When is a Speech More Than Just a Speech?


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

218 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:


    Other possibility? http://heatst.com/politics/melania-speech-steal-was-obviously-deliberate-why-are-we-falling-for-it/

    I cannot get worked up over this. I just don’t give a damn. But if the above link is true? Damn clever.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      That’s a bit of fifth-dimensional chess I wouldn’t credit to the most competent campaign out there. This is a blunder, which is something you’d always prefer not be made in the first place. But then it’s followed up by confusion and finger-pointing, upwards. That does not speak well at all of the upper management of this campaign. A President is principally an executive, whose principal tasks involve identifying good people to do things for him, and then getting them to do those things well. That is not what I see on display here.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        This year is continuing to be the most fun a presidential election has been in decades for me, but I am growing a bit tired of it. Let’s get one of these bastards elected (maybe we can have another ballot counting issue too like with Bush) and let them get on with ruining the country.

        Times a wasting and all that ammo I bought for the collapse of the western world is sitting waiting…..Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        There are good strategists who actually bother to work for political campaigns.
        At least one of them also works for the US Military…Report

    • It’s the best explanation I’ve seen. Sabotage.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      When someone asked the President of Coca Cola if they released New Coke so that it would flop and drive sales up when they switched back to Coca-Cola, he replied, “The truth is we are not that dumb, and we are not that smart.”

      I suspect the same thing is happening here.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    I’m certainly not worked up about it but I’m definitely tenting my fingers in pleasure watching this clusterfish going on during the RNC when they’re supposed to be highlighting a tightly choreographed infomercial for the candidate. I expect many of my co-liberals in Hillaryland would do so as well… but I’m hoping they’re so busy preparing for our own convention that they don’t have any spare time to do any finger tenting. They’d bloody well better be, there’s contrasts to be drawn damnit! Anyhow, I’ll do it for them. *tents fingers*Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      Do you think Hillary is doing better, worse, or about the same against this opponent as she would be against any other?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        If the Dems had a candidate without the strong negatives of Clinton, Trump would be an obvious sacrificial lamb right now the way Dole was in ’96. As it is, he’s got a fighting chance.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I’d say about the same though counterfactuals are tough. I’d imagine Bernie would be doing worse. Biden might be doing better assuming no Bidenisms and a similarly run campaign both of which are big assumptions.

        HRC’s campaign in of itself seems to be marching on methodically. Money is being collected, staff assigned, turnout modeled, logistics sorted, communications handled, coordination executed. The normal stuff of a modern campaign you know? I don’t know enough to say if it’s being done especially well but in that there’s so very little news about it I’d hazard that it’s safe to say that the campaign machinery is humming along smoothly. Properly running campaigns don’t move eyeballs or draw clicks to itself so no news strikes me as good news.

        Hillary has been dogged, as expected, by the endless vibe that has been cultivated in relation to her. A big part of that was manufactured by her opponents and a smaller part has been self inflicted by her own choices and hyper defensiveness (though considering people have been throwing bricks at her for 25 years I’d probably be worried if she wasn’t defensive). Compared to what she’s been through Trumps campaign attacks must feel like really small potatoes.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:


          I’d say about the same though counterfactuals are tough. I’d imagine Bernie would be doing worse. Biden might be doing better assuming no Bidenisms and a similarly run campaign both of which are big assumptions.

          I get that your response is the unenviable position of producing counterfactuals, but I think within it lies the missing of the forest that Democrats seem to have been doing en masse for the past four years.

          Because of course the only two people you can think of comparing her to are Biden and Bernie. She was pretty much anointed years before the primaries even began, and the fact that everyone knew it meant that no one except a protest not-really-Democrat candidate ever bothered to even consider running. And Biden gets a mention even though he doesn’t seem to have seriously considered running because he happens to be VP. (Oh, and I guess this way you also get Martin O’Malley. So there’s that. Wheeee.)

          If the Donkeys had their allowed previous primaries to be run the way they chose to run this one, then the past three Democratic Presidents would never have sat in the Oval Office. Because they were all candidates who sold themselves to the voters over a long, hard-fought, tempering primary.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            All granted, my Todd, but I’d say that the primary was hard fought on the Dems side and usefully tempering even if it was never particularly close. I will grant that Hillary’s long campaign is definitely unusual for the Democratic Party but much about HRC was rather unusual. The confluence of events that allowed the singular political talent of Obama to jump ahead of her in line, her unusual if practical decision to swallow her pride and be a good soldier for Obama’s eight year term, etc etc… those aren’t typical.

            If your point is that this speaks to a sea change in how the Democratic Party selects their nominees I’d protest. The Clintons are done with this business after Hillary. They don’t have successors and Chelsea is in no way shape or form possible as one. I would not be surprised at all if we see a 2000 style primary campaign (and let’s be clear, that one wasn’t competitive either) or a 1992 style fight next time.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

              In a lot of ways, this election reminds me of what I wrote about the NBA last March: That the Spurs were on track to win more games than any team in NBA history, but no one really noticed because the Warriors were on track to win even more.

              I think this year, everyone has been writing about how the GOP primary has shown that the party has become broken on some fundamental level. For good or ill, I believe that assessment to be correct.

              But I also think that the Trump drama has masked the very real possibility that — as illustrated by the way the Dems have chosen their candidate without voter input, and how comparatively weak that candidate seems to be — the GOP is not the only party that might be broken.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I don’t know, I’d like to see some points beyond “I don’t like the Clintons” to flesh that out. Yes HRC cleared the field out ahead of her primary run. One of the major ways she cleared the field out: by being enormously popular with her parties voters. Is that repeatable? I don’t think it is. Does it say something about the Dems as a party? Not a lot in my mind. One could say it reflects how the Democratic Party has become the “Conservative” party in this country I suppose. But when I look at HRC 2016 all I see is the last ripples of the gigantic splash that occurred when Barrack Obama blew up the field in 2008.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                It’s not that I don’t like the Clintons. (Though you are right that I don’t.) It’s that she’s a candidate who doesn’t seem to have it in her to get people energized. I know a lot of Democrats who are excited to win the White House, and I know a lot of Democrats who are excited about implementing liberal policies, but I just don’t know that many who are excited about Clinton.

                Or to put it another way, she’s not a fundamentally different person today than she was 8 years ago. She isn’t more or less likable. She has more experience, but she also has more baggage. Which is all well and good, but look: She lost to someone just short of a total nobody last time around. Hell, she found that even as she was winning, she wasn’t the person her party was most excited about this time around.

                None of this disqualifies her for being a potentially good or even an excellent President, of course. She might well be either. But so too might have one Mitt Romney, but we’ll never know about him because he wasn’t likable enough to get people jazzed about voting for him.

                As I’ve said before, when Hilary Clinton is made the first female president, it will have required two things in order to happen: No real competition to knock her out in the primaries, and a complete collapse into chaos of the Republican party. I still believe that, for good or bad, Trump will not win in the GA. But just about any one of the other non-sideshow candidates running on the GOP main stage this year? Kasich, Cruz, Fiorina, Bush? I think in those parallel universes, they all crush her.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                To a great degree this seems to be judging how good a prez she would be based solely on how good a campaigner she is. Certainly that is a valid thing to judge her on. But whether she is a great sizzling campaigner doesn’t really say a ton about how good a prez she would be. Her campaign skills matter to whether she gets elected certainly though. I think she is an avg campaigner but would be more effective at being prez. Not that i think she would be a great prez but that is because i dont’ like some of the policy preferences.Report

              • Avatar Elizabeth Picciuto says:

                I say this without wishing to invite a lecture on How Horrible Hillary Is, because believe me, I’ve heard it. From the left and from the right. Ad nauseam. Liar, war criminal, emails, Benghazi. I have factored this all in, y’all. I know what you have to say. But I will say this. I loooaaaaathe Bill Clinton. And I really disliked Hillary before this election, mostly because of how she conducted the election against Obama in ’08. I thought there were racist dogwhistles and the campaign was mismanaged. I looked for anyone to vote for but her, but I could not bring myself to vote for Sanders for reasons too boring to go into here.

                But she’s grown on me. I wouldn’t say I’m downright enthusiastic, but I’m not nearly as unenthusiastic as I would have thought I would be a year ago. I’m perfectly fine voting for her, and not desperately wishing we had another choice, except for the fact of her high negatives. Whatever racist overtones she had, I would say she has worked really hard to reach voters of different races, ethnicities. I thought the ’08 campaign was a managerial nightmare. I thought this campaign so far has been pretty well-run, particularly against Trump.

                I would have thought that I’d resent that she’s the first woman president. Now I don’t feel that way anymore.

                My husband, who is much more apolitical than I am, and an Obama ’08 guy, feels similarly. For whatever that anecdote is worth.

