Fun Friday: Debate Recap

I don’t know how many AVC community members watched the first Republican debate(s) last night, but I did and I thought it might be fun to talk about them today.

I’ve never been taken by Trump or Bush and wasn’t last night either.

I thought Kasich and Rubio were the best of the bunch. Kasich because he’s real and substantive and Rubio because he’s impressive and articulate.

I’m curious what others thought. If you didn’t see the debate, you should still feel free to weigh in. It’s fun friday afterall.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Mario Cantin

    Is there anyone who thinks Trump is a good candidate? Just curious. I don’t, but then again, I’m not a U.S. citizen. And if so, why?

    1. Jess Bachman

      I think he is a great candidate! Emphasis on ‘candidate’, he’s make a terrible president.

      1. Mario Cantin

        So you’re being sarcastic, it would seem.

        1. Jess Bachman

          Not at all. The Trump candidacy is like breaking the 4th wall. Showing what a mockery this whole charade has become. Not sure if he’s doing it intentionally or not, but he would be a great candidate for Sanders to run against.

          1. harris497

            Jess you hit the nail on the head!

    2. JimHirshfield

      It’s all reality TV for him. Always had been.

      1. Mario Cantin

        Seems that way.

      2. Jess Bachman

        Thats why hes ahead in the polls. Trump / Kardashian ’16

    3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      I think he is a GREAT candidate if you are a democrat.I mean who doesnt want to campaign against the Monster Raving Loony Party (UK Politics)…They have over the years field some 153 candidatesand peaked with a 0.1% of the vote

      1. Jess Bachman

        ┬─┬ノ( ◕◡◕ ノ)

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          Thanks Jess – You are a gentleman and a scholar !

    4. Matt Kruza

      One thing that I like, and i think many conservatives like, is that he does not have to, and will not take money from anyone. Truly less beholden and able to speak his mind. And also gives much less politically correct bullshit answers. However, it would be nice if his answers were a little btter / more intelligent 🙂 So I think what he theoretically represents is his appeal, but boy, were his answers on foreign policy so painful to listen to that I think in the end he can’t sustain enough serious support

      1. Mario Cantin

        That summarizes it.

    5. JLM

      .He is a great candidate if one’s definition is fluid enough to include the power of drawing folks into the primary process.Kasich had it right — The Donald is touching a nerve that is tingling. Everyone is pissed off for reasons that start with the economy, end with foreign policy and wend through race and Planned Parenthood.Of course, that is all he is doing. Touching a nerve.If you ever have a daughter, The Donald is the new boyfriend who your sweetie brings home to piss Daddy off. He is around for a while and then one day, he is gone.The Sell By Date on The Donald is coming up.He is, of course, the kingmaker because if he runs as an independent — which administratively is a much bigger hurdle today than it was when Perot did it — then a Democrat win is a certainty.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Mario Cantin

        Yeah, he does have some pull, doesn’t he?

  2. abn

    I liked Kasich also. His comments about loving his daughters if they turned out to be gay was awesome. Other than that, the debate was boring. Rubio’s developing thoughts on the new economy are also pretty good, it’s almost like he gets it.Rubio was funny when he said: “I think God has blessed us. He’s blessed us with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.”Alluding to Trump, Huckabee was funny when he said: “We’ve been talking about a person high in polls but doesn’t know how to lead, a person who has scandals. I’m talking about Hillary Clinton”Ben Carson responded to a question on why he does not speak more about race, explaining that – as a neurosurgeon – he operates on the “things that make us who we are,” not skin

    1. Twain Twain

      “Things that make us who we are, not skin” is a great answer from Carson.

  3. LIAD

    You campaign in poetry. Govern in prose.Trump is a good provacteur. Can rile people up. Work a crowd. Push hard on wedge issues. All fun and games in a campaign. But a disaster when sitting in office.Ultimately he’s a nincompoop. Being a billionaire as he can’t stop telling everyone does nothing for me.

    1. Mario Cantin

      He sure is a loud mouth.

    2. JamesHRH

      He isn’t stupid.If you govern to change, it’s not prose its projects.He missed a chance to impress people last night, however.

    3. LE

      Ultimately he’s a nincompoop.He is using a style that has always worked for him. And it is still working for him. That unfortunately does not make him a nincompoop. In fact, the opposite. He has worked hard in life (he really has) to get to the point that he can say whatever the fuck he wants. Or close to it. Most people and in fact almost all of the current band of idols or celebrities can’t even come close to doing that. They have to be extra careful not to let anything slip. Not Trump. (Or at least not anywhere near what others have to do I wouldn’t say he would or can say anything..)Perhaps people out there who live in corporate speak world and political speak world should understand that there is a large part of this country that isn’t under the constraints of political correctness and actually can and do say whatever the fuck they want and let the chips fall where they may. And they like this guy for what he is.Then there is this other part of the world that can’t do that for one reason or another (and I do recognize that) but is secretly jealous that they can’t. Same reason people came in droves to listen to Howard Stern.Regardless of whether Trump is someone who would be a good President or not the truth is that free speech has gone out the window in this country and while there are many reasons for this one accelerant is almost certainly social media and the fact that people have been brainwashed into believing that everyone needs to fit a certain mold and be so considerate of others feelings that they can’t ever be themselves.

      1. JLM

        .I would like to associate myself with your comment. That is the “nerve” that John Kasich acknowledged that The Donald is currently tapping into.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. fredwilson

          that was such a great moment for Kasich. he acknowledged Trump in a way that made him look good. he’s got skills

          1. JLM

            .It was very clever.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. Rob Larson

        “Free speech” has never meant “you can say whatever you want without repercussions”. The free speech amendment prevents the government from retaliating against you when you criticize the government.If someone says asshole things in public, there are repercussions, and it’s always been that way.I sympathize with your complaint about excessive political correctness, but only so much, because I think it serves a purpose. Human nature naturally gravitates to an “us vs. them” mindset which leads to racism, sexism, and other ugliness that are counter-productive to society. Political correctness, though annoying at times, helps shape communication, culture, and values to help uproot this ugliness. You might think, “well I’m enlightened, I would never be racist regardless of political correctness” but that’s not a safe bet. Most people’s great grandparents were openly racist, sexist, and otherwise intolerant of differences. And had been that way for generations. You can thank activists’ efforts to shape cultural values (including using political correctness) for helping move the country’s values past that, so that few youth today believe that it’s acceptable to disparage people based on race.

        1. LE

          If someone says asshole things in publicGood points but what is “asshole” is open to interpretation. And not absolute. People seem quite willing to call Trump a clown and pre this entire political event have been making fun of him almost his entire life. What is nice about that? Nothing at all. Try that shit with co-workers or customers or your wife and see where it gets you.It’s art, not science as you know. There is no strict definition of what is “asshole”. And further to this point the effect is magnified by social media and lemming like behavior which leads people to think in a particular way (the lemmings anyway). [1]By the way who died and made the Republican party king? Notice how Trump is expected to fall in line with the party even though the party has shitted on him since he started this process. Who drew first blood?[1] Along these lines it’s even manipulative to have an audience in attendance during a debate that has a reaction that will surely influence the home audience. We have no idea of the makeup of the audience but like claquiers their reactions (boos and applause) change the message that is being delivered. (Separate thing I have a problem with).

          1. Rob Larson

            Fair points – my “if someone says asshole things” comment was meant in reference to free speech generally, not pointed at the Donald specifically.And I think we can agree that the country would be better off if the parties were not so powerful.

    4. Richard

      The issue is what skills are needed? Charisma and relatively good speaking skills. It’s not that high a bar.

  4. awaldstein

    Wasn’t a one on the stage I would trust with organizing a picnic in the park not to mention running the country.The more politics becomes a charade the more I vote for the least worst candidate.

    1. JLM

      .Well, you are right. Not a “community organizer” amongst the bunch, no? Let alone a picnic organizer?Just screwing with you, Arnold. Cause I love you. Can’t you feel the love?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      Was a man on the stage that got Wollman rink completed in 3 months you know.

  5. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Being Friday I will allow myself some levity.When I was a kid a “trump” was the noise that made you giggle.Hence the definition of unwelcome – “Trouser trump in a spacesuit”.If the US were to elect this particular one it would not be half as funny and rather less grown up.I imagine it would still be welcomed by those that love to ridicule the US.

  6. JLM

    .Like a Texas Grapefruit League exhibition game, nothing much really happened. No runs, no hits, no errors. Reminds me of the swimsuit competition of a modest beauty contest — Miss Blind Galveston-esque. These kind of debates are not very effective.Just about everyone ran true to form. Most of these folks are now running for vice president, not president.Carly Fiorina, John Kasich probably helped themselves but they are so far behind it really won’t make a difference.Rubio is impressive and articulate but he’s too young. Maybe even too young for VP.Huckabee cannot get elected though he could do the job. Too much Bible thumping.Scott Walker was surprisingly flat though that is both his blessing and his curse — he’s “normal.” Not going anywhere though he would make a great president.Gilmore, Graham, Pataki, Carson, Perry, Jindal, Santorum, Christie, Cruz, Paul — can take the rest of the summer off and go to the beach.Trump will be remembered for his entertainment value. Bush will be remembered for being a Bush.I thought the Fox questions were modestly strange and a little too pointed.Never going to happen: Kasich, Rubio ticket would win in a cakewalk with Ohio and Florida in their column the day before the election.Debates like this are really a confirmation of the opening bias with an element of Nascar thrown in for excitement.We started with The Donald and Jeb Bush. We end with The Donald and The Bush.The Donald has injected a lot of excitement, entertainment, and some damn good issues. He is not going to be the nominee.Jeb Bush will be the nominee. He is a tall wonk with a lot of name ID and money. The Republican establishment has already decided this will be so. The calculus that the country would accept another Bush seems dangerous and unlikely to me. I think the Bush brand is flawed and a losing proposition.The guy I personally liked the best was John Kasich. People forget he was in the Congress, in business, a Governor, and has an American Dream story. He comes across as a “real” person rather than as a bombastic celebrity or a “to the manor born” elitist.He does not, unfortunately, have the funding to make it happen.I could not be more unexcited about another Bush candidacy. My heart is barely beating. Ooops, it stopped.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. John Revay

      Great recap! I really like listening to John Kasich. Seems like he does not blow much Bull Shit,

    2. Jess Bachman

      Thats a good breakdown. I hoping there is some Obama/Hillary moment of 2008. Some fresh unknown gets attention… runs away with it. I can’t imagine the republican base is any more excited by Bush than you are. Seems like a good opportunity for a dark horse to me.

    3. Matt Kruza

      Rubio / Fiorina ticket 🙂 see comment below. Kasich would get behind them (liikes them both) and would help win ohio. To have an articulate woman on the ticket vs the bumbling mess / scheming slimer that is clinton, would be an amazing contrast for the republicans. I usually despise name calling, but the clintons are such a corruption machine it is unreal.. but sadly the lack of money of the 3 candidates i like makes the road very difficult

      1. Mike O'Horo

        Fiorina? Really? How does wrecking HP qualify her for anything?

        1. Matt Kruza

          Couple things. Probably first femal ceo of a major tech company. Getting there was amazingly impressive. HP was and still is in structural decline due to the hardware price deflation. Is a really great communicator, both on TV and in person (saw her yesterday – crowd was WILD for her – and she was amazingly polished). So yes, those traits make her very qualifid. Like all candidates you have to agree / understand their policies, but her resume is impressive.

          1. PhilipSugar

            See my comment above, you would have puked at those deals. Look if I am broke but you say you will lend me $50k but I have to buy a $40k car that really isn’t selling

          2. LE

            When I worked for a very short time in the tech industry to make the numbers they would get vars to take delivery of merchandise in December with the explicit understanding that it would get shipped back in January.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Stuffing the channel has always happened. However the problem as I have always said is you are promoting behavior is exactly wrong.We make this years number by bs and we start next year in a big old hole.

          4. LE

            Well of course it’s wrong and of course it puts you behind the 8 ball.Otoh “better to be thought a fool than to open up your mouth and remove all doubt” perhaps.I used to do the opposite (non public company obviously). I would figure that if I earned a certain magic number in a particular year in income back when I had to borrow money from the bank, once I exceeded the amount in either income (or sales let’s say) then I might as well bank any additional $$ for the next quarter or year.Magic numbers.Such that:Year 1 – sales 1,020,000Year 2 – sales 1,200,000is better thanYear 1 – sales 1,170,000Year 2 – sales 1,030,000So once we clear the magic number we attempt to shift sales if we can to be able to have something banked and be able to have an hedge against a drop in sales.

          5. PhilipSugar

            I am going to come off as a hypocrite but I agree with you there.If you are having a bumper year, then the smart thing to do is ease back the accelerator at the end of the year. Not lose sales but not do anything to get it in before the end of the year.You can do it many legitimate ways, not offer special pricing, let the finish date slip, etc, work more on plans for next year, give deals where you forgo upfront revenue for long term revenue.Frankly all make you look stronger. Just like trying to buy and pay for stuff at the end of the year. People can smell fear and strength.The problem with the other way is that you never get out of the trap. It is better deal with it now than later.

        2. PhilipSugar

          Why did you leave out Lucent??? I mean maybe that does qualify her because lending $440mm to a company with $1.6mm in sales and an already negative balance sheet and having them buy $400mm of equipment to make the quarter is the kind of thing that sometimes happens in Washington D.C.It does suck however, when the music stops playing and you end up having to write off more than you sold and you don’t get the equipment.

    4. JamesHRH

      Sadly this is bang on.

    5. LE

      Kasich is to boring. Comes across like a VP at a midwest manufacturing company. End of story.

      1. Brandon Burns


      2. sigmaalgebra

        I agree: I tried to explain that the last 16 years of the POTUS show that we need a higher bar, sadly, higher than Kasich.

    6. markslater

      worse still – clinton VS bush…..I shudder.

      1. JLM

        .We might as well become a monarchy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          Not a monarcy since Bush #1 was chosen, not elected. So anything that flows from that has to take that into consideration.Honestly on the pecking order of accomplishment Obama ranks higher because although he had Oprah who chose him he still had to do the hard work of getting elected.Hillary was involved in Bill getting elected no question he wouldn’t have made it if married to any number of other women. [1] So he gets points taken off for that advantage.[1] Say Barbara Bush or Laura “Librarian” Bush.

