May 17, 2016

The strangest part of the Scott Adams prediction that Trump will pick Scott Brown as his VP.

It's the name Brown:
As silly as this sounds, it makes him seem less white. Science tells us that people are more influenced by names than common sense would suggest. For example, people with so-called “lower class” names such as Justin are less likely to get job interviews.... And my guess is that people named Trump are more likely to be associated with winning (trumping). By this same line of thinking, Brown would take some of the white off of Trump. That could help in the general election. And yes, I am totally serious. People trained in persuasion would likely agree.
I assume that bit about "Justin" is a joke. Ah, maybe the whole thing is a joke. Except the part about Scott Brown being a very handsome man. Surprised Adams made no mention of the most famous case of a presidential candidate making handsomeness the key factor — George H.W. Bush picking Dan Quayle. Opinion from 1988:

The party line is that Quayle will attract women voters to the ticket, despite his generally macho voting record, because he looks like Robert Redford - sort of. That is not merely stunningly insulting to women, it doesn't do justice to Robert Redford. He's smarter than Quayle....

Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, with his finely tuned sense of irony, almost seemed to be enjoying the irony of all the Republican heavyweights finishing up the track to a non-entity like Quayle. Speaking of Quayle to reporters, he said: "I tried to call him and he called me the other day. He was shaving. First time."

The losers reminded me of an intelligent, attractive woman of middle years whose husband had just left her for a dumb blonde. She is torn between the urge to shed tears of humiliation at the slight or erupt into scornful laughter at her former mate's folly.

42 comments:

Birches said...

I don't think the bit about Justin is a joke. The Freakonomics guys have a whole chapter on it, "A Roshanda by any other name."

Birches said...

The whole "Brown" bit seems like more of a joke to me.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't think the bit about Justin is a joke. The Freakonomics guys have a whole chapter on it, "A Roshanda by any other name.""

The joke (in my view) is that they used the name Justin to illustrate this indeed well-known point.

Michael K said...

I think Cotton would be the best choice but nobody but Trump knows anything yet.

Gingrich is too old.

Birches said...

Oh, I get it. If he had said DeAndre, he would have been called a racist. Though I wonder how many job interviews a kid named Rusty would get these days...

Ann Althouse said...

Adams doesn't bother explaining away Gingrich, but something he said about Christie works against Gingrich:

"Chris Christie is a strong option, as I have said before. But the risk is that he’s too much like Trump in personality. Christie wouldn’t take any of the scare out of a Trump presidency, and scariness is Trump’s main problem. Christie probably doesn’t help with women either."

Gingrich is scary to people. His wife scares people too. Ever seen Scott Brown's wife? She's not as cute as he is, but she posted a picture of herself in a bathing suit on Facebook very recently. Warning: There's a picture of Scott Brown naked at that link (which goes to The Daily Mail).

Unknown said...

Justin is now a lower-class name, because some popular-culture celebrity has it, plus it's very slightly unusual. When that combination happens, mothers who watch a lot of TV go for the name.

Unknown said...

And no, I don't know where Mrs. Trudeau came up with it, 40 +/- years ago.

C Stanley said...

I'm not sure if Michael K meant to do that, introducing the potential VP pick "Cotton". Whew boy, that's wrong on two levels, isn't it?

As for Brown, I kind of like the idea of bringing him back to undo Obamacare, since that's what the voters sent him to DC to do until the Dems decided to ram it through anyway.

Not fond though of having two preening celebrity couples.

MikeR said...

Redford smarter than Quayle? Quayle was a bright guy; ignore all the nonsense. He wasn't a good speaker on his feet, and that's all that counts in American politics.

Gusty Winds said...

Didn't women go for Harding, first vote after suffrage because of his good looks?

Gusty Winds said...

Plus we could get the Scott Brown vs. Pocahontas rematch.

dbp said...

Scott brown might be a nice choice: He is handsome, young, can think on his feet and is really sane-seeming.

Char Char Binks said...

I thought Adams was a Celtic Jew, going by his name.

Mary E. Glynn said...
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Left Bank of the Charles said...

Let's posit that Adams wants Trump to pick Brown as his VP, and he's using "persuasion" to influence Trump into doing it. But why does Scott Adams want Scott Brown? Is it because they share the first name Scott?

Unknown said...

Perhaps Trump is looking for someone with steady hands to hand over the reins the way FDR selected Truman. Even if I can conceive of Trump winning the election I do not think he has the temperament to slog through what will be an awful 8 years to undo the damage fuck nuts did. Why not select a solid citizen to complete the work? I think the presidency will be too boring for Trump in the long run.

Michael K said...

" introducing the potential VP pick "Cotton". Whew boy, that's wrong on two levels, isn't it? "

Why ? Do you know something I don't ?

He's young and pretty well educated in military matters. I don't know if he is eager to invade Iraq again.

I think we need more of "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Without the stick, how you speak doesn't help. Obama is shout and carry a twig.

bagoh20 said...

