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Old 05-05-2020, 11:11 AM
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So why did Biden announce he's picking a woman VP?


There’s already a VP speculation thread, so please don’t hijack this one with more speculation.

In the last debate, Biden announced his VP pick would be a woman. Of course, by doing so, he pretty much sucked up all the oxygen in the room and nothing Bernie said was going to be remembered and all the news coverage was about the female VP promise.

But why? My first thought is that Biden already had a short list of VP candidates and they all were women. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, Biden has been in politics forever, has seen VP debacles like Eagleton/Ferraro/Quayle/Palin and good ones like Bush/Gore and himself. Plus Biden has been in politics forever, so it would be easy for him to have that mental short list. I’m almost certain Hillary had Tim Kaine as her #1 choice from around the time she won Super Tuesday.

But, what if Biden really didn’t have a good idea of who he’d pick but just had just decided it would be a woman regardless? In the current Democratic Party, it’s unlikely we will see an all white male ticket anytime soon, the last time was 2004. Was it a good move for him to eliminate so many people up front?

FYI, I’m not slamming Sanders above, it’s just been unheard of for a major candidate to not dance around the VP question during primary debates, the only exception the Cruz/Fiorna ‘ticket’ when Cruz was all but eliminated.

Obviously, there’s been a few examples over the years. Things got really testy between Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown and Clinton ruled Brown out in 1992. But most of the time candidates skirt the issue by giving the standard answer of ready to be president on day one, best qualified, etc.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:21 AM
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Was it a good move for him to eliminate so many people up front?
Its not like anyone ever really picks a VP because "they are the best person for the job." They are picked for votes (geographical or identity politics) or messaging purposes. This accomplishes that. It helps him appear more left by not just having two old white guys in the running.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:32 AM
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Pandering.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:34 AM
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Pandering.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:36 AM
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Because he is planning on picking a woman as VP.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:37 AM
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I assume he announced it because he's an old white guy in a nearly unbroken lineage of white guy presidents (aside from the one notable exception where he was VP) and we haven't had a female VP or President yet. So it gave people looking for that sort of change another reason to vote for him. Especially on the tail of his defeating Sanders.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:54 AM
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I’m not clear on the question. I’ve read it a few times, and I don’t see how it is substantially different than asking “Why did Bernie say he wants Medicare for All and eliminate a lot of other good ideas?”
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:05 PM
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I think at the time it was a tactic to suck the oxygen out of the room and hasten Bernie's slide in the polls. As it was, I'm not sure he needed to do this but there are many qualified women who he could pick from.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:13 PM
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I’m not clear on the question. I’ve read it a few times, and I don’t see how it is substantially different than asking “Why did Bernie say he wants Medicare for All and eliminate a lot of other good ideas?”
Announcing a policy position on healthcare is to be expected. No major candidate has ever announced during the primaries that they’re committed to picking a woman or a minority as a running mate.

In the 1988 debates, the moderators tried to get candidates to say that they would or would not pick Jesse Jackson as a running mate. In 1984, Mondale hinted he’d pick a woman but never (to my knowledge) explicitly said so.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:21 PM
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I think at the time it was a tactic to suck the oxygen out of the room and hasten Bernie's slide in the polls. As it was, I'm not sure he needed to do this but there are many qualified women who he could pick from.
That’s my guess as well. I’m sure Biden was pissed about Bernie insisting on having the debate. He knew he had to handle Bernie with kid gloves while Bernie was desperate for a knockout blow. And, Biden knows he’s gaffe prone and didn’t want the dementia nonsense to get any oxygen. So, he decided to go big and make sure he was the headline. And, as I mentioned above, Biden has been around forever so he didn’t need binders full of women to start planning his VP.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:30 PM
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I expect they'd already decided it would be a woman (maybe not which woman), and wanted to prevent the chance of a potential poor debate performance being the headline. I think it was probably an excellent tactical move by the Biden team, and as much as I don't like Biden, that move makes me at least feel better about the political acumen of his team.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:05 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone knew before the announcement that Biden had decided his VP would be a woman, possibly including Biden. It seemed to him, at the moment, to be a good idea, so he came out with it, and now he is committed. People say things on the spur of the moment sometimes, Biden certainly not excepted.

