The Devil Sends Mean Emails (and CCs everyone)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is expected to launch a 2020 presidential campaign today. But according to anonymous staffers interviewed by HuffPo, Klobuchar is a terrible boss who ridicules, demeans and publicly humiliates employees.

Other employees went on the record to dispute those accounts. But Klobuchar consistently has among the highest staff turnover rates in DC, and HuffPo claims her reputation as a bad boss made it hard to recruit campaign staff.

It’s true that male politicians treating employees like shit doesn’t attract the same sort of media attention. Trump is famously a jerk to everyone, and that evidently wasn’t disqualifying. But JERK is on-brand for Trump.

If the emails that supposedly show Klobuchar unreasonably berating employees leak and people come forward on the record with credible tales of tirades and cruelty, would it matter to you?

It would to me. Prada-wearing (alleged) devil Anna Wintour would make a better president than Trump, obviously, so I’d vote for her if she were the Democratic Party’s nominee. But I’d definitely take her management style into account in the primary.

I’ve been unfortunate enough to work for assholes (both male and female) who’ve created fearful, toxic office environments. Not only does that kind of behavior speak to a lack of character and leadership skills, it impedes efficient operations.

It’s a fact that intense, driven people who rant and rave and humiliate employees sometimes succeed wildly. Steve Jobs was famously an asshole, for instance.

But successful assholes could probably have accomplished even more if their underlings weren’t devoting X percentage of their workday to not incurring the boss’s wrath. In short, yeah, it matters.

243 replies
  1. 1
    dr. bloor says:

    Aside from Trump, are there any recent examples of POTUS’s known for punching down as is alleged with Klobuchar? Maybe not senior staff, who would know what they’re in for an are paid accordingly, but the anonymous west-wingers who keep the country running.

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  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Nice guys finish last.

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  3. 3
    cmorenc says:

    The implied message in attacking Amy Klobuchar as a “mean boss” is “do you want a castrating bitch as President?” That’s one of the brushes her enemies used to paint the background of any portrait of Hillary Clinton, though they of course never say that explicitly – but the implied message is there underneath the nominally different words.

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  4. 4
    JPL says:

    Only in the primary.

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  5. 5
    germy says:

    I’m sort of hoping whichever Democratic presidential nominee wins (the primary and the general election) appoints the other candidates to important positions in his or her new administration.

    There are things I like about all the candidates (except for the one from Hawaii and the one from Vermont) so I hope they form some sort of Justice League in 2021. Hell, let the winner appoint Bernie to something. Maybe Dept. of Labor

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  6. 6
    Betty says:

    If people base their support of Klobuchar on her performance at the Kavanaugh hearings, I would say that being an effective prosecutor does not make you a good manager. I would say the same for Harris. I want to know more about their policies and how they treat people, especially subordinates.

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  7. 7

    BREAKING: Senior Democratic aide tells @nbcnews talks to avoid another shutdown have broken down #uppers pic.twitter.com/r14tUhjRyt— Up on MSNBC (@UPonMSNBC) February 10, 2019

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  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Right. I’ve had a couple of bad bosses– mean, unreasonable, and literally out to make your life miserable. And that experience stays with me. I’d prefer to judge politicians by their views and by their policies and promises, but ‘managerial’ qualities matter. That said, there’s an uncomfortable correlation between ‘bad boss’ accusations and ‘female’, so I’d be careful here.

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  9. 9
    donnah says:

    I worked for a very difficult woman who accused me to my face of lying to her, and doing that more than once. I loved the work I was doing, but she ruined it for me. She was hateful and controlling and I was not the only employee she bullied. I stayed as long as I could, and finally left.

    It remains to be seen if the complaints against Klobuchar are true. She does have defenders. But in a broad field of competitors, this would disqualify her for me.

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  10. 10
    MattF says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’ll bet that there was some word handed down from the White House that’s made all the Republicans in the conference committee hide under their desks. Maybe time for an intervention from Congressional leaders.

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  11. 11
    kindness says:

    I hope no one expects another Barack Obama type pure person to be our next president. There are no other Barack Obamas out there. Everyone has some faults. Right now it seems ‘some Democrats’ are on a tear to try to make most Democrats look like horrible people in the press. You know, create a negative meme about a person. And sadly too many ‘Some Democrats’ are playing along. We got taken to the cleaners by trolling in 2016. I sure hope we learned something from it. I have my doubts, really.

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  12. 12
    James Simonds says:

    But her supposed emails!

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  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s true that male politicians treating employees like shit doesn’t attract the same sort of media attention. Trump is famously a jerk to everyone, and that evidently wasn’t disqualifying. But JERK is on-brand for Trump.

    If the emails that supposedly show Klobuchar unreasonably berating employees leak and people come forward on the record with credible tales of tirades and cruelty, would it matter to you?

    I’ve worked for assholes too and it definitely would matter to me. One has to look no further than the quality (and I’m not talking about their politics or their hateful selves) of trump hires and the chaos and sycophancy they revel in. Not saying Klobuchar’s hires would be as bad as trump’s, but if what we’ve heard is true she would most certainly not attract the best people and the good ones she did hire would most likely not stay any longer than it took them to find a better place to work..

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  14. 14
    geg6 says:

    I want more evidence, but a bad boss can be completely toxic. I’ve had a few, male and female, and they will chase away talent and make everyone who stays miserable and cautious and defensive. If this is true, she won’t be my choice in the primary.

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  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @germy:

    I’m sort of hoping whichever Democratic presidential nominee wins (the primary and the general election) appoints the other candidates to important positions in his or her new administration.

    I agree and support this — I’ve thought the same myself for several weeks — with the proviso that the makeup of the Senate (after the 2020 elections) needs to be part of the calculation. (That said, I think every one of our candidates is smart enough and politically savvy enough to figure that out on her own 🤔.)

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  16. 16

    @donnah: Once, doing research about writing in an organization, a participant told me his boss sent out an email with examples of bad writing, including my participant’s. No names were attached but everyone knew who’d written that particular progress report. I was horrified.

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  17. 17
    Suzanne says:

    If the emails that supposedly show Klobuchar unreasonably berating employees leak and people come forward on the record with credible tales of tirades and cruelty, would it matter to you?

    Yeah. I’ve often heard and said that you can tell a lot about a person’s character by how they treat people “below” themselves. FWIW, I thought the fact that Trump treats his employees and contractors like shit is also one of the darkest marks against him.

    I have no doubt that this criticism is gendered in its origin….but that doesn’t make it okay. I would like to see more criticism of male lawmakers who are shitty to their staffs, rather than ignore when women do it, too.

    Having said that, if Klobuchar is the nominee, I will crawl through broken glass, yadda yadda yadda.

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  18. 18
    Raoul says:

    The other night I was quite cranky about a Vanity Fair hit that said Klobuchar was “as bad as Trump”, and I still think that take was trash.
    But if some emails get released, if someone goes on record, I would certainly think twice.
    Heck, she’s not been my top choice anyway (well, I don’t have one yet, really). As a Minnesotan, I’ve thought she was too centrist in the past.
    I had thought she’d be a solid veep candidate. I am interested to see how this line of reporting plays out.

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  19. 19
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: I would be happy if Wilmer were appointed Secretary of Go Away.

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  20. 20
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cmorenc: Absolutely true that women are held to a different standard and that any woman who has the temerity to openly seek power will be portrayed as a harpy. I’d definitely require more evidence before taking these allegations at face value for that reason.

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  21. 21
    debit says:

    Klobuchar is my senator and she was never my first choice and this was before the stories about how she treats her staff came out. I’ve contacted her office several times, and never once received a reply, not even a form letter. These weren’t angry “you better vote my way” contacts, but seeking help for clients and fellow constituents. Franken’s office replied the same day with a follow up phone call for more information, then kept following up until I told them the matter was resolved.

    How you treat other people matters. How you treat people who have less power than you matters. How you treat people you have power over matters. I hope the stories aren’t true.

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  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’m shocked, shocked. The utter scum that is Mulvaney probably screamed WALL too many times and the Dems told the friend of parasites to fuck off.

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  23. 23
    germy says:

    The "two standards" are for the two parties. Democrats feel compelled to police our own because our voters demand it. Republicans don't, because their voters are sanguine with racial and sexual stratification, including imposition through violence. https://t.co/xjUSpCncWn— (((DCCyclone))) (@DCCyclone) February 9, 2019

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  24. 24
    Yarrow says:

    Management should be a big part of being president. Lots of people report to the president and the person in that office should be able to give them the ability to do their jobs well and especially without fear of being bullied.

    I don’t know if these stories about Klobuchar are true or not but having one of the highest staff furnover rates is a real data point so something is going on there. Might or might not be related to her management style.

    Yes, it’s something I’d keep in mind. Both men and women can be good or bad bosses.

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  25. 25
    Suzanne says:

    FWIW, I am a very big believer in “The No-Asshole Rule“.

    Read it. It’s a good book.

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  26. 26
    RepubAnon says:

    @Suzanne: Yes, the US President needs to be a good, effective manager and skilled at working collaboratively with allies. That said, Mr. Burns from The Simpsons would make a better President than the Apricot Hellbeast.

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  27. 27
    germy says:

    @Raoul: Conde Nast wants what it wants. I’m hoping voters pay less attention to the flagships or whatever they call themselves this cycle.

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  28. 28
    debit says:

    @RepubAnon: Taps fingers together. Excellent.

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  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: Just for grins, I would like to know what Barack Obama’s staff turnover rate was when he was in the Senate.

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  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    George Marshall used to insist on subordinates who would question his calls, and give good reasons for doing so. He wanted people working for him who would improve HIS work.

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  31. 31
    PsiFighter37 says:

    At this point, no one will be happy with any of our potential nominees for one reason or another. Good God, nobody is perfect. In that sense, Obama did kind of ruin it for everyone on that count.

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  32. 32
    Suzanne says:

    @RepubAnon: There is an office in my profession in town that has a reputation for being shitty to working mothers. I and probably twenty other architect-moms (or moms-in-the-future) in my professional circle have said that we will never work there. That office has inadvertently lost themselves a lot of potential talent, and there is a severe talent shortage in my field right now. Not surprisingly, that office has struggled in the last 3-5 years in terms of winning projects. So abusiveness matters. A lot.

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  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I worked for a screamer who had a habit of dressing down his employees in front of everyone. When I got laid off (for the sin of requesting a day off from time to time to help take care of my mother after open heart surgery), my foreman said as he handed me my layoff check, “Don’t worry, you’ll be back.”

