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The Race To Replace Trump has Started

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, January 1st, 2019 - 112 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Deep stuff, democratic participation, elections, Hillary Clinton, Politics, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Elizabeth Warren has entered the race to be the next US President.

This morning the Massachusetts Senator released a video announcing the formation of an ‘exploratory committee’ to canvass on her behalf.

It’s a bit of an odd watch to Kiwi eyes, a four minute paean to the mythical American middle class. It’s a values based call for support, rather than a solutions based plan of action. If you squint, it could be a pitch from Hillary Clinton two years ago. And to be fair, it pretty much worked for Clinton, who would be President if it weren’t for the bizarro electoral college system they use in the US to determine the result.

Warren will be the first of many. With Trump a dead man waddling and no alternative Republican candidate in the offing, winning the next Presidential election should be a piece of the proverbial for the Democrats.

The Dems take effective control of the House of Representatives in a few days and have already hinted that they will use the numbers to bypass Trump in an effort to end the current Government shutdown stalemate.

Humpty Trumpty is about to fall off his wall before it’s even built.

Warren won’t be the lone candidate for long.  Those considering bids include fellow senators such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders (who is not currently a Democratic party member). There’s also Joe Biden, the popular former vice-president and billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has the cash and cachet to make a run a reality.

The Guardian has a good run down of the potential candidates here.

Whoever gets the nod, I hope they do a better job of picking a running mate than Hillary Clinton. If she’d gone with Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, she’d have won. Chocolate fish to anyone who can remember the name of the guy she did pick. No googling, team!

112 comments on “The Race To Replace Trump has Started”

  1. ken 1

    It has already been foretold that Lisa Simpson will be the next POTUS.

  2. Matthew Whitehead 2

    Thanks for covering the news of the exploratory committee. A good way to think of those committees is basically that you don’t start one unless you want to be president, but you might find out it’s simply not practical. It’s tipping your hat at a campaign without actually announcing a campaign, something which One Doesn’t Do Too Early. (most campaigns are formally announced just before the primaries) It would be roughly the equivalent of announcing you’ll run in a leadership contest for a major party here.

    I do have to slightly object to the contention that Warren’s announcement looks like it could have come from Clinton. It absolutely doesn’t. It’s has a degree of genuine empathy with, understanding of, and communication with real citizens that Clinton could simply never achieve, sadly for us all. I also disagree vehemently with the idea that the problem with Clinton’s campaign was at the bottom of the ticket- she made a deliberate choice to engage in a style where the election was either about Trump’s controversies or hers, and we never really got values-based or policy-based rhetoric from her. Tim Kaine was an example of her thinking she could win by running the same playbook as her husband had, where she picks someone who’s “popular” in a critical state and it pushes her over the line, (too bad he wasn’t really popular so much as just better than the alternative…) a thing that worked back when media was still very local and you cared about things like “oh, the President picked our local governor/congresscritter/etc… as VP!” She would have sunk just as hard if she’d picked Biden, too, assuming she could even have persuaded him to run. These decisions would have both been the problem at the bottom of the ticket reflecting the problem at the top of it, although Biden might have been less disastrous, I’m not sure his goofy nature would have turned things around.

    A unity ticket with Sanders would have arguably made sense, if she genuinely wanted to pivot her campaign in the general election to be more like his and pick up the newly engaged voters he’d mobilised. I think she might have pushed herself over the line doing that, but it’s really impossible to tell. Putting sanders in the #2 position simply as symbolism wouldn’t have worked though, as his supporters only liked him because he was genuinely advocating for what they believed in- he wasn’t their leader, he was their voice. And some wouldn’t have come with even if he were VP- he did give her a whole-hearted endorsement after she won and a lot of people ignored it, with some of those even voting for Trump, sadly.

    Warren represents the closest thing in 2020 to this unity approach- Sanders has been discredited with the establishment, pro-corporate wing of the democratic party and would be seen as a divisive pick in a primary, an ironic fact despite him being one of the most popular politicians in the USA, (according to Fox, of all places!) especially as he’s still technically an independent, despite agreeing to run as a democrat last time.

    Warren has real credibility with his base having fought for similar issues, even if she did so with a more make-the-system-work approach rather than an overthrow-the-system one, is a much better communicator in today’s idiom, and has far less issues with race or getting her credibility by taking third-rail stances, even if Sanders did so for principled reasons. She’s got both the authenticity and the polish to win, and Democrats would be smart to pick her as she can probably peel away the people who turned to Trump in desperation rather than vote for a Clinton who was very obviously a Wall Street candidate, hoping that he’d be true to his rhetoric and put a brick through the establishment’s window on behalf of ordinary americans. While he’s been willing to depart from orthodoxy, sadly it’s mostly just been to Make America Authoritarian Again. She’s one of the two people looking at maybe running that I actually think would have a shot at undoing a significant amount of the damage Trump’s presidency has done.

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      I think she is too old. Maybe she could be veep to a younger 47yo Democrat candidate? There is a hunger for change not old fogies steeped in the system.

      • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1

        She is three years younger than the current President, and has no obvious health issues. I would politely suggest that she’s just fine, even though I do favour younger candidates for President, there don’t appear to be any with the right policies and values at this point- the only other likely contender who’d do well is even older than both of them.

        • Gabby 2.1.1.1

          Another pale stale female matty? It’ll work eventually.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.1

            If you want to read down the thread you’ll see me calling Clinton an absolute disaster several times. I’ve been pretty consistent in that I saw her primary win as Trump’s last best hope in 2016, but I still hope she could manage to not sink the ship too quickly and squeak by in the general election, because as bad as she would definitely have been, she wouldn’t have been as bad as Trump.

            While Warren might be older, like most senators, she isn’t stale. She’s part of the actual left wing of the Democratic party, and she’s a great communicator with ideas that, for the USA, are remarkably fresh, like actually regulating things in an effective manner, lol.

            I said with Clinton that her being a woman wasn’t a problem, but her being a Clinton was. I’m up for testing that.

      • Obtrectator 2.1.2

        Inclined to agree on the age thing. Three of the last four POTUS have come from that early baby-boomer generation. Their time is done.

    • Obtrectator 2.2

      “Sanders …. one of the most popular politicians in the USA, (according to Fox, of all places!)”

      Be very, very careful about what Fox tell you.

      Reminds me of those Oz cricketers who kept saying what great England bowlers so-and-so or such-and-such were …. and then taking double centuries off them in series after series.

  3. Andre 3

    I find your attitude to America’s Dad astonishingly disrespectful. Of course we all remember his name … err…Bob…no, Jim …. ahhh Tim. Tim something sort of biblical-ish … got it – Tim Kaine.

