June 19, 2012

"People like Obama, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Tony Blair can talk you into anything."

"I sort of prefer the square, stilted politicians like Romney, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore. "
To me, they seem more "real," because most normal people would not be very adept at convincing a nation of hundreds of millions that "I'm basically like you; we want the same things." Most ordinary citizens who tried to run for president would probably come off as wooden and unhip. The candidate who can connect with most people is actually unlike most people.

58 comments:

Mark said...

That's very astute. Most people aren't grifters because grifting is fundamentally sociopathic, and most people aren't sociopaths.

Palladian said...

Al Gore certainly talked people into believing something improbably stupid.

But the thesis is flawed; mostly, only credulous people can get talked into believing or doing something that they didn't already have the capacity to believe or do.

And anyone who votes for someone because they're "hip" is a moron.

Tim said...
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Tim said...

Uh, not really.

The real issue is authenticity, sincerity and humility.

One can see how one might confuse "wooden" with "authentic," "sincere," and "humble," but they are different.

Some politicians (Obama, Clinton, Edwards) have come to believe their own lies, and so therefore lie more easily than other politicians; Gore and Kerry both seemed really self-impressed for all the wrong reasons, but couldn't sell it for whatever reason.

Romney may prove as fake as Gore and Kerry, or just as awkward as GW. Time may tell.

Tim said...

"And anyone who votes for someone because they're "hip" is a moron."

Moronic, indeed.

How many thought Obama hip and that a virtue, as compared to McCain?

leslyn said...

That's just silly. Someone who can connect with more people has a better understanding of them. Basic psychology. That's why Romney makes "not like you" gaffes. He's only like a very small group of people.

neomom said...

Really, who EVER believed anything the Silk Pony (aka Edwards) said?

Palladian said...

That's why Romney makes "not like you" gaffes. He's only like a very small group of people.

Yes, he is only like a very small group of people: competent.

leslyn said...

Absolutely, Palladian! Competent enough to own NASCAR, not stupid enough to be the poor schmuck who only watch it.

wyo sis said...

He sounds like me and my family and the people I live around. He sounds like a polite respectful person who avoids language that might offend people. He sounds like a Western states Mormon. I've lived around them most of my life and it sounds perfectly normal to me. If ebonics, foreign accents, regional dialects, every other word a profanity, etc are acceptable Mitt's language shouldn't offend. Except people who are really looking for a reason to hate him. Golly, I guess that's a good enough reason.

Carnifex said...

Inever liked Bill's policies, but if I had to pick a President to go to a strip club with, he'd be the one. Got charisma out the ass.

Zero just registered in the red zone for my BS and smarmy meters.

leslyn said...

"Yes, he is only like a very small group of people: competent."

Absolutely, Palladian! Like the competent people who own NASCAR, not the poor schmucks who go to watch it.

Ralph L said...

Someone who can connect with more people has a better understanding of them
Yes, they know there's a sucker born every minute.

Who wants to connect with a politician when there are much sexier celebrities to latch onto?

Palladian said...

Absolutely, Palladian! Like the competent people who own NASCAR, not the poor schmucks who go to watch it.

I'm sorry, I don't care to participate in the denigration of the entertainments of the "lower" socio-economic groups today, thanks.

I will say, even though car races (and most sport) bores me, that I find Nascar enthusiasts eminently more appealing than I do people who venerate plug-ugly economists.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Al Gore can't lie like a normal person, because Al Gore is a robot programmed to always spew global warming hysteria, no matter what.

leslyn said...

I will say, even though car races (and most sport) bores me, that I find Nascar enthusiasts eminently more appealing than I do people who venerate plug-ugly economists.

One can enjoy both.

And anyway, I respected the lady.

leslyn said...

Also, Palladian, that was sarcasm, to the opposite of denigration.

It must be past your bedtime.

bgates said...

if I had to pick a President to go to a strip club with, he'd be the one. Got charisma out the ass.

You should capitalize "Charisma", which in context appears to be a proper noun.

Casey said...

I don't recall ever hearing Gore speak publicly, although I did catch his cameo on 30 Rock a few years ago. I always appreciate someone willing to poke fun at themselves.

