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Will a Lesser Known Candidate Steal the Democratic Nomination?

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That question might seem preposterous to the media who have already established their narrative, but this two season situational comedy called the Democratic debates is given to unexpected role reversals. With the continued uncertainty in the poll numbers, we might have to consider that the top three faces might punch themselves out way before the final bell. The contestants on the blue stage game show all continue to flounder on the same handful of issues using predictable platitudes to catapult themselves into the prospective slot of front runner. During this quest they have simply run out of bonus dignity points and became the novelty acts that so many accuse them of being. However, standing on the far side of the stage is one man who appears to be maintaining his integrity by staying out of the ruckus. His name is Senator Joseph Biden.

Joseph Robinette Biden, jr. took office in 1973 at the age of 30 to become the fifth youngest Senator in United States history. He managed to maintain his seat despite a tragic car accident that resulted in the death of his wife Neilia and infant daughter Naomi. He married again in 1977 but then had to overcome two brain aneurysms. One of his two sons currently serves in the Delaware Army National Guard and will soon be deployed to Iraq. The Senator holds a seat on the Judiciary Committee and is the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is the forth most senior Democratic Senator and the longest serving U.S. Senator in Delaware’s history. If there was a hall of fame for U.S. politicians this man would have been nominated years ago. So why isn’t he the front runner for the Democratic Party?

Ever since John F. Kennedy appeared on television in the 1960 Presidential debate with Richard Nixon, voters have fallen time and again for the charm of a persuasive personality. It simply makes for better television. We expect our leaders to have a strange mixture of Rock Star amicability and a Soldier’s stern decisiveness. Biden has the later but not the former and his treasure chest of gleaming gold is a little short on coins. However the numerous bumbling debates have given him an opportunity to play the father figure on a stage full of younger, less experienced candidates. Over time his status as a senior wave maker is starting to shine through. Thursday night’s performance was perhaps the biggest splash he has yet made as a serious contender.

When asked by Wolf Blitzer if all this mud throwing is helpful to the Democratic Party, Biden stole the show by responding, “The American people don’t give a darn about any of the stuff that is going on up here.” He went on to pinpoint that Americans are worried about the safety of their children, the mortgage on their houses and about family members that might be killed in Iraq. “Who among us knows what we’re doing?” The inference was obvious, he’s the only one who can pick up the phone and demand respect from any leader around the world. Suddenly the rest of the candidates looked like children begging mommy media for camera time whereas Daddy Joe was finally putting his foot down on what really matters.

While it’s fun to watch the three-way dance put on by Obama, Hillary and Edwards, it’s more appropriate for a reality TV show than the process of picking a world leader. It’s difficult to imagine that the down to earth, hard working farmers and veterans that dominate Iowa politics would back any of these air brushed show ponies. Could steady Joe be the come from behind statesman/leader who steals the title strap just before the final bell? Being manly and white makes him the only candidate who looks somewhat Presidential. Democrats like to think they are progressive on race and gender but in the end they will want a nominee who can win. When reminded of this reality, primary voter opinions could turn on a dime, just like they did in 2004. Maybe that’s just the coin Joe Biden has been waiting for?

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About Alex Hutchinson

  • K

    HERE HERE!!!!!!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It would certainly be interesting to see some surprises in Jan and Feb, but Biden would be a real surprise, and a long shot. He’s a fine senator and I’m happy for him to continue to be one.

    The surprise I’d really like to see is John Edwards coming from behind to win, but I don’t think it’s likely. I’m happy with any of the top 3 candidates, although all have their weaknesses.

  • http:// Baronius

    I’ve been surprised that Biden hasn’t emerged as a leading candidate. He’s well-positioned to be the sober choice, much like Kerry in 2004. Three weeks before the Iowa caucus, you could hear people thinking, “we’ve had our fun venting against Bush and threatening to nominate Dean, but we’ve got to get serious now.”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If a lesser known candidate is going to steal the nomination they should be hoping it’s Richardson who’s the only one with real executive experience and new ideas.

    Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Either Richardson or Biden would make a better President than any of the current “top three,” IMO.

    Unfortunately, Richardson started out his quest for the nomination sounding like a bit of a moonbat, and now he seems content to be the “safe” pick for VP candidate. But he’s got some skeletons in his closet, from what I understand.

