Totally conventional views I hold about Hillary Clinton

I’ve been receiving numerous requests for more of my “totally conventional views,” and someone asked me about HRC.  We’ve never covered her in the past, so why not?  But by construction of this series, none of what follows is at all new and probably there won’t be any discussion in the comments.  But with that in mind, I’ll offer up these points:

Hillary

1. Women are judged far more by their looks than are men, and Hillary’s are not right for the presidency.  She doesn’t seem composed enough, schoolmarmish enough a’ la Thatcher, and frankly many men, when they see her in their mind’s eye, imagine a voice saying “Look here, buster…!”  Her hair is not properly ordered for the Executive Office, and I suspect many Americans want for their first female President to appear somewhat ageless.  I am not suggesting any of this is fair or even an efficient form of Bayesian statistical discrimination, but it is a reality.

2. If not for factor #1, a healthy Hillary would be a shoo-in for demographic reasons, but as it stands her chances of winning are overrated.

3. A Clinton Presidency is the most likely of any, from the major candidates, to serve up significant and enduring market-oriented reforms.  She could bring along enough Democrats to work with the Republicans, and reclaim a version of the old Clinton legacy.  That said, her presidency also is more likely to effect change in the opposite direction as well, so the net expected value here is hard to calculate and still may be negative.

4. Given #1 and #2, and other gender-related factors, your opinion about Hillary, no matter what it may be, is less reliable than you think.  That suggests you should think about her less rather than more (sorry people for this post, what did Wittgenstein say about that ladder?), because I don’t think you’re going to see much of a payoff from grabbing here at that third derivative.

5. The willingness of the Clinton Foundation to solicit donations from foreign governments and leaders is corrupt, and yet mostly receives a free pass, in spite of some recent coverage on corporate donations.  I read recently they might stop soliciting donations “…if Hillary runs for President,” also known as “hurry up and give now!”  Arguably we would be electing a political machine as President of the United States, even more than usual.

6. Democratic intellectuals and operatives are quite unexcited — or should I say “fervently and passionately unexcited” — about the prospect of a Hillary candidacy.  The energy is already drained from the room, and they haven’t opened the door yet.

7. There is still the question of how the press, and the American people, might process any subsequent revelations about Bill’s “activities” since leaving the White House.

8. It will be hard to avoid giving the public “Hillary fatigue,” given how many years she has been in the public eye.  This is another reason why I think her chances are overrated, plus she will have to be very careful to carry herself in the debates just the right way, see #1 and #2 again.

9. It is easier to transcend race than gender.

Comments

#9 What does that even mean. We have already pretty much transcended gender. Women are killing it in the modern western world.

Not saying I necessarily agree with Tyler, but being economically successful in a society does not imply that the group has broad political respect. Coptic Christians are "killing it" in Egypt, but the broader Egyptian population, far from considering one for president, would rather kill them.

I am not sure "Coptic Christians are killing it" as the distribution of wealth for Coptic Christians is bimodal. There is a small number of very wealthy people, many of whom are either dual citizens or part of the diaspora, and a large number of very poor people.

Much like women in the U.S.

LOL no

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"Coptic Christians are “killing it” in Egypt," -- Is this a really tasteless joke?

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/15/middleeast/isis-video-beheadings-christians/

It's really awful.

I really don't think it was a joke, or even an intentional reference to that event.

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Man... I can't agree with #9. I'm not a woman but I'm a black man... many rivers have been crossed but we still have a loooooong way to go. Not only in America but also in Europe (where Muslim "is the new black") and even in Africa!

Women are doing just fine, Hillary will not lose because of her gender.

Are you happy with Obama's performance. If I were a woman, I would want the first female president to be basically anyone but Hillary. Jill Stein may run again, so it isn't even like she will be the only one on the ballot in the general.

Which means you woukd not want a first female president now, because, let's be honest, Hillary is the only game in town.

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Women are killing it in the modern western world.

Sez who? The majority of the working population is male and is male in every age group bar those under 20, among which girls have a small advantage. The numerical advantage is sufficient that even the sum of employed women and mothers with pre-school children does not exceed the population of men employed. Men also dominate managerial occupations to this day. Keep in mind that a worker of median age in today's world finished high school around about 1988.

Women have a higher propensity to enroll in tertiary schooling. The male propensity has not changed much in 35 years, but the women's has. The thing is, comfortable majorities following the most useful and demanding programs - business, engineering, and information technology - are male. Put the hypothesis on the table that women enroll in tertiary schooling more because such is more salient for sorting the conventionally feminine sectors of the labor market than it is conventionally masculine sectors (and acknowledge that the additional increment of each cohort entering baccalaureate granting institutions now as opposed to 1978 is an increment filled with marginal students).

I think I heard there are 100 women in Congress.

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I agree with #9. Let's put it bluntly, it's easier to elect a black man than a woman. Not that's its fair or even beneficial but a good portion of this country (if they're honest with themselves) would have a hard time voting for a woman. I think the country would benefit from more female politicians, females from both sides seem more level headed, reasonable and, probably most importantly, require less ego stroking.

See, I think of women as, in general, more emotional and thus substantially less level-headed than men. I also see women as being better at self-deception, which can be both an asset and a liability.

Yeah, men just murder so much more often because they've all made a level headed cost benefit analysis and decided that someone needed to go. Give me a break, I've had female coworkers cry at work and I've had a male coworker who needed to go to the doctor because he hurt his hand trying to beat a copy machine fixed. I think there's a temptation to reduce "emotion" to "stereotypically female emotions" and then say women are more emotional. Men and women have different emotional responses but characterizing men as being particularly rational and unemotional is silly when dudes are much more likely to shout, get in fist fights, sulk and engage in all sorts of unhealthy emotional behavior than women are.

I think you're confounding means and tails of the distribution. Or, as one sour fellow put it, "men have spikes of aggression; women have rhythms of aggression" (or, in the case of some female co-workers I've had, constant low-grade aggression).

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By the way, Hillary's well known as a terror to work for. She would not beat the copier, though. She'd call it a "f***ing Jew-bastard" and throw a lamp at it.

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Violence is pretty concentrated on the far left tail of the bell curve, is it not? I don't think noting that men commit more violent crime is evidence of much except high aggression and poor impulse control amongst a certain class of men.

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As a former Ivy League fratboy, I can assure you that no, violence is not restricted to the left side of the bell-curve.

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Ask anyone, male or female, who has both a son and a daughter. And it does not change into adulthood.

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females from both sides seem more level headed, reasonable and, probably most importantly, require less ego stroking.

I recall a clergydame I once knew told me about the stereotyped interview with seminary rectors wherein the aspirant is asked why s/he wishes to go into the ministry. The modal response is, "I like working with people". The standard answer, "Oh? Do you know many?".

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Well we've never seen women run for office before, so we can't really know.

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I posit that TC's "totally conventional" views are in fact, from a Straussian point of view, quite unconventional--and that's the point!

You're such a Straussian mood affiliator. Have you no shame?

Earnest question: what do "Straussian" and "mood affiliation" mean? I get the sense they have real meanings but are used here as running jokes of some sort?

mood affiliation - is IMO a phrase used to capture common likes and dislikes that groups share that are broader than partisan or ideological leanings.

