November 8, 2019

Camp.


I'm interested in the language question — "camp" — but it's also a good time to mention the possible newcomers to the Democratic primary race — not just Michael Bloomberg but Eric Holder. Newsweek has this:
Eugene Robinson claimed on social media last night that the Obama-era attorney general had spoken with strategists about running in the already crowded Democratic 2020 primary field.... The analyst's claim was also repeated on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show yesterday evening, following several reports that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also considering pitching himself against frontrunners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders....

[Rachel Maddow] said: "If Eric Holder is in the mix, and Mike Bloomberg looks like he might be in the mix, well jeez, just when you thought it's all over, it's never over."
What's the latest anyone ever entered the race and went on to become the nominee? Have we ever seen anything like this huge collection of candidates in one party where no one seems to have decent support? (Biden has been in the lead for a long time, but he seems to represent the idea I'm here waiting for a standard-model Democrat who reminds me of the old days when Obama was President.)

On the language question, a "camp" is "A body of troops encamping and moving together; an army on a campaign." I'd say you have a camp when you are organized to do battle. You've got a metaphorical army. And it's got to be on the move to be called a "camp." If it's a camp, you've got a campaign. Ergo, he's running. Or people are using the wrong word.

66 comments:

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Holder is dirty deep state. ugh.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I’m guessing Humphrey in 1968 was the latest to enter and get the nomination, at least during the primary era.

Original Mike said...

Good. Gun-running to Mexico is timely right about now. Let's ask him.

Temujin said...

Because the American people want the same guy who fed arms by the thousands to the Mexican cartels, to be the next President of our country.

What size must his bubble be?

Big Mike said...

Mike Bloomberg ran for New York City mayor as, and during his term office claimed to be, a Republican.

wendybar said...

Sure. Let's elect the guy who armed the Mexican Cartel...that's the ticket!!!

gilbar said...

can't have camp followers, until you have a camp
Just Ask Kamela Harris

WK said...

When I saw “Holder camp” I thought many this definition: Camp is an aesthetic style and sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value.

wendybar said...

Sure. Let's elect the guy who was held in Contempt of Congress for arming the Mexican Cartels and refusing to hand over documents. That's ALL we need now.

rcocean said...

Wendell Wilkie announced for POTUS in March-April 1940. And got nominated in July 1940. I think, writing off top of my head. Eisenhower got in pretty late in 1952, but won the NH primary. Not sure if that was a write in. Reagan got in campaign in 1976 in October/November 1975 and almost won.

Historically speaking, November before Primaries isn't that late.

Nonapod said...

Bloomberg and Holder? To an outside observer it might seem like many in the upper echelons of the Progressive movement are really, really worried. But that can't be, right? I mean... there's been so many polls showing that Trump loses to any and all of the top tier candidates.

What's more, surely he'll be impeached anyway, right? I mean, surely Adam Shiff's little production will demonstrate clearly and concisely to the American public that Trump did impeachable things, right?

Howard said...

A camp is better than a cult.

tcrosse said...

Mayor Pete is not as Camp as gay guys can be.

Limited blogger said...

democrat field - mile wide, half an inch deep

Yancey Ward said...

Holder as a candidate would be a joke, but he probably does believe he might win.

Kevin said...

Perhaps Holder wants to see the IG report and what Barr has uncovered before he jumps in?

Or is he running so as to make himself immune to investigation and prosecution by his political rivals?

zipity said...


Holder? The man who abandoned a slam dunk voter intimidation prosecution of New Black Panthers that even Democrats who witnessed the intimidation called it egregious.

The man who is criticizing AG Barr as bringing politics improperly into the Justice Dept., who when he was Obama's AG called himself "Obama's wingman....."

The AG held in contempt of Congress for obstructing the investigation of the Obama Fast and Furious program that put weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartel members who used them to kill a US Border Patrolman?

Oh, please, do run. It would be very entertaining.

rehajm said...

At this stage in the election the big money donors, the kingmakers who host the candidates at their house, sides start to be chosen. He’s with Warren. They haven’t committed yet.

Amongst the candidates with a political history there are the 100s of professional coat Holders...er...coat holders. Time for them to start picking, too

Howard said...

Don't you people hate Drezner as an LLR Never Trumper former Republican academic elite muttering manboob of megatronism?

mccullough said...

Holder and Bloomberg must be under investigation if they are going to run.

Bay Area Guy said...

Run, Holder, run!

And please tap ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner as your running mate!

Holder-Weiner in 2020!

Amadeus 48 said...

We all need toy Sontag’s Notes on Camp to appreciate the Dems’ dilemma.

As to Holder, everything that was alleged about Obama’s youthful radicalism is true about Holder.

rcocean said...

