How about a graphic on who’s NOT running?


It might be simpler.

Anyway, I thought y’all might be interested in seeing the interactive graphic The New York Times has published showing the Democrats, or sort-of Democrats, who are definitely or maybe or possibly running for president next year.

(And no, the image above is not interactive. It’s just a screenshot from my iPad, although it links to the real one. The interactive one is here.)

Apparently, there’s a heap of hubris out there. All sorts of folks think they’re qualified to be POTUS, many of them on the thinnest possible grounds.

Personally, I’ve decided we need a good rule of thumb for winnowing the field, and I have gone ahead and come up with one, The country can thank me later. Here it is: No one younger than I am should be allowed to be president. Sure, that young fella Obama did pretty well, but we just can’t take chances with our country. Too much is at stake.

So, let’s see… the following youngsters are disqualified among those who are running or are likely: Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Delaney, Gabbard, Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, Yang, Bullock, Landrieu, McAuliffe, Merkley, O’Rourke.

I’ll figure out how to disqualify Sanders and Warren later. Hey, I didn’t claim my system was perfect. It’s just a starting point. I’ll continue to work on it until achieves my desired purpose of eliminating everyone other than Joe Biden.

(And no, Trump’s being older than I am doesn’t qualify him, since mentally and emotionally he’s about 3 years old.)

Anyway, as Bryan likes to say, your mileage may vary. :)




40 thoughts on “How about a graphic on who’s NOT running?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    And if you go and point out that only four U.S. presidents in our history were older than I am when they entered office, I’ll just say, “It’s high time we raised the bar!”

    I’ve had it with these rugrat wannabes running around on my presidential lawn, dagnab it!

    Better yet, I’ll say that you’re looking at it wrong: With the exception of Obama, every former president is NOW older than I am — or would be, if still alive. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, kidding aside, I guess you could say we have an unusually large number of people over 65 running or thinking about it.

      … which makes the young ones look even more callow, of course. Especially that punk O’Rourke. He’s my poster child for presumption these days….

      Actually, he’s just perhaps the most irritating. He’s far from the youngest. Two — Buttigieg (apparently his real name) and Gabbard are both just barely legal, in Constitutional terms…

  2. Doug Ross

    If it’s Trump vs. Warren, I vote Trump.

    If it’s Trump vs. Sanders, Gabbard, Schultz, Bloomberg, Buttiegieg, maybe O’Rourke, I’ll vote for the Democrat.

    Any of the others, I vote Libertarian.

    Warren is the only one I would absolutely hate to see instead of Trump. For someone who is supposed to be smart enough to be a college professor, she is INCREDIBLY stupid on economics. Now she wants to use a yearly “wealth tax” to pay for everyone to have childcare. Both sides of that equation are filled with unintended consequences.

    I have donated to the Gabbard campaign. Will likely donate to Sanders and anyone else who comes out strongly against our military policies… Gabbard and Buttigieg have both served on the front lines and are opposed to our presence in many places.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I just heard Buttiegieg mentioned on the radio.

      I would not have guessed that it was pronounced that way. It took me a moment to realize whom they were talking about…

        1. Doug Ross

          Rhodes scholar, veteran, gay (we can’t leave that out, can we? Because if he were straight, he’d get zero attention).

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Normally, I’d think anybody that young whose claim to fame — or in his case, lack of fame — is being mayor of South Bend to be kind of nuts saying he’s running for president.

            So I was struck by how sensible he sounded.

            I’m always impressed by a candidate who sounds intelligent. Because we don’t get that very often. It’s the way I was first impressed by Obama. I heard him on the radio giving a speech and didn’t know who it was because I missed the beginning, and I thought, “That guy’s impressive…”

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Of course, I only heard about a minute of it while I was driving back to the office. He could have said something crazy right after I turned off the radio…

              Here’s the link in case y’all get a chance to go back and listen to it before I do…

              1. Doug Ross

                Here’s a bit from a Nw Yorker profile that should send him to your “Will Not Vote For Him” bucket:

                Climate policy, he said, was the deepest example of the imbalance, but the Iraq War was perhaps the most tangible. “There’s this romantic idea that’s built up around war,” he said. “But the pragmatic view is there are tons of people of my generation who have lost their lives, lost their marriages, or lost their health as a consequence of being sent to wars which could have been avoided.” Then he quoted, happily, from “Lawrence of Arabia”: “The virtues of war are the virtues of young men—courage and hope for the future. The vices of peace are the vices of old men—mistrust and caution.”