      2. pointsnfigures

        It won’t be Jeb.

    7. Twain Twain

      How about we start a Kickstarter to raise funds for Kasich then?After all, someone tried to save the Greek economy with an Indiegogo project:*

      1. Matt Kruza

        🙂 think we can raise $50 million? Otherwise won’t matter.. publicly funded elections are the main structural element of reform we need (will then allow for substantive political / economic / social policy reforms). I think vast majority of conservatives and liberals want this.. but the elites do not.. sigh

        1. Twain Twain

          Ok here’s how publicly funded elections work in the UK:* http://www.electoralcommiss…Then there’s this arrangement between the trade unions and the Labor Party during their candidate selection process:*…For 2014, the stats were this…A total of £65,654,486 was donated to UK political parties in 2014. Of this, £20,326,862 was received in the final quarter of the year.In 2014 the main political parties accepted the following donations:Conservatives: £28,930,508;Labour: £18,747,702;Liberal Democrats: £8,221,771;Ukip: £3,847,474;SNP: £3,772,594;Co-operative Party: £843,557;Green: £661,410Plaid Cymru: £184,585So Kasich needs to raise more money than the entire Conservative Party?

          1. Matt Kruza

            Considering Bush (through regular campaign and his Super PAC) is north of $100 million already… then yes sadly he does. The UK must have an agreement with broadcasting channels for essentially free TV ads? That is where a large, large majority goes in campaign spending. I may be one of the relatively few fiscal conservatives that thinks this but i do broadly support publicly funded elections. So in theory on board with you, but $50 million is likely on the low side of what he needs, especially for the time being. The general election will entail between $500 million and $1 billion per side likely

          2. Twain Twain

            Yes, there are political party broadcasts and they all have about the same air-time and then there are televised head-to-head debates. There’s no TV or radio advertising because of the 2003 Communications Act, but they can advertise on billboards so that’s where the money goes.

          3. Matt Kruza

            Cool, appreciate the info. Are you UK based then? Or just a political elections afficionado (sp?)

          4. Twain Twain

            Ok, Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig may have been reading AVC comments on this because Wired published this today.@JLM:disqus – maybe Kasich can raise $1 million for starters….

          5. Matt Kruza

            Haha yep, but he kinda proves the point. the $1 million is way too low. But i am generally sympathetic to at least the financing idea lessig talks about (now not likely a fan of his more liberal general views…). Honestly this is why trump COULD be great.. although i don’t think he is the one. A benevolent billionare will be the one who change american politics because he can spend a $100 million (or up to a billion.. so lets assume a $5 billion plus guy…) to totally overall the financial underpinning of the system

    8. Dave W Baldwin

      Kasich should have said something along the line, “I understand why people are so frustrated! You just have to remember that my good friend Rick (Sanatorum) and I were part of a Congress that got something done working within the parameters of a Constitutional Government…..”

    9. Rob Underwood

      How is Rubio too young? Not personally a fan but he’s 44 and the election is a year away. Kennedy was 43 when he was elected.

      1. JLM

        .Kennedy was a war hero (a complete fabrication likely), had movie star good looks, a knockout wife, and a father who was a billionaire when that was a lot of money and at the dawn of the age of television.He was also the best golfer to have ever been President.His father stole the nomination and the election (bit of help in Illinois and South Tx) for him.His politics were very good. He was a huge tax cutter — yes, a Democrat who reduced taxes.The Austin-Boston connection was good electoral politics.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Brandon Burns

          Rubio *might* have the latin card, right at the time where it might be a trump card. (I hate to use that term right now, but there’s no better one. Lol.)His problem is that he’s not universally liked by the latin community. But if he figures out reconcile “GOP = support the rich establishment = not for latinos = Rubio is one of them not one of us” logic that’s plaguing him, then he could get some of the 2016 version of the Kennedy magic.

        2. awaldstein

          He was also as close to a statesmen as has been in my lifetime.My world then, the lower middle class, shut down and weeped collectively across the country when he was shot. My mom still does when she thinks of him.Damn–when was there a time when a huge slice of the country both trusted and seriously loved the president?Feels like a memory of a distant and better time.

          1. JLM

            .There was better distribution of political differences.The South was Democrat. Now, it is Republican.The heartland was not yet flyover country.California and New York were not solidly Democrat. Florida was not the boiling cauldron, it now is.The flow of information was more difficult and newspapers were more balanced.The Kennedy love affair, like the Reagan love affair, is a product of his death as much as it is of his life.We are getting the leadership we deserve because we are not diligent about picking candidates.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            My world then, the lower middle class, shut down and weeped collectivelyBut in fact you obviously moved yourself out of that world despite the fact that Kennedy was killed.Not to mention that Kennedy pretty much got us “into Vietnam”.Thinking of Kennedy as some kind of god is a total “grass is greener” type thinking. As if the world really would be different and better if he had lived. Or that if Kennedy hadn’t been elected [1] (and this is important) we wouldn’t have ended up in the same place with social issues.Of course there is an upside to everything. No Russian threat, no space program possibly, no Internet possibly and so on. [2][1] [2] (If Henry Ford hadn’t done assembly lines somebody else would have..ditto for almost any other life changing thing we have today.)

          3. Dave Pinsen

            He also died before the shit hit the fan domestically (riots) and in Vietnam.

        3. LE

          His father stole the nominationYeah but remember that by LE’s theory of “a bit sleezy is good for deal making” that is actually a bonus. Not a history buff like you but I thought buying the unions in other states played into that win?

          1. JLM

            .The big electoral college wins were Illinois and Texas.Old Man Kennedy made a deal with the Daleys on Illinois. The Mafia was also involved.Kennedy beat Nixon by 8,800 votes out of 4.7MM in Illinois in 1960. Daley delivered a 318K margin in Cook County.A great book is Edmund Kallina’s “Kennedy v Nixon”.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        4. Rob Underwood

          Gen X is getting tired of being told we’re too young to lead, especially given we’re now middle aged. It’s our time. I highly doubt our Millennial friends will so quietly and patiently wait their turn to be “old enough” to lead, whether it be in politics or in the private sector, like we have.(Note: President Obama, having been born before 1964 is not “our first Gen X president”. He’s technically part of a micro-generation called “Generation Jones” that is between the Boomers and X. I believe our host is a member of this generation too).

          1. JLM

            .It is not really a matter of being told anything. The question is does Gen X have any worthy leaders?In the startup world, the young geniuses are essentially the cow calf operation of the moneyed VC class.Rightful pride notwithstanding, they are money bitches to the old money. Nothing wrong with that as some of it sticks to their fingers also.This is very much akin to the old guys arguing about something and settling the account with the lives of young men. This is how it has been for centuries. Hell, I was a 22-year old Second Lieutenant myself. Nobody asked me about the politics of the situation before sending me overseas.No generation will have a toehold in politics until that generation produces its own crop of leaders. In the US, you have to be 35 to run for President, 30 to run for the Senate and 25 to run for the House. Other countries, like Australia, you only have to be 18.In the end, what we all want and need is IDEAS. Good and better ideas.Don’t make any mistake, the Republican nominee will have the approval of the old, white, rich, country club establishment before the primaries are over. Right now, that is Jeb Bush.It is also, arguably, why recent Republican candidates have looked like they do and why the results have been what they are. The guard is changing.There is historical precedent for this — Eisenhower, a 5-star General who ran Europe in WWII, turned the keys to the White House over to JFK who had been a Lt (jg) on a PT boat in the Pacific.Eisenhower told the story of JFK coming to see him to be briefed on what was going. It is a funny story.A 5-star turning the country over to a Lt (jg).If the election turns out to be Bush v Clinton then it will be a fight between elitism v entitlement. That’s what it looks like right now.I am rooting for ideas because we desperately need some new ideas on the economy and foreign policy. What we have now is not working.If your generation can supply the ideas, tell me where to send the check. Good luck. Godspeed. Ideas.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Rob Underwood

            In your original comment you wrote “Rubio is impressive and articulate but he’s too young”. That sounds a lot like being “told” he’s “too young” regardless of his qualifications (e.g., whether he’s a “worthy leader”).Regarding “old, white, rich, country club establishment”, I grew up in Kennebunkport. My family owned the Breakwater Inn, where I waited on the family many times (highlight: selling a shot of wild turkey to H.W. when he was the sitting president). My step-brother was H.W.’s caddy and I used to walk the course (Cape Arundel) with them. I definitely get that country club establishment piece, though I think the New England crew is losing sway to the Deep South contingent.

          3. LE

            where I waited on the family many timesThat impresses me more than the stuff that JLM throws around sometimes which likewise impresses me. (I am not joking or schmucking either btw..)When I was much younger I took a trip up to Kennebunkport I might have stayed at the Breakwater actually. (Was the 80’s..)

          4. Rob Underwood

            The Bush thing would end up following me to college (Colby). Billy (H.W.’s nephew, now of Access Hollywood fame) and I were in a Grateful Dead cover band together. Billy was also a great lacrosse player and H.W. would sometimes come up for his games. H.W. ended up speaking at our graduation in 1994 and gave me a big hug when I got my diploma. (Barbara spoke at my HS graduation from Kennebunk High Schoo; she also personally came and met several times with my sister’s special needs class at KHS – my sister is mentally retarded due to a seizure when she was 9 month old).While I don’t agree with their politics, the family has always been very kind to my family and me. My parents have a beautiful painting of one of the greens at Cape Arundel in our house that H.W. gave to my step-dad and mom to commemorate my step-brother’s caddy service. The hand-written notes of H.W. are an absolute real thing. Ask anyone from Kennebunk or Kennebunkport and they’ll tell you what a class act he is, even if they are on the other side of the political fence.

          5. JLM

            .Been to the Breakwater Inn. Very nice place. Salute!Is being “told” the issue or is the fact that he really IS too young the real issue?I don’t care how old he is other than as a frame of reference as to whether he can win. Others might translate “youth” as a gravitas deficiency.The Republican country club establishment is nation wide though I do like the Augusta Nat’l branch the best.They are still in control for at least one more election.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. SubstrateUndertow

            Yup!elitism v entitlement = low idea sampling ratejournalism is failing the information age challange !

          7. sigmaalgebra

            > Don’t make any mistake, the Republican nominee will have the approval of the old, white, rich, country club establishment before the primaries are over.They’d totally upchuck at any Democrat.Lesson for a Republican candidate: Don’t pander to “old, …” because they don’t have anyone else to vote for unless they write in Genghis Khan.

    10. LE

      Carly FiorinaI got into a small fight with my wife (which is super rare almost never happens) over Carly.I watched the Chris Matthews interview Carly after the pre debate and he was being himself and kept trying to cut her off. Fiorina told him something like “excuse me don’t interupt me!!!” apparently not caring or knowing that this is Matthews shtick. She wasn’t going to get pushed around. I felt it actually made her look weak, not strong.When I related the story to my wife I told her that “when in rome do as the romans do” and that I felt Fiorina was wrong by doing that and that it deprecated her because, and I quote me “no man would have done that”. Bad choice of words that is not really what I meant I mean “no important man would have done that” or “no important woman would have done that”.She then launched into a tirade about “how is it what a man does is right all of the time”. I said “it’s not that a man is right that’s not what I meant” what I meant is that she wasn’t in the power position and didn’t need to “lean in” in that case and that it’s always important to know the lay of the land and not assume as a newbie you will just kick the horse hard and the horse will respect you.We went back and forth on this with me giving examples. I said “look if you are super important maybe you can get away with that behavior” but otherwise I felt that she looked foolish. If you are important it adds to your strength. If you are not important it looks as if you are trying to be tough which you might be but nobody knows that so it deprecates you.The conversation ended when she finally figured out I was talking about Fiorina when she thought I meant Hillary. I then said “oh no that would have been fine for Hillary to do that because she is important and when you are important you can set the rules of play”. Just not when you are a nobody. [1][1] For example if you are Bill Gates and worth billions you can dress whatever way you want. But if you are Joe Schmoe you better wear a suit don’t think you are going to develop respect by not going with the acceptable norms “in rome”.

      1. JLM

        .I like her spunk. Good theatre. Austin, Texas born.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          Dresses nicely I will give her that. Nice figure as well. [1][1] Men men men men men men men men.

          1. Brandon Burns


          2. SubstrateUndertow

            So your looking for another fight are you 🙂

      2. Brandon Burns

        Interesting story.

        1. LE

          You find this phenomenon many times when someone assumes that someone else (that they view as important or skilled in some way) would act more aggressively than they really would. I am not important but I am skilled and I often find people that I know saying things like “LE would never stand for this or that” or “LE would do this in that case” making the assumption that I am always on as if Chuck Norris always hits back at the bad guys and cuts them down. My point being that they don’t understand the nuance of how and when someone who is a certain way acts and uses the power they might have and when they don’t . For example although I am really good at negotiation I don’t always negotiate.. It all totally depends on the situation that I am in and who I am dealing with and what my needs are (and a host of subtle details that I evaluate). People don’t understand this. They tend to try to chisel down price always which is definitely not something that I do. Also I tend to open my mouth and complain but people always underestimate how and when I actually go this route. I actually get what I want more often by being nice, but nobody hears those stories or cares (because if it bleeds it leads and all of that). My point is someone trying to emulate me without knowing the full picture would probably fall flat on their face until they understood how I evaluate the environment and make on the fly decisions.

          1. Brandon Burns

            People put people in buckets, and reduce them to that. You’re nice. You’re loud. You’re smart. And you’re that 100% of the time, because that’s how I think of you.One of my biggest disappointments with human nature.

          2. LE

            You are a creative type, your brain is analog, so it makes sense that you are able to see the world in various levels and not as absolutes.One of my biggest disappointments with human nature.Doesn’t bother me as much as it lowers the bar for me to stand out and to grab a bigger share of the pie. It is frustrating having to deal directly with such mediocrity of course, I will give you that. Very frustrating to deal with people who are poor quality single function machines. But at least there is an upside.

