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Old 08-05-2018, 11:02 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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Political "gaffes" that were not actually gaffes

I'm watching a compilation of "the 15 worst fails from Presidential Debates" and I'm trying to figure out exactly what was so bad about, for instance...

Michael Dukakis's response to the question about the death penalty: it was a fucking loaded question, what was he supposed to do, tear his shirt open and pound his chest? Why did people deride him as "emotionless" for responding in a collected and reasonable manner to this outrageously stupid question?

James Stockdale saying "who am I? What am I doing here?" - it was A JOKE. He opened with a joke, the crowd laughed, what exactly is the problem here?

Most of the other "fails" were indeed pretty dumb remarks, but I keep seeing the above two incidents mentioned again and again as examples of stupid and embarrassing comments, and....I'm just not seeing it, I guess?
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:13 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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If you're willing to be somewhat charitable and forgiving, to look for someone's intended meaning even when their words are a bit clumsy, then there's nothing wrong with either of the examples you gave.

American politics, sadly, does not share those assumptions.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:19 PM
DWMarch DWMarch is offline
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I don't know if this is on the list or not but I can't fault GWB for the "Mission Accomplished" banner. It referred to a specific mission, that of the United States military kicking the shit out of the Iraqi military. It had nothing to do with winning the peace.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:36 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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I don't know if it was the banner itself as much as the pompous presentation of it on an aircraft carrier and Bush's arrival on a jet, in this case an S-3 Viking, not a fighter plane as is often erroneously referred, and Bush did not fly it himself, he was riding backseat in it.

Bush did fly an F-102 fighter-interceptor in the Texas Air National Guard and those ANG interceptors were a key component of Strategic Air Command, and so I can't diminish his credentials as others have sought to do - he performed a useful role, in a situation where he could have just done nothing as so many other wealthy young men did. To their credit, the old money blueblood families of the East Coast, of which Bush was obviously a member, did often take commissions in the military during wars when they could very easily have spent that time in Lake Como or some other European getaway doing fuck-all. But I digress.

Bush sought to cash in on his fighter-pilot past with that stunt, but all he "accomplished" was looking very pretentious.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:40 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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I don't know if this is on the list or not but I can't fault GWB for the "Mission Accomplished" banner. It referred to a specific mission, that of the United States military kicking the shit out of the Iraqi military. It had nothing to do with winning the peace.
Furthermore, AIUI, it was the ship crew that decided to put that banner there. Bush didn't ask for it.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:54 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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JFK never called himself a jelly doughnut. The people who think he did are people who know how to work a dictionary but have no clue how to translate, which is a very different skill.

(Word of the day: "Pragmatics". Don't know it? Context clues, people.)
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:01 AM
chappachula chappachula is online now
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Remember Dukakis wearing the tank helmet?
I thought it was a bit silly, and totally unnecessary, but I don't see why it had to be a career-killer.

Politicians wear and do lots of things which are clearly not their true personna. They kiss babies, they wear tuxedos to the opera when they know nothing about music, they dress like good ol' boys in lumberjack shirts when they visit a state fair, they go hunting once( while pretending it's something they've done as a hobby all their life), etc----and everybody knows these are just photo ops.

Last edited by chappachula; 08-06-2018 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:14 AM
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I don't know if this is on the list or not but I can't fault GWB for the "Mission Accomplished" banner. It referred to a specific mission, that of the United States military kicking the shit out of the Iraqi military. It had nothing to do with winning the peace.
In which case the gaffe was thinking that kicking the shit out of the Iraqi military was a significant accomplishment whose celebration would play well with the electorate. Simply having the strength to kick the shit out of people or nations smaller than yourself is not a virtue.

Last edited by UDS; 08-06-2018 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:16 AM
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Michael Dukakis's response to the question about the death penalty: it was a fucking loaded question, what was he supposed to do, tear his shirt open and pound his chest? Why did people deride him as "emotionless" for responding in a collected and reasonable manner to this outrageously stupid question?
I'm not sure it would be a gaffe today. But it happened at the peak of the crime wave, when support for the death penalty was over 70%.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:23 AM
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JFK never called himself a jelly doughnut. The people who think he did are people who know how to work a dictionary but have no clue how to translate, which is a very different skill.

