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Old 01-16-2020, 07:39 PM
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NYT: Senators Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar, and Bennet could be tied up with senate trial


The New York Times astutely observes that the rules for the impeachment trial could seriously hurt the four presidential candidates who are subject to them.
"The rules for senators at the trial are firm: six days a week in the Senate chamber, no cellphones, no talking.

Itís hard to overstate how big a problem this is for the candidates serving as jurors.
"
While Senators Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar, and Bennet are forced to sit still on the hill, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg will be out on the trail. In Iowa.

Smart move on McConnell's part, says I. Dirty move, too (whatever the actual justification). What does the Straight Dope think will come of this?

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 01-16-2020 at 07:41 PM. Reason: title edit
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:52 PM
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Um, this in particular has nothing to do with McConnell; these the rules used in past impeachment trials.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2020, 07:55 PM
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Um, this in particular has nothing to do with McConnell; these the rules used in past impeachment trials.
Oh, in that case I withdraw those two sentences.

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Old 01-16-2020, 08:05 PM
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This is really going to kill Bennett's momentum!
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:13 AM
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What does the Straight Dope think will come of this?
I don't feel any of these four candidates are going to have a difficult time putting a positive spin on this. Their narrative will be that while some candidates were out making speeches, they were hard at work trying to remove Trump from office.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:34 AM
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Good surrogates should help them fill in the gaps on the trail.

Amy, it's time to dust off Fritz!
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:41 AM
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Rallies will be held wherever candidate senators can expose themselves on oversize video screens. Their voices will strongly resound from speaker systems, same as if they were there in person. Staffers will swarm about. I dunno if souvenirs will be distributed - how can they compete if Bloomberg and Steyer quietly pass out drinks at their events?

Meanwhile this POTUS will attend his own rallies. He won't even need to give supporters free fentanyl - they're already hooked on him. Expect him to headline Really Big Shows to distract attention from the trial he won't attend. And then a sudden crisis erupts. Danger! Danger! Presidential Action Time!

Senators, the vulnerable GOPs and candidate Dems alike, will forcibly remain in session, trying to appear to be paying attention. All will be thinking of something else, mostly their own political survival. That's their only standard.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:51 AM
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Looks like big boon for Biden. He can use this, and the recent Warren-Bernie spat, to put all the more distance between him and his closest two rivals.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:03 AM
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Was this part of the democratic party strategy to sideline Sanders and Warren and boost candidates like Biden and Buttijeig?
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:16 AM
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nm

Last edited by squeegee; 01-17-2020 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:14 AM
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Looks like big boon for Biden. He can use this, and the recent Warren-Bernie spat, to put all the more distance between him and his closest two rivals.
I wonder if Biden will send surrogates for himself while the others are tied up.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:51 AM
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nm - double post

Last edited by RTFirefly; 01-17-2020 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:54 AM
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Good surrogates should help them fill in the gaps on the trail.

Amy, it's time to dust off Fritz!
Good Lord, is Mondale still alive??

[googles]

Sonuvabitch, he is! I hadn't heard of him for so long, I'd just assumed that he'd quietly passed away years ago.

[checks Google again]

And Gary Hart and Michael Dukakis are still alive as well - forgotten, but not gone.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:11 PM
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Good Lord, is Mondale still alive??
It's amazing that of the four men running in 1976 - Carter, Ford, Mondale, and Dole - three of them are still alive forty-four years later.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 01-17-2020 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:15 PM
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I don't buy the argument that campaigning makes any difference. Two weeks out of the frenzy isn't going to hurt anyone.
"Gee, I kind of like Senator Warren, but she hasn't been in Iowa for two weeks, perhaps I shall shift to Biden." I don't see that happening.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:24 PM
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I don't buy the argument that campaigning makes any difference. Two weeks out of the frenzy isn't going to hurt anyone.
"Gee, I kind of like Senator Warren, but she hasn't been in Iowa for two weeks, perhaps I shall shift to Biden." I don't see that happening.
Except being there in person creates headlines, video clips and news. Those are all critically important, especially in a close race.