Was it a good idea to announce that he will pick "a" woman? Dunno - depends who it is. His choice of VP is somewhat more significant than it usually is, because Biden is old and showing some apparent decline. Although the implication "I am going to pick a woman so that when I die the US can have its first female President" is a little offputting.

I wouldn't have thought that Obama's VP would need the diversity points that another candidate would, but apparently he disagrees. That's up to him.

It does tie his hands a bit - he can't change his mind without looking doddery, but whatever. The anti-Trump side won't care, and will spin it as a great tactical decision, but to the rest of the country breaking a campaign promise before you even get going might be a little questionable.

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Old 05-05-2020, 01:14 PM
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Pandering.
Well, the goal during the primaries is to win the nomination, so any decision or announcement or statement or action is in service of that goal. Yeah, it was pandering, with the intention to win. So what else is new?
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:18 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone knew before the announcement that Biden had decided his VP would be a woman, possibly including Biden. It seemed to him, at the moment, to be a good idea, so he came out with it, and now he is committed. People say things on the spur of the moment sometimes, Biden certainly not excepted.

Was it a good idea to announce that he will pick "a" woman? Dunno - depends who it is. His choice of VP is somewhat more significant than it usually is, because Biden is old and showing some apparent decline. Although the implication "I am going to pick a woman so that when I die the US can have its first female President" is a little offputting.

I wouldn't have thought that Obama's VP would need the diversity points that another candidate would, but apparently he disagrees. That's up to him.

It does tie his hands a bit - he can't change his mind without looking doddery, but whatever. The anti-Trump side won't care, and will spin it as a great tactical decision, but to the rest of the country breaking a campaign promise before you even get going might be a little questionable.

Regards,
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Oh, I don’t think there’s a chance he goes back on the promise. Going into the primary, I’m sure he thought that Harris and Warren would be strong candidates. Biden has got to know he will be seen as a lame duck on day one, no matter what he says about a second term, no one is predicting his death, but the presidency definitely ages you
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:23 PM
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Because Corey Booker did first and he could not be out-done.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:29 PM
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Announcing a policy position on healthcare is to be expected. No major candidate has ever announced during the primaries that they’re committed to picking a woman or a minority as a running mate.

In the 1988 debates, the moderators tried to get candidates to say that they would or would not pick Jesse Jackson as a running mate. In 1984, Mondale hinted he’d pick a woman but never (to my knowledge) explicitly said so.
I don’t think there’s any other election where a sizable amount of the electorate (whether primary or general) really really didn’t want another white man to be the nominee.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:44 PM
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Just copied and pasted from the last damn time we talked about this:

At the time (of the debate), it was my judgment that his proclamation was an impulsive spur of the moment statement because he was under the pressure of a question from the moderator about his record on women's rights. Others here have disagreed with this assessment, claiming that they think he planned to choose a female running mate well in advance of that debate, and that he simply chose that moment to announce this. I remain deeply skeptical of this viewpoint, and I think I can read Biden well enough now to know that he was put on the spot by the question, the wheels in his brain were spinning, and he said "fuck it" and popped the clutch.

Again, just my opinion.

I think Biden made a dumb call for two reasons, for the record. One: I'm against the idea of categorically excluding an entire gender from the position. It's sexist. It smacks of pandering. It's one thing to decide, privately, "I think a woman would help balance the ticket", and then choose one. But to openly announce it just has bad optics. Just my opinion, others may see it differently.

Two, and more importantly: he failed to take into account the fact that the tide of current events in the months leading up to the election could potentially shape a stellar VP choice who would then be locked out because it might be a man. Let's say that in the next few months, one of the state governors does an absolutely amazing job of rising to the occasion, truly distinguishing that state's mitigation efforts above all the others. Let's say just hypothetically that Jay Inslee, for instance, in the course of governorship during this pandemic, comes up with some kind of amazingly creative and effective plan that leads to a situation when, after the initial dust has settled in a few months, the whole country is looking at Washington State and saying, "wow, they did something right - their response to the virus was head and shoulders above the rest of the country."