          3. Brandon Burns

            No, but Adichie is one of my favorites and this is now saved to my Instapaper. Thanks!

          4. Joe Cardillo

            Yep same here, she’s great…learned a lot from her work

      3. Twain Twain

        Whoever is her media advisor should have told Fiorina that was Matthews’ schtick.With that prep, she could have easily disarmed him by letting him interrupt and then saying, “You know, Chris, I’ve listened to your opinions. Here are the three actions I’m DOING based on the facts.”

      4. SubstrateUndertow

        “no man would have done that”now that is a true generically reusable “trouble-making-phase” to keep at the mischievous ready :-{)

      5. PhilipSugar

        I don’t usually weigh in but this was interesting comments to me. I didn’t go into her personality. Apparently as an underling you had to talk to her with her personal shrink and they would make decisions about you. Would drive me crazy and I’m sure I would be evaluated and pushed out as such.

      6. sigmaalgebra

        Sure, for Matthews, just have to sit there, smile, maybe nod or shake head, and if say anything at all just say one word answers and let Matthews have his fun. Don’t try to make a point. If Matthews attacks, just say three words, “That’s all wrong.” and omit why.

      7. JaredMermey

        Pajama rich.

    11. Brandon Burns

      “Never going to happen: Kasich, Rubio ticket would win in a cakewalk with Ohio and Florida in their column the day before the election.”Never thought of that. That’s actually a damned good ticket.Kasich has the temperament that Liberals like, and the soft stance on social issues to boot. He appears *gasp* to have a heart. That’s why he won in Ohio, and that’s also why he could swing states like Wisconsin, North Carolina, maybe even Colorado and Nevada. He’s a real threat, and Rubio’s flaws become less important, and his youth appeal an asset, as VP.If the GOP leadership has any sense, it’ll turn a deaf ear to the Bush contingent and try to make this happen.

      1. JLM

        .The deal w/ Rubio is he brings Florida and the Hispanic vote. One thing that Bush has going for him is he speaks excellent Spanish.His brother — who also speaks excellent Spanish — went to the Rio Grande Valley to campaign against Gary Mauro (his Dem gov opponent in Texas) who also speaks Spanish.Mauro speaks Laredo maid Spanish while Bush speaks Castillian Spanish. They laughed Mauro out of the Valley.Bush won 40% of the Hispanic vote and crushed Mauro in the gen’l election.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Pete Griffiths

          By Castillian I’m assuming you mean Spanish from Spain. Does Jeb really speak Spanish like that? His family connections are all s american, no?

      2. sigmaalgebra

        I agree that Kasich looks like a really nice, good guy and a really good, popular, likely effective governor. But remember W: On those criteria, he looked good, too. Then he got us into two absurd wars and had us lose both of them. I’m worried that a guy like Kasich just isn’t good enough.Trump? No frigging way is he going to both take us into a war and lose it. He’s not going to take us into some war of choice. If he does go to war, then there will be a good reason, and, did I mention, he will win. Why? Because he’s a no shit person and really cares.E.g., if we have to fight Iran and they use WMDs, then The Donald might do some real estate development in Tehran: Create beautiful, new, perfectly round Lake Tehran, glass lined, hemispherical bottom, glowing in the dark.No way do I want to fight Iran; what Iran does in Iraq I don’t give a shit or a Shiite. But if Iran’s wackos are really eager for their magic carpet ride to Allah, and they try to look like it, e.g, “Death to America”, and really cross the line for the US, “essential national interests”, then we will have to consider fighting. We won’t unless we really have to, but in that case we will and we’ll, damn it, no doubt, win the damned thing.Trump’s the only guy on that stage serious enough for me to say that.Sadly, we need to be serious. Wish we didn’t. But Iran is. Maybe China is. Putin would like to be. North Korea would love to be.Trump? He’s serious. He’s darned serious. He is more serious in his left little finger than the best of the other five candidates put together. Bush? Anyone that calm just doesn’t understand the seriousness of our situation.

    12. falicon

      “No runs, no hits, no errors.”…and somehow the American people still lost…

      1. JLM

        .’The American people didn’t even know it was going on. They’re clueless.Last night was for the political junkies and Megyn Kelly admirers.America doesn’t engage until the week after Labor Day.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Actually, untrue. Was the highest rated primary debate ever, by a wide margin.

          1. Matt Zagaja

            Those two things are not mutually exclusive. The bar for watching primary debates is rather low.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            The ratings were comparable to the NBA finals – which were on broadcast TV.

          3. Matt Zagaja

            General election debates can garner up to 67 million viewers (see…. The field of politics makes the NBA look like a niche market.

          4. JLM

            .I stand corrected. That article says it may be the highest Fox news broadcast EVER. Wow!Thank you for correcting my erroneous impression.That is very interesting. Good get.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. JLM

            .This makes me think that The Donald’s poll numbers, initially, go up.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. LE

            I was just talking to my neighbor the dentist. He was just on vacation and I said to him joking “kill any wild animals”. He shuddered because apparently all of his patients have been saying that to him the whole week. And it has become annoying to him. One even threatened to leave the practice.He then went on and on about how the Dentist’s practice was killed, he was in hiding, getting death threats and so on.Then he told me how he watched the debates and “I love that stuff”. He was at the office late but brought a TV to watch I think. While he doesn’t appear to be in favor of electing Trump to office strongly, he didn’t rule out the possibility. He agrees that the politically correct shit has to end and likes the fact that Trump says what is on his mind and does what he wants. This guy went to an IVY League dental school. He is not married, in his late 30’s probably and it wouldn’t surprise me if he never married a woman.Of course as others have pointed out we are a long way from the election and many things could happen to change the game. You know “time kills all deals” plenty of time here for grass to grow under someone’s feet.Of course part of what Donald says will not resonate with people who have never owned businesses. They aren’t knowledgeable enough to know how businesses operate (bankruptcy and so on) the same way anytime a man cheats on a woman it’s automatically thought the man is a bad guy and deserves to be hung and tarred.When I was younger I remember my Dad telling me that the same story if told to two different neighbors would go over differently. One would think he was really smart. The other would think he was a thief. (Or would think he was a thief this was hypothetical.)

          7. Twain Twain

            You have this knack for illuminating us about everyday people in your life and how you cross-reference your own world views with your interactions with them (your wife, your daughters, the dentist next door etc.).What your Dad taught you, I discovered in junior school.It occurred to me that the teacher at the front was sharing the same information with the same expressions (choice of words, tone of voice, gestures) to the same children sitting all around me.Yet every single one of us interpreted and understood the teacher differently.That was my first awareness of something called perceptions. Not in terms of what we all saw the teacher doing with our eyes but in terms that we all make sense of things differently.A few years after that, my Dad introduced us to the works of Da Vinci and I was especially taken by the Vitruvian Man. It struck a chord; it made special sense to me.Years later still, when I was old enough to travel on my own, I went to the Accademia in Venice to read Da Vinci’s writings and see his works. I found this quote of his: “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”A lightbulb went off in my head and I connected it to Vitruvian Man. I lodged that atom of information away and carried on with everyday life (school, work, etc.).Then my Dad died, following a coma, which changed my career direction. I set off on a mission to understand perceptions because it was clear the most sophisticated brain scanning machines had no ability to measure my Dad’s perceptions.And another lightbulb went off. The machines and models for how my Dad’s brain worked were similar to the machines and models for how the Global Brain that is the WWW work, and those models were amiss!The Enneagram #5 Investigator in me swung into action.And I knew Da Vinci would be my friend in this quest. So I picked up the strings not knowing where they’d lead me and found myself binding them together as I went.Then a few years ago, a friend of mine shared this nugget from his Classics education: “Economics is the daughter of Politics.”To which I replied, “And both are the progeny of perceptions.”

          8. Twain Twain

            @jameshrh:disqus – now I’m going to start referencing Enneagram # types because of you, haha!

          9. Dominic Bortolussi

            Take Da Vinci’s philosophy lesson another couple hundred years further and see John Locke (and others) pointing out that perceptions are sensations shaped by experience and internal reflection conscious or otherwise. Object > Sense > Perception.Thus: We sense the hot air coming from Trump’s orifice(s), and we unconsciously apply our experience to form an interpretation of the sensation, creating ‘our perception’. Those with adequate world experience will perceive the hot air as the spoutings of a vitriolic, narrow-minded, privileged buffoon. Those without adequate experience will perceive it as convincing table banging from a strong-man.The U.S’s descent into the world’s greatest banana republic seems frighteningly possible.

          10. sigmaalgebra

            A lot of people really care, or, to put it very delicately, really f’ing care, they definitely give a shit. A lot of what the f’k they care about is Trump.What Trump’s done so far, right, has worked well but has a short shelf life,, but there’s more to him than he’s shown so far.To lose, Trump has to lose to someone. Who? Who is going to beat him? In the primaries? With votes? From people?

          11. sigmaalgebra

            No:If you want absurd specificity, I recently estimated Trump’s chance of becoming the GOP nominee at 2 percent. How did I get there? By considering the gantlet he’ll face over the next 11 months — Donald Trump’s Six Stages of Doom:No, because the chance that someone will be the GOP nominee is 100%. Even just rolling dice on the stage last night would give Trump 10%, that is 1:10.When Trump made his idiotic comments about John McCain’s military service a few weeks agoThat’s BS, standard nonsense cooked up by the newsies to get headlines and grabbed by the anti-Trump crowd: Instead, read the actual transcript. What Trump said was awkward, imprudent, etc. but basically correct. The core issue was, was McCain a hero simply because he had a very bad time as a POW? Sadly, that’s not sufficient to be a US military hero. I got the transcript and studied it. The only people who should object to what Trump actually said and meant are people trying to raise a made up issue. Maybe Trump was looking for attention or maybe he might be more delicate or maybe nothing, but he was not actually wrong.For, more Trump wins unless someone beats him, and not just in money and, instead in votes, from people. The Koch brothers get only two votes.Sure, the smoke filled room boys want another Bush, but for their guy, they have to slap him in his face to make sure he’s just asleep and not really dead. Besides, which insult is worse, the third term of Obama or the third term of a Bush son? Tough call.Biden would stand to beat Bush because Biden has a better record on Iraq than W.W: Two wars of choice, largely to respond to what was politically correct on the news about, say, the evil Mullah Omar, UBL, the Taliban, and, especially, Saddam,an evil man, followed Stalin, tortured people, killed people, used poison gas on his own people, invaded Kuwait, etc. Yup, all true.Then with these two wars of politically correct choice, Bush lost both of them, at enormous cost, that continues. One of the dumbest acts of any POTUS in history. And W’s reasons were dumb, day by day, dumb and dumber and still dumber.Neither Saddam nor Akrapistan was serious enough for the US to make war there. The newsies could cry tears all they wanted, and I wouldn’t have gone to war there.And we have more: Lots of people want us to go to war against ISIS. Right, they are evil, brutal, murders, recently murdered 12 sex slaves for refusing sex, kill all non Sunnis they can find, follow laws 1000 years old, threaten Baghdad and much of Syria.Nope: ISIS doesn’t rise to the level of US going to war.But, we might have to go to war against Iran. I hope not. I don’t want to sign with them or fight them. But, with their “Death to America” and more, there’s a chance.So, we have some serious war/peace decisions to make. No way do we want a Bush making those decisions. And a good governor or Senator’s not enough either.We need someone serious, really serious, darned serious. Sadly, we have only one such candidate — Trump.W’s wars were about 50% from newsie political correctness. Well, Trump’s response to newsie political correctness is a one finger salute, just the heck as it should be.

          12. Rob Larson

            The math doesn’t work to 10% because each candidates likelihood of passing the latter stages is not the same. i.e. the party leaders will work very hard to prevent a candidate they don’t like from passing the final stages. See these two paragraphs where Nate Silver talks about the last two stages for Trump:”Much of the party’s influence consists of what you might call “soft power,” the ability to influence outcomes by persuasion rather than coercion. But the party also has some “hard power”: It literally makes the rules. It can rule against candidates it doesn’t like in the event of delegate-counting disputes. It can probably even change the rules midstream. There isn’t a lot of precedent to worry about violating, since it’s been 40 years since Republicans came close to a brokered convention.”If Trump made it this far, the Republican Party would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid nominating him. In “The Party Decides” view, parties are basically looking for two things from their nominees: They want them to be reliable (meaning, they can be counted on to enact the Republican agenda once in office), and they want them to be electable (meaning, they can win in November). It’s hard to think of a candidate who does worse on those two measures than Trump. He’s exceptionally unpopular among independent voters. But he also has a checkered political past that includes once having supported abortion rights and universal health care. For the Republican Party, he’s the worst of all possible worlds.”

          13. sigmaalgebra

            You get the 2%, less than the 10% would get just from rolling dice, by saying that the Republican nomination is a rigged game. So, why vote at all?I can’t believe that the game is that rigged. And actual vote fraud cases can end up in court. Trump is smart enough to defend himself against vote fraud.Universal health care? A lot of Republicans are saying about ObamaCare “repeal and replace”, and that likely still means some version of universal health care. So, it appears that universal health care is roughly acceptable to the Republicans. For the rest of the voters, it’s still more acceptable.For abortion, that issue became settled law 40 years ago with Roe v Wade. To change it, from Article V, need 2/3rds of the House, 2/3rds of the Senate, and 3/4ths of the states. Won’t happen.Even the Republican party knows that abortion is a dead issue. Huckabee and other Bible thumpers can keep talking about right to life, but they are just pissing to windward or fooling idiots.Trump’s going to want the women’s vote: That he was pro choice will help.

          14. Rob Larson

            “And actual vote fraud cases can end up in court. Trump is smart enough to defend himself against vote fraud.”Vote fraud is not needed. That’s the reason the parties invented superdelegates. They can legally cast their delegate vote however the party wants rather than following what voters in their state decided. The GOP has something like 125 superdelegates, which can help swing the vote the way the party wants. This would likely disillusion some voters, so the party would have to really dislike a candidate for them to pull that lever, but some people think Trump could inspire that reaction.There are other things the party can do, long before it gets to that point: directing soft money to the candidate they prefer, helping with fundraising, helping secure influential endorsements, helping slant the news coverage, etc. None of these are a silver bullet, but they add up.

