

(…)

The son of a welder who owned a small metalworking shop, Mr. Kaine, a Roman Catholic, grew up around Kansas City, Mo. He attended a Jesuit school and took a break from law school at Harvard to spend time as a Catholic missionary in Honduras, an experience that his family has said shaped him and helped him become fluent in Spanish.

Early in his career, Mr. Kaine worked on fair housing and civil rights issues as a lawyer. He was elected to the City Council in Richmond, Va., in 1994, and proceeded to climb the ranks of elected office in the state. He became the city’s mayor in 1998, the state’s lieutenant governor in 2002 and the governor in 2006. He also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

As governor, Mr. Kaine drew some support from rural parts of the state as well as strong backing in the state’s Democratic-leaning suburban areas. He led the state through one of its darkest times, the shooting at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people in 2007. In 2013, Mr. Kaine implored the United States Senate to find a “small measure of courage” to fight the gun lobby and impose tougher background checks on gun ownership.

Mr. Kaine was an early endorser of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid in the 2008 nominating fight against Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Kaine was also considered on Mr. Obama’s shortlist of vice-presidential candidates before Mr. Obama selected Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware. In 2012, Mr. Kaine defeated George Allen, a Republican, to take the Senate seat being vacated by the Democrat Jim Webb.

Clinton’s selection of Kaine is not entirely surprising, of course. Even before he was widely reported to be on the campaign’s short list of candidates for the position earlier this month, Kaine’s name was one that has been frequently mentioned as a potential running mate for the former Secretary of State. In addition to the fact that he represents a swing state that Republicans at the very least must win in order to win the Presidency, Kaine also potentially helps Clinton address her potential weaknesses among white, male, working class voters, a constituency that Donald Trump has dominated since the start of the Republican race for the White House. Additionally, Kaine speaks fluent Spanish, something that will allow him to go into Latino communities across the country and easily communicate with voters who are already becoming highly motivated to vote this year thanks to the rhetoric of the Trump campaign. Since entering the Senate, Kaine has been a prominent voice on issues that Clinton has not really spoken to during her campaign, including civil liberties, limitations on Presidential war-making powers, and the necessity for Congress to step up and duty its Constitutionality duty vis a vis the war on ISIS. These last points could be important in mollifying progressives who may be upset that Clinton did not select Bernie Sanders, who was never realistically going to be Clinton’s running mate to begin with, or Elizabeth Warren, who was on the short list but considered by many an unlikely pick in no small part because her replacement in the Senate would have been selected by a Republican Governor.

As Nate Cohn notes, if Kaine helps Clinton in Virginia even slightly, it will justify her selection of him:

Vice-presidential selections don’t usually make much of a difference to the overall results. But there is pretty clear evidence that they can deliver a bonus in their home state. It’s often modest, but any help at all could be significant to Mrs. Clinton in a state as important as Virginia.

On average, the ticket tends to do about two percentage points better in a vice president’s home state than it does in the surrounding area.

ometimes, the boost is bigger: Sarah Palin and Joe Biden really do seem to have helped their tickets a lot in Alaska and Delaware in 2008.

The effect is especially obvious in the case of Ms. Palin, since we now have had an election without her. Not only did Ms. Palin and John McCain do far better in Alaska than anywhere else in the western United States, but when she was off the ticket in 2012, Barack Obama surged there despite fading somewhat nationally.

Other times, it’s not clear that a vice president helps at all. Paul Ryan helped Mitt Romney beat expectations in Wisconsin by at best a point, if that, in 2012.

Over the long run, though, the ticket holds up a bit better in a vice president’s home state. The effect tends to be largest in years without an incumbent and if the candidate held statewide office. The effect may also be bigger in less populous states — like Alaska or Delaware, where voters may feel more pride about one of their own being selected to the second-highest office in the country.

By these measures, Mr. Kaine would seem to stand a real chance of helping Mrs. Clinton.

As I noted when I examined Clinton’s short list several weeks ago, there’s nothing particularly exciting about Kaine himself. In many ways, he’s a “safe” choice in that he clearly has the resume to answer the question of whether or not he’d be ready to assume the office of the Presidency on a temporary or permanent basis if the unthinkable should happen to Clinton while lacking any of the potential risk factors of a choice that might have been more headline grabbing such as Cory Booker or Julian Castro. Playing it safe is a smart move for Clinton at this point, though. She doesn’t need the kind of “Hail Mary” pass that John McCain did in 2008, and she arguably doesn’t need to worry about a running mate’s ability to bring minority groups to the polls since the primarties proved that she can do that on her own. Finally, the first rule of picking a running mate is ‘do no harm,’ and it’s hard to see any way that Kaine harms Clinton’s chances to win the White House. Notwithstanding the fact that it is still possible that Trump could win the election in November, Clinton’s best option right now is to play it safe and go with a running mate who doesn’t make too many waves while also potentially helping even marginally in a state that could go a long way toward deciding the outcome of the election. In the long run, that makes for a smart pick.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. edmondo says:

    Joe Lieberman wasn’t available?

  2. Jen says:

    I think it is a solid choice that clearly telegraphs the message: “I’m predictable.” When your opponent is Trump, a wildly unpredictable candidate/person, which is a characteristic that many people don’t find particularly calming in a presidential candidate, this is a smart move.

  3. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jen:

    I saw it differently. An uber serious policy wonk with difficulty conveying anything remotely resembling charm / likability on the stage selected who is quite possibly the most boring man in America to be her running mate. Between them, they could put a convention of tweaked out meth heads to sleep.

    She’ll be phenomenal AS president, but she doesn’t (and really never has) RUN well for the presidency. She needed someone prepared to be the entertainer / likable alternative (Warren). Instead she selected Caspar Milquetoast.

    Oh well. What’s done is done. On to November. Hoping this doesn’t cost us the Senate.

  4. Pch101 says:

    He doesn’t completely suck, so mission accomplished. A bad VP selection can hurt, but a good one won’t do much to help.

    I doubt that the working class angle is meaningful. Clinton will have to appeal to that demographic based upon her own supposed merits. She can’t farm that out to a proxy.

    The rabid reactionary populists are going to vote for Trump because he’s telling them that they want to hear, namely that furriners here and abroad are to blame for their ills. That kind of message has no place in today’s Democratic party.

  5. stonetools says:

    I think its a good pick, for all the reasons stated. I also think Tim Kaine campaigning in Spanish to Hispanic voters in FL, CO, NM, NV, and AZ can only help. The drawback is that there will have to be Senate contests in Virginia in 2017 and 2018. However, Governor TMac gets to appoint a replacement (heck, it could be himself), and the Democrats will most likely hold that seat.

  6. Ben Wolf says:

    The Democrats’ Mike Pence.

  7. Jc says:

    I like Kaine. Moderate choice for a moderate ticket. HRC has the black vote, the Hispanic vote (Kaine will appeal more to Hispanics as he appears on telemundo speaking both languages), the female vote. What she lacks is the white male vote. Kaine may help there. Bernie supporters are supposedly up in arms, get over it. Bernie is not a Democrat and in time his run may reform the party in the future and his ideas may come around this century, but Bernie supporters need to show up and vote democrat, otherwise they are behaving like children not getting their toy. Big thing I see is minority turnout. With so much whiteness, minorities could stay home. In 2012 you could see at the polls that it was already over, 2014 midterms…. I was the only guy in the gymnasium voting. Without minorities out in numbers, this could be scarily closer than it seems

  8. MBunge says:

    @HarvardLaw92: She’ll be phenomenal AS president

    Upon what in the blue hell is that opinion based? I’ll admit my view of Hillary Clinton may be a teensy bit too harsh, so I’ll concede she could turn out to be a decent President and maybe a bit better than that…but phenomenal?

