Working the polls

Yes, we got 17 percent (390 out of 2300 or so) turn out at my polling location (CH 05-09) Chillicothe Public Library but early voting was heavy.

And that is one sanitized hand.

I was up at 3:15 am; went to bed just before 10 pm, and was at the polling station from 4:50 (set up) to 8:00 (tear down). 390 voters showed up (mostly Republicans) though among the D’s, Biden beat Sanders 39-19.
It was a bit of a mess all around. We had a few wipes and a lot of sanitizer …library donated hand sanitizer.

Off to run, and put stuff together…should be a good comedy show.

Warren’s campaign postmortem

First: glorious weather..good night’s sleep (for a change) and it turns out that 11:00 was “too fast; I was 22:20 at 2.1 miles and walked a bit. I ended up cutting the first part short, but then adding distance back to get 5.48 miles in 1:05 (11:50 pace)

I was still tired from yesterday’s deadlifts and walk.

Running: lower emphasis ..for sure..I really enjoy walking more though running for up to 30-40 minutes..even 1 hour is ok.

Politics I suppose I am thinking about Warren so much because she was so popular with those I usually associate with (academics, Unitarians, NPR listeners) and the attempts to diagnose what went wrong are so typical.

And some of the things about her being a groundbreaking female candidate?

Hillary Clinton not only won the nomination, she went on to win a plurality of votes in the general election…and yet…running a campaign that finished 3’rd in her home state..and at most 3’d elsewhere was progress?

Here is what I think is going on: the pundits, journalists and other saying these sorts of thing were educated in a new era of higher education. Wokeness became the norm, and Warren speaking in such terms is what they were used to. But the general public doesn’t play that. Warren not connecting with the voters was a big NaN…error..error…does not compute…to them.

Joe Biden For those who are calling Joe Biden a “mediocre white man”: he was born on November 20, 1942. He was elected to the US Senate as a Democrat during the Nixon blowout election on November 7, 1972. That’s right: Biden was 29 years old when he won his Senate seat (turned 30 before being sworn in).

“Mediocre indeed.”

Age and lessening visibility

I admit that though I’ve been busy with work and personal tasks, I’ve thought more and more about the current elections, at least on the national level.
I am going to have to do some homework about local level stuff to see who to support in the primary; the national stuff is more or less settled for me.

I do admit to having some doubt and confusion as to what “will sell” with the public. My wife is older than I am BUT seems to understand what sells better.

Example one: back in 2008, I was excited that a bunch of Nobel Laureate scientists endorsed Obama. Wife: “Honey, no one cares about that.” Of course, she was right…an endorsement from Oprah meant a whole lot more, in terms of winning votes.

Example two: early in the primary I became an “Amy-bro”…I LOVED Amy Klobuchar. Wife: “Honey, no one knows who she is; she has no chance.” As soon as Biden announced, she went and contributed to his campaign I asked why: “Honey, I am a realist.” She did admit that Amy “grew on her”, but she had too low of profile to start with and she doesn’t have that magnetic stage personality that Obama and Bill Clinton had.

So…I do have doubts about my abilities to gauge. I admit that when I “chose” Klobuchar, I was admitting that *I* liked her and felt obliged to try. I also knew that she was a long shot.

But many of my (soon to be former?) friends liked Elizabeth Warren. Now she is someone that I have an immense amount of personal respect for (stellar scholar, extremely knowledgeable and technically competent) but…OMG, when she spoke, I felt I was at yet another boring faculty senate meeting. I just wanted to mute the volume. And her campaign was “woke” (e. g. she listed her gender pronouns, used phrases like “Latinx” which are popular with activists and academics…and no one else)

So I didn’t want her as a candidate…and “felt” that she wouldn’t be successful. BUT, I have the aforementioned doubts about my ability to gauge what the public would want.
It turns out that THIS time, I was correct. But that doesn’t cancel all of the times I was wrong.

I think that this gets it wright: it sure appears as if Warren’s campaign was run by Liberal Arts faculty:

And I am sure that those who listen to NPR just looooooved her.

And that leads me to the VP discussion. It seems that many on my feed want…Stacy Abrams???? Good lord..she has held no office higher than the Georgia State House, lost an election for governor (in a wave year), and image wide…morbidly obese with bad teeth..a terrible image with a POTUS candidate nearing 80.

