STUMP » Articles » Random Thoughts: On Unpopular Politicians » 16 March 2015, 07:10

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Random Thoughts: On Unpopular Politicians  


16 March 2015, 07:10

Being in New York, I’ve got to see a few nasty pieces of work go by (and still around).

For example, our Governor Cuomo:

Hard to believe nobody likes such a warm, fuzzy guy like Andrew Cuomo, huh?

‘Top New York Democrats are whispering for the first time that Hillary Rodham Clinton may not be their presidential candidate next year. And while they’re far from agreeing on who it might be, they do agree on one thing: It won’t be Gov. Cuomo.

‘“People in the party all hate him,’’ one of the state’s best-known Democratic operatives told The Post.

‘A prominent Democratic elected official added, “There’s an ABC factor at work here. It’s ‘Anybody but Cuomo’.’’’
‘“But who it won’t be is Andrew Cuomo,’’ the activist added.’

Seems to be a safe bet.

Sorry about all the nested quotes. I bolded JammieWF’s parts.

I’ve been thinking about seemingly successful politicians that nobody much likes. I’m not talking about this from a partisan point of view — I loathe Bill Clinton, for example, but lots of people seem to like him.

I’m talking about people who aren’t liked even by members of their own party.

People like Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Emanuel, Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton…

The early 1960s were defined by a dramatic political polarity: the glib and vague but attractive and clever John Kennedy set in contrast to the hard, scheming intelligence of the fundamentally uncool Richard Nixon. As Oliver Stone’s fictitious Nixon put it when addressing a portrait of the late Kennedy: “People look at you, and they see who they want to be. They look at me, and they see what they are.” The Clintons’ marriage contains uncomfortably within it both of those poles, and Mrs. Clinton, unhappily for her, is the Nixon in the relationship.

Like Nixon at his lowest, she must be asking herself — or will be asking herself soon enough — “What was it for?” The lies? The endless public humiliations? The cruelty to women? The edifice of deceit that is the only real monument to what the name “Clinton” stands for? Nixon, the best efforts of his admirers notwithstanding, is remembered mainly as the one thing he insisted he was not — a crook — largely repudiated by the very same conservative movement that once embraced him, his face familiar outside that movement mostly as a grotesque latex mask. Nixon was — and is — a monster, in the ancient sense of that word: a warning, an omen.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a monster for our times.

I have been trying to figure out how these nasty people get ahead.

If it were business, I could definitely tell you how such nasty people get ahead: they can be as nasty as they want, like Steve Jobs, as long as they get results. That is, they make money. Lots and lots of money.

I thought that maybe in politics, as long as you got votes (or something), then they’d stick by you. But how does an unlikeable person get people to vote for them? Maybe no good options?

But no, I should have gotten back to the business example. It seems that the unlikeable are around to the extent they can bring in lots and lots of money:

Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid have caused enough ethics headaches for Democrats that you may wonder why their party sticks with them. And the party leadership’s vocal backing of Rep. Chris Van Hollen for Maryland’s open Senate seat — as opposed to the just-as-qualified and more liberal African-American Rep. Donna Edwards — alienates so many key constituencies that you may ask why it’s worth it.

The reason in all of these cases is money. These are three of the Democrats’ best fundraisers, and a good fundraising haul for the party will buy you plenty of indulgences in the Democratic Party.

Which leads us back to her unrivaled fundraising. One reason Hillary has all but cleared the Democratic field for president in 2016 is that nobody else could approach her on fundraising. In 2008, she raised $118 million before the Iowa Caucuses. That put her only a bit ahead of Barack Obama, but it was more than twice what any Republican candidate raised.

What came with this fundraising dominance? Close ties to K Street and Wall Street that made the Left uneasy. Her fundraising success as a senator was often tied up with policymaking that benefited her donors.

Ah, a little of the quid pro quo. You get enough money to buy off enough groups, and you’re golden.

For a while, at least.

But it seems the shine is coming off Emanuel, Cuomo, and Clinton — some people have posited that Obama’s people are behind it, but all it takes is not enough of the “right people” getting paid off.

The issue both Emanuel and Cuomo have is that they are in actual executive positions, at lower-than-federal levels, and have lots of restrictions on what is possible for them. There’s only so much money for them to throw around to various groups.

Let’s start with the little fry: Chicago. What’s the size of its budget? About $9 billion.

Feh. Autozone, number 300 on the Fortune 500 list, had higher revenue than that.

(Of course, those 300 companies are doing something productive.)

Let’s check out Cuomo’s New York: about $91 billion. That’s at about position 25 on the Fortune 500.

Okay, more decent.

The federal coffers, now… that’s real money.

$3.5 trillion. Orders of magnitude higher than New York state or Chicago.

Anyway, the problem with being an asshole, whether in business or in politics, is that if you are an asshole to your own people, and you can no longer deliver the goods, you will be figuratively eaten alive.

Rahm may see the end game of that very soon, in losing a run-off (he may yet win, of course.) Cuomo… well, he has less to worry about electorally (NY Republicans are a joke), but may have to worry about criminal investigations.

And Hillary?

I doubt the email brou-ha-ha is the last eruption we’ll hear about her. It’s only the beginning.

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