(Word of the day: "Pragmatics". Don't know it? Context clues, people.)
You don't even need to understand pragmatics (which I focused on in graduate school applied linguistics) to debunk the myth--you just need to know German.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:41 AM
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Howard Dean's "Yeee-Haaaw!" moment from the 2004 campaign. It was awkward, it made for a bad sound bite when taken out of context but it was just him getting fired up. Hardly an unwanted quality in a candidate, much less a gaffe.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:20 AM
chappachula chappachula is online now
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Howard Dean's "Yeee-Haaaw!" moment from the 2004 campaign. It was awkward, it made for a bad sound bite when taken out of context but it was just him getting fired up. Hardly an unwanted quality in a candidate, much less a gaffe.
yes, this one really surprised me. I didn't see anything wrong with it. Yeah, it sounded more like a cheer at a sports event than a serious political rally. But Dean surely didn't deserve tto suffer ridicule and disgrace because of it.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:31 AM
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Howard Dean's "Yeee-Haaaw!" moment from the 2004 campaign. It was awkward, it made for a bad sound bite when taken out of context but it was just him getting fired up. Hardly an unwanted quality in a candidate, much less a gaffe.
I think it wasn't so much his Yeehaaaw as it was that Dean was in a crowded field of contenders, was already considered somewhat of a loose cannon and too temperamental for the POTUS job, and this was a straw that broke the camel's back when the camel already had a very thin spine.

Had he already secured the Democratic nomination, it would hardly be considered an issue because it would then be only him vs. Bush and the blues would be fully united behind Dean.

Last edited by Velocity; 08-06-2018 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:38 AM
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I don't know if this is on the list or not but I can't fault GWB for the "Mission Accomplished" banner. It referred to a specific mission, that of the United States military kicking the shit out of the Iraqi military. It had nothing to do with winning the peace.
It was the Abraham Lincoln crew who put it up. The had had an 11 month deployment, extended twice.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:57 AM
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It was the Abraham Lincoln crew who put it up. The had had an 11 month deployment, extended twice.
As I recall, they stayed just out of the harbor just so Bush could land on it and get a nice photo op. Yeah, show your gratitude to the troops by keeping them at sea an extra day.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:23 AM
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To be a true gaffe, the incident must reinforce some pre-existing negative impression that the public had about the candidate. Whether or not that impression is accurate is irrelevant.



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Remember Dukakis wearing the tank helmet?
I thought it was a bit silly, and totally unnecessary, but I don't see why it had to be a career-killer.
Dukakis had a very dovey reputation, and the photo op of him riding a tank was supposed to make him look a bit badass. It didn't; it made him look like Snoopy.

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Howard Dean's "Yeee-Haaaw!" moment from the 2004 campaign. It was awkward, it made for a bad sound bite when taken out of context but it was just him getting fired up. Hardly an unwanted quality in a candidate, much less a gaffe.
Dean already had a loose cannon reputation, and The Scream just cemented that into place. It didn't kill his campaign, however. His dismal finish in Iowa did that well before the speech.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:58 AM
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The two gaffes cited by the OP were gaffes in that they confirmed stereotypes of the candidates that the public was already inclined to believe: that Dukakis was passionless and Stockdale was senile.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:40 AM
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Regardless of whether Kennedy called himself a jelly donut or not, it certainly wasn't a gaffe, since it went over very well with his audience. They knew that he wasn't speaking his native language (and heck, the fact that he was speaking their language at all was already a point in his favor), and so were willing to forgive him for a grammatical slip.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:22 AM
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The two gaffes cited by the OP were gaffes in that they confirmed stereotypes of the candidates that the public was already inclined to believe: that Dukakis was passionless


Considering that the opponent was George HW Bush, one would have expected that “thoughtfully mild-mannered and kind of boring” would have been a non-issue in ‘88. But yes, in the past, “gaffes” have been very often just minor things that were grabbed on to iconize what you already had in your mind as a negative against that candidate.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:36 AM
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Bush 41 was pretty passionless and boring, but Dukakis was just that much worse in that respect. And I believe Bush was actually prepared by his staff for traps like that, whereas Dukakis' people were caught flatfooted.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:37 AM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is offline
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I was embarrassed by the way my own side acted like Mitt Romney's "binders full of women", by treating it as anything more than slightly inarticulate. I mean, they didn't go to the GOP level of idiocy of intentionally misunderstanding "You didn't build that", but the degree to which people pretended to not understand what Romney was saying was silly.

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Old 08-06-2018, 10:15 AM
Lance Turbo Lance Turbo is offline
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It was the Abraham Lincoln crew who put it up. The had had an 11 month deployment, extended twice.
False.

Quote:
Asked at a news conference whether the "Mission Accomplished" banner had been prematurely boastful, the president backed away from it, saying it had been put up by the sailors and airmen of the Lincoln to celebrate their homecoming after toppling Saddam's regime.