                She be winning some Democratic minds, if not full hearts, exactly.Report

              • Avatar Elizabeth Picciuto says:

                I will add: I DEFINITELY think there should have been a more open field, the debates not scheduled on Saturday nights, etc. etc. Somewhere between the 2016 Dem field and the GOP field, the truth lies.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I agree with @elizabeth-picciuto here.

                To be clear, I’m not banging on Clinton because I think she’s a terrible person. I’m simply pointing out that if you are a Dem, you now have a candidate whose favorables have been underwater since before the primaries even began.

                The benefit to a primary, if you are a member of the party faithful, is that it can accomplish for you one of two goals: It can get you the most likely person to win in the general, or — perhaps in Clinton’s case, had the DNC chosen a different direction — assisted in showcasing your person in a wide field of different competitors in such a way as to improve their favorables with swing voters.

                As it is, the Democrats now have neither of those potential advantages. Further, they are now going into a general with a candidate whose faves are under 40% and falling.

                @saul-degraw and @north , I confess that I can’t see for the life of me how you and others see this as a strength for your party.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                But we’re not arguing about if Hillary herself is a good or bad pick. I’d say she’s about average. You indicated that there’s something wrong with the Democratic Party, something broken about it, that made them pick her. All I see is a politician who learned some hard lessons in 2008 and worked very hard to make up for her shortcomings in preparation for 2016. She’s not going to fill hearts with joy when she campaigns (though by all accounts she wins converts in person very easily*) so she made up for it with organization and logistics. The fiend.

                *Which is mostly useless for modern retail politics.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Organization and logistics I don’t mind. Favors owed and paid outside the country and in, that I mind. (Did I mention she’s a betting woman? Not sure that’ll matter to anyone, but she is.)Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                Considering that HRC has been ongoing constant attack since 1992, I would say it is pretty good.

                The real issue is that I think we are beyond the point of a President that receives more than a 50 percent approval rating. I think the country is becoming more and more partisan in their political affiliations. IIRC there are lots of polls that also show that people think HRC is good in a crisis.Report

              • Avatar RTod says:

                Good point.

                You know what you should do? You should take all of those factors into some kind of weighting system, that would take all the poll numbers that show your candidate unpopular at near historic levels and would then, if you will, un-skew them into results that more accurately reflect what voters under your theory are more likely to do. That should fix that issue right up.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                Nice sarcasm.

                Sam Wang has the Democratic chance of victory at 65 percent (random drift) or Bayesian (80 percent).


                The Upshot gives HRC a 75 percent chance of winning the Presidency.

                Just what do you want from the Democratic Party? Do you expect them to align with your interest, priors, and beliefs 100 percent of the time? Do you expect them to elect the most inspiring figures 100 percent of the time? Obama was an exception as a politician in terms of rhetorical eloquence, not the rule.

                For all your essays on the GOP and what a disaster they are, you seem to see the Democratic Party as doing nothing right. Do you expect them to always get 90 percent probabilities of success?

                HRC was a First Lady, Senator from New York, near Presidential candidate in 2008, Secretary of State, and now the Presidential candidate. Considering the shit show of the GOP, I would say the Democratic Party picked a sensible and credentialed choice and you want all of us Democratic Types to follow your thesis and think the party is in major trouble? And we doomed?

                What if Bernie won? Would you think the Democratic Party healthier? Do you think he would just be crushing Trump in the polls?Report

              • Avatar Autolukos says:

                75-80% seems high; mid-60s seems about right.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Saul Degraw: IIRC there are lots of polls that also show that people think HRC is good in a crisis.

                Which is good news, because she hasn’t shown much evidence that she is.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor says:

                @tod-kelly, you do remember that Clinton had extremely high approval ratings during her time as Secretary, right? All of those “badass Hillary” memes? And that her drop in approval has coincided with the GOP having the luxury to focus entirely on her as well as the resources to open up an oppo policy shop inside the House Oversight Committee. Which has gone to such an extreme in savaging her that GOP luminaries now regularly chant their nominee to throw her in jail. So the party has nominated someone who is consistently popular and effective at governing but also highly susceptible to being demonized on the campaign trail. I don’t see how this is evidence of a systemic failure.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                It also has to do with the foreign policy decisions made by the Obama administration in the first term not paying off now, in the medium term.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor says:

                Yes and no.

                I’ve yet to see a coherent attack on Clinton’s foreign policy decisions other than “the world is on fire!”. And I have a hard time believing that the public suddenly became extremely passionate about consulate security all on their own … especially since I don’t see a groundswell of support for the various security recommendations that were made.

                Clinton’s unfavorables are the consequence of the usual cycle of exhaustion that the public has with a two-term president, her historic polarization, and an extremely well established oppo campaign. If Obama – who is an excellent campaigner – was running for a third term his unfavorables wouldn’t be that far off from hers. Now, that may be an argument that the Dems should nominate shiny new change-agents when they’re running a third term campaign, but it’s not an argument that Clinton’s historic low approval actually reflect a historic weakness of governance or a historic failure of the DNC.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Clinton’s favorables would be a lot better if she could simply say ‘Scoreboard’

                (Obama’s favorables are higher than they’ve been in a while because he can say ‘Scoreboard’ with regards to the headline unemployment rate)Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Clinton has a 20% chance of sending us into world war three if she’s elected. How’s that for a fucking critique of her foreign policy chops?

                The BEST plan for how to handle Clinton’s foreign policy is “make sure she bombs places we don’t care about”

                Powerful people betting hard that they can keep her from destroying too much they care about.Report

              • Clinton has a 20% chance of sending us into world war three if she’s elected. How’s that for a fucking critique of her foreign policy chops?

                I take it you’ve invested heavily in straw futures?Report

              • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

                Trump just single-handedly increased the chances of WWIII happening within the next few years. And unlike your 20%, this is not just some bullshit pulled out of the ass. Trump just announced that he is open to shrugging and going about his day, should NATO be attacked. I’m pretty sure Putin took note.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                The Mad bomber is not a description you get if you’re good at governing. Just because Hillary can pay off the people who gave Clinton money doesn’t mean she’s actually good at this.

                She’s really not.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                How are her favorables with the Democratic party. They voted for her, not the registered voters of the world.

                So is your thesis the Democrats should not vote for their favorite candidate, but instead vote based on public opinion polls of the entire US eight months before the election?Report

              • I know a lot of Democrats who are excited to win the White House, and I know a lot of Democrats who are excited about implementing liberal policies, but I just don’t know that many who are excited about Clinton.

                She’s no Mitt Romney. Or Bob Dole. Or George HW Bush. Or Gerry Ford. Or John Kerry. Or Al Gore. Or Mike Dukakis.

                Presidential candidates that excite people are the exception, not the rule.Report

              • Avatar RTod says:

                Remind me again, what do all of those candidates have in common, save Bush (but only once)?Report

              • I thought your point was that the D’s are broken on some fundamental level. Hillary being comparable to many of the nominees of the past 40 years doesn’t show that, even if she’s more like the losers than the winners.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Could it be selection bias?

                I know plenty of people who were enthusiastic about HRC and were so from day one of the Democratic cycle. I know people who were very into Bernie as well.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                There are presumably many people enthusiastic about a David Duke preznitcy. Or Jello Biafra.

                Tod’s offered arguments backing up his view, seems to me. If you disagree, disagree with the evidence he presents: that Hillary isn’t a very good candidate who has historic level disapprovals and was anointed by the Dem establishment.

                I mean, the basic thesis here is that the Dem party is broken, tho perhaps not as bad as the GOP. I don’t know how anyone could dispute that, actually.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                As North pointed out, parties have been anointing people for a long time. FDR was anointed in many ways. So was Woodrow Wilson. Al Gore was anointed as Veep. Kerry was basically the establishment pick and faced no real competition after the first few races.

                HRC duked it out until June. So did Obama in 2008. I don’t see how these are anointings. And Tod has a history of being of ruing the Democratic Party even though he is clearly left-leaning and dislikes the Republican Party.

                Sanders won a strong minority of the Democratic Party and maybe a part that will be a majority one day but right now the average Democratic voter is a person of color and not a white-dude 20 something BernieBros speaking of revolution.

                There is also the fact that Harry Truman was wildly considered an uninspiring failure in 1948 and he came back with a strong win and is now considered a near great. He was also considered an accidental nominee.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                but right now the average Democratic voter is a person of color

                That strikes me as an argument Trump might make, Saul, to great political benefit.

                If true, it’s not something Dems should be celebrating.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                I disagree. I don’t understand the obsession that some have with the WWC going Red. They are not the majority demographic in the country or will soon not be anymore.

                It seems to me that the GOP is becoming the party of cultural resentment and white identity. That is not the fault the Democratic Party no matter how others spin it or wish it to be. The GOP has been courting the white identity vote in one way or another since 1964 or 1968.

                Demographics in the United States are changing and there are still plenty of whites who vote Democratic but somehow the Democratic Party is awful, just awful because we don’t have the Duck Dynasty and Palinista vote? What sort of idiocy is that?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I don’t understand the obsession that some have with the WWC going Red. They are not the majority demographic in the country or will soon not be anymore.