    “No, I won’t.” was my reply.

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  34. 34
    germy says:

    For someone with such a notoriously bad temper, I thought Klobuchar’s reaction to Kavanaugh’s insult (snide remarks about alcoholism) was amazingly calm. Maybe she’s good at maintaining self control in public.

    Or maybe republicans and their allies in the media are good at framing what we discuss.

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  35. 35
    joel hanes says:

    The tardy slips thing betrays a certain pettiness and an authoritarian mindset.

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  36. 36
    Searcher says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We’re going to be shut down til the next SOTU, aren’t we?

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  37. 37
    Larch says:

    One of the things the excruciatingly long campaign season is good for—maybe the only thing—is showing us the candidate’s managerial & leadership skills. An 18-month long, national campaign requires a huge, complex organization, & all the fissures open up under the kleig lights of the media. (One of the reasons I felt comfortable backing Obama on ‘08 despite still being in his first term of national office — oh, those were the days! — was his exceedingly well-run campaign organization.)

    Which is a long way of saying that we’ll see for ourselves just what kind of manager & leader Klobuchar really is as the primary season gets underway. If the rumors/reports are true, they WILL cause campaign strife, drama, etc, & we’ll see the impact on her effectiveness.

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  38. 38
    germy says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    At this point, no one will be happy with any of our potential nominees for one reason or another. Good God, nobody is perfect. In that sense, Obama did kind of ruin it for everyone on that count.

    And if that photo of Obama with Farrakhan had been released during his campaign there would have been multiple front page debates and jackal fights here about his suitability for office.

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  39. 39
    joel hanes says:

    @MattF:

    there’s an uncomfortable correlation between ‘bad boss’ accusations and ‘female’,

    DiFi is notoriously difficult to work for.
    I have never ever heard anyone claim that about Pelosi.

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  40. 40
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I haven’t done a deep dive into Klobuchar’s policies, but the rationale for her campaign seems to be a sort of Minnesota-nice inspired moderation, which word is completely empty as far as I can see. I do worry about our side stumbling into a bubble where “everyone I know agrees” we need whatever the buzzword du jour is, and that buzzword become a litmus test (and yes, I know I’m calling for a progressive Goldilocks platform I can’t define). But if AK’s big idea is a non-threatening ‘moderation’, and tax-advantage savings accounts, I don’t think that’s going to cut it in the primary or the general. Even Biden is calling for tripling the earned-income tax-credit, which I think is a great idea.

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  41. 41
    Rick says:

    Steve Jobs may have been an asshole, but the only time I met him (while I was training to be an Apple Genius) he was not much of an asshole.

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  42. 42
    Dave says:

    Needs more evidence, but Dave Barry got it right…. “If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.”

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  43. 43
    germy says:

    My last boss got into a feud with my co-worker (they were both women). The co-worker apparently had a private meeting with the boss where she confided she had begun seeing a therapist and had begun taking medication.

    This boss went around to all our cubicles and said “Watch out for [co-worker name]. She’s on medication!”

    I remember when the boss came to my cubicle and crouched down next to me to whisper that. To this day, I regret so badly I didn’t say something about the HIPAA Privacy Rule. But we were all afraid of this boss.

    I have a million stories about bad bosses. Some of them women, most of them men. But I feel my BP rising when I recall them, so I won’t bore you all with them

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  44. 44
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: To be honest, most of the proclaimed front-runners are not impressing me at all. Warren is the only who has anything truly substantive worth looking at. Harris’ tax credit idea is the kind of warmed-over sop that the DLC would have pushed in the 2000s as being ‘serious’ policy.

    That said, absent Bloomberg jumping into the race, the Democratic policy differentials are going to be quite narrow, in the same fashion about how the debates in 2008 split stupidly little hairs over policy. I want the person who I think is going to bring a gun to the gun fight that is going to be the 2020 election. Whoever does that best will probably get my vote (except for Gabbard and Sanders, who I will definitely not vote for under any circumstance in the primary).

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  45. 45
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PsiFighter37: Personally, I’m not looking to be “happy” with anyone (i’m not gonna marry them), I’m looking for one who will be successful, at winning and at presidenting.

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  46. 46
    Icedfire says:

    Secondhand anecdata here, so take it with a grain of salt, but I live just west of Minneapolis and I have a friend who is a lawyer and who has multiple trusted professional contacts who have firsthand knowledge of working for/with Klobuchar. Those contacts confirm that Klobuchar is “a shitty person to work for.”

    That said, my friend also says she’ll crawl through broken glass backwards and in heels to see Klobuchar win if she becomes the nominee.

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  47. 47
    eclare says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, I’ve never paid much attention to AK, but I don’t get the rationale for her campaign.

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  48. 48
    Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite says:

    Of course I’m against power tripping abusive bosses, and this sort of behavior would make me support someone else (in the primary), but I’ve never heard anything of this until right now, and I’d like to think I’m a pretty engaged constituent of hers, so my first thought is I detect some rat intercourse. It just seems to cute by a mile that a “she’s a complete harpy” whisper campaign starts EXACTLY when she is considering running for president.

    The good news is that it should be fairly easy for her critics to put up or shut up, if she sent out lots of humiliating emails and CC’ed everyone, they should be easy to produce.

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  49. 49
    Juice Box says:

    It’s a data point. I can see that a demanding boss who is a woman would probably be treated with less respect than a demanding male boss. OTOH, the two women bosses that I worked with (briefly! I’ve been lucky with bosses) who had bad reputations really deserved them. I always thought that HRC’s very loyal staff was a point in her favor.

    I wish that Sherrod Brown was not pro-tarif, anti-NAFTA.

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  50. 50

    If it comes out she berates her employees, I’d have a difficult time supporting her in the primaries. After that, I’ll crawl over glass to elect a D and replace the orange turd.

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  51. 51
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    Does she sexually assault people in her organization? Does she assault people in her family? Seems pertinent. Gotta maintain standards.

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  52. 52
    Princess says:

    I take the accusations against Klobuchar with a massive grain of salt. Sometimes employees who hate their bosses are incompetent. Sometimes employees have expectations of female bosses being nurturing that they don’t have of male bosses. Basically, I don’t care. She’s not my first choice, but this doesn’t make a difference to me.

    ETA: And I don’t remember all this breathless attention when it came out that Bernie was a bad boss whose employees all hated him.

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  53. 53
    germy says:

    @Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite:

    if she sent out lots of humiliating emails and CC’ed everyone, they should be easy to produce.

    “Wikileaks, if you’re listening…!”

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  54. 54
    cmorenc says:

    @kindness:

    I hope no one expects another Barack Obama type pure person to be our next president.

    We didn’t exactly know Barack Obama would turn out to be the quintessential Barack Obama type pure person when he began his Presidential run in 2008 – neither did anything close to a majority of voters in 1860 know they were considering an Abraham Lincoln type pure person when Abraham Lincoln began his presidential run. The Presidency tends to reveal more about the core character of its inhabitants than was readily visible before they took office (including to themselves), for better or worse.

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  55. 55
    Luthe says:

    Having recently escaped an organization lead by female assholes with poor management skills, I would say management style is something that would affect my primary vote. Bad managers make bad decisions and drive away good employees. High staff turnover rates also rob organizations of institutional knowledge and leads to a lot of repetitive retraining and rework. Since all of those things are kind of important when dealing with high-level government positions, I want someone who is a good boss to their staff, not a crappy one.

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  56. 56
    RSA says:

    If the emails that supposedly show Klobuchar unreasonably berating employees leak and people come forward on the record with credible tales of tirades and cruelty, would it matter to you?

    Of course. Being a jerk to one’s subordinates is one of the most common examples of abuse of power. “Give that person more power” is not the best way to deal with it.

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  57. 57
    AndyG says:

    I was surprised to hear that Rick Santorum was apparently an extremely kind boss to his staff, despite being a horrible person in public.

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  58. 58
    JR says:

    As someone who has been treated like shit by more than one boss (prospectively looking like two consecutive ones) in a career that gives those bosses leverage almost forever, this is a significant issue for me. Bad/abusive managers almost never face consequences for their behavior and are often rewarded. So yes, I’d like to see some of these folks face their comeuppance. It goes beyond ideology for me.

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  59. 59
    Original Lee says:

    It was discussed a little during the 2016 primaries that St. Bernie was a terrible boss. Hearing this from staffers who worked for other Senators and through the grapevine from ex-staffers of his, I took it with a grain of salt, but also took it into account when I decided not to vote for him. I’m not certain I’m remembering accurately, but he is apparently big on assigning tasks off-the-cuff and forgetting about them completely while also neglecting to assign tasks and suddenly wanting to know why they’re not done. Plus changing the parameters of what he wants. Unpleasant consequences for not reading his mind. Etc. I think other aspects like pay and leave were also atypically low for the Senate.

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  60. 60
    Princess says:

    I think we need to recognize that we know basically nothing about the characters of the people we elect. We know what they project to us and what the media decides we get to hear. We know nothing of their health or mental or physical fitness for office. We’re reading tea leaves most fo the time. There is no way reporters have been able to discern with certainty whether Klobuchar was objectively a good or bad boss, what a lot of people are doing in here is projecting their own bad boss experiences onto her. Even Saint Obama (whom I would vote for again) could be pretty damned sexist in his relations with women.

    The only questions I am going to ask are: Does this candidate recognize the fact that the house is on fire right now? What are they going to do about it? What are they going to do to protect and help the very vulnerable people in this country? Everything else, about ;character’ and “likeability” is unknowable based on the information we have, which is what the candidates and press choose to feed us.

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  61. 61
    Suzanne says:

    I should note that the rumor about someone being hit when she threw a binder is….concerning. Unsubstantiated rumor at this point, but if true, that’s some next-level shit.

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  62. 62
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Baud:

    It’s nice to be important. It’s more important to be nice.

    BHO is both.

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  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite: You gotta be a caver.

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  64. 64
    Mike in NC says:

    At the last place I worked, we had a clueless micromanager as project leader. Probably suffered from Asperger’s. She spent most of her time in meetings with other corporate drones — sucking up to them — and was really just another worthless layer of management. When she went away on maternity leave the group actually was more productive. Don’t miss that place one bit. From what I’ve read in newspapers, the project got cancelled a couple of years ago.

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  65. 65
    cmorenc says:

    @AndyG:

    I was surprised to hear that Rick Santorum was apparently an extremely kind boss to his staff, despite being a horrible person in public.

