Clown Car Open Thread: I, of Course, Blame the Oval Office Occupant

The curve for mediocre white men is very real. Perhaps it is my natal chauvinism, but as far as I can tell, Bill de Blasio is the 21st century version of John V. Lindsay: A less-than-popular NYC mayor whose only qualification for higher office is “I am extremely tall and have presidential hair.”

I mean, say what you will about Marianne Williamson (I am not a supporter, or even a reader), but at least she has millions of actual fans. Getting dinged as one of the no-hopers who didn’t even make the 20-person debate cut’ hardly seems worth taking media attention away from those candidates who do have a shot, and Goddess knows we don’t lack for qualified candidates already.

But then again, if you’ve got the kind of ego required for a political career, and you look at the farcical puppet now representing America and the Republican party…

67 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    We’re going to need a bigger debate stage.

  2. 2
    Skepticat says:

    Anybody can grow up to be President doesn’t mean everybody should try.


  3. 3
    debbie says:


    There should be enough seats in the auditorium for the candidates. The audience can just sit on the stage.

  4. 4
    Lapassionara says:

    It is still 2019. There could be even more!

  5. 5
    Mike in NC says:

    What I learned earlier tonight at a neighborhood party from a wingnut down the street:

    (1) There are more than 50 cities and towns in England where the majority population is Muslim and Sharia Law is in effect.

    (2) The spreading measles problem was caused by undocumented immigrant caravans coming across the border.

    Please tell me this sad sack doesn’t get 100% of his fake news from FOX.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:

    I’m getting kind of Michael Bennet-curious. He speaks very well.

  7. 7
    My Side of Town says:

    Oh what to do on a Saturday night. I guess I’ll watch the History of Time Travel on Amazon Prime… snip… Damn! It’s happening!

  8. 8

    Make it stahhhhhhhp

  9. 9
    tobie says:

    I get the feeling nobody likes their current job. I can’t recall if it was Chris Murphy or Brian Schatz who joked that somebody needs to stay in the Senate who knows how to turn the lights on.

  10. 10
    catclub says:

    @Mike in NC:

    this sad sack doesn’t get 100% of his fake news from FOX.

    No love for Prison planet, Alex Jones and ZeroHedge? And where is Glenn Beck these days? Practically respectable by comparison.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    @My Side of Town

    Interesting effort, worth a view. Reminiscent of Ken Burns in style and end product; that they pulled it off with a paltry budget was impressive.

  12. 12
    My Side of Town says:

    I’ve never watched Amazon Prime. I’ve been in a coma for the last three days. Who the fuck is Trump?

  13. 13
    ThresherK says:

    I am extremely tall and have presidential hair.

    Someone’s been reading John Thune’s diary?

  14. 14
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mike in NC, @catclub:

    It’s getting to the point that Fox News is at the mainstream end of their sources.

  15. 15
    hells littlest angel says:

    I think every white man 35 or over in the entire country should run in the primary. And each of them should vote for himself. Then the rest of us can do the real decision-making.

  16. 16
    Felanius Kootea says:

    So Amy Klobuchar has been my number 3 pick, behind Harris and Warren. I read something on twitter about her husband, John Bessler, being a member of the federalist society, so I looked it up. It may explain her belief that she can get Republicans to work with her, a belief that now bumps her to number 5 on my list behind Julian Castro and Kirsten Gillibrand.

  17. 17
    My Side of Town says:

    Well at least they are all democrats, supposedly, except for Bernie.

  18. 18
    Citizen_X says:

    So how did DeBlasio fuck up so bad? Is he just incompetent at his job? I thought he was supposed to be NYC’s great liberal hope after Bloomberg, but now he seems less popular with New Yorkers. Can any locals provide some insight?

  19. 19
    My Side of Town says:

    Maybe we could nominate a tri-president.

  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    @Felanius Kootea:
    Didn’t know that. Now I do. She was already cancelled, now more so.😠😠

  21. 21
    zhena gogolia says:


    I’m not too local, but he’s a bumbling idiot, as it appears from CT.

  22. 22
    Bill Arnold says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    I think every white man 35 or over in the entire country should run in the primary. And each of them should vote for himself.

    Sorry, no. I’ll vote for Harris or Warren, probably.