    She wasn’t a phenomenal Secretary of State. No one’s going to write any books about her legacy or impact on the world.

    She was a virtual non-entity in the U.S. Senate.

    Her resume outside of that is highlighted by…

    A Pesidential campaign where she started out 30 points ahead with every advantage a candidate could possibly have, only to lose to a black guy with a Muslim-sounding name.
    A health care reform effort that turned into one of the biggest debacles in modern political history.
    Another Presidential campaign where she started out 30 points ahead with every advantage a candidate could possibly have, only to have to slog to almost the very end to beat a septugenarian socialist who technically isn’t even a Democrat.
    Being the Clinton who wasn’t found guilty of perjury while residing in the White House.

    I guess if the global economy magically recovers and peace breaks out around the globe, she could coast along quite nicely. It seems more likely she’ll face an environment as tough or tougher than Barack Obama has dealt with, but she’ll face it with vastly inferior political skills and demonstratedly poor judgment.

    I usually assign racism to the assumption that anything Obama can do, Hillary can do just as well or better. That may be unfair but I’m not sure what else to call it because this isn’t even like Paul Krugman, a proven genius on economics who rather foolishly believes that intelligence and accumulated knowledge is easily transferable to politics. This is more like a straight up delusion.

    Mike

  9. stonetools says:

    BTW, I don’t think the interviews with Perez and Stavridis were wasted. It wouldn’t at all surprise me to see both end up in Clinton’s cabinet-pref as AG and Stavridis as either SecDef or National Security Advisor.
    As for Warren and Booker, there is plenty of work for them to do in the Senate if the Dems regain the majority, as now seems likely. Warren as head of the Senate Banking Committee would be particularly nice to contemplate. She could do more good there than as Veep, IMO.

  10. Hal_10000 says:

    With both of these candidates, VP picks are important because of their age. Both are in good health, but both are in their 70’s where health can decay very suddenly. Kaine is a solid choice.

  11. MikeSJ says:

    Am I the only person in America who likes politicians who are predicable and boring?

    Now that we have an unhinged blowhard running on the other side I suspect the contrast with a normal regular guy will be looking better and better.

    I have been waiting for Trump supporters to sober up or detox or whatever it takes to break the fever and come back to sanity. I do hope Kaine helps with that.

  12. Scott F says:

    @MBunge:

    Frankly, phenomenal in a President is beyond our grasp as a nation. We had a chance at phenomal with Obama – a smart, charismatic, decent man with a true gift for inspirational oratory and a deliberative, pragmatic approach to governance – and our politics just shat all over him for eight years.

    With our nihilistic party apparatus, a callow and sensationalistic press, an electorate suffering from ADD and a campaign finance system obscenely perverted by deep pocketed monied interests, this is the government that is possible in the good ol’ USA. It is deeply and profoundly sad, but it is what it is until the populace demands otherwise.

    So, considering the reality we face, forgive me if I find intelligence and accumulated knowledge as a welcome option on the limited menu of candidates our process has made available. Choosing Kaine is just another demonstration of Clinton’s understanding of what the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS entail. Political skill and leadership prowess didn’t gain much for Obama, so I think responsibility, practicality and some cold calculation applied to executing the work is worth a try.

  13. Monala says:

    @MikeSJ: Nope, I’m with you. The VP pick is someone who needs to be ready to be president should something happen to the president. More than anything, that person should be experienced and capable.

  14. Scott F says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Um, no…

    Pence is dumb as a post. Kaine won’t have to have any special charm to destroy him in the VP debate.

  15. Jen says:

    Just finished watching his speech. He balances the ticket nicely. He’s warm and personable and seems very comfortable–and he and Clinton clearly respect one another and have some chemistry (unlike Pence with Trump, who continues to look like he’s a victim of Stockholm Syndrome).

    It might not be exciting, but I think the combo works.

  16. stonetools says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The Democrats’ Mike Pence.

    Purist left wingers are such sore losers.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    I’ll admit my view of Hillary Clinton may be a teensy bit too harsh…

    You must have a different definition of the words “teensy bit” than everyone else does…

    I usually assign racism to the assumption that anything Obama can do, Hillary can do just as well or better.

    Perhaps you could assign sexism to the assumption that Hillary will be such an awful president…

  18. stonetools says:

    @Jen:

    Just watched the speech too. My opinion: the Democratic presidential candidacy is in safe hands.
    I think Kaine may be a better campaigner for Hillary than Hillary herself. I like the way he effortlessly reached out to Hispanics and I think he’ll do great in the Midwest with his earnest, self-effacing style .
    I’ll quote LGM front pager b spencer:

    The Clinton-Kaine ticket will be hard to beat. I was downright shocked by the shrewdness of the Clinton-Kaine event I just witnessed. Shouts out to Latinos and the military community? So smart. What was even smarter was the highlighting of Kaine’s social justice roots. Smarter still? The damn positivity of the whole event. It was a STARK contrast to the Trump speech, which was wall to wall gloom and doom. If these two candidates keep campaigning like this, they will be unstoppable. I’m comfortable putting this on record now.

    Agreed

    Check it out at the link.

  19. stonetools says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Mbunge is one of those “objective” commenters who see all the faults of the Clintons, and none of their good qualities (Indeed, he would probably deny that they have any good qualities or achievements whatsoever).
    Those of us who don’t have Clinton Derangement Syndrome can recognize that Clinton is a good but not great Presidential candidate who will make a good but not great President. It would be great if we could have some perfect candidate on offer, but since we don’t, we will make do with what we have. And against Trump-Pence, it will be enough.

  20. Gustopher says:

    When I heard about the choice, I figured he would make a fine caretaker president if anything happened to Clinton — I hope nothing will, but both she and Trump are of a certain age.

    Hearing some of the speech on the radio earlier, I can honestly say that I have moved from “he’ll do” to a little impressed. Religious of the social justice variety, missionary work in Honduras where he taught carpentry, and a warm, positive person.

    Hillary is “likable enough” but he seems genuinely likable.

    That said, he’s no Joe Biden, but we were never going to find another man so Vice Presidential. I still wish Clinton had picked him. Doesn’t she know Biden doesn’t like packing up all his stuff and dealing with movers?

  21. Gustopher says:

    @Ben Wolf: I hadn’t heard that Kaine was such a radical ideologue.

    When I think of Pence, I think of the Freedom To Discipriminate Against Gays bill that caused boycotts of his state — what has Kaine done that was remotely similar?

  22. michael reynolds says:

    It’s too late for this to sound or be original to me, but Kaine was a great choice. She’s thinking of governing, not the election. That’s the right approach. It’s like they teach you in Karate – punch through to the spine not the chest. She’s thinking past the election. There’s almost no government job you couldn’t give to Tim Kaine.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    And of course Rod Dreher is having a self-satisfied meltdown over at TAC saying that feminists won’t support Kaine because abortion and because he’s a Catholic and this shows how evil they are, whatever.

