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RFK/JFKfan last won the day on April 26 2012

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  1. What are some examples of prominent elections that have either never been made into scenarios or have only had half-baked scenarios? As a Britisher who has been aware of these games since 2008, I can't recall the 2001 general election ever having been made into a scenario on any version. Understandable in a way as it was probably the most boring since universal suffrage, but it does offer some potentially interesting alternative leader scenarios (like if the Tories had been led by Clarke or Portillo) and it the percentages compared to 1997 might not require much tweaking. Pre-1979 scenarios are generally hard to come by too.
  2. Presidents: 1. Obama 2. Clinton 3. Trump (as of yet he's more of a Harding than a Nixon) 4. W. Bush Nominees: 1. Obama (excellent campaigner, one of the best ever) 2. W. Bush (captured the national spirit of the times, at least where it mattered) 3. Kerry (would have been a winner if not for a lack of charisma) 4. Trump (unprofessional...but managed to tap into something that perhaps no other Republican could have done so that year. The fact that the 'something' is quite ugly is besides the point, IMO, for this ranking) 5. McCain (the Palin pick and the resortment to mud-slinging brings him down several notches) 6. Gore (ran a tin-eared campaign and essentially missed an open goal) 7. Romney (the defining moment was the 47% tape) 8. Hillary Clinton (just awful, and made all the more awful by not exactly being a political novice) Candidates: 1. Obama 2. Bush 3. Kerry 4. Trump 5. McCain As for the rest, Hillary Clinton should rank pretty low here too. She blew clear frontrunner status in 2008 and even struggled to win against a self-described socialist who hadn't previously been in the Democratic Party in 2016. Romney also made heavy weather of winning the nomination against poor opposition in 2012, so he should rank quite lowly too.
  3. My favourite moment was when Bernie gave short shrift to Steyer just after his argument with Warren.
  4. He's starting to channel Harold Stassen.
  5. Bill Clinton - Charismatic Al Gore - Uncharismatic George W Bush - Likeable Dick Cheney - Uncharismatic John Kerry - Uncharismatic John McCain - Likeable Mitt Romney - Charismatic (in a somewhat artificial way) Sarah Palin - Charismatic Barack Obama - Charismatic Joe Biden - Likeable Donald Trump - Unlikeable Mike Pence - Likeable John Kasich - Likeable Ted Cruz - Unlikable Marco Rubio - Likeable Jeb Bush - Uncharismatic Bernie Sanders - Likeable Hillary Clinton - Unlikeable Tim Kaine - Likeable Pete Buttigieg - Likeable Elizabeth Warren - Likeable Andrew Yang - Charismatic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - Charismatic
  6. The hype about Walker was the most justified of these on the basis of substance. even though he was probably the least charismatic of them. O'Rourke was hyped because of his looks and youth, Bush because of his name, Perry for being the long-time governor of a big state and Clark for his military experience.
  7. One can always be fairly certain when one of these rankings comes out that Lincoln, FDR and Washington (in whatever order) will occupy the top spots while the bottom will be crammed with various mid-19th century presidents.
  8. It's a shame, although not surprising given the niche nature of the subject, just how few electoral/psephological simulators there are.
  9. If Biden has Reagan's political skills (thinking quite specifically here of Reagan's response to the age question in one of his debates with Walter Mondale), then it will be less of an issue. But I'm not entirely sure he does.
  10. 1) Considering Boris Johnson has suffered two defeats by Parliament, defections in his party, and is the first PM to lose power to parliament since 1894 (or is it 1896), how would you rank Boris Johnson as Prime Minister if his premiership ended today? If it ended today, he would be a failure on his own terms. If you don't achieve the fundamental goal that you promised when you entered the job, then you can't be regarded as anything else. Blaming those who oppose Brexit is akin to blaming the enemy when you lose a war. 2) Who has been the worst Conservative PM since they took power? Cameron, like his two immediate successors, was concerned primarily with tactics over strategy, but his relative longevity makes him the most damaging for the country. 3) Who is likely to be PM a year from now? My gut tells me that Johnson will have either worn himself out or will have lost power via a general election, or maybe even have been forced out by his own party while it's still in power. I'd say either Corbyn or Gove. 4) What do you think happens to Brexit? This I have no idea on. But I wouldn't rule out a May-style deal eventually passing via Labour votes, which leads both the Brexit Party and the Lib Dems having solid 20-25% support in the polls for the foreseeable future.
  11. This seems like a "other than that, how was the play Mrs Lincoln?" kind of statement. There's a very real chance that his decision to make the referendum pledge in 2013 (which he didn't expect to have it keep, thus making it even worse) may lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom. It has already caused levels of political polarization approaching those seen in the United States. Brown was worse for the Labour Party than he was for the country. He actually handled the biggest issue of his premiership (the financial crash) well. May was probably never going to be a success given that she doesn't actually believe in the thing that she was elected to implement. Regardless of Brexit's merits and flaws as a concept, big decisions and reforms need to be implemented by people who genuinely believe in them. Thatcher genuinely believed in privatisation, Bevan genuinely believed in a National Health Service, Churchill genuinely believed in defeating fascism etc. Blair, like Thatcher, simply stayed too long. Domestically, however, his government had the best record of any of the past twenty years, even if that's not saying much. As for Johnson, it seems quite likely that he'll go for a 'nuclear option' of holding a general election in the autumn. I suspect that the result will be similar to 2017, even after favourable opinion polls, thus destroying his authority and rendering him a lame duck. Michael Gove probably takes over in the summer of 2020 and leads the country to a 'soft Brexit'. This could all be hopelessly inaccurate.
  12. Indeed, and Taylor's body was exhumed for the purposes of this theory. This was the inspiration for the Simpsons episode 'Lisa the Iconoclast'.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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