          15. sigmaalgebra

            Yup.But, but, but, again, there’s a lot more to Trump than what he’s used so far to get attention. As time goes on, we should see more from Trump. In the end, the party should like Trump well enough if his poll numbers are high enough.Bush is going to have to drink some coffee or something, up his game, come ready to play, have his game face on, and look awake or the party will consider Trump, Kasich, Cruz. Not Huckabee, Paul, Christie.Krauthammer said that Trump had a “collapse”. That’s just partisan, deliberate attack, no objectivity. Looks like Ailes sent out a command — dump Trump.

          16. sigmaalgebra

            > helping secure influential endorsements,Now, just after the debate, Trump got one, Carl Icahn accepted the offer to become Secretary of the Treasury. Not a trivial endorsement, maybe especially influential on Wall Street.That was a fast decision by Icahn just after and just from the debate. So, apparently Icahn thought that Trump did well in the debate. Actually, Icahn’s action last night was a change of his mind from his rejection of Trump’s original offer.IIRC, Trump has said that he’d like to appoint Palin to a cabinet post. That should be worth a Palin endorsement, not trivial.Trump is now claiming to have been the reason the debate got Fox News the largest non-sports, cable audience ever. He has a point — no way to tell for sure, but why else was the audience so high?Luntz is starting to look unobjective: It was a Luntz interview where Luntz essentially said that Trump should not criticize McCain for McCain’s comment about “crazies” because McCain was a “war hero”. Well, if read the transcript, IIRC, C-SPAN and Federal News Service, Trump responded essentially that McCain was widely regarded as a war hero because of his bad time as a POW and that, still, being a POW is not sufficient for being a war hero. That remark sounds literally correct. But without stopping Trump went on to say that maybe McCain was a war hero. That also is correct: McCain has received plenty of medals to make him a war hero, and at least one of the medals was for some of what he did as a POW.But it looks like Luntz tried to stick it to Trump. Then last night, maybe Luntz tried to stick it to Trump again. Luntz is starting to look like maybe he is unobjective.If attack Trump, misquote him, or give biased reporting against him, then he comes out loud and clear about the matter and, thus, gets more air time. Generally he doesn’t take shit and does hit back; maybe a lot of US voters will guess that we need such in the Oval Office.He hit back today as a result of how Fox News was a bit less than fair with him last night, e.g., the raise of hands question that was obviously aimed just at Trump.The rest of the Republicans can talk about their successes on the state level, flat taxes, and abortion — they are just wasting time while Trump addresses real issues and, likely, rises in the polls.Somehow the Republican play book, if there is such a thing, e.g., in the sense of the Georgetown prof’s article, seems to say to waste the time on flat taxes, abortion, etc., apparently as a way to avoid any real issues. That’s not just an Achilles heel but just dumb. Or it’s in the chapter “Give the voters the mushroom treatment — keep them in the dark and feed them BS”.

          17. Rob Larson

            > “Trump is now claiming to have been the reason the debate got Fox News the largest non-sports, cable audience ever.”I’m sure that’s true. Most folks in my office said they wouldn’t have watched if not for Trump, regardless of their opinion of him.I also think you’re exactly right about the party’s playbook–wasting time on hot button topics that aren’t actionable, and avoiding any substantive conversations. Both parties very good at that, and it’s maddening.

          18. Rob Larson

            I dislike W and his wars just as much as you do. But it appears that the party leaders are betting that voters will either forget or will differentiate Jeb from W.I know the viewpoint that party leaders have so much power over the nomination is a little depressing. But it does seem to match up fairly well (though not perfectly) with outcomes.For more on this framework, see

          19. sigmaalgebra

            Okay, the author is an assistant prof at Georgetown! Ah, before my Ph.D., I used to teach computer science there!Sure, back in the old days, when arrive in town, be sure to touch base with LaGuardia, Daley, Crump, Pendergast, etc.Yup, even with the reforms since the smoke filled rooms of the party bosses, there is still grass root politics with ObamaPhone, get out the vote, drive voters to the polls, have all your buddies vote early and vote often, get the precinct captains, mayors, governors, people supplying walking around money, etc. on your side.At every level, there are some relatively influential people who communicate with others and influence them. E.g., here at AVC, you, Fred, JLM, LE, etc. are all being influential.And there are lots of media outlets that may have influence, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, National Review, Slate, NYT, etc.E.g., my conclusion now is that FOX is out to stick it to Trump: Their show of hands was obviously aimed at Trump and, along your lines, pissing off the Party. Also just now on Fox they are saying that Trump has “problems” but playing nice with the other candidates. So, maybe, as in the article, we can suspect that some party big wigs told FOX to fight Trump. Okay.Also, to me just now Fox is working hard to take up the time with nonsense, e.g., gay marriage.Immigration? Maybe Trump saw that that issue is the Achilles heel of the party because they don’t want to talk about it.Yup, next Fox will have Huckabee talking about, guess what, abortion. People have said that Fox is the house organ of the Republican party. Maybe so; they look like it now; but I haven’t watched any TV in years.So, right, the article is suggesting that in a primary there is more to the outcome than just the candidates and the voters. And, sure, that intuitive view from 50,000 feet is correct.But actual, solid political science? Uh, the author, sorry to tell him, he’s going to need quite a lot of that or look for a new job. That’s social science. I got some introduction to social science: My brother’s Ph.D. was in political science, and my wife’s, (mathematical, scientific) sociology. Well, the article is a long way from solid social science!I would note:Trump’s no dummy.Trump’s worked with a lot of politicians, to get his buildings up, etc.Yes, it takes a big, state by state, county by county ground game. So, if the party will not help Trump, then he will have to build his own ground game. Can he do that? Apparently Perot did. Maybe he could.For more, Perot got a lot of votes with no party behind him. It’s possible.As we know, there are other issues that make “it different this time”: There’s the Web, YouTube, e-mail.If the Republicans can get Bush elected, then they should then continue on to a big success in things much easier — raising people six feet down from the dead.

          20. Rob Larson

            I think this book is the better location for the political science data you are referring to:…But I agree with you that reality is always more messy than the theory. As you said, grassroots influence undeniably has an impact. Exceptions to the rule can and do happen. Maybe Trump can pull it off. I probably wouldn’t bet on it, but also wouldn’t say it’s impossible. Regardless, I enjoy having Trump in the race. If nothing else, it makes everything more interesting!

          21. sigmaalgebra

            If the book is good, then the article was unfair.But for a prof, a book won’t count for much. Instead what counts is peer-reviewed work in good journals. The world of academic research is a real stickler about that.So, sure, maybe the book is based on a lot of such peer-reviewed work.A first rule in good research is to pick a good problem. My guess would be that the problem addressed in the article and book, while in practice interesting and maybe even important, is too messy to permit doing good, that is, at least solid, science.We all know that a candidate for the White House needs a good, grass roots field organization in each county, maybe in each neighborhood of any major city, to be buddies with all the appropriate mayors, governors, Senators, Congressmen, donors, etc. And any good campaign needs a good campaign manager and staff who know a lot about such grass roots organizing, legalities, people, etc. So, I have to wonder if the research could add much to such practical knowledge?There are ways to do solid social science, but sadly the results, while solid, are usually much less interesting than want. My brother’s remark was “There are interesting questions and there are scientific results, but the scientific results are not about the interesting questions.”.

          22. Rob Larson

            “There are interesting questions and there are scientific results, but the scientific results are not about the interesting questions.”Great quote! So true, about economics research as well. And business research.

          23. sigmaalgebra

            > 2% ?The chance of someone winning the GOP nomination is 100%So, for the Trump 2%, a fair bet would give me odds of 50:1, $1 will get me $50. I’d take that bet!

          24. CJ

            Trump brings the news. He’s going to win this thing, he represents every base stereotype the GOP has tried to foster in the last 20 years that I’ve been voting.Fuck you. I’m rich. Fuck you. You’re too sensitive. Fuck you. I can make us win. Fuck you. We’re scared of the minorities. Fuck you. Did I mention that I’m rich? Well I’m really fucking rich. Fuck you again, just because. Fuck you. You’re wrong and I’m not scared to say it.I don’t think that’s what every Republican believes, but the party has done really well convincing America of that.

          25. JLM

            .You may want to scratch “political consultant” off your list of possible career moves.Trump brings the entertainment and his shelf life — sell by date — is just about up.Hell, I like the guy but this is not a reality show, this is politics. Ask President Gingrich about it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          26. CJ

            You may have a point. I do think he plays to a certain segment though, the segment that’s tired of losing and he’s a winner. The GOP attracts winners or, at least, people who think they’re winners or aspire to be winners. They see Trump as proof of their capitalist dreams come true. They see his bluster as a guy who refuses to take shit from anyone. They – possibly not the same They – see his rhetoric against minorities as putting them in their place or validating their fears of ‘other’. They see his attacks and his penchant for not backing down as qualities they long to see on the national stage.There is an entertainment element to Trump but there is also a very real appeal to him for certain segments of society that the GOP has been courting – and winning – for ages. He’s the personification of the GOP’s basest desires. Gov. Christie has appeal for similar, though not exclusive, reasons.

          27. JLM

            .You have completely rehabilitated your chances at a successful political consulting career IMHO, well, except for your reference to the “GOP’s basest desires”. Until then, we were in perfect agreement.Trump has injected all that you suggest into the dialogue and that may be his only contribution.The qualities that you describe I refer to as “leaning forward in your saddle” which is an old cavalry Army term for patrolling aggressively to locate the enemy units to the front and sides.Trump leans forward in his saddle.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          28. CJ

            Well I’ll take that as a win. 🙂

          29. JLM

            .No hitter!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          30. Peter Radizeski

            If either party attracts winners, how did we end up with this circus tent of candidates? 17? And by a large stretch most of them are NOT winners. Huckabee, Santorum, Cruz – have already this race and lost it. This is for $$, national exposure, and a book deal and a pundit slot on Fox. It is hard to take any of them serious except maybe Kasich and Carson. And once you start bible thumping, I can’t listen. We already had one of those and that holy war has cost us trillions of dollars and so many deaths and lives ruined that the count isn’t even in yet. The process is so ugly that no good candidate has a chance or would put themselves through it. We get the clowns or political animals because that is what the system allows.

          31. bobmonsour

            I think the high viewing was a result of some sort of morbid curiosity.

    13. fredwilson

      i’m with you on Kasich. he’s a good man and has the executive experience to go along with everything else. he’s the best of the bunch on both sides of the aisle

      1. JLM

        .See, Fred, we agree on almost everything.Kasich also brings Ohio which if taken together with Florida (Bush, Rubio) almost wraps up the Electoral College. No, not “almost” — it seals the deal.Don’t be surprised to see a Bush-Kasich ticket.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Ryan Frew

          I live in Ohio. If Bush (or Cruz) is anywhere near the ticket, I won’t be voting for the Right.

          1. JLM

            .Kasich won 2014 election in Ohio losing only two counties in the entire state. This was a monumental victory.What would you do if the election were Bush-Kasich?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Ryan Frew

            If the election were Bush-Kasich I’ll probably vote for the Dems. I’d definitely vote for Bernie Sanders right now; not as big a fan of Hillary. Kasich could earn my vote but he would need Rubio or Carson alongside, not Cruz or Bush.

          3. JLM

            .That is a very wide philosophical divide you are bridging there. Not being critical, mind you.Those are very different governing philosophies and outcomes. Hard to rectify the differences and equivalence.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Ryan Frew

            Agreed – very wide divide. Politically, I’m much closer to Bernie Sanders and far away from Dr. Carson. However, I award major points to any politician who I feel isn’t full of shit. Carson is the leader among the candidates as someone whose philosophies cannot be compromised. I respect that and believe that, above all, the country just needs a leader right now. We haven’t had one of those in a long time.

          5. Matt Kruza

            Mainly agree, but the democratic candidate was county governor for cuyahoga county where i live, and he was probably the worst state-wide candidate in the last 50 years in ohio. A big kasich fan, but important to keep in perspective that the reason he trounced him so much is the opponent sucked. Still a great candidate, but just wanted to put that perspective out there in case you were unaware. The opponnent couldn’t raise money Got caught / called out by polic report for public disturbance / “likely sex in a car at 3:30 am” with a lobbyist Came out he was mayor for a decade and had not had a valid DRIVERs license the whole time period

        2. LE

          it seals the deal.Don’t ever think that the monster is dead, not for a second. That type of thinking gets you into trouble.You know the other night we had a bat in the kids room. I finally managed to wack the bat and proceeded to use the vacuum to grab it figuring that I would stick the tube out the window and then turn the motor off and it would fall out. But the vacuum was to strong and it sucked it into the bin. REALLY COOL!! It was a clear bin and there it sat and it looked dead. Didn’t move checked a bit later still was there.So I take the vacuum down to the garage and the next day the animal control people show up (paid for by high NJ taxes) to test it for rabies. Well the bat wasn’t dead because it had crawled out of the vacuum tube. It was gone. Just like in those Hollywood movies. The monster never dies. Always has a 2nd life. Don’t ever make that mistake of underestimating. (And I know that lesson and still made the mistake..) “In the can” does not mean “don’t have to try as hard as if not in the can”. (This happens in sports, right?)Pictures attached for effect so people remember this point…

          1. Rob Larson

            Great story!

        3. Rob Larson

          I agree. I can dream about a Kasich-Rubio ticket, but a Bush-Kasich ticket is the most likely.

          1. JLM

            .Very high possibility, IMHO.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. TeddyBeingTeddy

            Rubio-Carson in a last minute upset.

          3. JLM

            .Those talks have probably already started.One thing to remember about Jeb Bush — he can sit down at a dinner table with people who were involved in Reagan #1/2, GHW Bush, Bush #1/2 — his own two terms as Gov of Florida and W’s two terms as Tx Gov.Plus he knows Jim Baker and they get along.That is a lot of campaign experience.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        4. JamesHRH

          Bush needs foreign policy weighting…..