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You need to learn to read between the lines.

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I take "Straussian" to mean using a sub or meta interpretation. That is, reading between the lines, especially because the author's real audience are those who read between the lines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Strauss#Strauss_on_reading

Mood affiliation is less well defined, but I think people mean, I feel a certain way (optimistic or pessimistic) on a given topic and will then choose the logic that justifies my feelings rather than working from discovery of facts, to synthesizing facts into logic, to building an attitude based on this knowledge.
http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/03/the-fallacy-of-mood-affiliation.html

Did I do ok? Would love some clarification if I'm even in the ballpark.

Isn't mood affiliation just TC's made up term for what is more commonly called motivated reasoning? If not, what's the distinction between the two?

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yeah, I'm not too sure either, but here's what I read when I read those phrases.

My impression is that Straussian is when someone publicly states a point they don't actually agree with, to force the readers to question their own beliefs and to question what they believe the writer believes.

e.g. a writer who says and backs up a claim that 'Shakespeare is a bad writer' because they want to call attention to how the styles of writing have changed so much over the past few centuries.

Mood affiliation is when someone starts perception of a new topic from the perspective of their peers.

e.g. An 'environmental policy' will immediately be dismissed by a conservative, before any details are actually given, because as a conservative they are expected to dislike environmental policies. They may be convinced after details are given, but the initial knee-jerk will be to do what they believe their peers will do. It's a shortcut to thinking when there is too much to think about.

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And these are conventional views...where?

At a Koch Brothers funded, Republican leading, professorship and the gaggle of conservative posters it attracts to its website?

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She looked fine in 2008. Presumably she had had a facelift the optimal time before the campaign began. So she may look better in 2016 than she does right now.

I am skeptical of #1. Everyone talks about how important looks are for political candidates, but I'm not convinced. Where's the evidence?

Yes. And, why no mention of Angela Merkel? Or are German voters less sexist? (and, in the case of Thatcher, British voters, too). Finally, as far as sexism is concerned, are female voters more or less likely to vote for Hillary because she is a woman, regardless of what she looks like. I'm guessing this outweighs any male judgements on her looks. Finally, it's entirely possible that the average voter finds those "hey Buster looks" an asset for a President.

Degree of sexism in politics can vary widely by country. Not that Germany is particularly less sexist than the US, but share of women in Congress is still only about 1/5. I think it is a valid barrier.

'Not that Germany is particularly less sexist than the US'

Germany is significantly more sexist than the U.S., based on more than two decades of living here.

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Both Thatcher and Merkel had/have a kempt, 'schoolmarmish' look.
Hillary, lately, has a crazy Aunt Ida who bathes once a week look to her.
Her performance as Sec of State was quite poor, or several times it seemed she was suffering from dementia.
Whether you love her or hate her, she used to be a smart lady, not so much now.

That actually has been her life-long look, perhaps briefly interrupted during the Clinton presidency

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"That actually has been her life-long look, perhaps briefly interrupted during the Clinton presidency"

It's gotten worse. This is her official Secretary of State portrait. (So not that long ago).
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop.jpg

This is the look we've seen lately:
http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Hillary-Clinton-Biopic-Rodham.jpg

That being said, I expect she'll get a make over for the campaign and she'll have a well funded team to ensure she looks picture perfect during the campaign.

I don't expect her looks to matter much, I think Tyler is wrong about that. I expect all of the baggage she brings, the foreign donors, the super sleazy US donors (Jeffrey Epstein), the mediocre to poor performance as Secretary of State, etc to way far heavier on the electorates decisions.

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She will probably get a makeover, but the older one gets the harder the makeover gets. Hillary's already starting to acquire that "too many facelifts" appearance.

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Women like Thatcher and Merkel in America have other things to do with their lives than get involved in electoral politics. (Condoleeza Rice comes to mind). Women politicians in America are mediocrities who compare favorably to their male counterparts only in that they are less likely to take bribes or bang the interns. Dianne Feinstein would be the odd exception to this rule. Sarah Palin is certainly suitable for a leadership position, but ancillary aspects of her persona seem to have a strange effect on large swaths of the public (especially yobs who write for a living).

Art, you're clearly a smart guy (and write like someone who wants us all to know that). You can't see the obvious point that Sarah Palin is just plain dumb? This isn't an ideological comment, she's dumb. So is Rick Perry. I don't mean dumb relative to humanity, I mean relative to anyone in the political realm. On the other hand, some of the folks on the right the left liked to call dumb were nothing of the sort: Bush II, Reagan, etc. Sarah Palin is not suitable for a major leadership position. Mayor (sorry, GOVERNOR) of a state with around 700,000 people doesn't count.

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Perry isn't dumb, I've interacted with him in his capacity as governor and he is probably as smart as any of the other candidates except Jindal and Paul. He committed a gaffe because he was tired and taking meds, however convincing the American people of that may be a lost cause. Would it help if he took an IQ test?

Even if he were dumb his staff would not be, and he could be relied on to apply Texas policy on a national level. That said, I'm not sure he is the strongest candidate. I don't think Palin would be a good candidate as her positions have made less sense since leaving office. I do see a lot of strong female officials at the state senate level.

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Art, you’re clearly a smart guy (and write like someone who wants us all to know that). You can’t see the obvious point that Sarah Palin is just plain dumb?

It is 'obvious' among a certain social set. You take your cues from them, I do not. There's a good reason I do not. That social set fancies Barack Obama, who is lighter than air.

State governors have pretty much the same set of responsibilities everywhere; it is just that there are fewer obstructive veto groups in a smaller political community like Alaska. Actually, the curious characteristics of Alaska's settlement patterns lead to functions more germane to local government elsewhere repairing to the state government, so her smorgasbord of responsibilities was correspondingly more variegated If Gov. Palin is 'unsuitable', every Democratic candidate who set up an exploratory committee in 2008 was unsuitable bar Bill Richardson, because not one of the rest of them had held an executive position of any kind.

As for 'dumb', there is no indication of notable failures in Sarah Palin's life, either in the domestic realm or in the political offices she's held, her private sector work, or in her schooling. In the quantum of schooling she received, she's between the 73d percentile and the 88th percentile of her cohort. Unlike Joseph Biden and Barack Obama, she actually supervised people who had real jobs to do and were not there simply to serve the office-holder, and she had done that for 11 years at the time she was tapped. She is one of the very few people in presidential politics (post Harry Truman) to have an intimate familiarity with the operations of local government. Alaska also had one of the two best balance sheets of any American state at the time she resigned as governor. We need more such dummies in American politics.

What you're doing is channeling Charles Fried and Kathleen Parker and saying a woman who did not go to graduate school, speaks in flat vowels, has a blue-collar husband, and has rustic hobbies is not suitable for high political office no matter what she accomplishes in lower offices. Fried did not put it that way, but given his willingness to endorse a vapid motormouth like Barack Obama, that's the gist of his remarks. Snobby superficiality is unattractive, and disqualified Fried and Parker form being taken seriously.

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@ Dan L: So a smart person holds rallies to pray for rain? Sorry, I'm not buying it. Palin is actually smarter than that guy. Doesn't make him a bad person, he's just not smart (especially in this context).