    I wish Rod would stop taking the mewlings of whatever random ultra-left nitwit spews on the internet as being indicative of progressive thought on the whole. But he loves to do that.

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:

    Joe Lieberman wasn’t available?

    I’ll forward your question to the Trump people.

  25. appleannie says:

    I wish Rod would stop taking the mewlings of whatever random ultra-left nitwit spews on the internet as being indicative of progressive thought on the whole. But he loves to do that.

    I wish he would too but he’s far from the only one. There are places I won’t post anymore because I’m sooo tired of being told the righties know what I believe better than I do. Or that I am lying about what I believe.

    I like the choice of Kaine. It’s planning for the long game (and I’m starting to crave a little boredom lately).

  26. Andre Kenji says:

    Having to keep Kaine´s seat during a midterm election is the best argument against him as a VP.

  27. Stan says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    So Kaine is “The Democrats Mike Pence”.

    Except that Kaine went into civil rights law when young, not a path to fame and fortune in Virginia back when Reagan was preaching states rights to the good people of Philadelphia, MS.

    At roughly the same time, the Clintons were backing civil rights in Arkansas, and my former congressman John Dingell, also derided as a sellout by our more advanced liberals, was doing the same in the highly segregated city of Dearborn, MI.

    Give credit when credit is due.

  28. stonetools says:

    Politico gives a blow by blow account of the vetting process.

    They had to turn over every password for every social media account for every member of their families.
    They had to list every piece of property they’d ever owned, and copies of every résumé that they’d put out for the past 10 years. Every business partner. Every gift they’d ever received.
    Story Continued Below

    For the finalists in the hunt to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, it was five weeks of questions and follow-up, and follow-up to the follow-up questions, starting from when they were summoned one-by-one to meet with campaign chairman John Podesta and lawyer Jim Hamilton and told to bring along just one trusted person who’d serve as the point of contact.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/tim-kaine-vp-ticktock-226069#ixzz4FGwJ8w4Y
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    Whether you like the choice or not, the Clintons certainly did their due diligence!This time around, the Clinton campaign appears to be a well oiled machine. The true test will be next week at the convention, though.

  29. Dazedandconfused says:

    Good choice. Trump can not be out entertained and it would be a mistake to attempt to do so. “Trump Lite” would be a piss weak beer.

  30. Pch101 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Thanks. Now I know who ordered the extra large plate of sour grapes at the Bernie Bros Cafe.

  31. Stan says:

    @MBunge:

    You’re in good company:

    “Franklin D. Roosevelt is no crusader. He is no tribune of the people. He is no enemy of entrenched privilege. He is a pleasant man who, without any important qualifications for the office, would very much like to be President.”

    Walter Lippmann

  32. Tyrell says:

    The Democrats need to keep this thing in the middle – right. Otherwise it will be a repeat of ’72 and Hillary will get passed like it is the last lap of the Southern 500. ( Darlington – “the track too tough to tame”)

  33. Pylon says:

    That was a darn good speech. He’s gonna make mincemeat out of “what should I say, Mr. Trump?” Mike Pence.

  34. Hal_10000 says:

    One other thought on Kaine: this pick shows that Clinton is taking the threat of Trump seriously. She’s very aware that he could, in fact, win this thing. VP picks rarely make a difference but this hits Trump on two points — white men and Virginians — where he has to do well. I doubt it will make a difference, but we’ve seen before that every last bit can matter in a close election.

  35. humanoid.panda says:

    @Hal_10000: Obversely, one could argue that this pick means she is confident she will win, so is going not for the reluctant voter mobilization candidate- Warren- but to the governing candidate- Kaine. Mind reading is hard.

  36. Andre Kenji says:

    There is a very important point, that everyone could see during that Trump and Pence interview to 60 Minutes: chemistry. Rationally speaking, if you consider experience and temperament, Mike Pence was the best candidate for Trump. But in practice he does not have chemistry with Trump, they make a something odd couple.

    Trump would not have faced that awkward moments during that interview had he chosen Chris Christie or even Newt Gingrich, precisely because both of them have good chemistry with him. Tim Kaine seems to have good chemistry with Hillary, they share a similar temperament, that´s pretty important.

  37. Pch101 says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    so is going not for the reluctant voter mobilization candidate- Warren- but to the governing candidate- Kaine.

    Using that duality, one could argue that Kaine is intended to mobilize voters:

    -He has some cred for the working class, the group that Trump seems to regard as his key demographic (Rust Belt)
    -He is a Southerner (could help in North Carolina)
    -More specifically, he is a Virginian (important former red state that is now pale blue)
    -He speaks Spanish (may help to shore up Arizona and Colorado, as well as the all-important Florida)

    Kaine appears to me to be motivated largely by the desire to appeal to the swing vote in key swing states. That’s fair enough, but does anyone with data on the subject actually believe that a VP candidate can accomplish such things?

    A bad VP can scare voters away, but it seems unlikely that voters who find a presidential candidate to be lacking will have a change of heart because of a VP. Voters are inspired to select a president, not a duo; most people know that a VP doesn’t usually end up doing much (Dick Cheney notwithstanding.)

  38. SKI says:

    @Pch101: best data I’ve seen has the VP’s impact limited to 1-2% in their home state.

  39. Jen says:

    @SKI: Agreed, but this is an odd year. What I’ve noticed from my completely anecdotal perusal of my Facebook friends–the ones who are lukewarm about Clinton seem over the moon with Kaine, and are now far more energized about the election.

    If he makes people feel better about voting for the ticket and that assists turnout, that alone could be a positive. We’ll see how this plays out in coming months, of course, who knows if it will actually make a difference on Nov. 8.

  40. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Jen: We have many challenges both foreign and domestic as well as many countries, organizations, and groups aligned against any change initiatives Hillary might seek. In that environment, predictability is a WEAKNESS that can be exploited by an adversary.

    She will probably be President, She’s better than Trump…(but so is Jeb Bush so that’s not a strength) But based on her history of predictability and “playing it safe”, She is the WRONG type of President for the times.

    Now let the downvotes begin because I dared criticize the Democratic Candidate.

  41. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Pch101: No, but it is fair to entertain if the manner in which we implement and administer immigration policies is causing an unnecessary disruption to society.

    Instead of asking that question and doing some analysis to understand the issue…democrats dismiss every critic as a rascist xenophobic. That’s a real good way to fix a problem.

    If you eek out a living as a handyman or construction contractor…and you have to continuously compete with undocumented workers who drive down the job price because they have a lifestyle that requires less money. Where would you look as the cause of your falling income?

    Why are Democrats not addressing this category of worker and cedeing them to Republicans? At the end of the day this is about income and money. The Republican party couldn’t survive if they could only get real rascists….

  42. michael reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I never down-vote people for having differing opinions, only for being complete dicks. I don’t know if everyone takes that approach, but I do.

    Anyway.

    Surprise is highly over-rated as a tactic. And of course it’s not a strategy at all. For example, Trump certainly surprised everyone when he said we might not back NATO if Russia moved against the Baltic states. Very unpredictable and very, very stupid. It basically says to the Baltic states that they should make a deal right now with Russia – a deal that might be to the disadvantage of our friends and allies, and thus ourselves. Unless of course you think more Russian air, naval and intelligence bases on the Baltic sea would be a good thing. And unless you think sending a message of unreliability to, let’s say Japan, would be a good thing.