Can't say whether Slick Willy "believed his own lies," given that he very well might not have considered them lies. Recall the infamous "it depends on what 'is,' is" controversy. Something Clinton was that Obama is not, is a seasoned politician. Not only did he trim his sails at the proper moment (which to his credit was to the benefit of the country) he managed to gain credit for the balanced budget & economic benefits derived from policies driven by Newt Gingrich & company.

wyo makes some good points. Come to think of it, Romney's "just like you" manner of speaking may help him this fall, in contrast to Obama's heavily Harvard "accent." He should stick to that, as his attempts as "just us folks" are ... embarrassing. FDR never tried to be anything but the Hudson Valley blue-blood he was; John Kerry take note. :)

It's interesting that Cohen didn't mention two of the more eloquent men on the right: Gingrich and Christie. Not only are they well-spoken, both are very good at extemporaneous remarks. This is why -if nothing else- I would love to see Newt as VP, just to watch him tear into, through, and out the other side of "Crazy Uncle" Joe Biden.

leslyn said...

Obama has a Chicago accent! There's no havahd yahd in it.

Palladian said...

It must be past your bedtime.

I don't sleep.

Anyway, Elinor Ostrom was actually far cuter and more appealing than Krugman.

bagoh20 said...

I don't know if being normal is qualifying for President, but I am sure that being abnormally unqualified is not qualifying,...

no matter who you are running against.

bagoh20 said...

You mean to tell me that Krugman isn't even cute? Then what the hell does he have going for him? I always thought he famous like a Kardashian.

Palladian said...

Then what the hell does he have going for him?

It's the Nobel Prize. It's like a big swinging cock for the afraid-of-the-real-thing crowd.

Revenant said...

Someone who can connect with more people has a better understanding of them. Basic psychology

Not true.

When a politician "connects" with you -- that's all you. The politician doesn't even know YOU exist. What he or she is doing is presenting himself in a way that allows you to see something in him, that you identify with.

It doesn't mean he understands you at all. He just understands how to manipulate you.

Kirk Parker said...

Jaltcoh,

"People like Obama, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Tony Blair can talk some people into anything."

FIFY.

(Others of us can spot them a mile away, hide the silver and the womenfolk, etc.)

John Lynch said...

W?

pm317 said...

I would not put Bill Clinton in the same league as Obama, Edwards.. He was competent and gave us a fucking surplus. How can anybody forget that in these tough economic times.

The Crack Emcee said...

People like Obama, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Tony Blair can talk you into anything.

Speak for yourself, you idiot.

Palladian,

Yes, [Romney] is only like a very small group of people: competent.

If "competent" means swindling people into buying shit they don't need, then, yeah, he's that.

I wouldn't vote for it - especially not under the guise of helping my country - but, man, you seem pretty convinced a politician who's also a follower of Joseph Smith is on top of things, so you go ahead.

The Crack Emcee said...

wyo sis,

He sounds like a polite respectful person who avoids language that might offend people. He sounds like a Western states Mormon. I've lived around them most of my life and it sounds perfectly normal to me.

Two of my friends are talking, one Mormon:

"So you believe God is a seven foot man living on the planet Kobal?"

"Well, yeah!" (Said like "Duh!")

Perfectly normal. (I love how everyone will throw their educations out the window when it suits them. It makes me feel so comfy cozy with everyone. Like I'm at the zoo,...)

Tim,

The real issue is authenticity, sincerity and humility.

Most are stuck on the economy - when the presidency encompasses more than the economy. I'm convinced you guys really don't understand politics. I also think, based on your list of pseudo-therapeutic nonsense that is the problem, exactly:
,
You don't understand why we elect a president, what the job is about, or your own role as citizens. Hint:

The president isn't Oprah and our job isn't to "whoop!" when they walk on the stage,....

Rusty said...

People like Obama, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Tony Blair can talk you into anything.


No. They can't. There is a segment of the population without criticcal thinking skills that can be convinced of anything.


leslyn said...
Obama has a Chicago accent! There's no havahd yahd in it.


No he doesn't. If anything it's north shore, but for all intents he has no accent.
Mayor Daley Sr. had a Chicago accent.

edutcher said...

No, they can only talk the credulous into anything.

Anybody who can think for themselves is pretty much immune.

Carnifex said...
I never liked Bill's policies, but if I had to pick a President to go to a strip club with, he'd be the one. Got charisma out the ass.

Your charisma threshold is frighteningly low, methinks.

Michael K said...