    Cough up that chocolate fish now.

  4. fender 4

    The messages contained in that video are inspiring, if the American people won’t vote for someone like Warren to be president then they must be madder than the current one. Voters over there should really treat themselves to a decent leader next time.

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.1

      I’d keep in mind there will be a lot of very big donors who will be almost as angry and distressed by the idea of a Warren presidency as they would be by a Sanders one. Just because the people want something doesn’t mean it’s a forgone conclusion, especially in a state like America where they’re more of an oligarchy than a genuine democracy.

      • fender 4.1.1

        Yes it certainly won’t be easy for her up against that money machine. I hope she ends up running, a good versus evil race would be interesting for a change!

        • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1

          You should consider this committee a sign that she intends to run. If she doesn’t formally announce later, it will mean there has been some practical obstacle that has taken her out of the race.

  5. One Two 5

    Naturally, there is a desire for change similar to the GWB era…

    But change did not come at that time, not will it come after Trump…

    Obama was not change..neither will whomever is parchuted POTUS next time…

    That is the ‘game’

  6. alwyn 6

    “who would be President if it weren’t for the bizarro electoral college system they use in the US to determine the result”
    You might not like their system but you are in no position to call it “bizarre”, at least not unless you are a US citizen.
    They chose the method more than 200 years ago and they would probably not have the Presidential system they have at all if the older, larger, eastern states had not been willing to allow such a system of Presidential election.

    Your comment is really no different to someone from Britain, with its first past the post pure electorate system describing our MMP with list members as bizarre and saying things like “Bill English would be Prime Minister if it weren’t for the bizarre MMP system they use in New Zealand”.

    Clinton really didn’t seem to understand the system anyway. Why, when an overwhelming lead had already been achieved in California did she keep campaigning there? Was she really so foolish as to think you could get 110% of their Electoral College votes. Trump simply ran a more sensible campaign and spent his time where he had a chance. Damn it.

    ” I hope they do a better job of picking a running mate than Hillary Clinton. If she’d gone with Joe Biden”.
    She didn’t have that choice. Biden had withdrawn from the Presidential campaign completely and wouldn’t have deigned to run as VP again. Eight years was surely enough. If he had stayed in the race it would have been extremely likely that he would have got the nomination anyway. He would probably have won the Presidential nomination for the Democrats and beaten Trump. He would certainly have been a less flawed candidate than Hillary.

    • ken 6.1

      I can’t agree with that analogy, alwyn.
      Proportional representation is pretty much the opposite of the electoral college system.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        I never said that they were similar. Of course they are not.
        However someone who doesn’t like, or at least is not used to the US system may choose to describe it as “bizarre”. That doesn’t actually mean anything except to say that they don’r approve of it.
        That is in no way different to someone who doesn’t like, or at least is not used to the New Zealand system describing it as “bizarre”.
        It is just one opinion and it is being made by someone who really doesn’t have any skin in the game.

        The US ended up with the system they do because of the circumstances there in the late eighteenth century. They were trying to set up a National system on top of an already existing State structure. That is why they ended up with things like counting slaves as being worth 60% of a free man. (Article 1, Section 2) They were compromises that had to be made if they were ever going to get a single Central Government.
        I am not saying any particular system is “bizarre” or not. Just because you wouldn’t have chosen it doesn’t actually make it worse or sillier though.

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1

          It is wrong to imply that criticism of the Electoral college is based on “not liking” it rather than it being constitutionally inappropriate in a modern context, being completely unnecessary when coupled with the much greater safeguard of a direct election, and being able to be directly compared with said popular vote in its results so we know precisely when it has overturned what should have been a democratically elected leader.

          The electoral college has only ever delivered perverse results to the advantage of conservative candidates, (although not all of them have been Republicans, due to the changing parties in US history and the fact that the Republicans used to be the party of northern centre-right liberals and Democrats of southern centre-left conservatives, and they essentially switched social constituencies and geographical focus after the Civil Rights Act) and it is best viewed in modern context as a partisan election tool rather than a genuinely reasonable electoral compromise. Its best defense, that it safeguards the interests of smaller states in picking the president, is openly counter-factual: its actual effect is to concentrate presidential campaigns around marginal “swing states,” which are often medium-to-large states with no particular political disadvantage, take Florida for instance, or Virginia, the state that determined where the US capital would be. Not exactly disadvantaged constituencies, but frequently swing states. Texas may also be a future swing state as its demographics change, and it is one of the biggest in terms of electoral votes.

          • Wayne 6.1.1.1.1

            The result for Kennedy in Ohio (which won him the presidency) was also a direct result of the Electoral college.

            In any event to describe the US system as bizarre misses the point that the US is a federal system. In any federal system states have a particular say. For instance in Australia, each state has the same number of senators, despite the varying population between states.

            The Electoral College was designed to ensure that presidential candidates had to campaign in a large number of states. A candidate who racks up large percentages in big states, nevertheless has to campaign in small states. The number of electoral college votes in each state does reflect the population of that state, but a bare win (50% plus one) typically delivers all the electoral college votes to that candidate. So winning 70% is no better than winning 51%, so Hillary’s big wins in New York and California did not help her win the presidency, though it did give her an absolute majority of the popular vote.

            In a few states the electoral college votes are awarded on a proportional basis. If all states did this, then the winner of the popular vote would also win the presidency. Arguably fairer, but it does ignore the key principle behind a federal system, which is to distribute power to each of the states, and not concentrate it all in a few big states.

            • Andre 6.1.1.1.1.1

              In Maine and Nebraska, 2 of their Electoral College votes are pledged to the statewide winner, while the remaining (2 in Maine, 3 in Nebraska) Electors are pledged to the winner of the House districts. So it’s ever so slightly more proportionate. But it’s still a long way from actually proportionate, and even if all states adopted that system there would still be potential for the Electoral College to deliver a result grossly at odds with the popular vote.

            • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Kennedy won the popular vote, Wayne.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960_United_States_presidential_election

              Additionally, if that was the sole intent of the constitutional framers of the USA, (and I doubt it because their politics was very divided at the time so I expect people voted for and against with lots of different reasons) they miserably failed. There is next to no reason in order to win the Presidency to campaign in more than ten states- swing states, and states you suspect might come close to being swing states and want to invest in for the future. Other visits tend to relate to party needs- ie. downticket races and issues campaigns.

              Arguably if things are close you might want to campaign in a swing district in one of the split states, but those states tend to vote Democrat anyway.

              • Andre

                Maine overall is fairly solid Dem, so 3 of their 4 EC votes are fairly reliably blue. The rural Maine House district definitely leans red.