    One of the topmost vexing things about some of your GOP neighbors and relatives is how thoughtful and decent they are on a direct interpersonal face-to-face level, in contrast with their tough-love IGMFY attitude toward society, public good, and government generally. I could forgive them until they supported Trump for President.

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  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @AndyG: I was surprised to hear that Rick Santorum was apparently an extremely kind boss to his staff, despite being a horrible person in public.

    It’s been widely reported that Clarence Thomas is one of the nicest people ever to serve on the Supreme Court. His clerks, staff, security guards, people who work in the building all seem to say he’s kind and friendly and a great guy. It’s also widely reported by Court watchers that he hates the job, has never gotten over his confirmation hearings, and stays on the Court out of spite toward the people who think he doesn’t belong there. Go figure people.

    CSPAN once broadcast a book party for Maureen Dowd, It was something of a window into the Beltway, but Dowd’s eldest brother was there and was very keen on getting on camera to tell people that when he was a Senate page in the 50s, JFK was rude to him and Nixon was a swell fella. This would’ve been some time in the Bush II years, so fifty years later this old coot was still trying to settle some partisan score from 1960. Or the sixties. Or the culture war in generals

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  67. 67
    West of the Rockies says:

    @kindness:

    I concur. Saint Bernie (“Oh, look… a little birdie landed on my podium!”) and his crew dragged Hillary through the damn mud for far too long before graciously// bowing out.

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  68. 68
    karensky says:

    Well, Ms Cracker that was a really helpful post. I worked for 5 tears as the district director for a congressman. He was difficult but not bad. No one on his staff worked harder that he did although the dedication of his staff was legend. I acted as a buffer in the district and the legislative director did the the same in DC. It was the hardest best job I ever had.

    I am constantly enraged by the double standard that is set for women in politics and am committed to growing the number of Democratic women elected for any office. That said, there are raging bozos everywhere.

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  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Princess:

    I think we need to recognize that we know basically nothing about the characters of the people we elect.

    I knew quite a bit about the character of trump. Jus’ sayin’.

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  70. 70
    cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Jeezus..

    Fuck that shit. I was never treated that way in any of my 20 years at Intel or subsequent employers after that. My current employer is super altruistic (we are an SPC – social purpose company) and so we definitely try to cover for each other when things like this happen. When one of our co-workers died, my boss said he would fly anyone to to the funeral for closure.

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  71. 71
    cain says:

    @Princess:

    ETA: And I don’t remember all this breathless attention when it came out that Bernie was a bad boss whose employees all hated him.

    I never heard about it. If I did, and I’m sure others here will agree, it would be another point to belabour. This isn’t Bernie territory and I don’t remember us discussing about his bad boss reputation unless you’re referring to the incident with women.. his misogyny was what we bitched about and it affected his skills as a boss. In any case, fuck Bernie.

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  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC: The Battalion in Korea that I was a member of had a CO like that. He went on leave for two weeks and productivity surged, people were happy and smiled in the corridors.

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  73. 73
    tesslibrarian says:

    Any personal criticism of Democrats I tend to take with a grain of salt, given the media we have. However, Duncan Black over at Eschaton says Klobochar’s rep is one of those D.C. things that even he has heard for years.

    That said, I’m not going to pay too close attention to any candidate until the field is set and they’ve all sorted out their policy issues–IIRC, it was during the exploratory time that Hillary realized she needed a policy on opioid addiction and started looking at universal income. They are going to evolve as they push each other. I have a book I’m trying to get out, and really don’t have mental room to follow that–I want to see what policies they promise as a candidate, not how they got there.

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  74. 74
    Suzanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We knew about Trump’s character before he was elected and it indicated that he should not be POTUS. Our assessment was correct. So I do not ascribe to this line of argument.

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  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @cain: Yeah, he was pretty bad, he had short man syndrome. He never did the screaming mimi with me but other bosses had tried that and got the only response they were worth: My ass walking off the jobsite carrying my tools. Funny how the further away I got, the higher the pitch of their voices went.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
  77. 77
    sdhays says:

    @debit: While your experience is anecdata, it certainly fits with the reports that her office isn’t run very well.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @germy: Please, noooo. Labor is much too important to let Bernie flounder at.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Suzanne: We all make judgements, rarely are they spot on, but we do the best we can with the info we have. I had enough confidence in the character of Obama to volunteer for him.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Linky no workee.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    sdhays says:

    @Juice Box:

    I always thought that HRC’s very loyal staff was a point in her favor.

    Yes.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: after watching him stomp around for several months bellowing that “the Democratic Pahwty is a fayl-yuh!”, I would hope that anyone in the White House is smart enough to know he is constitutionally incapable of directing his urine stream outside the tent.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Kay says:

    would it matter to you?

    I dismissed it at first but it would matter to me. It;’s the unhinged nature of it, and the yawning gap between how she appears in public and how she appears to those who work for her. Some gap is okay, but this makes it sound like she’s a completely different person depending on whether she’s talking to people she considers peers and when she’s talking to employees.

    That’s a red flag to me. Also, the humiliation. Yuck. It’s unnecessary, counter productive and cruel.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    gene108 says:

    @Rick:

    Jobs changed, as he got older. Being fired from Apple, in the 1980’s, and his subsequent ventures, caused some self-reflection.

    He was still a demanding boss, but he toned down the asshole factor

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  85. 85
    tobie says:

    I’ve seen too many successful women accused of being castrating bitches to ignore the deeply sexist innuendo in that HuffPost piece, and I’m surprised that a gossipy smear piece would be disqualifying for a candidate but evidence that a candidate routinely lied about her ethnicity is met with a shrug. Go figure. I’ll be curious to see Klobuchar’s roll out today. In general I’m happy we have a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who is not a populist running for the highest office. Her focus on the promise of America and her modest no nonsense style are appealing to me.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    germy says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Okay. Well, find him something to do.

    It’s an old classroom trick. Take the biggest loudmouth/troublemaker elementary student and give them a responsibility. Suddenly, they feel like part of the team.

    Might not work on Bernie, though…

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Another Scott says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, and she’s not my Senator. I have seen some good points about attacks like these as a way to push the “castrating witch” meme. And we know that toxic bosses are toxic.

    But I would be more concerned about reports like this, myself:

    68

    Schlemazel Khan says:

    April 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    As a liberal and a Minnesotan I say “Take my senator, PLEASE!”
    Amy is great on the campaign trail, gives a good stump speech. She worked the state for Kerry & sold me so I gave her more money & time than I had for any candidate in a long time (it helped that the kids were old enough to free up time). She got elected & promptly voted on the Bush side of every damn thing that came before the senate. When I called to ask why her staff lied to me about how she had voted despite votes being public record.

    (RIP, Schlemazel)

    Lying about their record is very bad.

    Every elected official has to find a way to defend their record, and they will have taken votes that they later regret. But lying about it is very bad.

    None of our candidates are or will be perfect. (Obama made many mistakes on the campaign trail (You’re likable enough, Hillary; the ‘clinging to guns and religion’ soundbite) and in office (saying for years that we were going to defeat the Taliban, federal budget like a household budget, not doing more to keep people in their underwater-mortgage homes.)

    We shouldn’t eliminate people before they’ve all been tested, but we shouldn’t decide they’re great either.

    We’ll see.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  88. 88
    sdhays says:

    @Kay: If it’s true, and if several people are declining to join her campaign because of it I think it IS true, she’s not going to be the Democratic nominee for President. Unless she has undiscovered talents in electrifying charisma, the winner of the 2020 primaries is going to be someone who is able to out organize and out strategize their opponents, and you can’t do that unless you have a great team who believes in you and know that you have their back. I think the problems that being a bad boss cause organizations will doom her.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Bill Arnold says:

    Another story:
    Sort by Controversial: training machine learning to sow irreparable divisions

    Scott Alexander continues to delight with his works of short, sharp science fiction (previously): this time, it’s “Sort by Controversial,” a teachnolovecraftian story of training a machine learning system to recognize (and then produce) “controversial” stories by exploiting Reddit’s “sort by controversial” feature to obtain training data.
    Alexander’s mcguffin is something called “Shiri’s Scissor,” a machine learning system that produces polarizing statements whose deceptive obvious rightness (or, alternately, wrongness) pits people against one another so violently that once you’ve been scissored, your peace is forever fractured.

    Sort By Controversial (Scott Alexander, October 30, 2018)
    It’s not entirely fiction, BTW. The automated realities are cruder AFAIK, but getting “better”. And talented people have always been able to identify wedges, and even generate them. Practice identifying them, instantly.

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  90. 90
    Kay says:

    I think it’s important to make a distinction. She doesn’t have to be “nice”. She has to be professional and respectful of others.

    “Nice” is too personal a frame for the workplace, IMO, and leads us into all kinds of mistaken ideas, like that we should be grateful to have a job or employers “give” health insurance or wages.

    We’re really on much more solid footing if we keep that as a transaction.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes: Is that another Amy K. thing? Where are you guys seeing all these details I have not seen?

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    A (former) geologist. Now I’m a work safety guy. A few years ago on a family outing to Yellowstone we drove through the Bighorns, I kind of geeked out, I thought the names Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite and Triassic Chugwater Shale were just sublime! The choice of screen name came down to a coin flip more or less.

    But I have done some caving, back in my younger (more free time) days.

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  93. 93
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes: I took Matt F’s comment to mean that he thinks women are ACCUSED of that more often, but not that he thinks there IS a correlation.

    Just wondering if you took it a different way than I did.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Kay says:

    @sdhays:

    I think it’s exciting to have so many women running. I’m dying to see how the competition between them works out- is conducted. That to me is real progress and could be really interesting.

    There’s just never a reason to throw something at your employee. It means you lost your shit. She can’t do that. It’s oddly self indulgent for her public persona as “practical”, too. Everyone wants to throw something at someone one time or another. You can’t.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    NotMax says:

    OT.

    OMGFSM. 51° here right now (and still, it being pre-dawn, dropping) with 20-plus mph winds. 22° with snow showers atop Haleakala.

    @WaterGirl

    Keep forgetting to mention that if it isn’t already on the magic list the ‘share this on Google Plus’ button needs to be removed as a part of the site upgrade, as G+ is scheduled to go belly up come April 2.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Princess says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I sure did too, but in a weird way, I think the people who voted *for* him did not. They saw a lot of qualities that he promoted and that the media amplified (tough guy, great businessman, alpha male) but didn’t see a lot of other things that should have given *them* pause even with their very different agenda from ours — the fact he agrees with the last person he speaks to, for instance, or the fact that he is a terrible negotiator, as it happens. His physical weakness, his timidity with stairs. I don’t think any of those were fully evident before he was elected.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    Sebastian says:

    And yet we have a guy in office whose qualification is his image of yelling “you’re fired!” at people he put through a Lord of the Flies like winner takes it all toxic environment.