    Biden has some skeletons too (actually, pretty much every candidate from either party does), and he’s a tad arrogant, but he’s a smart, serious politician. Good luck to him.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Well, no offense, but a Democrat has to take with several grains of salt the opinions of you three, hehe. Maybe you’re rooting for the weakest candidate, the most likely to lose.

    I wish I could share with you my favorite Republican, but I hate Giuliani and Romney beyond all measure [their presidencies would make the world a worse place], and the honorable John McCain has become a fire-breathing war-monger. Perhaps he always was.

    I’d like to feel more enthusiastic about Biden, Dodd or Richardson, but they are not exactly charismatic, are they. Not bad men, but losers as candidates. Why we couldn’t see that coming in John Kerry [another decent man who was a dullard candidate] is a mystery.

    This is one we’ve just got to win.

  • Mike

    It’s funny. I just finished posting on Biden’s website how he was definitely playing the father figure at the last debate. Trying to get the children to play nice and stop slapping each other and brought things back to order. Joe is exactly the father figure this country needs right now. Especially after the reckless son hands back the car keys from the 8 year, car wreck of a mess he has made on this planet.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    The fact is, we don’t really know what kind of president any of the candidates will make. That’s the mystery, isn’t it? There are a great # of people who are scared shitless of Hillary, a situation which may ultimately make her unelectable. Moon and a few others are pushing for Gravel. I think he’s looney, but who knows, maybe he would have the effect of setting DC on its ear. Could be a good thing, but his own staff might wind up shooting him.

    I’d have no problem with Biden, or Richardson for that matter. I could even take Guiliani. Romney’s hair is too reminiscent of Ronnie’s – and let’s face it, Mormons are nuts. McCain is clearly a war monger and a bit nuts himself. He has managed to self-destruct too many times.

    Someone – actually maybe on the Daily Show – suggested that we nominate Kucinich and Thompson owing to the fact that their wives are “hot.” Not a bad notion really. It could help make a long campaign more bearable. You know, a few lingering shots on Elizabeth and Jeri might be worth the pain of such a campaign.

    Personally, I’m going to write in Richard Lugar. I’m a liberal who usually votes Democratic, but I could take Lugar as president. He’s experienced, intelligent and given that he’s a long time politician, he’s pretty honest. Sadly, he is about as charasmatic as a rock.

    Evan Bayh, another Hoosier, has been touted as a possible running mate for Hillary. Bayh isn’t exactly Mr. Excitement either. What to do? What to do? Draft Quayle?

    B-tone

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Hmmm. Why the Romney hatred, handyguy? Is it because he ran as a gay-friendly Republican in Massachusetts, but has morphed into a strong opponent of homosexual marriage?

    Rudy is the most socially-liberal GOP candidate currently running, so I would have thought you’d like him the most.

    And you know, McCain is a solid conservative on most social issues…I guess I just don’t get where you’re coming from…but I’m sincerely curious.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “and let’s face it, Mormons are nuts.”

    I assume you’re trying to be funny?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Evan Bayh, another Hoosier, has been touted as a possible running mate for Hillary. Bayh isn’t exactly Mr. Excitement either.”

    One of the most reasonable, moderate Democrats in he Senate. I could live with him…on the top of the ticket, of course. 😉

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bayh ought to be running in his own right and likely will in 2012 if a Republican wins somehow, or after the Hillary debacle winds up whenever it does. He’s kind of unfairly screwed by bad timing. Too young to lead the field in 2008 and likely to have to run as an underdog in a discredited party at his next opportunity. Not appealing.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    Of course I was throwing some of those names out in jest. However, Lugar, I think, could have been a very capable president, but he could never have garnered enough support. Also, he’s a bit scraggly and long in the tooth now. Bayh may well take another stab at it, and he too is reasonably solid – a fairly conservative Dem. As I indicated, though, he’s not a particularly dynamic personality, and is rather bland as a speaker.

    Dave, you say Bayh would be “likely to have to run as an underdog in a discredited party at his next opportunity.” What do you mean there? Bayh running after the Dems had discredited themselves through failed administrations? Or after having lost further national elections? Surely, you’re not throwing in the towel for 2008.

    As to the mormons? Yes, I was trying to be a bit funny, but they are, nevertheless, nuts. Read about Joseph Smith and his dictation of the Book of Mormon. Mormons are very cultish and strict in their adherence to their dogma. Check out some blogs of former mormons. A great one is Agnostic Mom (Sorry, I haven’t figured out how to do links.)

