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RFK/JFKfan last won the day on April 26 2012

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  1. RFK/JFKfan

    Ranking the Potential Democratic Candidates

    Indeed, and Taylor's body was exhumed for the purposes of this theory. This was the inspiration for the Simpsons episode 'Lisa the Iconoclast'.
  2. RFK/JFKfan

    Ranking the Potential Democratic Candidates

    Except of course that life expectancy was 20 years or more lower in nineteenth century USA than it is now. Higher infant mortality rates do make the statistics on this somewhat misleading, but nonetheless, fifteen presidents have passed away prior to reaching the age of 70 without the assistance of an assassin's bullet. Of these, fourteen (or thirteen if you discount Theodore Roosevelt, who did suffer at the hands of a gunman several years prior to his death) were born prior to 1900. Eleven presidents have reached the age of 80. This list is much more mixed, as it includes H. W. Bush, Carter, Ford, Reagan and Nixon, but it also includes both of the Adams presidents, Jefferson, and Madison. Most of the early presidents, however, hardly came from the most humble of backgrounds. On the point about Lincoln and FDR, people didn't worry about their health for similar reasons as to why people didn't question the sexual orientation of James Buchanan, or the faithfulness of Warren Harding to his wife; it simply wasn't something that people either had much information on nor cared about, as the media wasn't as tabloidised as it is now. As for cognition problems, here is an interesting article on dementia in the nineteenth century: http://www.dementiatoday.net/article/dementia-during-the-nineteenth-century/ A key paragraph: This is qualified somewhat by a later paragraph, which states that selection bias may have played somewhat of a role, but it's probably the case that concerns over mental health were not as dominated by age th as they are now.
  3. RFK/JFKfan

    Who is a Better World Leader Poll?

    Thatcher's cabinets were also much more impressive than May's. May's have included Priti Patel, Amber Rudd, Boris Johnson, Gavin Williamson, Matthew Hancock, Penny Mordaunt, Chris Grayling and Liam Fox. Thatcher's included Geoffrey Howe, William Whitelaw, Lord Carrington, Douglas Hurd, James Prior, Michael Heseltine, Keith Joseph, Nigel Lawson, Norman Tebbit, and John Major.
  4. RFK/JFKfan

    Ranking the Potential Democratic Candidates

    Being a 70-something today is roughly equivalent to being a 40-/50-something in the time of Abraham Lincoln (who was 56 when he first took office). Putting aside age, however, many of the greatest presidents suffered from numerous health issues during their presidencies - FDR, Lincoln, JFK, Reagan, Eisenhower, to name the more obvious examples, and they encompass a fairly wide range of ages. Unless someone wishes to correct me, the likes of Buchanan, Pierce, W. Bush (also a fairly wide range of ages) etc had relatively smooth states of health during their times in office. As I said in another thread, political nous is the most important factor in a successful candidate, and probably also in a successful politician. Experience/location/age/ideology/health/position/ pale in comparison.
  5. RFK/JFKfan

    Who is a Better World Leader Poll?

    Putin easily outranks the rest of these in terms of political ability. Xi is a distant second. Merkel peaked around five years ago. Francis has little business being on here, given that he's primarily a religious figure. Bibi and Assad are mid-rankers, perhaps upper middle on their good days. Kim is lucky that he's leader of North Korea. In just about any other country the bureaucrats would walk all over him. Trudeau is vastly inferior to his father, both politically and intellectually. He's just a telegenic, mushy centre-left liberal. Macron's politics are similar to Trudeau's, but he has perhaps somewhat more potential. May is quite clearly the most inept of this bunch, other than Trump. Trump is however a better campaigner than May.
  6. RFK/JFKfan

    What Traits Should the Democratic Challenger have?