    I wonder why all those womenfolk can’t just be like unqualified white men. See, it’s easy? All you have to do is grow a tiny cock, grow fat and disgusting, lose your hair, and be obnoxious and voila! Success!

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    Fair Economist says:

    @PsiFighter37: Harris’ tax credit is nothimg like the DLC would ever have proposed. It would make taxes massively more progressive.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    Doug R says:

    What if there’s shenanigans going on in your presidential campaign and you do nothing?
    Bernie alumni seek meeting to address ‘sexual violence’ on ’16 campaign

    The signees are looking to change what they call a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity in the campaign world.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @sdhays:

    There’s something wrong with her hiring process, too, if she hates her own employees. Wouldn’t it be easier not to hire people she thinks are incompetent? Why is it happening over and over? That’s a prestigious and sought after job. Are we to believe she has such an incredibly bad pool of applicants that almost no one reaches “competent”?

    Maybe that’s self selecting. She’s known as a terrible boss so she only gets people who can’t work for anyone else. In any event, all of this is HER responsibility to figure out.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: I’m not sure what votes Schlemazel was referring to, but you can compare Senators’ voting records on ProPublica. I compared Harris and Klobuchar for 2017-2018 and the match was 82%, which is about what I would expect among most solid liberal Democrats. (I didn’t look into Manchin’s or Tester’s or now ex-Sen McCaskill’s or Heidkamp’s voting records but I assume they are worse.)

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  102. 102
    Jager says:

    The night before I started my first management job, I was scared shitless. I was 25, worked hard and deserved the promotion. I called my car dealer old man for advice
    He said, “Don’t treat the hired help like the hired help.”

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    sdhays says:

    @Kay: I agree. The only thing I disliked about Hillary’s run in 2016 is how she was such a juggernaut, the only people to actually pretend to challenge her were two guys who really never had a chance, and that caused problems because there were things people wanted to debate in the Democratic primary and they didn’t have many options for voicing those ideas. This time around, it’s going to be wildly opposite, and the contrast with the Soviet-style Republican primary will be pretty stark (assuming the ASSet is still around).

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite:

    A (former) geologist. Now I’m a work safety guy. A few years ago on a family outing to Yellowstone we drove through the Bighorns, I kind of geeked out, I thought the names Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite and Triassic Chugwater Shale were just sublime! The choice of screen name came down to a coin flip more or less.

    Ah, I had family in Clearmont, and Buffalo, and briefly lived in Sheridan (where I met a gal from Chugwater :-) ). I spent a lot of time hiking around those peaks when I was much younger (Florence Canyon was pure heaven to me) Did the entire Solitude trail twice and many other shorter hikes.

    I never did do any caving there (was kinda hoping to “shake” the hand of a Great X caver). Most of my caving was here in the Ozarks with forays into the SW and Mexico.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: I’m not sure where that button even is now, but you can rest assured that it is not on the magic list.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Fair Economist says:

    My standard for whether this is a moderate deal is what kind of results she gets. Mean bosses are unpleasant to work for. They may or may not get good results. As people mentioned above Steve Jobs was a famously difficult boss and look what he got done.

    *If* Klobuchar is a problematically bad boss, then that would put her in my second tier of Democratic candidates. She is still worlds better than Trump.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    Yarrow says:

    @WaterGirl: The tardy slips thing is from the HuffPo article.

    One morning several years ago, when most of the office staff was running late — the ex-staffer couldn’t remember the reason — Klobuchar wrote out tardy slips and placed them on each missing aide’s desk. The staffer recalls incredulous bursts of laughter as her co-workers arrived one by one to find the notes, but Klobuchar was deadly serious. An aide whom she called into her office walked back out in tears.

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  108. 108
    Martin says:

    It matters.

    My main criticism of Clinton in 2008 is that she was unable to manage her team. That led to two problems:

    1) Staff drama constantly leaking out as individuals take their grievances past the boss and to the public.
    2) Poor strategy as we saw Obama come out of Iowa and then Super Tuesday as the delegate leader to the absolute bewilderment of her staff who were constantly fighting with each other over strategy.

    She would have taken that team into the WH and those problems would have followed her. Her team in 2016 was much better.

    I’ve been a manager for 20 years, and I’m decent at it, though I certainly could be better, but I was bad at it in the beginning. There are certain qualities of being a good manager that are desirable in a political leader – humility, compassion, ability to listen, knowing when to act. If you can’t do that with a staff, you can’t do that with a nation. There are lots of people that appear to be able to do it publicly, but not privately. In those cases the public view is a bit of an act, it’s an effort, it’s likely not sustainable on a larger stage.

    The benefit of being a good manager is that you must then also have the qualities that allow you to listen to the advice of your staff. Sometimes my ideas are wrong. Sometimes I want to solve a problem in a certain way not because it’s the best way, but because it solves some other personal frustration I have. My staff set me right on those things – but I need to be able to listen to them, to put aside my own opinions, and to move forward with those ideas in a genuine way – and give them credit in the process. It can be hard. In my case, not because I want to horde the credit, but because my brain tends to move onto the next thing without pausing to confer with them or acknowledge them – but those are critical steps to the process working.

    Successful people are assholes. All of them. Their drive causes them to take some wedge of their life and largely ignore it. But they are assholes in different ways and at different magnitudes – some fuck up their family, others their friends, others their staff, others the public, sometimes it’s themselves. Looking at high office holders you need to ask yourself what area is taking that hit. If you know that, you know something about where their weak areas are. And that’s not disqualifying necessarily, it’s just something you need to see how they address. Clinton did that in 2016.

    Generally speaking, the GOP operates as a machine where the entity taking the hit is the public. You do hear about a lot of GOPers being good managers, and being good with their family. We’re the ones that are going to take the hit for their ambition, and that’s not some statistical aberration – it’s basically the playbook there.

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  109. 109
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Just because the criticism of Klobuchar is couched in gendered terms (harpy) or is a go-to meme employed to dismiss women (bitch), doesn’t mean it’s false. I’d like more information, but public shaming of employees (tardy slips on desks; cc: ing the world on emails) and harsh non-specific criticism (this is the worst) are serious red flags to me. Those aren’t the actions of a demanding boss, those are the actions of a disorganized micro-manager. And micro-managers scare away talent, halt progress and stifle initiative.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    trnc says:

    @germy: Too often true, but is that the case here? If this discussion of Klobuchar’s mgmt style was started by former employees, most of them probably weren’t republicans. If they fear a particular nominee, they might start rat copulation early in the primary, but otherwise they would wait and unleash everything they have (or can make up) until after the candidate will clearly be the nominee. I don’t see AK as someone they would fear much at this point, compared to Harris or Gillibrand.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I wonder what AK feels like she brings to the table that the others don’t.

    ETA: One way the bad boss issue could work in her favor is if she starts treating DT the way she is claimed to have treated her employees. So much the better if it turns out she was actually a pretty good boss.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    sdhays says:

    @tobie: Based on Another Scott’s quote, I took it to be referring to votes in the 2007-2009 Congress (referencing “voting with Bush”).

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And TAG of course.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: I want to see someone put their actual NAME on one of those stories, and then I will believe it for sure.

    But if it is true, ugh! That’s beyond awful. You simply cannot scold other adults — they are not your children.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Catching up on Joy Reid and Bill Burton is shilling for Howard Schultz…. I mean I get that everybody’s got bills to pay, but my god “exhausted center”, “far left”. “He shouldn’t be penalized because he lived the American dream”. Joy Reid having absolutely none of that last one.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Bottom of every front pager post as it appears on a comments page, along with all the other ‘share on’ buttons. It’s the middle, orange*, one.

    *Getting to legitimately delete something orange an added bonus. :)

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    sdhays says:

    @Martin:

    My main criticism of Clinton in 2008 is that she was unable to manage her team.

    I can’t believe how much that had faded for me after “No Drama Obama”. Yes, that was a major reason I was not in Clinton’s camp back in 2008. And, yes, she was lightyears better in 2016.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Fair Economist says:

    @tobie: 82% agreement is pretty divergent these days. Harris is one of and maybe the most liberal Senator. Klobuchar is slightly to the right of the median Democrat. It won’t make much difference for legislation because the determinant for that will be one of the least liberal Dems – probably Manchin, Sinema, or King. It might make a difference for Supreme Court nominees. I think Harris would nominates Ginsbergs and Klobuchar would nominate Breyers.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    CliosFanBoy says:

    for me it’s a deal-breaker. If they treat underlings like that, then they have, at best, a very shallow sense of empathy. Or one that is only in the abstract.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @sdhays: Actually, I would disagree and say that Hillary was way too disengaged in 2016. Like almost everything she did in the public spotlight, she overcorrected based on past experiences…she was never able to find the middle ground.

    Listening to a bunch of data analytics people stuck in Brooklyn with no idea of what pounding the pavement in OH, MI, and WI meant was political malpractice. I could’ve told her that she needed to be spending time there as soon as she lost to Bernie in the primary…but that didn’t happen.

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    NotMax says:

    @Fair Economist

    82% agreement is pretty divergent these days.

    Particularly as half* of the votes aligned in agreement were voting no on ACA repeal.

    *Guesstimate, not actual data, but y’all get the idea.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Baud:

    Nice guys finish last.

    Asshole bosses get undermined by their subordinates.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Nicole says:

    I’ll be astounded if AK ends up the nominee. A number of Senators and Representatives have a good moment or two on TV and start to buy into the belief that that means they have the stuff to run for President. I don’t think she has the force of personality to push to the top of what’s going to be a crowded field.

    But, it does my soul good to see five women now declaring (even if Gabbard is an automatic toss). It still tears me up that HRC is not the one in the White House, but in the total time scheme of things, she did so much as a trailblazer. She, Shirley Chisholm, Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton- all the women who didn’t get the brass ring they were going after, but who brought it closer to reach for those following them. They done good.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Martin says:

    @Fair Economist:

    As people mentioned above Steve Jobs was a famously difficult boss and look what he got done.