Sorry..Joe or Bernie needs someone relatively young with experience who can step in right away..and they do NOT need a drag on the ticket.
Hate me all you want, but when it comes to politics at a national level, image matters. And yes, it matters more for women (men are judged by power and money). And women in the US spend (at least) hundreds of millions of dollars every year to NOT look like Stacey Abrams.

Now to the topic of this post:

On a professional level, I have enough achievement (modest amount) and seniority that I do get some deference on campus. So in that sense, age has made me a bit MORE visible. I am no longer an “Young Turk” but I still am given the most intellectually demanding courses to teach (even out of area), committees to chair, etc. People run things past me.

But in the gym…well, actually on the campus gym, the 6 am regulars (students) appreciate that I have not totally given up yet. But about the weights I can actually handle… that is viewed has changed.

Example: there was a time where I would get glances in the gym. And, for example, when a powerlifting coach was looking for spotters when a lifter was going to attempt a 700 lb. squat, I was one of the first ones chosen and I was asked to be the “behind the lifter” spotter. The weights I was handling..while not especially strong, were noticed.

That does NOT happen anymore. Nor should it.

From time to time, my pull ups get noticed but that’s about it. And that is what amused me about this retweet.

Yes, this kid, an Illinois football lineman, retweeted this. And it is literally 7 times more than I currently use….and yes, I clean and press more than I squat.
I have issues.

Well, almost time to stretch for my deadlift session. Current max is 266 and it is time for me to focus on “learning the lift” and training…and to stop the “finding out my max.” I have a baseline to work from.

Current baselines (go ahead and laugh…I suck)

Pull ups: 50 per session (15-15-10-10 or 5 sets of 10)
bench press: 3 x 185 (hips down)
clean and press: 1 x 115, or sets of 5 with 95 (full reps)
dumbbell press: 5 x 50 standing or 10 x 45, lower to parallel shoulders
deadlift: 266 regular, 260 Sumo, 5 x 233 regular or Sumo.
Squat: 5 x 85 (not a joke…I suck that bad) or 6 x 70 goblet.

Why the mourning for Warren….

First: yoga class, then a 5 mile walk in 1:17:53 (roughly the same course as last week; right around 15 min/mile as it was slightly over 5)

It felt fine.

Well, Elizabeth Warren has dropped out and the usual collection of wokes are in mourning.

Yeah…where was the mourning for Amy?

Read some of the replies on the tweet.

This tweet is also interesting:

But I think this sums up their attitude:

FANTASTIC CAMPAIGNERS do not finish 3’rd in their own state.

My guess: they meant “I loved her campaign and so did my friends.” This is classical “bubble thinking.” In my opinion, Warren ran a campaign aimed at activists, not voters.

And her niche was..well, if you listened to NPR, if you attend a Unitarian Church, were an academic or just a feminist with an advanced degree, you probably loved her and the way she spoke. I sure as hell did not, at least not as a candidate.

When I heard her speak, my mind races with “oh no, more “diversity training” “campus climate survey” or other such wastes of time that are popular with large segments of the faculty.

Here is what I find interesting: it did not have to be that way. Warren has a very compelling personal story: she grew up in a lower middle class household..did things like enter Betty Crocker contests …dropped out as an undergraduate only to go back later in life…and went to public schools. She was so brilliant and hard working she worked her way up to being a full professor at Harvard: a truly elite level of attainment. And he got elected Senator.

“Betsy” (as she was called when she was growing up) really would have been a great story. Instead..she campaigned heavily on wokeness..and frankly the public doesn’t react well to that.

And some of her most vocal supporters didn’t help; it was “misogyny and sexism” is the real reason Warren didn’t do better. After all, she was a “fantastic campaigner.” (huh? Don’t fantastic campaigns either win or overperform?)

Of course, liberals didn’t learn a damned thing for the latest election results..they are still “slicing and dicing” wish lists of potential VP candidates into “we need a member of demographic X” and “we won’t stand for it if the candidate isn’t from this group.” …

They haven’t learned that the general electorate doesn’t care what Twitter liberals think or how “angry and hurt” they are.