                All of Nebraska is fairly reliably red, it would be very unusual for a blue wave big enough to flip the one urban-ish House seat there. 2018 wasn’t a big enough Dem wave to turn any federal part of Nebraska blue.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Ah, I was forgetting Nebraska, thank you. My point was more than the odd district that flips in those two states hasn’t ever impacted the vote AFAIK.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.3

              In a few states the electoral college votes are awarded on a proportional basis. If all states did this, then the winner of the popular vote would also win the presidency.

              Not necessarily. If NY and California assigned their electoral votes proportionately, Clinton would have lost something like 30 electors. That’s a lot to make up from the midWest.

              But it would make the electoral outcome for each state more closely reflect the desires of voters in each state.

              • Matthew Whitehead

                Yes, correct, keeping the electoral college but making each state’s delegates proportional to the popular vote in that state would still introduce rounding errors, and it’s arguably unconstitutional as it violates the equal representation clause. (Then again, the electoral college itself is arguably unconstitutional by the same argument)

        • McFlock 6.1.1.2

          Saying something is “bizarre” doesn’t mean disapproval. “Bizarre” means it’s fecking weird. Now, if the rationale for that weirdness were presented in entirety and found to be wanting, that would probably lead to disapproval.

          But if there’s method behind the weirdness, it might just get a shrug and a “fair enough, still bloody odd, though”.

        • Andre 6.1.1.3

          If you check out the Federalist 68 essay, you will also find that one of the purposes of the Electoral College was for the Electors to take a closer look at the candidates. Then, if the leading candidate were found to be some sort of con-artist huckster capable of convincingly bullshitting the general voting public but utterly unfit for the actual duties of the office, then the Electors would exercise their independent good judgement and choose someone that actually was fit for office.

          But in 2016, the exact opposite happened: the Electoral College overrode the general good sense of the voting public that gave the competent and qualified candidate an almost 3 million vote majority, and delivered the presidency to the utterly unfit, con-artist fraudster that was betraying his country by palling around with at least one hostile foreign power.

          The wiki gives a good summary of what the Federalist papers are, while the Yale link is the actual text.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._68

          http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp

          • alwyn 6.1.1.3.1

            I’m afraid your argument fits into the “I don’t like him so the system is unfair” category.
            The rules are, and have been ever since the county was founded that the candidate who gets a majority in the Electoral College becomes the President.
            Trump achieved that majority and hence has a mandate to be President.

            Trump would appear to have organised his campaigning to fit the rules of the system. He doesn’t appear to have wasted his time campaigning in States that he couldn’t win or in States that he was certain to win. Clinton didn’t, given that she wasted time and money on California where she was already certain to get a huge plurality and in fact achieved a majority in the state.

            I have a couple of other comments on your opinion.
            You appear to think that a mandate is earned by the candidate who gains a MAJORITY of the popular vote. Certainly you talk about Clinton having ” an almost 3 million vote majority”. Well she didn’t. She achieved a plurality but did not get more than 50% of the votes. She led Trump by about 2.9 million but there were 2 other candidates who got about 6 million between them.

            If you are going to say that a plurality provides a mandate, which is what you seem to be proposing, and that a majority is not required would you also say that National should be forming the NZ Government? They after all reached a plurality. If that is enough to provide a mandate for a President should it not do the same for a party?

            Alternatively, in order to recognize the fact of a plurality being the yardstick for a mandate as you seem to think is desirable, should we not copy the Greek Parliament’s approach? They award 250 of the seats in Parliament by proportional voting and award the largest party an additional 50 seats. Why not accept that the Greek, from where the word “Democracy” comes may know more than we do?
            I’m sure the National Party would agree with this and so, given the views you are expressing, should you.

            • Andre 6.1.1.3.1.1

              Got anything to say about the views of the Founders that actually set up the Electoral College, whose ideas were explained in Federalist 68?

              • alwyn

                Personally I don’t really have anything much to say about it.
                I remember, a long time ago, reading a lot of the papers but my knowledge of the subject is certainly no better than the Wiki article.

                The Electoral College itself became almost instantly an anachronism. The people who proposed it had never expected the formation of Parties and the fact that the slates of electors would be set up with a commitment to vote for a particular person rather than have any free will to pick the one they thought the best.

                On the other hand I can’t personally see anything wrong with keeping it as a Federal system where the States, by and large, can make up their own minds. The States do still matter. I see nol need for there to be any meetings at all or for there to be actual people who are supposedly the members of the college.

                Just hold the Presidential election, allocate the votes by whatever means the State chooses, and declare the result. Let it look like the way it really is.

            • Phil 6.1.1.3.1.2

              … time campaigning in States that he couldn’t win or in States that he was certain to win. Clinton didn’t, given that she wasted time and money on California where she was already certain to get a huge plurality and in fact achieved a majority in the state.

              What… the… fuck… are you blathering about?

              Clinton didn’t “campaign” in California. She held a heap of fundraising events and basically made the state an ATM – she raised $100m from Cali. Her last event there was mid-October.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.3.2

            Federalist 68 is a bunch of crap. If something needs to be disqualifying for someone to run as Head of Government/Head of State, it should be in law.

            • Andre 6.1.1.3.2.1

              Well, I’m scratching my head about what kind of laws might have been written to disqualify the rotting halloween pumpkin, given he had managed to slide off the hook for all his previous misdeeds.

              But reason for bringing up Federalist 68 is that the Electoral College utterly fails to do what its original designers intended it to do. As Alwyn mentions, very early on the development of party systems kinda subverted the ideas behind the EC, and now we have clear evidence that the idea of individual electors exercising their judgement is utterly bunk.

              So if a system is delivering perverse results completely at odds with what the original designers intended and at odds with contemporary ideas of how things should work, time to replace it. Ain’t gonna happen, tho.

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.2

      TRP is perfectly justified in calling the electoral college bizarre in a modern setting. It made sense at the time, as America was one of the first western democracies with a hard transition away from a colonial/monarchist system, and they worried that events (ie. last-minute scandals or withdrawals from the campaign for personal reasons) could mean that voters casted votes for someone who was not in the race anymore.

      This was a genuine problem in a geographically sprawling young nation where the fastest way to get news from point A to B was for someone to get on a horse and ride with the news, so under those constraints a delegate system made a lot of sense- parties appointed trusted individuals who had the technical freedom to change their vote, but were expected not to under normal circumstances. It’s a system that relies on trust in how the delegates are appointed and how they vote, but over time that system has been gamed for electoral advantage by the Republican Party, like virtually every other aspect of their system.