    Predictability is actually the better approach for us as a superpower. We are the avatars of stability in the world, people need to know where we stand. Other countries shape their policies to ours, and if we have no predictable policy, it generates chaos and adventurism. Obama has taken endless hysterical criticism because he spoke of a red line in Syria and did not enforce it. That was unpredictability.

    Surprise often looks good at first – Pearl Harbor, Barbarossa, the Bulge, 9/11 – but it seldom pays off. Fundamentals are much more important. There are certainly occasions when ambiguity is useful, I wouldn’t deny that, but it’s a limited approach, not useful in dealing with Russia or China.

  43. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Jc: The “Black Vote”?!?!? Yep weeze black fowlkz always thanks da samb whin it cumbs ta politiks. Yes suh, Illz be pullin da lebber for Hillary Clainton!

    I thought one bad patronization deserved another. If you think by virtue of her being a democrat that Hillary can turn out a similar numbers of African Americans as Barack Obama to vote for her you are sadly mistaken. It really goes to how people (yet again) undervalue a Black man by thinking just any ole body can do what he did. They can’t. Obama was a special candidate…Hillary is not. She will not get 96% of African American voter support and she will not get the same amount of voters. If you’re Black in this country Donald Trump is one the least scariest things facing you.

  44. Tony W says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I suspect that if you are downvoted it will be because you suggest predictability is a bad trait in foreign relations.

  45. Tony W says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    She will not get 96% of African American voter support and she will not get the same amount of voters. If you’re Black in this country Donald Trump is one the least scariest things facing you.

    http://time.com/4409617/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-poll-rnc/

    84% to 7% is pretty good.

  46. stonetools says:

    @Pch101:

    I’m skeptical of the current view that VPs are completely useless. There used to be a chestnut that a VP could “deliver” their home state. The political scientists went to work and destroyed this notion, and things swung the other way, so much so that you would get the impression that a VP was simply a waste of space at best and a potential liability at worst.
    I think the more nuanced view is that a VP can help-not guarantee-victory in their home state. Two points may not seem like much, but it could be the margin of victory. That’s not nothing.
    I do think Tim Kaine can only help in Clinton’s outreach to Latinos. I don’t know that you will ever be able to put a figure on it, but again, it must count for something. People are just going be more comfortable if they can converse with you in their primary language. Now can your guarantee that a Latino in Colorado will vote Democrat if Kaine talks to him in Spanish? No, there are no guarantees in politics. But there are probabilities, and Kaine going around vouching for Hillary in Spanish can only increase the probability that Latinos will vote D.

    A bad VP can scare voters away, but it seems unlikely that voters who find a presidential candidate to be lacking will have a change of heart because of a VP.

    Again, we are talking probabilities. Can a VP deliver a vote for the President? Nope, but I think a good VP can help.Kaine is seen as squeaky clean, trustworthy, and likable. Having someone like that vouch for you can again only help.

  47. michael reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    It won’t just be Hillary and Tim asking for black votes, it will be Barack and Michelle. Obama is clearly determined to help Hillary.

    And if you don’t think black people should be frightened of Trump, you’re absolutely clueless.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    If you eek out a living as a handyman or construction contractor…and you have to continuously compete with undocumented workers who drive down the job price because they have a lifestyle that requires less money. Where would you look as the cause of your falling income?

    As a union carpenter I look in the same place I have always looked: The People who farking hire them! This is not hard, I don’t blame the weak and the marginalized*, I blame the people who take advantage of them.

    *illegal immigrants are weak and marginalized employees- one wrong word and it’s ZAP! back to where they came from.

  49. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    Kaine also does something which cannot be numerically quantified – he adjusts Hillary’s image. It’s a bit like my wife does for me. On my own I sometimes give people the impression that I’m arrogant, perhaps even an arsehole. When I’m with my wife people may still think I’m an arsehole, but since she’s tolerated me for 37 years they figure I must not be entirely bad.

    It’s actually a basic fiction writers trick. If you have a character who is not immediately ‘attachable’ (meaning likable) you can give them a more accessible friend. It gives the reader a little confidence that they may come to like the main character in time, and thus buys the writer time for character development. Tony Stark? A dick. Pepper Potts? Likable. She likes Tony, therefore Tony must deep down be OK.

  50. Jim Brown32 says:

    @An Interested Party: I don’t believe the argument was that she’d be “awful”. It was that she wouldn’t be phenomenal. There’s a difference to people without partisan brain. And yes, I’m black and offended that Democrats assume HRC = BO’s performance amongst Black voters both in terms of percentage and volume…when it’s clear that she is not the same caliber of candidate or politician. Oh I guess it’s because I’m sexist….. there always a handy “ist” or “ism” to trot out for partisan brains.

  51. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    There used to be a chestnut that a VP could “deliver” their home state.

    There still is.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/04/26/this-research-shows-that-vice-presidential-candidates-actually-do-win-votes-in-their-home-states/

    Otherwise, there isn’t much research on the subject, but what there is of it doesn’t indicate that the VP means much.

    And the voters can’t be faulted for that. The VP choice really isn’t all that meaningful unless you think that the odds are high that the president won’t be finishing the four-year term.

    That doesn’t mean that Clinton should have not chosen Kaine for those reasons. For one thing, she had to choose somebody, so it may as well be someone who might be able to help in swing states. It may not mean all that much, but it can’t hurt.

  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Kaine also does something which cannot be numerically quantified – he adjusts Hillary’s image

    Legitimate question – how does he do this? To me it seems that he just accentuates her lack of “wow” factor. She’s rigid and somewhat cold on the stage, and he’s about as exciting as Velveeta and Kleenex Boutique Tissues. I can see why he would appeal to political nerds like us, but we’re a minority pitted against a far larger reality TV electorate. I’m just not seeing the marketing advantage – and for better or worse, political campaigns are about marketing.

  53. steve s says:

    Hillary’s biggest problem is with the worst demographic, the one I’m part of–white men. Picking Kaine was about reassuring scared anxious white men that there’d be a smart middle-aged religious white guy around, you know, just so things don’t get outta hand.

  54. Andre Kenji says:

    Kaine speaks impeccable Spanish, I don´t think that is as good as Rubio´s Spanish, but it´s pretty good Spanish. But most Hispanic voters knows English, I don´t think that they are going to vote for Hillary because of that.

    The biggest point about the VP is chemistry. That´s a pretty overlooked point. And that´s more about not doing harm than winning states or winning Demographic Groups. You should choose a VP so that you can campaign together with him.

    It´s more about not doing harm than saving the ticket. Kaine´s boringness is his greatest asset.

  55. Andrew says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And if you don’t think black people should be frightened of Trump, you’re absolutely clueless.

    Just to use this comment to leap frog on…

    I find there is a pattern regarding presidential elections.

    When a Democratic party member gets elected to POTUS, their mandate is usually rebuked hardcore by the Republican party.
    As in the people spoke, but in reality (to the republicans) it usually does not mean anything at all.

    When a Republican party member is elected, some how this mandate is there, period.

    Now, with Trump and Company saying and showing what they have.

    Can anyone guess what kind of mandate the Republican party will think they will have in regard to laws, and policies?

    Anyone? Bueller?