                Maybe because liberal policies have shipped their jobs overseas?

                Make Murka Great Agin!Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                “liberal policies”? Like the R’s were fighting against them. It was a strong centrist consensus very much including the R’s.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                NAFTA was passed by Dems in congress and the White House even tho it was vehemently opposed by Democratic voters.

                Hillary supported the TPP before she unsupported it…Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                And the Clintons are liberal? And the R’s have been strong on free trade for at least a little bit. Hell its part of Trumpy’s appeal that he is backing away from the uber free trade stance of the R’s. I said it was a centrist thing. It’s part of why Clinton was new kind of Dem; a DLC dem. I guess you know that DLC is usually said with hiss in liberal circles.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Greg, the topic of discussion is Saul’s comment that getting the WWC vote shouldn’t matter to Democrats since it’s an almost dead demographic.

                I find that objectionable. I really shoudn’t have to spell out why.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Oh like the topic of conversation has ever mattered before. I agree the WWC should matter because the D’s should care about WC in general. It’s not a dead demographic at all. The question is how much can you modify policies to suit one group since a party can’t be all things to all people.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Because “anointing a not-great candidate” is a very weak argument for a political party being completely broken. Political parties do that fairly frequently. It’s not… well, great, but it’s routine. There are only so many Ronald Reagans and Barack Obamas in the world, after all.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor says:

                Anointing a not-great candidate solely *because it’s their turn* however, would be evidence that the party has lost sight of what their role is. I think that’s what Tod is arguing. And I submit that it’s not the case with Clinton. That she was anointed because the party thinks she’s an extremely competent governor, albeit a flawed campaigner. Which, if anything, is in line with the kind of priorities Tod has expressed great desire for: emphasis on popular governance rather than popular campaign optics.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                This is indeed a correct reading of what I was saying by @trizzlor .

                Also, to be clear, my reason in these threads for addressing “my-turn-ism” is a response to commenters’ (North & Saul mainly) argument that such is a good & viable reason to nominate someone to represent your party for the office of POTUS.

                And look. You can certainly be someone whose “turn” it is and be a good or exceptional candidate, for whatever definition of the entirely fuzzy and malleable concept “it’s their turn” means to you. But to have that be your primary and/or only criteria for delivering potential power is by its very definition undemocratic.

                What’s more, it’s a incredibly risky metric to use, as it invariably leads to either less popular or downright un-popular candidates such as (for example) Bob Dole or Jeb Bush. Indeed, if you look at a list of all of the two-term presidents in the modern primary era, you will notice that one thing they all have in common is that they were absolutely not the person the party heads thought were “next in line” for their “turn”when they threw their hat in the ring.Report

              • Avatar switters says:

                Tod – Seems to me your argument rests on a pretty un-charitable reading of “its her turn”. To whatever degree anyone chose Hillary solely, or even primarily, because “its her turn”, what do you think that really means. Do you think it means that they chose her because she’s literally been waiting in the line the longest, or publicly chasing the presidency the longest, or the number she picked the counter is due to be called (if so, where do I put my name, because I might as well get in line now)? Do you think the party establishment/elites/voters, to whatever degree any of those groups act with a single purpose, really thought either of those either.

                Isn’t it more likely that when people say “its her turn” they are just using short hand to express their preference for her as the nominee, and particularly in comparison to other viable candidates. Perhaps based on her steadily gaining experience, being loyal to the party, correcting for her shortcomings, etc. Otherwise, I think you are giving way to much power to elites/establishment/media and taking agency away from those who actually voted for her. And if the other party has shown us anything, its that that may not be a very accurate theory. The fact that the people who didn’t vote for like her a lot less than the other people they also don’t vote for seems beside the point.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Tod Kelly: You can certainly be someone whose “turn” it is and be a good or exceptional candidate, for whatever definition of the entirely fuzzy and malleable concept “it’s their turn” means to you. But to have that be your primary and/or only criteria for delivering potential power is by its very definition undemocratic.

                I disagree. For one thing, it’s entirely possible for a substantial fraction of a party’s rank-and-file voters to decide to support someone “because it’s their turn”. I’m not saying that was a major factor in Clinton’s victory, but I’m not saying it wasn’t, either.

                However, one thing that was a major factor in her victory was that a substantial majority of the party voted for her in primaries, and that her approval ratings among Democrats were and remain high. The idea that she was somehow forced on the party against its will just doesn’t track well with what played out.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                There seem to be two different things being discussed when we say a party is “broken”: that a party is bad at winning elections, and that a party is bad at governing. The R’s this cycle appear to be terrible on both counts, while the Dems are just arguably scresing up on the former.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                If that’s the case, I’d think it’s more than a little premature to point to HRC’s nomination as a sign of brokenness, since she hasn’t even lost the election (and looks pretty likely to end up winning it).Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                And did, despite the weird view Tod has that she was simply selected by the party, actually already won a national election this year.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I agree again. In my view (and I’ve said this before here at the OT) Bernie’s success revealed the exact same type of fractures between the Party and the electorate that Trump’s success has. It’s only a difference of degree (since Bernie didn’t win).Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Clinton won millions of more votes than Sanders. Are you sure she won without voter input?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                I gotta disagree here. There are plenty of people who seem to legitimately like HRC and/or are loyal Democrats who proudly voted for her in the primaries. Now this might surprise Clinton haters. They also tend not to be Berners.

                The average Democrat is not a Berner.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                And the average American doesn’t like your candidate by a large margin.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                It was a primary, not a “let’s ask the average American” contest. Maybe it was a bad pick, but she represents a party — and the members of THAT party view her favorably.

                That’s not even getting into favorability skewing due to intense hatred by Republicans, who weren’t going to vote for her — or any Democrat — ever, so really shouldn’t factor into Democrat’s choices.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Members of the Democratic party viewed her favorably – against a field where 3 out of the 4 guys hadn’t been Democrats for most of their working lives.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                as illustrated by the way the Dems have chosen their candidate without voter input

                Did I hallucinate the Democratic primary or something?Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

              Also, this:

              The confluence of events that allowed the singular political talent of Obama to jump ahead of her in line,

              is kind of what I’m talking about when I say I think the party might be seriously broken. As best I can remember, the only major candidate who nominated in my lifetime on the basis of being “next in line” was the guy Clinton’s husband beat by over 200 electoral votes.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Well my understanding of political history in the US is imperfect to say the least but as I understand it politicians having a sense of “waiting their turns” was a very common thing for about seventy years and certainly common in the more conservative party, which right now quixotically is the Democratic Party.Report

              • George HW Bush in 1988? Won a landslide. Al Gore in 2000? Won the popular vote, and would have won the election if he’d been able to win the black vote (in the Supreme Court.)Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            Good comment Tod. (I mean, I agree, so …)

            North, I think Tod’s complaint/observation is simply and merely what he said: that Hillary was anointed long before the normal cycle of candidates declaring takes place effectively pre-empting other Democrats from entering the race. Now, that’s just an observation it seems to me, but it easily morphs into a criticism: either Hillary’s hold on the Dem Establishment OR the Dem Establishment’s hold on the Candidate Admission Process (or some combination of the two, ugghhh) effectively quashed a primary based on the open exchange of ideas in a competitive selection process. Hence, only a socialist Muppet entering the race with the explicitly stated purpose of pulling Hillary (her!, the person!) back to the left.

            Insofar as that analysis is right, it reflects poorly on ALL the primary actors in the pre-Primary priming (Hillary and the Dem Est.) no matter how you slice it.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Sure, I get it. I have only two protests: this complaint elides the fact that one of the major ways Clinton cleared the field was her notable popularity with the electorate (hell she was popular with conservatives until they set about the business of getting down to an election*). We have very literally seen what happens when the money men and the elite of a party set out to anoint a politician who is not popular with the voters. His name was Jeb Bush.

              My other protest is the idea that this reflects something broken in the party. Clinton and Obama seem to be a pretty singular event to me. I see no successor in waiting (though presumably whoever her Veep is, assuming he or she is young enough, is a bet). I don’t see any future candidates having the kind of heft HRC has (she spent eight years, and then extended it to sixteen, working to become president) to clear the field. So if this is some kind of sign of systemic trouble I’d like to know who this broken system is allegedly going to throw up next?

              *Though that easily could be ascribed to simple Obama bashing.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                (hell she was popular with conservatives until they set about the business of getting down to an election*)

                As someone who watches a lot of FOX News and listens to a lot of conservative talk radio, and has done one or the other for years, I can say with a certainty so absolute you could bend steel on it that conservatives have never, ever, ever ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever liked Hilary Clinton.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Conservatives have hated Hillary since early in Bill’s term, when she demanded an office in the West Wing and ran end-arounds on Congress. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kenneth Starr-gate wasn’t motivated by hatred of Hillary and not Bill. Truly, it goes that deep.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Someday somebody is going to have to explain to me why the fever swamp Right hates her so intensely. I just don’t get it. Would it make sense if I had been following politics in the 90’s?Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:


                My best guess is that in politics, people tend to usually hate what other people stand for. This is usually a transitional thing. So, for example, once Reagan, B. Clinton, and H.W. Bush move on, over time you begin to see a kind of admiration and respect bloom in their previous enemies. I predict the same thing will happen with Obama.