Not long afterwards, the White House had to amend its account. The soldiers hadn't put up the sign; the White House had done the hoisting. It had also produced the banner ó contrary to what senior White House officials had said for months.
Archived Time Magazine piece.
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:09 AM
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Here’s what Dukakis was supposed to say:

Let me tell you two stories. The first is about a 70 year old doctor in his office one night , bound and gagged by a robber looking for drugs. The second is about a guy in his 40s cut down by a driver on drugs or drinking. The first was my father, the second was my brother! I don’t need any lectures from George Bush or anyone else about crime or its victims or its cost.

My cite is the excellent book about the 1988 election, Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars?
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:50 AM
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I was embarrassed by the way my own side acted like Mitt Romney's "binders full of women", by treating it as anything more than slightly inarticulate. I mean, they didn't go to the GOP level of idiocy of intentionally misunderstanding "You didn't build that", but the degree to which people pretended to not understand what Romney was saying was silly.
It'd be nice to go back to the old days when a GOP presidential candidate committed a gaffe by talking about hiring more women for important positions.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:03 PM
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Romney had a number of quotes which, if you looked at the context and what he was trying to say, were actually reasonable... but which were also really, really easy to take out of context, and which looked really bad out of that context.

Example 1: "Corporations are people, my friend". What he meant to say was that corporations are made up of people. If, say Chrysler goes out of business, it doesn't just hurt the CEO: It also hurts the assembly-line workers and the dealers and the janitors at the factory, and indirectly the iron-miners and the petroleum workers. But it comes across as being about corporate personhood, and makes it sound like he's valuing abstractions over real, flesh-and-blood people.

Example 2: "I like firing people". What he meant was that he likes being in a sufficiently-secure position that he's able to fire people, and that if one of his workers is incompetent, he can replace him with someone more competent, thus making everything run more smoothly and efficiently. But it comes across as meaning that he takes a sadistic glee in ruining peoples' lives, and will go looking for excuses to fire people unnecessarily.

Now, in both cases, what he meant was fine, or at least reasonable, but the fact that he'd say them in ways that were so easily misinterpreted is a sign of incompetence at politics.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:27 PM
Anny Middon Anny Middon is offline
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I was embarrassed by the way my own side acted like Mitt Romney's "binders full of women", by treating it as anything more than slightly inarticulate. I mean, they didn't go to the GOP level of idiocy of intentionally misunderstanding "You didn't build that", but the degree to which people pretended to not understand what Romney was saying was silly.
Now, see, I took offense at that statement, but not because it was inarticulate. Romney was this very successful businessman -- that was part of his persona and was supposed to support how successful he'd be at POTUS. So why did he need binders full of women? Why couldn't he just go to his rolodex to get the phone numbers of the many, many women he'd done business with or whose foundations he supported or with whom he'd had other professional contact?

The fact that he had to have others find bindersful of women meant to me that he had not had professional contact with many women -- and yeah, that's concerning. And the fact that he didn't realize that this said volumes about his attitude toward women was also concerning.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:31 PM
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I fail to see a meaningful difference between binders and Rolodexes as a means of storing contact information on business associates.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:44 PM
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Romney had a number of quotes which, if you looked at the context and what he was trying to say, were actually reasonable... but which were also really, really easy to take out of context, and which looked really bad out of that context.

Example 1: "Corporations are people, my friend". What he meant to say was that corporations are made up of people. If, say Chrysler goes out of business, it doesn't just hurt the CEO: It also hurts the assembly-line workers and the dealers and the janitors at the factory, and indirectly the iron-miners and the petroleum workers. But it comes across as being about corporate personhood, and makes it sound like he's valuing abstractions over real, flesh-and-blood people.

Example 2: "I like firing people". What he meant was that he likes being in a sufficiently-secure position that he's able to fire people, and that if one of his workers is incompetent, he can replace him with someone more competent, thus making everything run more smoothly and efficiently. But it comes across as meaning that he takes a sadistic glee in ruining peoples' lives, and will go looking for excuses to fire people unnecessarily.

Now, in both cases, what he meant was fine, or at least reasonable, but the fact that he'd say them in ways that were so easily misinterpreted is a sign of incompetence at politics.
Example 1: Except that Romney was not talking about the ordinary people who make up corporations. He was talking about Citizens United, which was about allowing corporations to spend money to influence elections. Do you think the assembly line worker and the janitor are involved in that?