  23. 23
    Sab says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Jeez. Married to a Federalist Society member is kind of disqualifying.

  24. 24
    jk says:

    Whatever shortcomings Bill de Blasio may have, he’s not a fucking moron like Joe Biden. Biden supported the crime bill, supported the Iraq war, supported banks and credit card companies over consumers, treated Anita Hill like dirt, and praised Dick Cheney for being a decent man. Biden is a scumbag and any other Democratic candidate would be preferable to him.

  25. 25
    Spider-Dan says:

    Democrats have been infected with the same kind of magical thinking that causes the Green Party to drive down the margin between D and R every 4 years. The election is for the office of President, not Emperor or Wizard-King. We have MANY other races we need to win.

    If you have not been a Senator or Governor, you should go win a race for Senator or Governor. Again, we need them! If you can’t win in your own state, then move, like Scott Brown or Mitt Romney.

    If you haven’t AT LEAST displayed the chops to win a statewide election, you have no business running for President of the United States.

  26. 26
    My Side of Town says:

    If you haven’t AT LEAST displayed the chops to win a statewide election, you have no business running for President of the United States.

    Haven’t you heard, get aligned with Russia and anything is possible.

  27. 27
    sukabi says:

    @My Side of Town: you’ll be happier if you resume your coma.

  28. 28
    sukabi says:

    @Citizen_X: I think the “late comers” are in it for the donor cash.

  29. 29
    James E Powell says:


    If you haven’t AT LEAST displayed the chops to win a statewide election, you have no business running for President of the United States.

    Pretty much agree and I wish that some people would see that they have more value in the senate or the house than as a failed presidential candidate. I think about John Edwards as one example. He might have turned out to be a senator for life from NC and done a lot of good just by holding a seat in a red state.

  30. 30
    Eolirin says:

    @zhena gogolia: Idk, my impression is that he’s not really. It seems like he doesn’t work well with others though, especially the governor, and so he’s rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and it’s hampered his ability to get things done. There’s also the typical corruption of NYC pols.

    He’s done some important things though, like expand access to pre-k. But that primarily helps low income people and minorities, so white more affluent democrats don’t really care that much, and they don’t really seem to like him. But he pretty much coasted to reelection, so it’s not like he’s got that limited support.

  31. 31
    Sab says:

    I am kind of enthused politically at the local level. My little city is a very blue city in a red state. Our primary is the local election. (Sort of the Republicans own fault, since their normal local candidates lose theiir minds, morals and patriotism when they run for higher office. So we no longer give the nice Republican we have known for years a chance.)

    We are having city council elections. Just the primary, since that is all that matters. And it has been wild. Contested elections in every ward. Canvassers swarming the neighborhoods.

    People seem to be aware that local government matters. It’s exciting.

  32. 32
    Ben Cisco says:

    “Everybody wants ta get inta da act.” – J. Durante

  33. 33

    @Spider-Dan: I believe that Baud is running for Wizard-King.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jk: Did Biden kill your dog or something?

  35. 35
    Eolirin says:

    @Spider-Dan: This is absolutely true, but doesn’t make any sense in the context of De Blasio running. Mayor of NYC is a bigger job than governor of most states, and there’s a lock on the governorship and senate seats, all of which are held by democrats, and none of which are at risk.

    There’s no where else to go if he wants to move up.

  36. 36
    Barbara says:

    @Mike in NC: All those orthodox Jews streaming across the border!

  37. 37
    Harbison says:


    I trust Barack Obama’s judgement about Joe Biden more than yours.

    And as for the decades old Anita Hill kerfluffle, I am with Nancy Smash on this one:

    Ms. Pelosi also shared some thoughts about the expansive and expanding Democratic field of presidential candidates. Joseph R. Biden Jr. “took off because people know him,” she said. “They trust him.”

    When asked whether Mr. Biden would pay a political price for his grilling of Anita F. Hill during the 1991 confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, Ms. Pelosi shook her head in the negative and waved a hand dismissively.

  38. 38
    Ohio Mom says:

    Josh Marshall had a Twitter thread arguing that De Blasio is actually a pretty good mayor, but that he did not have that swagger which convinces people you’re a bad ass and therefore admirable. That seemed a reasonable view.

