Bern Notice

Andrew Donaldson

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Umm… a cool glass of reality please to wash down this panicked analysis? Who was the Front Runner on the GOP side in 2016 when there was a large field of contenders? One Jeb Bush. Shouldn’t we actually see if crazy Uncle Bernie can do anything other than burble about political revolution when asked real questions in a debate? Maybe get some votes in?
    There are plenty of ways Bernie could lose the nomination that won’t damage the party. He doesn’t have Hillary as a foil and he can’t yowl about establishment actors putting their thumbs on the scale because there is no single candidate for such nefarious mustache twirlers to unite behind. Most importantly, the 8 year Democratic purity itch that felled Gore and Hillary in turn is as dead as road kill and slumbering in its grave. It’ll take an eight year Democratic Presidency to revive that beast and that’ll be far too late for Berniacs.
    I mean, hell, I agree Bernie would be a sub optimal candidate to run against Trump, but this seems overwrought.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to North says:

      Also, who was the front runner at this point in the cycle eight years ago? A fellow you may recall named Rudy! Giuliani.

      It’s hard to understate the importance of this sort of thing at this phase of things. If Sanders’ movements were causing other candidates to withdraw from competition — a la Clinton in 2015 or W in 1999 — that would be different. But in fact we’re still waiting to see if Biden or maybe even someone else we haven’t quite thought of yet gets in.Report

    • Andrew Donaldson Andrew Donaldson in reply to North says:

      Not panicked at all, rather dispassionate about the whole thing. It took Donald Trump till July of 2015 to break 20% and the wide field meant no coalescing managed to occur to beat him. Bernies already in the 20’s. He isnt going to go away, he will have to be beaten. Who on team blue is beating him?Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

        I dare say Bernie will defeat himself but then I’ve never been deeply impressed by the Bern. As a protest vote against HRC in an otherwise empty field he seemed to do tolerably enough. In a crowded field with multiple candidates who appeal to different sectors of the left my intuition says he’ll bleed votes to every other candidate.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to North says:

      I remember the “cool glass of reality” people telling us how Sanders was totally meaningless, and then there he was at the convention

      but, y’know, whatever, that was just the spasm of white male cishet privilege making itself felt, screaming and kicking and wailing like toddlers as they watched Hillary’s wave of the future cruise on toward its inevitable glorious victoryReport

      • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Sure, as the runner up who lost the vote (even before super delegates weighed in) he deserved to be at the convention and he did dutifully campaign for HRC so I have no beef with Bernie. Just no particular admiration.

        The second paragraph doesn’t seem to have any meaning in the context of the first though. I’m uncertain what you’re driving at. Did you copy paste a random word association from an intersectional crossword puzzle into your comment DD?Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    What states would Bernie lose that Clinton didn’t.

    Um… Nevada? Um… New Hampshire? Um… maybe Colorado, maybe?

    What states would Bernie win that Clinton didn’t?

    Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania… maybe West Virginia?

    That gets Bernie to 262 and Trump to 276.

    If Bernie keeps Colorado, he’s president. If he gets Ohio, he’s President. But that’s just me playing with 270 to win.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      I personally think MI and WI and probably PA are back out of reach for the GOP now that Trump has been in office and delivered (or more accurately hasn’t delivered) and now that there isn’t a Democratic President in office. I still think the Bern would be a really risky bet for a nominee though.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to North says:

        Given that the suburbs around Philly and Pittsburgh are big swing factors for the state, and that a lot of those living in relatively high housing cost suburbs are finding out that Trump’s tax “cut” will cost them a couple to several thousand dollars, I very much doubt PA is in reach for him for 2020.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think WV is lost to any Dem.

      I think he would do better in some Rust Belt states (but I can’t back that up), worse in the West, and in Virginia.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

      Bernie the anti-empire socialist probably puts Virginia back in the Republican camp, from a combo of people staying home and voting for Schultz or if there’s another McMuffin.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I think it is entirely possible that Bernie wins the nomination but the 2020 primaries are still a long time away and the polls at this point are buzz and named recognition. Biden hasn’t even announced he is running yet and might not based on the current stories.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Pete Buttigieg is also in the news for hauling in 7 million dollars. Honestly I hate this kind of reporting because it is lazy and easy and feels too much like the cult of savvy wanting to discuss winners and losers rather than do hardwork and discuss how policy X will effect the populace.