    No thoughts on Dan Quayle and his political future?

    B-tone

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Well, it seems likely to me that the Dems will win in 2008 and that in one of the next two elections they’ll be in a situation where they have to run a candidate against the record of their own exiting president, and that’s always a problem. Even when the exiting administration was successful it can be very hard for a candidate to run in the same party and not as just a successor to that administration. As Gore proved it’s hard even when you ARE seen as a successor.

    I’m pretty sure a Hillary presidency would lead to a huge backlash in its aftermath, especially if she’s successful, and I don’t think she has the skills or the reasonable political viewpoint of her husband, so when she leaves office the Democrats are going to be in really bad shape.

    BTW, did you get my email the other day?

    Dave

    I’m pretty sure that a H

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    Of course every administration tends to end carrying all its baggage, both good and bad, mostly bad though, I suppose. Sometimes I think the party which has been in power, especially if its been 8 years, is beaten just because a majority of voters are tired of them.

    I just now read your email. I don’t often check my gmail account as it’s not my main email source, and for some reason gmail goes down a lot. I oft times can’t access it.

    It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure if I could commit to it every week as my appointment schedule varies – I’m a residential RE appraiser and homeowners don’t often cooperate as regards scheduling – usually some nonsense about having to work or take care of children.

    I’ll give it some thought, though, and thanks for asking. What is your time table – when do you expect to start up, etc., etc., etc.

    B-tone

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius –

    I live in NYC. Very few people who actually experienced Rudy Giuliani as mayor on a day to day basis have a high opinion of him. He’s a grudge-holding bully, a genuinely unpleasant, nasty man. His post-9/11 national reputation is based on 3-1/2 months of looking strong on TV. Nothing else. His alleged ‘liberal’ social values then and his attempt to mask or change those values now make him even more suspect. If elected, he will be a divisive, much-despised president.

    Romney is untrustworthy, empty, all smile and hair. The fact that he said he’d like to double the size of Guantanamo [even though he may not have meant that any more than anything else he says] would be enough for me to despise him. His treatment of gay rights is completely despicable.

    Like many liberals, I learned to like McCain when he was a maverick running against the execrable GW Bush in 2000. I admired him for saying:
    The political tactics of division and slander are not our values, they are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country.

    Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.

    I disagree with him on many issues. But I have always thought he was an honorable straight shooter, until he took several steps too far mending fences with Bush and Falwell.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    handy,

    I tend to agree with you about all of those guys. Guiliani did manage to create a positive image in the days following 9/11. As I recall, though, he had instituted a no tolerance stance against the homeless in NYC. I know he had a reputation for being divisive and ruthless while mayor.

    I know very little about Romney, but my impression is that he’s a lightweight, as you say “all smiles and hair.” And anyhow, who wants a president named Mitt? (Just as when Gingrich was flirting with the prospect of entering the race back in 2000, it occured to some, that were he elected, we would have a president named after a lizard.)

    McCain has made so many gaffs – especially earlier in the year – that one must question his judgement when the chips are down. I am also a liberal who thought that if McCain could manage to get the Rep nomination back in 2000 that I could live with him in the WH owing to some of his relatively liberal social views. But given the gaffs and his hawkishness regarding Iraq and, now perhaps Iran, I have become very wary of him.

    I don’t think the Dems have any shining stars vying for the nomination either. I certainly have no problem with a woman in the WH. I just wish Hillary was not reviled by so many people. Actually, though during her tenure in the Senate, it has been said that she has been one of the more congenial members who has succeeded in bringing together many opposing factions in compromise to get various legislation through. I can’t site any specific examples, but this was the concensus of a number of journalists I happened to see one evening, I believe in a discussion on Charlie Rose several month ago.

    Some also look upon Obama as a relative lightweight. That may be. I do think he’s intelligent and sincere. I don’t really believe that his race will be much of an issue – at least not in the negative sense. I’m just not sure he’s seasoned enough to be effective in the Oval Office.

    I’m not particularly an Edwards fan. Given my position on god and religion, it seems to me that he wears his faith on his sleeve even more than Bush did. That wears very thin from my perspective.

    It will be interesting to see how the campaign plays itself out in the next few months until the primaries begin in earnest. The gloves are coming off. Fewer candidates are “playing nice” neither during the debates nor in the media in general. That is always a dicey proposition, though, because once the smoke clears, the respective winners must go back and try to mend some fences to bring as many people back into the fold as possible.

