January 10, 2018

Will Scott Adams run against Dianne Feinstein?

This morning, President Trump, irked by Senator Feinstein's "release [of] testimony in... an underhanded and possibly illegal way" — tweeted she "Must have tough Primary!" That last phrase is ambiguous. It could mean that she might have been motivated by the toughness of the primary she faces, but I took it to mean that Trump wants her to be subjected to a tough primary.

Anyway, Scott Adams was doing his Periscope this morning when read that tweet, and he says — at 11:26 — "I suppose I could run. This is my district." (Adams seems so wise about so many things, but come on... "district"? The "district" is California.)

"Do you think I could get elected if I ran against Dianne Feinstein," he asks, and a string of "Yes!"s appears in the comments space.

He says, "You know there was a time when it would be a ridiculous thing to say, but it was also pre-Trump," but he assures us that he doesn't want the job.

Then: "I wouldn't do it, but if you ask me could I win —— probably." He laughs. He says he could win in either party. One of his commenters tells him he's "too Trump-identified," and he immediately reacts: "I could change that in about a week. If I wanted to. But I don't want to."

I wonder what was that plan to change his Trump-identification in about a week? My guess: Marijuana legalization.

You know, Dianne Feinstein is a long-time marijuana prohibitionist:
For decades, the San Francisco Democrat has opposed nearly all forms of drug reform, from medical marijuana in the 1990s to California’s adult use measure in 2016. In recent years she’s been a key ally of Iowa’s Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, the two elder senators working together to block Congressional measures aimed at drug reform in the age of medical and adult-use legalization.

In 2015, the Feinstein-Grassley tandem warned that America was losing its will on drug enforcement as new states legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use. “We’re already seeing signs that the United States’ position on drug control issues is weakening,” Feinstein and Grassley wrote in a letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder....

To many of her constituents, though, Feinstein’s anti-reform position has long been accepted as an odd curiosity, a minor disagreement on a low-priority issue. But lately it’s become something more. With California’s adult-use cannabis industry [opening in January 2018], the 84-year-old politician’s intransigence is now seen as a potential vulnerability—a symbol of a Senator and her state moving in opposite directions.
I like Adams doing what he's doing now, so I don't really want to see him running for office. But I agree that he could win and that Feinstein is vulnerable.

I think Adams's style of speech would work extremely well in politics. He's got those spiffy short sentences, like Trump's. Better than Trump's really, because they're so clear, so free of stumbles, and so short and interesting. I had to transcribe the quotes for this post, and he is almost magically easy to transcribe. Easiest transcription ever.

48 comments:

Big Mike said...

If Feinstein lurches further left to deal with Kevin de Leon, Scott could get between her and the middle and maybe just win the primary.

But I took Trump's tweet to mean that she's abandoning the elder statesman role to deal with de Leon attacking her from the left.

Luke Lea said...

I think you and Scott may both be overestimating his persuasiveness.

wwww said...



He'll never be accused of false modesty, huh?

Rob said...

I'm surprised at Ann's comment about Adams's concision. I've tried listening to some of the pieces Ann has linked to, and I find him unlistenable. He rambles endlessly, as if he's either in love with the sound of his own voice or indifferent to the shortness of life. Reminds me of Alan Simpson, another guy who could make a sound bite into a supposedly folksy long chaw. Couldn't wait for him to retire.

Jake said...

Nice double emdash.

eric said...

This seems to me like a national election strategy rather than anything remotely feasible.

Feinstein is a cake walk in California. Easy reelection.

But what if the Republicans can get the Dems to defend it? Spend money there? Forced to spend time and resources on winning?

That pulls attention from other states where Republicans have more of a chance.

And, it seems as though the Republicans are better off with cash at this point. So, if you have more cash you want to stretch the other guys resources. If you can.

Trump is playing a long game here.

eric said...

I've tried listening to some of the pieces Ann has linked to, and I find him unlistenable.

Same.