      It makes literally no sense in a modern environment where we have the internet, televisions, phones, and radio, to have both a direct election and an electoral college based on the results of the direct election. It is objectively bizarre, and one doesn’t need to be an American to know it. Germans do run an electoral college for their President, one formed from their state and national representatives, but their President is also largely expected to stay out of day-to-day politics, and only get involved as a symbolic leader or to prevent constitutional dangers- their equivalent, the Chancellor, is de facto the leader of the largest party in Government.

      America’s President controls directly or indirectly almost all of the executive power in their entire government, so it is dangerously inappropriate for them to be indirectly elected, as this makes them less accountable to public opinion when they have an extraordinary set of powers, including immunity from both private and public prosecution- they can only be impeached politically, and even then only for “high crimes.” It is only due to a complete breakdown of good faith in their political institutions that the method of electing the president hasn’t been reformed, and if America is to restore itself as a functioning democracy, this is one of the issues they’re going to need to solve, as the last two Republican Presidents have both effectively stolen their inaugural terms using the electoral college despite not having a popular mandate to govern.

      Someone from Britain commenting on MMP is likely commenting out of ignorance, however some of us in New Zealand have actually got practical experience acting as delegates and thus understand the concept of an electoral college reasonably well. I’ve been a delegate in my own political party here. There are systems that are debatably okay and depend on what the country using them wants to emphasise- I point this out all the time when I talk electoral systems, as I did when comparing Iceland’s to ours and discussed why mandating how coalition talks done would not be tolerable in a New Zealand context, despite it working well in parts of Europe. But these are discussing deep quirks of functioning political systems and whether they are locally appropriate, rather than discussing a deeply unrepresentative system that seems to have calcified in an effort by the Republican Party to steal elections they ought to have lost by as many methods as possible, from gerrymandering, to maintaining a racist (seriously, look up US-based criticism on this) and outdated system of appointing a President that is not representative of the public.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        the vote weighting to depopulating states is a good feature

        big ones cant completely bully little ones

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1.1

          I just said that’s not chiefly what it does, Ad. The effect is pretty minimal for small states.

          The EC might arguably benefit small states if votes were allocated proportionally to the popular vote in that state, and fractional/decimal votes were allowed, ie. if it just acted as a multiplier on the power of voters in small states, although that would arguably be unconstitutional.

          That’s not how it works though. Of the states that allow split votes, those votes are not proportional, they’re simply for the plurality winner in each district- so the same candidate can win 51/49 in every district and win all the votes.

          Most states do not allow split votes at all, which means effectively states that consistently side with a particular party are largely ignored by the opposing party in terms of presidential politics, and largely taken for granted by the party that wins them- most small states are either “red” or “blue” so are actually losing out under the Electoral college. Only swing states really benefit, and swing states tend to be either medium-sized or large.

          It’s also unnecessary to advantage smaller states in deciding the President, as smaller states are already advantaged in the Senate, and all laws and many Presidential appointments require Senate approval.

          If you’d like other people saying the same thing…

          https://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2010/03/08/how-much-difference-does-the-small-state-advantage-in-the-electoral-college-really-make/

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-electoral-college/2012/11/02/2d45c526-1f85-11e2-afca-58c2f5789c5d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.00272ce60ee7

          View at Medium.com

        • Andre 6.2.1.2

          If the prez were elected by direct popular vote, the Senate composition of two senators from each state, no matter how big or small, would still be more than sufficient safeguard for smaller states against bullying by bigger ones.

          • Ad 6.2.1.2.1

            would a direct vote require a change to the Constitution?

            • Andre 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes.

              The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a current effort to sidestep the Electoral College without changing the Constitution using the fact that states have complete control over how they choose their electors. So if enough states that add up to more than 270 Electoral College votes sign up, they will pledge their Electors to the winner of the national popular vote.

              But I see the chances of that actually going through as only slightly higher than a constitutional amendment, ie indistinguishable from zero.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

            • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1.2.1.2

              It actually wouldn’t- there’s an interstate compact to implement a national popular vote by just changing states’ instructions to electors, but it only comes into force if a majority of electoral votes are committed to the compact. It’s currently 32% of the way there. It would need to pass in every state considering it and be introduced and passed in additional states representing another 30 EVs.

              • Andre

                So far the states that have fully signed up are all solidly blue. Of the states that are partway through the process, most are solidly blue and only Ohio and North Carolina are on the reddish end of purple. There are no solidly Republican states going anywhere near considering it.

                I feel quite safe in saying I really really doubt it’s going to happen.

      • alwyn 6.2.2

        Mathew. You propose that
        “TRP is perfectly justified in calling the electoral college bizarre in a modern setting”.
        Do you not think that it is equally bizarre to retain race-based seats in the New Zealand Parliament?

        After all they are a relic from about 150 years ago when you had to be a land owner in order to vote. With the communal ownership of Maori land they did not qualify and the Maori seats were brought in to recognize that.
        That was long, long ago and the reason for the seats has gone. Nobody needs to own land to vote and surely you would think that they are a bizarre remnant of a dim dark past and that they should be abolished.
        If you don’t think that why do you think anyone should pay any attention to your views on changing the historic relic of the US Electoral College because it led to Trump being elected? Or does your view depend on whose ox is gored?

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.2.1

          I’m actually in principle opposed to special electorate seats like the Māori seats, (and the idea of electorate seats in general, actually) but I also think I am not the appropriate person to ask on whether they should be disestablished, as there is a clear and significant community who wants to retain them.

          That said, if we retained them in the same form and context as 150 years ago, I would openly and bitterly oppose them, as I expect any reasonable person to do to the Electoral College in the US.

          I also love the constant allegations whenever an electoral system benefits the right that I just have my opinions on electoral systems out of pure partisan feelings. Go back through my author log or my person blog (lemattejuste.wordpress.com) and you will see I have advocated lowering our threshold even when it would let NZF into Parliament, or the conservative party. I have no problems making a decision out of principle that might hurt me- hence why I try to cut my personal emissions as well as argue for systemic change.

          If Democrats were winning this way it’d still be wrong, just as BOTH parties’ habit of gerrymandering districts in the USA is wrong.

          I also don’t view delegate voting as a pure relic of the past. I view it as unnecessary and inappropriate in a high-stakes Presidential election where a direct vote on the same issue has just taken place, and as I said, I have been involved in delegate voting within my own party, and support its use there. For someone preaching context and nuance, you are very determined to ignore the context and nuance I am giving you- this is exactly why I made a point of also giving a second example by saying there is a German electoral college system which I entirely approve of, as it doesn’t usurp a popular election and it is for a largely symbolic head of state role, with the head of government (Chancellor) wielding the real power and being determined indirectly by Party Vote. The extent to which the system is a relic of the past is the extent to which the US has failed to amend it when amendments have become necessary- we have in fact amended the Māori seats constantly because our system is set up to require it, and effectively gives a rolling referendum on their existence with the Māori Electoral Option.

