Daily Archives: March 24, 2019

No big bump for Beto

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign stop at The Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery in Burlington, Iowa.
Reuters news photo

Hopefully, the days of blank-slate dork Beto O’Rourke, who might be a good fit for Texas but who is a shitty fit for the entire nation, wildly gesticulating on counter tops like a hipster on crack will be limited.

Three nationwide polls of Democrats and Dem leaners taken after Beto O’Rourke’s official entry into the 2020 presidential race on March 14 show that he got only a small boost from his launch.

A Faux “News” poll put him at 8 percent, an Emerson College poll at 11 percent, and a CNN/SSRS poll also at 11 percent, for an average of 10 percent. (Before his launch, he’d averaged around 7 percent in the nationwide polls.)

Joe Biden averages 28 percent in the three polls mentioned above, Bernie Sanders averages 23 percent, and Kamala Harris averages 11 percent, maintaining their long-standing order of being at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in the nationwide polling, respectively.

So Beto is at a whopping fourth place, and poor Elizabeth Warren is at fifth, averaging 6 percent in the three polls mentioned above.

(If you think that my methodology of using the three latest post-O’Rourke-entry polls is flawed, know that Real Clear Politics also comes up with the same rankings as I did: Biden, Bernie, Harris, O’Rourke and Warren, in that order.)

Methinks that the 2020 Democratic field is pretty set. It’s not impossible for a third-tier candidate to break into the second tier (Pete Buttigieg, for example, strikes me as quite capable of that), but I don’t see the top tier changing; Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have been at No. 1 and No. 2 for a long time now (and Harris has been at No. 3 for a long time now, if we also want to include her in the top tier, even though she has no more than half of the support that either Biden or Bernie does).

Cory Booker can’t get even 5 percent in most polls, and no one else in the field who I haven’t already mentioned can even match Booker.

Sure, it’s a crowded field, but support for the candidates already is settling, with the top three — Biden, Bernie and Harris — already garnering more than 60 percent of the support that’s to be had.

Liz Warren, methinks, would need a miracle to garner the presidential nomination. She geekily is pumping out new policy ideas at least on a weekly basis, but she has failed to gain traction, and I don’t see what’s going to change that.

As to why Liz is fizzling, my top two guesses are that the Dem voters intuit (probably correctly) that as an egghead she would lose to the anti-intellectual (to put it mildly) “President” Pussygrabber, and that the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Warren reminds the Dem voters too much of the last Democratic candidate for president who lost (the president-determining Electoral College, anyway).

I’m not saying that what’s working against Warren is fair, but whoever said that politics is fair?

Harris should be doing a lot better in the polls than she has been doing, based upon the corporate-media pundits’ routinely putting her in the top tier — even at No. 1, even though she’s never been at No. 1 in any fucking reputable nationwide poll.

I still think that at this point Harris’ best bet is to get the veep spot, and given that she’s a woman of color in today’s political environment, I give her a high chance of succeeding at that, if she’ll accept it.

The idea of Joe Biden naming Stacey Abrams as his running mate right out of the gate — which both the Biden and the Abrams camps have denied is a done deal — is an awful one.

It would be a slap in the face to Kamala Harris and others who are out there campaigning right now and who should get the veep spot, and the baldly pandering gimmick would be a clear sign of Team Biden knowing how weak their candidate is. (Since I want Biden to lose, maybe I should call it a great idea!)

Also, we need to rid ourselves of the idea that if you almost won your last election — hello, Beto, Stacey and Andrew Gillum — you should win not only a participation trophy, but you now should be a political rock star.

Win your fucking last election — and then we’ll talk.

Having lost your last election — even if it was close and even if there is good reason to suspect that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up (I mean, Florida and Georgia) — doesn’t put you in a strong political position. (Again, all is fair in love and war — and in politics.)

As much as I’m not big on squishy centrist Kamala Harris, who takes a “bold” stance on something only after the majority of Americans already have done so, at least she won her last election.

And speaking of Harris, there’s a huge difference between supporting someone for the U.S. Senate and for the White House. I was OK with voting for Harris for the U.S. Senate in 2016, but given her political record and the fact that she’s been in the Senate for only two years and a few months, am I ready to support her for the Oval Office? Hell no.

Ditto for O’Rourke — I gave him a small amount of money to help him defeat Ted Cruz this past November, but do I want this milquetoast centrist Texan anywhere near the White House? Hell no.

Experience counts. I’d prefer even crusty centrist Joe Biden, I think, to someone as inexperienced as Harris or O’Rourke.

Barack Obama showed us what inexperience in D.C. — like Kamala Harris, he’d been a U.S. senator for only two years before he announced that he was running for president — does to a presidency.

It’s taboo within the Democratic Party to utter the fact that Obama at best was a caretaker president, but everyone knows it, which is why, methinks, neither O’Rourke nor Harris is going to get the nomination this time around; we were punk’d once and probably can’t be punk’d again — not this soon, anyway.

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