    I’m not sure that’s a great example. The reason is that Jobs surrounded himself with people that were equally ambitious, and so Jobs’ unrealistic expectations were probably not out of line with the personal expectations of the people who worked for him (Tony Fadell, etc). That’s not necessarily a bad dynamic in a tech company, especially one whose success came from overturning established institutions. If move fast and break things is your model, having a bunch of overambitious individuals contributes well to that goal. That’s not a great dynamic for an elected leader. In tech that can be the iPhone but it can also be Facebook. In government, that’s Trump.

    None of that is to suggest Klobuchar would act this way, but I think it’s fair to pay close attention to that side of things with her. Clinton’s poor management in 2008 manifest as mistakes in strategy. Later it revealed a completely dysfunctional team. Remember, we’re always getting the best view of things. Things are always worse in reality.

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  124. 124
    Fair Economist says:

    @trnc: I was expecting Gillibrand to be top tier but she is not catching fire like Harris or Warren. I think Klobuchar has a better chance than Gillibrand precisely because she is a New Dem type and can appeal to people who don’t want a solid liberal Dem as nominee. They do exist even if they don’t comment here. It even includes people who are pretty far left themselves but want a bigger win, e.g. Booman. So far she is the first top tier candidate not on the left wing of the party.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: (where I met a gal from Chugwater :-) )

    Sounds like a Country-Western song with folk undertones..

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Fair Economist: As people mentioned above Steve Jobs was a famously difficult boss and look what he got done.

    Some people pay for retirement winning the lottery. Outliers don’t prove a bad tactic is a good one.

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  127. 127
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PsiFighter37: I think it was in Ta-Nahisi Coates’ long article on Obama– published post-election but he was traveling with Obama on the campaign trail through the fall– Obama and both Clintons were very nervous about the Brooklyn quants’ confidence in their data. I think Bill was harping on them to get HRC to spend more time in MI and WI.
    OTOH, they didn’t go to MI and WI because they were pretty much shuttling between PA and FL, and they left nothing on the field and lost both.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: As an old friend of mine likes to say: “Employers can fuck with their employees. Employees can fuck their employers.”

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    Fair Economist says:

    @Martin: I agree Clinton’s 2008 problems showed up in strategy. That’s what I think we should look for in Klobuchar and why I think we should ignore this problem. If it is really a problem for her, in this crowded field she will flop and it is no prob for us. If she can get near the top in *this* field she can get good results from her team whatever her management style.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Nicole: Jimmy Carter wrote that what convinced him to run in 76 was meeting the Democratic candidates running in the 72 primaries. He thought “if these cans can be president, so could I!” With trump in the White House I suspect a LOT of elected officials are thinking they’re actually over-qualified compared to him.

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  131. 131
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Fair Economist: I think Klobuchar has a better chance than Gillibrand precisely because she is a New Dem type and can appeal to people who don’t want a solid liberal Dem as nominee. They do exist even if they don’t comment here.

    Quoted as an important reminder: The blogosphere represents a hyper-engaged minority of the electorate, and the twitter sphere is an even smaller subset.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CliosFanBoy: Heh, we were just friends but she’d like that.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    NotMax says:

    @CliosFanBoy

    This. There’s a difference between being a demanding boss and being a tyrannical one.

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    dww44 says:

    @cmorenc: I have a lot of relatives, close and extended, as well as friends, who fit into this category. Two of those very close relatives are kind and generous in their private lives but are both huge consumers of Fox et al. I’ve come to see this as a defining characteristic of the party. One of the best examples in my view is Sen. Johnny Isakson. He has sympathy and empathy in spades (after all he has Parkinson’s) but almost always votes the party line. Except for that last one about reopening the government when he voted with Dems. Part was likely due to the fact that the Super Bowl was on the near horizon.

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  135. 135
    Nicole says:

    @CliosFanBoy: Ha! That’s hilarious.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    Martin says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: The ‘nice guys’ vs ‘assholes’ is generally the difference between when you can succeed as an army of one vs when you can’t. The naked ambition and steamrolling everyone in your path can get you pretty far – usually far enough to get you noticed for the larger stage. This is where the nice guys get left behind. But then the Peter Principle kicks in – and you get elevated to a point where the job is bigger than one person, and your success is due to your team. Obama gave a consistently good presentation of a chief executive, but ALL of the work was done by the staff. Obama wasn’t writing ACA, his staff was. They were pulling industry on board. They were talking to Congress. Getting up there probably required being so large in life that you took up the space of a team of people, but once you arrive, you need to become small. You can’t be larger than your team. You need to be the nice guy. You have to focus inward because the only way you can succeed is if they can take your decision, understand and believe in it enough, and be motivated enough to carry it out successfully – because the job is too big for you to do that directly. That requires a big shift in attitude.

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  137. 137
    debbie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I heard it reported yesterday that Mulvaney’s already thinking of leaving.

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  138. 138
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: I don’t know if he mentioned specifically what the vote(s) was/were. It might be in the archive.

    One of the troubles with the Senate is the various procedural votes before the final vote, also too. Remember Kerry’s “I voted for it before I voted against it” thing. :-/ It might be something like that…

    But lying to a constituent about it (or at least not explaining what happened well enough) isn’t good.

    Google tells me that Amy was elected Senator in 2006, while Kamala was elected in 2016, so Amy has a much longer voting record. And we all remember how trying the W years were…

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  139. 139
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:
    There are a lot of red flags —
    Harry Reid had to have a talk with her about staff treatment,
    Public shaming of staff,
    Anger responses,
    Pretty public reputation of being a toxic boss,
    Bad constituent services (!).

    These things are red flags for me, but not disqualifying. But they do matter….

    And, I said this yesterday and it may be touchy territory for some….
    But those behaviors are not, in my sad experience (not my dad thankfully), unusual for someone who grew up with a mean drunk father. Whether the workplace or the home, that type of behavior is learned at an early age in such families.

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  140. 140
    debbie says:

    @germy:

    Me too, but if you think about it, why wouldn’t power in the office be as corruptive as power in the Congress?

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: They didn’t spend any time in PA, either. Losing that state was the real crime out of all of them, IMO.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    sdhays says:

    @Fair Economist: I remain skeptical that there are potential armies of people willing to quit their jobs or spend their vacations organizing in Iowa or South Carolina or wherever for a year to make Klobuchar 2020 a reality. I can see that with some of the other candidates.

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    tobie says:

    @sdhays: I couldn’t see where to plug in dates, so I took whatever period the comparison yielded. What this thread has proven to me is that the weight you give decontextualized evidence depends on how much you like or dislike a candidate. People hated HRC so they harped on her emails endlessly. If people dislike Klobuchar, they’ll harp on her management style, which for me is as irrelevant as Warren lying about being an American Indian. The real question is has she been an effective legislator. Has she been able to build consensus around some issues to get legislation passed? Everything else for me is gossip.

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    The Moar You Know says:

    If the emails that supposedly show Klobuchar unreasonably berating employees leak and people come forward on the record with credible tales of tirades and cruelty, would it matter to you?

    Primary yes, general no.

    I would observe two things: one, every boss has to be an asshole to someone at some point; two – we would not be even discussing this if we were talking about a man. Seriously.

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: gonna post this with a naked link cause the button is borking me

    What’s driving a lot of the frustration is that Trump, now more than ever, runs the West Wing as a family business. Four sources said the only White House advisers he truly consults are daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. “This is a family affair, and if you’re not in the family, you’ve got problems,” a former official said. The special privileges and access afforded to Kushner and Ivanka have been alienating Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. “Mick is not entirely thrilled with the family,” a Republican close to Mulvaney told me. Multiple sources said Mulvaney is looking for a way out of the West Wing. He’s said to be interested in a Cabinet position, either at the Commerce Department or Treasury, and he’s reportedly been pursuing the University of South Carolina presidency. A senior White House official recently lobbied a friend of Mulvaney’s to convince Mulvaney to stay.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/the-state-of-the-union-left-trump-stoked-but-some-of-his-staff-are-miserable
    if only it had been public knowledge when poor Mick took the job that trump was a shitty, paranoid executive who only listens to Jared’s soothing whisper while Ivanka rubs his feet

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    Fair Economist says:

    @debbie: Makes the point that even if Klobuchar is as bad as somebody with influence over the media wants us to believe, even as a manager she is enormously better than Trump.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott:
    Ted Kennedy was one of the greatest constituent services Senators I have ever had (across 5 states and at least 20 Senators). Warren and Markey are very good — Markey did my family a solid when he was my Congesscritter helping us get the Immp’s first passport in the Bush II admin. when they froze up applications for months. But Ted was neighborhood-level involved in everything. Amazing.

    Anyone who can’t manage to hire folks to do that part of the job really ought to be replaced regardless of their votes or positions.

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: Mulvaney always insisted he was just “acting” CoS and he isn’t acting very hard, it seems.

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    debbie says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I think there are so many layers of management in the White House that employees would be protected. It’s tough to say that you must be Type A to lead, but you have to pull a Perry Como while you’re at it

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  150. 150
    Immanentize says:

    @tobie: I generally agree with you. A President can hire a CoS that will take all the crap from above and not duplicate that style below. That is a hard thing to do — I had to do it with one University President I worked for. In the end, the Board figured out the President was really risking the future of the institution. But a lot of fine people left before they acted. Presidents have no Boards to check them, unless We de Peeps count every four years.

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  151. 151
    Gelfling 545 says:

    After 20 years in a “difficult” school, I served under a ridiculous number of principals. Under principals who berated staff, things invariably fell apart. Even under laissez faire principals whom one seldom saw things went better because staff who were well equipped to do their jobs did it without second guessing and those who needed coddling left. The bully type riled students up and created a tense climate that hindered everybody. Effective leadership matters a great deal to me.
    Since Trump is the prototype bully boss, I’d certainly take Klobuchar over him but she’s not in my top tier. But then, she wasn’t anyway.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: Ah! None of those is currently on the magic list.

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie:

    I’m surprised that a gossipy smear piece would be disqualifying for a candidate but evidence that a candidate routinely lied about her ethnicity is met with a shrug

    .

    Who’s disqualifying Klobuchar based on gossip? If you mean me, you’re dead wrong. I’d need evidence other than anonymous sources to take it seriously.

    I do think the general question — does being a shitty boss tell you something important about a candidate — is worthwhile in the abstract.

