The Thinker: Rich Galen


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California Dreamin'

Rich Galen

Monday June 3, 2019

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  • The California Democrats held their state convention in San Francisco over the weekend and 14 of the 24 candidates for the Presidential nomination showed up.

  • The leader Joe Biden was among those who took a pass. The others, presumably, didn't have bus fare.

  • Biden was in Ohio speaking to a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Columbus, plugging his support for LGBTQ issues.

  • The Columbus Dispatch quoted Biden as saying:
    "You can get married because the Supreme Court now says that. But you can walk into your place of employment in so many states and be fired."

  • "He later noted," the Dispatch pointed out, "that Ohio is one of those states."

  • In Ohio, that passes for Progressive thinking.

  • In San Francisco, that's like Ronald Reagan talking.

  • The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of Biden's absence:
    "He promised California party leaders that he would visit the state soon, but without the companionship of 14 other presidential hopefuls."

  • To make the point of why Biden was smart to stay out of the Pacific time zone, the Chronicle wrote:
    "Democrats questioning that strategy had only to look at the delegates' response to presidential candidates John Hickenlooper and John Delaney, who were roundly booed when they suggested that "if we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer" (Hickenlooper), and "Medicare for All is not good policy and not good politics" (Delaney)."

  • When, as reported in a Harris-Harvard poll over the weekend, you have a lead of nearly 20 percentage points (36 percent to 17 percent) over your nearest competitor - in this case Bernie Sanders - you don't have to risk showing up where you are likely to be booed.

  • It is also worth noting that when you have a 20-point lead over your nearest competitor you not only get coverage for where you are speaking, you also get coverage for where you are not speaking.

  • By the way, the two women of most interest in California, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are at eight and five and percent respectively in that poll.


    Keep in mind that most of the polls you will read are national polls.

    We do not have a national primary election (nor a national general election) so numbers like these are for amusement value only.


  • A friend of mine was at the Democratic state convention. She is a Kamala Harris supporter and this was a home game for Harris who, before becoming a U.S. Senator (about 12 minutes ago), was the State Attorney General and before that was the District Attorney for San Francisco.

  • My friend thought that Bernie Sanders fell flat. As the late Congressman Sonny Bono once wrote, "I don't know if all that's true" but Sanders got the joke that he and the other 22 Democrats in the race were getting the back of Biden's hand when he told the delegates
    "We cannot go back to the old ways; we have got to go forward with a new, progressive agenda."

  • My friend thought this kind of language sounded like it was recycled from a 1930s Socialist speaking on a street cornder before being dragged off to jail for sedition.

  • One of the reasons California is on the minds of primary candidates is because the state has moved up to the "early state" category.

  • After the First Four in February - Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina - the action moves to March 3, 2020 when 15 states and one Unincorporated Territory (American Somoa) will hold primary activities.

  • There are no winner-take-all states in the world according to Democrats, so it is not unlikely that by the time all the votes are counted on March 4, 2020, one candidate will have a wide enough lead that it will be almost impossible for anyone to win enough states by a wide enough margin to catch him or her.

  • That would mean an eight-month general election campaign between Donald Trump and the nominee presumptive.

  • We'll see if Biden's catch-me-if-you-can strategy pays off. This is only the beginning of June in 2019 and there is a long way to go.

  • In any event, Biden didn't think he needed to be Dreamin' in California this past weekend.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to coverage of Biden in Ohio, of Biden NOT in California, Kamala Harris' bio, and a great page of primary and caucus schedules.

    The Mullfoto is a reminder of 5th grade humor.

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