For example: I'm torn between three candidates. However, when I read a positive news story or watch a campaign event with one of them, I'll admit I start thinking "Yep, that's the one. They've probably got my vote..." But then I'll read or see something from one of the other two candidates I like, and I go "OK, that's the one I'm gonna likely vote for." The less I read or hear about one of those three candidates, the less inspired I feel to vote for them.

This could be a real problem in close races, especially for Warren, but even Sanders. But I suspect it could really, really help Biden, Pete and Bloomberg.

Last edited by Happy Lendervedder; 01-17-2020 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:24 PM
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Come on. Of course campaigning makes a difference. But they'll still be able to do some, use surrogates and pump advertising. There's also the opportunity for some serious grandstanding during the trial, lol.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:40 PM
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Harold Stassen would run except in died in 2001.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:43 PM
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There's also the opportunity for some serious grandstanding during the trial, lol.
I'm not sure why people have this impression. AIUI, if there's any grandstanding it'll have to come from the House managers or from the defense lawyers, but it can't come from a Senator.

The Senators are jurors; they sit and listen. I don't believe they can ask questions, make statements or call objections, and if they're called to vote on things like allowed evidence or witnesses, these will be yes or no votes without floor debate. And at the end, each Senator gets one of two choices as a statement: "Guilty" or "Not Guilty".

Someone please correct me if I'm off base.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:54 PM
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Come on. Of course campaigning makes a difference. But they'll still be able to do some, use surrogates and pump advertising. There's also the opportunity for some serious grandstanding during the trial, lol.
No there's not. The senators can't speak during the trial.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:58 PM
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Well, there's no rule, afaik, that deliberations must be held in private. But you're probably mostly right. During the proceedings they'll be limited to facial gymnastics to garner camera time. However, there will be plenty of hallway and staircase interviews daily.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:27 PM
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Well, there's no rule, afaik, that deliberations must be held in private. But you're probably mostly right. During the proceedings they'll be limited to facial gymnastics to garner camera time. However, there will be plenty of hallway and staircase interviews daily.
The Clinton rules had deliberations behind closed doors (in private). Senators were not allowed to speak for more than ten or fifteen minutes on a question. Outside of closed-door deliberations, senators are not allowed to ask questions, they have to write the questions down and the Chief Justice will read them. Individual senators are not allowed to cross-examine witnesses, the party that produces the witness picks one person examine and the other side picks one person to cross-examine. Motions are voted on without debate unless the doors are closed for deliberation, colloquy is not allowed, etc.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 01-17-2020 at 04:28 PM.
  #23  
Old 01-17-2020, 05:59 PM
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Except being there in person creates headlines, video clips and news. Those are all critically important, especially in a close race.

For example: I'm torn between three candidates. However, when I read a positive news story or watch a campaign event with one of them, I'll admit I start thinking "Yep, that's the one. They've probably got my vote..." But then I'll read or see something from one of the other two candidates I like, and I go "OK, that's the one I'm gonna likely vote for." The less I read or hear about one of those three candidates, the less inspired I feel to vote for them.

This could be a real problem in close races, especially for Warren, but even Sanders. But I suspect it could really, really help Biden, Pete and Bloomberg.
I could see this hurting their campaigns, from a political perspective. The Iowa caucus is too close for comfort, and there are valuable photo/news ops the candidates will have to pass up. I don't think they would be too concerned about voters that have already decided, the focus would be more on voters that are torn or even voters who don't bother to make up their minds until the weeks leading up to the caucus.

And the local visits are especially important in Iowa, due to the unique and communal nature of the caucus meetings. Less time on the trail means less local visits means less people are thinking about you when they meet on 2/3.

