2019 Time Capsule



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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90 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Boy, my 2011 prediction was painful to read…

    I’m inclined to agree with Jaybird on Biden/Harris. It makes the most sense, although I can’t imagine him making an argument for a single term. Has this ever been done? And it feels insulting to Harris, like telling her publicly she isn’t getting the job but she can spend the next four years doing career development and then it’s hers…

    Anyway, i’m already breaking the rules here so my predictions… I think Warren is going to start pulling ahead in the next couple of months. Biden’s gaffes are no longer cute with his age. She has a really good base in Iowa and it seems like NH and SC are up for grabs this year. Question is, her running mate. Assuming that her running mate comes from the field of candidates, I think the Booker is the obvious choice. He gets her a few diversity points with the SJ Left (actual people of color don’t seem overly enamored with any of the minority candidates this year). I think he will play ball as VP and not try to outshine her. And he is not Castro, so that’s a plus from my perspective.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I went back and re-read the prediction threads and, my gosh, there are *SO* many mistakes made by various people. For one, the 2015 predictions about 2016 had people guessing that Clinton would pick a Hispanic running mate. Clinton/Castro! C&C! Everybody Dance Now!

      Of course, she picked… um. I don’t remember. But he was white.

      Warren/Booker would do a good job of appealing to the News Media Corridor, that’s for certain. I can totally see this.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Castro was on the short list but I’m guessing they decided that a woman/Hispanic ticket was too radical in 2016. Now it seems quaint.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        He was white, but an observant (though pro choice*) Catholic that spoke Spanish fluently and often.

        If anything, in hindsighr, they leaned into that too much and not that he was originally from Minnesota and the Midwest(TM)

        * with the odd caveat of ‘professionally but not personally’ or something like that, which I respect, but still annoyed people on both sides.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      “Boy, my 2011 prediction was painful to read”

      The first thing I said [the GOP nominee will be someone not on our radar yet] and the last thing I said [in 2016 the GOP will tack back to the center] were laughably wrong.

      Everything in between, though…Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Biden/Warren, because the Baby Boomers who form the largest voting block want someone their age or older to be in charge.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I *DO* think that if Biden isn’t the nominee, it’s going to be Buttigeig in the VP seat.

    As for the nominee if it ain’t Biden, I can’t pick between Harris and Warren.

    (If the main storyline of 2019 is going to be racism, Racism, RACISM! FIGHT WHITE SUPREMACY!, you can’t finish that up with “and that’s why you should vote for Biden/Buttigeig!”)Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I love the idea of Buttigeig as VP but I really wonder if Harris or Warren’s teams would be willing to risk a gay man as the running mate of a female nominee. It feels like he has done about as good of a job as possible of making people forget about his sexuality, but something tells me Pence would take every opportunity to remind people. If i am the DNC though, I’m going to pressure whomever gets the nomination to pick Pete because the worst thing they could do is let him go back to obscurity for 4 years.

      My dream ticket on August 20, 2019 is Klubachar/Buttigeig. It’s so Midwestern that I would expect their logo to have a casserole on it.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Mike get out of my head! That’s my dream ticket too!Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

          Ha! You know it. I would love to see Klobuchar debate Trump for the same reason I would like to see Harris do it. They have experience picking people apart, though Klobuchar would do it with more grace IMO. And Pete vs. Pence? I would make popcorn and invite friends over.

          I’m not saying they would do an amazing job but I believe they would try to do an amazing job every day and that says something.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        “My dream ticket on August 20, 2019 is Klubachar/Buttigeig. It’s so Midwestern that I would expect their logo to have a casserole on it.”

        This is why we need a ‘like” button.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      (Aside: Maybe it ain’t even going to be close to Harris.)


      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Not surprised she isn’t doing well. She can’t seem to get traction anywhere. But I’m also really bummed to see Biden moving up. When you look at the results state by state though, I think that’s where things shake out differently. Primary wins quickly change the conversation. I’d say odds are at least 50/50 that Uncle Joe nukes himself before the end of the year. They need to get someone like Tim Ryan or Gabbard to fall on the grenade here. Spend a couple of weeks with a psychologist and craft a debate strategy to force Biden to say something unforgivable and then just walk him into the trap.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I’ve read some 11-D explanations for Harris’s poor performance – that she’s positioning herself for a future lane change – which, even if true (something I doubt) reveal the problem inherent in her campaign: indecision. Couple that with the perception she’s a tough-on-crime institutional-insider Dem and you have a her poll numbers plummeting. Personally, I think she’s toast, primarily because the only thing which could resuscitate her campaign is what she so clearly lacks. Retail political skills.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        There’s an ugly, cynical notion of racism being responsible for Harris’s falling poll numbers, and the ugly cynical part is that the racism comes from other black people, who look at her claiming that she can speak authoritatively on the subject of Racism due to having herself been a victim, and they say “not with your light skin and straight hair and rich mama you weren’t”.