    Many of us will suffer, if we’re not already, from campaign fatigue. Nevertheless, the next year will be interesting. A lot of things can and probably will happen in the ensuing months that may well completely change the complexion of the race.

    B-tone

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I see that I addressed that last one to the wrong Republican. But it’s intended for anyone who’s interested.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I may be alone in this, but I believe people will warm up to HRC the more they see and hear of her, defining herself through speeches and interviews…and that conversely, the more people see and hear and read about Giuliani, the less they will like him.

    This is not just liberal wishful thinking…I’m basing it on what has happened in NY. Up through 9/10/2001, Giuliani’s favorability rating in NYC was dropping like a stone as he alienated people continually.

    On the other hand, HRC was re-elected by a landslide in 2006, even in rock-solid Republican districts in upstate NY. The more people get to know her, the less she resembles the mythological monster her harshest critics have described. She’s even managed to charm her Republican colleagues in the Senate. Of course there are people who will always despise her and her husband. But she’s actually her own best advertisement.

    This, by the way, from a likely Edwards voter in the primary. My only problems with him are his lawyerly slickness and his proneness to economic protectionism.

    And Obama will make a very fine veep for either HRC or Edwards.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    handy,

    I’m not sure I agree about Obama. I’m sure he would account for himself well as VP, but I’m not sure that would be a good move for him politically if he ever REALLY wants to gain the WH. Just look at how well that worked out for Gore and Mondale.

    B-tone

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Bayh ought to be running in his own right and likely will in 2012 if a Republican wins somehow

    Now this really is getting ridiculous.

    The primaries for 2008 are still months away and we’re already talking about the 2012 election.

    How about we stop playing Fantasy Politics and focus on some issues?

  • http:// Baronius

    Handy, I’ve got my opinions, but I’m pretty objective in my analysis. For example, I never said I wanted Biden, just that I think he’s in better shape than he looks.

    About Obama, I agree with Baritone. It would hurt him if he’s seen as turning down the vice presidency. But in the long run, a maverick senatorial career would be a better launchpad for the presidency. Let’s face it, being VP doesn’t earn you respect, and if you’re trying to fight a reputation as a lightweight, four/eight years of jokes don’t help.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Of course every administration tends to end carrying all its baggage, both good and bad, mostly bad though, I suppose. Sometimes I think the party which has been in power, especially if its been 8 years, is beaten just because a majority of voters are tired of them.

    That’s more or less what I was getting at. I don’t think it matters if the sitting president did a good job, especially after 8 years the voters are usually ready for change. Plus 8 years in office is enough time for the opposing party and its apparatchiks to play up every minor offense and pseudo scandal to their advantage.

    I’m basing my assessment mainly on the last 16 years – earlier administrations had enough real scandals to provide plenty of controversy. But it really does seem like under both Bush and Clinton an awful lot of relatively trivial events have been blown up into opportunistic pseudo scandals for political reasons which have little to do with their actual merits.

    It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure if I could commit to it every week as my appointment schedule varies – I’m a residential RE appraiser and homeowners don’t often cooperate as regards scheduling – usually some nonsense about having to work or take care of children.

    Selfish bastards!

    I’ll give it some thought, though, and thanks for asking. What is your time table – when do you expect to start up, etc., etc., etc.

    I need to check on when our official startup time is, but fairly soon. Before the new year for sure. Send me an email if you haven’t already and I’ll keep you informed.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Let’s face it, being VP doesn’t earn you respect

    Rather depends how you handle the office. Didn’t work out too well for Spiro Agnew or Dan Quayle, for instance. But Dick Cheney, whatever you think of him, surely deserves at least the sort of respect you’d give to a rattlesnake under your porch.

  • http:// Baronius

    See, Doc, that’s what I mean about separating analysis from opinion. I could take a shot at Al Gore or praise Dick Cheney, but I’m not going to do that during a discussion of Democratic primary politics. I’m merely saying that eight years as VP didn’t help either man’s reputation. The office is all about impotence and state funerals.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The job does give you the opportunity to meet a lot of people and make a lot of speeches. I think a relatively young and ambitious VP could get good mileage out of the job, but the historical track record is pretty discouraging.