    Political nous. As long as they have that then nothing else really matters. LBJ had it, JFK had it, Reagan had it, Nixon had it, FDR had it, TR had it, Bill Clinton had it, Abraham Lincoln had it. Some of those were charismatic, others less so. Some were telegenic, some not really telegenic at all. Some were quite old, others quite young. Some were senators, some were governors, others were vice presidents. Some were from the South, others from the North, others from elsewhere. Some were liberal, others moderate or conservative. But they were all elected, sometimes against significant odds. And all achieved a lot in office.
  7. RFK/JFKfan

    Ranking the Potential Democratic Candidates

    I disagree. Very few people vote on the basis of the candidates' age, and arguably more are willing to vote against someone on the basis of being young and untested than of being old and seasoned, hence Reagan's quip to Mondale in one of the 1984 debates. Nancy Pelosi needs to be replaced, however. Not because of her age, but because she is a proven failure at winning House majorities, just as William Jennings Bryan (whose career peaked at a relatively young age) was a proven failure at winning presidential elections.
  8. RFK/JFKfan

    2020 Candidate Outlook

    Both McCain and Romney moved to the right in order to get the nomination, although in the case of Romney he was perhaps slightly more moderate in his 2012 run than in his 2008 run.
  9. RFK/JFKfan

    A Frightening Vision Just Hit Me

    Canada isn't notably 'left' - it's main social democratic party has never been in government at the federal level. The Liberal Party is fundamentally a party without principle - it can be left, right or centre depending on time and province. The Conservative Party is also to the right of most other First World mainstream centre-right parties.
  10. RFK/JFKfan

    A Frightening Vision Just Hit Me

    'Experience' isn't necessarily re-assuring. There's a good chance that Trump would be worse if he had served twenty years in Congress prior to his presidency.
  11. RFK/JFKfan

    Personal Attributes of Harold MacMillan

    My ratings for each would be: Churchill - 5 Attlee - 2 (perhaps 1.5 if possible) Eden - 3 Macmillan - 3 Douglas-Home - 1.5 Wilson 3.5/4 (certainly a 4 in 1964) Heath - 2.5/3 (hardly a charming personality but could speak passionately on his day) Callaghan - 3.5/4 (underrated in terms of his charisma; very avuncular but wasn't dealt a great hand as PM) Thatcher - 4 Major - 2/2.5 (slightly higher than one might expect due to his soapbox campaign of 1992; of course it all went downhill after that) Blair - 4 Brown - 2 (he can give an excellent speech when he wants to, hence he's not lower) Cameron - 3/3.5 May - 1.5
  12. RFK/JFKfan

    Personal Attributes of Harold MacMillan

    As far as post-war PMs go, I'd rate Macmillan above Attlee, Douglas-Home, Heath, Major, Brown and May in charisma terms. In many ways he is quite similar to Cameron - from a well-to-do background, on the centre-left of the Conservative Party and managed to lead the party to a net increase in seats as the governing party. Both were also succeeded by vastly inferior media performers (Douglas-Home in Macmillan's case and May in Cameron's case).
  13. RFK/JFKfan

    Massachusetts 1994 Senate Election what ifs poll

    Preferably all of them! I'm all for as many playable candidates as possible in any and all scenarios.
  14. RFK/JFKfan

    2010: The True Cleggmania

    Something like 75% of the parliamentary seats on just over two-fifths of the popular vote, and around one-quarter of those on the electoral register. Somehow I think the Lib Dems would drop their support for electoral reform after a result like that.
  15. RFK/JFKfan

    Is America electing the coolest guy as President?

    No way was Dewey more charismatic than Truman, even if he was better-looking. The main reason for Truman closing the gap is because he ran a more energetic campaign, whereas Dewey's was bland and uninspiring. One great anecdote I've read about the 1948 campaign is the stark contrast in their styles of speeches - Truman would speak along the lines of "hey guys, what don't ya give a huge round of applause to my wife?". In contrast, Dewey would say "It is now my honour to introduce to you my wife." In other words, Dewey's way of speaking was much more uptight and snooty. Dewey was essentially a middle-of-the-road New York politician along the lines of Nelson Rockefeller, Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg. Yes, capable of winning many votes, and yes, a competent administrator, but not the kind of politician to bring out huge crowds. The most charismatic of the 1930s and 1940s' Republican nominees was, by some distance, Wendell Willkie, although he still had little compared to FDR. Of course the most obvious example of 'the more charismatic candidate losing' would surely be 1896.