        Harris blindsiding Biden with the busing thing could have been bad, but he’s learned from Trump that the no-sell is always the best option. Maybe pull a face but don’t bring it up after, don’t address it, and whatever you do, don’t apologize.Report

        • Avatar George Turner says:

          If Biden wins the nomination then I think we can rule out Harris as a VP pick. He likely, and probably rightly, suspects that after he won, as soon as nobody was looking, she would shove him down a flight of stairs. At best she would just use him as a stepping stone to further her own ambitions. Biden knows what it is to be a trusted VP, and I don’t think anyone would ever accuse Harris of loyalty.

          In that vein, I’d rule out self-aggrandizing or vanity candidates like “Pocahontas”, “Spartacus”, Buttigieg, Bernie, Yang, Williamson, and Beto. Some of the more mainstream governors, or Tulsi Gabbard, might be good possibilities.

          But it’s not unlikely that he won’t even pick one of the other primary candidates for the VP slot. He might not even pick a sitting Senator or governor. In fact, the most logical choice to bring energy to his campaign and compensate for what he lacks is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

          Or he might surprise everyone.

          Adviser: “Joe, it’s time to pick a VP.”
          Biden: “I know. I know.”
          Adviser: “Leaning towards anyone yet?”
          Biden: “I think I’m going to pick Hillary.”
          Adviser: “But Joe! That’s suicide!”Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            my response to that is a joke from the Obama years: “why in God’s name would you put Hillary Clinton in a position where if you die she gets to be President?”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I have seen a handful of people who use the term “ADOS” unironically explain that Harris is not an ADOS. This strikes me as one of those things that, from the outside, looks like “Oppression Olympics” but what do I know?Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I *DO* think that if Biden isn’t the nominee, it’s going to be Buttigeig in the VP seat.

      Let’s go down the list:

      Bernie. He doesn’t pick Pete, he picks a woman.
      Warren. She most likely doesn’t pick Pete (she’ll pick a hetero male with manly bonafides on foreign policy and etc.
      Harris. Most likely doesn’t pick Pete, opting for a very white hetero male with manly bonafides and etc
      Pete. He also doesn’t pick Pete…

      From my perspective, the best VP pick for either Warren or Harris is Sherrod Brown; Bernie would be wise to pick someone like Amy K.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      The Democratic powers that be nationally are not going to allow a two-term (former by Nov 2020) mayor of a small city that has been shrinking for 60 years in deep-red Indiana to be the VP candidate. I stand by small city; South Bend wouldn’t make the top 10 here in Colorado, and wouldn’t make the top 50 in California. Also, at some point, the Dems have to reconcile the two urban parts of their party: one where the problem is fled jobs and dying/struggling urban core, and the other where the problem is nearly unmanageable growth.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        The dichotomy between rotting cores and unmanageable growth is a huge insight and one that I’ve been chewing on for a while but, and here’s the point, one way for them to hold both of these things in their hands at the same time is to have one of each on the ticket.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:


    The only way Biden doesn’t win is if either Warren or Sanders give up early, which they won’t.

    Picking Klobuchar is the good ‘neutral’ choice that doesn’t alienate the Warren and Sanders camps, something that would occur by picking the other one. Harris could also be the VP pic, but I’m not sure of the optics of that (i.e. would it come off as condescending?)

    eta: Corey Booker could bring some authentic Gen X heat to the campaign if he were the VP pic.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I don’t think there’s any way he picks Harris. She has to pay the piper for the first debate. I also agree Klobuchar is a safe pick. And honestly, she would probably be a kick-ass VP.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        Maybe literally.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

          True. But also, the unique function of our federal system is that senators function as independent contractors most of the time. The majority and minority leaders have certain tools to punish bad behavior but it’s mostly up to the voters in their states. This is why in the last 10 years or so many fictional dramas have started to highlight just how powerful senators are which also means they be very naughty without a lot of consequences (unless you are Al Franken).

          Amy as VP is a different thing though. She has a boss. A good boss gives her a second chance and tells her that she will learn to behave…or else. Of course the opposite could also happen and she could become worse.