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@msgkings

I'm not sure if "dumb" is the right word (though let's be real, she probably is), I think she's more of a con artist. She knows what she's doing. She knows she's never gonna be president, but she pretends that she's considering it so that she can sell more books to suckers and command higher speaking fees. We are talking about the same target market as people who bought the book about the boy who went to heaven.

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In the UK and Germany the entire electorate does not vote for the PM. The PM run for office in the local district they always have or in a very safe district. The PM is elected by the majority party MPs, not the public. Si it is very different than in the US..

Again, women have seldom led federal legislative caucuses in this country. The only exception has been Nancy Pelosi.

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That's a fair point, but you are overstating your case. It is generally not the case that the PM is effectively elected by majority party MP's *after* a general election. What happens is that the person who eventually becomes PM has been elected by his or her party *before* the general election and that person shapes the platform and leads the campaign with the expectation (both in the candidate's and the public's minds) that, if that party is successful, the leader of that party will become PM. So, for example, a vote for the local CDU candidate in Baden- Wuerttenberg is, essentially, in the voters minds, a vote for Angela Merkel for PM.

And, although a much more technical point, in the US, the President is not elected by the public either; he (or she) is elected by the Electoral College.

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Since 1965, the British Conservative Party leader has been chosen by a vote of the parliamentary caucus. It was prior to that an informal position, with the Monarch selecting the prime minister after consulting with sachems and thus anointing a leader. The Labour Party has used several different methods over its history and IIRC abandoned a vote by the parliamentary caucus in 1981 for an electoral college of the parliamentary caucus, a convention of constituency party members, and a convention of union delegates.

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Have you ever been to Europe? I wouldn't say Europeans are less sexist but the woman are more powerful. Power is usually taken and rarely given.

+1

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Height is a primary component of male sexual attractiveness. There has not been a president shorter than the current-day average (5'9") is over 100 years. Probably longer if you adjust for birth cohort. This phenomenon almost certain goes beyond statistical coincidence. It seems like looks being critical to electability is the most likely explanation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heights_of_presidents_and_presidential_candidates_of_the_United_States

Interestingly, Hollywood leading men these days tend to be relatively shorter than in the 1930s-40s, when leading men tended to be 3 to 6 inches above average.

I'm 6'4", but I think height prejudice is stupid these days. It used to correlate with whether or not you came from a well-fed background (and it's probably a good idea to have leaders whose parents could put food on the table). But in these well-fed days, it's overwhelmingly just a genetic quirk.

It would be interesting to see whether women are more impressed with the height of male candidates than men are. In the last four Presidential elections, women basically vote according to a simple model of race and marital status, so there isn't too much room for height to play a role, but perhaps McCain was hurt by being short?

Kerry is very tall, but he looks kind of acromegalic, so that probably didn't help as much as, say, Clinton's healthy-looking height v. Perot. I've been told Kerry has had some plastic surgery -- he looked a little deformed when he was younger. He looked like Herman Munster before getting some work done prior to running for the Senate.

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/06/john-f-kerrys-plastic-surgery.html

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Being short never hurt McCain with the ladies. Even his ex says she's 'crazy about him'. Then there's Fred Thompson, who did not have to chase women; he had to chase them away. You look at these kids in the candy store and you wonder where you went wrong.

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Being bald is also a huge negative for candidates. Rings true for all the presidents I've been alive for.

How would you know? The only bald men who've even set up exploratory committees or stood as favorite sons in the last 50-odd years have been Gerald Ford, Adlai Stevenson III, Alan Cranston, Joseph Biden, and Rudolph Giuliani. (Jerry Brown had hair at the time of his presidential runs, not now). Ford was nearly returned to office, Stevenson was a delegate parking spot for Mayor Daley and not really running, and these other three had obtrusive handicaps having nothing to do with their shiny pates. You think all the bald men in Congress and governor's chairs declined because they knew they were cooked? All the way back to 1960, after the Eisenhower era?

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You say that as if height is an otherwise independent variable, but it is not. Correlation to intelligence, etc. Why is height sexually attractive in the first place? Because of what it signals.

What it signaled 100,000 years ago.

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"What it signaled 100,000 years ago."

A signal doesn't have to be accurate to elicit a response or change an election.

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The sample size is quite small. Only 19, with some being quite close to average--and that is with cherry picking the end point. So, I'm not sure you could make such a strong statistical inference from this.

Also: how often do voters even notice the height of candidates? I would not have even been able to tell you if Obama, Bush, and Clinton were tall or not. Only rarely does the average voter even see them in a way that allows one to gauge their height. This just doesn't seem plausible as a voting criterion.

Even if there is an association between height/looks and becoming president, that doesn't mean the voters must have selected based on those characteristics. There is an alternative explanation: the way good looking people are treated, particularly early in life, may lead them to be more confident and ambitious, and therefore more likely to seek high offices.

"Also: how often do voters even notice the height of candidates?"

This is pretty noticeable. http://images.politico.com/global/080704_doleclinton_kuhn.jpg

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I'm not sure that is the case, I was basically verbally or physically abused every day I attended government schools growing up, but I would be willing to run for office again although I would rather be a state rep or cabinet secretary than President. It provides a strong motivation to want to see school choice bills enacted, but if you are happy with the system you have no real reason to run. I'm not sure we have data on this, the only thing that seems apparent is they have a lot of money at the time they are elected.

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Doug, keep reading further down. I was as surprised as you about the lack of relationship between height and candidacy. I would attribute the fact that modern presidents are taller than modern americans to the relationship between wealth, nutrition and height. Almost all candidates grew up wealthy enough to get decent nutrition. Being taller than the average American is table stakes. Being the taller candidate is irrelevant.

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Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama. All pretty-good looking guys.

I'm sorry that some women don't age as well. Elizabeth Warren is only a 18 months younger and she looks fine.

Carter was hideous. Put the bong down.

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Carter was hideous. Put the bong down. As for BO, I suspect an acquired taste for most women.

Being handsome, more or less, was not decisive for Mitt Romney, Bush the Elder (in the 2d instance), Michael Dukakis, or Barry Goldwater.

Perhaps I'm out of my depth. I defer to your evident expertise in male attractiveness.

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Touche.

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re: Warren, native Americans are renowned for nicely aging skin.

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IMO, women age better if they DON'T try to keep looking like they are 30.
Warren let her hair go grey and doesn't dye it.
By comparison, clinton seems to work at it so much, and it doesn't turn out well.

Here's Clinton looking relatively good:
http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/hillary-clinton-faints-suffers-concussion-85121.html

And here she is trying to look 30:
http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/11/hillary-clinton-300k-speaking-fee-ginger-ale-hummus-crudite

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I went to look up stats on height affecting earnings and politics since it was a simple proxy for looks, at least for men.

While there is a good deal of evidence about height's relationship to earnings (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/no-tall-tale-height-matters/), I was shocked to find that there is no relationship between presidential candidacies and height (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heights_of_presidents_and_presidential_candidates_of_the_United_States#Comparative_table_of_heights_of_United_States_presidential_candidates)!

Interesting that the SA article chalks up the difference in earnings due to height to nutrition. It appears that life consequences due to genetic height differences may be more limited than I previously believed. Updating my priors...

SA chalks up male height advantage to nutrition, but certainly female attractiveness advantage is a result of male sexism. Science is totally not informed by ideological opinions.