Imagine this is a poker game. It's Hold 'em. Biden has his cards. The coronavirus is the flop. The mitigation efforts are the turn. The resolution is the river. But wait, none of that matters because Biden folded as soon as he got his cards.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:49 PM
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Well, the goal during the primaries is to win the nomination, so any decision or announcement or statement or action is in service of that goal. Yeah, it was pandering, with the intention to win. So what else is new?
That people accept pandering does not make pandering something other than pandering. This speaks to the sort of "electability politics" guessing game that has torn the Democratic electorate asunder and neutralized its ability to meaningfully propose policies.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:58 PM
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That people accept pandering does not make pandering something other than pandering. This speaks to the sort of "electability politics" guessing game that has torn the Democratic electorate asunder and neutralized its ability to meaningfully propose policies.
Torn the Democratic electorate? Ever seen 68 or 72?
Yes, there’s some pushback from Bernie or Busters. Yes, there’s squabbling between the Warren/Klobuchar/Harris supporters almost as if the primaries didn’t end. But, I’d hardly call it a torn electorate. Biden isn’t going to go rogue and pick a Palin. In the end, the party will unite except for some Bernie people who are the least likely Democratic voters.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:01 PM
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Torn the Democratic electorate? Ever seen 68 or 72?
Yes, there’s some pushback from Bernie or Busters. Yes, there’s squabbling between the Warren/Klobuchar/Harris supporters almost as if the primaries didn’t end. But, I’d hardly call it a torn electorate. Biden isn’t going to go rogue and pick a Palin. In the end, the party will unite except for some Bernie people who are the least likely Democratic voters.
I mean yeah aside from the entirety of the youth and left vote you're good.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:11 PM
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Of course there's pushback from Bernie or Busters. That's what their boss has been paying them to do. Their goal is to throw America into chaos to strengthen Russia's position. If Sanders had somehow gotten the nomination, they'd have turned on him, too.

Most of Sanders' actual supporters, however, will vote for whoever the Democrat is over Trump.

Back on topic, I strongly suspect that Biden already knew who, specifically, he wanted as VP, when he said that. He's a good enough politician to know not to come out and say that explicitly, but I think he could still have phrased his statement a lot better.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:17 PM
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If you have any info on how me and most of the people I know can get hooked up with this mysterious benefactor money let me know. Do I have to talk to "Q" or take a jet to Little Saint James or what?
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:25 PM
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Two, and more importantly: he failed to take into account the fact that the tide of current events in the months leading up to the election could potentially shape a stellar VP choice who would then be locked out because it might be a man.
There's already enough great VP choices among women that I'm not too worried that some man is going to suddenly elevate to Undisputed Best Pick Ever and be shut out.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:32 PM
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Possible he already picked someone and they said yes so they are just going through the motions to look at other women. On the other hand I don't think he could keep a choice from leaking out.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:33 PM
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Identity is part of VP selection -- always has been and always will be. And perception and symbolism is part of the VP (and president, and all public offices, for that matter) job. It's not some robot who makes decisions -- it's an American representing all Americans. When there hasn't ever been a person of X or Y category, especially if that category is ~50% of the population, then that demonstrates a serious problem with how leaders are chosen. That demonstrates to that 50% that they really aren't considered equal. Having a woman VP and Prez is only a small part of fixing that, but it's still an important and necessary part.

Identity is part of the qualification. It always has been -- and we can see this with pretty much every selection, in some way. I have no problem with the possibility of acknowledging this. Anyone who does just doesn't realize that it's always been like this. It's not a coincidence that almost every VP and Prez were white men -- being a white man was considered part of the qualification for most of our history, even if this wasn't formally acknowledged.