    The most successful Vice Presidents we’ve ever had who won election on their own rather than taking office when the president died are Martin Van Buren, and he places firmly in the mediocre range on the usual presidential ratings lists, and Richard Nixon who’s the classic mixed bag.

    The best VPs turned president we’ve had all took office as the result of the death of a sitting president, and they include some of the best like
    Teddy Roosevelt and Truman as well as some of the worst like Ford, Tyler and Johnson (you pick one).

    All in all, based on the history, VP is a pretty risky bet. Unless your president is on his last legs you’re likely to doom your career.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That’s an old fashioned view of VPs, Baronius. First Gore and then Cheney were both touted as the ‘most powerful’ VPs ever – always having the president’s ear, etc.

    There are those who believe Cheney has been running the government, or some parts of it, during the last 7 years. He’s certainly succeeded in winning Bush around to his radical interpretation of expanding executive power. His own public reputation may be largely in tatters now, but a considerable amount of his influence remains.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    That’s more or less what I was getting at. I don’t think it matters if the sitting president did a good job, especially after 8 years the voters are usually ready for change. Plus 8 years in office is enough time for the opposing party and its apparatchiks to play up every minor offense and pseudo scandal to their advantage.

    Not the way it works in every country, of course. In Japan, for instance, the same party has been in power pretty much since the War. They just maintain the illusion of change by switching out prime ministers every 20 minutes or so.

  • http:// Baronius

    I agree, Handy. The role of the VP has been expanding during my lifetime. FDR’s vice presidents weren’t members of his administration in any real way. It’s just that the VP is tied to his president’s policies in a way that gives him little political identity of his own. It’s like being a center in football: you take all the hits, the quarterback gets all the credit, and no one notices you until you make a mistake.

  • Leslie Threlkeld

    ya’ll talk as if Joe is some stone cold rock….He’s funny, smart, and on the money as far as i can see. For God’s sake, he’s Irish!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “As to the mormons? Yes, I was trying to be a bit funny, but they are, nevertheless, nuts. Read about Joseph Smith and his dictation of the Book of Mormon.”

    Read about the beliefs of any religion. It all sounds nuts (unless, of course, you’re a member)…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Oh, BTW, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is a Mormon as well… 😉

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Of course all religions are ludicrous. It’s just that the mormons, those zany latter lay saintly folk may not altogether take the cake, but they sure helped themselves to some of the icing. (I have no idea what that means, but suffice to say that the mormons are just a special kind of nuts in my book.)

    I might be tempted to join, though, if they let me sing in their choir. Hell, I’m sitting here listening to the Cambridge Singers singing christmas carols as I write. Good old John Rutter and his harmonizing elocutionists.

    B-tone

  • http://spewker.blogspot.com CherylT

    I’ve always thought the only serious Democratic presidential contenders are Biden and Dodd. Dodd gets no press whatsoever and he’s also a decisive statesman. Here’s hoping Biden was right and that the American people aren’t foolish enough to be swayed by rock stars.

  • Charlie

    I agree with what commentors #19 and #33 said.

    However, I’m still undecided as a (Independent) voter like a lot of people, but when the ’08 races started, I was initially leaning towards Bill Richardson for the Dems and Chuck Hagel for the Republicans (when he was considering an ’08 run).

    But Richardson has been less than presidential in some of the Dem debates, and scared me off with some of his stated positions – like boycotting the ’08 Olympics over China’s non-actions regarding Darfur, taking every last troop out of Iraq (no troop left behind, not even for the US embassy there), and his admittedly biased, ethnically based support for fellow Hispanic Alberto Gonzales until right after his last disgraceful congressional hearing appearance regarding Attorney firings, where afterwards Richardson finally joined the real world and disapproved of his tenure as Attorney General. The man is a gifted diplomat and politician, but presidential? Not really.

    There will be no perfect candidate on either side for us to choose from, so let me be clear on that.

    However, I am slowly warming up to a Dodd or Biden administration (the white-haired guys). I’m just afraid that the left of the Democratic party won’t warm up to Biden/Dodd’s rather principled Iraq positions – find a way to save Iraq and end our involvement in there without cutting off funds for our troops in the battle field or micromanaging the war itself – enough for either of them to gain traction this late in the race for the nomination.

    Come to think of it, I don’t know what any of the 2nd tier candidates could do at this point to propel them into the top of the Dem field (other than attacking those at the top, which could backfire on them).

