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Old 06-27-2019, 09:21 AM
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WHY do nobodies continue to announce they're running for President?


As of today, approximately seven hundred thousand people have formally announced they seek the Democratic nomination for President. Even semi-serious candidates had to be sorted into two groups of ten to get them all into TV debates.

While the horde includes well known candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden and notable upstarts like Pete Buttiegieg (sp?) Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke, it is largely composed of interchangeable white guys with names such as John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, John Delaney, David Naylor, and Seth Moulton, and be honest, you had to read that twice to figure out which of those names I made up.

It is plainly obvious that Tim Ryan and Joe Sestak have no chance at all, so why are they doing this? It is building their brands? Is there a hustle? Are they angling for Cabinet positions? Why would a person work so hard to get shit-kicked in Iowa?
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:25 AM
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The first time I heard the name Barack Obama I thought the same thing.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:29 AM
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Perhaps they believe that if Clinton isn't running, they have just as much of a chance as any other little guy.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:46 AM
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What sort of factual answer could you possibly expect to this question? Moving to Elections.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:47 AM
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How does fundraising work as a candidate for one of the two major parties? Specifically, does a failed candidate have to give the money back when the campaign ends? If not, then that could be a reason for being a candidate. Even if they have to give back the unspent portion, campaign funds can help build their brand as a political figure during this campaign.

Aside, I thought Hickenlooper was one of the significant dark horses in the Democratic Party? Former Mayor of Denver, then Governor of Colorado, and a reputation as a bit of a centrist.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:49 AM
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You're counting the mayor of South Bend, Indiana as a "notable upstart", but the governor of Colorado as a "nobody"?
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:52 AM
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I thought that part of the American Dream was that nobody's a nobody and everyone deserves a chance to be President?
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:23 AM
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I thought that part of the American Dream was that nobody's a nobody and everyone deserves a chance to be President?
For 15 minutes
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:27 AM
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These two articles try to answer that question. Some people end up with the vice-presidency or cabinet positions. Others get more recognition nationally, with some getting jobs on Fox News, MSNBC or elsewhere. Some turn into public speakers. (Although some end up losing a good reputation as a result of an unsuccessful run.)
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:30 AM
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I agree that people don't get elected by virtue of being or having been members of the House of Representatives (hi, Ryan and Moulton and Delaney and Swalwell and Gabbard and now Sestak and hi also to anyone else I have forgotten).

And mayor is even more a longshot, though Buttigieg's standing in the polls suggests it's not a lost cause.

That being said, the poster candidate for the longshots is not really Obama, who was a) a senator when he ran and b) well known for his 2004 nomination speech, which was extraordinarily well received when he made it. It's Bill Clinton, and especially Jimmy Carter, little-known governors of not-especially-large states who knocked aside better-known and better-funded candidates in the primaries to win the nomination and ultimately the Presidency. Yeah, going back to the twentieth century for the last example of an obscure politician winning the Democratic nomination doesn't bode real well for the obscures currently running. But politicians are arrogant, and you could catch lightning in a bottle. And didn't your mother tell you you could be anything you wanted to be? Why not give it a whirl?

(As an aside, I campaigned for Sestak when he lost to Pat Toomey in 2010--spent about four days canvassing in various parts of Philadelphia. A good guy in many ways, but no, I don't have any clarity into why he entered this race.)
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:37 AM
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How does fundraising work as a candidate for one of the two major parties? Specifically, does a failed candidate have to give the money back when the campaign ends?
Typical there's next to nothing left by the time they go through the expenses associated with actually shutting down the campaign. Only a couple big fundraisers, and sometimes only the eventual nominee, have the luxury of not living hand to mouth financially. That said they don't prorate out the pennies and give the money back.

...and a factcheck article with what they can do with the funds.


Quote:
Even if they have to give back the unspent portion, campaign funds can help build their brand as a political figure during this campaign.
Not mentioned in the link above they can roll money from one federal campaign fund to another. Pretty much all the sitting Senators running had a nice little nest egg in their Senate campaign fund to start with. Of course if they burn through all of it that can causes issues for their next Senate run.

Spending on brand/name awareness can help, or hurt if they really soil the bed , with later runs for office including President. It can also be a chance to spend a bunch of money talking about specific issues they are personally concerned about. Inslee wasn't seen as having a great shot despite being a governor. He really wants to focus on addressing climate change. Moulton's campaign really wants to focus on foreign policy; he's on the House Armed Services Committee. Inslee qualified for at least this first debate giving him a chance. Moulton has work to do just to get to that big stage.