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    As Google Plus will become an ex-service as of April 2, would pencil that button’s removal that in.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: Absent context, I can’t say if she lied about her record or not. As I said in this thread, people pick up on things that fit their narrative about a candidate. We should be attentive to this. Oppose a candidate because of their positions and their effectiveness or ineffectiveness. But let’s not lapse into dubious judgments about niceness or meanness, honesty or dishonesty.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tobie: Routinely lied about her ethnicity? I am going to call that one hell of a stretch.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    Ruckus says:

    Outside of the navy I’ve had 3 bosses in my life. And I was a boss for 34 yrs of my life. Out of those 3, 2 were good and one was the devil and I had to leave.
    From reading a bit of the comments here it sounds like bad bosses are quite common. I’m wondering what the most common thing is that makes them a bad boss. Is it asking far too much of employees, as in far more than they are willing to do or go? How about drunks? How about demeaning of everything from everyone, dress/manners/job performance or do they pick on one person out of the group? Is it their work ethic that destroys the trust/atmosphere, either too zealous or to lazy?

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    Immanentize says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    We would not be even discussing this if we were talking about a man.

    I disagree. I would be talking about such a quality for sure if I knew about it. It comes up in every election — with men. McCain had a large reputation as a rage monkey.
    People said they loved working with Romney (Republicans in MA still say that). Bush I was know to be short tempered with staff. Obama had a very good reputation with his staff and I don’t recall anyone saying they were disrespected. And everyone knew Trump was a terrible manager while Hillary had a really amazing reputation as a good, loyal and helpful boss. (Plus Hillary was also quite good at constituent services in NY). Bernie has been reported to be a bad boss in the Senate (vague and disinterested) and now the uninvolved ENT in the toxic gender Dynamics on his staff.

    So I don’t think what you said above is born out at all.

    ETA clarity

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: The thing is, the developers are building a separate BJ site while the current one is still in operation. So there’s nothing to remove since that wasn’t on the list for the rebuild.

    The magic list is everything the site rebuild will do. Does that make sense?

    ReplyReply
  160. 160
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Okay then, something extant to not include.

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize:

    I disagree. I would be talking about such a quality for sure if I knew about it.

    I care about that quality, also.

    Here’s my question: Would the media even be reporting it, if this was not about a female candidate?

    ReplyReply
  162. 162
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: Obama had a very good reputation with his staff and I don’t recall anyone saying they were disrespected

    I’ve listened to a couple of memoirs by Obama staffers, Dan Pfeiffer and Alyssa Mastromonaco, and the only time either mentions Obama losing his temper with staff was when he was scheduled to speak outside during an ice-storm.

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  163. 163
    tobie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As lying came up on this thread, it seemed worthwhile to point out that the only candidate we have on record for lying is Warren, at least twice on official documents. As I said before, I couldn’t care less about her ancestry claims in the past. It’s irrelevant to me in the present. But I do care deeply about demagogic populism–left and right–and that will be a decisive factor in my decision which candidate to support. I’m not sure how deep a debate can go with 15 candidates on the stage and that bothers me a lot because I do want to hear and compare the candidates on a host of issues.

    ReplyReply
  164. 164
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: Appreciate the mention of it, though.

    ReplyReply
  165. 165
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep. That’s reductive and basically a huge lie.

    Might not have been meant that way by Tobie, but if that’s the appearance Warren us generating that’s a huge problem for her. The media is basically treating this as her ’emails’ moment: a giant nothing burger with public, repeated explanations that the press just sort of refuses to pay attention to.

    ReplyReply
  166. 166
    Immanentize says:

    @WaterGirl: I think so — as I pointed out with other candidates. It is sorta reporter low hanging fruit — find previous staffers and try to get the “real picture” (or dirt, if you prefer).

    ReplyReply
  167. 167
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @tobie: the only candidate we have on record for lying is Warren, at least twice on official documents

    Well, “lying”…. As someone tweeted yesterday, Warren bought into the family legend because she (apparently) thought it was romantic and made her more interesting, to herself.
    I was a bit taken aback by a Cherokee activist who said this morning on Joy Reid’s show that representatives of the nation have been reaching out to her for six years to explain how and why their extensive records give lie to those claims. The Cherokee kept extensive records of who identified as member of the tribe and apparently the ancestors Warren refers to identified themselves as white. If she had been more willing to listen, she might have handled this whole thing better.

    ReplyReply
  168. 168
    Immanentize says:

    Looks like it is again time for the fabulous Wild Tchoupotoulas:
    Big Chief Got a Golden Crown

    ReplyReply
  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    In my comment at #157 my bad boss was a male.
    Now some of your comment may have a bit of validity from the view point that it hasn’t been that long that women have had a lot of boss positions. I’ve known two, neither of whom I worked under and both in this century. So the bad bosses are likely to be men, especially if you are old enough to be at/towards the end of your working life. But bad bossing is not strictly a male/female thing, it is a character thing, an experience thing – a lack of training, a desire to be a tyrant, a lack of thought about whatever is going on – a lack of caring. Or something I left out. But these are things that humans do or don’t do, not just half of humans.

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  170. 170
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: “Lying” is a strong word, and parsing and context actually matters here.

    Is she “lying” if she took her family stories at face value? Doesn’t “lying” necessitate understanding her frame of mind an[d] intent here?

    What was the context of her answering the question about her ethnicity? Was she, as others have mentioned that they were in recent threads, pressured to do so to make the organization look more inclusive?

    Was she aware of the distinction between having AI ancestors and being an official member of a tribe at the time and in the context of her answer?

    Ancestry and tribal membership are, as we know, different things – but until recently the distinction hasn’t been fully appreciated. What are government forms in the USA asking for now? What were the instructions she was given, if any?

    I remember an As It Happens story about a non-indigenous man who became a full member of a Canadian First Nation tribe. How would he correctly answer a question about his ethnicity?

    Also too, remember that all of these times she “claimed AI ancestry” was when she was a Republican, IIRC.

    tl;dr – “Lying” is too strong a word here.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  171. 171
    Immanentize says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I’m just gonna do this again in case anyone wants to hear it —
    Tribes want the issue to be tribal membership, which the Tribes rigorously control for political and money reasons. Warren was talking about “heritage” and never claimed tribal membership.

    Think of it this way, my heritage is Czech (Moravian to be more accurate) but I am NOT a citizen of the Czech republic. I have never said I was a citizen. If I say I have Czech heritage, is it OK for the President of the Czech Republic to call me a liar because I am not a citizen? See?

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  172. 172
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: Not sure if I think that’s the case or not. We are certainly not hearing any of the inside scoop on the Republican-running-as-an-Independent candidate.

    edit: no inside scoop on Booker. No inside scoop on Sherrod Brown, no inside scoop on Beto. Or maybe i’m just not reading the right sites. (or maybe I am?)

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  173. 173
    Ruckus says:

    @kindness:
    There may not be another Barack Obama out there but there are lots of people who are like him. I’ve met some in my life. They may be rare but are not singular. Will they be exactly like him? No, but they will be good, easy to work for and will get you to do your best without ever asking for it. They are called natural leaders. I’ve met three obvious ones in my life, seen a few more in action.

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  174. 174
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott: Yes what you said too.

    ReplyReply
  175. 175
    Immanentize says:

    @Ruckus: And this is why there is always hope for our futures.

    ReplyReply
  176. 176
    Nicole says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The Cherokee kept extensive records of who identified as member of the tribe and apparently the ancestors Warren refers to identified themselves as white. If she had been more willing to listen, she might have handled this whole thing bette

    White Americans are so keyed into genetic forebears that it becomes a challenge for some of us to get it through our heads that that is not the only way to measure ancestry. I know I had some trouble wrapping my brain around the concept (although I shut up and listened and it finally made its way through my thick noggin). It’s, I suspect, the legacy of our “one drop” rule regarding African ancestry. Oh, racism. You shape so much in our culture.

    If I were advising Warren, I’d suggest she say of those instances when she claimed to be Native American, “I, like many Americans of European descent, made a dumb mistake, claiming ancestry I had no right to, because of how I understand the concept of ‘ancestry’ at the time. It’s not the only dumb thing I did back then. I also voted Republican.” ;)

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  177. 177
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: As I recall, her family members were discriminated against because of their Cherokee heritage, so I am not going to fault her one bit for assuming that she was part Cherokee growing up.

    Warren certainly hasn’t pushed her heritage since it became a big fucking deal in her first run for Senate, so the information about “6 years” doesn’t speak to the information she got in her earlier life at all.

    I think the more those of us on the left discuss this, the more it becomes Hillary’s emails. Let’s just call bullshit, change the subject and move on.

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  178. 178
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Secretary of Go Away

    Do you think he’d understand the concept? I’m doubtful.

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  179. 179
    Immanentize says:

    @WaterGirl: Oh we have heard some stuff about Schultz and, if he goes anywhere, we will hear more for sure. His pissy work on the Seattle team issue is already starting that stream of information. I am sure that prick, like Trump, made all his employees sign an NDA. That would be a great question — “Will you agree right now to release all your former employees from their NDA agreements so we can get an accurate picture of your management style?”

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  180. 180
    B.B.A. says:

    @Ruckus: Make him Ambassador to Moldova. As I understand it, the country is so unpleasant that Moldovans are packing up and moving to Romania in droves – and it’s not like Romania is so great.

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  181. 181
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: @tobie: From the age of 4, I was told that my bed-ridden grandmother — who to me was only an old woman in a bed in another room that I never even spoke with, let alone knew as a grandmother — had been hit by lightning and that was what was wrong with her.

    I believed that for my entire life until sometime in my twenties when I started repeating that story in a conversation about people who had been struck by lightning. Speaking the words out loud somehow put them up against everything I now knew about senility and alzheimers, etc and I realized the “being struck by lightning” event had never happened.

    I had told that story numerous times in my life before that moment — and I was certainly not lying. Believing family stories — until you have a specific reason not to — does not make you a liar.

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  182. 182
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: That’s a very helpful example! I will file that away for the next bullshit conversation about Elizabeth Warren.

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: I agree with you completely on this. It’s why I responded to your comment about lying so strongly.

    Lying about their record is very bad.

    Every elected official has to find a way to defend their record, and they will have taken votes that they later regret. But lying about it is very bad.

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  184. 184
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: ha! Oh, and please release your tax returns also.

    ReplyReply
  185. 185
    NotMax says:

    @B.B.A.

    Wait until the Latverians flood in to the greener pastures of Moldova.

    :)

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    Ruckus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    In my navy exit interview with the XO of the ship I’d been on for just a few weeks he told me that I’d be back. I answered him this way. “I grew up with a guy whose dad owns a few dairies and they have a lot of cows. Each one of those cows shits a lot every day and someone has to shovel that shit. I’ll take that job and shovel cow shit for the rest of my life before I’ll work for people like you ever again.” He didn’t say a word. Took my signed paper and walked out, never looked back.