  56. stonetools says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I think you should watch videos of the events he did with Hillary. He is certainly not as boring and “white-bread” as advertised. This tweet is on point:

    Twitter & cable yesterday: “Tim Kaine is boring.”

    Twitter & cable today: “That was the first time I’ve ever heard Tim Kaine speak.”

    To me he comes across as warm, self-effacing, and affable. And both Hillary and he are at ease with each other. They look like a team. They will campaign well together, and I think his good qualities will rub off on her.

  57. stonetools says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    But most Hispanic voters knows English, I don´t think that they are going to vote for Hillary because of that.

    I’ve canvassed in Latino neighborhoods. Lots of Hispanics aren’t comfortable in English. Again, Hispanics won’t vote D because Kaine knows Spanish. But they would be a lot more amenable to hearing what Kaine has to say if he speaks AND listens to them in Spanish.

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    I don’t think a lack of “wow” is her problem in terms of perceptions. People think she’s dishonest and inauthentic. Kaine reads as authentic. The two of them together seem more “real” than she does on her own or with Bill.

    One of my theories about Hillary is that she seems less authentic because of Bill. One-on-one, people like her. She had high support during her SecState tenure and in the Senate. At State she was connected to Obama, and in the Senate she was part of a (dysfunctional) group. But once she starts to run she’s mentally paired with Bill.

    The effect I jokingly referred to above with my wife works in reverse a bit, too. People tend to think my wife is sweet, the kind of person you should never curse in front of. (Hah!) But when she’s with me people start thinking, wait a minute, she’s with that arsehole. . . There’s something about couples that turns them into an average of the two. It can soften the bad boy or tarnish the good girl.

    Here Hillary is paired with a guy who just does not come across as the sort of dude who’d bang an intern. If Bill reads as a nine on the sketchy scale, Kaine feels more like a two. More Bill = more sketchy. More Kaine = less sketchy.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the polls look after the Democratic convention. If Kaine polls well there’ll be a lot of joint events. She’s better with him than with Bill. This is totally speculative and probably not very relevant, but I have the feeling someone in the Clinton campaign has narrative skills. The pacing feels interesting.

  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Andrew:

    I find there is a pattern regarding presidential elections.

    When a Democratic party member gets elected to POTUS, their mandate is usually rebuked hardcore by the Republican party.
    As in the people spoke, but in reality (to the republicans) it usually does not mean anything at all.

    When a Republican party member is elected, some how this mandate is there, period.

    I happened to just see a reference to the research that shows if you compare the political influence of the poor, middle, and upper class; you find only the wealthy actually have any political influence. Since Republicans represent the interests of the wealthy, yes, they can seem to get a mandate. Dems can only get a mandate for welfare “reform”, trade deals, and bank bailouts.

  60. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @stonetools:

    To which I pose the fundamental question – who that wasn’t already going to vote for her does he motivate to vote?

    IMO the White House is pretty much a given. How do we motivate the disaffected to get out of their chairs and contribute to flipping the senate – which in the end is the more important factor in play.

  61. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We’ll have to see I guess. I’m not convinced yet.

  62. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m not convinced of anything until the check has cleared and I’ve pissed half of it away.

  63. James Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: I think you raise a salient point. Strategy. The US does not have a strategy for hardly anything anymore so much as a amalgamation of policy positions designed to satisfy interest groups. This is true of both parties. Frankly, its no way to govern a country or lead the “free world”

    I disagree that unpredictability = unreliability. Unreliability would require shifting value systems for whatever ends is most convenient for the day (i.e Trump). In the context of a discussion about real leadership however–there is a assumption of stable values with high/medium/low risk initiatives to achieve objectives outlined by said strategy. Hillary Clinton to date– has demonstrated resolute commitment to the lowest risk course of action. Low risk often equals low reward. It’s been a bit lost in the fray how much risk to his Presidency was involved in Obama pursuing health care reform. He also took the risk of voting against the authorization for force in Iraq when he was a Senator. I have my quibbles with BO but the guy WILL roll the dice when the reward is worth it.

    The world is changing and paradigms are changing…new alliances are forming. The times requires a leader that can forge order out of chaos. The “steady hand” leader is not that person. Honestly, until Democrats figure out how to get blue collar working white men back in the fold, this country will not have the political mandate domestically to do anything bold for the future…either domestic or overseas. Im omitting Republicans because that Party is lost. There is still hope for the Democrats but I see them pissing it away. There are many within their traditional voting blocks that feel disenfranchised. Righfully so. The standard way they address grievances is to point out that they aren’t as bad a Republicans

    To correct the record a bit…the US NOT intervening in Syria…despite statements the President made was entirely predictable. Which why there was the uproar over his “redline” and why the chemical weapons release happened not long after He made those statements–to in effect show that he was full of it–and the Russian and Syrians knew it. Now, if some additional military action had (and Im not saying it should have) taken place after that….THAT would have been a “WTF just happened???” moment for Russia and Syria. The bottom line is that President’s redline check was never gonna cash.

    As for the Baltics, nothing of any strategic value they have to offer would cease with increased Russian influence. The only reason they are in NATO is to irritate Russia. If history is any guide, non-conditional defense alliances should kept to a minimum as a country should want to be very selective in the circumstances in which they commit their money and their young to die and be maimed. This is not to give any credibility to Trumps prescription..but NATO is an area of Foreign policy that needs to be re-scoped.

  64. James Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: How dare you dismiss my experience and those like me. Trump isn’t out here shooting black men in the street, locking us up in jail over bull$hit, fining the crap out of us to keep bloated police departments open, denying us loans to get housing in better school district, quasi jim crow laws,….need I go on?

    YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF TRUMP BEING YOUR BIGGEST FEAR!

    The day a politician is most black peoples biggest fear will be day we’ll know we’ve arrived as equals in this society. Check your privilege Reynolds.

  65. An Interested Party says:

    If you’re Black in this country Donald Trump is one the least scariest things facing you.

    Oh really? With Mike Pence as his VP and a Republican Congress? You are quite mistaken…

    …there always a handy “ist” or “ism” to trot out for partisan brains.

    Indeed, like racism…surely you see that? But you aren’t partisan! How can that be…

  66. An Interested Party says:

    Trump isn’t out here shooting black men in the street, locking us up in jail over bull$hit, fining the crap out of us to keep bloated police departments open, denying us loans to get housing in better school district, quasi jim crow laws,….need I go on?

    Perhaps Trump isn’t doing those things, but should he win the White House, he will give cover to Republicans to do all kinds of nasty things that will hurt blacks, including the continuation of bogus voter ID laws that will make it very hard for many blacks and other minorities to vote…

  67. Grewgills says:

    @James Brown 32:

    To correct the record a bit…the US NOT intervening in Syria…despite statements the President made was entirely predictable. Which why there was the uproar over his “redline” and why the chemical weapons release happened not long after He made those statements–to in effect show that he was full of it–and the Russian and Syrians knew it.

    Shortly after Assad used chemical weapons on his people Obama did a little sabre rattling and despite the best efforts of republicans in congress to mute its effects, Assad backed down and dismantled his chemical weapons stockpiles. He hasn’t used them since. Your memory of events is less than perfect.

    If you’re Black in this country Donald Trump is one the least scariest things facing you.