Maybe one day we'll have an actual equal and fair society in which these kinds of things don't matter. But we're very, very far from that society. In the meantime, it's a positive good to include identity in these decisions in a way that improves these sorts of symbols of diversity.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:34 PM
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I imagine that most of them were working for Putin long before this, but I'll admit that I'm not privy to his hiring techniques.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:39 PM
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Just copied and pasted from the last damn time we talked about this:

At the time (of the debate), it was my judgment that his proclamation was an impulsive spur of the moment statement because he was under the pressure of a question from the moderator about his record on women's rights. Others here have disagreed with this assessment, claiming that they think he planned to choose a female running mate well in advance of that debate, and that he simply chose that moment to announce this. I remain deeply skeptical of this viewpoint, and I think I can read Biden well enough now to know that he was put on the spot by the question, the wheels in his brain were spinning, and he said "fuck it" and popped the clutch.

Again, just my opinion.

I think Biden made a dumb call for two reasons, for the record. One: I'm against the idea of categorically excluding an entire gender from the position. It's sexist. It smacks of pandering. It's one thing to decide, privately, "I think a woman would help balance the ticket", and then choose one. But to openly announce it just has bad optics. Just my opinion, others may see it differently.

Two, and more importantly: he failed to take into account the fact that the tide of current events in the months leading up to the election could potentially shape a stellar VP choice who would then be locked out because it might be a man. Let's say that in the next few months, one of the state governors does an absolutely amazing job of rising to the occasion, truly distinguishing that state's mitigation efforts above all the others. Let's say just hypothetically that Jay Inslee, for instance, in the course of governorship during this pandemic, comes up with some kind of amazingly creative and effective plan that leads to a situation when, after the initial dust has settled in a few months, the whole country is looking at Washington State and saying, "wow, they did something right - their response to the virus was head and shoulders above the rest of the country."

Imagine this is a poker game. It's Hold 'em. Biden has his cards. The coronavirus is the flop. The mitigation efforts are the turn. The resolution is the river. But wait, none of that matters because Biden folded as soon as he got his cards.
I agree with all of this, and in addition, I don't even think it was smart politically. Anyone who would swing his or her vote to Biden because he picks a woman VP was already going to vote for him anyways. He is after the swing voter.

Had he made a statement such as "I pledge to pick the best qualified person in the country regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation; however your question is well taken as it is high time that women achieve positions of national prominence, and I will pledge to fully consider every qualified woman and every other qualified person" your typical swing voter would have viewed that positively and also would have been assured that he hadn't bought into the whole "woke" thing.

IOW, he was pandering to people who already supported him.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:44 PM
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My guess is that he already had a short list, and it was like mostly women anyway. They, put on the spot, he just said it would be.

and of course- it's time the USA stopped it's sexist ways and elected a woman to the White house.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:47 PM
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I mean yeah aside from the entirety of the youth and left vote you're good.
Unfortunately, the youth vote doesn’t exist. They just don’t come out. Every candidate that relies on the youth vote to win — loses
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:47 PM
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I imagine that most of them were working for Putin long before this, but I'll admit that I'm not privy to his hiring techniques.
Vladimir Putin is not the reason your country and its politics are in shambles, and accusing anyone who points those things out of being in some way indebted to Today's Boogeyman is both dismissive and unhelpful.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:48 PM
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.... It smacks of pandering....
Every Veep choice is 100% pandering. Pandering to some electorate or other. That's the way it has been since 1804.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:49 PM
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This election will be won by women. Women in every state in the country, of every political stripe. Anyone paying attention can see that women's rights are under siege by this "administration." Women are pissed, with good reason.

Biden's announcement was not off the cuff, nor was it unplanned. I suspect internal polling shows this advantage to Biden very clearly. It will be further cemented across the country by him naming a competent female running mate.