Last edited by DinoR; 06-27-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:44 AM
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That being said, the poster candidate for the longshots is not really Obama, who was a) a senator when he ran and b) well known for his 2004 nomination speech, which was extraordinarily well received when he made it. It's Bill Clinton, and especially Jimmy Carter, little-known governors of not-especially-large states who knocked aside better-known and better-funded candidates in the primaries to win the nomination and ultimately the Presidency. Yeah, going back to the twentieth century for the last example of an obscure politician winning the Democratic nomination doesn't bode real well for the obscures currently running. But politicians are arrogant, and you could catch lightning in a bottle. And didn't your mother tell you you could be anything you wanted to be? Why not give it a whirl?
Isn't Donald Trump the poster child of poster children? There were close to twenty Republican running for the nomination in 2016, some of whom were qualified by any reasonable measure.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:45 AM
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Too late to edit my post above:

The success of Buttigieg at this point does help explain why these other folks are in--if the mayor of South Freakin' Bend can get near double digits in a poll, then why not a House member, or the mayor of Nowhere You've Ever Heard of, Florida? The attention paid to O'Rourke is another example--he's a failed Senate candidate who never served above the House. Hey, that's Joe Sestak, except that Sestak had a military career as well! In addition to taking the example of Carter as instructive, candidates look at the successes of people like O'Rourke and Buttigieg and say, rightly or wrongly, "What've they got that I haven't got?"
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:47 AM
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I think it's a deliberate attempt to see if they can get Trump to run out of childish nicknames.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:48 AM
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Typical there's next to nothing left by the time they go through the expenses associated with actually shutting down the campaign. Only a couple big fundraisers, and sometimes only the eventual nominee, have the luxury of not living hand to mouth financially. That said they don't prorate out the pennies and give the money back.

...and a factcheck article with what they can do with the funds.



Not mentioned in the link above they can roll money from one federal campaign fund to another. Pretty much all the sitting Senators running had a nice little nest egg in their Senate campaign fund to start with. Of course if they burn through all of it that can causes issues for their next Senate run.

Spending on brand/name awareness can help, or hurt if they really soil the bed , with later runs for office including President. It can also be a chance to spend a bunch of money talking about specific issues they are personally concerned about. Inslee wasn't seen as having a great shot despite being a governor. He really wants to focus on addressing climate change. Moulton's campaign really wants to focus on foreign policy; he's on the House Armed Services Committee. Inslee qualified for at least this first debate giving him a chance. Moulton has work to do just to get to that big stage.
Thanks. I remember that back in the day, retiring Congresscritters got to take their war chest home with them, but I thought that loophole had been closed? Per this abcnews story, the loophole allowing campaign funds to be used for personal purposes, started to be closed in 1979, which sounds about right, and finally shut in 1989.

2010 opensecrets.org article mentioning what retiring Representatives and Senators could and could not do with their remaining campaign funds. Interestingly, at that time, while campaign funds could not be used for personal purposes, other PACs had no such restrictions. And I didn't see a lot of reasons why campaign funds couldn't be rolled into a "Leadership PAC," then later converted to personal use.

I'm sure, like every other part of campaign financing, the rules are arcane, byzantine, and serve as a full employment act for attorneys.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:50 AM
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Isn't Donald Trump the poster child of poster children? There were close to twenty Republican running for the nomination in 2016, some of whom were qualified by any reasonable measure.
Right. I was limiting it to Democrats, partly, and mostly I was limiting it to politicians: Trump is a different story because he was widely known before he ever started running. There's no direct analogue to Trump among the Democratic candidates, no one who was already famous for non-political reasons; we'd have to have a Bill Gates or an Oprah Winfrey or somebody in the field to make that analogy. I'm sure Sestak and Mouton are basing their hopes much more on what happened with Clinton and Carter than on what happened with Trump.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:54 AM
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Why? There's a saying that every Congressmember or Governor who looks in the mirror sees a President.