    But if the War of Islamic extremism and Iraq are going to be big issues in this election, and you’re not sure Obama/HRC/Edwards have got the right ideas and are capable of uniting the country around them, Biden has already been creative and gotten bipartisan support that other candidates who claim they can unite the country should be jealous of: a 75-23 Sense of the Senate vote on a bill he cosponsored with Sam Brownback (former GOP candidate) to divide Iraq into three semi-autonomous regions where the federal government would have a limited role in Iraqi daily lives.

    I don’t think Iraq will ever be divided that exact way but Biden has the right idea: don’t impose central government control on all 18 provinces. It just won’t work, and some areas have already tuned Baghdad out and fended for themselves (i.e. Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, the mostly Sunni tribues of Anbar province in the west).

    Anyway, I just hope Democratic and swing voters do enough homework on all the candidates for this primary and not vote primarily on name recognition/popularity. If the latter happens, the lesser known candidates don’t stand a chance at getting the Dem nomination.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I may be alone in this, but I believe people will warm up to HRC the more they see and hear of her, defining herself through speeches and interviews…

    If true, that’s a dismaying testimony to the ability of poltiicians to lie their way into office. How anyone could ignore her past and her history just because of some good speeches bewilders me.

    If a few speeches can erase all past misdeeds then why isn’t Giuliani just as good a bet as Hillary? He can hire good speechwriters too.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I will point out the obvious:
    Not everyone has the same interpretation of “her past and her history” as Dave does.

    For many voters, HRC’s negatives are vague, nebulous, undefined. They’ve heard that other people don’t like her or trust her, so they think that might be right.

    I wasn’t suggesting she would have to deceive them to change their minds. She’s actually much more sensible and reasonable than the caricatures would indicate. Most of her ‘untrustworthiness’ is actually standard-issue political caution and ambiguity. Much of the rest is wishful-thinking slander promoted by political enemies.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    the mormons, those zany latter lay saintly folk may not altogether take the cake, but they sure helped themselves to some of the icing. (I have no idea what that means…)

    Baritone, could it perhaps be anything to do with the massive Mormon temple in La Jolla, California, which looks for all the world like a gigantic wedding cake?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Doc,

    Ummm. Could be. Are you sure that’s not Disney World – the Land of Preposterous Spires?

    One such place I have visited is the B’hai Temple in Wilmette, IL, just north of Chicago.The B’hais are a looney lot as well, but just sitting in the temple quietly for a few minutes was rather a centering experience.

    B-tone

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I kid you not, B-Tone. That is not Disney World. Although it must be admitted that some photos of the building to be found online, especially those taken at night, make it look even more like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

    Even the pics I linked to, clear as they are, don’t really do it justice. From the I-5 freeway, one look at it just makes you want to get off at the next exit and search for a Marie Callender’s.

  • Baronius

    Outside Washington DC, there’s a large Mormon temple that you see as you come around a turn on the Beltway. Same style; four or five great spires. Some genius keeps spraypainting “Surrender Dorothy” on the overpass at that turn.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    LOL…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You don’t want to miss this one in Washington DC. Sadly that picture doesn’t show the accompanying highway overpass on which someone has maintained the spraypainted lettering “surrender dorothy” for more than 25 years.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    From the angle of the photo, it looks more like a nuclear power station than a temple…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I believe the Mormon god is indeed nuclear powered.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    It looks more like the floating city from one of the Star Trek episodes. Actually it looks more like an animated image than an actual photo. God works in mysterious ways, now don’t he.

    The B’hai Temple doesn’t come close to either of those architectural homages to verticality. It is impressive, but mainly, it’s just a neat place to sit and ponder one’s naval or whatever.

    B-tone

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I see Baronius and I both hit on the same memory at the same time. Great minds thinking alike. You’ve got to admire the guys who have been making that same Wizard of Oz reference graffiti for 25+ years. True dedication.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    I didn’t know they were still doing it. It’s been years since I’ve driven that road. And while I firmly oppose graffiti, I’m in awe that both Dave and I have such strong memories of that satirist’s work.

  • troll

    Better Graffiti for a Better World

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Dave, Re #26, I’d have placed Lyndon Johnson in the “mixed bag” category and Nixon in the “some of the worst”…but I suppose your basic point is the same.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Temple navel

    Baritone – perhaps you’d find the *Baha’i* temple in India more impressive? Or perhaps some of the smaller ones in Australia or Africa?

    Or what about the one that got torn down?