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  187. 187
    Immanentize says:

    @WaterGirl:
    I should add to your comment about no info. about Beto, Castro, Booker, Brown etc. I think there should be such info explored. Maybe the Klobuchar information need not just die if she decides not to run, but rather it should become part of the whole vetting process. Every candidate should speak to their management style and history.

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  188. 188
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Immanentize: There was a story in a Vermont publication in 2015 about Sanders’s penchant for berating his staff. It made no news. If anything, a story about Sanders berating staffers would IMHO be received as a _positive_ because people would hear it as confirmation that he takes no shit. That’s why I don’t like the way this story is being talked about. No one is reacting by saying “Good! I want a president who doesn’t put up with shoddy work!” The same story about a man _would_ be greeted that way. So maybe it’s legitimate cause for concern at some level but if we don’t hear about any other candidate’s relationship with their staff we can’t know how to evaluate it. YMMV.

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  189. 189
    Immanentize says:

    @Ruckus:
    I believe I like that answer very much.
    I am filing it away for just-in-case usage.

    ReplyReply
  190. 190
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    I wish someone would throw your explanation in Trump’s face for a response.

    ReplyReply
  191. 191
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: @WaterGirl: I agree everything you both said, but maybe if Warren had had more of a conversation she would have known that the DNA test was throwing a can of gasoline on the issue.

    One the thing the Cherokee rep said that bothered me was that Warren has been “selling her heritage”. As a Senator, as a candidate, as an activist against inequality, she never mentioned the issue until trump started hammering on it. What Harvard did, with her permission, was not great, but in her political career I don’t ‘recall Warren ever mentioning the issue.

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  192. 192
    Doug R says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Listening to a bunch of data analytics people stuck in Brooklyn with no idea of what pounding the pavement in OH, MI, and WI meant was political malpractice. I could’ve told her that she needed to be spending time there as soon as she lost to Bernie in the primary…but that didn’t happen.

    Remember the Russians hacked the DNC INCLUDING ANALYTICS.
    The trump/Russia people knew EXACTLY what the Hillary campaign planned for the rust belt, so it would NEVER BE ENOUGH.
    Plus hacking a few voter databases-change a comma here, drop a middle name there, then let CROSSCHECK flag it along with a few closed polling stations and there’s your 40,000 vote margin.

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  193. 193
    Ruckus says:

    @Princess:
    I like the way you say this.
    My dad used to say that he wasn’t so much a boss as a fire captain. It was a very apt description of what often goes on in a job. Everything is fine right up until the moment it turns into a raging blaze and takes a calm person to see what needs to be done and assign everyone what to do.

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  194. 194
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: Still laughing out loud at your answer.

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  195. 195
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize:

    Every candidate should speak to their management style and history.

    Absolutely! That was one thing I paid a lot of attention to in 2007 with Barack and Hillary.

    As you say, we can use some of our experience with Trump for the good.

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  196. 196
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    Bernie wants to be the team.
    He doesn’t have the skills, doesn’t have the depth or width, but he knows he’s the team.

    ReplyReply
  197. 197
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think it was really a dumb move on Warren’s part to get the test, just as I thought it was really dumb that Hillary ran her own email server.

    It’s really not that hard to look at a possible action and draw the dotted line to possible outcomes. I have cats who get up on the counters — if a guest takes their wine glass to the kitchen (or whatever) and puts i on the edge of the counter i have to wonder what they could possibly be thinking, and I move it immediately.

    Wine glass on edge of counter = high probability of broken wine glass. So you don’t put the glass there. They both failed big time on that here, but that doesn’t mean that what happened with Hillary wasn’t a travesty. But I think it was an “own goal” for Hillary, and again now for Warren.

    I just hope this doesn’t go on to define Warren and derail her candidacy.

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  198. 198
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: as is often the case, I find myself nodding along with Brian Beutler

    Brian Beutler @ brianbeutler
    There are two big political questions that people will resolve with their choices:
    1. Can Warren win the nomination despite lingering unhappiness with her about her obliviousness to important cultural sensitivities? That question will be answered within the Democratic coalition.

    2. If the answer to 1. is yes, can she win the presidency in the face of constant, racist, dishonest GOP smears and mockery? That question will be answered at least in part by mainstream political media, and so far all signs point to the media deciding the answer should be no.

    To be clear, I don’t believe she remains oblivious, and I don’t think she ever did anything malevolent or disingenuous. This is all about past conduct, undertaken by all accounts in good faith.

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  199. 199
    janesays says:

    @MattF: Agreed that there is an uncomfortable correlation between “bad boss” accusations and “female”, and if Klobuchar were the only female candidate or perhaps one of only two female candidates in the presidential race, the bullshit alarm bells would definitely be going off right now. But there are three other highly qualified female candidates and one other technically qualified female candidate (Gabbard) who aren’t being accused of being bad bosses, so the “bad boss” accusations against Klobuchar are troubling.

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  200. 200
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I was literally nodding, too, as I read the quote from Beutler. I am not all that optimistic about our shallow “we only care about the horserace” media. Most of the media has outlived their usefulness and have lost the plot. I hope the ones that are still performing the act of journalism are the ones that win out.

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  201. 201
    Ruckus says:

    @Jager:
    Dad knew his stuff.
    @Martin:
    Well put.

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  202. 202
    Julia Grey says:

    @Suzanne:
    “I should note that the rumor about someone being hit when she threw a binder is….concerning. Unsubstantiated rumor at this point, but if true, that’s some next-level shit.”

    Yeah, when you get to the point of THROWING things, even if no one is hit, that’s a clue that your self control is gone.

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  203. 203
    Barbara says:

    Women are mean and hypercritical and get raked over the coals for not being sensitive. Men refuse to suffer fools gladly and are praised for having high standards. Along the same lines women who say anything talk too much and women who remain quiet don’t add value. The double standard lives and thrives in its resplendant and repellant glory. Fuck this shit.

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  204. 204
    Ruckus says:

    @Martin:
    This is the person I refer to as a natural leader. They can push when necessary but they push the job at hand, not the personalities. And they know to step aside when that is what is necessary, and give credit to the responsible people.
    People want to work for someone like this. It doesn’t have to be someone at the top of the food chain, just at the link where you see it. And when you work for a really good one you possibly won’t even notice till later how they work and how they get you to do a better job.

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  205. 205
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    OMG just thought of an asshole boss as the first woman president. NO. There is enough problems as it is with women managers thinking they have to be tougher than boys. American society doesn’t need that as an example for every girl to follow and so on. Pelosi shows a woman can be tough leader and not be a jerk .

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  206. 206
    Barbara says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: What problems?

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  207. 207
    debit says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I have yet to see an example of the so called shoddy work she was reacting to. I mean, christ, I don’t want to dogpile on her, but tardy slips on multiple desks? Like her employees are in grade school? (And by the way, if multiple people are late on the same day, that tells me something prevented them from being on time, like the weather, or an accident. In that case the correct boss response would be: take your time, get here safely.)

    And also, too, it wouldn’t matter to me if she was a guy; a shitty boss is a shitty boss and would make a shitty president.

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  208. 208
    Aziz, light! says:

    @Mike in NC:

    At the last place I worked, we had a clueless micromanager as project leader. Probably suffered from Asperger’s.

    This is utter bullshit. Ascribing someone’s bad or thoughtless behavior to Asperger’s Disorder is a thing now, usually based on no actual understanding of the disorder and/or no clinical knowledge of the person being described as such. I’ve seen people here do this way too many times and I wish you would knock it the fuck off. Stop applying this label to people you don’t like. The reality is that most are nowhere near the autism spectrum, and autistic is not a synonym for asshole. Please stop using it that way.

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  209. 209
    tobie says:

    @Barbara: Agree…and TPM today has done a much better job today covering this issue than BJ, where I’ve now learned that it’s accepted as an incontrovertible truth that Klobuchar is “an asshole boss.” At the end of the day the biggest criterion for being President IMO is whether the candidate can get shit done to help people, improve the common welfare, and strengthen the country domestically and internationally. I found this statement in the TPM piece interesting in this regard:

    Klobuchar, 58, is known as a straight-shooting, pragmatist willing to work with Republicans, making her one of the Senate’s most productive members at passing legislation

    Maybe the legislation is small potatoes and then again maybe it’s not. Maybe she recognizes how to work through Republican intransigence at this juncture to get things done. If so, hats off to her. I’ll be curious to see what she proposes assuming a Democratic majority in the Senate in 2020.

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  210. 210
    Princess says:

    @janesays: Actually Gabbard is being accused of being a bad boss — doing things without her staff knowing etc. Since her campaign manager resigned before Gabbard declared, there is something to that. But still the whole tone of these stories is different than it would be about men.

    I’m not saying that managerial style and assholishness aren’t important. They are very important. I just don’t think we’ll ever have the information to sort out the genuinely bad managers/bosses from the average ones amongst the punditry verbiage.

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  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @Immanentize:
    What’s even better is that the dairy story is true. I met this kid in elementary school, like 2nd or 3rd grade and that school was next to one of the dairies. We got to smell and see the cows shit every day. Sort of like going to school on a farm. And this was in LA county. The dairies are long gone now.
    Now the best part, this is actually a true story, happened July 7, 1973. I believe I had what is known as a give a fuck attitude and this was one of the worst run ships I’d heard of in the navy. All of it top down.

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  212. 212
    normal liberal says:

    @Immanentize:
    This is a good list of the concerns aired about Klobuchar, but we have a way to go before it can be accepted as accurate or truthful. Has anyone confirmed the story about Harry Reid? And we don’t have context on some of the others – maybe the staffers who got the tardy slips were repeat offenders. Maybe there was a specific deadline or other work issue that was impacted by a bunch of people being late that day. Who knows? We don’t.
    I can live with Warren riding on the “family stories” bit, but the bar association document on which she wrote in her race/ethnicity as American Indian, or however she phrased it, that was straight-up bullshit even if the family stories were accurate. That and the Harvard problem, and the subsequent lack of clue on how to manage the mess as a candidate, make me worry about her capacity to bring the finesse that a presidential run requires.
    And now I shall step down from my later-to-the-thread soapbox…

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  213. 213
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: Touche’. Good point. I don’t think there’s any reason why Schlemazel would have a reason to overstate his story, but I wasn’t there.