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  I’m not sure I get the Lawrence quote.

                  And sadly, he’s mistaken with the “tons of people of my generation” comment. Perhaps among his acquaintances, since he’s a veteran. But too few Americans today have a personal connection to military service…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Actually, she may be one of the handful who should be seriously considered. As you’ll recall, George Will thought so. And I liked what he said, that she’s “liberal enough to soothe other liberals without annoying everyone else.” Which puts her more or less in my comfort zone, at least theoretically, since I’m among those likely to be annoyed.

        Also, she’s made presidential lists as long ago as 2012. Which means that for a respectable period of time, she’s been taken seriously by serious people. Seriously…

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    Actually, probably the best way to winnow the field down to where I want it would be to make the criterion, “has to have served as vice president.”

    (Did Al Gore’s ears just perk up?)

    1. Doug Ross

      You better start looking for an alternative.. because Joe won’t make it out of the primary if he runs. He can’t run unless he is 100% sure he wins or else he ends up with a severely damaged legacy. A three time loser puts him closer to Lyndon Larouche level.

      Let’s see – he couldn’t beat Dukakis and Gephardt – two of the lamest, dullest politicians ever. Couldn’t poll above single digits nationally against Obama and Hillary… In what way is he a better candidate in 2020 at age 78? Oh, he’s old. I get it.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Nah, I’ve liked Joe even back when he was only a little bit old. If he’d stayed in the 2008 contest, I’d have pushed to endorse him in the primary instead of Obama.

        I don’t think he was fully on my radar screen back in ’88, but I probably would have liked him then, too. Then, he was just the guy who supposedly plagiarized Neil Kinnock. And that did him in.

        By the early part of this century, I was more familiar with him, and was interested in him as presidential fodder well before 2008. That’s why I asked Fritz Hollings to see it he could get Joe to drop by when he was in town one time… this was maybe 2005 or earlier.

        Joe came by on Friday afternoon, our busiest day of the week — usually an intense 10 hour day or more, without interruptions. He didn’t have to be anywhere until that night, so he sat and talked a couple of hours.

        But even though I was in a panic to get back to putting out the pages, I enjoyed the visit, the first of several…

  4. Harry Harris

    In the group, there are a few who, beyond lip service, belong in the first circle of my venn diagram of the things we need. My first priority is building a sense of community, sacrifice for the greater good, and admitting that we need to become better citizens and people, not some generic, nebulus “change.”
    Buttiegieg goes farthest in backing-up his exhortation with specifics, and avoiding simplistic sound bites. I think he’s too untested and unseasoned to go far or to handle the job – yet. Booker has a good track record of working for those goals, but sometimes seems to grandstand into trouble, but is willing to back up and reset with a conciliatory tone. Biden lives the effort, but has a weakness for over-explaining and inundating people with anecdote aimed at building common ground but yielding weariness.
    Warren, Harris, and too often, Sanders just have a way of coming across too strident. Castro has some good resume, but I don’t think defines his message in any memorable ways. I think Gillibrand is a lightweight, though moderate enough on some issues to attract some support. O’Rourke is just a celebrity with a lot of dynamism and some good positions
    The ones I don’t want are the so-called “centrists” who are “liberal” on social issues, but owned by the right-wing on economics despite their declared allegiance to the middle class. I want nuance and deep, evidence-based thought on all issues whether it’s abortion, gay rights, taxation, macro-economics, fiscal and financial policy, or social safety-net.
    Biden is still my first choice, Booker second, with Butti deserving to be heard.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thanks for that analysis, Harry! I appreciate the thought that went into it. You’ve spent more time on it than I have.

      I’ve got this aversion to paying attention to these folks. I think it’s a lingering effect of the campaign. I got so sick of the reporters getting excited about 2020 candidates coming to SC that they could hardly find time to cover OUR campaign, that it’s left a bad taste.

      I remember when I got excited about covering that sort of thing, back when I was very young.

      I got better…

  5. bud

    Biden is currently polling well against his Dem opponents. That has a lot to do with name recognition. He also easily beats Trump. Needless to say these early polls mean virtually nothing. I think Biden will fall behind once his past catches up with him. Do we really need a candidate who voted in favor of the Iraq war? Of course there is much good to commend Biden along with his shortcomings. There is much positive to say about all the candidates so I’ll watch closely and remain non comittal for now. Plenty of time to sort through it all. But I will, 100% vote for the Democrat come 11-2020. That’s true even if Trump is not the GOP nominee for whatever reason.