Drezner is such a dumbo. You don't squire a camp in a "Stage of life", you aquire a "Camp" when you run or hold office. You need to have political followers and subordinates to "have a camp". It's not "your stage of life" - you don't get it with old age.

Roughcoat said...

A camp is where an army resides not the army itself. It is, however, used to refer to the army in the same way that "the White House" is used to refer to the POTUS.

mccullough said...

Political consultants are good at convincing morons to run so they can get paid.

Bloomberg has a lot of money. So much that he can afford to piss it away on this stuff instead of waiting for Bernie and Liz to take it from him.

These guys are saying they are going to run to grease the skids for Hillary. It won’t look as bad for her to join in with a few others vs jumping in on her own.



Wince said...

I for one was upset when they took the "camp" out of Batman.

Camper Van Beethoven: Take The Skinheads Bowling

Bob Boyd said...

To an outside observer it might seem like many in the upper echelons of the Progressive movement are really, really worried.

I agree. If the Dems thought they were going to beat Trump, would they be ring-mastering this impeachment circus? Seems pretty desperate.
It also violates whatcha call yer recognized democratic norms and shit.

BADuBois said...

Because "camp" is a good shorthand way of saying "collection of sycophant idiots".

Psota said...

Athletes and entertainers always seem to have "camps" - agents, PR people, trusted family members, etc.

It plays like an "off-the-record" attempt to be "on-the-record"

readering said...

1924 Davis became Democratic nominee as compromise candidate on 103rd ballot after not competing in primaries.

bwebster said...

As per comments above, the fact that Bloomberg, Holder, Clinton, et alis, are contemplating 2020 presidential runs less than a year away from Election Day shows how truly dismayed the Dem Party seniors are at the prospects (or lack thereof) of the current crop of 20+ candidates.

And as per above, yes! Let them run! Let a thousand flowers bloom! Me, I'll stock up on popcorn.

Yancey Ward said...

mccullough wrote:

"These guys are saying they are going to run to grease the skids for Hillary. It won’t look as bad for her to join in with a few others vs jumping in on her own."

LOL! This might be correct analysis.

Yancey Ward said...

Hip people like Holder call them posses.

Char Char Binks said...

A camp doesn’t have to be on the move. It just has to be afield.

Birches said...

Just hoping for anyone to recapture the Obama magic. Kamala has shown she doesn't have it. Neither does Holder. The fact they're talking about Holder shows they're getting desperate.

I'm sure Michelle Obama is getting swamped right now.

traditionalguy said...

All Dem politicians need camp followers.Like the groupies of rock and roll bands, they service the grand poobahs for free with the expectancy of Government Jobs after the election.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

From the Latin "campus," meaning an open flat field and most famously to the Campus Martius (Field of Mars) the mustering spot for ancient Roman citizen-soldiers (as well as the site of religious festivals, a periodic census/tribe survey, and other important functions). It's where Romulus was taken by a storm cloud. The land belonged to the last Tarquin king and after his defeat it was dedicated to Mars and treated as public land. Commentor Lars Porsena can confirm, I'm sure.

Camp, campus, campaign. I hope the unlinkable OED backs me up!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Char Char Binks said...A camp doesn’t have to be on the move. It just has to be afield.

Ha! That's a very good one; thanks.

Roughcoat said...A camp is where an army resides not the army itself. It is, however, used to refer to the army in the same way that "the White House" is used to refer to the POTUS.

Yup; blast your scrabble score with metonymy

Arma virinque cano

[Full disclosure - I am going to Rome shortly and my brain is nothing but Latin, Roman history, etc, at the moment.]

Crazy Jane said...

Holder is a nonstarter, based on his record. If people think Trump has overstepped his mandate, wait until the stories about Holder get out. He served under the Obama halo period, and that protection will not extend during a Democratic nomination campaign.

Bloomberg is a serious, careful man and was an excellent mayor. He has two liabilities.

First, much of the country thinks of him as the scold who wanted people to stop drinking sugary sodas, which makes for easy caricature even if it was correct on points.

Second, his post-mayoral return to his news outlet -- described now by insiders as "Bloomberg and everybody else" -- has exposed the depth of his utter hatred for everything Trump. It's understandable: Unlike Trump, Bloomberg started from nothing, has built a far greater fortune and has done so professionally and without narcissism or plumping for the cheap seats. But if the basis for his run is anti-Trumpism, well, there are plenty of other Democrats saying the same thing and his moderate appeal may not resonate with former Trump voters who want less emotionalist in politics overall.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"mein camp"
Sure to be a lot of 'champs' in his retinue

rehajm said...

These guys are saying they are going to run to grease the skids for Hillary. It won’t look as bad for her to join in with a few others vs jumping in on her own.