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By 'better' do you mean 'more like Joan Rivers'?

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Are Americans really that more sexist than voters in Canada, Europe and Australia in not voting for a woman?

Doubtful. She doesn't inspire because she has a long record of failure. Her greatest claim as Sec of State seems to be she flew a lot.

If anything, her gender is the greatest asset she has.

Can you think of any current presidential contender with such a hapless record that has any chance of being a president?

Given the elections of W and Obama, it's hard to imagine that qualifications are very important to voters.

At least W was the governor of the second largest state.
The is Obama's first real job.

Do professors, authors, and senators not work "for real"?

Part time lecturers, topics of biographies, and no show senators do not quality as having real jobs.

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We should all be so successful at our first job.

But to contradict you, being a candidate - at the very least - is a job. It's called a campaign for a reason after all. Not many people can do it effectively and he did it at the highest level, dispatching Hillary Clinton (despite more people voting for her), then a more experienced John McCain and then won re-election too. Not too shabby. It's like winning gold in your first two Olympics.

third point: When Eisenhower led the allies in World War II, he was still in his first job too.

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There is the factor of direct elections.

I can't think of that many directly elected women in the top job in the First World. Granted it is impossible in most countries.

On the other hand, Tyler's comments were specific to Mrs. Clinton's manner, so they are not aboit all women.

Not directly elected in parliamentary democracies, but in many ways the party leader matters more than in the US.

Because when you vote for your MP you're also voting for the next prime minister. In the US you can vote for a congressman without approving of the presidential candidate.

A prime minister is also less restrained than a US president in terms of the legislative and executive branches.

So sexism in Canada or Australia should be a greater impediment to a female leader, right? In any case, Americans in both parties have no problem electing women in congress.

When was the last time a woman was said to have lost because of sexism.

I normally respect Tyler's opinions but this one seems a bit out there.

No because indirect elections remove personality factors. Kim Campbell, for example, would never have been elected Canadian Premier, nor would Edith Cresson. Or in an example having nothing to do with sexism, John Major would not havenbecome PM, and In any system of direct elections I have a hard time believing Gordon Brown would have either.

The entire dynamic is different. Just look at who the French elect President of the Republic vs Prome Minister.

As an aside, alot of women have come to the top in parliamentary systems through intra party coups or when a party needs a new face before elections, Julia Gillard for example of a party coup, or Kim Campbell when the PC was trying to save itself. Neither of them have the sort of personality that lets candidates in direct electoral systems build personal power bases.

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Her name is her greatest asset.

Mostly because of the fundraising machine they have built since Bill's second term.

And because just about everyone remembers the Clinton years as prosperous, good ol' days, which itself is probably linked to fundraising ability.

"And because just about everyone remembers the Clinton years as prosperous, good ol’ days,"

I doubt that holds a lot of sway. Ask a Democrat if they remember the Reagan years as prosperous, good ol' days. If you say the 80's you're likely to get a positive response, if you use the nomenclature "Reagan" you're going to trigger an ideological response.

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That ended in an internet bust. Overall not bad though, for those who do not follow politics.

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Canada has only had one female Prime Minister and she was not elected but "she was chosen as party leader—and therefore prime minister—by the 1993 party leadership election upon the retirement of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Her party lost power in the following general election." wikipedia

Only one in Australia too and she likewise was not elected initially but took power in a party election, winning in her own right by the skin of her teeth.

"On 24 June 2010, after Rudd lost the support of his party and resigned, Gillard was elected unopposed as the Leader of the Labor Party, thus becoming the 27th Prime Minister of Australia.[4] The subsequent 2010 federal election saw the first hung parliament since the 1940 federal election. Gillard was able to form a minority government with the support of a Green MP and three independent MPs." wikipedia

That's true, but much of the power in Canada is with the provinces, and women won re-election handily in the three biggest English-speaking provinces last time around. (Ms. Redford had to depart for other reasons.) The Quebec election is a counter-example, but it initially looked like the PQ would win.

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I agree with Tyler Cowen that she's far from invincible, but it would still take some guts for a serious Democratic candidate to run against her. Since this is absolutely, positively the Clintons' last chance, they'll be totally ruthless. If I were Cuomo, I'd probably sit this one out. It makes the most sense for Biden to run since he has pretty much nothing to lose and would be in good shape if Hillary implodes.

Besides a sitting president, when's the last time there was no competition in a primary?

It rubs me the wrong way that someone gets to have a party nomination without debate. Maybe the Clintons are planning to urge some people to run to put up a modest challenge.

There wasn't much of a challenge in the 2000 Democrat primary, Gore only faced one serious challenger and won every state. My prediction is that there will be a few candidates who will run to the left, maybe even the far left, but they won't get much support.

Gore was helped by a challenger that made him appear moderate in comparison.

Clinton would be helped by a challenger like Elizabeth Warren.

Your idea of a red is Bill Bradley?

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I'm not arguing he's some far-left radical, I'm arguing he was left of Gore (certainly he wanted to spend more) and helped Gore appear moderate. Probably more moderate than Gore has actually turned out to be in his post-VP career.

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"Probably more moderate than Gore has actually turned out to be in his post-VP career"

I don't mean to smear Gore with that. It may be that his post-VP career is just about following the money. I don't generally begrudge people that.

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Not sure we can count a Biden challenge as real competition, too many sound bytes on video to use as B-roll when talking about him.

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There will be plenty running; Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, Biden, Hillary - and those are the obvious ones. I'd expect 2-3 others to pop out in time. She's just the clear frontrunner...much like in '08.

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"It makes the most sense for Biden to run since he has pretty much nothing to lose"

A Biden campaign would be awesome!

In a hilariously inept sense that is. However, I'm reasonably confident that there are enough intelligent Democrats to block a Biden campaign from ever gaining any traction.

Run, Joe, Run!!!!!!!

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Keep in mind that Mrs. Thatcher was elected Prime Minister when she was 53, while Mrs. Clinton will be 69 on election day next year.

Reagan's late-in-life success has persuaded both parties that age doesn't matter much anymore, but that's probably wrong. The oldest candidate to win post Reagan was GHW Bush at 63. Older losers include GHW Bush at 67, Bob Dole at 73, John Kerry at 64, John McCain at 72, and Mitt Romney at 65. Most of them probably believe they would have won if they'd gotten the chance to run 4 or 8 years earlier.

What does this show though? A basic election model would have predicted all of those results to remain the same except HW Bush

http://www.douglas-hibbs.com/Election2012/2012Election-MainPage.htm

Well, GHW Bush lost re-election the year after some of the most spectacular foreign policy triumphs in American history. It didn't help that in 1992 he seemed old and kind of checked out after his big 1991.

Granted, the other old guys were probably underdogs, but they didn't manage to turn things around. They failed to light a fire under the electorates.

Here are the ages of the winners beginning in 1992:

46, 50, 54, 58, 47, 51.

The last three presidents weren't old. The two before that were old. What can be concluded statistically from that? Nothing.

There were nine presidents who began a term at age 64 and older. I doubt Hillary's age will be that big of a deal.

No, but her abiding and obtrusive public presence and the reasonable inference of minor brain injury might be. Hillary has been a nuisance for 24 years. Richard Nixon for 16 of the 20 years extending from 1948 to 1968 (and Nixon was running against a discredited incumbent and his second).