          I really do believe she is a good person who wants to do good things, but man, those early reports triggered some stuff for me. Hoping it was blown out of proportion.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      You just made every liberal Democrat faint in horror.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Here’s why Biden keeps polling so well:

        July, 29 Quinnipiac: Biden has the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in the general election, 51 percent of Democrats say, with 10 percent for Sanders and 8 percent each for Harris and Warren.

        So you see those numbers moving much over the next few months?Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Biden or Warren will get the top spot. I think Warren has a path to victory especially because of recent Biden gaffes and announcements that he is going to a slower campaign schedule but Biden is also comfortably ahead.

    I can see Biden picking a moderate white guy despite conventional wisdom stating that he needs to select a veep that is more progressive than he is.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Are you familiar with the phenomenon where Trump’s favorables go up until he starts talking, at which point, they stagger back down again?

      I think Biden has something similar going on.

      The less he talks, the more “Generic Democrat” he becomes.

      And Generic Democrat is very likely to defeat Trump.Report

  6. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Predictions are hard, especially about the future. But, a few things are given. Biden is too old. He will be older than Regan was when he left office. Even the Generation of Locusts Boomers are seeing this. Will he do a pledge of one term maybe? That is a pledge of losing.

    Harris? Looking at the polls, she is f***ing her way out of this, just as she f***ed her way into politics. She has shown herself to have a major glass jaw and would get destroyed by Trump. Warren, also known as Sitting Bullshit? The managerial class might love her but she is even less inspirational than HRC. She would lose the popular, let alone the real election. The rest are a bunch of also-rans, even perennial “favorite” Bernie. Whomever they pick at this point is going to be a serious dark horse.

    So, my Prediction is Booker. With the direction of the party, he will be the one to match up as many talking points as voters. Vice president is used to shore up possible leaks and probable defections, so in that vein, Inslee.


  7. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    I’ll admit that I have almost no feel for Democratic politics… but I like games and this is a game… like karaoke in a foreign country – probably not any good and mispronouncing all the words… but maybe good for a laugh.

    Prediction #1: None of the also-rans will be the VP.
    Prediction #2: See above, so who is the best, most charismatic woman west of the Missisippi… that’s the VP
    Prediction #3: Minnesota does not count as west of the Mississippi, see also #1.
    Prediction #4: If the Dems repeat the mistake of the R’s in 2015 by not consolidating lanes immediately after IA/NH, Biden will be Nominee.
    Prediction #5: If they consolidate lanes and refocus on one or two candidates other, Biden will not be nominee.
    Prediction #6: See #1-3 above.

    Remember, this is a friendly party, I can’t sing and this isn’t my native language. And if I’m right, you all owe me a beer.Report

  8. Avatar George Turner says:

    I think Trump is a shoe-in for renomination, and he’ll stick with Pence as VP.

    What do I win?Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    From Twitter:


    • Avatar Pinky says:

      Now that I’ve posted my picks below, I’ll say that if Biden chooses a woman, I’d give 2:1 odds that he picks Abrams. Black, not Kamala, different part of the country, from outside the Beltway.Report

  10. Avatar North says:

    Biden seems like a shoe in for the nod right now but holy agnostic jebus he is so old!
    So I’m gonna follow my heart.
    Bidens gaffes (minorly) and his very visible age (majorly) keep dragging on him and he eventually either fizzles or bows out. At that point the moderates flock to new blood and Amy Klubachar gets the nod and selects Booker as her VP.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      It’s going to have to be a fizzle followed by a bow out. If someone… I don’t want to use the word “attacks”… challenges? His age, it’s also an attack on Bernie (who is older) at least. (Also Bloomberg, but who gives a crap about Bloomberg?)

      Biden is not Clinton but I don’t know that attacking Bernie (even implicitly) will win more converts than it will earn enmity among the Even Lefter Than Thou crowd.

      Warren is 71 and so attacks on age will have to be kinda careful. 71 is not 77, but we all know that Warren will serve two whole terms and 77 would be in the middle of her second one.

      Reagan was 77 when he left office and if that’s the (implied) cutoff, it also happens to target Eric Holder and Jay Inslee… but it’s easy to not care about them…

      And, the list of ages contains just a bunch of Nobodies by the time you get to the first real name on there (Klobuchar) who is a babe in the woods at 60.

      So an attack on Biden’s age really only hits Bernie and Warren.