I was thinking this but within the context of Hillary is a terrible politician and 'running' hurts her candidacy. She needs the brokered convention and with the new rules needs fissure in the first vote. Three ought to do it but she can't count on three of the current pack of losers to stick around that long.

Greg the class traitor said...

Here's the really sad part: According to Nate Silver (and this is something where he should be trustworthy) Democrat Primary voters are as or more happy with their options than the historical norm.

Bloomberg is Beto without the charm, and with the "you're damn right, we're going to take away your guns!" promise.

In his case, I think it's a case of "I'm never going to have another chance in my life to run, I've got all this money. YOLO!"

I'd love to see him win the Dem nomination, but I don't expect it to happen.


Holder? WTF? I think his lack of qualifications has been well discussed above (although I haven't seen anything here about the New Black Panthers case). The only "thinking" I can see behind this is "black voters are starting to tune out the Democrat Party."

Hillary lost MI and WI because black voters didn't turn out in anything like their numbers in 2012. In the voting on Tuesday 11/5/19, blacks did not turn out nearly as much as did whites. This made a difference in MS.

If blacks stay at home in significant number in 2020, or, horror!, vote GOP in any significant numbers, Dems can kiss goodbye the entire South, FL, MI, PA, WI, and maybe even MN.

Which means President Trump re-elected with a GOP House and Senate

Two-eyed Jack said...

Hoodlum Doodlum,

Etymonline.com is a good resource for word derivations. It is linkable.

Greg the class traitor said...

Blogger Crazy Jane said...

Bloomberg is a serious, careful man and was an excellent mayor. He has two liabilities.

First, much of the country thinks of him as the scold who wanted people to stop drinking sugary sodas, which makes for easy caricature even if it was correct on points.

Second, his post-mayoral return to his news outlet -- described now by insiders as "Bloomberg and everybody else" -- has exposed the depth of his utter hatred for everything Trump. It's understandable: Unlike Trump, Bloomberg started from nothing, has built a far greater fortune and has done so professionally and without narcissism or plumping for the cheap seats. But if the basis for his run is anti-Trumpism, well, there are plenty of other Democrats saying the same thing and his moderate appeal may not resonate with former Trump voters who want less emotionalist in politics overall.


Bloomberg is an unserious, crappy human being who was a crap Mayor. Which is why NY elected de Blasio to replace him. He spent his time as Mayor blathering about national politics, rather than actually addressing local problems.

NY has some of the most restrictive "gun control" laws in America. Which didn't keep the criminals from getting guns, and using them to kill lots of people, many of them non-criminals. A "serious, careful man" would have noticed this. Bloomberg didn't.

Of course Bloomberg hates Trump. 1: Bloomberg hates Jacksonians, and Trump is one. 2: Bloomberg hates anything that values the beliefs of the common people over the beliefs of his class, the political class.

Want to see 95% of the WWC vote for Trump, rather than 70%? Make Bloomberg the Democrat nominee

Lance said...

What's the latest anyone ever entered the race and went on to become the nominee?

James Garfield in 1880.

The 1880 Republican convention nominated Garfield as a compromise on the 36th (!) ballot, even though he had not sought the nomination. In fact when he received 20 votes on the 34th ballot, he objected that he had not consented to be a candidate, and moved the votes be ruled out-of-order. The convention chairman overruled this as a minor technicality. Two ballots later, James G. Blaine and John Sherman agreed to throw their support to Garfield in order to prevent Ulysses Grant from being nominated a third time.

Also interesting: there were a total of fourteen candidates who received at least one vote at the convention.

Bay Area Guy said...

The beauty of the late trial balloons of Bloomberg and Holder is that it means even Democrats believe the current crop of their candidates are crap.

reader said...

In the time of Trump, nobody has camp like Trump does.

Per Urban Dictionary (borrowed by dictionary.com)

1. something that provides sophisticated, knowing amusement, as by virtue of its being artlessly mannered or stylized, self-consciously artificial and extravagant, or teasingly ingenuous and sentimental.

Can Bloomberg or Holder do/have camp? If they want to go head to head with Trump they’ll need to.

cubanbob said...

Holder and Bloomberg? The relatively sane section of the Democrats must be in panic mode. Holder has so much baggage he needs a forty footer to drag it along and Nanny "Gun Grabber" Bloomberg can only defeat a DeBlasio so the Dims might think he can take down the Commies Sanders and Warren. At least Bloomberg has a motivation to run for president besides his ego, if the Dims win the the trifecta with either Sanders or Warren he would soon become a former billionaire.

eric said...

All of my dreams will come true if the winner of the Democrat nomination wins a majority of states delegates but ultimately gets fewer votes than the next person.