ETA: <deleted reference to speculative pick, missed that request initially by the OP. Sorry!>

Last edited by Aspenglow; 05-05-2020 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:49 PM
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Unfortunately, the youth vote doesn’t exist. They just don’t come out. Every candidate that relies on the youth vote to win — loses
Unfortunately, it does. Just not as much as I'd (and maybe? some of you?) would like. You're proposing that an enormous # of people don't exist. You're also proposing that there are no structural reasons behind large parts of depressed youth turnout.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:50 PM
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Amy Klobuchar would really be the cherry on this shit sundae of a candidacy. Just a human shudder.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:52 PM
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Vladimir Putin is not the reason your country and its politics are in shambles, and accusing anyone who points those things out of being in some way indebted to Today's Boogeyman is both dismissive and unhelpful.
Actually, since Putin got trump elected- yes, he is the reason.

Now sure, Putins disinformation campaign was only like the 3rd most important reason Hillary lost, but the election was so damn close that leaving Putin out would have led to a Clinton win.

Mind you, with Moscow Mitch in control of the senate, things would still be problematic, but note the nickname.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:01 PM
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Anyone who would swing his or her vote to Biden because he picks a woman VP was already going to vote for him anyways. He is after the swing voter.
2018 was won by white suburban women who shifted from leaning Republican to voting Democratic. Part of that was them being sick of Trump's shit but a woman VP could help tip them in 2020. Especially if they're sick of Trump's shit but then wary of the Reade allegations.

Additionally, it's hard to see where it hurts. Unless Biden picks an awful candidate for VP (think Palin), picking a woman is basically all potential upside. There might be some small percentage who'd never vote for a female VP but I doubt they were voting Biden anyway.

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Old 05-05-2020, 03:04 PM
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Unfortunately, it does. Just not as much as I'd (and maybe? some of you?) would like. You're proposing that an enormous # of people don't exist. You're also proposing that there are no structural reasons behind large parts of depressed youth turnout.
There are definitely structural reasons. There are many reasons. Nevertheless, they don’t vote. Of course young people certainly exist, but they don’t go to the polls. I wish they would.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:13 PM
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Actually, since Putin got trump elected- yes, he is the reason.

Now sure, Putins disinformation campaign was only like the 3rd most important reason Hillary lost, but the election was so damn close that leaving Putin out would have led to a Clinton win.

Mind you, with Moscow Mitch in control of the senate, things would still be problematic, but note the nickname.
These are convenient excuses to ignore the fact that you share a country with a large ethno-fascist exterminationist cult whose politics revolve around vindication for a perceived fall.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:14 PM
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There are definitely structural reasons. There are many reasons. Nevertheless, they don’t vote. Of course young people certainly exist, but they don’t go to the polls. I wish they would.
They/we do vote. It's not as much as it should be. It still exists. It won't show up for Joey Fingers and his No Platform.
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:15 PM
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They/we do vote.
You’re referring to “we” — for which country is this “we” referring? I’d like to see a cite because it seems clear you have an outsider’s view of the US.
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:20 PM
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Every Veep choice is 100% pandering. Pandering to some electorate or other. That's the way it has been since 1804.
Yep. But some people find the phrase “how dare Joe Biden appeal to Democratic and independent voters!” to be insufficiently exciting, so they substitute the loaded term “pandering” to make it seem there’s a point worth debating.

See also, “Joe Biden consistently supports the ACA — he’s so recalcitrant!” vs “Bernie consistently supports Medicare for All - he’s so principled!”
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:22 PM
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You’re referring to “we” — for which country is this “we” referring? I’d like to see a cite because it seems clear you have an outsider’s view of the US.
Seriously what is wrong with you people?

I know exactly which oblast I'm sitting in.