          • alwyn 6.2.2.1.1

            I’m sorry. The last sentence in the comment is quite unfair. I wasn’t meaning to apply the view to you but it certainly comes across that way.
            If I could have the moment again my feelings would probably be best summed up by. “I think people’s views may vary with their political leanings” as a general comment not one that comes across as an opinion about you.
            Or perhaps better that I hadn’t written it at all.

  7. Chris T 7

    My prediction is still that the orange, misogynistic, racist, nutcase, arsehole will get a second term.

    He will have a field day with this lady and the native american thing.

    • Matthew Whitehead 7.1

      You seem to think that like Clinton she’s unable to pivot out of such a facile attack. If she isn’t prepared to absolutely wipe the floor with anyone bringing up that fake controversy, she wouldn’t be considering running.

      • Chris T 7.1.1

        It isn’t really about her.

        He is a very very good salesman and a very very good liar. It’s about how gullible his voters are

        • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1

          I agree he’s a good fraud, and his voters are vulnerable. However polling reliably tells us he’s only got about 30-33% of the public onside, which appears to be his actual base, and that he’s damaging perception of the Republican Party outside of it. This isn’t a guarantee that a democrat can win, but it does mean a strong candidate with alternative arguments that actually appeal to the American public could thrash him soundly. Warren is one of the better options at this stage, although I’d also take Sanders if he looks more likely to win and runs this time- he may however decide not to given his age and that Warren looks to be in, and instead he might just support her campaign.

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1

            Is that 1/3 of people who regularly vote / plan to vote, or 1/3 of eligible voters?
            Because if it’s just of eligible voters, their low turnouts make 1/3 a contender.

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1.1.1

              His last approval rating was 33%, which is of eligible voters, not likely voters.

              Turnout was decisive in the midterms, so it seems unlikely to be a problem with so much at stake, besides, low popularity for a President tends to impact that party’s turnout- while it’s likely the base will turn out stronger than before for Trump, he’s lost a lot of fence-sitters, so I expect a lower vote count for him than before regardless of who the democrats field.

              They can still lose it, but they can only lose it if they repeat Clinton’s mistakes and let him eke out an electoral college victory, or actually enshrine out-and-out authoritarianism among centrist voters.

              • McFlock

                I’m not convinced dolt45 will win, but low ratings won’t kill him. Will the dem field be so big that they dilute exposure and give him all the news cycle again? Maybe. Will there be another “migrant caravan” late October 2020? Or an immigrant commits a crime that gets beaten up by the altright? Probably yes to both. Will he come up with a catchy rote insult for his opponent? Yes. Will the dominant US domestic news service back him? Yes.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  The democratic field in 2016 was five candidates, with three early dropouts. The dilution was mainly a problem in finding someone to beat him in the Republican primary, not the Democratic one, the problem the democrats had was that they chose the wrong person. *shrug*

          • Andre 7.1.1.1.2

            30% to 33% seems a bit low given most polling averages have him in the 40 to 45% approval range (yes I know those are different things).

            Looks to me like around 20% of the electorate will vote whatever has the (R) next to it’s name, even if it’s the mouldering corpse of a month-dead pimp (as proven by the election of Dennis Hof), 20% of the electorate are middle-finger voters who will still stick with the dayglo swampzilla as long as he continues to stomp around breaking things.

            That means the Dem candidate has to attract at least 2/3 of the remaining vote, or the third-party protest and CBF I’ll stay at home votes will combine to leave Jabba the Drumpf in the Oval Office.

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Warren wont pick up Undecideds or crossover Republicans.

              also hard to see her backed by Hispanic or black voters.

              she’d need practise against Trump, and not easy against Cruz, but no problem against Pence.

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Excuse me, I should have been looking at raw figures, but yes, he has dipped to 33% and 30% in some polls. Most have him at mid-to-high thirties or low forties at this very moment, which is still disastrous at his point in office. For comparison:

              Most recent weekly average 39 Dec 17-22, 2018
              Term average to date 39 Jan 20, 2017-present

              Other elected presidents in December of second year:
              Barack Obama 46 Dec 2010
              George W. Bush 63 Dec 2002
              Bill Clinton 41 Dec 1994
              George H.W. Bush 61 Dec 1990
              Ronald Reagan 41 Dec 1982
              Jimmy Carter 51 Dec 1978
              Richard Nixon 52 Dec 1970
              John Kennedy 76 Dec 1962
              Dwight Eisenhower 70 Dec 1954

              George W Bush was beating him by 24% at this point. George “Miserable Failure” Bush!

              • Ad

                polls didnt count for anything last time

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Polls correctly predicted the popular vote within the margin of error, which is all they can do. The reason nobody realised that the electoral college upset was a significant probability was that polling was bad and infrequent in a couple of key states, so we were relying on national-level trends for them.

                  • Ad

                    in the selection for candidate – which is the point of this post – polls had him nowhere.

                    the polls were catastrophically wrong.

                    he was the better campaigner and rghtly got the nomination.

              • Andre

                It’s astonishing how stable his polling numbers are. It suggests opinions of him are almost totally baked in at this stage. Events and actions one way or the other have very little effect.

                I’ve long interpreted his fall in approval around Oct-Nov 17 as diehard Repugs thinking ‘this putz can’t even get a rich people’s tax cut passed even with a Repug House and Senate’. But once that was done they’ve drifted back to him and will be very difficult to pry off.

                • Chris T

                  “It suggests opinions of him are almost totally baked in at this stage. Events and actions one way or the other have very little effect.”

                  Indeed

              • Andre

                Oh, and just to keep you awake at night, what did the Elder Bush and the Shrub have going on in their presidencies in December of their second year that at least partially explains their high popularity at that point?

    • North 7.2

      Chris T……you’re confident in that prediction not knowing what Mueller’s investigation will ultimately come up with ?

      • Chris T 7.2.1

        Fairly

        Think it is more likely than unlikely.

        The thing with Trump is every hit on him seems to galvanise his followers more.

        Dude is a freak anomaly

        Sad thing is it seems to be splitting the US more and more to levels not seen since probably Nixon. And it will probably only get uglier

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          And Nixon got re-elected

          • Matthew Whitehead 7.2.1.1.1

            Yep, although Democrats ran a hopeless candidate against Nixon the second time rather than a first, so I’m a bit more optimistic that it’s maybe possible there are people in that party capable of learning lessons.