"I wouldn't vote for it - especially not under the guise of helping my country - but, man, you seem pretty convinced a politician who's also a follower of Joseph Smith is on top of things, so you go ahead.
"

Given a choice between Jeremiah Wright and Joseph Smith, I don't think it's too tough to decide. A lot of people who value competence choose Mormons for their doctors, lawyers and accountants. Most Mormons I know are aware of the weakness of Mormon theology but the religion's other benefits, such as teaching thrift and temperance, are highly valued.

Jay said...

Jim Jones talked 700 people into drinking poison.

What does it say about someone who proudly proclaims to be a follower?

Jay said...

Obama is so good at connecting — making you feel like he's talking directly to you — that it can be dangerous

HA
HA
HA
HA
HA
HA
HA
HA
HA
HA

I bet he is!

Which is why Robert Redford is running around the country bemoaning the fact that Democrats can't articulate this great message they have!

That blog post is one of the more embarrassing things I've read since the last Erza Klein screed...

AJ Lynch said...

Clinton was the first celebrity president and that changed how baby boomer libruls viewed the presidency.

Since Clinton, the boomer libs try to install change thru-out all states via the presidency. That has realled f-ed up our values and contributed to the hyper-partisan climate.

AJ Lynch said...
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Shanna said...
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Balfegor said...

Other than the side point that Obama is actually objectively kind of crappy at persuading people who aren't already inclined to agree with him, I think this post is spot on.

One of the reasons I liked Clinton II was that people would never hear her dissimulate and think that she was telling them the truth -- she was paradoxically transparent when stretching the truth.

On Romney, I just find old-fashioned speech charming in general. And I hate what is described as that "warm" speaking style.

Shanna said...

Obama always sounded like a faker and Edwards sounded like a used car salesman to me.

Bill Clinton had a gift, even if I didn't always agree with him. If he could talk to 'real people' it's because he came from a smallish town and spent most of his time before DC in Arkansas and actually sort of got what middle class/rural people are like...which is vastly different from Obama.

Balfegor said...

Re: Casey:

FDR never tried to be anything but the Hudson Valley blue-blood he was; John Kerry take note.

I find the sequence of American presidents to be, visually, kind of hilarious. You have beards, beards, moustaches, then all these ordinary shopkeeper-looking types, and then FDR hits and we have a toff with a cigarette holder for 13 years, and then it's common or garden shopkeeper types again. He wasn't even trying to be a man of the people.

Shanna said...

Obama has a Chicago accent!

Dont' forget the a fake southern accent that pops out now and then!

wyo sis said...

Crack
I've met Mormons who are complete idiots. I've also met a lot of other people who are complete idiots. It's a people thing not a Mormon thing. The planet Kobal doesn't come up in conversations with Mornons. I don't know who you associate with, but it sounds like you're more into it than any of them are. Maybe it's more your problem than theirs.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Anyone who would run for president while they have minor children at home is probably not. like. you.

Most parents would look at the 2+ years of campaigning, the constant absences, the media scrutiny, the fact that, if they win their kids will be in a bubble and have no real friends b/c they'll just be 'the president's kids'.... and say "No way I'm putting my little girls through that."

Parents who run for president while their kids are still at home are saying that it's OK to sacrifice their children on the altar of ambition. They're not like you. The people like you are at home thinking, "It can wait 10 years, no biggie."

kcom said...

"It can wait 10 years, no biggie."

How could it wait 10 years when the country needed him so badly. ;)

Christopher in MA said...

You don't understand why we elect a president, what the job is about and your own role as citizens. Hint: the president isn't Oprah and our job isn't to "whoop!" when they walk on the stage.

It must be hell being the only brave man in a world of cowards, Crack.

leslyn said...

Anyone who would run for president while they have minor children at home is probably not. like. you.

I thought I'd heard everything here. I was wrong.

So...running for President if you have minor children disqualifies you on the ground that you're not like people who have children. A lot of former Presidents would be surprised to hear that.

Tim said...

"The president isn't Oprah and our job isn't to "whoop!" when they walk on the stage,...."

Uh, Crack my man, you TOTALLY misread me.

Here's a hint: Think about the original post to which I was replying.

Tim said...

"So...running for President if you have minor children disqualifies you on the ground that you're not like people who have children. A lot of former Presidents would be surprised to hear that."