          1. JLM

            .Yes, of course, he does but consider this:Jeb Bush gets to go to Thanksgiving with two Presidents and one Vice President.That represents Reagan #1/2, GHWB, George #1/2 plus he and his brother have four gubernatorial wins between them.He knows Jim Baker (Reagan’s campaign manager x 2, chief of staff, Sec of Treas, Sec of State) who wrested (“stole” for Democrats) the election from Florida, the US Supreme Court — and then returned to Montana to go fly fishing.Jeb Bush can touch anyone in the world he wants. Still, he’s got a bit of a charisma deficit.He is the best wired candidate in the history of the US.I cannot get excited about his election even if I ate a case of political Viagra.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. JamesHRH

            But you can’t sell that. He needs the optics of personal dealings w world leaders, no?

          3. JLM

            .Of course, but he can get an Instagram with any living world leader he wants.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. JamesHRH

            You are so with iit!

      2. Matt Kruza

        On that front are you connected with Mark Kwame at all Fred? (assume you know who he is, former sequoia partner, current lead partner at Drive Capital in ohio – largest fund in midwest) Was one of a few business students that got to see Kasich speak at Ohio state when he introduced Kwame to head Jobs Ohio when he took over as governor. There are mixed opinions on the program, but think it went pretty well. I guess the bigger point is kwame is very close to kasich (there have been reports of $250k plus donation to a super pac for kasich from entities tied to kwame) and if you do like kasich that is an easy way to get involved through Kwame who i assume you know. I think you and Joanne tend to go more liberal from what i have read, which is fine but any involvement with kasich and support would be great and figured i would throw out the connection point if for some reason you were not aware!

      3. TeddyBeingTeddy

        If we had to send one man from the U.S. to meet with one man from Iran to negotiate a deal that would ensure peace…how could you not pick Carson? He’s by far the smartest, by far the most likable and can certainly learn whatever he needs to learn…quickly. As the Giants would say…he had the highest ceiling. Wouldn’t you agree?

      4. American

        Figures you like Kasich. He’s a union buster.Hates the American worker making a living wage.Just like the VCs who all want to make a billion dollars turning Americans into Slave Wage Workers with their “New Economy” all-the-money-goes-to -the-top “disruptive” startups.In the old days you were called “Masters”.

    14. Dave Pinsen

      Fred, why don’t you update this post with a poll widget? Trump crushed the post-debate polls at Time (… ) and Drudge. Would be interesting to see how the AVC crowd goes.

    15. Dave Pinsen

      Marco Rubio would do as well against Hillary as Rick Lazio.

      1. JLM

        .That well, you think?The country is not as solidly Democrat as NY.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Rubio lacks gravitas. And the GOP base will remember he was a shill for the Gang of 8 amnesty bill.If you want a guy with a Latin last name, go for Cruz and take the extra 20 IQ points as a bonus.

          1. JLM

            .If Cruz were from Florida that would even make sense.Huge Cruz fan.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Pete Griffiths

            Not Cruz. Dear God no. He’s appalling. I’m amazed that some of the shit on him hasn’t hit the media yet.

          3. JLM

            .”Send your traffic!”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Pete Griffiths

            To be explained over a drink.

          5. JLM

            .Pete, this works out incredibly well — I like to drink!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    16. Rick

      JLM… I have a totally new way of running the US. We have candidates submit plans for the future. Like a business plan. The people vote for the plan they want. Then we hire people to implement that plan..This way it’s all about the people and the plan they selected. Also the plan is in writing not in promises and we can know if the plan is not on track.

      1. JLM

        .How about a blind business plan competition and we can be governed by seventh graders?Politics is a blood sport and it is about control and money controls everything.I do like you idea in much the same way I thought if I flapped my arms really, really fast I could fly.I became a pilot when I grew up because that is the way the real world works. I never could flap fast enough, apparently.Our system sucks until compared to ALL of the alternatives.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Rick

          “we can be governed by seventh graders”.According to Trump we are..But… Are we not suppose to be governed by law? Which is a whole bunch of documents that set out what we can and can’t do. I think the idea is sound.

          1. JLM

            .We are a nation of laws governed by Executive Orders. Let me go back and check the Constitution.Hmmm, seems someone has run off with my copy. Rats!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. Pete Griffiths

          “Our system has sucked until compared to ALL the alternatives.”Very true. But with one caveat. The observation is fair enough looking back. But whether the system will continue to suck less than others going forward remains to be seen.I’m pretty sure that most hegemonic societies patted themselves on the back about their institutions and yet so many predecessors fell by the wayside.

          1. JLM

            .Calling bullshit on you (in a nice way, mind you) — what system today or in history compares with ours which is essentially not the same?Capitalism has consistently delivered the highest standard of living in the world.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Pete Griffiths

            The question is not whether capitalism is a wonderful thing.Our ‘system’ isn’t just capitalism – in fact far from it. So when I say that ‘our system’ is not necessarily destined for ongoing superiority don’t think that is just a comment on capitalism.However, please feel free to call bullshit on me as often as you like. (not that I could stop you anyways):)

          3. JLM

            .Capitalism is the core of our system and I am open to whatever else needs to be added to flesh out your pic.Megyn Kelly would say, “Pete, you didn’t answer the question. Can you please answer the question?” She would smile.I don’t see any real competitors out there though there is much to be improved in our system.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Pete Griffiths

            There are several other ‘cores’ to our system that are every bit as essential to the nature of the United States, e.g. our political system, our legal system…

    17. JLM

      .Apparently Camille Paglia and I saw the same debate or she is channeling me.http://www.hollywoodreporte…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    18. Pete Griffiths

      Agree.Kasich and Rubio were the only two who were in any way impressive.Trump is clowning for brand building.Jeb is flat but will probably win at the end of the day.Most of the others are lame or raving mad.

    19. Lee Blaylock

      Kasich was re elected as gov with 86 of 88 counties in a Purple state. What he’s accomplished there is nothing short of amazing. He also understands how to legislate being Chair of the House Budget cmte under Clinton and passed a balanced budget. He’s the most authentic and impressive of the bunch to the broadest audience. He was also host of CNN crossfire so is media tested and savvy.He will rise in the polls and has support of the establishment and moderates. He won’t attract the idiotic Ted Cruz disciples and shouldn’t try. He will fundraise just fine. The GOP would love a Kasich Rubio Ticket (Rubio would be older and Jack Kennedy if elected and not much younger than Obama – but Senators make poor Presidents as demonstrated by Obama, that’s why there have only been 3 to move form senators to Penn Ave. the greatest presidents in the modern era come from the Gov).What is not talked about enough is how poor a candidate and campaigner Hillary is. Barack was a relative unknown and steam rolled the Clinton machine in 2008. Obama doesn’t get enough credit for that. Amazing campaigner.Mark my words, Kasich will be the next President. I’m not on his campaign, just study politics. Biases aside, history is not on the DEMs side after a double term president and poor economy.

      1. JLM

        .Superb analysis, Lee. I agree with much that you say. A couple of points:1. Kasich is the key to Ohio and Ohio is, indeed, one of the keys to the Electoral College. You get Ohio early and you have a shot at Pennsylvania.2. Kasich’s resume and capabilities are exactly as you have indicated. The tiniest detail that might be considered is that his Dem opponent last time around was an idiot.3. He will struggle to raise money because much, if not all, of the establishment money is committed. They have deep pockets and short term commitment memories, so if Jeb Bush falters they will write another check but on the whole this is Kasich’s big weakness. It is also the cost of having waited too late to launch.4. A Bush-Kasich ticket gives you, arguably, Florida-Ohio-the old guard Republican establishment while the Kasich-Rubio ticket (my personal favorite) gives you Ohio-Florida-Hispanic improvement.The first ticket is two governors. The second ticket is a governor and a senator. Rubio has some issues because of votes and positions. He is Cuban and not able to drag the entire Hispanic vote with him.It is tough calculus and may turn on the money angle.5. Hillary is both a terrible person and a terrible campaigner. Barack Obama stole the coronation from her with campaign expertise. There is no doubt that he is the “miracle” candidate but it’s not just organization. He, personally, is loved by any camera because of his lean frame, perfect coloring, and smile. The fact that he is a devilishly clever speaker is not to be overlooked.At the campaign level, he is up there with Reagan and Kennedy for guys with charisma and photogenic lagniappe.6. The historic perspective of a two term Dem not being followed by a third term Dem is probably the firewall that delivers the White House to the Republicans if they can just prevent their natural tendency of putting up very weak candidates.I would love to see a Kasich presidency but I still think it’s going to be Bush unless Kasich is able to light fire. His answer about The Donald was brilliant. He would be a great president.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    20. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Rubio won’t win because he’s a hot blooded Cuban that’ll scare too many people. Carson is the guy. Smartest, most likable, calmest in the pocket, and did I mention smart.

      1. JLM

        .Dr Carson is an extraordinary American. His life story is the American Dream writ large and it is one of real accomplishment not baloney.The probability of his being the nominee is less than zero.It IS brain surgery to get elected President of the US. As it should be.Takes nothing away from Dr Carson, just not his gig.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  7. Matt Kruza

    Being in cleveland, I attended a watch party downtown. I consider myself very politically engaged (up on the issues, passionate about good policy, etc.) and pretty conservative (fiscally, more socially moderate). I despise the 2 party system, but its reality, so it was interesting to check out a pretty hardline conservative event. Agree that rubio and Kasich did best. Ironically those are the two candidates i like most. The other one I really like is Carly Fiorina. She spoke at the event i was at after her early “kid table debate”, and I was impressed. And the crowd went WILD for her. I would love to find a way for her to be on the ticket. Impartial at this time whether she is top of the ticket or the bottom. Rubio / Fiorina ticket is one i can really get behind. Both are very genuine in my opinion (love that fiorina is an outsider / business person etc.). Lastly, both of them obviously represent diversity in a way not commonly prescribed to conservatives in the modern era. Besides Rand Paul’s few passionate supporters, the largest cheers from probably a 95% white audience (unfortunately) were Fiorina, then for Carson when he spoke, and rubio / cruz (both of hispanic dissent) were huge. Racial issues are important, as are women’s issues too, and the biggest issue for the modern conservative party is tone on these two. Sincerely hope those i have mentioned can be good advocates in this election cycle, because while i hope one day to hope eliminate the two party system (2032 is likely the first year i will run 🙂 ), right now the conservatives are needed from a fiscal standpoint.

  8. William Mougayar

    Yesterday evening was also the Canadian Prime Ministers debate for the federal election. I followed that, and not the US one, but read about it.I can’t wait to see what Saturday Night Live does with it. it might be hard to beat the entertainment value of the real debate.

  9. Mario Cantin

    Where’s William this morning? — must be sleeping in late, ha ha!

    1. William Mougayar

      Nah…up at 6am working 🙂

      1. Mario Cantin

        I had a feeling you were busy working on something. Couldn’t resist poking a little fun, though.

        1. William Mougayar

          Ha. Politics isn’t very inspiring to me. It seems that all candidates (US and Canada) have flaws, and we always pick the “least bad” of them.I’m waiting for a real leader to emerge.

          1. Mario Cantin

            I’ve been thinking the same for years and I hear plenty of others who agree too. Look at the BS we’re going through with Harper / Trudeau. I don’t want either to run Canada. Go voting? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

          2. William Mougayar


  10. Brandon Burns

    It was great TV.Kasich was the only viable candidate on that stage, and that’s a shame for the GOP because he lacks personality — which is the chief necessary ingredient of a Republican candidate that rallies their base.The front runners will remain, for better or worse. Kasich will move up the most in public opinion, but he’s also down the furthest. Rubio might not get any big polling upticks, but donors and people with the power to endorse will notice his air of competence, and that’ll help him in the long run.The rest will likely end up net-neutral, maybe a slight uptick for Christie or Paul, but in such a crowded field, it’s not looking so good for them.

    1. JLM

      .Great analysis. I agree more with you than you do with yourself.We would “hire” Kasich but he cannot get elected unless the Republican establishment were to “disappear” that Bush fellow.Kasich — Congressman (for a lot of years), business man, Governor, good guy. Big heart. Real results governing Ohio — a very important state.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. pointsnfigures

      Jeb and Trump will fall.

      1. JLM

        .Jeb is going to be the nominee. All he had to do last night was to enter with a heartbeat and exit with a heartbeat and not take a fatal blow. He is the Republican establishment’s boy. Plain and simple.Trump’s Sell By Date is around the corner. He will, initially, go UP in the polls.The issue is who gets the support from the losers. Who picks up the supporters as the herd gets thinned?Right now, the country is not engaged (except for the Trump phenomenon which is the reality TV crowd).It is several life times until the election but you can cull more than ten candidates from last night with ease.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. pointsnfigures

          I disagree on Jeb. Don’t think he will be the nominee. He doesn’t stir the emotion. Similar to Clinton vs Sanders on the Dem side. She is totally boring. He stirs the Democrat soul.

          1. Brandon Burns

            So in he end, who’s taking on Bernie in the general election?

          2. pointsnfigures

            Definitely not clear yet. I don’t think anyone stirred souls last night. The last Republican candidate to really stir Republican souls was Reagan. They all should watch Simon Sinek Selling the Why

          3. Pete Griffiths

            Got to hand it to Bernie. How would E Warren have done?

          4. Rob Larson

            But Bush and Clinton each have the support of the party brass, which is historically the most important thing a candidate can have to win the primary. regardless of how boring they are.Romney stirred no one’s emotion, but the party higher ups decided early on he had the best chance to win the general, so they helped him get the nomination.

        2. LE

          Trump’s Sell By Date is around the corner.NY Times on the web had a nice headline and byline essentially being relatively positive toward trump. My take on this is that this plays into giving enough support to Trump that he either takes the nomination however unlikely or does the third party thing so Hillary takes it.You know we have a new phrase to bandy about thanks to Chris Matthews. I never heard this one before. When someone pressed Matthews on when he would stop talking about something (don’t even remember what it was) he said:”As long as the bone is next to me”What that means is that the media recognizes the value of Trump on various levels. (Wasn’t about Trump iirc).Consequently the media will keep extending the sell date on Trump as long as it helps them sell advertising. Nothing leading up to this or what happened last night (ie the opening question “raise of hands”) indicates differently.