    • Bearded Git 7.3

      Wishful thinking Senor christroll. The mid~terms were devastating for Trump despite his (and the medias) spin. He will only lose more votes because he is a prat. Its all over..unless the GOP dumps him……watch this space

    • Wayne 7.4

      I used to think Trump would win a second term. Now I don’t.

      The House of Reps mid-term result had a big enough shift to show that it is likely that a halfway decent Democratic candidate will win the presidency. Trump only got in a by small majorities in three key mid western states. He will probably lose these states, and probably Ohio and Florida.

      If Trump thinks that is probable, he may not even stand. He won’t want to lose. He has got what he wanted, to be the president.

      And if he doesn’t stand it is likely that all the lawsuits against him will vaporise. He will never be convicted of anything. In fact if he stepped down say six months out, to give Pence a shot, he would also get a pardon for any crimes deal or imagined. Even if Pence lost. The pardon would be done after the election but before the inauguration.

      • Andre 7.4.1

        But the only part of the presidency he seems to enjoy is doing the campaign ralleis in front of the adoring Drumpfkins. I find it hard to imagine he won’t want another solid 2 years of doing those. At this stage, it seems unlikely that real facts about his lack of popularity will be able to penetrate that bubble of suckups he’s got around him.

        If he resigned 6 months out from the election, I find it hard to see anything in it for Pence, other than just being able to say he was POTUS 46.

        Pardoning Agent Drumpfski will be even more career-limiting than pardoning Nixon was, and I can’t imagine the idea of only being known to history as the guy that pardoned the only prez to betray his country will be very appealing. But if he doesn’t dish out a pardon, he won’t get the Drumpfkins onside.

        Even if it’s done after the election, he’ll still have to give signals clear enough that it may as well be done before.

      • alwyn 7.4.2

        “I used to think Trump would win a second term. Now I don’t.”
        God I hope you are right. We are going to have enough problems from his being there for 4 years without it going out to 8.

        • BM 7.4.2.1

          Plan for 8, unless the guy drops dead or decides he’s had enough, it’s pretty much a cert.

          • Matthew Whitehead 7.4.2.1.1

            He’s not Vladimir Putin, BM, so no, his election is not “pretty much a cert.”

      • Sacha 7.4.3

        He can’t be pardoned for state-level crimes, only federal ones – hence Mueller’s being a state prosecution.

        • Andre 7.4.3.1

          Mueller is a federal investigation, not a state one.

          There’s been a lot of commentary about charges Mueller could have brought against various people, but didn’t. Mostly where there’s state statutes getting violated in parallel with federal violations. Informed speculation suggests he’s leaving the door open for state prosecutors to take up prosecuting those crimes. As insurance against pardons and as more incentive to co-operate.

      • North 7.4.4

        This might interest you Wayne: I’ve a lovely old friend who’s pushing 90, mother of a schoolfriend from 50 plus years ago. In the 60s a staunch officeholding Nat in Rona Stevenson’s Taupo electorate…..starting with Key she’s deployed “fucking little idiot” in description of successive Nat leaders. Anyway, this lady assuredly predicts that Trump will resign before end of term…..essentially for the reason you advance……no balls to handle defeat.

        I’m not so sure of vapourisation of actions against Trump in that event (except of course in the instance of pardon from the weirdly god-bothering VP……though that wouldn’t defeat say conspiracy charges preferred by NY Southern District).

        Have to break it to you gently Wayne…..my lovely old friend did apply “fucking little idiot” to one or two down the food chain from Nat leader of the day.

    • Ad 7.5

      he’ll get the nomination, unless indicted.

      Trump’s favourability is negative but unemoyment and economy broadly is booming and will counteract popularilty.

      definitely foolish to count Trump out for 2020.

      Trump came from nowhere and won.

    • BM 7.6

      Trump, will easily win a second term.

      I get the feeling people see all the Trump hate media dross that gets fed to New Zealanders and think the Americans are seeing the same stuff.

      They’re not.

      • Wayne 7.6.1

        BM

        You are ignoring the latest House of Reps results. That was a big loss for Republicans, and at least in part a judgement on Trump. The House of Reps (as opposed to the Senate results) are a mirror of a presidential election, since they cover the entire nation.

        The Democrats were highly motivated, and there was a very big turnout for midterms. Dosen’t bode well for Trump’s chances in 21 months.

        • Andre 7.6.1.1

          Looked at objectively, 2018 was good for Dems in the Senate too. It just looks bad in comparison to 2012, which was astonishingly good for senate Dems. Overreach by the Tea Party in 2012 probably had a bit to do with that, a lesson moonbat lefties would do well to take on board but probably won’t.

          Dems won 23 of the 35 seats being contested, a 65.7% win rate has to be pretty good in anybody’s books. The seats they lost were mostly seats where a Dem win is a major anomaly, while they managed to flip or come very close in some solid red seats. Bill Nelson’s loss in Florida is about the only loss that wasn’t more or less reversion to the norm for the state.

  8. Philj 8

    …. or Oprah, Michelle or Angelie, or Tulsa or Ocasio? Show me the money and I’ll show you the winner.

  9. Jenny - How to get there? 9

    Warren will likely do quite well if, she refuses all corporate backing for her bid, and instead emulates Sanders and Cortez, both who eschewed all corporate backing and both who did quite well. Unlike Clinton who was seen as hopelessly compromised and deeply beholden to the corporate sector because of the large donations she accepted from them for her campaign.

    How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton
    Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy – Washington Post, October 24, 2016

    The Clintons turned the Democratic party over to donors. Can it recover?
    Jill Abramson – The Guardian, December 21, 2016

    • Matthew Whitehead 9.1

      It looks like you actually get better exposure and support by eschewing corporate backing at the moment, so she’d probably be a fool not to. It also helps very much with the contrast with Trump- ie. “He said he’d drain the swamp, but he won’t even promise not to take donations from the swamp.”

    • Ad 9.2

      because you win the Presidency on a purity contest.

  10. Morrissey 10

    There’s also Joe Biden, the popular former vice-president and billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has the cash and cachet to make a run a reality.

    That joke sentence was written strictly in a sense of wicked fun, right?

    • Matthew Whitehead 10.1

      Sadly, no, he’s one of the most popular polled options, and is even beating Sanders in favourables right now in some polls. Centrist pro-corporate liberals love the idea of a Biden presidency, it hearks back to Obama for them.

      • Morrissey 10.1.1

        Who did they poll? The DNC?

        Biden would be as popular as toothache.

      • Wayne 10.1.2

        I agree. Right at the moment, Biden would win the democratic nomination. If he was a few years younger, I reckon he would be a dead cert for the nomination. And maybe/probably even now.