    If you are an African American then systemic racism and the violence attendant to it are not the least scariest things facing you. The election of Trump along with a republican senate (pretty much a lock if he wins) means a deepening of the systemic racism faced by African Americans. Who do you think will be most impacted by their “law and order” push? That means more cops “out here shooting black men in the street, locking us up in jail over bull$hit, fining the crap out of us to keep bloated police departments open, denying us loans to get housing in better school district, quasi jim crow laws.” If you can’t see the threat inherent in a Trump presidency you are blind.

  68. michael reynolds says:

    @James Brown 32:

    Hah! I knew it. You’re a troll.

    A man who calls himself Jim Brown 32 is too old to be tossing around “check your privilege” lines.

    Jenos?

  69. michael reynolds says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Actually, Trump has a long history of denying rental properties to black applicants. So he has in fact been actively racist. He’s also known to have pressured black employees to quit – his casino managers used to hide black employees when he visited.

    So, he’s exactly what “James Brown 32” said he wasn’t.

  70. michael reynolds says:

    In fact:

    Another revealing moment came in 1989, when New York City was convulsed by the “Central Park jogger” case, a rape and beating of a young white woman. Five black and Latino teenagers were arrested.

    Trump stepped in, denounced Mayor Ed Koch’s call for peace and bought full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty. The five teenagers spent years in prison before being exonerated. In retrospect, they suffered a modern version of a lynching, and Trump played a part in whipping up the crowds.

    As Trump moved into casinos, discrimination followed. In the 1980s, according to a former Trump casino worker, Kip Brown, who was quoted by The New Yorker: “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor. … They put us all in the back.”

    In 1991, a book by John O’Donnell, who had been president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump as criticizing a black accountant and saying: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” O’Donnell wrote that for months afterward, Trump pressed him to fire the black accountant, until the man resigned of his own accord.

    Trump eventually denied making those comments. But in 1997 in a Playboy interview, he conceded “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”

    There’s more.

  71. Andre Kenji says:

    @stonetools: Second Generation Hispanics, that are more likely to be citizens, speaks English. Tim Kaine can show that he respects Hispanics, but it can also be seen as pandering.

    On the other hand, many Hispanic Democrats feared Marco Rubio precisely because he speaks very good Spanish.

  72. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I down vote anyone who complains about down votes. It’s just the kind of man I am — ruled entirely by spite.

  73. An Interested Party says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Indeed, I do remember Trump’s discriminatory actions in the past as well as the Central Park Jogger fiasco…imagine that same person as president as well as a Republican Congress….blacks, Hispanics, gays, and all other minorities, as well as most Americans, have every reason to be fearful of a Trump presidency…

  74. stonetools says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    To which I pose the fundamental question – who that wasn’t already going to vote for her does he motivate to vote?

    I think Kaine will be at his best talking to working and middle class whites in the Rust Belt, upper Midwest and Appalachia(He was born in Minnesota). He, Joe Biden, and Bill Clinton will be Hillary’s emissaries to those groups. But hey, he can talk to Hispanics and southern blacks too. I think he will be an excellent surrogate.

  75. Gustopher says:

    @stonetools:

    Now can your guarantee that a Latino in Colorado will vote Democrat if Kaine talks to him in Spanish?

    I can almost guarantee that a Latino in Colorado won’t vote Republican if Donald Trump speaks to them in English.
    .

  76. Todd says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    She’ll be phenomenal AS president, but she doesn’t (and really never has) RUN well for the presidency.

    This was always my primary concern about Clinton. I agree that she’ll do fine at the actual job of being President … heck more people may even come to like her. But getting elected was always going to be her issue. Even against Trump, she is by far the most beatable candidate the Democrats could have run.

    All that said, Trump really does have to run the table, taking some States that Democrats wouldn’t normally consider competitive if he hopes to win. Most likely winning Trump map probably looks something like this: http://www.270towin.com/maps/DARP3

    Take away MI, WI or PA and he loses.

  77. David M says:

    @James Brown 32:

    Trump isn’t out here shooting black men in the street, locking us up in jail over bull$hit, fining the crap out of us to keep bloated police departments open, denying us loans to get housing in better school district, quasi jim crow law

    But Trump and the GOP don’t believe these problems exist and are unwilling to do anything to improve things. In fact it’s quite possible that their policies would make these problems worse. The Democrats at least acknowledge these problems are real, and are willing to take steps to try and address the issue.

  78. Dazedandconfused says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s actually a basic fiction writers trick. If you have a character who is not immediately ‘attachable’ (meaning likable) you can give them a more accessible friend. It gives the reader a little confidence that they may come to like the main character in time, and thus buys the writer time for character development. Tony Stark? A dick. Pepper Potts? Likable. She likes Tony, therefore Tony must deep down be OK.

    And for the really bad guys a beautiful woman who loves them because nothing else will serve…

    Sometimes I really get sick and tired of that one, but then I think of all the wonderful literature which would not have been possible without that trump (npi) card.I include commercial viability in my assessment of the possible, btw.

  79. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    A big advantage for Hillary is that she will have a whole team of likable , high powered advocates who will be hitting the campaign trial for her post convention. There will be both Obamas, Biden, Warren, Sanders, Kaine, Perez, and good old Bill. It’s like a Magnificent 7 of advocates-and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the latest revelations, the Democratic Party looks very united behind her.Not only that, there are some Republicans backing her , like Scowcroft ( I expect Powell to join the band at some point.) And ex-NYC Mayor Bloomberg not only endorsed her,he’s speaking at the convention on her behalf.
    With that kind of juggernaut building up behind her, I expect likability will not be a problem for her for very long.

  80. Gustopher says:

    Looking at that picture of the two of them, it’s really remarkable how much easier it must be to be a man in politics — the wardrobe is basically predetermined, and every man looks better in a suit. Clinton has to struggle to find something that shows the right balance of strength, respect, and approachability, but Kaine just wears a French blue shirt with his suit and takes off the tie.

    If you see some of the other photos, Clinton’s outfit makes her look like a Christmas tree topper.

    I would judge her harshly for this, but it does look better than a suit and a baseball cap. I also eagerly await the day we have enough prominent female politicians that there’s a default safe outfit.

  81. Jim Brown32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You’re right. I would look at the employers…but many wont. It’s a slippery slope, once your competition starts employing them. You can stand on principle or you can stay in business. Many will choose the latter. It’s not much different than the Outsourcing race to the bottom. Democrats should have a counter to the Republican non solution. They don’t…

  82. Jim Brown32 says:

    @michael reynolds: A convenient sidestep followed by dismissive categorization…. because everyone that challenges a Reynolds snark remark can’t be anything but a troll. You’re quite the piece of work. Is that phrase to hip or smart for me to use as well?

  83. Andrew says:

    @gVOR08:

    So it is, so it has always been.

    The “poor”. Or anyone not in the top 1 or 2%, are just numbers. Those needed to pull that lever, or push that button in the booth. Those needed to die in wars, or to be ignored when the economy tanks. The people needing the distractions, the coliseums, the reality television. At the end of the day, they get told what they want to hear, but hold no real power over anything. Spoke to just enough to not revolt, and told money does not buy happiness.

    It is an oligarchy. No matter the system in play, no matter the year, decade, or century.

    We in fight with each other, over religions, color of skin, what football team is better. Anything to keep our minds off of not eating the rich. Nothing new

  84. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “Jenos?”