        3. Rob Larson

          “Trump’s Sell By Date is around the corner…. Right now, the country is not engaged”Agree 100%. Nate Silver did a great job yesterday explaining why this is so:

        4. Pete Griffiths

          Jeb is the odds on favorite but strange things do happen and he does have the unfortunate habit (like his brother but most definitely NOT like their father) of looking as if he’s a deer caught in the headlights.

          1. JLM

            .He looks like a wonkish college professor at a time that America is looking for a MMArtist — a brawler.Point made.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. Richard

      What is the definition of viable here?

      1. Brandon Burns

        With this field of candidates? Basic competency.

        1. Richard

          So what are the basic competencies?

          1. Brandon Burns

            Having a brain that can process the issues and deliver a well thought out point of view, vs. flat out craziness (Trump), sane sounding craziness (Bush), unaware of how the rest of the world works outside of a Wisconsin farm craziness (Walker), immature / don’t know if I should have the point of view of my fellow latinos or my different thinking voter base craziness (Rubio), the bible should dictate everything craziness (Huckabee), i have one schtick (taxes!) craziness (Carson), or well meaning but simply not too bright craziness (Christie and Paul).

          2. JLM

            .This is going to be the Big Crazy election.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Pete Griffiths

            Can I upvote this more than once please?

    4. Rob Larson

      Completely agree. Kasich is an echo of Romney–best candidate in terms of qualifications for the job, worst candidate in terms of personality.Unfortunately, in a general election especially, personality >> qualifications. The best predictor of election results comes from asking voters “which candidate would you most like to visit your house and drink a beer with?”

  11. Josh Goldberg

    A buffet of terrible choices. And I am a Republican. Where is the substance. Where is the leadership. Kasich came out the winner to me.

    1. pointsnfigures

      I disagree. Republicans this trip around the track are diverse, and they are younger with some pretty good ideas. Free markets are messy. Substance comes from seeing what they actually did-you won’t get that in a debate.

      1. kidmercury

        have to side with JLM in this beef. i actually think this the best pool of republican candidates in a long time. not to say that i like any of them very much, but that at least it’s a big improvement — and the number of them brings diversity that i think is healthy, and has been missing for some time. and while i find trump to be a buffoon, his lack of political correctness is hopefully something that has a lasting influence and brings more straightforwardness to the game.

        1. LE

          i find trump to be a buffoonI researched this. A buffoon is someone who gets blow jobs in the Oval office in the 90’s or someone who has a constant string of females being sneaked into the white house (in the 60’s) that the press knows about but gives a pass to. And the wives are cool with that because they get to buy nice dresses (the one in the 60’s that is).By the way many Presidents have done things in other forms that make them look like buffoons (if you want to call it that). What is Presidential about appearing on SNL, Laugh In (before your time), or any late night show and slow jiving the news? Oh yeah that’s ok because it was “scripted” and sanitized by the staff in advance? And accepted for being “comedy” so you get a pass.The buffoons are the American public and the guys on stage that think that a single cell in the human body has constitutional rights. You know everybody gets a trophy nowadays…

          1. Jeff Jones

            Flawed men just like you and me, certainly not buffoons and definitely great leaders.

  12. davidkirkpatrick

    Kasich stood head and shoulders above the rest with his inclusive language and heart. Even his acknowledgement of Trump’s appeal rang true. Rubio was w distant second, I’d agree. Bush’s weakness was the nights big revelation, though.

    1. phoneranger

      I agree about JEB! There’s not much there there.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Yup. got all the early money but he is one I’d like to see step aside. Plenty of others could step down too (Lindsey Graham, Santorum, Huckabee, Pataki)

  13. pointsnfigures

    Watched, blogged about it here:… Kasich and Rubio did stand out. I think the debate formats lend themselves to soundbite politics. I think that isn’t the best way to figure out where a person stands. Trump will fall in the polls, but he did say some things that were interesting about medical insurance markets in the US. Carly Fiorina did really well earlier, and deserves a spot to test herself against the ones that were on later.Ironically, if you look at the records of governors it gets really interesting. Think of them as startup founders. Perry, Jindahl, Bush, and Kasich to some extent all had pretty decent tailwinds to do whatever they needed. In Perry and Jindahls case, having a thriving fracking/oil industry gave them tailwind. They didn’t create that. Christie faced big headwinds in NJ, but hasn’t done a lot. Only Walker faced massive headwinds like a startup CEO and he conquered them. Personally, I don’t think Senators make great Presidents. Prefer governors.I’d like to see all the things John Cochrane wrote about debated. http://faculty.chicagobooth

  14. phoneranger

    The debates culled the bottom of the list in the afternoon and it knocked Walker and Bush down a few notches.

    1. pointsnfigures

      On the flip side, maybe their handlers told them they should play it safe. They weren’t going to win the nomination tonight-so it might have been “do no harm”. I have met and spoken with Scott Walker, he isn’t flashy. He can execute though. Look at what he did in Wisconsin. Won election, survived a recall election and won again. Local and state budgets are flush, they have a surplus and they are lowering taxes and regulatory barriers again. They recently became a right to work state.

      1. LE

        Local and state budgets are flush, they have a surplusNone of that “here is what I did in my state” matters at all. First it’s all short term results typically, and second it all depends on a host of factors and the particular circumstances in play at the time. JLM for example is always hep on TX however Texas is not NJ or Florida. (Oil for one thing, citizens for another). Not comparable. I throw all of that state level stuff out the window. Not to mention that a country is a different animal than a state. After all everybody loved Clinton and he only ran Arkansas which is just a bit larger population wise than Brooklyn!!! (2.9 million vs. 2.6 million). [1]Best typified by Megyn’s question of the donut eater about NJ and how it sucks (and it really does the taxes are ginormous). Christie’s response is “it was worse before I got here”. Then he goes on to say how taxes have been cut in some areas but they haven’t been cut in any areas that I pay taxes in.I liked what Walker did with the state capital standoff though I have to give him that.[1] I actually guessed that and then looked up the info to back it up.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I think that what you did in your state can give a clue as to what your priorities will be as a leader of the free world. Running a state forces you to move legislation, and deal with an entrenched bureaucracy. Clinton was a much better President than Obama-by miles. His governor experience is one reason why.

      2. Wis

        You need to look at the facts regarding Walker. Local and state budgets are far from “flush”. In fact his budget call for borrowing a billion dollars for road construction and relied upon gutting the University of Wisconsin, one of the great public universities (and arguably the state’s largest economic engine). He reduced funding to local municipalities while limiting their ability to raise funds. All this for a $1 decrease in average property taxes this year and $2 next.

        1. pointsnfigures

          He froze tuition at Wisconsin. He killed public unions and made it easier on municipalities. They actually have more teachers now. Would be great if they lowered income taxes and privatized govt pensions. Defined contribution instead of defined benefit. Businesses are leaving Illinois to go to Wisconsin because there are low taxes on manufacturing. Now that Wisconsin is a Right To Work state like Indiana and Michigan, it will only get better.

          1. Wis

            He is decimating education in Wisconsin. I don’t know where you are getting your information from, but public school districts are having trouble finding teachers and it will only get worse. See below for an example:… Walker’s public sector reforms are also causing a shortage of prison guards resulting in prison towers now are empty at night.Never let the facts stand in the way of a good argument.Wisconsin’s public pension system is one of the best in the country if not the best. They are now looking at privatizing it or turning it into a defined contribution system so they can steal the excess funds from the public employees and use elsewhere. Tommy Thompson tried to do it several years ago, but it was ruled unconstitutional, but now that there is a conservative majority on the state supreme court they will try to do it again.

          2. Pointsandfigures

            Sorry. You are wrong. We 100% disagree. Walker has been. godsend to the middle class he won election 3 times by larger margins eamch time

          3. pointsnfigures

            We disagree 1000%. Walker has been a Godsend to Wisconsin’s middle class. He won election by larger margins every single time, 3 elections in four years. Changing to defined contribution is EXACTLY what they should do. Indiana did it. Schools are better, no problem getting teachers. Public pensions great. Taxes both income, sales and property low. Walker is doing EXACTLY the right things. Wisconsin has massive potential that will start to get untapped with lower taxes, lower regulatory burdens and smaller government. If you want an example of terrible government, just come south to Illinois. A textbook example of Clintonomics, Obamanomics, Daleynomics and Madiganomics.

          4. thorsky

            “If you want an example of excellent government that’s significantly outperforming Wisconsin during Walker’s tenure, just come west to Minnesota. A textbook example of Clintonomics, etc.”Fixed it for you.

          5. pointsnfigures

            Nice. Minnesota is a beautiful state. I have spent a lot of time there. But Wisconsin will overtake Minnesota eventually. Wisconsin is on the right track. MN has some of the highest taxes in the US. Where I go, the people are mostly on government assistance. Minnesota has a huge benefit over Wisconsin in raw economic numbers because of the corporate headquarters there. But, you’ll notice they aren’t building new manufacturing plants in MN, or expanding much there. 3M relocated a lot of the technical aspects of the company to Austin, TX. If I was a person solidly in the middle class I’d rather live in Wisconsin than Minnesota.

          6. thorsky

            I was being flippant in my comment, glad you got the joke. But I definitely think you’re wrong about Wisconsin overtaking Minnesota.The anecdotes you cite != evidence. Minnesota has economically outperformed Wisconsin for decades, starting in the late ’40s and continuing to today.Yes, the growth difference between the two states has been stark since the elections in 2010, including MN’s growth rate in manufacturing being around double that of WI. And yes, I realize that liberals love to crow about that fact like it’s tied to the elections of Scott Walker and Mark Dayton when the causes are much more systemic than that.But Walker’s policies can only put Wisconsin on the right track toward catching Minnesota if they reverse these long-term causes of Wisconsin’s comparative underperformance. And I’d argue that the issue Walker’s primarily known for — his battle to cut education funding at all levels — is one of the areas where MN has consistently out-invested and out-performed WI, and one of the primary causes of the difference in performance between the two states over the last 50 years.Forget about Mark Dayton — contrast Walker’s approach with that of Minnesota’s previous governor, another Republican presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty. The first thing Pawlenty did with stimulus funds in 2009 was to restore K-12 educational cuts the state had been forced to make during the financial crisis. And in 2010 Pawlenty’s budget cut his state’s expenditures in nearly every area, but conspicuously exempted education from those cuts.To sum up: Walker has taken Wisconsin in the wrong direction on one of the few issues that really matters economically. He’s beloved by the Republican base for being a high-profile fighter, and he’s good at winning elections. But from what I see he’s got poor judgement and is not much good at governing. IMHO, among the 16 other Republican candidates, there are several who would make better presidents than Scott Walker.

          7. pointsnfigures

            Walker’s cutting education is pure accounting. It has more to do with returning local control, and changing the way unions/pensions are done than an actual cut. Example, if I budget growth of 5% per year for the next 5 yrs, and then redo the budget to grow by only 1% a year for the next five years, some see it as a cut.Wisconsin will start to do better. Became a right to work state this year. That takes a while to work through the system.

  15. Robert Tolmach

    Is anyone else disturbed that a presidential debate couldn’t be seen online by anyone who is not a Fox subscriber?

    1. phoneranger

      Interesting point on the day after DIS et al blew up on fears of the end of bundling. I’d’ve (is that a neologism?) been glad not to’ve (another?) had to be a Fox subscriber.

  16. harvestgrand

    Its not about “who would be the best president” on stage last night. It’s who can beat the Democratic Candidate. I feel they are to very different people.

  17. Twain Twain

    Is there any actual empirical research on name recognition being the deciding factor that makes one candidate selected more than others?If so, Bush, Clinton and Trump have advantages.

    1. Rob Larson

      Early in the primary process (or in local elections generally) when people are less likely to be familiar with candidates, yes name recognition Trumps everything. But in a national election, as you get close to the actual voting dates, the most important factor becomes likability. As in, “who would you want to share a beer with”. I don’t recall the exact study, but multiple D.C. insiders have confirmed to me that that is true and matches the research they’ve seen.

  18. pointsnfigures

    I like Rand, but he didn’t do a stellar job last night.

  19. JLM

    .I keep trying to find something to like about Rand Paul. I’ll check back with you when I do.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. pointsnfigures

      Interesting no one is talking about Cruz. If Paul voters abandon Paul, who is there guy?

      1. JLM

        .They sit out until holding their nose on election day and pulling the straight Republican ticket.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      Rand Paul is a weenie. That comes from my wife by the way.I also lost track of the candidates who were proposing that when someone even thinks of having sex that resultant birth is then considered a person who should be protected by the constitution. Was that Paul or another one?The church has done a really good job of brainwashing the flock.Or was Paul the one who kept falling back on the constitution when arguing with Chris Christie over the NSA?

      1. JLM

        .Paul was the Constitutional argument guy — Mr. 4th and 10th Amendment. He is, of course, absolutely correct.Jumbo Christie is also right — he was the US Attorney prosecuting lots of terror suspects, corrupt politicians, and Mafia. That was the right job for him.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. andyswan

      Most committed to citizen liberty of the bunch IMO

      1. JLM

        .A topic that resonates with me and you and . . . nobody else, unfortunately. Not an issue that even polls in the top 20.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  20. Steve

    Kasich is the only one who is truly credible in the sense that he might be able to govern effectively, as opposed to just garnering votes by inflaming base emotions. The rest are some combination of buffoonery and irrelevance.Hillary will not be too worried on this evidence.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      There’s more to Trump than his buffoon act. It’s done well for him so far, but we stand to see more of him later.

  21. Alain-Marie Carron

    I am not American so what I am going to say should not upset you too much. I just looked to parts of the yesterday debate. I came for the clown, and was not disappointed. But I could not take others candidates seriously because of him. They seemed like old fashioned muppets lost in the wrong comic show.. I understand the power of money in American elections and this makes me very anxious… the idea that the last Bush could buy his elections, again. I covered USA news for Le Monde some 30 years ago and never stopped studying this country, which I loved for many years, until I found it upsetting. Violence: weirdos buying guns to kill school children, police shooting black people, lack of any decent health care system (even now), greed everywhere, especially in financial circles, to the point of durably shaking the world economy, corruption and mafias, poverty for the ordinary folks, trillion dollars stupid wars in Irak/Afghanistan… USA have become the most dangerous unruled state in the world, but remains the most powerful. So for us, foreigners, your electoral process is not funny at all; it’s just another nightmare in the making.