    However, at this point, someone could be the Second Coming and I would still say: NO, you can’t run for President on the Democratic ticket!!!

    Clearly, the word on the street is that Trump is beatable. So let’s work on that as a team, all you would-be’s. Run for Senate or something else.

  39. 39
    Eolirin says:

    @Harbison: Pelosi probably isn’t wrong.

    But it should. In a just world it would be disqualifying, especially when we have strong female candidates running.

  40. 40
    The Lodger says:

    I can see De Blasio saying to himself, “Mayor of South Bend, Idaho? How the fuck do I not beat this guy?”

  41. 41
    My Side of Town says:

    Trump is putting ads on almost every Youtube video I play, especially country tunes.

  42. 42
    jk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Harbison:

    On the big issues I mentioned, Biden was one on the wrong side plus he’s too old and there are smarter, more talented candidates in this race. He’s an out of touch dinosaur who’d be a Republican opposition researcher’s dream.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Eolirin: If you think that what Biden did was disqualifying, there is a very easy way to handle it. Don’t vote for him in your state’s primary.

  44. 44
    plato says:

    Cheaper by the dozen two dozens.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jk: I understand your argument. I don’t even disagree with it all that much. It is the level of vitriol that surprises me.

  46. 46
    James E Powell says:


    I’m not a Biden fan, never have been, but I do not think he’d be a Republican opposition researcher’s dream. Everything about Biden is known and, to a large extent, already forgiven.

    Our problem isn’t issues or age or smarts. It’s who can beat Trump and give us some coattails.

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:


    Someone’s been reading John Thune’s diary?

    “I am extremely tall & have presidential hair” is, IIRC, a recycled joke from John Vliet Lindsay’s abortive campaign — probably Jimmy Breslin, but the abuse from his NYC subjects was unrelenting.

    TBH, if de Blasio decided to pull a reverse-JVL, switch to the GOP, and run against the current occupant, I might have some respect for the man!

  48. 48
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Klobuchar was never that high on my ever-changing list but hearing that she is married to a member of the Federalist Society kicks her right off.

    Coming in behind Bernie on my list — that is a location I did not imagine could exist in this universe.

  49. 49
    Sab says:

    @Sab: Also all the kids seem to be involved. My eighteen year old step-granddaughter says : “at least all of my friends are finally aware that there are three branches of government.”

    That’s a lot. They usually are worrying about their prom date.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    Went to the Chino air show today. Been before, it was good, it was fun, it was hot in the sun and walking in slow moving crowds is tiring.
    However. As we were sitting down for lunch, to old, white farts with make america shitty again hats on sat down at the next table. Buddy and I were discussing what would be the appropriate response to these jackasses. Turns out none of our answers were suitable for this blog. And yes I know that’s saying something. What it’s saying is that these two assholes were standout obnoxious. They and their asinine hats were the only political thing I saw all day.
    Lot of good tee shirt sayings though.
    Kid maybe 7 had on a shirt that said the words “Home” and “Work” do not go together.
    Grown man had
    “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.
    How can I join in?”

    Just two of many.

  51. 51
    plato says:

    From the nixon guy.

    If Trump starts investigating the investigators — meaning Mueller & Co. — the policy of not indicting a sitting president must be canceled. Trump should be indicted for obstruction of justice — which is ongoing. Do it by every attorney in the DOJ walking out if it is not done!— John Dean (@JohnWDean) May 5, 2019

    No idea what he is trying to say in the last line.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    She can now count on at least 2 votes for last place. As we can’t do that I’ll settle for not voting for her at all.
    Now I realize that people can be married and hold differing political views. But running for president and moving a member of the federalist society into the WH? Yeah, that’s a Grand Canyon’s worth of stupid.

  53. 53
    Jeffro says:

    This is stupid.

    1) They all smell blood in the water (re: trumpov)

    2) 90% of them are ‘running’ for VP

    3) Obama (qualified though he was, capable though he turned out to be, but a little short on national political resume) and now “Mr Exonerated “ the c-list reality TV star, make everyone think ‘well sure, I can run and win and do the job’

    Give Pelosi or Obama an interview question about who they see as the top 5 Dems in the race, and the remainder will be out of contention in a week or two

  54. 54
    Eolirin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t intend to.