I Callahan said...

To all the people saying to Holder to go ahead and run - an awful lot are assuming that his dalliances will become public. The mainstream media won’t say a word about any of it. Trump has his camp; the Dems have theirs, and the “independents” watch mainstream media.

I still say Trump wins, but it won’t be by much.

William said...

I wonder whose camp Susan Sontag would be in were she alive today? Probably Hillary. Hillary is the camp candidate. Gays used to be reliable indicators of camp, but their affection for Mayor Pete is too genuine and sincere to qualify as camp.

William said...

I'd be far less miserable if Bloomberg won than those other candidates. I don't understand why candidates like Hickenlooper or Delany didn't make a showing. Bloomberg seems sane, and I think he knows more about money and budgets and stuff like that than I do. I have a vague suspicion that if we keep running trillion dollar deficits, something bad will happen.....I don't think Bloomberg will succeed in banning guns in Alabama any more than a conservative will ever prohibit abortions in New York.....I'd like to see the liberals unite behind Bloomberg and concentrate all their firepower on large, sugary drinks. Major movie stars talking about teeth rot and obesity. Leo banning Coke if not coke from his yacht. Greta drinking unsweetened iced tea. The full push. That's an issue upon which Hollywood, the news media, and the President could unite on to make us all better, thinner people.

JaimeRoberto said...

You acquire a camp around the time your house becomes a compound. The campers need a place to stay.

Greg the class traitor said...

I Callahan said...
To all the people saying to Holder to go ahead and run - an awful lot are assuming that his dalliances will become public.

There's these things called debates.

You think Trump is going to let "rules" keep him from asking Holder "why did you sell guns to Mexican drug cartels?"

Think he's going to let some weasel of a moderator prevent him from asking the question, or not follow it up until Holder answers?

Think there won't be campaign ads showing video of the "New Black Panthers" engaging in voter intimidation, , with "Approved by Holder" stamped over it?.

Put aside for the moment that we've never seen Holder run a campaign, and have no reason to believe he's even remotely capable of connecting to voters. Trump WILL get the word out about his opponent's crimes. He will not let a media blackout stop him.

THAT is, after all, why his fans love him so. He doesn't bend over for the Left, and let them define the terms of the debate

Amadeus 48 said...

I foresee Bloomberg arguing constantly and obsessively with the members of Congress who don't agree with him--that is, all of them. He'd top both Trump and Obama as an issuer of executive orders.

After all, he started with nothing and ended up a multi-billionaire by providing superb trading capabilities to the capital markets, thereby enabling the creation of mortgage-backed securities and their derivatives. Yes, you can truthfully say the Bloomberg enabled the financial crisis and made a fortune out of it.

This campaign gambit may be his defensive move to head off persecution and prosecution from the Warren administration. If he wins, she dies. If she wins, he dies. Two people enter the dome, one leaves.



Amadeus 48 said...

We all need to study Sontag’s Notes on Camp to appreciate the Dems’ dilemma.

As to Holder, everything that was alleged about Obama’s youthful radicalism is true about Holder.

[CORRECTED--iphone entry is tough]

eddie willers said...

This one time, at band camp...

Clyde said...

I would have said Holder henchmen, but that’s just me.

Lazarus said...

"Camp" as in "Notes on Camp"? Ed Koch was camp. Bill Buckley was camp. Maybe even Giuliani and Dinkins. Bloomberg? Not so much.

Iman said...

Holder’s got a camp, alright, Camp Granada...

Rabel said...

Holder's looking at a VP slot.

Strategically, he would be an especially good fit for Warren.

NEO-FIDO said...

"Nobody is able to sell losing amendments, socialism and doxing...so since those losers can't, I am just the man to do it!"

Ken B said...

Rc beat me to it: Wendell Wilkie was an outsider who got in late, and won.

Wilkie was a splendid person by the way and was an anti isolationist, and favored helping Britain against the Nazis so he would have been reviled by the likes of Michael K and Birkel.

Ken B said...

I have a moderately negative view of Bloomberg, which makes him my first choice among the Democrats by quite a bit. I hope he runs.

It would be a mistake to underestimate him as a candidate. He is not crazy. He doesn’t come across as crazy either. He doesn’t exude contempt or shake with anger. He never claimed to be the last of the Mohicans. If you are for boring you will consider him in a way you wouldn’t with Warren or Sanders. A lot of us are for boring.

Lazarus said...

There's a lot that can be said against Holder - it won't be said in the Democratic debates - but he does make Cory Booker look like a child or a 97 pound weakling. One way or another, it could be fun to see the two on the same stage. They will come to hate each other, if they don't already.

DB said...

He could be campaigning for things other than the presidency.