    I doubt it — but we do have a troll who materializes under a new name and with a pompous writing style every so often. I seem to recall at one point he had a doctorate from the LSE.

  85. James Brown 32 says:

    @Tony W: Yes…that is about Par for AA support of the Party. It will the volume of voters that will be crucial. I personally know a handful of people who ONLY turned out for the privilege of voting for the First Black President. They hate Trump but think black votes don’t make a difference–these are younger voters….odds on they’ll stay home.

  86. James Brown 32 says:

    @Gustopher: Ha ha! Love the honesty! LoL The funny thing is I do the same thing.

  87. James Brown 32 says:

    @Grewgills: Assad used chemical weapons JUST THIS YEAR. As well as numerous small instances in previous years through intermediary groups that allowed him plausible deniability. You’re one of the smarter commenters here–a few foreign news sources to your favorites bar will give you a better picture of the middle east. Its hard for many issues come to forefront of the US news with all the fireworks at home and in Europe.

    Basically your argument comes down to: Republicans will be worse. There is a certain level at which the pain sensors shut off and increasing pain is not registered. The argument that the road will be harder…when we’ve had many issues gaining traction under either party’s Presidencies is frankly, unconvincing.

  88. James Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t recall ever saying Trump is not racist–In fact I know I didn’t…for the simple fact that I assume most White men are. Including you– until they demonstrate otherwise. Democrats have a different brand of prejudice than Republicans but damaging nevertheless. You’re putting words in my mouth Reynolds.

  89. James Brown 32 says:

    @David M: Steps such as? Lawmakers have one tool at their disposal: Legislation. Where is the legislation outlining clear unambiguous rules for escalation of force, the use of deadly force, and the removal of qualified immunity for Police? At any level…local, state, or Federal? A Democratic legislator can $hit out a gun control measure on demand. On Police brutality..they are remarkably constipated. Frankly, the reason is that we are not a priority constituency, partly because of racism and partly because the Democratic party knows they can pencil in 84% support–no matter what they deliver.

  90. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t recall ever saying Trump is not racist–In fact I know I didn’t…for the simple fact that I assume most White men are. Including you– until they demonstrate otherwise.

    That’s as bigoted as saying that most black men are criminals–until they demonstrate otherwise…by the way, I thought the “ism” was only for the partisan brain? These rules get so confusing…

  91. Gustopher says:

    @Todd: Clinton did defeat Sanders and a few others, so she is obviously not the weakest candidate the Democrats could have run.

    I don’t think it was a strong field though.

    (I found myself squirming typing that Clinton was “beatable” — my brain went somewhere with that word that you clearly didn’t mean…)

  92. Todd says:

    @Gustopher: Winning the Democratic primary has nothing to do with General election strength. Clinton has an “honest and trustworthy” problem, that’s not gong to be easy to fix. Whether that problem is “fair” or not, it IS reality.

    Especially in the aftermath of the primaries, I’m not totally convinced that Sanders would have been all that much better. I’m still of the opinion that if the Democrats lose in November, the cause can probably be traced all the way back to last year when no other “top tier” candidate, such as Biden or Warren was willing/able to get in the primary race.

  93. rachel says:

    @James Brown 32:

    He also took the risk of voting against the authorization for force in Iraq when he was a Senator.

    Do you mean the one that took place in 2002? If so, I see a problem with the timing in that Obama wasn’t in the US Senate then.

  94. al-Ameda says:

    @Todd:

    Clinton has an “honest and trustworthy” problem, that’s not gong to be easy to fix. Whether that problem is “fair” or not, it IS reality.

    There’s no question that 4 years and 9 Republican investigations of Hillary Clinton have accomplished what Republican Party leadership wanted, which was to weaken Clinton as the final stretch of the campaign season is upon us.

    If the Republican nominee was anybody but Trump I think Republicans would be leading in all polling.

  95. Grewgills says:

    @James Brown 32:
    Look at what’s happened over the past several years. Do you think there would have been a DOJ probe in Fergusen if there was a republican in the White House? Clinton would have about the same response as Obama, which is about all that can be done at the federal level. The PD there is no being watched closely and will have to make concrete steps to improve as long as that oversight continues. With a president Trump, we’d have the White House coming down hard on the side of the PD making a bad situation worse.
    On any issue facing minorities, women, or the poor Clinton will do at least a fair job and often will have as positive an impact as a president can in these political circumstances. President Trump will make all of those situations worse.
    This isn’t just a Trump is worse, it’s Clinton will have at least a moderately positive impact and Trump will have right about the worst impact on these issues as is possible for a president to have. It isn’t a choice between cyanide or arsenic, it’s a choice between broccoli and arsenic.

  96. Todd says:

    @al-Ameda: I agree that the endless investigations of Clinton have certainly had some effect.

    But you know what’s not going to solve her “honest and trustworthy” problem (and may in fact compound it)?

    When Clinton and her loyalist try to pretend that her problems are ONLY the result of Republican attacks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do think that Clinton is unfairly maligned by many Americans; including those on the far left. We (Americans) have tended in recent years to really buy into the idea that political opponents are not just adversaries, but “evil” people who need to be destroyed. It was bad enough when this kind of hyperbole dominated our general election discourse, but now it’s also bled over into the primary battles.

    That being said, when people refuse to even admit that there are some very legitimate concerns about Clinton when it comes to ethics and judgment, it becomes much harder put the “irrational” label only on those who oppose her.

  97. Grewgills says:

    @An Interested Party:
    To be fair, white men in particular generally participate in (even if unconsciously) the systemic oppression of minority groups. They may not be personally and intentionally racist, but participation in that system makes them racist on some level.

    To clarify, racism in the social science construct is ethnically based bigotry plus the power to act on that in a way that marginalizes ethnic groups. In that context, participating in and supporting a system that is systemically racist tars everyone that supports it, tacitly or otherwise. It may not seem fair to the white men, but it is a hell of a lot less unfair to them than our system is to black men and indeed most minorities and women.

  98. James Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: You have a slight reading comprehension problem. The comment you are snarkly trying to refer to (which you obviously didn’t understand and I keep trying to ignore because you don’t make any sense) was directed as “ism”/”ist” as a convenient dismissal of someones argument without evaluation of the merits of said argument. Get it?

    So Im lost as to how your comments even apply to anything i’ve said. You might want to go back down to the minors–work on hitting the curve and wait for a callup.

  99. Stan says:

    @James Brown 32: In one sense I agree with you. Trump hasn’t denigrated African-Americans, Asian-Americans, or Jews, or at least not much. His verbal aggressions have been against Hispanics and Moslems. But there’s another side of it. I was subject to serious anti-semitism when I was young (I’m 80). That kind of bigotry doesn’t exist any more, but I’m sensitive to it even when it isn’t directed against my own minority group. I’d have difficulty voting for Trump even if he hadn’t done anything more than suggest a religious test for legal immigration to the US. It’s in my genes. As soon as I heard about Trump’s proposal that immigrants be non-Moslem or his statement that Mexicans coming to the US are rapists and drug dealers, I was convinced that he’d lose the Jewish vote by more than a Republican usually does, and I imagine the same is true of the African-American and Asian-American votes. Tell me, am I wrong?

