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So, who rises to the fore if Obama were to resign

Good question. Jerry Brown would be my pick of those listed, but some "centrist" acceptable to Wall Street would be more likely.  Popularity would be manufactured with money ex nihilo. But if Obama resigned mid-term, Biden would run as the incumbent. I preferred him to Obama in '08, but...

Probably some relatively inoffensive governor. Were this to happen in 2012, with Obama refusing to run, suffering an untimely death or disability, Hillary might take it, or Biden, but anyone with whom there is any danger that they might actually try to change the status quo will be fought big time by big money, so they would have to either have big money or a big money backer. What the US needs is a US Gorbachev, someone who can get in as an insider but will then turn on the establishment.

On the Republican side it is harder for me to see. But the Tea Baggers are likely to shoot down anyone who might win in the general election, so a "do nothing" moderate like Clinton or Biden might limp into office. Or things might get so bad that the Tea Bagger mentality can prevail. Then God help us all with Pres. Sarah Palin.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 12:41:40 AM EST
It would really depend on the structure of the replacement election.

Is the election only for president, or for Congress as well?  Who runs in the election?  One candidate per party, or a Cali-style free for all like the one Arnold won?

If it's one per party, then who is put forward as the major party nominee?  Do we have snap national primaries, or the several month long primary season we currently enjoy?  Or does the party nominate someone as its new leader?

All of these would make a big difference as to the types of candidates that might possibly run.  Should the parties choose their nominee for the snap election, then almost certainly it would be a lukewarm Centrist.  Should there be a long primary season, than the field is a bit more open.  Obama ran and won against the big money, after all, running a campaign big on empowering volunteers to be real local organizers.

I guess my main point would be that the shorter the election timeline, the more likely lukewarm establishment types would be the winners, as they could simply be annointed.

by Zwackus on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 02:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, you can't just rig one part of the game, you have to define it out.

I like the idea of a 2 month snap election, no primary; if no 50% winner, a run-off 30 days later. Of course, the parties would never let this happen.

But it would take away some of the money spend of US politics. It would also avoid some of the feeding freenzy of the press. But, it would have downsides too. A charlatan like Palin wouldn't be discovered for the fool she is, by enough people, in a short period. Look how long the hide Bush's failings.

I dnn't see how you could do it with the Congress. It has to just be the Prez.

You're probably right. I was thinking the opposite...as long as it wasn't too short. The lukewarm would come with the constant beating of a position into milquetoast, learning to say nothing. My whole view on this is that there is no one out there, which might give an articulate person who actually said something a chance.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 12:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so much as that he ran against the 1990s era clintonite party apparatchiks. while he built a formidable small donor base and grassroots organization, he was a very successful big money fundraising candidate, and was fairly clear about not having a populist anti-big money sort of philosophy, even as he critiqued the free-market-and-green-as-religion sort of mindset.

it was an internal party factional thing. jerry brown in 92, or to a lesser extent dean in 2004 were more classic anti-big money candidates. both foundered, tellingly.

by wu ming on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 01:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Being a California kid, I'm a big Brown fan. His governorship got slaughtered by the MSN, but he has history on his side...all his programs from the 80's which were slammed back then, are on the positive talking points of today.

You've certainly hit it with Obama. He never described himself as anything different than the center-right position that he maintains. And he did get a shit-load of money, but with a different mix than usual.

What kind of sea-change would be required so that a Brown or Dean won't founder? They get taken down for the silliest things.

Are we any closer to a conceivable way to control your own message so that a weird convention yell doesn't turn into an earthquake fault that takes one down?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 03:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brown's effort back in '92 was totally grassroots. He didn't accept donations over $200, and at least in the SF campaign headquarters we sent checks back that were over that amount. Jerry did well in the campaign, up until the media announced that he was considering naming Jesse Jackson as his running mate. At least that's my recollection. And since I took the year off to volunteer for him, used up a large portion of my savings doing so, took a terrible ribbing about the whole thing from most of my friends (also Dems, who now support him, but at the time supported Clinton because they considered Brown too much of a loose cannon), I have a pretty good memory about the time.
by sgr2 on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:49:57 PM EST
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Then God help us all with Pres. Sarah Palin.

Speaking of which - Palin's popularity with the press and others just amazes me.  I don't get it. How can such a totally uninformed, nonsensical, screwball remain a serious candidate for anything except president of the loony bin?

Guess I answered my own question, huh?    

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 03:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I somehow understand the sentiment, but don't understand exactly the answer to your own question.

Perhaps that there is always a loony bin crowd of hateful people who whip up the angry people?

Yeah. Could it ever turn into Bosnia/Hertz in the US? I bet they would like that. History seems to give 13-17 percent to these people, around the world. Sarah might get more the next time out as a 3rd party candidate, but the Republican party isn't that stupid as to give her the nod.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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