People keep trying to convince me that voters, especially women, are really stupid. I don't need anymore convincing. It's already so damned depressing it hurts, especially in my wallet.

Michael K said...

" I think the presidency will be too boring for Trump in the long run."

I kind of agree. Two terms is a lot when you are that age. That's why I think Cruz was ill advised to slam that door.

traditionalguy said...

Then The Donald clearly needs to pick a brightly colored aquatic salamander.

Seriously, Gingrich brings with him a special talent that Trump values. He brings an historical analysis perspective that helps Trump focus on accomplishing doable goals.

Trump has never had the focus that Scott Walker does, but he listens to trusted men with a track record of winning. Therefore he will not fire Gingrich. No matter his age, Newt looks younger than he is and, much like Trump, he never backs down.

CStanley said...

Michael K I wasn't referring to Tom Cotton's actual qualifications- I'm putting it in context of this post, and his name.

Farmer said...

It'll be a woman, possibly one not on the BI list.

Quaestor said...
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Quaestor said...

It'll be a woman, possibly one not on the BI list.

I predicted Mia Love yesterday. She checks all the boxes: Female. Black. Daughter of legal immigrants. With legislative experience (barely). And a rock-ribbed conservative. She can cement relations with disaffected Mormons, and may win over a few of the less rotten-brained feminists.

Tom Cotton is too macho to pair with Trump. Two alpha males in charge works only for baboons.

khematite said...

It's an old story that running a guy named Brown will win you Ohio. Given that Ohio has been one of three pivotal states in presidential elections for quite awhile now, putting Scott Brown on the ticket could be the decision that wins Trump the presidency.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/feb/10/is-there-magic-in-the-name-brown-in-ohio/?newswatch

Henry said...

Science tells us that people are more influenced by names than common sense would suggest.

When I read this, then think Brown, what I think of is Elvis Costello singing George Jones:

We stood there in the courthouse room
So close yet far apart,
You had brought your lawyer
And I'd brought a broken heart,
The judge pronounced the words
The way you wanted him to do,
And changed your name from Brown to Jones,
And mine from Brown to blue.

Freeman Hunt said...
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Chuck said...


So Scott Adams didn't think of "John Miller" as a running mate? "John Baron" perhaps?

It's such a never-ending stream of garbage from Scott Adams. He points out that people named Dennis are more likely to become dentists, except that that silly internet meme (you know, the kinds of things Scott Adams specializes in) isn't true at all. Science, and statistics, and all:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2014/01/09/no-of-course-dennis-is-not-more-likely-to-be-a-dentist-but-youre-reading-that-he-is-because-journalists-cant-do-math/#66bbf4a01864

And of course before (or after; who really cares) Scott Adams tells us that he rates the chances of Scott Brown as a VP pick at "90%" (not 64%? not 80%? not 95%?), he tells us that he really doesn't know anyway, so yeah there's that part.

What I want to know is where will I get all the time back, that I have wasted on Scott Adams in this campaign season?

Saint Croix said...

You know what's weird? Nobody is talking about Hillary's veep selection. She has a very big and very obvious problem.

Do you put Bernie on the ticket or keep him off?

As I see it, she almost has to put Bernie on the ticket. All the energy and enthusiasm is with Bernie and his supporters. If she rejects him, all those people will stay home. Or vote for Donald Trump!

And here's my outlandish prediction. If she fails to put Bernie on her ticket? Donnie just might snap him up!

Here is Donnie attacking Wall Street. It's not hard to imagine Donnie and Bernie going after the banks. Can a fascist align himself with a socialist? Of course! Their campaigns are eerily similar. Who wants to socialize medicine? Both of them! Who wants a trade war with China? Both of them!

The only thing that might keep Donnie from putting Bernie on his ticket is that he would lose even more Republican voters in the process.

Brando said...

He should nominate himself for VP, because he does not know anyone smarter than himself. How can he pull that off, you ask? Simple for the man who was his own spokesman John Miller! Just put on a fake beard and fedora, and announce that he is John Donaldson (it'll be easier for him to remember) and when anyone asks why he is never in the same room at the same time as Trump (except in pre-recorded video where he can use trick photography) he can say it'd be a security risk. Any questions about proving with documentary evidence that John Donaldson actually exists can be rebutted with one word--"Obama".

You may think this is far fetched, but remember--it's only May and we have several months of pure entertainment ahead of us before this country has to live with him or Hillary as president.

Brando said...

"You know what's weird? Nobody is talking about Hillary's veep selection. She has a very big and very obvious problem."

Well, she has several. On the one hand, she needs to do better with white voters, particularly male voters but if she cannot do that she needs bigger margins and turnout from minorities and women. I doubt she'd put a woman on her ticket, as that wouldn't win over any women voters she didn't already have, but maybe a minority--perhaps a Hispanic. Does she want to pick a moderate and try to peel moderates from the GOP, or is she more worried about her left flank and her need to drive up leftist turnout?

My guess is she figures (perhaps correctly) that Sanders voters by and large will get in line just as most GOP voters will, and her best bet is a moderate male minority--Cory Booker.