    Pete Buttigieg might have a chance but right now I think people are into him for some very superficial reasons of he seems different. He has made some statements against coastal “elitists” that are likely to piss off primary voters in states that he would need to win.Report

  5. Avatar J_A says:

    I honestly hope that the Democrats will nominate someone that is not in their seventies, and doesn’t come from true blue coastal states. That’s all I’m asking forReport

    • Avatar North in reply to J_A says:

      They have plenty of alternatives. We shall see.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

      Who do we got? From Ballotpedia in alphabetical order by last name, we have:


      Cory Booker (D)
      Pete Buttigieg (D)
      Julian Castro (D)
      John Delaney (D)
      Tulsi Gabbard (D)
      Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
      Kamala Harris (D)
      John Hickenlooper (D)
      Jay Inslee (D)
      Amy Klobuchar (D)
      Wayne Messam (D)
      Beto O’Rourke (D)
      Bernie Sanders (I)
      Donald Trump (R)
      Elizabeth Warren (D)
      Bill Weld (R)
      Marianne Williamson (D)
      Andrew Yang (D)


      Whew! One at a time.

      Booker. 49 years young. Is New Jersey a coastal state? I mean, it is geographically. I’m wondering if it is spiritually.

      Mayor Pete is 37??? How in the hell is he 37? Jesus, I’ve wasted my life.

      Julian Castro is 44 and from Texas. Let me yell *DING* loudly.

      John Delaney is 55 and from Maryland. Coastal state to the bone. But, let’s face it, it’s not New York or Massachusetts.

      Tulsi! Also 37 (Jeez louise) and from Hawaii which, I understand, is nothing but coasts.

      Gillibrand is 52 and from New York.

      Harris is 54 and from California.

      Hickenlooper is 67 and from Colorado. *DING*

      Inslee is 68 and from Warshington State (Coastal?)

      Klobuchar is 58 and from Minnesota. *DING*

      Mayor Wayne is 44 and from Florida.

      Beto is… sigh… 46. Texas. I’m not going to yell *DING*.

      Bernie is 300 years old. Vermont isn’t really coastal, though.

      Warren is 69 (nice) and from Massachusetts.

      Williamson is 66 and from Texas and I had to google her first name because of Zion Williamson.

      Handsome Andrew Yang is 44 and from New York, but he wants to get rid of the DST switch and give you $1000.


      That’s six people who meet your criteria if you count Beto and don’t count Williamson, or six if you count Williamson and don’t count Beto.

      Seven if you count both of them.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Jaybird says:

        If JFK and Stalin had a love child, which one of these candidates could stand in for that kid?
        Around the age of 35-38ish also.Report

      • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

        “Booker. 49 years young. Is New Jersey a coastal state? I mean, it is geographically. I’m wondering if it is spiritually.”

        Booker was for seven years the mayor of Newark, which, is for all purposes, a suburb of NYC (hint: NYC claims three airports, the second largest of which is New York-Newark airport).

        Is New York City coastal: ya betchaReport

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

        Delaney represented the West Virginia part of Maryland (but also, after a gerymander, enough of the suburbs of DC to make it possible for a Dem to win)Report

  6. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Biden needs to…er… embrace…the, well, handsy and make his campaign all about “hugging it out”.

    Not saying he’ll win that way, but I am saying he’ll lose any other way.

    On Bernie?… not sure at all. One thing I’ll note that I said way back in, what, 2015(?) is that Bernie the underdog was pretty careful not to burn Clinton or bridges. Bernie the front runner? Wonder if he’ll show the same restraint if/when things get heated.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine says:

      He didn’t and he won’t. There’s a general scuttlebutt that a lot of the current candidate assassinations trace their roots back to Berns camp and his people have been going after Beto with chainsaws ever since the 2018 election wrapped up. Bernie went overboard when he started thinking he had a shot back in 2015 but he started out being careful and he went back onto the reservation once he lost the nomination so I don’t think anyone has cause to be angry at him over that. Campaigns can get heated.

      Biden, hopefully, will realize it’s not gonna happen and will bow out. He doesn’t need to feed himself into this buzz-saw and that’s what it’ll be if the poor fellow jumps in.Report

  7. Avatar pillsy says:

    Bernie has some strong advantages at this point. He’s a fundraising machine, has high name recognition combined with high approvals among Democrats, and he was the runner up last time.

    But… in addition to the general distance of the actual primaries, there are two things that would worry me if I were a supporter.[1]

    One is that his staffing decisions seem dubious. He seems to be picking people for ideological alignment, which is not necessarily the best way to go about it. Picking the wrong staff can be disastrous; it certainly didn’t do Hillary any favors in ’08.

    The other is that he has a young, energetic, enthusiastic activist base, which is, well, not an unmixed blessing. Howard Dean had a similar base, and they went all around Iowa alienating Democrats into caucusing for other people.

    [1] I am, at this point, pretty skeptical of him without being really negative.Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Bernie benefited from the years when he was the only actual leftist within the Democratic universe, the guy who would pugnaciously defend the New Deal sort of liberalism that the DLC types were embarrassed to embrace.

    But that time has come and gone. He isn’t even the most lefty of the leftys, the most pugnacious of the pugnacious, and he can’t articulate a message that isn’t better delivered by Warren.