Example 2: While you could charitably interpret this the way you did, it also resonates with his career at Bain Capital, which was all about firing perfectly good, productive employees as part of a strategy of raping corporate acquisitions to make as much money as possible, damn the consequences.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:44 PM
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OK, in 2012, anyone who is literally using either binders or rolodexes to keep track of peoples' contact information, is fucked up. I think we can agree on that. Was Romney listening to cassette tapes of Hootie and the Blowfish while he was going through the binders?
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:49 PM
Anny Middon Anny Middon is offline
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I fail to see a meaningful difference between binders and Rolodexes as a means of storing contact information on business associates.
Except he didn't go to binders he already had that held the contact information.

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And one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as Governor of my state. Because I had the chance to pull together a Cabinet, and all of the applicants seemed to be men. And I went to my staff and I said: "How come all of the people for these jobs are all men?" They said: "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said: "Well gosh, can't we find some women that are also qualified?" And we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said: "Can you help us find folks?" And they brought us whole binders full of women.
He had to go out to find women that were qualified to be on his Cabinet in Massachusetts -- he did not have a list of qualified women he had worked with in the past.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:22 PM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is offline
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Now, see, I took offense at that statement, but not because it was inarticulate. Romney was this very successful businessman -- that was part of his persona and was supposed to support how successful he'd be at POTUS. So why did he need binders full of women? Why couldn't he just go to his rolodex to get the phone numbers of the many, many women he'd done business with or whose foundations he supported or with whom he'd had other professional contact?

The fact that he had to have others find bindersful of women meant to me that he had not had professional contact with many women -- and yeah, that's concerning. And the fact that he didn't realize that this said volumes about his attitude toward women was also concerning.
You're making distinctions that make no difference. He was relaying (full quote below) that there are too many men in the cabinet as governor and he wanted more women. He didn't personally know all the potential candidates for any given position and nor should he. He, as any governor should, asked his folks to bring him potential candidates and specifically asked them to focus on female candidates. That they arrived in binders and not a rolodex seems like a stunningly weird thing to focus on. It was maybe, possibly, slightly inarticulate, but I agree with the sentiment, and it was a ridiculous thing to make a big deal about. Seems almost quaint that a Republican actually had this sort of thought process once upon a time.


Thank you and important topic. And one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state. Because I had the chance to pull together a Cabinet, and all of the applicants seemed to be men. And I went to my staff and I said: "How come all of the people for these jobs are all men?" They said: "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said: "Well gosh, can't we find some women that are also qualified?" And we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said: "Can you help us find folks?" And they brought us whole binders full of women.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:27 PM
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Example 1: "Corporations are people, my friend". What he meant to say was that corporations are made up of people. If, say Chrysler goes out of business, it doesn't just hurt the CEO: It also hurts the assembly-line workers and the dealers and the janitors at the factory, and indirectly the iron-miners and the petroleum workers. But it comes across as being about corporate personhood, and makes it sound like he's valuing abstractions over real, flesh-and-blood people.

.
That wasn't my impression, my impression is he was talking about the owners of corporations getting to enjoy corporate profits. He was talking about how the wealthy are people. Which is true, but it doesn't negate the fact that the GOP are a plutocratic party, it just verifies it.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:43 PM
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What Dukakiss should have said:

"First of all, personally, I'd want to kill the son of a bitch. But the law doesn't exist as an instrument of personal vengeance, for me or for anybody else. And I recognize that even if others don't. Secondly, asking a presidential candidate to speculate on how he'd feel if his wife were raped and murdered is an appalling question and you should be ashamed of yourself for asking it."
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:50 AM
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John Kerry later got asked a similar question in a state AG race I believe and gave an answer like that. No one will ever get caught flatfooted by that one again.

Hopefully one of the silver linings of the Trump Presidency will be that gaffes don't matter anymore. If there was ever a time for Joe Biden to run and not bother with his already faulty filter, it's 2020. Frankly, I think most Americans appreciate candor. I think gaffes also tend to hurt more than when you're trying to be disciplined. Voters see gaffes by such candidates are closer to their true persona, whereas a candidate who speaks more frankly probably gets more of the benefit of the doubt. Romney was hurt precisely because he was so fake as a candidate.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:07 AM
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Seems almost quaint that a Republican actually had this sort of thought process once upon a time.
Now now. I am sure Trump has many many many binders full of women. And excel spreadsheets and databases.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:18 AM
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I'm watching a compilation of "the 15 worst fails from Presidential Debates" and I'm trying to figure out exactly what was so bad about, for instance...