Saint Croix said...

My guess is she figures (perhaps correctly) that Sanders voters by and large will get in line just as most GOP voters will

That "get in line" bit is a nice touch! The next time I talk to a Bernie lover, I'll be sure to put it that way. "Yeah, but you'll get in line and vote for HIllary, right?"



Brando said...

"That "get in line" bit is a nice touch! The next time I talk to a Bernie lover, I'll be sure to put it that way. "Yeah, but you'll get in line and vote for HIllary, right?""

Ha, they'd be pretty pissed--at least the Sanders fans I know would be--but in the end they're going to vote the Democratic ticket if the alternative is Trump. The legend of Ralph Nader has been repeated through oral tradition to even these youngsters.

Faced with the worst general election matchup in generations, a large number of voters (myself included) recoil at the very thought of voting for either of them. Some may stay home or vote third party, but I think a larger number than most people expect will "get in line" out of fear of the worse of two evils.

I'm not saying they SHOULD do that--I don't blame anyone for rejecting such an unacceptable choice and saying to hell with it--but I think a lot of them will nevertheless. We're already seeing GOP politicians who previously said quite rightly how unqualified and awful Trump would be, now endorsing him.

damikesc said...

Well, she has several. On the one hand, she needs to do better with white voters, particularly male voters but if she cannot do that she needs bigger margins and turnout from minorities and women.

Men are her secret crisis.

We've not really seen a campaign aimed at men in a LONG time. But the time has come. Society is virulently anti-male at almost every turn and Hillary is abnormally weak with men. A Trump campaign targeting men will get a lot of the leftie men who abhor third-wave feminism to either not vote Hillary or just not vote at all. Hillary will feel she has to pick a woman, minority, (a black "Transexual" would be her ideal, most likely) ignoring that while she isn't strong with blacks, she is in the damned toilet with men.

The press focuses on Trump's gender gap problem...ignoring that Hillary has the identical problem.

Saint Croix said...

Gingrich is scary to people.

Yeah, because Contract with America. "A contract! Oh no! I'll have to read it! I didn't vote for a contract! 13th amendment! Involuntary servitude! You're not putting me in chains!"

What did he do or say that is scary?

It's like saying Sarah Palin is scary, he has to keep her off the ticket. The woman is 1000 times a better public speaker than he is, and she writes on her hands.

Short of David Duke, it would be pretty damn near impossible for Donald Trump to find a Republican that would make him look bad to Republicans. I mean, the Trumpets love him regardless of what he says or does. "That's our Donnie, full of surprises!" And the rest of us breathe a sigh of relief and say, "thank the sweet Lord there is a Senator or a Governor or some other responsible person on the ticket." And if he picks Ben Carson, we say, "See? He's no racist. Plus, Christianity!" And if he picks Carly Fiorina, we say, "See? He likes women!"

Saint Croix said...

Hillary Clinton, by the way, is terrified of Donald Trump. What we know about Donald Trump so far is that he is toxic. You go into a fight with him looking all respectable and bourgeois, and you come out missing a few teeth and you have a new nickname.

Her whole campaign is, "I"m the first woman president! What scandals? Look, squirrel!" While Donald Trump's campaign slogan is, "Let's look bad together!" I mean, his campaign style is similar to what angry monkeys do--throw shit until you hit your target. "You're old, Hillary. You hit your head, Hillary. You can't control your husband, Hillary. We're tired of prostitutes in the White House and blowjobs in the Oval Office, Hillary. You killed an American ambassador, Hillary. How is that felony prosecution coming along, Hillary?" What can she say about Donald Trump and his lack of class? Nothing!

Even if she is all nice and high road and refuses to go negative, and Donald Trump is all nice and high road and refuses to go negative, you know somebody will say something and set him off. "Why are you so nice to Hillary when you were so mean to the Republicans? Do you secretly like Hillary?" And then he will start rattling off reasons why she is a horrible human being. And don't forget her temper! The woman's a boiling kettle of rage who has adopted a phony persona to hide her thirst for power and anger at the world.

Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...

Good discussion of possible veeps for Donnie here. I look at that list and I'm like, "wow! what a deep bench!"

Maybe that's why there is no discussion of veeps for Hillary. What veeps? If they had any possible veeps they would have run for president.

Maybe the plan is for Joe Biden to set the world's record for consecutive vice presidencies?

Saint Croix said...

His wife scares people too.

"I'm not voting for Donald Trump!"

"Why not?"

"The vice president's wife scares the shit out of me!"

damikesc said...

While Donald Trump's campaign slogan is, "Let's look bad together!" I mean, his campaign style is similar to what angry monkeys do--throw shit until you hit your target.

It's a damned effective strategy.

It was Harry Reid's modus operandi for years.

mikee said...

IF Trump goes Brown for his Veep, Hillary should pick Governor Moonbeam Brown, (Rerun-California) as her Veep, to counter Trump's Brown Veep. Which is browner?