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RFK/JFKfan

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Everything posted by RFK/JFKfan

  1. 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 pic
  2. My favourite moment was when Bernie gave short shrift to Steyer just after his argument with Warren.
  3. He's starting to channel Harold Stassen.
  4. 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 Pet
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. It's a shame, although not surprising given the niche nature of the subject, just how few electoral/psephological simulators there are.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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 g
  11. Indeed, and Taylor's body was exhumed for the purposes of this theory. This was the inspiration for the Simpsons episode 'Lisa the Iconoclast'.
  12. 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, Ca
  13. 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.
  14. 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 an
  15. 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 ha
  16. 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 significa
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. '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.
  21. 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 ex
  22. 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).
  23. Preferably all of them! I'm all for as many playable candidates as possible in any and all scenarios.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
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