  55. 55
    My Side of Town says:

    I’ll leave this with you. It’s kinda how I feel about y’all.
    Good night.

  56. 56
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Jeffro: Obama and Pelosi would never say their top five out loud. But I bet they have both been biting their tongues.

    @Ruckus: What is it? Amy can’t see anything wrong with belonging to the Federalist Party? If so, how committed could she be to the Democratic party’s values? It makes her untrustworthy to me.

    She can’t convince hubby of the error of his ways? How can you lead a country if you can’t be persuasive? This makes her ineffectual to me.

  57. 57
    dr. luba says:


    He’s an out of touch dinosaur who’d be a Republican opposition researcher’s dream.

    Actually, that describes Wilmer much better.

  58. 58
    Ohio Mom says:

    @dr. luba: Yup.

    And I say that as someone who is quite ambivalent about Biden.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Having a husband in the Federalist Society is a flat out no go. I consider the Federalist Society to be an outright enemy of the Constitution.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Felanius Kootea: @ Ohio Mom: @Ruckus: I don’t think that he is a member of the Federalist Society. His CV shows that the vast majority of his publication history is anti-death penalty. It looks as though he was a panelist at a couple of Federalist Society events. To me, his record looks pretty damn liberal.

  61. 61
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Eolirin: De Blasio replacing Cuomo would be quite a significant improvement. The fact that he can’t is not to De Blasio’s credit.

    You say “He has nowhere left to go” as if he is somehow owed the opportunity to keep rising in his own state. Again, as I just said: if you can’t win in your own state, then move to another one and win there. Obama wasn’t the Senator from Hawaii, and Romney isn’t the Senator from Massachusetts.

  62. 62
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m relieved to hear that. When I saw the Federalist Society page listing him, I was in shock but didn’t realize it was just for panels at their events and he’s not necessarily a member. Klobuchar is still in fifth place for me though because of her comments about how easily she’d be able to work with Republicans. It tells me she sleepwalked through parts of Obama’s presidency.

  63. 63
    sukabi says:

    @Felanius Kootea: maybe she thinks throwing things and making them watch her eat salad with her comb will persuade them.

  64. 64
    Jeffery says:

    216 people filed papers to run for President as a democrat in 2020.

  65. 65
    evodevo says:

    This race is turning into the Ky Derby….where every wannabe wants to take a run. (AND with yesterday’s chaotic results, looks more and more like 2016 lol)

  66. 66
    PJ says:

    @Ohio Mom: “Swagger”, whatever the F that means, has nothing to do with De Blasio’s unpopularity. He did one big good thing with universal pre-K (not quite universal, but way better than what was not there before). But he has a lot of unforced errors, only some of which come from his antipathy to Cuomo (which is mutual). The subway is falling apart, and while the bulk of the blame falls on Cuomo (the city owns the tracks but MTA is controlled by the state), De Blasio doesn’t take public transportation (he insists on a daily limousine ride to and from the Mayor’s residence on the UES to his old gym in Park Slope) and appears to be completely clueless about how things have deteriorated.

    But a lot of De Blasio’s problems have nothing to do with Cuomo. He is in the pocket of real estate developers, which results in him investing political capital in policies like banning horse carriages so that the stables can be sold and converted to luxury housing, or pushing for a tram line on the Brooklyn waterfront (which would be swept away in the next Sandy) to help sell luxury condos there. NYCHA has been mismanaged for a long time, rendering many apartments uninhabitable (no heat in winter, elevators not working, sewage backing up into units, etc.), and De Blasio’s solution is to sell off open space in public housing complexes to developers. In being pro-real estate industry, he’s pretty much the same as Bloomberg, but De Blasio sold himself as a liberal. NYC needs real affordable housing, but De Blasio’s solution for everything is more luxury housing.

    Spending his time in Iowa and New Hampshire (starting in 2016, where he “campaigned” for Hillary there by knocking on doors – I’m sure it was a big help to her campaign) just helps reinforce how out of touch he is with the daily problems New Yorkers face. After the first few years in office, he just seems to have stopped caring, and it’s pretty obvious.

  67. 67
    PJ says:

    @PJ: This piece summarizes some of the reasons why De Blasio is disliked:

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