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http://xkcd.com/1122/

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It seems like that that when parties don't have a great chance of winning they're more likely to choose an elder statesman who's "earned it" as their candidate- no reason wasting someone who is young and dynamic, plus you can honor someone respected for their years of service.

I think you'd have a hard time finding a flesh-and-blood primary or caucus voter who thinks that way.

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I think jonathan has a point. However, it's not so much that voters prefer an old candidate in such cases; instead, poor electoral chances tend to keep young, dynamic candidates away from the race. They can always wait for next time, but the older politicians run, because it may be their last chance.

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All of our better presidents in the contemporary era have been old men, bar Franklin Roosevelt.

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First off, my first comment on this site triggers a blogpost. Cool.

Second, are these points a reflections of TC's perception of how the general population views their potential candidates, or do they reflect TC's perception of how Dem primary voters view potential candidates? I think this is an important distinction. I believe 5, 6, and 7, would be non-factors in the Dem primary.

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#9 - Maybe in the US but that's far from universal. I can't think of many other countries that elected a minority head of state before a female head of state (key word here is "elected", so the Soviet Union doesn't count).

None of the best democracies, bar Switzerland, elects a Head of State.

France?

"best"

I was going to answer for you if you didn't.

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Head of government then.

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I would think most non-monarchical democracies elect heads of state, e.g., Ireland, Finland, Iceland. How do you define the "best" democracies?

Monarchism. For spotty men who justify their social awkwardness with fancy words like "neo-reaction".

Monarchism. For men who compare Elizabeth II to Francois Hollande and like what they see.

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Best, as follows:

1. Little systematic divergence between the political class and the public as regards salient preferences.

2. Professional civil service you cannot bribe through which recruitment and promotion is via competitive examinations and dismissal readily possible.

3. Public sector borrowing is short-term or limited to financing public works, general mobilizations, and the clean up of banking crises; budgets are balanced two years out of three.

4. Limited opportunities for rent-seeking; clean tax code.

5. Priorities: public officials see to order maintenance before all else.

6. Little patronage, either in employment contracting, or grant distribution. In fact, no distributions at all to corporate bodies.

Oh, and

7. No electoral fraud and a sensible electoral system without first-past-the-post, national list PR, or odd contrivances.

8. Maximum feasible decentralization.

9. Few vocational politicians.

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Singapore, Finland, Austria. Are they all in the shitter?

Not sure about their political institutions. As societies, Singapore and Austria face social crises from subreplacement fertility.

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Switzerland doesn't elect a Head of State. The Head of State is the Bundespräsident, elected by the seven members of the executive, the Bundesrat, for a one-year period. The Bundesräte take turns at the helm in order of their accession to the Bundesrat. That probably helped in making Switzerland the first country outside of Israel to have a Jewish woman as Head of State. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Dreifuss

Israel has never had a female Head of State. Prime Minister is not Head of State.

Ok, it seems a woman was acting president of Israel.

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Finland.

dearieme is generally right: other than the US, almost all of the well-functioning democracies in the world are parliamentary systems, where the head of state is either a constitutional monarch or a president chosen by parliament.

Of the two dozen or so constitutional systems which have seen scant interruption from internal disorders since 1922, most are parliamentary. Finland and France have hybrid systems and Westminster parliamentarianism proved dysfunctional in France. The U.S. and Costa Rica have separation of powers. Switzerland has an idiosyncratic system. Lots of variation in electoral systems though, and in the architecture of legislative bodies (unicameral v. bicameral, the powers of the upper chamber, etc).

Much more variation in the last 25 years, as electoral systems have proved surprisingly durable in Latin America and as Eastern Europe opted for hybrid systems. You also have the executive monarchies in places like Kuwait and Morocco.

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Well Britain does not elect its head of state, but it does elect its head of government. And they elected a minority Prime Minister well before they elected a female PM. Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (1770–1828) was elected quite a bit earlier than Thatcher.

Interesting. But Lord Liverpool looked a lot like Graham Chapman of Monty Python:

http://forum.songfacts.com/showtopic.php?tid/144319/

So the amount of South Asian ancestry but not have been much.

…and Disraeli was as much a minority as Liverpool. At least Disraeli looked Jewish. Liverpool didn't look anything but white and British.

Yeah, Disraeli is the really interesting PM. You don't hear that much about Queen Victoria's favorite prime minister these days because it's hard to reconcile his existence with the conventional wisdom about how anti-Semitic everybody was in the Bad Old Days.

But Disraeli was the most Jewish-looking guy imaginable. Not to mention his name. Not to mention that he loved to emphasize his Jewish ancestry, saying "All is race," especially when putting down the Irish as being practically savages.

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Disraeli was a Christian since his father converted. He served in Parliament before the ban on Jews was lifted.

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No, Disraeli was baptized, not his father (who continued to use the spelling d'Israeli).

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You are correct about Disraeli's father. My error.

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We don't elect a PM. We vote for MPs: they effectively decide who the PM will be.

If you look at who our legislative caucus leaders have been, you see only one woman, Nancy Botox Pelosi (who's no great shakes).

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Britain does not elect a Prime Minister. In the UK, constituents of around the 650-odd parliamentary constituencies vote for a member of Parliament who is then elected by first past the post. Now once, those MPs have been elected, the Queen (by convention, not statute) will invite the leader of the party with a majority in the House of Commons to form a government in Her name.

Now obviously there are many and varied fun things that happen when there isn't a majority, but the point is salient: Britain's voters do not elect its government or head of government. Those are determined by the Queen (although de facto this will be determined by parliament) and Parliament.

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This should be corrected for demography - even without any kind of racial prejudices, elected leaders (heads of state or heads of government) from minorities will be rare, by the simple fact that individuals from minorities are rare (by definition); in contrast, without gender prejudices women should be half of the elected.

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I think you meant "reactionary," not "conventional."

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One you missed that I'm surprised you didn't mention: She'd be the 3rd oldest president to be elected. Old candidates haven't done as well as their younger counterparts, and it today's 24 hour news cycle with its intense mental strain, this has to be a MAJOR disadvantage.

Hard to see her being competitive for a second term with the electorate - old women are not exactly the image of power.

Golda Meir was PM in her 70s.

She was called the Iron Lady well before Thatcher.

'Hurricane' Hazel just stepped down as mayor of Canada's fastest growing city - Mississauga - and she's 94.

Women can be just as tough as men.

The problem with Hillary is she was only tough in securing herself wealth and power. On policy she is completely ineffectual.

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Incumbency is a great deal if you can get it. I think it adds more probability of election than +4 years of age takes away.

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Cattle Futures.

How come the EU doesn't allow hormones in meat? I thought you guys liked beef injections.

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Doesn't Tyler essentially approve of the TARP and quantitative easing programs? At least TARP? How can you still push for "market oriented reforms" and approve of the biggest interventions in the economy in history at the same time? On that note, wasn't one of the posts a few weeks back here scrutinizing the average American's ideological consistency?

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10 (but really should be 1). Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton.

She's no Ronald Reagan either. But then, it's no longer 1980 in the US.

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Tyler, the fact that you lead with #1 indicates that you are part of the problem.