Have another cup of coffee, leslyn, and re-read it - that's NOT what she said.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Funny--- the left made a similar argument about Palin! ;)

Non-sociopathic parents DO consider their children's interests when they make career moves.

The current process of running for president is clearly bad for kids living at home. (In the past, campaigns didn't last as long, didn't require as much travel, didn't result in the whole family being put through the celebrity meat grinder--so, under the current conditions, do you REALLY think a Lincoln or a Garfield or a Washington would have run?)

Most parents would look at the current process and think "I'm not doing THAT to my kids." Presidential candidates with minor children have made a conscience decision to put their kids through the meat grinder when they could have waited a few years and run once the kids were out of the house.

This points to some element of their psychology that is not like that of a normal human parent.

dreams said...

I only like one of those people and it is Romney. I detest Gore, Clinton and Kerry. Edwards was a total phoney and only liberals could have been fooled by him. The older I get the more I believe that liberals are just poor judges of character.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

'Talk you into anything'

I think that means they have talked you into somewhere that is ridiculous, like they, Obama, was going to lead to a post racial America. Well, maybe we ourselves did that by electing him but the other stuff 'end the partisan divide,' pheuwee. OTOH, 'talking' is giving a road map, and Ann Althouse demonstrates that she can talk us somewhere by her 2 posts above into what the 'social norm' thing is and why it doesn't fit at all for the individual mandate. She's taken us from 'I dunno, huh' to 'Isn't that silly?'

BarryD said...

None of these people have EVER made me want to trust them. They all seem like liars and con men, and none of them ever seemed appealing. I guess I don't have the "talk you into anything" gene or something.

MarkD said...

Who is this "you" of whom you write?

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael K,

Most Mormons I know are aware of the weakness of Mormon theology but the religion's other benefits, such as teaching thrift and temperance, are highly valued.

Oh yeah, we can't have those without a polygamous con man's pedophile "religion" to legitimize them, right?

wyo sis,

The planet Kobal doesn't come up in conversations with Mornons. I don't know who you associate with, but it sounds like you're more into it than any of them are. Maybe it's more your problem than theirs.

I live in Utah - I live, work, and play with Mormons. What you're dancing around saying is Kobal doesn't come up openly in conversations, you have, with them - probably because you never bring it up and, like most chumps, will accept any story a cultist will give as long as they're throwing that pious routine at you. Critical thinkers aren't that gullible or unwilling to challenge bullshit that results in the mental slavery of others. You know - showing real compassion for your fellow man and not just mouthing the words.

And no, I don't think it's my problem:

I went to school. I know a con man with a "seer stone," multiply convicted for being a fraud and killed by the general population for same, didn't discover "the truth" while looking in a magic hat. I know there's no planet (or star) called "Kobal." I know it's all a lie. And anyone who tries to justify such nonsense is in need of serious help - either from a psychiatrist or a cult deprogrammer.

I also know anyone who doesn't try to either get Mormons such help, or straighten it out themselves as a friend - like you - can hardly be considered an ethical or compassionate person, but - because you're willing to allow the deception, and even possible exploitation, of even children - merely a hateful, cowardly, and fraudulent human being yourself, just hiding behind the veneer of social propriety.

AKA so "open-minded" your brains fell out.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW, wyo sis, I want you to see what you attempted to do there:

You have assumed the role of L. Ron Hubbard, to turn black into white, up into down, good into evil - to mentally jail an innocent man.

Those of us who want to stop the fantasists from destroying our lives are the ones with the problem, in your scheme of things. Anyone who understands that we now have a probe that's reached the limits of our solar system - and all the knowledge that man has attained to attain such a significant milestone - they are wrong and the con man's followers are right to ignore this reality. That's your argument. And any problems such a delusion conjures are on those who consider knowledge precious, not those who treat it as some dog shit just stepped in.

You are truly a despicable human being for that.

No matter what you say, I will not allow - and will not allow others - going back to the Dark Ages.

“If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse.”

And - if there's anything the Mormons are selling - it's some shitty apple pie,...

wyo sis said...
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wyo sis said...

I think there's an argument there somewhere, but it's not my argument. Mormons live very competently in this world. Most of them are the kind of people we could use more of. Hard working, honest in their dealings, and interested in learning and developing their talents. Note I said most of them. What they wear or believe about God is their business.