Sometimes the obscure do catch fire and win, but only if they run. Might as well, then.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:05 AM
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The first time I heard the name Barack Obama I thought the same thing.
The turning point in Obama's ascendancy was his huge victory in the US Senate Democratic primary in 2004 bolstered by his famous keynote address a few months later at the Democratic National Convention. Few had heard of him before that, but after those events he was considered a major star within the Democratic establishment for the four years until his nomination for the presidency. He never ran for president as a "nobody".
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:10 AM
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You can also use campaign funds to pay for hotel rooms for you and your campaign staff, to hotels that you own, and which jack up the prices above normal levels so you can transfer larger amounts of money from your donors to yourself.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:10 AM
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Once you get White House fever, the only cure is embalming fluid. A lot of these candidates know they have no prayer in 2020. But they need to build up name recognition they can enter the fray in 2024 (hopefully not, because that would mean a Democratic loss in 2020) or 2028 as a first tier candidate. And there's no doubt that a lot of them are auditioning for VP.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:24 AM
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It is plainly obvious that Tim Ryan and Joe Sestak have no chance at all, so why are they doing this? It is building their brands? Is there a hustle? Are they angling for Cabinet positions? Why would a person work so hard to get shit-kicked in Iowa?
I agree. I have no idea why a failed senate candidates, failed presidential candidates and people who haven't even manged to win state wide office are running for president. The primary would be much better off if only senators and governors were running. I'd also cap the age and say no one over 69 is allowed to run either. Once we eliminated the bums it would allow the viable candidates to get their message out more effectively and we could decide who to run against trump based on platform not name recognition.

As for why people are still entering I think its because everyone running looks terrible so a ham sandwich would make a viable candidate in this crowd and all if takes is something going viral and you'll run against trump and that should be an easy win.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:54 AM
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The first time I heard the name Barack Obama I thought the same thing.
Uh, that's plainly nonsense. Barack Obama was touted highly as a presidential candidate ever since his speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention. In the years leading up to the 2008 election campaign, he and Hillary Clinton consistently polled the highest among the potential candidates. It was no shock at all that he won in Iowa.

So when he announced his candidacy in Feb. of 2007, only someone who had paid exactly zero attention to what was going on would have considered him a political outsider with no hope.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:55 AM
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Why? There's a saying that every Congressmember or Governor who looks in the mirror sees a President.
This is true. You don't get into serious politics unless you are somewhat of a narcissist.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:28 PM
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Hm...it makes me think there might be something other than being president at stake.

It might be that they want focus for their issue, and this is the best way. Or it is winning just to be a 2020 contender, and write your book (24 of them coming!?) and have your career unfold. Maybe this is one example of
1) Run
2) ?
3) Profit
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:33 PM
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You can also use campaign funds to pay for hotel rooms for you and your campaign staff, to hotels that you own, and which jack up the prices above normal levels so you can transfer larger amounts of money from your donors to yourself.
Hypothetical. In the real world, what sort of skunk would try to pull something like that?
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:06 PM
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You're counting the mayor of South Bend, Indiana as a "notable upstart", but the governor of Colorado as a "nobody"?
"But Mayor Pete is a somebody now that's he getting good poll numbers!"

That's why "nobodies" run. Because they know it's possible to become "somebodies" and then be taken seriously by the OP and others.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:43 PM
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It depends. Buttigieg is pretty clearly building an image for a future run. Just suppose he follows this up by getting elected as governor of Indiana and does a bang-up job of it. (Recall that Bernie made his name as mayor of Burlington, showing that a socialist could play ball with the business establishment.) Anyway as Governor Pete and, say, 8 years older he might be an obvious candidate. O'Rourke, I am less clear on. Good fund raiser, but so far a failed politician. Gay-busting Gabbard, I have no idea--pure ego trip. Inslee obviously wants to make climate change a major agenda item, but he could not get a carbon tax passed in his bright blue state. Each one has his/her reason, some good, some fatuous.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:04 PM
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Who had heard of Harry Truman before he was chosen to be Roosevelt's running mate? Who the hell was Jimmy Carter, or Bill Clinton? Barack Obama was a state senator who made a rousing speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and four years later he was elected.

And WTF was this business with shady real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump?

Actually, nobodies have a decent track record.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:32 PM
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Marianne Williamson had no business being on the debate stage. How did she even qualify?
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:48 PM
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Hm...it makes me think there might be something other than being president at stake.

It might be that they want focus for their issue, and this is the best way. Or it is winning just to be a 2020 contender, and write your book (24 of them coming!?) and have your career unfold. Maybe this is one example of
1) Run
2) ?
3) Profit
22.

Elizabeth Warren had an unauthorized biography published last year (I made it about 20 pages in; it wasn't very interesting but that was probably just the way it was written) and I'm on a waiting list at the library for this.

https://www.amazon.com/Shortest-Way-...gateway&sr=8-3
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:03 AM
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Marianne Williamson had no business being on the debate stage. How did she even qualify?
I guess her book fans donated enough to get her over the 65k donors needed .
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:12 AM
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You're counting the mayor of South Bend, Indiana as a "notable upstart", but the governor of Colorado as a "nobody"?
Well, they were both on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR. Coincidence? i think not!
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Old 06-29-2019, 01:43 AM
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Because if you run for governor of a state, you might actually win.