Your word choice is also poor. You say "I am not suggesting any of this is fair", instead of saying definitively "This is not fair."

Do you ever wonder why your audience is so male-dominated? Are you intentionally or unintentionally hostile towards women in your writing?

Hey guess what, men are judged aesthetically too. But you didn't even suggest that this is unfair, let alone declare it so. You're obviously a sexist pig.

But not even close to the same extent as women are.

See Chuck Martel's and other comments about her looks in this post for some good examples. Don't recall that happening for any man Tyler blogged about.

But you're still a sexy sexist to me.

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It's a truism that everyone has it worse

Well, unless you look at the actual evidence.

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The actual evidence is that Warren, Clinton, and Pelosi are butt-ugly compared to the average American woman and no one really gives a crap. Obama, Romney, Walker, and Boehner are practically Gods compared to actual American men. What evidence are YOU looking at?

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Perhaps you could actually cite some, then, Jan.

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Warren, Pelosi, and Hildebeast are all past 65. Women in that age group have generally made their peace with what their face looks like, bar Pelosi, meat and potatoes of Botox vendors.

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I think women are partly responsible for that. You often see unattractive guys hanging out with handsome ones. Buddies. But when you see a beautiful woman with a friend, it's usually another good looking woman, rarely an ugly one. Like all generalities, there are a gazillion exceptions, but women seem to be more discriminatory about looks within their own gender.

+1

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"women seem to be more discriminatory about looks within their own gender. "

Women seem to be more discriminatory about looks regardless of gender.

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I think we can all agree that women are judged more harshly than men AND that no one is a harsher judge of a woman than another woman.

I know this to be true from decades of interacting with other human beings.

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Conveniently you also leave out how it's not fair that women can gain many advantages from their good looks.

Life isn't fair - deal with it.

"Get over it"

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Grow up.

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In all the years Ihave read Marginal Revolution, or even Tyler at Volokh Conspiracy, I have never agreed with anything so completely as this post.

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Is that Red Indian beside her contemplating her scalp?

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I may not like her but will vote for her ( if I were american ) because the others are much worse or are not in my narrow interest - anti union , anti abortion etc.

You do not have to like a candidate in order to vote for them , you only have to hate the other candidate more.

Rank and yank - grading on a curve etc etc applies in elections too.

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It's not looks that are wrong so much as a basic perception of soullessness. Sacrifice everything for political power. Is there any humanity left in that creature?

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probably there won’t be any discussion in the comments....

Lousy prediction, nice trolling, or successful stab at irony ?

I laughed. Definitely a joke.

Yes, he was being sarcastic.

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I can't remember where I read it, and I can't find it by google, but I saw an interesting analysis a few years back that there was an optimum time that a presidential candidate could be in the (national) public eye. Too short, not enough name recognition, too long and and over familiarity (not to mention increasing chance of more previous decisions made by the candidate looking silly/unwise in retrospect.). I seem to remember the conclusion was around 8 to 10 years. Obama clearly fitted that plan, and perhaps GWB, certainly Bill Clinton, but not GHWB. But on this criteria, Hill is definitely past her best.

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HRC's only qualification for the presidency of the US is that she really, really wants to be the boss. Her negatives outdistance the unknown positives she might possess, and include her unattractive and unhealthy appearance, record of financial sleaze and, worst of all, her grating voice. How she could even be considered for the position of most important elected official on earth is an indictment of the whole concept of democracy.

"HRC’s only qualification for the presidency of the US is that she really, really wants to be the boss"

How about being a senator and Secretary of State? Those are qualifications for the presidency.

"Her negatives... include her ... record of financial sleaze and, worst of all, her grating voice."

A grating voice is worse than a record of (alleged) financial sleaze? That's some sense of priorities you've got there. And note that Lincoln was known for a high-pitched voice that got on people's nerves.

"How she could even be considered for the position of most important elected official on earth is an indictment of the whole concept of democracy."

No, it is your illogical arguments that are an indictment of the concept of democracy.

well, either way democracy doesn't come out looking too good.

Anyway this is the same game they played with Obama:
"If she loses it's because she was a woman, proving you're all as evil as we always thought."

President is a mostly ceremonial role these days; if females these days have suddenly become incapable of happiness or inspiration or whatever without having had a chick president, we should put a magic ticket in a random box of Kotex and whoever turns it in gets the office. (I know I know that would discriminate against the transsexual menopausal pregnant whatever reinforcing fertile-woman privilege etc etc etcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetc)

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". . . an indictment of the whole concept of democracy." - BINGO!

That's how they rule by executive orders, judicial fiats (can't pass legislation), and exponential growth in regulations, e.g., the FCC "net neutrality" power grab.

Below in the comments Rick Berger provides another indictment of the concept of demiocracy: ". . . the majority of voters selected incompetent and corrupt in 2008 and 2012."

The 2008 and 2012 POTUS elections prove the majority are imbeciles who believe it is the government's duty to provide for them.

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Despite all the problems with HC which Republican candidate is actually going to be able to beat her ?

The GOP nominee, whomever that is, can beat her. Not saying will, but certainly is able to.

McCain got 46% in 2008 with a perfect storm against him. Unpopular GOP president, historic opponent, huge financial crisis.

Getting 4% more is not insurmountable.

It will come down to Ohio, Florida and Virginia. Jeb, for instance, has an excellent chance to win Florida, being a popular former governor.

And Mitt Romney got 47% in 2012. It's been a long time since the US has had a decisive Presidential election.

Probably the last decisive election would have been Reagan/Mondale in 1984 and even there Mondale still broke 40% of the vote.

1984 decisive? How? It was a landslide, yes, but Reagan was already president. The country did not exactly change direction as a result of 1984. 1980 is a better example of a decisive election, and the last really significant one.

Here Jon, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/decisive

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It's worth noting that the Democrats took back the Senate in 1986, so 1984 was hardly a game-changer, no more than 2008 was (since the GOP took back the House the next cycle).
1980 did point the country in a new direction, so I stand buy my assertion that 1980 was decisive in a way that 1984 was not.

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Maybe Walker.

Yup. He's good.

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Hillary and Bill have "earned" of a hundred million dollars giving speeches (peddling their influence). Hillary received $200,000 per speech from Goldman Sachs, alone. What could Hillary have told the Goldman financiers that was worth paying her $200,000 a pop? The Clintons have been rewarded royally for Bill's signing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. If the financiers and the U.S. voters reward the Clintons with yet another Presidency, then Americans, once again, will get what they paid for.

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Are the Clintons loathsome? You betcha. The problem with that criticism is that could be applied to any number of fine folks, from bankers who fleece everyone, to health care providers who fleece the sick and injured, to preachers who fleece their flock, to children of former presidents who fleece the family name, to former vice presidential candidates who fleece the ignorant, to professors who fleece the donors to their universities. We are a nation of loathsome characters in high standing, paradoxically in the highest standing among those being fleeced. If the next President is a choice between Mrs.Clinton and Jeb Bush, we deserve what we get.

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Sure, the majority of voters selected incompetent and corrupt in 2008 and 2012. Who is isn't up for another steaming helping in 2016?

"VOTE FOR ME, I'M A WOMAN!"

America needs another Clinton.

When she screws up another Benghazi, she won't be able to fake a tumble and hide behind a concussion.