  22. markslater

    3 takeaways.1. Megan kelly is an extremely scary woman. Fox news is officially banned in my house. (in fact all news networks for that matter)2. I kinda heard this….monsanto: veto this bill please.senators / governors: yes sir, ofcourse – thanks for your money.Monsanto: veto that bill please.Trump: fuck you.And if he is really going to address this…. – for me its the single biggest political challenge of our times and i applaud him for surfacing it.3. It was very refreshing to hear Ben Carson’s closing statement and his response to the question on race.

    1. JLM

      .I like Carson. He gets to the nub of things. He makes it so it isn’t brain surgery.Oh, wait, he IS a brain surgeon.The wicked and evil money in politics theme is one that would resonate with both parties if more cleverly crafted.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. markslater

        i totally agree – the paradox is that the biter of the hand that feedeth, shalt be denied the great white house.

      2. LE

        Neurosurgeon, man of science, Physician, wired the wrong way, trained the wrong way, spends life around other people in Medicine not going to work in the analog world of politics. A non-starter.Politics is the art of deal making and compromise. Not something that this guy has any experience with seat of the pants. Obama would actually beat him out on that.Definitely able to consume mass quantities of academic material and effectively use that material. Wrong type of smarts. I really mean that.Plus he has no presence before the crowd. No charisma. You have charisma I remember that tape that you made with the yoda guy who doesn’t come to AVC anymore. I think you underestimate how much that charisma has done for you.

        1. JLM

          .Completely agree with the wire diagram re: Dr Carson.You are right on the charisma issue. That’s what Ronald Reagan had. Adult charisma.When I am in my swim suit (not carrying any money) and want a cup of coffee, I often go to Medici (my favorite coffee shop) and trade them a thimble full of charisma for a medium latte.I once had some dealings with John Connally — former Tx Gov, presidential candidate, Sec of Navy/Treasury. That guy had charisma.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  23. pointsnfigures

    here is a non scientific poll from a libertarian/conservative website.… Fiorina, Walker, Cruz were the winners. Interesting.

  24. Salt Shaker

    I may be an outlier here, but I found the tenor of the debate set by FOX’s moderators to be disturbing and wrought w/ negativity, from the opening bell which was unquestionably and intentionally designed to undermine Trump. The set up for every Q posed by FOX’s moderators was heavily nuanced w/ negativity and designed to undermine a candidate’s position or track record–some subtlely, others less so–w/ a zinger or “gotcha” that’s become so commonplace in journalism today. I kept thinking how different Cronkite, Brokaw, Rather, etc., would have handled vs. a panel of “American Idol” influenced judges seemingly hellbent on elevating their own stature and image. Moderators in a debate should be window dressing, nothing more, nothing less. And what’s with the black cocktail dress and Harry Winston earrings, Megyn? This is a Presidential debate, not an episode of “The Bachelorette.” I yearn for quality, objective journalism, but sadly it’s now long gone.

    1. JLM

      .The truth of your statement is beyond question. We are in an age of “gotcha” journalism wherein the journalists are now the “show.”They spent a lot of time preening and admiring themselves. I like Megan Kelly. She is an attractive woman. She is a distraction.There was not one really expansive question.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Pete Griffiths

        #distractinglysexy ?

    2. DJL

      100% true. I generally like Fox because they at least cover stories that are ignored by the rest of the media. But this was nothing more than an attack-Trump and ignore-Cruz fest. It was painful to watch.

    3. Jeff Jones

      It was like they combined a bunch of really bad reality shows and called it a Presidential debate.

    4. Mike O'Horo

      That’s because the corporate owners of media have gotten rid of any journalist with enough chops to expose their corporate cronies.

    5. Pete Griffiths

      If the candidates can’t handle that kind of ‘negativity’ now they are already doomed.

  25. Tom Labus

    I found the candidates to be lacking in any historical or financial context. Ike must be rolling over in his grave to hear this bunch clamor for a new war. Do they know that he ignored this same type of hysteria and avoided a major conflict with the Soviets over Hungry in 1956?Zero realization of the events of 2008/09 and the generational consequences of financial implosions.I would say, as a market guy, that Trump has peaked.

    1. JLM

      .Eisenhower’s Presidency, in a historic lens, was extraordinary.A man whose professional expertise was in war, kept us out of war in the face of the Berlin Airlift, Hungary, Quemoy, Matsu, Krushchev, the U2 incident, and other provocations.He balanced 8 straight budgets, built the American nuclear arsenal, started the Interstate highway system, deported 2.5MM illegals in six months (yes, that is true), and played a lot of golf.He was an incredible executive.We need an Eisenhower right now.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        He balanced 8 straight budgetsCongress was different back then. And you are talking about a time when women were in a different place, there were 3 networks and no internet. And no body cameras and cell phone videos.Days of smoke filled rooms and deals. Was a system that actually worked because it’s human nature.That is one thing that Trump has going for him (and I am not implying that others couldn’t do this). Trump understands how back scratching works. For that matter so do the sleezy Clintons. Someone like librarian Elizabeth Warren (she is my gold standard of non player) does not. Neither almost certainly would Ben Carson. He is a man of science and medicine about absolutes. He is trained in a way to think that the smart and the right thing will be able to happen same as say Al Gore.

        1. JLM

          .He had primarily Democrat Congresses. He balanced budgets because HE wanted to balance them.The problem today is that nobody really wants to balance the budget because that implies they get no pork.The Sequester? WTF happened to the Sequester?The Congress and the White House are both pretending it’s not the law of the land.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Tom Labus

            Also, we still believed n “loyal opposition”

          2. JLM

            .We argued about the issues and did no demonize our opponents. I listened to the LBJ tapes at the LBJ Library and an exchange between LBJ and Everett Dirksen about bringing the Civil Rights Act up for a vote.Here are two men of different parties who had the most cordial exchange imaginable on a subject of incredible contentiousness.It was remarkable.Maybe we produced better men in those days.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. Dan Epstein

        Bernie Sanders is a big fan of Eisenhower, too.http://www.sanders.senate.g…and more detail on the 1956 Republican Platformhttp://www.presidency.ucsb….

        1. JLM

          .You and I are likely the only people on this blog who have ever read the 1956 Republican platform. It is a good read and it was from a time when the platform meant something.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Dan Epstein

            Maybe some more will read today.Before my time, but a good read.

      3. ErikSchwartz

        Top marginal tax rate in the Eisenhower era was what again?Well over 75%

        1. Dan Epstein

          I think the top was 91% under Eisenhower.

  26. JLM

    .Just for the record. There is still a war going on in a place called “The Graveyard of Empires” also known as Afghanistan.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      People keep messing up the only chance of a correct spelling Akrapistan. That’s just over the border from Tjerkistan and next to both Wakozerostan and Pukistan. Ah, beautiful, historic South Asia!

  27. harris497

    Anyone who would cripple the main mechanism that an entire category of citizens have for representing themselves in an economy of large corporate organizations, is undeserving of my attention, that person is Scott Walker.

  28. harris497

    Barring a real scandal or vocal lapse that alienates him from most republicans, Trump will be the republican nominee. This is the result of the party’s shift toward Tea Party politics. Trump is not a Tea Party candidate, but he exemplifies the kind of crazy/stupid/speak that that group and its tangential adherents crave. That is scary!

    1. ErikSchwartz

      He did real estate development in NYC in the 1970s and built casinos in NJ in the 1980s. No one did that without paying off a lot of people (some of whom are mobsters).

  29. Val Tsanev

    Liked Rubio as well, however his age and relative inexperience for President of USA is a blessing and a curse. Ultimately I don’t think he will be the one getting the nomination but most definitely has potential, maybe in 2020. I also enjoyed the exchange between Christie and Paul re:NSA, nice one.

  30. Matt Zagaja

    As far as entertainment value it did not disappoint at all. Agree with others that Kasich, who was clearly gunning for a general electorate, had the best performance. While not as entertaining as Donald, he did a great job of standing his ground on his beliefs. Rand tried hard to drive the knife into Donald when the gate opened but I quickly forgot about him. His answers seemed too evasive.

  31. Matt A. Myers

    Why isn’t Albert running for President yet?

    1. fredwilson

      it’s tough for a socialist to win in the US. though Bernie is trying to pull it off

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Had some time to think about this. It really just depends on your messaging and your reach, however reach isn’t difficult nowadays – just need a proper strategy and time to do said outreach. Albert has the right foundation, so now the more time he dedicates his time towards solving the problem in an executable way, the closer we all get to it.. he is doing it in his own way already though.

  32. Emily Steed

    None of them came across to me as a leader. There was an overall tone of reacting as opposed to leading.

  33. DJL

    As a hardcore conservative, I was disgusted by the Fox News bias toward Bush and against Trump and Cruz. They hate Trump and he was the only one directly attacked by the questions. Then they brought in commentators to make sure they trashed Trump afterward. They virtually ignored Ted Cruz, who is by far the most compelling real candidate on multiple levels. (I turned it on late and didn’t see him for 30 minutes.) This had to be part of an agenda.I have followed Cruz very closely over these last 18 months. He is the real deal – and a HUGE threat to the Republican establishment, which I hold in as much contempt as Obama/Hillary. If you notice, he was the only one who had specific answers for what he would do day 1 he was elected – but they never called on him. If you watch closely, you will see every effort on both sides to destroy Cruz. Trump is a sideshow for now. Cruz is the real threat. So the Liberal Media Washington Establishment Complex will seek to destroy.

    1. JLM

      .People forget that Cruz knocked off David Dewhurst, the sitting Tx Lt Gov and an incredibly well funded candidate, with ease. Walk in the park ease.He would be a good candidate but he is not, as you so rightly note, the choice of the establishment and the Republican establishment has already placed their bets. On Bush.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. thorsky

      The data disagrees with your perception on Cruz.FINAL Talk Times:1 Trump 10:302 Bush 8:33 3 Huck 6:324 Carsn/Crz 6:286 Kasch 6:257 Rubio 6:228 Chrste 6:039 Walkr 5:4310 Paul 4:51

      1. DJL

        Thanks for sending. It must have been the window where I started watching. (And my bias to hear more of him.)

        1. thorsky

          NP. It was lumpy in that way, people seemed to disappear for long stretches. Understandable when there’s 10 people, but noticeable. At one point my wife turned and asked, “Is Carson still even on the stage?” When they finally came to him with a question about 30 seconds later, he said something like, “Thanks for asking, I didn’t know if I was going to get to speak again tonight.”

  34. MP@D

    Its sort of obscure to watch this from a European (German) perspective. The SPIEGEL calls DT a “squaller” …but for sure is authentic. Strange though, that the system supports monarchy like personell (Bush/Clinton). What happened to alle the smart people with a (political) standing?

  35. Ryan Frew

    I couldn’t watch it last night, but planned on listening to it at work today. I can’t seem to find the debate anywhere, though. Why is this hard? Why wouldn’t Fox just throw it online? Ugh.

  36. Josh Bailey

    Kasich / Fiorina – Solid ticket

  37. LE

    There you go. All the important press had to say was that Marilyn was found in the nude.(NYT wants to hand the win to Hillary by pumping up Trump)…

    1. Rob Larson

      You could make the contrarian argument that the longer Trump stays ahead in the polls, the better it is for the republican party’s chances, because people tune in to watch the show, and in the process get to know the candidates. Also makes it easier for the other candidates to look “presidential”. Sets it up nicely for the eventual nominee.Without Trump there, few people would be watching these debates or talking about the candidates this early.

      1. LE

        Agree and good point. Other argument could also be by egging him on he is more likely to continue providing great fodder needed to sell ads. Or he could crash and burn by ramping up the rhetoric even more thereby making a fatal error in the process. Overconfidence flame out.

  38. Lucas Dailey

    Just want to point out that if the US used a preferential voting system all of these candidates could be in the general election, and you could vote for whomever you wanted, in whatever order of preference, without making it more likely someone you dislike would be elected.We’d have better candidates, better collaboration, and better government. And we FINALLY have the technology to do it, but only wonks know about it. We should really fix that.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I don’t think the evidence supports the idea that process reform will lead to this. See… for a good summary and data.The idea that the candidates would be “better” is rather subjective. Maybe you’d be more satisfied having the opportunity to vote for your guy in a general election instead of a primary or caucus but at the end of the day does it make a material difference if they never had a chance of winning anyways?Changing systems does not change the culture.

      1. Lucas Dailey

        The culture is absolutely a product of a system. Change our voting system and the culture would change overnight, though it would take decades to adapt.I’m not suggesting anything about “moderates,” only choices. In fact that article perfectly illustrates the point: there is a wide range of views, that don’t naturally conform to a single dem-rep/lib-con spectrum.

  39. William Mougayar

    Wow I just learned that Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are the tallest candidates, both at 6’3 or 1.91 m.

    1. JLM

      .Bush looks taller (has lost an enormous amount of weight) and Trump is quite chubby and out of shape.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Twain Twain

      Is there research which says height affects electability?

  40. ErikSchwartz

    If the nominee is Fiorina then the Dems campaign poster should be the graph of HP stock during her tenure overlaid with the $20,000,000 golden parachute that that performance earned her….and Fitzgerald said there were no second acts in American lives.

  41. kidmercury

    i don’t like any of the candidates, though if the elections were held today, i would vote rand (even though i suspect he will morph into a warmonger). i suspect kasich will:1. support carbon tax and greater EPA regulation2. hinder nuclear and oil energy development3. encourage excessive government stimulus 4. get involved in more warsbecause i believe in #3 and #4, it is hard to see how he will balance the budget.for those who don’t care about poitics, i highly recommend kid mercury’s simple candidate selection algorithm. just vote for the candidate least likely to be a military aggressor. the algorithm in this instance yields rand (barring the rise of some third party candidate who is truly a peace advocate).

  42. LE

    let me know when we are down to 3″Would allow others to establish a beach head so that’s a non-starter strategy wise.