It is a bit like this old Godfrey Elfwick meme (from Brexit)

Disclaimer: yes, I support Amy Klobuchar for VP, but her being female has ZERO to do with it.

Painful introspection

Well, I am seeing a LOT of anger on political twitter. Example:

And you have some of this from Warren supporters as well.

(she saw the handwriting on the wall the day before)

Here is a story from my political past: In 2004, I got involved in the general election. I took several trips to Iowa to campaign for Senator Kerry as well as making “Kerry calls”, donating money, etc.

Result: a very bitter defeat. When Kerry finally conceded Ohio, I was almost in tears…I’ve never been so low.

That hurt. Badly.

But…with time…. I had to admit that we had gotten “out-campaigned.”

Bush was far more organized.

When I went to Iowa the workers there often didn’t know how many were coming..or how best to use us. When I made Kerry calls, I found that I was the FIRST one they had heard from in over several months. There were also competing events nearby, etc.

So, I decided to do something about it. I joined the local Democrats and got involved in local stuff. I also got aboard the Obama team early.

In 2008: very different story. When I volunteered to do a task for the Obama campaign, I got a follow up call. When I went somewhere to campaign, they were ready for fact called us the night before, asked us what we needed, etc. They had a plan on where to send us. The difference was night and day.

And on election day, we were sent straight to the correct houses..and I mean “we”; they had helped me organize a small crew.

As I like to say: in 2004, I mourned alone. In 2008, I celebrated with friends.

Interesting (to me) aspects of Super Tuesday

Yes, Biden didn’t have that much of a campaign presence. But this was a different sort of election. In 2008, D voters really, really liked both Hillary and Barack.
This time you had:

“Good Old Joe”
The Billionaire who wanted to buy the election
The crazy radical
The woke but brilliant college professor.

There was really little convincing to be done….and D’s were motivated because we are sick to death of Trump.

And this is the “woke” part: Warren appeared to rely way too much on self-styled “activists” who claimed to represent a community but, in reality, did not.

Very few want that.

Another lesson: relying on record turnout by younger voters is an excellent way to guarantee failure.

But the biggest lesson: nagging people and wagging your finger at them doesn’t persuade anyone. At least that is my opinion.

My conjecture: the “true believers” (the rabid Sanders and Warren supporters) will learn NOTHING from this.

Sanders supporters will blame the selfish, scared, stupid “Boomers” who can’t think for themselves. They won’t blame themselves for the 18-29 vote not showing up nor blame themselves for supporting a do-nothing windbag.

The more rabid Warren supporters will blame sexism and misogyny. They won’t accept that she simply isn’t good at politics.

About Elizabeth Warren

First, I woke up a bit sore. But my not doing long stuff left me with enough time to delay running until 9:40 or so and it went better than last week’s run/walk:
I was just over 12 at just over 1, just over 24 at 2.06, and just over 48 at 4.1; 1:01:30 for the total (11:42 mpm; 11:30 for the final 1.03).

The weather: sunny, breezy ..a bit more than breezy but glorious for March 1.

Yes, my legs and butt were heavy from yesterday’s deadlifts..note that deadlifting hasn’t been hurting my lower back that much. It is mostly butt and legs.

And yesterday I saw the Bradley Men lose a 67-66 hearbreaker when the final .7 seconds left shot rattled out.

It was a game of streaks; Loyola lead by 11 at the half and pushed it to a 13 point lead. Bradley went on a 20-0 run in just over 5 minutes time to take a 7 point lead; LU came back with a 9-0 run to retake the lead. With 3:38 left the game, Loyola lead by 4 and I had no clue as to who would win. It was a physical game..back and forth.

Hell of a ball game.

Later; dinner and conversation with Tracy ended my day.

So what about Elizabeth Warren?
I’ve said many times, I think her political aptitude is low. But I think this really nailed it:

YES…Warren reminds me of the type who would set up yet ANOTHER soul-crushing, time-sucking committee because, say, some student got “misgendered”, etc. Activists love her; the general public: not so much.

Yes, most of her ideas are good; she is absolutely brilliant (not said sarcastically; she really is a top of the line scholar). But that is what she is: a scholar with “woke” sympathies; the kind that would focus on “diversity” statements and goals …while perhaps short-changing the issues affecting the better students. Ugh…

If she were better at winning popular support, I’d overlook that aspect of her and make her my first choice. But she isn’t.