                Other politicians, though, the enemy just hates in their bones, and that animosity never gives an inch — even in time. Carter is a good example, and so is Nixon. It’s still too early to tell, but I think W. will fall into this category. I have no doubt that Hilary will be one of these people.

                They don’t hate what she stands for nearly as much as they just plain hater her.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:


                Yeah, I think you have to go back that far. And like most of the Clinton’s inflammatory behavior there isn’t a definitive line in the sand (or law) the clearly delineates the bad from the good. But in Hillary’s case, I think the hatred goes back to Bill’s first term when she was appointed an office in the West Wing so she could help set policy and engage in executive decisionmaking as well as (and perhaps primarily) Hillary’s roll in advancing “Hillary care” during Bill’s first term, where conservative’s viewed her (correctly in my view) as effectively circumventing the legislative process.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                So Conservatives hate her this intensely because of a process complaint? That doesn’t seem to explain how emotional it is for them.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I wasn’t really of age at the time but a good middle aged woman friend I have asserts that HRC was an unconventional woman at the time when women were really stepping out of their assigned groove (a la Murphey Brown) and to conservatives HRC personifies that. It’s an association thing for them, everything went to heck with women (from their PoV) and there was Hillary.Report

              • Avatar J_A says:

                I was, and I think this is totally correct.

                It all went down in flames when she said, during the campaign or shortly after the inauguration, that, as a First Lady, she didn’t plan to talk about baked cookies, or something like that.

                I think Republicans emphasized Laura Bush’s domesticity (and probably forced her into a more domestic role than she would have wanted herself) to emphasize the difference with HRC, a woman who didn’t understand her place.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                No, it’s not a process complaint, seems to me. It’s a behavioral and personality complaint.

                Or perhaps more accurately (of my thoughts about it and not necessarily conservative’s…) it’s a dispositional complaint.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:


                Well, lots of wars, revolutions and civil wars are fought over this same process complaint. I myself think its nuts to do so, but democracy always seems to bring out people’s passions.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                It reminds me of liberals talking about how Cheney basically selected himself as Bush’s running mate. Maybe it was a bit fishy, but it certainly wasn’t the real reason liberals hated Cheney; we hate him because we think he’s a heartless warmonger. That Hillary influenced policy without being on a ballot isn’t a fake concern, but it’s not the sort of thing that typically gets people really riled up.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                I think @north has it largely. HRC was the first boomer to be a first lady and she was quite unconventional as a candidate’s spouse. She did not seem graceful or good at housewifey things. She maintained a lucrative career as a partner in a law firm when Bill was governor of Arkansas.

                Plus Bill’s rise combined with Newt Gringrich’s total opposition strategy and constantly bad mouthing Democratic candidates.Report

              • Someday somebody is going to have to explain to me why the fever swamp Right hates her so intensely. I just don’t get it.

                No Y chromosome.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Stillwater: Conservatives have hated Hillary since early in Bill’s term, when she demanded an office in the West Wing and ran end-arounds on Congress.

                Which was another case of wanting to have the cake and eat it too, rules for normal mortals ignored.

                Bobby Kennedy had a real job title with real Senate confirmation.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                Yup, Hillary Clinton is the first person in the history of the Republic who has been close to the President with lots of responsibility without ever getting confirmation from the Senate.


                This is a “this bitch is eating crackers the wrong way” thing, guys.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Kitchen cabinet was a term coined by the enemies of the practice, and enemies of the man that started the practice. The intellectual decedents of those enemies became the good government reformers that spent the next 100 years working to rein in the patronage backstratching good ol boy system rife with corruption.

                If Clinton is on the side of history that is against practicing good government, that’s a notable thing to highlight.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Fine, so let’s lay this out. What does the next wannabe HRC have to do to seize the Democratic Party’s nomination?
                Spend eight years paying dues after springboarding off of a spouses own career.
                Lose to a younger more charismatic politician.
                Suck it up and team play for another either years collecting elite gratitude and popularity with their parties base.
                Use both their inside clout and the fact that they’re popular and well known with their part’s base to convince other potential candidates that the upcoming primary isn’t a good time to run.
                Defeat an insurgent populist.

                So yeah… I’m not seeing the corrupt shortcut to power here. Who’s the next Hillary Clinton that the Democratic Party’s broken process will select? What, exactly, is broken about how HRC got the nod?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                What, exactly, is broken about how HRC got the nod?

                For starters, she was anointed.
                Seconders: DWS gamed the primary in her favor.
                Thirdly: Do you really believe that other prospective Dem candidates with an eye on either the White House or advancing their own careers decided on their own terms to sacrifice their ambition and their conception of the “good of the party” because they came to terms with the reality that Hillary was just So. Much. More. than they are?

                North, I (sorta) get what you’re saying here. But Hillary is a terrible candidate and has a pretty poor track record as public servant: Yes to IraqWar, No to student loan bankruptcy, Yes to politicizing Libya. In my view, it’s not like she earned her “next in line” status. She – or her surrogates or advocates, whatever – have somehow demanded it.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Parties anoint people, been going on for ages, sometimes it works, sometimes it does big whoop. As I mentioned before we say how much the Party oil did without popular support for Jeb!.
                The allegation of DWS rigging it is way to Bernietinfoil for me. Considering how much the media dislikes HRC you’d think that’d be a big story.
                So if I’m reading this correctly you’re alleging HRC threatened every single politician who might be a centrist rival with what, physical violence? Because all I see is that she gathered up so much support, money and yes Popular support that those various ambitious politicians looked at the outlook and said “nope, there ain’t an opening”. Running in a primary isn’t fun, you normally do it when you think you have a shot at winning.

                I get that Hillary doesn’t tick off the boxes for you and that’s cool, she’s to the right of my preferences on foreign policy too. But that doesn’t make her some especially bad politician. Yeah she, and almost every other politician voted for Iraq primarily because they were too craven to go against the jingoistic winds that were blowing at the time. Yes, she recognizes that student loan bankruptcy is a terrible idea if you ever want another student to get a fishing loan going forward. Yeah she (And Obama) indulged her hawkishness on Libya and saved thousands of people from being slaughtered by Gaddafi which ended up maybe causing a bigger conflict (or not, who the fish knows how it would have gone sans intervention, possibly a second Syria on the Med?)

                What did she do to earn her next in line status?
                -She fought to a narrow second place finish to Obama in 2008 and when the Party said “It’s over, Obama’s got this” she sucked it up, got in line and pulled for the party. You can be sure the party elites remember that. You can be very sure African American voters remember.
                -She accepted a place in Obama’s administration and evidently charmed the socks off Obama since he’s definitely on team HRC.
                -She and Bill trooped the line in 2012 and helped win Obama’s reelection. Remember bill’s barn burner at the convention while the GOP was lecturing chairs? You can be sure the Party does.
                -She’s fund raised, stumped and helped out candidates all across her party. Somehow that kind of stuff lingers.
                -And yeah, she’s remained generally well liked with the Democratic party faithful.

                So from my point of view that’s why she managed to position herself as next in line and to be honest I don’t see anything nefarious about it. Just a politician making up for her personality deficits by using her dogged work ethic and determination.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree, North. Insofar as we’re talking about the health of the Dem Party as revealed by Hillary’s anointment, I don’t think we’re gonna see eye to eye on this, especially since your argument seems to be that she’s paid her dues. (So she’s next in line…). I reject that type of reasoning, tho I understand why you and others might embrace it.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Personally I don’t think the party “Owes” her it nor do I personally think HRC deserves to be next in line. What I do recognize and admire is that she convinced the party and the vast majority of its primary base that she should be next in line. As an introvert myself I admire that she realized that she can’t connect to voters the way Bill or Obama did and so she set about getting the nomination through force of logistics, loyalty and perseverance. Good on her. I also think she’ll make a decent President (so long as we keep her from getting adventurous in foreign policy).Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I hear ya, and I respect your view on it. Right now, tho, I’m voting third party and talking that up with folks I meet. In fact, just the other night at a family gathering about a dozen oldsters and two youngsters all expressed reluctance to vote for EITHER major party candidate, so the conversation quickly devolved to considerations of which third party to promote as a viable competitor to the Big Two.

                It was a very interesting discussion!!Report

              • Avatar North says:

                That’s perfectly fine, you’re not in a swing state anyhow IIRC.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                You may not like the fact that she got the nomination, in part, because she paid her dues, but it’s a common feature of how political parties function in this country (and as far as I can tell, other countries as well).