  43. John McGrath

    It’s impossible for me to think of Trump without immediately thinking of this book, which still captures him perfectly:

  44. ErikSchwartz

    Trump is shameless but in that shamelessness came a nugget of truth.”I will tell you that our system is broken, I gave to many people before this. Two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody, when they call, I give. And when you know what, I need something from them. Two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me and that’s a broken system.”

  45. Jens Achilles

    I like Obama, but his administration his in stark contrast to what you would expect from an African-American US president, who won the Nobel Peace Prize: Police is shooting black people, Obama didn´t keep his promises e.g. on shutting down Guantanamo and US foreign policy looks kind of helpless in all the conflicts around the world. (Admittedly, we Germans don´t look much smarter neither).So what does that tell us about a possible Trump administration: Eased immigration for Mexicans, eased regulation on abortion, health care for everybody? – I know what you think, but, hey, it´s fun friday afterall.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      From here in the US to over the pond in the land of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, etc., there no, nichts, connection between what caused Obama and what causes Trump. There’s no pattern there.There are some explanations for Obama, but they are a bit too long for here. Besides, Obama is now well on the way to total irrelevance and no longer much worth writing about.To Germany, Europe, Great Britain, etc.: Whatever concerns you’ve had about Obama, just forget about them because in no way is that performance the real US or will be continued, followed, or anything else.The US is relatively able to get by with someone like Obama due to some of the genius of the US founding fathers who wrote a good constitution and set up three branches of government with checks and balances. In the end, the real power in the US is in House and Senate in Congress, and those two are always quite close to the concerns of the voters — well, not all of them are, but those soon enough get another career.Just wait until the US gets its next president. That person will have various attributes and aspects, but they will almost surely be a real US president, the first in eight years.

  46. Jackie's Cookie

    Good Friday topic as the politico threads always generate some banter and faux sparring.Quick take is if he decides he wants to, Trump will win hands down, because he knows how to win. Winners find a way beyond weaknesses, to come out on top. But it’s also just as likely somewhere along the way, he gets bored of it all, and decides to go golfing.And for those worried about the possibility of Trump in The White House, consider that having a billionaire deconstructing and reconstructing government worked well when Mike Bloomberg took on New York City. NYC was better for it.

    1. Tyler

      “Quick take is if he decides he wants to, Trump will win hands down, because he knows how to win.”I’d take the other side of that bet pretty quick.

      1. Jackie's Cookie

        I suppose you’re not alone, since he’s quite polarizing. But from the gambling perspective you referenced, betting against him doesn’t seem well founded, historically speaking. But time will tell.

        1. Tyler

          What do you mean historically speaking? Per Fivethirtyeight data, recent polls grossly overstate his chances of getting the GOP nominee. And looking at it just in terms of this election cycle, I think there are several strong alternative GOP candidates, far more than in recent elections. It would take some generous odds for me to not bet against Trump.

          1. Jackie's Cookie

            Sorry, should clarify that the “historically speaking” reference was to Trump’s ability to “win” in general which was the initial point. It was not about politics. It was about winning. Trump’s ability to win in business would potentially serve him well in a political race.

  47. ThatOtherOtherGuy

    I haven’t seen that many half-truths and prevarication since my last BF came home from a bachelor party weekend in Vegas.

    1. Jens Achilles

      Hi Haggie, let me put it this way: Some things you are not supposed to know, i.e. what happens in Vegas (Washington) stays in Vegas (Washington). By the way, this is not a US thing, same applies to Europe as well 😉

  48. Twain Twain

    @fredwilson:disqus – You know how normally you give a “Warning: this post is about politics”? I found this sign…

  49. BRValentine

    Bush was surprisingly awkward. I expected him to be a lot more smooth. You could tell he rehearsed his closing statement, but he flubbed a word about 10 seconds in (something he did “as Florida”) and then proceeded to fall apart. He ended with perhaps the most maladroit segment of all, his closing sentence asking for our votes.But the most hilarious thing he said all evening, which he repeated twice, was to embrace our “domestic energy revolution” by approving Keystone XL. That’s his plan for growth. Meanwhile recent oil price fluctuations have wiped out $1.3T(!!!) in market cap from traditional energy companies.

  50. LE

    There was one clear winner in Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate — Fox News.The Republican candidates’ prime-time debate on Fox News Channel drew 24 million viewers, a record audience for a presidential primary debate, according to Nielsen data provided by Fox on Friday.But that’s not all:The tally for Thursday’s event was the highest non-sports telecast in cable history, a Fox spokeswoman said.

    1. Rob Larson

      You have to attribute those ratings to Trump. No way even half that many people tune in without him there. Which is also why SNL’s cold open this week will be all about Trump at the debate.

  51. sigmaalgebra

    The 10 candidates on the stage were too many and meant that there was nearly no serious content. Thus, what was left had little more content than a beauty pageant.There no candidate got to say anything significant, and the main difference was that everyone looked really gracious, like at a Victorian garden party, except for Trump and Paul and maybe Cristy.To see the show, I had to upgrade my TV offering. I got some Chinese carryout for a party. Then I watched from 5 PM to midnight — bummer. No real content and, thus, a waste of time, money, effort, and calories.The debate told me little of importance I didn’t know and left me with my views before the debate:DemocratsI admire Bloomberg a lot, but not in politics: (A) IMHO what he wants to do with urban policing is too often just flatly unconstitutional. (B) His interest in regulating soft drinks and salt in food is just absurd — nanny Bloomberg. (C) He wants too much in gun control. All the guns in my family are from my father and they are all at my brother’s house in Tennessee, and I’ve never been a member of the NRA, but basically I agree with the NRA on guns. E.g., in short, “When all guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns.”.I know that the thought is far fetched, but I still like the idea that the citizens have guns, and considering how big and powerful DC tends to be, I like the idea more and more.Further, just as a matter of principle, I want us to get our problems solved without putting all the citizens in diapers in play pens monitored 24 x 7 with cameras and AI.E.g., since money can be part of some criminal activity, outlaw cash? We’re pretty close to that now. Bummer.Brave New World and 1984 are old stories, and we’re moving too close to both of them.(D) He’s a renewable energy wacko, as in irrational earth worship, e.g., considered putting wind turbines on top of NYC buildings.Maybe the richer someone is, the smaller are the things they get to worry about. Since Bloomberg is rich, he is ready to “strain over gnats” for his own life and to “forget elephants” for nearly everyone else.Conversations at summer parties in the Hamptons must be really boring, all about how the Joe Six-pack NASCAR riff-raff are ready to burn filthy fossil fuels to have cheap electric power for, say, the electric appliances they bought from 2 AM infomercials.Hillary is interested 99 44/100% just in Hillary and otherwise has not much interest in or good ideas for helping the country. Also, any new programs she would try to start, e.g., in health care, women’s health, education, environment, infrastructure, taxation, the economy, energy, regulation, national security, etc. would be so poorly designed, organized, and managed that they would waste money and otherwise do harm. E.g., Hillary’s approach is see an issue, pass a law, appropriate money, rinse, repeat — Hillary, honey, that little just wastes money. At anything hands on and practical, Hillary still needs work to make good oatmeal cookies.Sanders is still smoking the funny stuff of the 1960s. I wish good solutions were that easy, but they are not. Bernie would be happier in France.RepublicansOf the Republican candidates I saw yesterday from 5 PM EST to midnight, I can like several of them for mayor, the House, the Senate, or governor but none of them for POTUS except Trump.For who we will have as POTUS, I’m pissed off and quite highly concerned, even afraid. Why? Because of the recent history of the office of POTUS:Obama looks like the president with by far the worst intentions in the history of the US; thankfully, since he has done so little, his intentions have hurt a lot but still much less than they might have.With high irony, actually I like some of what Obama has done: He wants to cut and run from Iraq and Akrapistan. I believe that in principle, and with good execution in practice, we could do much better, but for what we are likely able to do with likely leadership and execution, cut and run is just about the best we can hope for.Why? Save US blood and treasure. Then Iraq and Akrapistan will move to brutal dictators, and that’s about the best they can hope for until they get something better than their 1000 year old Islamic culture that, now, runs nearly everything.For threats to the US, I believe that we can defend ourselves against such dictators. How? E.g., each dictator, one at a time, make them an offer they can’t refuse. So, soon we will be back to the Taliban and versions of Saddam, and that’s just where we came into this Muslim movie.For W, he’s a nice guy, like a nice guy to have a beer with. He has what looks like a really nice wife. Maybe he was a good governor of Texas.He’s a bit of a sucker for evangelical Christianity. I can see some good in a lot of Christianity, but the evangelical stuff has too much wrong with it.So, we got nice guy W for POTUS: Disaster. Unbelievable disaster. Sequence of unbelievable disasters. Dumb. Brain-dead dumb. Consistently dumb. Disastrously dumb. My Pet Goat level totally out of it, disconnected, obliviously dumb. Two lost wars. And expensive in blood and treasure. Blew the 2008 financial bubble. Etc.PositionFrom the record of massive failures of W and of Obama, I’m pissed and worried, even afraid. Bloomberg, Hillary, and Sanders don’t look like good alternatives.For the Republicans yesterday?George W. Bush was a nice guy and likely a good governor. Sooooo, from the history, I want for POTUS something much better than a nice guy, good governor, or Bush. Sorry Jeb.Sorry for the other governors yesterday, and the Senators.I have at least three really biggie gripes against most of the Republicans:(1) Right to life: Abortion is ugly business for everyone, especially the mother and her baby. But some women do want abortions, and for them it’s likely Planned Parenthood or something worse, and clearly from history easily and commonly it can be a lot worse. Yup, in the old movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blonds Jane Russell looks like one fantastic woman. Alas, IIRC, she could have no children due to injuries from a badly done abortion.It’s no good having a bunch of men, especially older men, telling women they can’t have abortions.Roe v Wade was 40 years ago and is settled law. When Huckabee, etc., as in Article V, can get 2/3rds of the House, 2/3rds of the Senate, and 3/4ths of the states, let me know. In the meanwhile, all this talk about stopping abortions is less productive than a spit to windward or warm trickle down the leg.The issue has been beaten more times than any threadbare carpet on a clothesline: Good summary positions include: “Abortion is a subject to be left to a woman and her physician.” “Abortion should be legal, safe, and rare.”(2) Flat/VAT tax. Not a chance. It would be a big financial gift to the rich, especially those with mostly investment income. It would make the inequality issue even worse. It looks like sucking up to the thicker and more arrogant and selfish checkbooks of the Republican party. Any afternoon any Democrat with fewer than two six packs since noon can shoot it down in 10 seconds.(3) Conservative principles. Apparently these are code words for something too ugly to explain, likely stick it to the poor people who don’t want to work for less money than it takes just to commute to work from a place they can afford to live. Then such poor people should just go and die and quit bothering the rich people, right?All of (1)-(3) are just misdirections to keep from talking about anything real. To borrow from the old movie All the President’s Men, “total BS.”.So, via (1)-(3), I scratch off my list nearly everyone on the stage yesterday.Rand Paul? I appreciate and share his devotion to the Bill of Rights, but otherwise he looks like a wacko.There were a lot of nice guys, governors, Senators, but, from the history I related above, that’s just not good enough, not nearly good enough. It’s, to borrow a good phrase from a totally incompetent, dangerous, arrogant academic, “Wide of the mark”. “Below the bar”. Not a passing grade in this course where we don’t have social promotion. Sorry ’bout that. “Fired!”.Everyone on that stage was looking just for a promotion in their political career via sucking up to the usual thick checkbooks of the Republican party, spouting the usual (1)-(3) total BS, avoiding any real issues, and trying to get along by going along — except for Trump who, I’m guessing and hoping, is just trying to help the country.Trump? He doesn’t suck up to thick checkbooks. Instead, he has his own.For Trump, he looks ready, willing, able, and eager actually to get stuff, the mostly obvious stuff we really need, DONE, in mostly reasonably obvious ways, on time, under budget, high quality.But Trump is a light weight, is all just publicity from being outrageous, knows nothing about the issues? Common claim. Alas, ever heard of:Donald J. Trump, Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, December 5, 2011.Looks like a book on the main political issues.So, process of elimination: Bloomberg, Clinton, Sanders? Nope. Obama? No way; not nearly good enough. W was a good guy governor and a disaster: So, good guy governors and Senators? Not good enough. Republicans who spout the (1)-(3) traditional Republican total BS meaningless misdirection? Less serious than My Pet Goat; not good enough. Republicans who suck up to the Kochs? No thanks. And I have nothing against the Kochs, but the POTUS should serve all the US, not just two wealthy chemical engineers.What’s left? So far, just Trump, and he looks good to me. Biden? Glad to take a look.

  52. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Trump is there strictly to make the others look moderate. He knows it. They know it. Performance art.

  53. aminTorres

    Every time there is politics talk here on AVC, the comments blow up.It is good to know that when you are having a slow few days/week, a politically charged entry will spice things up 😉

  54. David Fleck

    The obvious Hillary Clinton strategy – do whatever you can to get trump to run as an independent. Game over.

  55. John Revay

    Me too – I will surely miss Jon, I thought he was real emotional last night….even much more than when Dave or Stephen signed -off of their last shows…@end of an era

  56. JamesHRH

    Sad comment – he is outside the ring.

  57. LE

    Wow so Stewart was so stupid as the hold his last show on the night of the Super Bowl?

  58. pointsnfigures

    Depends. For example, I’d be all for getting rid of all government funding for organizations like Planned Parenthood. Let em be 501(c)3’s and if you wanted to support them, support them. I actually think questions on gay marriage and abortion are relatively moot at this point. America has much larger issues than that. Entitlement spending is 63% of the federal budget and rising.

  59. Erin

    Oh my god, I was so heartbroken when he made that demeaning joke about Rosie and the entire auditorium broke out in cheering. I was like really? All of you? I don’t even like Rosie but no one deserves to be called those kinds of names- man or woman. And then he proceeded to say it was all in good fun (his) and then as if to prove he was afraid of being the butt of anyone else’s jokes, he pre-emptively threaten to call Megyn names.

  60. JamesHRH

    You care more about the jester than the court.Not that you should – the court has less integrity.