Michael Dukakis's response to the question about the death penalty: it was a fucking loaded question, what was he supposed to do, tear his shirt open and pound his chest? Why did people deride him as "emotionless" for responding in a collected and reasonable manner to this outrageously stupid question?
If anything, the calm response by Dukakis seemed more presidential.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:45 AM
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Hereís what Dukakis was supposed to say:

Let me tell you two stories. The first is about a 70 year old doctor in his office one night , bound and gagged by a robber looking for drugs. The second is about a guy in his 40s cut down by a driver on drugs or drinking. The first was my father, the second was my brother! I donít need any lectures from George Bush or anyone else about crime or its victims or its cost.
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What Dukakiss should have said:

"First of all, personally, I'd want to kill the son of a bitch. But the law doesn't exist as an instrument of personal vengeance, for me or for anybody else. And I recognize that even if others don't. Secondly, asking a presidential candidate to speculate on how he'd feel if his wife were raped and murdered is an appalling question and you should be ashamed of yourself for asking it."
Both of these would have been excellent responses. A natural politician like Bill Clinton would have responded in that vein without a moment's hesitation.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:51 AM
Anny Middon Anny Middon is offline
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You're making distinctions that make no difference. He was relaying (full quote below) that there are too many men in the cabinet as governor and he wanted more women. He didn't personally know all the potential candidates for any given position and nor should he. He, as any governor should, asked his folks to bring him potential candidates and specifically asked them to focus on female candidates. That they arrived in binders and not a rolodex seems like a stunningly weird thing to focus on. It was maybe, possibly, slightly inarticulate, but I agree with the sentiment, and it was a ridiculous thing to make a big deal about. Seems almost quaint that a Republican actually had this sort of thought process once upon a time.
While I agree he did an admirable thing in getting more women into his cabinet, I still think (and thought at the time) that the fact he had to go out and have others find qualified women for him speaks about his attitude towards women in his business, and that some of that attitude was likely to spill over into his administration.

It wasn't that he had to have his contacts go out to find him potential candidates in general -- they had already done that, and the list they delivered was almost entirely male. Who were his trusted contacts that knew only males that were qualified? Why did his trusted contacts assume that this bias would be acceptable to Mitt? The answer to that seems to me that they looked at the kind of people he had as executives and concluded that he preferred to work with males.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:35 PM
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While I agree he did an admirable thing in getting more women into his cabinet, I still think (and thought at the time) that the fact he had to go out and have others find qualified women for him speaks about his attitude towards women in his business, and that some of that attitude was likely to spill over into his administration.

It wasn't that he had to have his contacts go out to find him potential candidates in general -- they had already done that, and the list they delivered was almost entirely male. Who were his trusted contacts that knew only males that were qualified? Why did his trusted contacts assume that this bias would be acceptable to Mitt? The answer to that seems to me that they looked at the kind of people he had as executives and concluded that he preferred to work with males.
If you read his full quote, the story is very clear. It's not that he didn't know any women to fill the cabinet, it's that he didn't have any personal list of people at all to fill the cabinet. So, he asked his people to provide him with good options, and they came back with a bunch of men. He asked for more qualified women, and reached out to women's groups. And qualified women were so easy to find that he was provided binders full of them. I find his reaction and his statement are entirely admirable, and no, I did not vote for him.
  #40  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:50 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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Bush 41 at the grocery store. He was impressed by a new model of scanner that could read mangled bar codes, not by the fact that there were machines that could read bar codes at all. But the story reinforced the idea he was out of touch with ordinary people, so that's where it went...
  #41  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:41 PM
Anny Middon Anny Middon is offline
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Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker View Post
If you read his full quote, the story is very clear. It's not that he didn't know any women to fill the cabinet, it's that he didn't have any personal list of people at all to fill the cabinet. So, he asked his people to provide him with good options, and they came back with a bunch of men. He asked for more qualified women, and reached out to women's groups. And qualified women were so easy to find that he was provided binders full of them. I find his reaction and his statement are entirely admirable, and no, I did not vote for him.
You're right -- if you read the full story, it's very clear: He asked his people to provide him with good options and they came back with a bunch of men.

Why didn't they -- presumably knowing what was important to him -- come back with a list that included a significant number of women? Who were these people of his? Because I suspect that if that group included a number of women, so would the lists they came back with.