  100. stonetools says:

    @Todd:

    That being said, when people refuse to even admit that there are some very legitimate concerns about Clinton when it comes to ethics and judgment, it becomes much harder put the “irrational” label only on those who oppose her

    You see, here’s the deal. I’ve said she’s made some mistakes. She has admitted she made mistakes. But that’s not enough. For her enemies, she must be put in jail or hounded out of public life for minor offenses that if it were other political figures, weren’t or wouldn’t be considered offenses at all-and certainly not jailable or career ending offenses. That’s the Clinton Rules, for you. Think of the Republican Convention, where people were calling for her to be locked up or even shot over misconduct that a Republican FBI director said was not indictable.
    Can you see where she might not want to be very careful about admitting to anything? Do you really want to be on the side of those people?
    Now I used to think the problem was with Clinton and she bears some culpability. But overwhelmingly the problem is with her enemies that will stop at nothing to destroy her or indeed any Democratic President. That’s how I see it.

  101. James Brown 32 says:

    @rachel: You’re right good catch. BO did oppose the war but from the State Senate. Events from that time are starting to run together for me.

    I withdraw that example and offer BO’s green light for the Bin Laden mission as another example of his tendency to roll the dice at opportune time. Thanks for the fact check.

  102. An Interested Party says:

    @James Brown 32: My reading comprehension is just fine, sweetie, so your snide condescension is hardly necessary…it’s true that some people throw around “ism”/”ist” far too much…like assuming most white men are racists…

  103. Monala says:

    @Stan: You’re not wrong. In some states, Trump is polling at 0% among African-Americans. And while Trump hasn’t attacked us as much as Muslims or Latinos, he has retweeted blatantly false graphics from white nationalists sites about black criminality, and dog-whistled about “law and order” in response to protests about police shootings of unarmed black people.

  104. James Brown 32 says:

    @Grewgills: Sorry–I don’t see it that way based on experiences with the Parties and Im not alone. The Civil rights investigations are something I guess help–they certainly don’t hurt– but don’t change much. Blacks (mostly) and others will still be profiled, harassed, tased, beaten up, etc…….. and the perpetrator will get to say he feared for his life and get off. I get that there are limited tools at the Federal level to fix local and state law enforcement. However, there are Democrats galore at city and state government levels. Some areas have been run by democrats for years….yet nothing changes. Things were messed up before Trump and it’ll be messed up after whoever wins. It will probably be messed up until the Boomers die off.

  105. James Brown 32 says:

    @Stan: Everything out of Trumps mouth is an insult to me an every other AA i know. He uses every dog whistle in the book. Outside of the Black nationalist types…most African-Americans conservative, liberal, moderate, whatever– respect Barack Obama for being a brilliant man, a high achiever, a man we want our sons to be like and we want our daughters to marry. To hear Trump and the Republicans speak about him in the personal manner they have–dismissing him as the worst President ever, as a dummy, etc only serves to cement what we’ve been taught for years by our fathers and grandfathers: That you have to be twice as good to be considered as good as a white man….and even then you might not be good enough (in their eyes).

    We know the history of this country–whenever somebody goes after other marginalized groups of minorities–we assume that we’re next. The over under on AA support for Trump in November: I’d take the under at 4%

  106. James Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: Well since we’re friends and on a pet name basis (I prefer Snuggle Pumpkin but Sweetie will do) I’ll remind you that my “going in” position that White men are racists is a personal prejudice derived from experience. Prejudice is a part of the human psyche and a defense mechanism. How many times have you been called a Ni&&er? Have you ever heard your classmates say that you “all look alike to them?” Has anyone ever clutched their purse as they walked by you? How many times have the police pulled guns on you? I can personally answer those questions and others Im too lazy to type.

    Because of this, I can’t behave the same way in routine settings white men can–especially the police or else I’d be beaten up, tased, shot, maybe even dead.

    My prejudice is a survival mechanism–Im sorry if it offends you.

    The difference between me and other bigots is that Im willing to allow people to change my mind about them. I do not allow my prejudices to affect who I hire and promote or fire. As such there are both black,white,brown,yellow,gay people in this world I would charge a machine gun nest with….and there are black,brown,yellow,gay people that I’d like to march off a plank.

  107. An Interested Party says:

    My prejudice is a survival mechanism–Im sorry if it offends you.

    No offense taken, after all, you’re just some random anonymous person on a blog…still, nice to see that you can justify your bigotry…I’m sure that Trump and those who admire him so much can justify their bigotry too…

  108. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party: I’ve had jobs where I had to interview candidates for positions all the time, and one of the hardest things to do is learn to distinguish when your mild, nagging, negative reaction is based on something the candidate did or who the candidate is.

    You have to learn to acknowledge your biases before you can move past them, and that was a large part of interview training.

    I firmly believe that human nature is to prefer the things (and people) that you recognize, and be suspicious of the new and unfamiliar. Bigotry is ingrained, but we can learn to overcome it. It’s that ability that gives me hope.

    Either that, or I was raised by racists and am just projecting. Whichever.

  109. Gustopher says:

    @Todd: Whoever the Democrats nominated, they would have been described as the most corrupt, radical, dangerous person in history.

    Obama: “chicago style politics”, “palling around with terrorists”, “secret muslim”, “secret atheist”, “anti-colonialist”, “Kenyan”, “most corrupt administration in history”… and he’s a pretty milquetoast guy with a very traditional family.

    Decades of partisan investigations into the Clintons, with nothing to show for it other than the vague sense of distrust that comes from decades of investigations — that seems like a pretty safe bet to me. There is no other shoe waiting too drop, all shoes have been carefully examined.

  110. michael reynolds says:

    @wr: @James Brown 32:

    Yep. Maybe not Jenos. Maybe even someone real, though if black surprisingly ill-informed on Trump’s racism. Oppressed minorities tend to be more politically savvy out of necessity.

    And I’m not 100% sure. Something with the timing, the over-the-top cliché, ‘angry black man’ retort, the ALL CAPS, the ancient reference point mixed with Twitter rhetoric. . . sounds too trollish to be real. Sounds like a white guy doing a parody.

    It reminds me of that troll who used to have some grandiose name for himself which I cannot recall. Emperor or something.

  111. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: Tsar Nicolas IV.

  112. James Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: Hilarious and ironic because my childhood schoolmates also said that I “sounded white”. Ive come full circle.

    You got all caps because you had the audacity to tell me what I need to be afraid of and you’ve yet to travel 1 meter in my shoes. You should (and do) know better.

  113. wr says:

    @James Brown 32: “You should (and do) know better.”

    Why would anyone here know you better? Is it because you’ve been here before under a different name?

  114. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: My reading comprehension is just fine, sweetie, so your snide condescension is hardly necessary

    On the other hand, yours, I assume, is highly appropriate, pointed and germane, yes?

    I wish we hadn’t adopted the habit of talking to people in the same manor that Jenos does. It diminishes us all.

  115. An Interested Party says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Oh, do pardon me, I apologize for diminishing you…I will try to be more polite in response to the next trollish provocation I receive…

  116. James Brown 32 says:

    @wr: Really? Its pretty common rules of the road in conversation to not assume that you can dictate to someone of another background that you know what their fears should be. Why is whether I’ve been to this blog under another name before even relevant to that?

  117. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:

    Why would anyone here know you better? Is it because you’ve been here before under a different name?

    Why is whether I’ve been to this blog under another name before even relevant to that?

    Bingo.