~Max
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:06 PM
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Do some people vote about how often they see the candidate, rather than what the candidate has said?
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:22 PM
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Do some people vote about how often they see the candidate, rather than what the candidate has said?
Or even who they last saw. In any case many are not voting based on the WHAT the candidate said as much as HOW they said it, the feeling they got listening to them.

In terms of impact? I can see this going either way honestly, depending on how much interest the voters in Iowa in particular have in the impeachment process.

Yes having to be in the Senate for those hours of the day is that many fewer hands shaken and selfies taken.

But a public that cares about the impeachment trial will be hanging on to what the sitting Senators who will be voting have to say about it, and what cameras might not have caught, after each day's events. That's not just hallways and staircases, it's in studios.

Maybe a net negative for Iowa by some small margin but a bunch of unpaid publicity that feeds for races that follow that will be, assuming it is used well, net positive there.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:04 PM
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Yeah, there's some value in shaking hands, and in being seen eating local food at the county fair, and the like. Given the opportunity, no competent politician would pass that up. But any politician who can't spin around that in a case like this is too incompetent to be in the Senate, much less the White House.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:01 PM
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Do some people vote about how often they see the candidate, rather than what the candidate has said?
Some non-voters or on the fence voters may be swayed by seeing a candidate in person. It probably won't matter to people who already made their minds up. I believe voter turnout in the Iowa caucus is only about 20%.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-18-2020 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:03 PM
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I don't think any of the four have a snowball's chance in hell of getting the nomination anyway. No effect.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:10 AM
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I'd expect that anything lost by the lack of campaigning would be offset by being able to have actually been trying to do something about Trump. The other candidates especially won't be able to use this against them, like they could for other campaign absences.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:59 AM
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I'd expect that anything lost by the lack of campaigning would be offset by being able to have actually been trying to do something about Trump. The other candidates especially won't be able to use this against them, like they could for other campaign absences.
I'm not so sure there's all too much to gain from the senate trial. Everybody knows the president will be acquitted, and there are few opportunities for grandstanding.

~Max
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:16 AM
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Everybody knows the president will be acquitted, and there are few opportunities for grandstanding.
Is grandstanding even considered a political positive in a situation like this?

~Max
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:36 AM
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"Grandstanding" is a negative descriptor so it's never a positive. Delivering an impromptu impassioned speech, can be positive. Though some might describe it as grandstanding.

Last edited by CarnalK; 01-20-2020 at 10:38 AM.
  #33  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:21 AM
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"Grandstanding" is a negative descriptor so it's never a positive. Delivering an impromptu impassioned speech, can be positive. Though some might describe it as grandstanding.
I wasn't aware of such a connotation. What I meant to say would be, the senators can make speeches when the Senate is adjourned, speeches which probably criticize the President or lay out their thinking on the impeachment vote. But will swing voters in Iowa care if, ultimately, they know the President will be acquitted?

That's what I'm wondering. I believe Ann Selzer did a poll showing 87% of Americans are tired of political circus, but I don't know how well that describes the citizenry of Iowa, and I don't know how many of those people identify as swing voters (for the Democratic primaries/caucus). It is my opinion that the entire impeachment debacle amounts to... well, political circus. Not because it is unjustified, but because under the current circumstances he just isn't going to be convicted.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 01-20-2020 at 11:21 AM. Reason: convicted
  #34  
Old 01-20-2020, 02:49 PM
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Biden or Warren or a dark horse will be winning the nomination anyway.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:09 PM
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Biden or Warren or a dark horse will be winning the nomination anyway.
Senator Warren, by virtue of being a senator, would be tied up in D.C. while former Vice President Biden is out campaigning in Iowa. That is a significant part of this thread.

~Max
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:14 PM
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The first casualty as Bernie cancels his rally tomorrow in Iowa.
https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Se...567166001.html

Even if Bernie could have chartered a private jet to and from the rally (one hour time difference helps) I think he knows that would look just awful to all but his most fervent supporters.
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