Sunday, June 2, 2019

My Saturday With The Democratic Presidential Candidates

By Robert Wenzel

As I previously reported, this year's California Democratic Convention is being held in San Francisco this weekend and I am covering it.

The convention has attracted approx. 5,000 attendees between delegates, guests, observers, volunteers, staff and media. The Wall Street Journal alone has sent 4 reporters. California is this big in the Democratic primary this presidential cycle because the presidential spot is wide open and the state has moved its primary from the first week of June to Super Tuesday, March 3.

The (demo)cratters will be swarming the state for the next 9 months.

Eleven candidates spoke on Saturday, all the big names except Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Biden is not attending and Sanders will speak on Sunday.

Before the candidates spoke, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the crowd. It was uneventful, especially since she didn't slur any of her words.

Perhaps the big story out of the presidential candidate convention speeches was that it sounded as if Elizabeth Warren received more rousing applause from convention goers at the beginning of her speech and throughout it, than local favorite Kamala Harris did during her speech.

If it comes down to Harris vs. Warren, I am all in with Harris. Not that I support any of her positions but she seems to just want to be president rather than having any super dangerous driving principles. And I suspect Harris is getting a bit of corporate guidance. It's probably crony guidance but it is much better than what appears to be total capitalist hate by Warren.

I say Harris might be getting some corporate guidance because she came out against Trump's tariffs. None of the other candidates brought up the topic.

She said Trump's tariffs were a trade war and continued with "I call Trump's tariffs, Trump's trade tax."

She then mentioned a long list of lefty favorite positions that she supported, including medicare for all and impeach Trump.

But other than listing lefty favorites, there was no indication that she has a real passion about any of these issues.

I could really picture her winning the presidential election and the first day as president walking into the oval office kicking off her shoes, sitting on a couch with legs extended and ordering a glass of champagne from a member of the White House staff. If there is going to be a lefty in the White House, you can't do much better than someone who is chill and really doesn't take lefty principles too seriously.

Warren, on the other hand, is a whirlwind of capitalist hate. I could see her starting work on her first day as president during her first 10 minutes in the oval office.

Elizabeth Warren
During her loudly cheered speech, she attacked the rich, called for a wealth tax, called for the breakup of big banks, big agriculture and big tech.

She called for universal childcare and free public college. And she said, "We can afford both Medicare for all and a Green New Deal."

There is just nothing about capitalism or free markets she likes and she is passionate about her hate.

When Beto O'Rourke took the stage, he began his speech by talking for a full couple of minutes in Spanish. To my surprise, in the middle of his Spanish comments, about 20% of the crowd let out a cheer as if they understood what he was saying.

In discussing this later with a reporter from a national magazine, she said, "Yes, but he spoke Spanish like a gringo."

Nothing else really stood out about O'Rourke's speech, it was all about delivering on crazy lefty demands.

There was an awkward silence in the press bullpen when the gay Pete Buttigieg started his speech and said he didn't know why but that he has felt like San Francisco was a second home for him.

After his litany of lefty promises, he closed by saying it was only by one Supreme Court justice vote but he was proud that he could now say, "I woke up this morning with my husband next to me."

The crowd went wild.

Eric Swalwell spoke but left no impression. Neither did Kirsten Gillibrand, though she did attack the Koch brothers to no response.

Tulsi Gabbard entered the stage to the only music at the convention that I had heard  before, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." She did make a lot of lefty promises to the lefty crowd but she kept up her strong attack on the military-industrial-complex.

Later in the evening, I attended a private event she put on and I will report on that later in a separate post.

When John Hickenlooper took to the stage, he said, "Socialism is not the answer."

There was loud and sustained booing from the crowd.

During the booing, he said, "If we are not careful we are going to re-elect Donald Trump." The booing continued.

Later in his speech, he said, "We shouldn't remove private health insurers." The booing resumed.

Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, took to the stage wearing glasses that made him look like the late Nelson Rockefeller. His campaign isn't going anywhere. It is probably already as dead as Nelson.

The sleeper amongst the relative unknowns might be Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota. Not that she has solid policy positions but she was very skilled at speaking to the crowd, and you got the sense that she is probably quick thinking on her feet, which will surely help her in the debates.

The final presidential candidate to speak was Cory Booker. He didn't say much of substance but he did get the crowd into a lather. He sure understands how to get a crowd going.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


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  2. What does the racial composition of the lemmings, er I mean audience look like? Men vs women % too?