"What difference does it make now?" Only a female would blurt out such an asinine, emotional response to a "hard" questioon. Of course, the dems-with-bylines MSM will never asked her a "hard" question eithetr in the campaign or in the WH. While the GOP "worse-than-Hitler" candidate will spend his face time in debates and in interviews responding to, "When did you stop beating your wife?" .

#BENGHAZI #NEVERFORGET #MOARINVESTIGATIONS

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And what about 2000 and 2004? OK, not 2000: a majority of voters did not vote for Bush.

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Point 1 plus image suggests Cowen favours Warren (note that I don't necessarily think "favours" means "favours in a policy sense").

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She's corrupt, incompetent, unlikeable, and unpleasant. OBVIOUSLY sexism is the problem!

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Corollary post request - if not Hillary, then what woman candidate would appeal and stand an excellent chance of being elected under Totally Conventional Views?

Govs Martinez or Haley or Raimondo? Sen Warren? Etc

discuss

(Personally I'd love to see the GOP field a ticket of Martinez/Haley in 2016....just watch sit back and watch the left froth themselves to death over the GOP running two ethnic women)

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More conventional views! nice!!!

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Wish Bill Clinton could run again. Let's amend the Constitution and allow 2-term ex-presidents to run again after 15 years of being out of office. Now, Bill would certainly win. I am sure Tyler has some "totally conventional views" on him as well.

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re #1 - not sure how you know this ... we haven't had a female president in this country. And if you look at female leaders in other countries ... Hillary is just fine

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a healthy Hillary would be a shoo-in for demographic reasons,

That statement is just inane. The Democratic Party is, in terms of its position in legislative caucuses, very near to is post 1929 nadir. The notion that any Democratic candidate for the Presidency could be a 'shoo-in' cannot be taken seriously.

No kidding. Because she's certainly not going to get the old white guy who lives in upstate New York and reads Burke vote. Speaking of New York, I have family members up there who swore to me up and down that carpetbagger would never get elected to the Senate.

The Republicans have been busy carving out safe Congressional districts for themselves, as they would and probably should. That doesn't change the dynamics of the Electoral College. Personally, I think Clinton is a lightweight and has probably had a minor stroke and starting down the road to early dementia, to say nothing of her fondness for crackpot social-engineering. But I don't get to pick the President--voters in New York, Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Florida do.

She, like any Dem, is a lock in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois but and Florida and Ohio can be won by a GOPer. Add Florida and the GOPer wins.

Oops, add Virginia.

Virginia has 13 electoral votes, and houses thousands of government dependents who have done very well under two Democrat administrations.

Obama won Virginia and Florida in 2012 when the Republicans ran Mitt Romney. It is difficult to see Jeb Bush or the extremely provincial Scott Walker doing better than Romney.

Republicans are determined to believe they only need to make soothing noises to themselves about appealing more to Hispanics. Or they're just plain venal.

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The additional increment among federal workers amounts to about 3-4% of Virginia's electorate and quite a slice of those workers are military.

About 25% of Virginia's population now consists of a fragment of a large, northern city. In 1950, that proportion was about 8%, so the state's electoral profile has changed and liberal democrats in Virginia are not the populist type like Henry Howell.

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"Obama won Virginia and Florida in 2012 when the Republicans ran Mitt Romney. It is difficult to see Jeb Bush or the extremely provincial Scott Walker doing better than Romney."

It's pretty easy to see them doing better than Romney. First, there won't be an incumbent in the race and second, Jeb Bush is popular in Florida and will probably take it if he were to be the nominee.

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Jeb Bush is popular with the people who voted for Romney and McCain. Not so much with the rest of the state. Bush's two terms were mediocre at best (I lived in FL from 2003-2008). A couple Potemkin initiatives plus good performance in the Hurricane Years 2004-05. Other than that he let a lot of problems fester in Florida some of which (insurance and property taxes) Crist tried to address afterward; and of course the whole mess blew up pretty badly during the national meltdown. Beyond that Bush was singularly incompetent at working with a legislature dominated by his own party-- which legislature turned itself into a public laughing stock.

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No one has a lock on Pennsylvania. The majority of the state's population is happily provincial.

A lock? No. But the state is the Democrats to lose. For the last two elections the GOP pursued phantom polls showing the state in play-- and lost it by large margins both times. Geographically the state is rural-- but then so are New York and California. Landscape however does not vote.

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Um, no. Nearly half the population is small town and rural. That plus three fourth-tier cities (whose concentrated population sums to about 280,000) constitutes a majority.

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About 65% of the population of New York lives in the Five Boroughs and four suburban counties, a 1st tier city. Another 7% live in a pair of second-tier metropolitan centers where the Democratic Party competes well all over. Just north of 2% live in the state capital, a third-tier city. The analogous shares in Pennsylvania are 27%, 10%, and 2%. So, 74% v. 39%. I think its a less challenging task for a mainline Republican (e.g. Santorum or Toomey) to be elected state-wide in Pennsylvania.

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JonFraz defines 5% points as 'a large margin'. Pennsylvania has been within 2% points of the national mean for the last 20 years.

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And you are denying the reality that the GOP followed a mirage in both 2008 and 2010 in trying to turn PA red. They failed (and no, it was not close) both times. Moreover that rural population is slowing shrinking, as rural populations are everywhere- young people move away looking for jobs and old people shuffle off our mortal coil.

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Moreover that rural population is slowing shrinking, as rural populations are everywhere- young people move away looking for jobs and old people shuffle off our mortal coil

Since 1990, the 12 predominantly metropolitan counties in Pennsylvania have seen an increase in their population of 335,000 (or 5%). The 8 counties which are majority non-metropolitan have seen an increase in their population of 262,000, or 11%. The 47 counties which are exclusively non-metropolitan have seen an increase of 224,000, or 7%.

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The Republican advantage extends to the state legislatures and to offices where there is no gerrymandering, among them U.S. Senators and state governors.

Ex-Rep. John Barrow begs to differ.

What, Mr. Barrow thinks that you can Gerrymander a governor's race or Mr. Barrow thinks state legislators should be counted with fuzzy math?

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John Barrow was gerrymandered out of his US Congressional district by the Georgia state legislature. You seem deliberately obtuse about certain things.

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I'm obtuse, but you're the one who wishes to attribute a political phenomenon to 'gerrymandering' when it is present without gerrymandering. Got it.

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State legislatures are heavily gerrymandered.

I do not see a GOP advantage (overall that is) in the Senate. Sure, they have 54 senators now. But does that mean the Democrats had an advantage in the Senate from 2006-2012? They had a majority, yes, as the GOP does now. But I don't think you are using "Advantage" as a synonym for majority here.

And they got from being gerrymandered in favor of the Democrats to being gerrymandered in favor of the Republicans just how?

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They definitely had the advantage, how many pieces of House-passed legislature was dropped on the floor upon hitting the door? The Keystone bill had to wait until this Congress so it could get a veto.

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Jon, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/advantage%20?s=t

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Thomas, what is with you are the dictionary nonsense? You're acting like a Baptist waving the Bible. It adds nothing to the discussion. Maybe you should let the poster I am addressing actually explain himself.

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You don't know what the words "decisive" and "advantage" mean, so I provided the dictionary definition to help you out in the future.