                The complaint really seems to boil down to, “This politician won power in a political party by playing politics,” which, well, is how it works and is supposed to work.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                “This politician won power in a political party by playing politics,” which, well, is how it works and is supposed to work.

                Only in some nth best world where n is definitely greater than 2.

                As somewhat better way of party selection is if the party chose someone who had the best chance of a) competently administering the country justly (at least by the party’s own lights) if elected and b) of getting elected.

                And if this is a better way of anointing the successor, then winning power in a political party by playing politics is not how its supposed to work.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Only in some nth best world where n is definitely greater than 2.

                I suppose it’s possible that in the best of all possible worlds, we’ll successfully eliminate the politics from politics, but that seems like a difficult and debatably useful endeavor no matter which universe you find yourself in.

                As somewhat better way of party selection is if the party chose someone who had the best chance of a) competently administering the country justly (at least by the party’s own lights) if elected and b) of getting elected.

                Neither (a) nor (b) are simple determinations to make, and while you could at least argue that (b) is at least in principle an objective criterion, (a) most definitely is not, and once you put the two in tension with one another[1], you introduce another degree of subjectivity.

                Which leads me to believe that politicians will likely be winning power in political parties by playing politics even in Muralitopia.

                [1] For instance, I think that Sanders would have had a somewhat better chance of winning the general election, but had a good deal more trust in HRC’s policy judgement and ability to act as the head of the executive branch.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                In Muralitopia, I will be philosopher-king. Thus do I eliminate politics.

                Slightly more seriously, I’m beginning to suspect that choosing the head of government by selecting by lottery from those who have passed some mix of IQ + knowledge test is better than the status quo even if still imperfect.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                I don’t think so. I just don’t see a way to enact those without the system being abused to exclude people on factors like race and unfavorable political views.

                Do you think everyone who can pass your test will agree with you on policy and philosophy? Is it possible to construct a test where people pass but have radically different policy goals like you, me, and Larry who described himself as a revolutionary communist?

                What forms of knowledge count?Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                Do you think everyone who can pass your test will agree with you on policy and philosophy? Is it possible to construct a test where people pass but have radically different policy goals like you, me, and Larry who described himself as a revolutionary communist?

                No. The point is not so much to enforce my particular ideological preferences, but to exclude people like Trump and probably Larry.

                As to what kind of knowledge? Well, I would prefer if the person was able to pass some basic PPE course. We can hold night classes on this for people who want to take it. Or even an online course like the equal opportunity course my university made me take before they hired me as a TA. The state could fully subsidise it. And we could make it a requirement for anyone who wishes to hold public office. But the whole thing would still be cheaper than the amounts currently spent on political campaigns.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I think where you lose me is this idea that the party owes someone a White House nod.

                Each party has a long, long history of politicians and operatives that do amazing jobs and deserve love and recognition from the tribe — but don’t go on to be president. In fact, maybe 1 out of every 1000 of those people ever do get to be president. That they don’t get that one single job isn’t a failing of theirs or the party. It’s just the way things work in a democratic society.

                If the Dems had run amore traditional primary, and someone else had won the nod — an Elizabeth Warren, or a Jerry Brown, or the next Bill or Barack, someone we never would have seen coming — would Hilary Clinton’s career have really been such a failure that the party should feel ashamed of itself that it didn’t arrange to make her POTUS?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I think that what was done to give Clinton a bit of a boost was well within acceptable parameters of what parties have done for the last however many decades.

                But in the same way that Ron Paul ought to have made Republicans say “huh… something’s going on here” instead of “FIFTY QUATLOOS ON THE RONULAN!”, Bernie could well be an indicator that, huh, something’s going on here.

                How well do you think that Hillary will reward the trust of those who will end up voting her into office?Report

              • Avatar North says:

                It’s so hard to guess what happens next. Who the fish is the next Democratic Veep? If they’re young that’s something, if they’re old it’s something else.

                But let’s be real, everything depends on what happens in the GOP if Trump goes down in flames. I honestly have absolutely no idea what is going to emerge.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I’m not arguing “shoulds” my Todd. Not even a little. I don’t think Hillary deserves to be president on some moral level. I don’t hold any deep love or loyalty in my heart for Hillary Rodham Clinton*. Hillary doesn’t deserve the presidency on some moral scale. She aspired to the presidency and she worked for it. She played the political game, earned favors, traded on her name and then in 2008 some very real organizational failures, her inability to connect to voters the way her Husband could and an amazingly gifted younger politician managed to edge her out for the nod. Do I think Hillary was robbed in 2008? No. No I do emphatically not. She got beat and sometime a while before the Democratic Convention she faced up to that fact and made a decision to accept that fact. She put down any noise of disunity, she got in line and she played ball and her Party breathed a deep sigh of relief and a lot of the people who’d opposed her thought a bit better of her for doing so.

                And then Hillary decided she still wanted to be president so she went back to work. She took a job from the guy who’d beaten her. She evidently performed so well that she made converts of Obama and his staff. She went about fixing the things she could fix about how she lost in 2008. She worked, she collected favors, the laid out the logistics and foundations and she campaigned for eight years. Then in 2015 she methodologically set out to convince the party and her parties base that she should be the next nominee. And lo and behold it worked. She won over the Party, she won over her former opponents and then in a long slog primary she won over the voters by the millions.

                Does some morality say Hillary deserves to be the nominee or that the Democratic Party would be morally diminished if they chose not to nominate her? No I do not think it does.

                But does it say something bad about the party that everything Hillary did to achieve her goal worked? I do not think it does. It looks like pretty standard retail politics to me. And contra you I think she would have beaten Carson, Jeb or Fiorina as badly as I expect she will beat Trump. That’s why I rooted for Bush. Last night the GOP formally nominated Trump as their candidate for President. I drank five hard ciders, realized there aren’t any lampshades in my house to wear and went to bed at 8:30 (I had to work in the morning).

                *I have a certain nostalgic fondness for her era because I was just awakening to the entertainment value of American Politics.Report

              • If the Dems had run amore traditional primary, and someone else had won the nod…would Hilary Clinton’s career have really been such a failure that the party should feel ashamed of itself that it didn’t arrange to make her POTUS?


                I’d like to see you be more explicit on who the agents of this apparently sad state of affairs are. Who decides whether the Dems “run a more traditional primary”?

                Maybe the local state parties, maybe the state governments that set laws on how voting in the primaries works?.

                Maybe the movers and shakers in the party who decide whom to support and when and with how much money?

                Maybe the superdelegates or the system that put them in place (my history is fuzzy, but I understand is was sometime between 1970 and 1976.)?

                Maybe the Dem’s who might’ve run but decided not to?

                Maybe the president, who chooses to take on certain prospects for high-profile cabinet positions and then who endorses certain candidates?

                I’m not so sure I disagree with you–I certainly don’t disagree with your assessment of HRC–but I’d like to see you show your work a little more about whose decisions make this state of affairs happen.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Tod Kelly: As someone who watches a lot of FOX News and listens to a lot of conservative talk radio, and has done one or the other for years, I can say with a certainty so absolute you could bend steel on it that conservatives have never, ever, ever ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever liked Hilary Clinton.

                Fox news and the conservative media sphere were saying nice things about Hillary Clinton in spring 2008 when Obama was rolling up his delegate count.

                (Look for instapundit posts for something like ‘the USA Hillary Clinton, named after the most uncompromising President in US history’Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Remember when we made “authenticity” a virtue in its own right?Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I remember when Bush W was “the guy you wanna have a beer on the porch with” and when Kerry was tarred as the metrosexual flip flopper and when Sarah sent tingles through the rights collective legs but up until 2008 I’d ask “Who do you mean by we kemosabe?”

        Looking at where that endless authenticity fetish has led the right is almost enough to make a cynical agnostic like me reconsider the existence of a just divinity.Report

  3. Avatar Elizabeth Picciuto says:

    It matters from whom she stole. That is, the wife of the man her husband considers a Kenyan treasonous sympathizer-with-terrorists-and-cop-killers.

    And it matters that, now, the OFFICIAL story of the Trump campaign is that the ONLY person who knew Melania was uttering Michelle’s words – is Melania.Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Remember when Joe Biden plagiarized, when he was running for pres?

    Or when Obama was accused of it?

    Nah, I didn’t either. They fell under the media bus, I guess.

    To me, this speaks to one of the core competencies of the Trump campaign. Namely, not falling into the media pit, slogging it out he said/she said style. Does that drive the chattering classes crazy? You betcha*!