    And, to be clear, I’m not ruling anyone out (in the primary) yet. We should know by now that (almost) all the information we get about the candidates in the press has been filtered through people with an agenda (good or bad). And anecdotal stories are (often) just anecdotes.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  214. 214
    Ruckus says:

    @janesays:
    Is it just possible that an issue for each dem candidate will be found and hammered/harped/shouted on by the press? And this is hers? EW has the heritage thing, AK has the bad manager, KH has the prosecutor, HC emails, who/what else?
    I’m noticing a theme here. Let’s see, what could it be………
    And notice that I’m not saying that it may be a disqualifying issue, it’s just not coinkedink that it’s happening.

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  215. 215
    lollipopguild says:

    @WaterGirl: Part of the process here is discovering how much “fight” is in Warren and the other folks who are running. One thing I liked about HRC was there was no “quit” in her. The Devil in a Blue Pants Suit(TM) showed me that she could learn from her mistakes and keep on fighting, we will see if the 2020 candidates can match her grit. And then there is Baud.

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  216. 216
    Barbara says:

    @tobie: When Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court a whole cadre of male attorneys came out with the “mean bitch” complaints and one of her fellow judges, who was a lot more conservative, said it was straight up sexism. There are a lot of people who take criticism especially poorly when it comes ftom a woman. Maybe Klobuchar is tougher than others, but that might also mean that perhaps some people think life should be easier working for a woman, or maybe she is tougher than she needs to be, but put me down as highly skeptical of complaints from former employees about female bosses.

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  217. 217
    normal liberal says:

    @tobie:
    Amen on the assuming it’s all true tendency, especially given the lack of confirmation of several of the claims, and the retailed hearsay that keeps popping up.
    Like many of you I’ve worked for some stinkers, but I will take one like Klobuchar is described over the passive-aggressive types who maintain control with a sense of constant insecurity.
    And for the record, any Dem nominee wins my commitment, crawling over broken glass response.

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  218. 218
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: Thanks for this. I appreciate your consistent politeness in our BJ debates. Two things that really worry me in the coming months are Republican shenanigans designed to inflame divisions among Democrats and the difficulty of keeping discussion focussed on positions when there are so many candidates and no room for real debate among them. We may all have to take turns scouring campaign websites to figure out the substance of proposals.

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  219. 219
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Nicole:

    “I, like many Americans of European descent, made a dumb mistake, claiming ancestry I had no right to, because of how I understand the concept of ‘ancestry’ at the time. It’s not the only dumb thing I did back then. I also voted Republican.” ;)

    That could be made to work, IMO.
    An improved version of
    @Another Scott:

    Also too, remember that all of these times she “claimed AI ancestry” was when she was a Republican, IIRC.

    It’s all so in the weeds, relative to the DJT TRAIL of tears tweet yesterday.

    Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019

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  220. 220
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie:

    TPM today has done a much better job today covering this issue than BJ, where I’ve now learned that it’s accepted as an incontrovertible truth that Klobuchar is “an asshole boss.”

    We don’t “cover” issues here since this is a blog rather than an actual news organization like TPM, but Marshall’s joint did publish an article on Klobuchar’s staffing challenges the other day, and the comments under it weren’t all that different from the ones here.

    Like I said in #153, I don’t think a handful of anonymous accusations are disqualifying — it may be smoke, but it’s not fire. The only near-disqualifying thing I’ve heard about any Democratic candidate who has declared so far (Gabbard excepted) is that Booker worked with DeVos on charter schools. He’s got some explaining to do!

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  221. 221
    sgrAstar says:

    @Kay: Kay, debit, and company- thanks for the great comments. I was a senior manager at a startup which became a big success. Very, very stressful environment. I was also the only female manager and one of the only women in the company. I never yelled, disparaged, or berated anyone on our team. No hostile emails, no flying binders. If you want your operation to succeed, you have to listen and really hear what people are saying to you. Respectfully. Without recriminations. That’s the only way you can maintain morale and esprit de corps. In 10 years, from startup to global success, no one quit my team. I like to think/hope that’s proof that my very distributed, team-centric leadership style can work. For me, the behavior that AK is accused of is disqualifying; a president who does not command the respect and loyalty of her staff- who creates an atmosphere of fear inside the WH- cannot lead us out of the quagmire. I’m hoping these stories aren’t true….but.

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  222. 222
    Barbara says:

    @sgrAstar: The message being conveyed, as always, is women who are not perfect are worthless. It derives from the presumption that women are incompetent, and any imperfection validates that presumption. Men are presumed to be competent until proven otherwise. Did you ever consider that the people complaining are proceeding from biased assumptions, or just exaggerating? Or does that not matter? Not only do we not know what kind of manager Booker et al. are, we don’t even ask. Fuck. This. Shit.

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  223. 223
    debit says:

    @Barbara:

    The message being conveyed, as always, is women who are not perfect are worthless.

    Wait, what, where? I’m not getting that. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect. I don’t know if the stories are coming from actual disgruntled employees or if it’s the opening salvo in some sort of slime campaign. I think most everyone has been careful to preface comments with “if it’s true…”

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  224. 224
    Barbara says:

    @debit: I have seen this time and again. The search for flaws, the complete failure to push back or reply skeptically and to launch into blah blah blah about the importance of being a good manager. That prefatory, perfunctory “if” isn’t changing the overall impression. That so many women are taking these reports and running with them in comments without considering how they have been treated professionally is incredibly discouraging.

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  225. 225
    WaterGirl says:

    @Barbara: Just speaking for myself, I have said multiple times here that I want to see names attached to the stories before I will take these anonymous sources at their word.

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  226. 226
    Barbara says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes, that’s the minimum we should expect, but I, for one, am simply going to refuse to play small ball on these issues. Engaging in the equivalent of office gossip validates the double standard in effect of what is considered important for women running for office.

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  227. 227
    WaterGirl says:

    @Barbara: I agree with that. Upthread somewhere I was trying to say that if we give credence to stuff like this then we’re helping to promote the next “email” bullshit that we have already seen can destroy a candidate.

    On the other hand, I think that someone who would put tardy slips on an adult’s desk when they are late for work is most definitely someone that doesn’t understand what leadership is, and therefore has no business being president. But did she do that? I don’t know, but leadership style is most definitely something to be considered as we judge presidential candidates.

    On the other, other hand, if she really has a bad reputation she won’t be able to put together a great campaign team, and that alone should affect whether she will end up being a top tier candidate or an also ran. So if names get attached to these stories, and they end up being believable. then I will consider it.

    It’s complicated. Do you think that’s wrong?

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  228. 228
    Barbara says:

    @WaterGirl: If past is prologue we will figure that out by what she does during her campaign, when we see her for ourselves, no anonymous office gossip necessary.

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  229. 229
    WaterGirl says:

    @Barbara: True enough.

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  230. 230
    Darkrose says:

    @Rick: The folks I know who worked at Apple told stories about how they were always afraid of meeting Jobs in an elevator. He was known to grill people, and if he didn’t like the answer, your stuff would be in a box by the time you got back to your desk.

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  231. 231
    WaterGirl says:

    @Darkrose: Answer to the question: Why do you always take the stairs?

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  232. 232
    sgrAstar says:

    @Barbara: if the allegations have any credibility, they won’t be anonymous for long. I don’t think anyone has suggested ditching AK unless lots more detail is forthcoming. My 2 cents.

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  233. 233

    So this Midwestern nice is just an act for AK?
    मुंहमें राम बग़ल में छूरी
    (mouths God’s (Ram) name and has a knife on the side)

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  234. 234
    VeniceRiley says:

    I spent the entire primary 4 years aho yelling about what a shitbag of a boss Bernie Sanders was and is, and how sexist and racist his employment practises are. Worse than Klobuchar by quite a bit. But yes, hers are important in the grand scheme of things. The POTUS is responsible for so much key hiring, and I want the best. I have spent the last couple days comparing those two to kamala Harris. You can check out her manegement style here: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/01/the-secret-to-understanding-kamala-harris/

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  235. 235
    Sab says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Midwesterners aren’t any nicer than anyone else. We’ve been here six generations. We would have noticed by now.

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  236. 236

    @Sab: Just last week I was told by the MSM that Amy K was Midwestern, centrist and nice unlike those coastal shrill harpies.

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  237. 237
    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I would be happy if Wilmer were appointed Secretary of Go Away.

    You have thoughts I wish I had, or have also, or something. Secretary of Go Away — a perfect job assignment for Sen. Sanders!!

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  238. 238
    Leslie says:

    @Aziz, light!: Agreed.

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  239. 239
    J R in WV says:

    @debit:

    I’ve contacted her office several times, and never once received a reply, not even a form letter. These weren’t angry “you better vote my way” contacts, but seeking help for clients and fellow constituents.

    This is a terrible sign, and enough for me to not contribute to or support her primary campaign at all. A high level office holder needs to respond to constituents quickly, and to help those constituents navigate the structure of government when needed.

    Even Joe Manchin’s office is responsive to constituent services, kind of, in their own sloppy way. But they do respond, even if it is sometimes with a form letter that doesn’t seem directly responsive to an issue. Yes, we too have trouble with federal agencies!

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  240. 240
    J R in WV says:

    @germy:

    Hell, let the winner appoint Bernie to something. Maybe Dept. of Labor…

    No way Sen. Sanders would take that job. It would mean working hard and having a boss to report to. Never gonna happen!!

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  241. 241
    J R in WV says:

    @tobie:

    …evidence that a candidate routinely lied about her ethnicity is met with a shrug….

    Who would this be? If you mean Senator Warren, I think her DNA test proved the truth of her family’s stories about their history… Repubicans are lying about her background, she is not.

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  242. 242
    J R in WV says:

    @Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite:

    I was a caver in WV limestone country way back. I quit after the first time I was incapacitated by a back spasm while kayaking on New River, not wanting to need a rescue team to help back through squeezes and such.

    Love those oddball formation names also. Lots of them here in AZ!!

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  243. 243
    J R in WV says:

    @tobie:

    … If people dislike Klobuchar, they’ll harp on her management style, which for me is as irrelevant as Warren lying about being an American Indian….

    OK, now we are down to bras tacks. You are talking up Republican lies about Senator Warren’s family history. She was told about a link in her family to a Native person, never used that story to her advantage, had a DNA test which showed a tiny fraction of Native American heritage. She has never claimed any tribal membership, as that is determined by tribal rolls, not a percentage of DNA.

    You need to STOP promulgating Republican lies about SEnator Warren, and you need do STFU about it until you know your facts about Senator Warren.

    ETA: Further, no responsible Native American tribal leader has criticized Senator Warren on this issue so far as I recall. Republican Native Americans may have, who cares?

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