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Who Is The Best Politician You've Ever Seen?

Old 01-25-08, 05:48 PM
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Who Is The Best Politician You've Ever Seen?

Bill Clinton is my choice.

The number one asset that a good politician must have is to be able to stand up and give a 10-minute speech without really saying anything. You'll hear people in the audience saying 'damn, that sounded really good.' When asked what did he really say, the response is 'hell, I don't know, but it sounded good.'

There are two current presidential candidates who are, IMO, excellent politicians - Obama & Huckabee. They both possess that asset.

Clinton, however, has/had something that they don't have - he could stand there (bring the tear to his left eye) and really make you feel that he could feel your pain. In reality he was thinking - 'what are Monica and I going to do tonight?' Empathy (real or not) is a great asset for a politician.

Reagan was also a really good politician. But, not for a moment did I think he could feel my pain.

I forgot an extremely important asset necessary to be an outstanding politician - the ability to lie and have people think you're telling the truth.

Can you think of any other assets that a really good politician has?
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Old 01-25-08, 06:02 PM
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Reagan, because he wasn't fake and even his adversaries who personally dealt with him (as opposed to the general public that never met him) didn't hate him.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:07 PM
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I would probably say Bill Clinton.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Reagan, because he wasn't fake and even his adversaries who personally dealt with him (as opposed to the general public that never met him) didn't hate him.
That's because Reagan didn't hate them. He possessed a civility that's been lost in politics today.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:20 PM
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The main reason I voted for Clinton twice is that for all the "slick Willie" persona, I thought he was extremely intelligent. While I agree with c-man that Bill could really sell his epathy well, whether it was genuine or not, I think that skill was not a substitute for an intellectual grasp of the issues, but rather was in addition to it. And I think Bill was a very strong orator and commanded an audience skillfully--an ability that has been sorely missing with the current president, and hopefully one that the next one will have.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:23 PM
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Isn't the best politician the worst candidate that actually gets elected?
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Old 01-25-08, 06:26 PM
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Bill Clinton, by far. He was a far greater politician than Reagan, or Kennedy or FDR -- not that he was a better president, mind you, or a better orator or a better leader (although you could make the case)... but as a politician, he was unmatched.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:29 PM
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Dick Nixon. People who hated him still voted for him.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:31 PM
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Former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer. That guy was a showman.

On a national level, I'd say Reagan. You never heard a segment of voters "Kennedy Republicans" or "Nixon Democrats" or "Clinton Republicans," but you still hear the term "Reagan Democrats." My mom still calls herself one.

Last edited by Red Dog; 01-25-08 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:50 PM
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Another vote for Clinton.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:56 PM
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Another vote for Reagan.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
Isn't the best politician the worst candidate that actually gets elected?
I'm pretty sure that's what c-man meant by his choice Considering I rank politicians somewhere around used-car salesmen I would have to agree w/ c-man.
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Old 01-25-08, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
Isn't the best politician the worst candidate that actually gets elected?
most of the time no just in 2000 and 2004
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Old 01-25-08, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer. That guy was a showman.
Really?!

I enjoy O'Malley as mayor for a bit. I've drank with him a few times (and seen his band play)...I wouldn't say he would be wildly popular outside of b'more, but he was fun for b'more.

Bill Clinton gets my vote.....he was smart, slick, and could get things done. His wife scares me though.

-p
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Old 01-25-08, 09:16 PM
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Another vote for Bill Clinton. Easily the best politician I've ever seen, and that's not a compliment.
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Old 01-25-08, 09:31 PM
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Yet another vote for Reagan.
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Old 01-25-08, 09:59 PM
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My vote goes for Reagan as well.
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Old 01-25-08, 10:49 PM
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Pierre-Elliott Trudeau. Incredible charisma, superior intellect and political acumen. He's the best politician I've ever seen. Too bad he almost brought Canada to ruins.
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Old 01-25-08, 11:23 PM
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If "best" translates into electoral success and policy, Nixon, hands down. The man was an intellectual force and outflanked the opposition at every turn. Bush 43 & Clinton were (are) excellent survivalists, but that's a different criteria altogether. Reagan was, to me, singularly unimpressive and dependent entirely upon the aspirations of a nation desperate to "win".

If "best" means the ability to inspire, whether in the face of determined and overwhelming opposition, a sort of messianic devotion, its either McGovern or RFK.

In realpolitic terms, LBJ earns some props for pushing thru the Civil Rights act.

Last edited by TimJS; 01-25-08 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 01-25-08, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer. That guy was a showman.

On a national level, I'd say Reagan. You never heard a segment of voters "Kennedy Republicans" or "Nixon Democrats" or "Clinton Republicans," but you still hear the term "Reagan Democrats." My mom still calls herself one.
Schaeffer never really struck me as that good a politician, although he managed to get elected Mayor of Baltimore four times, Governor of Maryland twice and Comptroller twice despite the fact that he was a complete schmuck. So I guess that says something about his skills as a politician.

Anyway, if we're going to go local, I nominate Da Mare, Richard M. Daley. This guy has been mayor of Chicago for 20 years, and despite the fact that everyone he's ever been friends with winds up indiced sooner or later, he keeps on keeping on without ever even facing a serious challenge for reelection.

Another nominee would be Marion Barry, because anybody who can serve time for crack and then get re-elected mayor must be a pretty good politician. And the crack is just the thing people nationwide know -- DC area residents know about his other shennanigans, like the time he went on vacation to the Carribean and the streets didn't get plowed because he didn't authorize anyone to send the snow plows out.

Historically, you've also got to hand it to Richard J. Daley and Fiorello LaGuardia.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:01 AM
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I think the core job of a politician is to defeat the opposition and get what you want. By that standard, Margaret Thatcher is the best politician I've seen.

One of the jobs of a national leader is to leave your party in good shape when you step down. By that standard, Thatcher fails miserably. I'd have to give that one to Reagan.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:32 AM
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It may be the core job, but it doesn't necessarily demonstrate your ability as a politician - especially in the case of a British PM.

She wasn't elected by all the people of great Britain. She was elected by the party leadership to serve in that position.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by X
Reagan, because he wasn't fake and even his adversaries who personally dealt with him (as opposed to the general public that never met him) didn't hate him.
He wasn't a phony?

He pased himself off as a the great fiscal conservative when he was just the oppositive.

He espoused the socially conservative cause, but did precious little to promote that.

He was certainly was despised by a bunch of people.

Walter Mondale wasn't a fake. What you saw was what you got.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TimJS
If "best" translates into electoral success and policy, Nixon, hands down. The man was an intellectual force and outflanked the opposition at every turn. Bush 43 & Clinton were (are) excellent survivalists, but that's a different criteria altogether. Reagan was, to me, singularly unimpressive and dependent entirely upon the aspirations of a nation desperate to "win".

If "best" means the ability to inspire, whether in the face of determined and overwhelming opposition, a sort of messianic devotion, its either McGovern or RFK.

In realpolitic terms, LBJ earns some props for pushing thru the Civil Rights act.


Very good & insightful post.

Reagan came along at the right time. The country wanted to 'feel good' again. He adopted (with a few changes made by Lee Atwater) the Nixon strategy.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Pierre-Elliott Trudeau. Incredible charisma, superior intellect and political acumen. He's the best politician I've ever seen. Too bad he almost brought Canada to ruins.
The thread was about the best politician - not the best ladies man.
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