    *(The media and most people in that class hate The Trump with the fire of a thousand suns, and would like nothing better that to get anyone and everone talking about this, making the campaign deny and backtrack, seeing mud slung and generally clowning him and anything about him. They want to drive his campaign, drive it into the ground. Again, this is him dealing with the media in a way THEY can’t deal with.)Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko says:

      You can tell he’s playing the media like a fiddle, what with his 70% disapproval ratings or whatever they are nowadays.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      As I recall Joe’s campaign was ended by his plagiarism issue and the accusations again Obama’s supposed cribbing turned out to be a big ol’ nothingburger so I’m not seeing any double standards here if that’s what you’re implying. Also neither of those examples were of either of their principles repeating the words of the wife of their immediate predecessor verbatim at length.

      But yeah this could be a new kind of politics or something. We’ll know for sure in November. I know where I’d place my money if I was of the betting mind.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      Biden’s presidential hopes were destroyed by his plagiarism especially because there were things in the speech that were simply not true for Biden.

      I don’t recall Obama’s scandal.Report

    • Remember when Joe Biden plagiarized, when he was running for pres?

      It killed his campaign dead, and was still visible enough to be brought up when Obama chose him as veep (not as much as the horrific well-spoken negro quote, but still there.). But that was a few years ago and Joe Biden is a cishet white man, so it’s not important compared to Straw Hillary or Barack Obama’s 16 year reign of terror.Report

    • I think it’s worth asking, @aaron-david , whether this was plagiarism at all. What Malania/Trump campaign is accused of plagiarizing seems like a bunch of boilerplate platitudes about “living up to your word, and doing what you say you’ll do.” It was uninspiring when M. Obama did it, and it’s uninspiring when M. Trump does it. But not necessarily plagiarism.

      (Disclosure: I didn’t follow Tod’s links So maybe it really is plagiarism.)Report

  5. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    You said:

    For a campaign that is running in no small part on the theory that Trump’s legendary business acumen will bring superior management to politics, it is yet another particularly stinging embarrassment.

    I don’t think this is quite right. That’s how Mitt Romney ran. But Trump is running on a “I’m meaner” platform. That’s what “I’m a winner” means. If somebody tries something, I’ll just yell at them and say mean things until they stop or go away. His supporters like this.

    And I don’t care to mock them for that. This sort of affinity is quite widespread. Saying mean things about the right people and chasing them away will get you lots of likes on social media. Far more than you get for saying smart, inclusive things, frankly.Report

  6. Avatar Murali says:

    For Trump voters the plagiarism just makes her more authentic. Here’s why:

    Trump voters by and large are people who fit a particular profile: Slacked off in highschool, copied the nerd’s homework at least once or twice, downloaded an essay online and tried to pass it off as one’s own etc etc. This “slip up” makes Melania and by extension Trump relatable to them. If instead she wrote her own speeches like some nerd or perhaps like those stereotypical asian kids, she becomes too other, too uncanny, which given her foreign accent, can be toxic to the Trump brand with this crowd.Report

    • Avatar Elizabeth Picciuto says:

      See my comment above. This does not make her a willing patsy. According to her “confession,” the only person who knew about that Melania was standing there reading Michelle’s words was Melania (which I actually think is plausible).

      In other news, Melania did not show up with Trump to Cleveland today.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Well I imagine this will help it die down faster. A couple days and this’ll be water under the bridge. How long is the RNC again?Report

      • Avatar J_A says:

        This particular issue will die very soon, of course. But it is a symbol of a disfunction that I expect will last the whole campaign(*), because Trump’s ego and massaging Trump’s ego is what this campaign is all about. Competence is a distant 17th priority

        (*) or, God forbid, his administrationReport

        • Avatar Elizabeth Picciuto says:

          It will probably die down. What could make it last a bit longer: someone dwelling on the fact that he didn’t defend his wife. If marital troubles seem to increase.

          No one seems to care much that his wife is a fan of Michelle, which is sort of funny.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:


            It will probably die down. What could make it last a bit longer: someone dwelling on the fact that he didn’t defend his wife. If marital troubles seem to increase.

            Even then it will likely die down to nothing very quickly.

            But I’ll be honest. There’s Melania being tossed under the bus — even in the way they staffer is claiming personal responsibility today, to an extent. There’s the thing about her not coming back to Cleveland today. And there’s the bit in the McKay Coppins piece about how when he traveling/ interviewing him, Trump skipped out on his anniversary in part to apparently hang with younger babes.

            I’m really surprised no one on the left is running with any kind of muck-raking narrative tying all of this together.

            Not saying they should. Just surprised that they’re not.Report

            • Avatar Elizabeth Picciuto says:

              I didn’t finish reading that. Maybe I should.Report

            • Avatar trizzlor says:

              >>Not saying they should. Just surprised that they’re not.

              Clinton team apparently decided that they would not use this or related gaffes to attack Trump. Which indicates to me that they’re running a conservative strategy and letting Trump staffers trip over their own dicks. I am trying to imagine a DNC orchestrated by Trump, where the first day’s theme is “I wrote that!” etc etc…Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                Oh, I’m not surprised Clinton’s camp isn’t using it. They’d be pretty stupid to so, I think. I’m pretty sure they’re hoping for a campaign where everyone decides people’s rocky moments in marriage are best left undiscussed.

                But leftists who aren’t part of the camp? I really am surprised they’re not trying to create a story here.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Yeah my core point is that this isn’t that big a deal overall but that it’s going to basically eat the ra-ra show of the RNC. I can’t think of a way that’s a good thing for Trump. That’s without even considering what it says about the operational competence of his campaign.

          If Hillary commits no major gaffes or screw ups and Trump continues as he is then there’s a very large number of data, turn out and election structure people who’ll look absolutely useless if Trump still wins. This election is shaping up to be a good test of whether campaign apparatus matters.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David says:

            “If Hillary commits no major gaffes or screw ups and Trump continues as he is then there’s a very large number of data, turn out and election structure people who’ll look absolutely useless if Trump still wins. This election is shaping up to be a good test of whether campaign apparatus matters.”

            This is the single most interesting/important comment in weeks regarding this election, @north. For a variety of reasons, namely being the amount of media influence and its effect on elections, followed by money spent and its effect on elections.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Matt Y’s take on the plagiarism scandal is that it shows Trump is a fundamentally lazy person.

    The big revelation from the NY Times today is that the Trump campaign approached Kasich and asked if he would be Veep and Donnie Jr. told Kasich’s people that Trump’s VP would basically be in charge of domestic and foreign policy agenda. Trump would just go around to rallies and feel the love and throw out some pitches and make everyone else do the work to make it so. Kasich told Trump to stuff it. Pence took the deal.

    Trump is possibly the laziest person to run for the Presidency. The fact that people are trying to underplay this because they want to see the U.S. burn or stick it to the Ds is not that encouraging.Report

  8. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I agree strongly that what’s important about this is what it reveals about staffwork.

    But what demonstrates the state of staffwork even more was the rickroll.

    I think I’m in a minority in my opinion that Melania could have gotten away with quoting Michelle Obama with appropriate citation.

    What everyone likes about the Obamas is that they are Ozzy and Harriet. What everyone remembers about the Clintons is that they are not.

    Emphasizing how Clinton is not actually Obama, in all the dimensions that people feel broadly favorably about Obama, needs to be a wedge used by Trump’s campaign.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko says:

      That take on Michelle Obama probably flies with the median voter, but not with the median RNC attendee or Trump staffer.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Right, and therein lies the problem.

        Attendence and behind the scenes stuff is for the insiders, the true believers, the anointed and the converted. But as Mo said elsewhere, the *spectacle* of the convention – particularly the literal primetime segments – are supposed to be an advertisment, a *free* one at that, targeting the mushy middle. (There’s certainly no real news value. Even though the year’s came closer to actual news than any in a generation)

        If there’s one thing Trump is supposed to be good at, it’s winning the earned unpaid media game.Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko says:

          Yeah. Jonathan Bernstein’s take on the convention is that it’s so nutty and fringe-y because of Trump’s weakness with the party. If he already the ironclad support of the activist Right, he’d be putting on a show for the media and undecided voters, but he can’t because he still needs to convince nevertrumpers and social cons and so forth that he’s their guy. Similarly, embracing Michelle Obama would probably be a good move, but it’s not one that the Trump campaign is able to take.Report

          • Avatar Autolukos says:

            How does inviting Alex Jones as a special guest fit into this theory? The Don King incident also seems to cut against it.

            Alternative theory: Trump is a nut.Report

            • Avatar Autolukos says:

              And now there’s apparently some sort of MLM pitch on the stage? This does not seem like behavior calibrated to bring in Trump’s doubters.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        I think Don nails it here. It would be akin to Chelsea talking about sharing a love of books with Laura Bush.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          Or her talking about her strong, strong relationship with Ivanka Trump, because they’re good friends.

          Which she does.