  6. Mr. Smith

    Here, let me help you tweak your criteria for choosing the next Democratic presidential candidate:

    1) last name must begin with a “B”
    2) end with an “N”
    3) and have a “D” in the middle.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I like that Will said this about him:

        The fact that he is a political lifer — elected Ohio’s secretary of state in 1982 at 29, he then served seven terms in Congress — seems less like a defect than a credential now that the nation is two years into its experiment with treating the presidency as an entry-level public office. …

        Of course, he’s far from perfect:

        In the most important vote during Brown’s 25 years on Capitol Hill, he voted against the resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

        Will also notes his protectionist and populist tendencies… worrisome…

        1. Harry Harris

          Fighting in Afghanistan was probably the right move. Iraq was not only not justified, but was ill-considered, disastrous in outcome, and not legally supported even if the phony reasons given had been true. We’ll be paying for it for decades if not longer (taking the national debt into consideration).
          When someone says “populist” I usually wait to hear what in heck they mean and seldom get an answer. I think it’s an over-used, sloppily defined equivocation that is easily used to mislead like most labels.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yes, we had to go into Afghanistan. Iraq was optional.

            “Populist” always worries me, because from my study of history, I always associate it with our nation’s unfortunate penchant for anti-intellectualism. With Trump, of course, being the perfect example…

            1. Harry Harris

              What bothers me most about the populist label is its application by newspeople and pundits to a person like President Trump because they are too afraid or lazy to call demagoguery by its name and label it populism. While the roots (one latin, one greek) are closely related, the more descriptive name for the campaigning tool Trump used so well better describes two key characteristics of its use in his campaign. His demagoguery was highly deceptive, playing to fears and prejudices, magnifying and exacerbating them, while distracting from the real effect of his policies (eg tax policy) that benefit mostly those in higher financial strata. Add to that feigned religiosity by a man who never darkened a church door, shows vast ignorance of even basic tenets of faith (beyond rehearsed talking points), and a personal moral life and demeanor that requires selling one’s soul (in my view) to overlook. How did Romney put it? “A fraud and a huckster.”

                1. Harry Harris

                  I thought of him at the time as a “sheep in wolf’s clothing.” He was a moderately conservative pragmatist who called himself “severely conservative” and surged strongly to the right during the primary, but pivoted somewhat back toward his track record of moderation during the general election. My first thought at reading your question was “sacrificial lamb,” but that was just a comic knee-jerk. He suffered from the handling of the right-wing machine that was steering the Republican party and election campaigns at the time, but I don’t think he sold out his core beliefs, just subjuggated them.
                  I believe he might have been offered a cabinet post in Obama’s second term and would have served well if he hadn’t won the nomination.

        2. bud

          Huh??? The absolutely correct vote against the worst policy decision in at least 50 years is a negative?? I’m going to just assume you’re yanking my chain. Then again people still defend that very well proven mistake. It’s why I initially supported Bernie in 16. It’s also why Biden is in my second tier. Everyone makes mistakes in life. But that vote showed a very serious lack of good judgement.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yeah, I’m kinda yanking your chain. As I’ve said a lot of times, I don’t hold it against people if they were against Iraq to begin with. You should like this guy. But don’t hold it against Joe. Pretty much everybody voted yes on that. Brown is very unusual.

            1. Doug Ross

              I appreciate people who were opposed to the Iraq “war” in the beginning and I have even greater admiration for those who have served there and in Afghanistan (i.e. not desk bound neocons) who are now opposed to us continuing terrible military policies. Any candidate who supports our “war” efforts is an automatic no for me. Gabbard has it right – if we want to implement liberal policies like single payer healthcare, “free” college, etc. it has to start with cutting military spending not just “taxing the rich”. There’s hundreds of billions available to transfer from war to peace.

            2. bud

              Pretty much everybody voted yes on that. Brown is very unusual.

              Uh, no. 22 senators and 133 House members correctly saw what was clear to anyone who wanted to actually look at the evidence. Here are the senators. Note, several are still in the senate.

              * Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
              * Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico)
              * Barbara Boxer (D-California)
              * Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)
              * Lincoln Chaffee (R-Rhode Island)
              * Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota)
              * Jon Corzine (D-New Jersey)
              * Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota)
              * Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
              * Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)
              * Bob Graham (D-Florida)
              * Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
              * Jim Jeffords (I-Vermont)
              * Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)
              * Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
              * Carl Levin (D-Michigan)
              * Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland)
              * Patty Murray (D-Washington)
              * Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)
              * Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland)
              * Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan)
              * The late Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota)
              * Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)

              Here are the House members.
              Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) Tom Allen (D-Maine) Joe Baca (D-California) Brian Baird (D-Washington) John Baldacci (D-Maine, now governor of Maine) Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) Gresham Barrett (R-South Carolina) Xavier Becerra (D-California) Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) David Bonior (D-Michigan, retired from office) Robert Brady (D-Pennsylvania) Corinne Brown (D-Florida) Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
              Lois Capps (D-California) Michael Capuano (D-Massachusetts) Benjamin Cardin (D-Maryland) Julia Carson (D-Indiana) William Clay, Jr. (D-Missouri) Eva Clayton (D-North Carolina, retired from office) James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) Gary Condit (D-California, retired from office) John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan) Jerry Costello (D-Illinois) William Coyne (D-Pennsylvania, retired from office) Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland)
              Susan Davis (D-California) Danny Davis (D-Illinois) Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) Bill Delahunt (D-Massachusetts) Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) John Dingell (D-Michigan) Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) Mike Doyle (D-Pennsylvania) John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tennessee)

              Anna Eshoo (D-California) Lane Evans (D-Illinois) Sam Farr (D-California) Chaka Fattah (D-Pennsylvania) Bob Filner (D-California) Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois)
              Alice Hastings (D-Florida) Earl Hilliard (D-Alabama, retired from office) Maurice Hinchey (D-New York) Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) Rush Holt (D-New Jersey) Mike Honda (D-California) Darlene Hooley (D-Oregon) John Hostettler (R-Indiana) Amo Houghton (R-New York, retired from office) Jay Inslee (D-Washington)
              Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Illinois) Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) Dale Kildee (D-Michigan) Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Michigan) Jerry Kleczka (D-Wisconsin, retired from office) Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
              John LaFalce (D-New York) James Langevin (D-Rhode Island) Rick Larsen (D-Washington) John Larson (D-Connecticut) Jim Leach (R-Iowa) Barbara Lee (D-California) Sandy Levin (D-Michigan) John Lewis (D-Georgia) Bill Lipinski (D-Illinois, retired from office) Zoe Lofgren (D-California)

              James Maloney (D-Connecticut, retired from office) The late Robert Matsui (D-California) Karen McCarthy (D-Missouri, retired from office) Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) Jim McDermott-D-Washington) Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia) Carrie Meek (D-Florida, retired from office) Gregory Meeks (D-New York) Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-California) George Miller (D-California) Alan Mollohan (D-West Virginia) Jim Moran (D-Virginia) Connie Morella (D-Maryland)
              Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) Grace Napolitano (D-California) Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) Jim Oberstar (D-Minnesota) David Obey (D-Wisconsin) John Olver (D-Massachusetts) Major Owens (D-New York)
              Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-New Jersey) Ed Pastor (D-Arizona) Ron Paul (R-Texas) Donald Payne (D-New Jersey) Nancy Pelosi (D-California) David Price (D-North Carolina) Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia) Charles Rangel (D-New York) Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) Lynn Rivers (D-Michigan, retired from office) Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas, retired from office) Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) Bobby Rush (D-Illinois)

              Martin Olav Sabo (D-Minnesota) Loretta Sanchez (D-California) Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) Thomas Sawyer (D-Ohio) Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) Jose Serrano (D-New York) Louise Slaughter (D-New York) Vic Snyder (D-Arkansas) Hilda Solis (D-California) Pete Stark (D-California) Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) Burt Stupak (Michigan)
              Mike Thompson (D-California) Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) John Tierney (D-Massachusetts) Edolphus Towns (D-New York) Mark Udall (D-Colorado) Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)
              Nydia Velaquez (D-New York) Pete Visclosky (D-Indiana) Maxine Waters (D-California) Diane Watson (D-California) Melvin Watt (D-North Carolina) Lynn Woolsey (D-California) David Wu (D-Oregon)

              Hardly “pretty much everybody”.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  No, I think I was probably being a bit of a policy snob. I was saying, “Pretty much everyone who’s anyone (which is to say, people who want to be taken seriously on security issues in the future, such as people who want to be president) voted for it.”

                  Besides, the majorities were very strong. In fact, they were supermajorities and then some. 77-23 in the Senate isn’t exactly a squeaker. Nor is 297-133 in the House.

                  So despite Bud’s lists of names (133 looks like a lot if you name them all), I wasn’t far off the mark…

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