Running for the highest office in the land is a little like being a super-fan of an unattainable celebrity: devotion without real commitment.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 06-29-2019 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 06-29-2019, 02:03 AM
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...the poster candidate for the longshots is not really Obama, who was a) a senator when he ran and b) well known for his 2004 nomination speech, which was extraordinarily well received when he made it. It's Bill Clinton, and especially Jimmy Carter, little-known governors of not-especially-large states who knocked aside better-known and better-funded candidates in the primaries to win the nomination and ultimately the Presidency...
Jimmy Carter is really a special case. What helped him rise to the top was
  • pretty much universal disgust with Nixon because of Watergate
  • outrage with Ford for giving Nixon a pardon
  • Carter being a Southerner who was open about his "born-again" Christianity
  • and the economy being in the shitter
Keep in mind this was just prior to the Moral Majority so Evangelicals had not become completely joined at the hip to the GOP. Also, anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue had yet to really come into power.

Carter was seen as a fresh face and (wait for it) outsider in the corrupt swamp that was Washington.

ETA - this was the last election where being a Southern Democrat was seen as compatible with also being conservative and and evangelical. In 1980 Reagan changed that and there was a wave of Southern Democrats who switched to the GOP.

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Old 06-29-2019, 09:26 AM
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The turning point in Obama's ascendancy was his huge victory in the US Senate Democratic primary in 2004 bolstered by his famous keynote address a few months later at the Democratic National Convention. Few had heard of him before that, but after those events he was considered a major star within the Democratic establishment for the four years until his nomination for the presidency. He never ran for president as a "nobody".
Absolutely. His name had already been thrown around for an eventual run for a few years already by the time he announced his candidacy. I think the surprise was that he ran in 2008 because it was expected that he would run in 2012 or later.

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That being said, the poster candidate for the longshots is not really Obama, who was a) a senator when he ran and b) well known for his 2004 nomination speech, which was extraordinarily well received when he made it. It's Bill Clinton, and especially Jimmy Carter, little-known governors of not-especially-large states who knocked aside better-known and better-funded candidates in the primaries to win the nomination and ultimately the Presidency. Yeah, going back to the twentieth century for the last example of an obscure politician winning the Democratic nomination doesn't bode real well for the obscures currently running.
Clinton was only 3 presidents ago. Still highly relevant.


I agree with the above posters that say that many of these candidates are setting themselves up for later, and it’s a strategy that can benefit both the candidates and the voters. I doubt Buttigieg will win this nomination, but when he runs again, whether it be for president, governor, or dogcatcher, we will all have gotten past our initial reactions of, “aw, he’s adorable,” and “how the hell do you pronounce that” and we’ll be ready to hear what he has to say.
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Old 06-29-2019, 02:44 PM
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The first time I heard the name Barack Obama I thought the same thing.
That’s simply not true. I was on this board in 2004 and after the keynote speech, there was plenty of discussion calling him a future president

https://youtu.be/ueMNqdB1QIE
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Old 06-29-2019, 02:55 PM
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Last edited by dalej42; 06-29-2019 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:47 PM
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That’s simply not true. I was on this board in 2004 and after the keynote speech, there was plenty of discussion calling him a future president
And after that keynote address, his book Dreams from My Father was re-released (although it was originally published in 1995. So he definitely became prominent nationally that year.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:10 PM
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It's all the sharing part of being a democratic-socialist or whatever they're branding themselves this week.

There will be four co-presidents and eight co-vice-presidents.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:09 PM
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As of today, approximately seven hundred thousand people have formally announced they seek the Democratic nomination for President. Even semi-serious candidates had to be sorted into two groups of ten to get them all into TV debates.

While the horde includes well known candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden and notable upstarts like Pete Buttiegieg (sp?) Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke, it is largely composed of interchangeable white guys with names such as John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, John Delaney, David Naylor, and Seth Moulton, and be honest, you had to read that twice to figure out which of those names I made up.

It is plainly obvious that Tim Ryan and Joe Sestak have no chance at all, so why are they doing this? It is building their brands? Is there a hustle? Are they angling for Cabinet positions? Why would a person work so hard to get shit-kicked in Iowa?
I think Trump lowered the bar to the point that everbody thinks they have a chance.
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