          Because they are.Report

        • Avatar J_A says:

          I think the comparison does not work because never in the days of the deepest Bush derangement syndrome I have heard a bad word said about Laura Bush, who seemed deeply uncomfortable with his husbands adinistration (and, for instance, was one of the first Republicans to speak in favor of LGBT rights)

          Whereas Michele Obama has been the butt of jokes and sneers from Republicans since she decided child obesity would be one of her issues. The TX post Perry administration PROUDLY rescinded a policy banning French fries and other similar high fat foods from school cafeterias.Report

  9. Avatar Kolohe says:

    On the flip side, everyone talking about Melania Trump’s speech, including some people talking about the racial angle, means many fewer people talking about a sitting member of Congress saying the most racist things by a member of that body, since probably a Strom Thurmond fillibuster.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      True, almost makes all those claims about the media being completely in the bag for liberals look sort of silly.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Talking about Melania Trump is also less time to talk about the slaughter of Syrians by the forces commanded by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      I see plenty of people talking about it. The media seems to focus on the Melania trump issue because it means not needing to make a value judgment and our media seems absolutely adverse to getting rid of BSDIReport

  10. Avatar Damon says:

    Allegations now that the speech was intentionally sabotaged.


    The plot thickens.Report

  11. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    I simply don’t care about “plagiarism” in a politician (much less his super-model wife who speaks English as a 2nd language).

    A job of a politician is to steal other people’s ideas, repackage them so they’re politically practicable, and make them into laws. You judge him by whether he’s stealing good ideas, and doing a good job on the repackaging.

    By that standard he gets a total pass on this. He can repeat Lincoln’s (or Obama’s) entire speech as far as I care. I also could care less about the whole lack-of-dignity he brings to anything he touches. I don’t like it, but whatever.

    However another of his jobs is effective personal management and crisis management. By those standards this was bad. Arguably Trump has to be an effective manager because of his empire so it’s probably more a short term than long term thing but whatever.

    My problem with him is he’s trying to repackage bad ideas. He’s running on a lot of things which are economic poison and/or totally unworkable.Report

  12. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    So, I’ve been in court in meetings with colleagues all day. It was only when I got off the train tonight that I found out about Ted Cruz and his non-endorsement speech. Apparently, the crowd picked up pretty quickly that he wasn’t actually endorsing Trump, booed him horribly, and Heidi Cruz had to be escorted off the floor with security protecting her.

    1. If Trump wanted Cruz to endorse him, maybe he shouldn’t have gone after the man’s wife.
    2. Can we now say, definitively, that the wheels have really come off?
    2a. Didn’t anyone read Cruz’s speech before he took the stage?
    2b. When you have a legitimate concern that the wife of a sitting United States senator of your own party is in physical danger in a room jam-packed with your supporters, it’s not exactly cause for pride.
    3. Ted Cruz just declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in 2020. Probably even if Donald Trump somehow wins the White House.Report

    • Avatar Autolukos says:

      The claim I’ve seen is that Trump’s people had seen the speech ahead of time and threatened to orchestrate the booing and upcoming bad press for Cruz if he didn’t endorse. Given how easily people like Christie rolled over, I expect it never crossed their minds that Cruz would go ahead and exhibit his usual behavior towards his fellow Republicans.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      Apparently Trumpy also said he wouldn’t have us honor our NATO treaty if one of the Baltic countries was attacked by Russia. So …umm….yeah.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:


        So were going to build a $25 billion wall that won’t keep anyone out and shred NAFTA so as to get in to a trade war with Mexico to make them laugh at our demands that they pay for it.

        Then we’re going to have Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Il over for cocktails in the Rose Garden. While we serve up Daesh the recruitment slogan it’s needs to really become a Caliphate. And target non combatant children in violation of the Geneva conventions because, what? That sort of thing is for pussies.

        After that, when the Caliphate we could have starved out by the roots invades Turkey, we’ll tell NATO to suck it and solve their own damn problems. We’re busy #MAGAing it like bosses over here.

        No one will make a treaty with us ever again.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          You sound stressed , must have had a rough day.Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko says:

            Today, not so bad, actually. Not everything was smooth but overall went well. Tomorrow, yeah, some high stress is coming my way. That’s why they pay me the… Well, they do pay big bucks, but not all of those bucks find their way into my pocket. Pity.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              That’s good. Trump also said the US shouldn’t’ be all critical of anything happening in Turkey since our civil rights are so bad we have no standing to lecture other countries.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          If you want to read the interview, it’s here.

          For example, asked about Russia’s threatening activities that have unnerved the small Baltic States that are the most recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”


          • Avatar greginak says:

            Estonia owes Donnie 20 bucks. You don’t back up a welcher.

            But its not like Trumpy’s campaign manager has close ties to Putin or anything in any case did you hear about Hills investments 30 years ago.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              Both Trump and Clinton can sin, and sin big and one doesn’t cancel out the other nor make either one not worth calling out.

              For instance, Daesh and Assad are both bad guys. I dont need to ignore Assad’s chemical weapons use to note ISIS summary executions and mass rapes.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I agree as far as you’ve taken it. However i give a lot more attention to what the T man says he would do in the near future then conspiracy theories about 30 year old investments. One is bit more serious and affects national policy. The other less so.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                On the other hand, Clinton is more likely to be President, so may be worth paying attention to more.

                Eta: I mean I’m so sure Clinton is going to be President, I got in a twitter discussion the other day on where her Presidential library is going to be. (Either Cornell or Columbia)Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Well yeah, perhaps we should check into that Vince Foster matter also.

                Or less snarky. Clinton could fill a few bank accounts just by making speeches for the rest of her life. Serve on a few boards and such. She doesn’t need to be prez for money. I’m not really worried about her manipulating cattle futures or some such.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I’m not really worried about her manipulating cattle futures or some such.

                Why aren’t you worried? The whole “Hillary makes a killing on cattle futures” thing is so ridiculous, you – as a reasonable person – can only conclude shenanigans were involved. So if then why not now? Why no worry at all?

                Add: Has she changed since then? … ???Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                I am worried that she has poor instincts and a subpar decision making heuristic and it hasn’t gotten better during the 40 years in the public eye.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                She tends towards intervention in other countries and is to hawkish for me. That could mean the same thing you are saying i think on domestic matters she would do well enough at least for my policy preferences.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                The President has a lot less to do with domestic matters because of Congressional authority over such things and the bureaucracy doing most of the executive work. There’s a difference between Democratic and Republican administrations, true. There is though, not much between how any given Democrat (or any non Trump Republican) would direct the executive branch on domestic policy verus any other member of their party.Report

              • Avatar rmass says:

                Have you lost your mind? Can you imagine president cruz’s nlrb ruling in favor of contractors being able to unionize just like the non temps they work alongside? That his epa would even recognise climate change if miami sunk beneath the waves? That his justice department fully prosecutes voting rights cases? That his dea continues the hands off policy towards legal weed?

                Not to bust your whole both sides suck party, but there are real differences in how the fed bureaucrats operate when the party of gov is the problem is running things.

                Also fish not loving hildawg. She’s taken the worst slings and arrows of stupid hateful people for 25 years. And she still standing. So much hate. So little proof that she’s different from everyone else.

                If congress wanted to make it so no operative could use anything other than a gov email address they could. With huge penalties. But they won’t. Because they dont want their own dirty laundry to be the target of an Freedom of information request.

                So yeah. She won people over. Im an obot and a burner, and yet am still happy with my parties choice.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos says:

        Some interesting comments on the ongoing Turkish purges as well.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          True. It’s an obvious observation but if Obama had said what trumpy has said the right would be beyond nuclear in its rage.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        The frustrating thing about the NATO comments and how they’re now in the spin cycle is that there’s a long overdue conversation needed about the purpose and very existence of alliances formed in a very different world order.

        If you go back and look at the record, I’ll bet you’ll find many of the people aghast at Trump’s comments dead set against expanding NATO eastward in the first place. (To say nothing of the folks that weren’t fond of NATO when even the USSR was still a thing)Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          Oh yeah there are a lot things to talk about regarding NATO and Trumpy didn’t hit on any of them. Even if you think we shouldn’t have expanded NATO to the Baltic states once they join the club they are in and we shouldn’t be loudly saying we just might not honor our obligations.

          I saw a comment on the twitter feed that Trump is basically saying all the bull squat that R’s have been wrongly accusing O of saying for years. But , you know, he is directly saying it.Report

  13. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    I think the whole dust up with North, Tod Kelly, Stillwater, and everybody else shows there’s a disconnect with the people who are actually the Democratic base – who are basically working class and middle class women of color and people who think they’re the Democratic base – upper middle class middle aged white dudes. Hillary is very popular with the former and for “some reason”, very unpopular with the latter.

    The truth is, Hillary is a bog standard center-left politician who always stays in the center-left of the party. She’s not some machivellian string puller. The reason why lots of Governors and Senators stayed out of the race? I know this may shock some people here, but they probably thought Hillary would be a better President than them, plus yes, she’s the most qualified and set-up candidate to win in decades, if not centuries. Unless something incredibly weird happens, we won’t see somebody clear a field like this in decades or even longer.