You seem to think it's admirable that after he asked (and only after he asked) he was presented with a list of women. I think it's telling (and somewhat deplorable) that he had to ask for women to be included as candidates.
  #42  
Old 08-07-2018, 07:29 PM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is offline
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You seem to think it's admirable that after he asked (and only after he asked) he was presented with a list of women. I think it's telling (and somewhat deplorable) that he had to ask for women to be included as candidates.
How does that reflect on Romney though? If I ask people to provide a list of candidates for a job, and they bring me a list of mostly men, and I subsequently ask for women to consider, how is that my fault?
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:40 PM
jaycat jaycat is offline
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Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
What Dukakiss should have said:

"First of all, personally, I'd want to kill the son of a bitch. But the law doesn't exist as an instrument of personal vengeance, for me or for anybody else. And I recognize that even if others don't. Secondly, asking a presidential candidate to speculate on how he'd feel if his wife were raped and murdered is an appalling question and you should be ashamed of yourself for asking it."
That would have worked. But displaying that much balls is not what Democrats do.
  #44  
Old 08-07-2018, 10:17 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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Originally Posted by Anny Middon View Post
You're right -- if you read the full story, it's very clear: He asked his people to provide him with good options and they came back with a bunch of men.

Why didn't they -- presumably knowing what was important to him -- come back with a list that included a significant number of women? Who were these people of his? Because I suspect that if that group included a number of women, so would the lists they came back with.

You seem to think it's admirable that after he asked (and only after he asked) he was presented with a list of women. I think it's telling (and somewhat deplorable) that he had to ask for women to be included as candidates.
This kind of hair splitting is beyond absurd; Romney's quote blew up because of the weird word "binders", not the actual message behind it. The idea of Romney literally rummaging through binders, plus the awkward phrasing of "full of women", is what made people think it was a ridiculous quote. That's all.
  #45  
Old 08-07-2018, 10:41 PM
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Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is offline
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Both of these would have been excellent responses. A natural politician like Bill Clinton would have responded in that vein without a moment's hesitation.
Bill Clinton would have avoided the question entirely by having some prisoners killed to prove how tough he was.
  #46  
Old 08-07-2018, 10:47 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Example 1: Except that Romney was not talking about the ordinary people who make up corporations. He was talking about Citizens United, which was about allowing corporations to spend money to influence elections. Do you think the assembly line worker and the janitor are involved in that?
He was being heckled at the Iowa State Fair. He had made a pledge not to raise taxes not too long before it, and people were criticizing him for that, saying that we needed more money to pay for Social Security and Medicare. He said something like, "There are various ways [of securing Social Security and Medicare]. One way is to raise taxes on people." At which point, he was interrupted by somebody saying "Corporations", and that's when he said the "Corporations are people, my friend" and went on to answer that all the money corporations make goes to people.

Here's the bit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St1wSWtm_BI
  #47  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:29 AM
Anny Middon Anny Middon is offline
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How does that reflect on Romney though? If I ask people to provide a list of candidates for a job, and they bring me a list of mostly men, and I subsequently ask for women to consider, how is that my fault?
When you asked for a list of candidates, what criteria did you give? Was diversity one of those criteria? If not, why not?
  #48  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:36 AM
Brayne Ded Brayne Ded is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Regardless of whether Kennedy called himself a jelly donut or not, it certainly wasn't a gaffe, since it went over very well with his audience. They knew that he wasn't speaking his native language (and heck, the fact that he was speaking their language at all was already a point in his favor), and so were willing to forgive him for a grammatical slip.
The people who live in Berlin call themselves Berliner (no 's' for the plural in German). Obviously, there is the potential for a somewhat adolescent pun, but that would apply just as much as if a German had said it. I don't see it as a gaffe, and nor did his audience.
  #49  
Old 08-08-2018, 11:32 AM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is offline
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When you asked for a list of candidates, what criteria did you give? Was diversity one of those criteria? If not, why not?
This is really, really nitpicky, and about three steps removed from what the "gaffe" actually was, which was the term "binders full of women" and had nothing to do with criteria for candidates. But, no, my first instinct in asking for candidates would not be (and I've hired multiple people in the past and can say that it was not) to specifically ask for female candidates.

Again, I have zero problem with how Romney comported himself for this supposed gaffe, and feel it reflected more poorly on those that made a big deal about it than it did on Romney.
  #50  
Old 08-08-2018, 11:49 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
OK, in 2012, anyone who is literally using either binders or rolodexes to keep track of peoples' contact information, is fucked up. I think we can agree on that. Was Romney listening to cassette tapes of Hootie and the Blowfish while he was going through the binders?
I sometimes call my LinkedIn my "rolodex".

Just like we still dial phones.
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