      Which brings me back to wondering about how important it is to not alienate/irritate Berniebros and Warrenwomyn.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I pretty much agree with you. I winced at Biden in the first debate end to end and winced again for about the second half of debate two simply because he seemed to be really struggling age wise. I like Bidens’ policy positions generally but I just can’t hang my moderate hopes on a 77 year old God(ess?) damnit! He could bloody well fall and break his hip any moment. Then again who the hell knows- maybe once he gets on a debate stage without a bazillion also-rans Biden may do better. I just don’t know.

        But I agree that I don’t see a delicate way for another candidate to -make- it happen. It has to be age and circumstance or maybe -maybe- a candidate doing some kind of kamikaze run on Biden in a debate or something but I agree that whoever goes on the attack is going to be hated and sure as hell won’t get the nomination themselves.

        Instead I think the current dynamic holds: Bernie and Warren split the liberal wind between them; Biden continues to move along sustained by the much more vast moderate and minority support he has which also has the oomph to continue to keep a few moderate and minority candidates alive basically walking politely behind Biden in case he drops the ball.Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          So, how can you say it without saying it? “We need to be the party of new ideas”? “Getting rid of the tired, old ways of doing things”? All the code words for calling someone old sound just like the words for calling someone not liberal enough.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Suicide bomber, probably. Like how Christie took out Rubio.Report

            • Avatar Pinky says:

              OK, but who on that stage would do it? The choices are Sanders, Warren, Harris, or someone under 5% who would look desperate and petty. It can’t be the first two, and I don’t see Harris willing to burn her bridges. I really don’t like your particular analogy, but it fits in that you’ve got to convince someone to put on the vest.

              Fun fact: if you add up the lifespans of the three leading Democrats, it would extend back to President Washington’s second term.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                To run with what happened last time, you have to have someone ideologically aligned with Sanders or Warren who is one of the sub 1%ers.

                Beto, say.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Let me amend that last sentence to put in something like “and have more policy experience”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I wouldn’t go with “too old”. I’d go for “senile”. Some crap like that. “From another era entirely.”

                Perhaps even point out the current year.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                You are correct. If Biden briskly, or cheerfully, or energetically retorts then the attack isn’t gonna work AND the one launching it is gonna be in the news in a way they don’t want to be. Hell, there’s a reason no one has tried it.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Marco Rubio is hiring… I think you might have a calling.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            With difficulty, frankly. Someone would have to choose to do it and accept that they would come out looking terrible AND have no guarantee that Biden would fail to handle it. If Biden was prepared with a clever rejoinder or a quip then he could deflect the attack and I’d add it probably has to be someone with some level of support or else the electorate would dismiss it as petty desperation.
            So someone would have to:
            -Accept the attack will likely wreck their own prospects.
            -Have the support and gravitas to level the accusation credibly.
            -have the political skill to launch the attack correctly.
            -Have Biden be off his game in such a way that he flubs in responding to it- ideally by seeming disoriented or elderly.

            If all those things happen then congrats to whoever it is. Whoever wins the nod will owe you a debt of gratitude- but they probably won’t be willing to be seen in public with you until after the elections are over. Maybe at the inauguration.Report

            • Avatar Pinky says:

              You don’t throw the ball deep and hope the coverage fails. You watch the cornerback, and if he slips up then you exploit it.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I think you are right. They probably are all loaded for this eventuality and are watching Biden but haven’t seen the cornerback’s mind wandering enough to chance letting it fly.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      That is some St.Cristopher’s level thinking. Warren or Bernie benefit the most from Biden gaffes.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Well like I said I was going with feelings since, rationally, I think Biden is sitting in the catbird seat. I don’t see lily white socialist Bernie or “I’m gonna ban your medical plan and give you a government version” Warren getting a lot of Biden’s supporters. There’re a whole host of more moderate and more ethnically appealing candidates for those supporters to go to. I’d think Mayor Pete, Harris, Amy and (goddess help us) Beto would probably get more.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    From Twitter:


  12. Joe Biden/Val Demings will be the D ticket, the economy will crash, Trump eeks out a win anyway defying all logicReport

  13. steve steve says:

    Warren/Castro and they take out Trump in a landslide, which Trump tries to deny.Report

  14. Avatar Pinky says:

    Biden / Castro

    First, let me say that I don’t understand what voters of either party are thinking. It used to be that I didn’t understand them but could spot patterns, but lately that doesn’t even work. But here’s something that caught my eye. Among Republicans, the Iowa caucus and the NH primary hardly ever choose the same person, and neither one is a better predictor of the winner. Among Democrats, it’s more common for Iowa and NH to agree, and either way Iowa is a strong predictor.