        I also reckon he would beat Trump. He has a style (down folks humour) that would deflate Trump’s ballon.

        His policies are safely “middle of the road”, so he can assemble a large cross section of support, including swing voters. Americans, Democrat or Republican, are basically not socialists. They believe in allowing people to get ahead. Much more so than in New Zealand.

        That is how Clinton got in, and it is how the next Democrat president will need to be.

        In the 1990’s I used to read a lot about Clinton’s appeal to middle America, to get the skills and the jobs that would take them from $10 per hour to $25 per hour. National’s tax and family package of the 1996 election was designed around that idea (I had a hand in the design). I reckon it won National the 1996 election. The package gave middle income families (at that time, around $50,000 annual household income) an extra $100 per week. A huge amount back in 1996. Basically a 10% increase in family income.

        I reckon democrat voters in the primaries will be very focussed on the ability of the candidates to beat Trump.That means appealing to middle America.

        • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.2.1

          I think the Democrats can’t just be focused on beating Trump. They have to offer a compelling vision of what happens after that, that isn’t an “and everyone goes back to before you all threw a brick through our window” fairy tale. In short, Biden, Harris, Booker, and all the other centrists need a credible plan to show that they can not only beat Trump, but that America can recover and become a country where nobody like Trump can ever win again, even if it is on a technicality.

          Biden might beat Trump. But he would be an abysmal failure in both the recovering from the damage Trump did phase, (ie. implementing some left-wing economic agenda that makes poorer rural white people less likely to support authoritarians, rolling back Trump’s legislation and his disastrous tax cuts, protecting voting rights for minorities, etc…) and also the “preventing a future Trump” phase. In short, he’s not qualified to be President post-2016 yet, at least not until some more capable democrat has laid that foundation for him.

          • Ad 10.1.2.1.1

            only the hard left ever think pure idealism wins. total idiocy.

            it took Bill Clinton to beat Bush. sex appeal with a sax.

            show a united policy nessage with Congress on takehome pay – as Wayhe notes – and as much emotion as Obama, and its there for the taking.

            but it has to be a stronger emotion than Trump’s rage. Rage is awesomely attractive.

            So far only Biden and Beto hold a stage as well as Trump.

            • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m not sure how “show you actually have a plan to turn around this tyre fire” is idealism as opposed to pragmatism. Sitting around twiddling your thumbs kowtowing to Wall Street isn’t gonna dig America out of its ditch.

              Beto is definitely a smarter choice than Biden in my book, but again, I don’t have confidence he’ll actually reverse everything he needs to reverse, or actually *lead* democrats rather than just try limply to Get Things Done By Navigating The System, ie. be lead around by a bunch of donors into endless circles.

              • Ad

                “kowtowing to Wall Street” in 2009 kept the world from falling into economic depression. Obama made the right calls, generally, and it sure wasnt done sitting on his hands.

                Trump has shown that massive policy reversals are possible, across all institutions, and stick. His idealism is strong if incoherent.

                no Green New Deal or Jacobin revolt is due in the US.
                but Trump has shown that aligning existing institutions achieves plenty.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Kowtowing to wallstreet did precisely nothing to keep the world economy afloat.

                  There were separate responses in bailing out financial institutions which had lost equity, paying out deposit insurance schemes, government spending programs and central bank interventions (which basically means asset swaps and cheap loans).

                  Then there is the stuff which was skipped, individual investigations of fraud, individual prosecutions and jail of the fraudsters involved. Instead in some cases instutions were made to pay fines for frauds committed, which hardly discourages it as the people kept bonuses and positions.

                  Frankly, from you, conflating between these things is a form of lying.

            • Morrissey 10.1.2.1.1.2

              Sanders drew far bigger crowds than anyone in 2016.

    • Dennis Frank 10.2

      “On Sunday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will decide by February if he will run for president in 2020. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said if he does decide, it will be under the Democratic ticket.” https://www.salon.com/2018/12/30/michael-bloomberg-i-would-certainly-run-as-a-democrat/

      My commment here a while back was something like `to beat a New York billionaire, use another’. The top-dog syndrome still rules the thinking of many voters, if not most. “As of June 2018, his net worth was estimated at $51.8 billion, making him the 8th-richest person in the United States and the 11th richest person in the world.” [Wikipedia]

      However the race factor also rules the thinking of many: doubtful that american voters are ready to put that aside. No Jewish presidents so far! https://www.quora.com/Which-US-presidents-were-Jewish

      • Morrissey 10.2.1

        Trouble is, Dennis, Bloomberg is nearly as bad as Trump. He’s not as uncouth—hell, nobody is—but he’s not a lot better.

        The DNC—Democracy Negation Cabal—has a lot to answer for.

        • Dennis Frank 10.2.1.1

          Meanwhile… “”We’ll see how she does. I wish her well, I hope she does well, I’d love to run against her,” the president told Fox News in an interview during the network’s New Year’s Eve coverage. Asked if he believes Warren thinks she can unseat him, Trump replied, “well, that I don’t know. You’d have to ask her psychiatrist.””

          Hmmm. Does she have one?? Or is this an unusually subtle implication of insufficient mental health?

          “The president has long derided Warren over her claimed Native American heritage, pinning her with the nickname “Pocahontas,” a line of attack that some have said is laced with racism.” Some see racism wherever they look, and seeing stuff that isn’t there is okay in postmodern culture. Doesn’t matter that it’s another kind of insufficient mental health. They are free to choose it.

          “Warren sought to settle the question of her ancestry last fall by releasing the results of a DNA test that suggested that she has Native American heritage that dates back somewhere between six and 10 generations. But the DNA test results were met with significant criticism, including that her Native American ancestry is too diluted and too far in the past for her to claim it.”

          Now, really? Homeopathy has taught us that dilution increases potency. Anyone who relies on the theory working in practice validates that from their life experience, and the consequent gnosis is shared with others, producing a community that has included the British royal family since the 19th century. Identity based on race or tribe is likewise self-selected and shared. Maoris don’t argue about the extent of their racial purity, and we get blond white ones in our media nowadays. In identity politics, advocacy is based on shared identity. Can’t fault her on that!

  11. Jenny - How to get there? 11

    Elizabeth Warren has announced that she will be seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the 46th President of the USA. With the Republicans unsure about whether Trump will run again due to the difficulties of campaigning from Federal prison….

    TE REO PUTAKE

    Hi TRP, did you make the comment that Trump will be ‘campaigning from Federal prison’, tongue in cheek?

    One way or another Donald J. Trump will never see the inside of a Federal prison.

