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Feb 10 2020

The Mint 400

In some circles, the Mint 400 is a far, far better thing than the Superbowl, the Kentucky Derby, and the lower Oakland roller derby finals all rolled into one. This race attracts a very special breed.

Well, our Senior Editorial Staff will be attending the live broadcast of All In tonight in Manchester and we’ll be braving not only the weather (currently snowing fairly heavily at Primary Headquarters in North Lake) but also the motorcade of Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio, unfortunately not in cuffs yet as far as I know (Dish is out, it’s snowing).

I have stayed up late and partied hard. Sometimes I’ve been awake by the crack of noon, something I mostly try to avoid- not a “Morning” person. When the TV’s been working I’ve watched MUR almost constantly unless ABC sucked too much to bear.

Overall only like 25% of the ads during prime viewing hours (Newscasts, Local Features, Morning Shows, Prime Time, Sports not Network allocated) and half of that is self promotion. The rest is pure political.

In the Ad Wars Joe Biden is dropping a ton of money to little effect. This is because his ads are soporific and repetitive (Obama! “Moderate” Conservative! Presidential!) unless he’s attacking someone who used to be the other side’s guy but is now just as likely to be some random Democrat because he’s losing to all of them.

My sister, who works for a Health Insurance Company (it’s relevant later), is a New Hampshire Voter and has actually been to 6 or 7 events of various types with about 5 or 6 of the top candidates.

Of Biden she says that he’s easy to listen to but he doesn’t return the favor very much, evading most questions with non-answers. His story is moving but his policies are totally wrong headed.

I’ll dispose of Mike Bennet with this- he’s been all over MSNBC because they loves them some Centrists and Biden is in a death spiral. I have seen exactly one ad and it is as generic as you would expect.

Tulsi Gabbard has invested months in New Hampshire, she probably qualifies for residence so she could vote for herself (New Hampshire is extraordinarily generous with residence, I probably could too). Who knows where her money comes from but she sure is spending it. She has measurable Polling! Her ads are all about her Military Service and my sister says her Stump is also. She seems sane enough in person but my sister didn’t like her record.

Tom Steyer is roughly tied with Gabbard at about 2.5% and he has been flogging the State as she has. He has an impressive bunch of ads so he’s not as boring as some of the other big spenders. His mix is about 50% Remove and the rest is dived among issues with Health Insurance (I refuse to call it “Care”) leading the way and the Economy second with a fair amount of Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

My sister says he’s impressive in person too. Very Professional, Bright, Right on most of the Issues. I think he’d be her second choice for reasons I will explain later.

Pete Buttagieg is doing an Ad Blitz too and while he seems to be gaining some traction in the Polls but he only has like 3 different ones and their all the same.

My sister says he has a captivating speaking voice and he’s hot (though spoken for) and very polished. Then, she said, you realize that he never really says anything. Entertaining but vapid and shallow. Oh, and New Hampshire is very, very White but the Buttagieg event was Whiter than most, so much so my sister, who is just as Ben Franklin as I am, thought it remarkable in context.

Amy Klobuchar got a bump from Iowa, no doubt about it. You see Amy signs in the Snowbanks (Gabbard too but they’ve been there since Spring) and she has a middling ad presence. Her new spot is Debate, Debate, Debate, Oh!, Did You See How Good I did In Iowa? Her Polls are better than I would have expected and she’s attracting some of the “Moderates” (Conservatives) hemorrhaging from Biden.

She seems Midwestern Nice in person but doesn’t have much spark says my sister. Soft spoken and hard to hear, wrong, but nice. The atmosphere at her events is subdued and polite. Of course that was before Iowa and the Debate. Things might be different now.

About Andy Yang I’m constantly asked the question, “Why is he still here?” $1000 a Month buys a lot of Votes but he lost mine when he said he’d Pardon the Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio. My sister has seen him and says he sounds sane enough. Universal Income is a sound Economic concept (as is Debt Forgiveness) but that Pardon thing is a Deal Breaker. His buy is as big as any of the Top Tier and the ads are fresh, varied, and totally make him look Presidential when he really is a pretty wacky guy.

Elizabeth Warren has a buy about the size of Klobuchar’s, maybe a bit bigger. She has a nice set of ads, almost all issue oriented. She’s probably my favorite at the moment though I’d be fine with Sanders. What I like about her is she’s Left (for a Democrat), she’s got a plan for that, and she promises that no co-conspirator of Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio will go unpunished.

I like that a lot.

Ok, this is why I think Steyer would be my sister’s second choice and the story may disappoint you. My sister was initially a Liz supporter. She attended 2 Warren events, the first was everything my sister expected- Energized, Detailed, Good Speaker- Highly Organized, very Professional and Educational. “You can tell she was a Teacher.”

Then Warren changed her position on Medicare For All which concerned my sister. This is why the fact she works in the Health Insurance Industry is relevant and, you may be surprised to learn, she is militantly in favor of Medicare For All in part because her Employment Coverage sucks (did I mention she works in the Industry?). When she sought clarification at another event from a Staffer she got a face full of rehearsed political bafflegarb and a follow up letter of the same. My sister is persistent but has been unable to communicate further with the campaign so far.

Which brings us to Bernie. All the indications of a last minute surge in Polling, ubiquitous and varied on the Air. Easily the best ads, there’s this one where he’s sitting in a sweater talking about Corporate Greed and Tax Evasion with this animation showing the inequality… good stuff.

What? Not everyone is an Economics Geek like me (remember the difference between a Nerd and a Geek is that a Nerd has incredibly deep knowledge of his field of expertise but usually is ignorant about pretty much everything else and is frequently anti-social whereas a Geek knows a lot about a lot of things and loves showing off)? Well, he has others including Bios, Presidential Backgrounds, Rally Crowds, Issues (Medicare For All! Forgive Student Loan Debt! Soak The Billionaires!), and some passive aggressive defense against Democrats and offense at Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio.

My sister has been to 2 of his events. The first one was two days before his Heart Attack and he seemed grumpy and out of sorts. Relation? Who knows, I’m not a Doctor. The second one-

Wow.

The energy in the room was electric. It was packed to the rafters, Bernie structures them like Concerts or Festivals were a Band comes in, plays a set, and somebody talks while the next Band gets ready. And who talks? Michael Moore, AOC, no slouches.

One of the warm up acts is a Sanders Adviser of many years standing and his schtick is to have everyone stand up and hold hands. Then he tells them to close their eyes and give a little squeeze “if you, or someone you know, has been denied Care or Treatment or suffered devastating Medical Bills under the current system”. He has a whole list of the Sanders Plan Greatest Hits he goes through to get people in the right mood. Then he tells them to open their eyes and launches into Sanders “Look to the Left. Look to the Right. Are you willing to fight for that person just as hard as you would fight for yourself?”

“Ladies and Gentlemen… Bernie Sanders!”

I echo my sister. Who can listen to that and not get a little moist in that Frozen 2 kind of way? Well, you’re a heartless bastard. That is the greatest piece of Rally Showmanship I have ever heard of and I was a politician for 20 – 30 years.

Bernie was a ball of fire and rocking the house. It might be a good time to mention that last night’s Canvas Rally in Keene at a little under 2,000 is the largest held so far this campaign season by any Democrat.

People talk about Bloomberg the same way you’d talk about seeing some exotic animal. He’s not contesting but might get some Write In. He’s visible in National spots but I don’t think he’s advertising locally.

Deval Patrick? Who is he?