He talks like a pot smokers. The cadence and rythm of his speech throws me off.

n.n said...

So, is that a vote for Dilbert, Adams's alter-ego?

I could be persuaded to vote for an engineer who operates in the near-domain.

Show me the principles!

readering said...

Does Scott have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame like George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump? If not, I doubt his chances.

buwaya said...

I suspect Feinstein won't run. She is simply too old.
The next candidate will be, almost certainly, Hispanic.

Adams may have a hard time running against an ethnic candidate in a place where white voters are a minority.

He knows how to talk to you, but I don't think he has any idea how to talk to them.

MikeR said...

In California? Trump's #1 cheerleader?
Naw.

n.n said...

re: principles

Are they internally, externally, and mutually consistent?

buwaya said...

"And, it seems as though the Republicans are better off with cash at this point. So, if you have more cash you want to stretch the other guys resources. If you can."

The Dems have a near-infinity of cash. Not in the DNC, that's just their kiddy pool.

n.n said...

What about Dilbert the White Hispanic?

cubanbob said...

Unless the Republicans have a ton of spare cash to burn just to make the Democrats burn their cash I don't see how any Republican is going to win in CA.

n.n said...

Dilbert the White Hispanic American formerly of Mexico by way of LA. Political gold.

tcrosse said...

Maybe Mickey Kaus should give it another go.

n.n said...

With their combined financing of foreign, domestic, and unverified parties, advantage: Democrat.

David said...

Who is going to fund Adams? It will have to be a lot of smaller donors. He is not tame enough for the big money of any stripe.

Doubt he can beat Feinstein in a primary. They will try to hang Trump around his neck and probably be pretty successful in doing so.

But these days you never know. I'd like to see him run but do not think he has a good chance.

I hope he has made all the money he needs because this could slow his commercial appeal.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Dems are far left in California, and with all the illegal REGISTERING of non-eligible voters, they've locked up most of the state -- at least politically.

Much of the illegal immigration wars were based on Dem political strategy to transform Texas, as they've transformed California. At least for now, they've been thwarted. Thank you, Texas!

But, back to the point, No, Adams shouldn't challenge DiFi, because it's a waste of time, and he will lose. The Feds should continue to bird-dog California with taxes and oil drilling and other stuff.

MikeR said...

Anyhow, are you sure Donald Trump is against legalizing marijuana? Sessions I know, but he seems to be an independent sort. Say Congress would support it. They don't need to make it legal, just remove the federal crime, leave it up to states.

Big Mike said...

Actually, there's a subtle reason why Adams has a good chance: his name starts with 'A.' One thing I learned in politics over the years is that when lots of people are on a primary ballot the person whose name is first wins a much larger than expected number of votes. If I ever got into politics I'd change my name to "Abbott" (and probably lose to someone whose last name is "Aaron").

johns said...

Adams is forgetting the main point raised in comparing Oprah to Trump. it's not the celebrity alone, it's the issues. Adams may be a master communicator, but he is not associated with any burning issues. Also, i doubt that he has high name recognition. People have heard of Dilbert, but not Scott Adams.

Ann Althouse said...

@Jake

Thanks for noticing!

Ann Althouse said...

"Adams may have a hard time running against an ethnic candidate in a place where white voters are a minority."

Maybe that's why he's had "Scott Adams tells you why BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Republicans are natural allies in 2017" pinned at the top of his Twitter page for a month.

johns said...

Big Mike said:
"If Feinstein lurches further left to deal with Kevin de Leon, Scott could get between her and the middle and maybe just win the primary."

I don't see that. Kevin De Leon will get the far left vote, which is considerable. Feinstein will get the conventional voters who have heard nothing but know she is the senator. That leaves Scott Adams at number three.

JaimeRoberto said...

California has an open primary. The top 2 vote getters make it to the final regardless of party. No Republican will even make it to the final round. Adams wouldn't either, because he's too identified with Trump.

buwaya said...