As far as what I DO support, here is my “dream team”:

Either order on the ticket would work for me. Amy really isn’t going to be viable outside certain states, but maybe she takes Bernie to the woodshed in Minnesota?

Guess whose supporters irritate me the most?

Let me start off by saying that most supporters of most candidates are fine.
Most Sanders supporters are fine.
If I said this on Twitter I’d get flamed, but most Trump supporters are fine.

The same goes for the rest of the candidates.

But, riddle me this: if someone said “You are (deficient in some way: dumb, naive, stupid, ill informed, bigoted, etc) if you don’t support my candidate, who are they backing?

It has been my experience: these are MAGAs, Bern Victims or…yes, Warren supporters.

Now about the rabid MAGAs, I really don’t associate with many of them, so I rarely encounter them. I did on one thread, where I complained about Trump wearing a KAG hat during the Army-Navy coin flip.
About the Bern Victims: I don’t encounter many of them either as I tend to avoid arguments online; I talk to a few Bernie people on Facebook but there is a selection process there.

But I tend to see more Warren supporters, probably because I am an academic and she is “one of us” (ok, as much as “one of us” a full professor at Harvard can be).

Yes, have deep respect for her as a person and as a scholar; she really is top notch. But as a politician: well, I find her annoying, and some of it might be a “classical conditioning” reaction to her podium mannerisms.
Others must have a negative reaction as well, given her weak approval numbers (bottom 10 among Senators) by her own constituents (per Morning Consult)

And she has some baggage: she is a favorite of the educated “activists” which means she is well versed in “woke speak.” And that is just stuff that others do not relate to. She kind of reminds one of the HR person who micro-manages approved workplace behavior and polices your jokes, etc.

And while that might make her appealing to feminist liberal arts faculty members and to UU Church congregations, it turns off a lot of people. And THAT, I think it what enrages her more rabid supporters.

I could be wrong, but I think she is going to get massacred on Super Tuesday and might not win her own state.

Method to Amy’s madness?

It appears that Amy Klobuchar is focusing her campaign on the smaller Super Tuesday states, especially those with non-diverse populations, in hopes of winning delegates. I also notice that Joe Biden appears to be doing well in some southern states.

Maybe there is a method to this madness: the idea that these candidates…maybe Pete Buttigieg too…are playing to their strengths and are therefore better able to take on Bernie Sanders in said states…maybe even win a few?

Is there some sort of “understanding” here? Our best bet might be to get to a brokered convention where Bernie’s plurality is a narrow one…then perhaps a coalition candidate might be able to get the nod.

Sickening Thought Illinois does not vote until 2 weeks after Super Tuesday (17 March). If Joe is still in the running, that is who gets my vote. But my contingency order is:

1. Biden
2. Klobuchar
3. Buttigieg

But what if none of these are left?

Bloomberg, Sanders and Warren?

Warren: super smart, but a dreadful politician; witness her going after Bloomberg so hard. She has the instincts of a scholar: attack the greatest problem that the country faces. But Bernie is taking a much greater toll on her than Bloomberg. A politician would wonder “what strategy is the best one to get me elected?”

Warren seems intent on being the super policy wonk…not that she is wrong, but she is not POTUS..she is campaigning. This is classic Warren:

She is featuring a policy on marijuana selling? Oh good lord..what percentage of likely voters are discussing THIS at their kitchen tables.

Bloomberg: cool ads..that’s about it.

Sanders: ugh…all he does is yell and frankly his supporters embarrass me. But…does that sound familiar?

Yes, Sanders might get us blown out..annihilated ….and …he …might…be …just…crazy…enough…to…pull…this….off.

So..Warren: better expected value…and I am somewhat more comfortable with most of her supporters… (sanctimonious woke liberal a**holes….but I am used to them) but almost a certain loss.

Sanders: loud, moronic supporters that I’d rather not associate with….but…I feel there is a greater variance with his outcome …he is like the “Hail Mary” pass at the end of close football games. Low percentage, but it might just work. Warren would be like running a short hook route ..higher percentage…greater expected gain..but all but guaranteed to be inadequate.

So, it makes me want to vomit to say this, but between Mike, Elizabeth and Bernie…I might vote Bernie.