    I think of him as in the same boat as Biden, a beloved action movie star you really wish would gracefully exit the stage while the audience is clapping.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I think people focus too much on ideology as the source of his appeal.

      It didn’t hurt, certainly, but he did fine with more moderate and conservative Democrats, a bit (but only a bit) counter-intuitively. A lot of his appeal was (and remains) rooted in the sense that he’s somehow authentic, in contrast to the calculating sellouts in the Democratic Party.

      This was a particular vulnerability of Clinton’s, but it wasn’t limited to her.Report

  9. Avatar George Turner says:

    So far I think Biden’s the best shot Democrats have in the general, so of course the usual suspects are trying to torpedo him.

    Democrats blind spot is shown in the poll posted here just yesterday that said 50.3% of Americans thought the Mueller probe was a witch hunt. In that poll there was also a question about voting for a socialist.

    Thinking about the 2020 election, would you be satisfied with a presidential candidate who thinks the United States should be more socialist?
    (N=1,000) n %
    Yes——————————————————————220 22.00
    No——————————————————————-667 66.70
    Undecided ——————————————————–109 10.90
    Refused————————————————————— 4 0.40


    Even if you can sway all of the undecideds on that one, it will hand Trump a 66.7% to 32.9% victory. That’s percentage would be bigger than a Johnson/Goldwater (EC 486 to 52), Nixon/McGovern (EC 520 to 17), or Reagan/Mondale (EC 525 to 13) landslide.

    Trump will beat on a socialist like a drum, day in and day out, with mocking derision, just as he already does, whereas he would probably say pretty nice things about Biden, probably going with “Handsy Uncle Joe, ya gotta love him.”

    Yesterday Real Clear Politics ran a story on Trump’s support from Hispanics, saying “McLaughlin & Associates revealed that Hispanic approval for Trump in March jumped to 50%.” In December, that support was only about 30%. The article goes into explaining the shift and some of the ways that many Hispanics are a bad fit for the Democrat party. Part of it is that most Hispanics don’t like Catch and Release (only 20% support it), they aren’t comfortable with abortion (60/40 opposed, in contrast to non-Hispanics at 60/40 in favor), and Hispanic Democrats are twice as likely to identify as conservatives compared to other Democrats. If the Hispanic poll numbers hold, a whole lot of safe Hillary states are going to be in play.

    Holding the Democrat coalition together is actually pretty easy, merely requiring a level of moderation that amounts to “Don’t be crazy.” But Trump has gotten under their skin to such an extent, living rent-free in their heads, that the Full Crazy is being unleashed. This has already led to the problematic 2018 successes of some noteworthy political newcomers, who have seized the role as de facto party leaders. To the GOP, they are the gifts that keep on giving.

    Most of the Democratic field is assuming that they need to run to the far left, but that may be a huge mistake because although the Bernie Bros were mostly willing to vote for Hillary, a whole lot of the center, including the Hillary supporters, might not be willing to vote for someone as far left as Bernie. The above polling data supports that possibility.Report

  10. Avatar Kolohe says:

    There’a chart in the link above that compares the 1st Qtr 2019 totals with the 1st Qtr 2007 totals. Nobody is close to Clinton or Obama yet, though of course the 3rd -5th place people have a lot more money this time.

    Echoing things said in the original post, and some of the previous comments, the question raised is – between Bernie and Harris, who is Hillary and who is Obama?

    Edit to add – it’s worth also keeping in mind that Hillary Clinton raised more money not to be President than anyone else in history (by a not small margin)Report

    • Hillary had unique…let’s call them detractiona, while Obama hand unique attractions, so I’m not sure how much you can use either in this cycle though the temptation is there. In fact I think modeling off either would be a mistake. Bernie laid off HRC personally, for example, but his campaign and supporters have gone personal and negative early and often in this campaign already. None of these candidate will carry the “historic” sense Obama brought. The crowded field will accentuate those differences IMOReport

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Kolohe says:

      Sticking by my Bernie is 2008 Hillary take.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Listened to the Fivethirtyeight podcast today and they were saying that Beto’s voting record is actually pretty moderate but he has the image of a progressive. They speculated that if he could actually convince slightly conservative suburban white guys (like me) to give him a chance, the progressive acolytes may also vote for him because are a little more prone to voting for the image than the substance. Could be win-win.Report

  12. Avatar Kolohe says:

    By the end of last year, the Trump re-election campaign had raised $79 million and spent $78 million


  13. Avatar George Turner says:

    Howard Schultz of Starbucks is holding a town hall meeting in Kansas City, and Fox News is moderating it. He says he’ll make his final decision to run in the summer, but from what I see, he’s almost certainly running, and will campaign hard. He says his team has looked at the numbers for 18 months and they think he has a path to 270.Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I just remembered the 20 minutes where we thought Zuckerberg was going to run for president.

    Hee hee.Report