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What did your precedents say about the 2012 election?

What precedents? I was referring to a contemporary factor - the Democratic Party's enfeebled position in legislative caucuses. As for precedents, the only unchallenging Presidential election for a Democratic candidate in the last 50 years was that in 1996.

And that was two years after the Republican congressional miracle of 2010.

Uh, no. 1996 was well before 2010.

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I think you mean "of 1994"

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No, I mean 2012 was two years after 2010.

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With respect to using established precedents in presidential races, I believe that this graphic is very instructive:
http://xkcd.com/1122/

You mean no regularities are validly predictive because a collection of inane random factors is not predictive?

It's cool that you missed the humor. I mean that there existed times when a Catholic or a black person would not have been elected president, and then there existed times in which they were. So some regularities are validly predictive...until they're not. And, by the way, I find reasoning such as 'her hair isn't properly ordered' and that she doesn't have a mystical ageless quality to be about as inane as it gets. If we were to say something as ridiculous as 'up to this point no woman with such improperly ordered hair has yet gained the office of the presidency,' we would surely be right. However, if we predicted that Hillary's improperly ordered hair would somehow hold her back from the presidency based on this trend, we would surely need to provide, I don't know, a shred of evidence? Such as, perhaps, a poll showing that voters felt that improperly ordered hair correlated to terrible foreign policy? I pick on the hair comment specifically because, obviously, one can CHANGE the ordering of one's hair. Was it supposed to be a joke?

Saying that 'gender is harder to transcend than race' means nothing; we would have to appropriately track what factors would lead gender to no longer be an issue.

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"Women are judged far more by their looks than are men"

Is there any valid evidence for this?

I hope you're not saying this just because you're insecure about your own looks.

It's an article of faith.

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I pretty much agree with everything you say here.

There are all sorts of reasons to think that Hillary could not win, and I think that explains why Democratic intellectual leaders are unenthusiastic.

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#5 - Yes Yes Yes - The Clinton Foundation is a unique and spectacular capitalization on political power which is self reinforcing. It could only have been dreamed up by a combination lawyer politician and I believe is totally consistent with the pathology of the Clinton's. I am really amazed that liberal press and constituents are providing a pass on this.

"I am really amazed that liberal press and constituents are providing a pass on this. "

I'm not. It's pretty typical.

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Let's talk about Sarah Palin's looks.

Tyler would say,

"Clearly Presidential"

And,

What about that gal who castrates pigs,

Of the animal kind,

And not the Sexist kind?

Are you still in stitches about Palin's daughter being victimized?

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did somebody hack tylers mu account?

You can never tell, so don't try.

Hard to tell the difference between normal and abnormal.

A hack passes the Turing test though.

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Re: many men, when they see her in their mind’s eye, imagine a voice saying “Look here, buster…!” - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/#sthash.FJsUYr3a.dpuf

Um, that's not a bad thing. We don't want an ingratiating doormat in the White House. A male president has to have a tough side. For a woman that means being a bit of a b!tch.

Re: There is still the question of how the press, and the American people, might process any subsequent revelations about Bill’s “activities” since leaving the White House.

Been there, done that, bought the blue dress.

For a woman that means being a bit of a b!tch.

Hillary take 'a bit' to the next level. See the biography of Billy R. Dale.

So did Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and Indira Gandhi. I am NOT saying Ms Clinton is the equal of any of those, but I am refuting the nonsense that a woman who acts like something other than Little Miss Muffet is doomed in politics.

I doubt Mrs. Thatcher or Mrs. Meir made liberal use of sexual expletives, threw lamps at their husbands, had a history of acting toward institutions like a parasitoid wasp (see the Legal Services Corporation), could be cited for conflict of interest as a matter of course, could be credibly accused of laundering bribes to their husbands, or would destroy an unimportant and inoffensive man (arranging to have him stripped of his job, besmirching his reputation, and costing him his life-savings to defend himself against meretricious criminal charges) simply because he was in the way. I doubt you could find examples of the level and sort of mendacity you saw re Benghazi with these other two. Hillary is a rancid little package of evil. Mrs. Thatcher and Mrs Meir were merely imperious and episodically difficult.

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"her chances of winning are overrated"

The conventional wisdom: contrarian, just like everyone else

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Point 9 needs to be qualified with "when all parties count themselves as elites".

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A Clinton Presidency is the most likely of any, from the major candidates, to serve up significant and enduring market-oriented reforms.

Now that Obama has opened the pandora's boxes of selective law enforcement, creative use of executive orders and agency regulations, and using the IRS, FCC etc. to whomp his enemies - we can be certain that Hilary will do more of the same.

Whereas a Republican president couldn't get away with these things even if he tried.

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Hilary is the enabler for her sexual predator husband.

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One wonders whether the smile on Elizabeth Warren's face (seated at Hillary's right) has the same cause as my own: Hillary appears to have more chins than Michael Moore! That can't help her electability (and Warren is the name I'm hearing the most as a potential primary opponent to Hillary, whether she intends to run or not).

As for "Look here, buster..." I thought of that back when Bill was still in office. Hillary has more of a temper on her than I ever want to see in a President. Do we want her to start a nuclear war because she's having a bad hair day? I wouldn't put it past her.

But the elephant in the room, and the fact that most Obama voters still don't get, is how extreme the president's positions are. He has already destroyed millions of jobs, and he wants to destroy cheap energy, too! The majority are simply never going to put up with that. A Democratic Party that radical simply can't be allowed ever to rule again -- and while a few of its candidates did shun Presidential appearances during the 2014 elections, none of them have had the nerve to disown Obama's most far-out policies. If some do, they will benefit. One has to wonder how the party has prevented it happening up to now!

But the elephant in the room, and the fact that most Obama voters still don’t get, is how extreme the president’s positions are. He has already destroyed millions of jobs, and he wants to destroy cheap energy, too! The majority are simply never going to put up with that. A Democratic Party that radical simply can’t be allowed ever to rule again -

This is precisely why the Dems want elections to revolve around tribal issues like race and birth control and to bring in millions of immigrants who will join the big government tribe.

Compare to Israel, where national security and economic issues dominate the elections.

As has been said, Israel only has domestic policy. We could learn a lot from Israel.

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Sure Hillary could lose but sexism is not at all the issue. On the contrary the power of the first-woman-president thing among women who might otherwise not vote or vote R shouldn't be underestimated. That and her ability to raise money puts a huge wind on her back. Jeb Bush is the only potential challenger I see so far but he would have to come from way, way, way behind.

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If protecting her husband's and her own legacy against multiple rape accusations and substantiated cases of coerced sex (see: Lewinsky; intern, Clinton; President), Hillary is now being outed for not using a government email account as Secretary of State. Only the most partisan or least bright Democrats could possibly continue to excuse the Clinton's repeated abuses of the law and the people around them. I claim victory here over all Hillary supporters. No one looks that dirty without being dirty, and so it turns out, Hillary is as dirty as Lois Lerner - another scandal now proving to be true.

If it wasn't enough, that is (first sentence).

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Number 3...why the world's going to be so much worse with a Clinton presidency. The last thing the world needs right now is more "market-oriented" reforms.

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Ԍreat article, just what I wanted to find.

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