    As the election gets closer, there are bound to be some pre-wedding jitters about Biden. I could easily see him losing the election. But his gaffes seem to be baked into his polling. So the smart bet is him winning in Iowa, maybe a challenger emerging in NH, but him winning it overall.

    I don’t think that a Democrat has to choose a woman or a minority running mate, nor do I think that a geographic spread is necessary when we have such well-known names on the top of both tickets. But Biden is an old-school politician, and his instinct will be for a woman or minority. My guess is that Biden will favor a woman, but his advisers will strongly, strongly steer him away from that choice. He is an old-school politician, and he doesn’t hesitate to make physical contact, and him touching his running mate would be too weird for words. So a male minority. Booker? Maybe, but Biden will want someone from another region of the country. There really aren’t a lot of male minority stars in the Democratic Party these days. Castro also has an Obama connection.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Good analysis, I don’t think any gaffes are gonna bring Biden down. It is gonna have to be an energy/senior moment/health thing.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      It used to be that I didn’t understand them but could spot patterns, but lately that doesn’t even work.

      I feel this in my bones. Part of the problem for me is that, once upon a time, every narrative I read was more or less in the same ballpark. Did you see the movie “Hero” (the Jet Li one)? They had a great story where Jet Li shows up, tells a story about what happened, the Emperor said “I don’t think that that’s what happened… *HERE* is what I think really happened!” and then Jet Li says “you got me… here is the true version.”

      All three versions were coherent and you could see how each would make sense.

      We’re in a place now where we have two competing narratives and neither is coherent with the other.

      It’s like looking at Schrödinger’s cat and seeing it both dead and alive at the same time but knowing that it can’t be both.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        I can tell you about one campaign “fact” that I’m not sure about. I remember in 2016, that whichever candidate was in the news would see a drop in approval. (That may have been due to the reasons they were in the news, but I think it was more than that. They were just unlikable.) Now, was that observation a fluke? I don’t think you could reconstruct the timeline of negative coverage accurately, and given the variation among polls and the margins of error, I don’t think the data would be meaningful in any case. I seem to also remember polls dropping on the state level after candidates’ visits. If this really happened, then it raises doubts about the claim that Clinton ignored PA, WI, and MI. Not showing up may have been a sound strategy. Now, *today*, how would I go about confirming this? Is there any data source I could turn to with confidence? Would you believe any insider of either camp? Would you trust the press? Is anyone likely to go against the popular narrative without some suspicious motive to do so?Report

  15. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Based on the Simpsons episode that predicted Lisa Simpson would clean up after president Trump’s mess, the question is, which of the current candidates is most Lisa Simpson-like?

    I’d say it’s Elizabeth Warren.

    Her running mate will be chosen specifically to be a mediocre white man because a significant portion of the electorate won’t vote for a slate that doesn’t contain at least one mediocre white man.

    I’m going with John Delaney for this one.

    And reiterating my standing prediction that whether it’s during his first term, his second, or a subsequent one, Trump will die in office.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Can’t possibly quibble with the hueristic. So… I’m re-considering.

      But, I’d be a little worried about the Portlandia vector, but substitute Plan for Pickle:

      Man, if Trump dies in office? I don’t even have a model for that.Report

  16. Avatar Fish says:

    I don’t know that I have an actual prediction to make (though I really like Jay’s prediction in the Op, including the bit about Biden stepping aside after one for Harris), but since I run in circles containing a lot of ex-military types, one complaint I frequently hear is the lack of military experience in either party’s nominees. And over there in the corner polling at <2% stands Tulsi Gabbard. So why the hell not: Biden wins the nom and chooses Gabbard as his VP because the last time Biden and a Hawaiian ran together it worked out pretty well, too.

    Or maybe Harris and Gabbard put aside their differences (a la Reagan and Bush sr.) and come together to form the Democratic version of Voltron. I don't know. It's lunch time and I'm hungry.Report

  17. Avatar DensityDuck says:


    • Avatar North says:

      *applause* Tell him what he’s won! A years supply of Tuscan Whole Milk?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Perhaps someone will point out something to the effect of “while Jaybird was *TECHNICALLY* correct in his picks on who it would be, he was wrong to be right. He only happened to get it right. Like Democritus and his theory of Atoms. It would have been far more appropriate to say that no one can guess who it would be.”

        That’s almost as good as whole milk.Report