    No doubt you are aware that Trump has threatened a violent uprising from his supporters if he is ever indicted, (let alone sentenced)

    This leaves only three possible outcomes, none of which see Trump going to prison.

    1/ Trump’s pursuers take seriously Trump’s threat, and drop their lawsuit against the President to avoid that end.

    2/ Trump’s pursuers proceed with their legal action against the President, and lose.

    3/ Trump’s pursuers succeed in their lawsuit against the President, and, (just as foretold by the President, and others), this is followed by an an outbreak of widespread unrest and violence from Trump supporters. Following the unrest the President will write on twitter, “There was violence from both sides folks” Before going on TV to declare a Nationwide ‘State Of Emergency’ as the President will put it, “Necessary to restore order”.

    What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency
    “From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things”
    Elizabeth Goitein – The Atlantic, January/February Issue, 2019

    “Try and impeach him, just try it. And you will see a spasm of violence that you have never seen”

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, the last President of the United States.”

  12. joe90 12

    Seamless junction of Trump and Third Reich symbolism.

  13. Chris T 13

    Been wondering what Trump’s new catch phrase will be come the next election.

    Something equally as cheesy I suspect. Same theme probably.

    KAG – Keeping America Great!
    MAEG – Making America Even Greater!
    MAEGTIHSF – Making America Even Greater Than I Have So Far! (Might be to long for a cap)
    MAGAD – Making America Great Again. Done

  14. DJ Ward 14

    Oh my.
    Some predictions.
    Mueller has nothing on Trump and the public will be angry at the lies the left has been feeding them, as they know it was driven by Trump haters in the FBI etc.
    Revelations, and admission that it was actually the Democrates paying for the Russian bots will hurt.
    The public will reject Facebooks, You Tubes, Googles blatant political bias and oppression of Right wing free speech. Recent banning of a police press release is not a good look.
    The republicans will shift the battlefield into the universities as the young voters are saturated by Democrates ideology. Piss take videos of how brainwashed this demographic is are damming.
    The republicans will gain support with Black voters as Trump is doing more for them than the Democrates ever have. The Democrates support of illegal immigration hurts this demographic. This is the same but to a lesser level for the legal Hispanic voters. This will be important in winning the swing states for Trump.
    Trump will pull out a Trump card and withdraw from Afganistan, and or Iraq.
    The public is suffering from ‘cry wolf’ syndrome. They will go from just ignoring MSM anti Trump propaganda to voting for Trump in rejection of it. Most propaganda has only a temporary effect and 4 years overall is a long time. When people say Trump is racist, ask what has he done or said that’s racist? Etc etc. Women? What mysoginist policy’s, he’s broken more glass ceilings for women than Obama. Plus he’s a red blooded male so loves women, and only feminists hate red blooded males so normal women will ignor the mysoginist hate speech as they did last election.
    The Republicans will ramp up the portrail of the radical left within the Democrat party as something to fear. If the candidate is significantly left than Clinton the voters in middle America will retain Trump as a moderating force vs a Democrat house and possibly senate. Versus the radical left Trump is predictable. The swing states will stay with Trump.
    A trade deal with China is going to be a game changer.
    The far more pro Trump senate will bring the Republicans more on page with Trump vs the destructive and hateful influence that muppets like McCain had.

    2 years is a long time and many of Trumps policies are only beginning to affect people’s lives. Trump will be a formidable force in any debate and I can’t think of anybody that Trump can’t easily mock. Warren would be like an old nanny goat being fed to a lion. Even Clinton had to cheat and Trump will be a far better, practiced foe.

    • North 14.1

      DJ Ward…..weird…..just weird.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        DJ’s grammar may be weird, but his instincts are not. What he’s saying aligns with the same I hear in conversation working with Americans. Much of what we hear about him is not the same as the narrative in the USA.

        Nothing is certain or clear cut with Trump. The allegations of him being addicted to something make a lot of sense of his behaviour; the man really is a loose cannon. If these are confirmed then he really will be gone. Hopefully soon. But as for all the rest of the politicised maneuvering and investigations, I still think its going to prove counterproductive.

        I like Warren a lot, but it’s not clear to me she’s the right person to put up against Trump.

    • xanthe 14.2

      sadly I mostly agree with your analysis DJ

      In particular I expect public opinion, anger, and significant vote against corrupt media.

      However I do not discount Elizabeth Warren if she can run her own PR and somehow both run as democrat and distance herself from the DNC… big ask but Trump has no problem convincing (many of) us of three impossible things before breakfast so it can be done

  15. Macro 15

    How about a Trump sandwich.
    White bread
    Full of bolony
    With Russian dressing
    And a small pickle.

  16. Nic the NZer 16

    Until the Democrats actually try to reform the US electoral system then losing to a candidate like Trump should be taken mighty seriously. We will know the democratic party is serious when the actually look at reforms.

    A good reform would be a preferential vote system where minor party candidates can run and lose with their votes flipping to a second preference. But presently the Democrats have preferred the system to shut out those candidates and push (and shame) people into the two candidate contest.

    On the other hand the elite preference is probably for the political system to continue to successfully neutre reform candidates (as is happening to Warren now).

  17. Nic the NZer 17

    It would be sensible for the democratic party to look at the reasons for Hilary losing to Trump. The cause appears to be that her campaign was functionally inept and didn’t understand what it needed to do in relation to the electoral college system.

    Further to this there was the problem of following up a massively overpromising and disappointing political cycle. There was also the demographic confusion of shifting from the first african American candidate to a female candidate.

    Any and all of african American voters not identifying, voters being disallusioned by a lack of reform, voters disallusioned by a lack of difference in values between the candidates or the debacle resulting from the Sanders primary, may have cost her the votes in key swing states.

  18. joe90 18

    Presidente de los Estados Unidos, de por vida.

    Mitt Romney’s scorching critique of President Trump in a New Year’s Day op-ed has sparked a call from within the Republican National Committee to change party rules to protect Trump from any long-shot primary challenge in 2020.

    The RNC committeeman representing the Virgin Islands late Tuesday emailed fellow elected members of the national party urging them to change the rules when they convene in New Mexico for their annual winter meeting later this month. Republicans are confident that Trump would hold off any primary challenger, but worry the campaign would derail his re-election.

    “Look, the political history is clear. No Republican president opposed for re-nomination has ever won re-election,” RNC committeeman Jevon O.A. Williams said in a email obtained by the Washington Examiner. “Unfortunately, loopholes in the rules governing the 2020 re-nomination campaign are enabling these so-called Republicans to flirt with the possibility of contested primaries and caucuses.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/romneys-attack-prompts-call-to-protect-trump-from-2020-primary-challenger

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  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
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    2 weeks ago
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  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
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