    Throw in the fact that she’s been Public Enemy #2 since 1992 in the eyes of 40-45% of the country aloing with some self inflicted wounds and you have a recipe for some shitty approval ratings. But, if I had to guess, she’ll have higher approval ratings six months into her Presidency, barring any disasters than she’ll have today, 100 days or so before the election.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      I largely agree except that the Dems do have a rather broad coalition that also includes advanced degree holding professionals.Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        … advanced degree holding professionals.

        Is this a meaningful demographic category?

        In other words, are there policy ramifications or is this an aesthetic distinction?Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

          According to the Google, 10.9 percent of the population has post graduate degrees. They likely have higher turnout than other people and vote largely for Democrat’s lately and are probably whiter than the population. So, it’s a sizable chunk of the DNC, but like I’m about to respond to Saul, it’s not as big a percentage as those people likely think it is.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          It matters in that for every other period in American history, this socioeconomic segment made up the core demo of the Federalists/Whigs/Republicans, until about 2005-2006.Report

          • Avatar j r says:


            That is an interesting point. I’ve always thought about how the original yuppie stereotype was of city-dwelling Young Republican with disposable income (back when being a Young Republican was more about fiscal responsibility than actively hating the gays), but now the SWPL crowd tends to get linked to explicitly progressive politics.

            The more I think about it, though, I’m not sure that link is warranted. I know several cohorts of folks between their late 20s and early 40s who are college-educated “professionals,” many with advanced degrees and they map all over the place politically.

            When you talk about folks with advanced degrees, you’re not just talking about people with humanities MAs and sociology PhDs. You’re talking about lawyers and MBAs and STEM folks and health care professionals. If someone is a Bernie supporter who doesn’t even know anyone who likes Clinton, it’s not because they have an advanced degree; it’s because they inhabit a bubble, most likely on purpose.

            Also, I think Saul has a habit of conflating aesthetic tastes in regards to where someone lives and what sorts of books they read with what their political beliefs ought to be. There is definitely a connection; it’s just nowhere near as robust as some claim.Report

        • Avatar Francis says:

          Votes are one thing. Money is another. And a policy base is a third.

          Upper middle class middle aged white dudes (like me, to be honest) have outsized influence because that’s where the party’s financial and intellectual base is. Brad deLong may cast only one vote in California, but as a deputy Treasury secretary he wielded a lot of clout.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

        Sure, but I think those advanced degree holding professionals overestimate how much of the party they are. I see it in a lot of posts on places like Reddit from former Bernie Sanders voters or non-voters about how “they know nobody who likes Clinton” and I always wonder when was the last time they visited an African American church, a community center in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood, or talked to middle aged Mom’s at soccer practices.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          Maybe it is because I am in my mid 30s but I know a lot of advanced degree holders who really like or love HRC. They tend to be women in their mid 30s and older, usually white. This is a big demographic also going to the Democratic Party.

          The Democratic Coalition consists of people of color, the LBGT vote, Jews, Union members, city dwellers, and increasingly white women and whites with college degrees.

          This is a big and diverse coalition. I don’t know why people are perplexed by the idea of excited and loyal Democratic Voters (not you) but fully accept right-wingers as totes real and sincere.Report

    • Avatar j r says:

      Throw in the fact that she’s been Public Enemy #2 since 1992…

      I’m seeing this talking point a bunch lately, but to quote Ezra Klein on the topic, “I don’t buy it.”

      Klein offers an alternate explanation (here: http://www.vox.com/a/hillary-clinton-interview/the-gap-listener-leadership-quality) and for all my Vox-hating, I am fairly sympathetic to it. The gist of it being that campaigns reward stereotypically male behavior (talking more) and underweight the one skill that all of Clinton’s campaigners say that she has in spades: the ability to listen.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

        I think that’s a perfectly rational explanation for let’s say, 1/5 of her negative feelings with Democrats and independents. But Republican’s hate her because they’ve been told for nearly a quarter of a century she’s basically the most evil woman in the world.Report

        • Avatar j r says:

          But Republican’s hate her because they’ve been told for nearly a quarter of a century she’s basically the most evil woman in the world.

          Eh. That’s obvious hyperbole. So what happens to the theory when we turn that down and state it in a more reasonable and accurate way?

          It also would not explain why Hillary’s approval ratings are so much higher when she’s in a job then when she’s campaigning.Report

          • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

            It’s slightly hyperbolic, but I actually read the comments in places like RedState, FreeRepublic, The National Review, and the like. They really, really, really, really, really don’t like her and they’ve been given reasons by talk radio and Fox News to do so.

            I mean, the GOP has done a lot to screw up during the past few days, but there’s a reason why the RNC has done the things they do in speeches in the last few days refering to her and it’s not because they don’t know their base.

            As for the differences, I’d say it’s pretty simple. For most of her SOS run, she was the ‘Good Cop’ to the evil Muslim Socialist who was destroying the country and for most of her Senate run, she was actually pretty quiet and under the radar.Report

            • Avatar j r says:

              Maybe, but it’s still a just so story that lets you pass the blame to nefarious conservative leaders and the stupid, incurious conservative rank and file. For that reason alone, you should probably question it.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                Yes, obviously, I shouldn’t believe my decade plus of reading what conservatives actually say and their stated beliefs and fall back to the usual “both sides are equally horrible” position.

                Sorry, but sometimes, one side is actually right and one side is actually wrong and this case, yes, the conservative power brokers have had a two decade war to paint Hillary Clinton as the worst woman in the world and large chunks of the base have happily eaten it up.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                This is what I’ve mean. You’ve allowed our political priors to take precedence over reading comprehension. What I said has nothing to do with what both sides do.

                There is a question: why does Hillary Clinton have such low approval ratings?

                You’ve decided that it has to be, because Republicans are evil and their base is credulous. It is entirely possible that is the reason, but that is only one of a range of possible answers. And it’s a just so story that you’re justifying based on anecdotal evidence, which ought to make you question it. Obviously, it doesn’t though. Which is fine. You believe what you feel that you have to.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Explaining her low approval ratings is a different thing than explaining the intense visceral hatred that conservatives have for her, though. You’d expect them to disapprove of her. So there’s a question of why plenty of moderate or even liberal voters who like BHO dislike and distrust her. But then there’s a question of why talk radio listeners will believe that she is literally a murderer. Wasn’t Jesse answering question #2?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I’m old enough to remember when Bill Clinton became President. The visceral hate started in late 1991 and has never gone away. It seemed to appear, spontaneously and ubiquitously, like how ten days ago everyone began playing Pokemon on their phones.

                Conservative leaders caught the wave early and have been surfing on it ever since, but they didn’t create it. I was much more conservative then than I am now, and was in “the Movement.” No one thought this up. They just sort of formed a spontaneous consensus that revulsion of all things Clinton was the way to go, and it’s been Clinton Derangement Syndrome ever since.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Looking back, Bill Clinton’s Presidency is when this hyper-partisanship started in earnest. By 1992, many Republicans and Republican leaning voters convinced themselves that the Democratic Party consisted of the enemies of the United States. We were Baby boomer radical hippie feminist, LGBT loving effete intellectual anti-Christian non-whites or something like that.Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar says:

                Is this possibly a result of the end of the Soviet Union as an existential threat and the (mostly) end of the Cold War?

                I’m thinking that despite their substantial policy disagreements there was at least a bipartisan agreement among the Establishment types of both parties that the nuclear arsenal of the Soviet Union was the Big Bad Wolf to be feared. Absent that immediate and obvious external threat conservatives, who are possessed of a psychological predilection to be the Protectors of Us against Them, turned their attention to the Enemy Within.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

                It’s not as though this is peculiar to Clinton, or even Democrats. There was Bush Derangement Syndrome (and bonus Cheney Derangement Syndrome), and while I wasn’t old enough to be paying attention at the time, there seems to be retrospective Reagan Derangement Syndrome, at least.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                Wasn’t Jesse answering question #2?

                I can’t speak to people’s intnentions, only what they write:

                Throw in the fact that she’s been Public Enemy #2 since 1992 in the eyes of 40-45% of the country aloing with some self inflicted wounds and you have a recipe for some shitty approval ratings.


              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Yes, surely we should be deeply suspicious of the idea that a party that just nominated Donald J. Trump for President has a credulous base.Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird says:

    So… do you think we’ll ever see another official pledge to support the eventual candidate?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Also, do you think that Bernie Sanders will prove to be as principled as Ted Cruz or will he prove to be less principled than him?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Clinton can make the case, and Sanders can rationalize it, that Clinton has adopted enough Sanderista policies for Clinton to be acceptable to the Berniesphere.

        Plus, Clinton never went after Sanders personally, and vice versa.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Dunno, you can be sure if either Party sees a Trump like figure coming they’ll think long and hard before rolling out any official pledge demands.

      As for Bernie? I think the odds of him reversing himself are somewhere between slim and none.Report