California is not a "far left" state, as such.
It is a banana republic.
The "civic religion" is leftist, this is typical in Latin America for instance.
But there is an economic oligarchy and extreme GINI coefficient.
And a huge number of iron rice bowls.

A successful CA politician will have to campaign, and speak, much more like a Mexican politician.

Leland said...

I'm working through the Audible version of "Win Bigly". I think it would be more than just MJ. Adams is a Berkeley liberal. It is not just drug use (it should be legal, I did it, but kids should do it), but also pro-choice (woman have the uterus, they decide), and Sander's style free education for all. It would be a great platform for California.

buwaya said...

" he is not associated with any burning issues."

I think, for the population we are talking about, there are no truly burning issues.
Its not the sort of politics that works.
Culture is it.
"I am one of you" is the message.
If you can say that, credibly, to more than one group of "you", then you've got it made, regardless of what your program is.

buwaya said...

Purest of pure Anglo white guys Scott Adams won't do it.

Jeb Bush had a chance - he was probably banking on it, for the General, in 2016 - that he could, with his colloquial Mexican Spanish, genuine Mexican wife (a beloved abuelita besides), good-looking and Mexican-looking boys (George P. and JEB Jr., though he would have had to hide the girl).

He coulda been a contender.

Somebody like that may work.

Koot Katmandu said...

Naw the #me too would go after him. His girl friend is way to young and he looks silly with her Kristina Basham.

victoria said...

Who'd vote for him? Not me. He totally overestimates his popularity in California. Might as well vote for Issa.Adam's is a hack, unoriginal and a jerk to beat.


Vicki from Pasadena

buwaya said...

" free education for all."

This is actually possible. Most of Europe does this.
But it does it very cheaply, vs the US.
The real US problem here is that the UC/State systems (as in the rest of the US) are massively overstaffed.

These systems exist for the sake of all those public employee iron rice bowls.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Run Scott Run - just do it.

Fuck this shit.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Scott is not a hack.

He's the opposite of a hack. The definition of a hack = Leftwing media hacks. as in, George Clintonopolis and Chuck Todd. They are hacks.

Chuck said...

Maybe that's why he's had "Scott Adams tells you why BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Republicans are natural allies in 2017" pinned at the top of his Twitter page for a month.

That's the one where he talks about "Colin Kaeprnack."

Does anybody ever manage to listen to a Scott Adams periscope all the way to the end?

It's like listening to a stoned kid in a dorm room on Skype.

Oso Negro said...

Dylan? Or Scott Adams? What if you could only pick one?

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

"spiffy" - perfecto!

Earnest Prole said...

In 2010 Mickey Kaus challenged Barbara Boxer for her California Senate seat and won 5 percent of the vote (Boxer won 80 percent). If Scott Adams could do better against Feinstein, it would be a major victory, though not what Trump calls "winning."

Mark Daniels said...

Feinstein is vulnerable because of her age, although I think she has many other advantages in her re-election bid. Could Adams beat her in California? No.

Like you, I find it strange that this reasonably well-informed person refers to California as his "district."

Earnest Prole said...

Like you, I find it strange that this reasonably well-informed person refers to California as his "district."

Dementia.

Leland said...

This is actually possible. Most of Europe does this.

The world is full of things that are possible. And Europe has a long history of trying various possibilities and being cheap about it.

Etienne said...

McCain is dying in his bed. She is just as old, she should climb in and they can burn the ship together in the lake.

Amazing Quotes said...

very interesting topic

Martin said...

As someone who publicly gives Trump the benefit of the doubt, Adams would not stand a chance against any Democrat in the general and probably couldn't even win a primary in either party.

Third party? Highly unlikely, it would require many $millions to run a competitive race in Cali, and I doubt whether someone who is open-minded about Trump could pull even the 34% needed is a spectacularly tight 3-way race, in California.

Gospace said...

California. Jungle primary. Top two vote getters get into the general election. No third parties. No write in vote.

IMHO California no longer has a republican form of government as guaranteed for all states by the Constitution.