Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Democratic Candidates – First Impressions

First Impressions are Often the Lasting Ones

Once again I speak as a Canadian looking on from another country. I am starting to get those all important first impressions of some of the candidates. Here are my top picks. I should confess however that I thought Trump had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning in 2016 and that Clinton would demolish him and be a great President.

If you wish to stop reading at this point I will take no offense.

I will also say that I think it is time that America had a strong female President. Some of history’s great leaders were female. It’s generally the men who screw things up and kill people by the millions.

Biden: I saw him alone on CNN last night (Nov. 1) and was impressed. I always thought he would be good. Sharing his personal tragedies was one of his strongest features.

If he could keep his temper, I am sure he could devastate Trump in a debate. There will always be the age factor. Could he keep his strengths for eight years? Look how Obama aged – or for that matter Trump already.

He still has a tendency to get tripped up on words and thoughts which make him look like he is losing it. Trump will play on that. He also has a tendency to start a sentence and thought and then switches to another before finishing - very frustrating. He has great and ample experience and would restore dignity to the office which is badly needed.

I consider him to be the best centrist for the party. Let us not forget however that status quo is what people wanted changed in 2016. If enough people now realize that the same status quo was better than what they now have, he could win provided that the younger voters don’t reject him.

Warren: I have always been impressed by her speeches and quickness on her feet. She can stand up for herself. I am not convinced that when faced with the worst boorish and vulgar thoughts and statements Trump will throw, she won’t crumble.

In 2016 the day after the election I was in the States. Someone told me that the average American was still not ready for a female President. Has that changed? She does come across as a folksy, “aw shucks”, school teacher, down homey gal who still likes to bake her own muffins. That won’t wash against world leaders who are brutal and misogynistic.

She also has to stop being evasive. It does not befit her image. Finally use of oil DOES have to be curtailed but not overnight.

Buttigieg: This guy is smart as hell. He always has impressive and honest answers to questions and novel ideas.

I think he would be great, but being mayor of a city is a LOT less than being President. If he does not win this time, his time will come. Maybe he needs a Governorship first.

What was said about the electorate not being ready for the first female President is probably valid in spades for the first openly gay President and First Husband? It should not be a factor but I suspect it will be. This guy has the moxie to stand up to it.

I am more impressed every time I hear him.

Sanders: What can you say about Bernie? You have to like him. He is devoted, committed, and honest. But he still talks like a lecturing professor. He remains too far left. I don’t think based on that alone he has a chance this time either.

I agree with all his rants about the wealthy vs. the middle class and poor. The American dream has indeed become a nightmare. He should definitely be in the White House in some meaningful capacity with any Democratic winner.

People will still worry about age and health.

Harris: In her first few showings I was impressed. She speaks well and enthusiastically but when she took a cheap shot at Biden I was no longer impressed. Once again I think she should be in someone’s inner circle but I believe she is now out of the race.

Klobuchar: A very accomplished leader and good debater. She has sharp answers and good ideas. Like Harris, I don’t think she can catch up.

Her voice and tone are unfortunately a bit hard to listen to for long and tends to support rumours of a personality that creates bad relationships with staff due to aggressive treatment. Just look at Trump. You must rely on your advisors and berating them will drive them away. Maybe she will learn from this and polish up for next time.

Perhaps an element of this is a plus on the international stage with other male heads of state but it requires tact and a certain charisma she needs to work on. Other female leaders like Thatcher, Golda Meir, and the current leader of New Zealand - Jacinda Ardern possess(ed) the characteritics in question.


Steyer: I am impressed. I heard him on his own with students the other night and he makes a lot of sense. It is too bad he is trying to jump in on his own.

I think he has a far better chance of shaking things up in a helpful and productive manner than Trump ever will. It sounds like he and his wife have great attitudes and abilities to organize. She would be a good First Lady. He appears to have more business acumen in one finger than Trump has in his entire body.

In particular I like the idea of limiting the terms of more elected officials than just the President. That results in new blood and ideas, and attitudes that change with the times.

I don’t know if he has any experience on the world scene dealing with other heads of state. If not, neither did Trump. I do think he would bring great people into the office and would actually listen to them unlike the current President. Think Kennedy, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.

I would vote for him from what I have seen so far. Maybe next time.

I also believe it is time for the USA to have an official 3rd party - right in the middle.

The Brewster

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