Like genuinely imagine for a moment the FSB order to just go wreck the "Straight Dope Message Board."
  #43  
Old 05-05-2020, 04:23 PM
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Bernie Sanders has been fairly consistent in his positions for about 50 years. Joe Biden, when he's bothered to have positions, has done an awful lot of shuffling. It's almost like he doesn't stand for anything. Mighty kind of him to come around on gay marriage in what, the late 2000s? Soon he can find out about the information economy.
  #44  
Old 05-05-2020, 04:38 PM
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Amy Klobuchar would really be the cherry on this shit sundae of a candidacy. Just a human shudder.
100% true. Which is why I have the horrible feeling that she's going to be the pick.
  #45  
Old 05-05-2020, 04:47 PM
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Back on topic, I strongly suspect that Biden already knew who, specifically, he wanted as VP, when he said that. He's a good enough politician to know not to come out and say that explicitly, but I think he could still have phrased his statement a lot better.
Heh. You know, it never really occurred to me before, but: if you’re right, and Biden was always going to simply give an honest answer to the VP question at that debate, can you imagine just how much worse that could’ve gotten phrased?

“And, as we come to the end of tonight’s debate: you two have expressed clear disagreements on a number of issues; but there also seems to be a lot of common ground between the two of you, the two top vote-getters in these primaries. So my final question to you, Senator Sanders, is this: if you get the nomination, would you consider asking the other gentleman to be your running mate? Yes or no.”

[Sanders pauses, and the audience eventually chuckles, as he looks the guy over]

“You know what? Yeah. Hell, yeah, I would. Absolutely.”

[The audience cheers like crazy. Cut back to: the moderator]

“Vice-President Biden: same question, yes or no.”
  #46  
Old 05-05-2020, 05:34 PM
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Seriously what is wrong with you people?

I know exactly which oblast I'm sitting in.

Like genuinely imagine for a moment the FSB order to just go wreck the "Straight Dope Message Board."
I don’t believe for a second that you are a Russian. But your reference to “your country” above seems a clear indication that you aren’t in the US, and when you said that young people vote often, you’re clearly not talking about the US. So I’m wondering which country you’re talking about that has good levels of youth participation, and what that really means.
  #47  
Old 05-05-2020, 05:54 PM
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Quoth Organism:

Vladimir Putin is not the reason your country and its politics are in shambles, and accusing anyone who points those things out of being in some way indebted to Today's Boogeyman is both dismissive and unhelpful.
I never said he was the reason. To the extent there's a single reason that my country is in shambles, it can be summed up as "people are idiots". In particular, people here: People elsewhere are idiots, too, but non-American idiocy isn't very relevant for America's status.

What I said was that most of the "Bernie or bust" people are paid Russian trolls. Anyone who can't make a decision between Biden and Trump, or who chooses Trump over Biden, wasn't ever a supporter of what Sanders supports. Oh, I'm sure there are a few who fall into those categories who sincerely think that they support Sanders, because again, people are idiots, but most of that narrative is coming from the Kremlin.
  #48  
Old 05-05-2020, 06:20 PM
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I very clearly live in the US, and no, most Bernie supporters who've bailed on the party aren't in Russia.
  #49  
Old 05-05-2020, 07:08 PM
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Anyone who would swing his or her vote to Biden because he picks a woman VP was already going to vote for him anyways. He is after the swing voter.
This is hilariously wrong. There are many, many female suburban voters that will vote for Biden if he picks a female VP that may not if he doesn't. This isn't even really debatable, IMO.
Quote:
Had he made a statement such as "I pledge to pick the best qualified person in the country regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation; however your question is well taken as it is high time that women achieve positions of national prominence, and I will pledge to fully consider every qualified woman and every other qualified person" your typical swing voter would have viewed that positively and also would have been assured that he hadn't bought into the whole "woke" thing.
No swing voter knows what "woke" means. I'm not 100% sure Biden himself does...

What the possible suburban female swing voter heard and though (the day after in the headlines, because absolutely no swing voters watch primary debates) is "Hey, Biden's going to pick a woman. Cool." That's it.
  #50  
Old 05-05-2020, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Organism View Post
Seriously what is wrong with you people?

I know exactly which oblast I'm sitting in.

Like genuinely imagine for a moment the FSB order to just go wreck the "Straight Dope Message Board."
That’ll earn you a warning, Organism.

It’s specifically against the rules to accuse others of being Russian trolls. Don’t do it again.
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