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Who is the Greatest Ex-President Surrogate for Presidential Elections?


vcczar
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President Elections as an Effective Post-Presidency Surrogate/Endorser since FDR
 
There's obviously room for debate here. Clinton sees to have the longest span, but Obama will likely surpass him. 
  • FDR = 0
    • died
  • Truman = 3 (1956-1964)
    • Unpopular in 1952, but his popularity was rising quickly by 1956. Too old for 1968)
  • Eisenhower = 3 (1960-1968)
    • Died in 1969, so arguably 1968 shouldn't be on here, but some argue his endorsement was crucial for Nixon. 
  • JFK = 0
    • died
  • LBJ = 0
    • Unpopular and then kind retired from political involvement. 
  • Nixon = 0
    • Unpopular. Was more effective behind the scenes. 
  • Ford = 0
    • Liked as a post-president, but had no real draw or effect. 
  • Carter = 0
    • Same as with Ford. It took until 2004 to get a convention speech. Even then he wasn't given any real prime-time spot.
  • Reagan = 2 (1988-1992)
    • Old and losing his mind soon after 1992. 
  • GHW Bush = 2 (2000-2004)
    • Similar to Carter and Ford, had the one-term stank that wasn't resurrected until his son was running for president. Didn't get too involved with McCain or Romney, possibly because he was already dissatisfied with Republican populism. 
  • Clinton = 4 (2004-2016)
    • Was sort of losing his effectiveness in the course of 2016 as he was getting Me Too'd by the easily Me Too-able Trump. Note that Clinton had done almost nothing for 2020. Same with Hillary Clinton. Both are unpopular now. Clinton was THE surrogate for awhile though. You'll note he isn't listed for 2000. This is because Al Gore kept pushing him away, fearing the impeachment would cause an issue or that he would come off as just a 3rd term Clinton. Many believe it was a mistake. 
  • GW Bush = 0
    • Soundly unpopular. Probably could have been useful in 2016 or 2020, but strongly opposes Trump. 
  • Obama = 2 (2016-present)
    • Only active former Democratic president with starpower, and rivals Clinton as the top of the list. Should have many more elections to work with. If Biden's low approval continues, even if he wins in 2024, I think Biden will likely have a 0 after his name because of age and low approval. 
  • Trump = 0 (2024?)
    • I think Trump will maintain a zero if he runs in 2024. If he loses in the primary, he'll undermine who beat him. If he wins in the primary, he'll be the nominee so that won't count. He's ceiling is a 42% approval/popularity. He's useful only for voters who are already going to vote. 
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Obama is by far the best, honestly seeing him stump for Democrats this cycle I think he’s gotten better over time, imagining if the two term limit wasn’t a thing he’d probably fairly easily beat Trump or DeSantis. I can only imagine how a Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Barack Obama would be. (If Trump didn’t chicken out)

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39 minutes ago, Sean F Kennedy said:

Obama is by far the best, honestly seeing him stump for Democrats this cycle I think he’s gotten better over time, imagining if the two term limit wasn’t a thing he’d probably fairly easily beat Trump or DeSantis. I can only imagine how a Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Barack Obama would be. (If Trump didn’t chicken out)

Trump would definitely chicken out. I sort of expect him to chicken out in 2024 if he's the nominee, regardless of who he faces. He tries to act tough, but Trump is one of the most insecure, cowardly people I've ever seen in the public sphere. The fact that anyone idolizes him is absurd. It's like making a relic of a moldy potato. 

On another note, he's using his speeches design to help candidates at the midterms to bash DeSantis, his presumed rival for 2024 GOP nomination. His new thing is calling him "Ron DeSanctimonious." I reasonable person would see Trump doing this and say, "He isn't here to help anyone but himself.'  

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1 hour ago, vcczar said:

 

On another note, he's using his speeches design to help candidates at the midterms to bash DeSantis, his presumed rival for 2024 GOP nomination. His new thing is calling him "Ron DeSanctimonious." I reasonable person would see Trump doing this and say, "He isn't here to help anyone but himself.'  

Trump’s egotistical nature is showing. It also shows he is scared of a challenge.

If he wasn’t such a bad strategist, he would have make peace with DeSantis long ago, but he has been pushing this direction for a while now.

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10 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

Trump’s egotistical nature is showing. It also shows he is scared of a challenge.

If he wasn’t such a bad strategist, he would have make peace with DeSantis long ago, but he has been pushing this direction for a while now.

If he were a better strategist, he would've kept his NY residency and pressured DeSantis into a VP slot for '24. Now it looks like they may go head-to-head, but it isn't certain yet.

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I disagree with the idea that Trump is “too chicken” to debate.  Of course he’ll debate.  He’ll do it with zero class and make a mockery of the whole system, but he’s well aware that other candidates have trouble adapting to his childish behavior in debates.  His ability to shut everyone else down in debates is how he got the 2016 nomination in the first place.

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On 11/6/2022 at 9:47 AM, Sean F Kennedy said:

Obama is by far the best, honestly seeing him stump for Democrats this cycle I think he’s gotten better over time, imagining if the two term limit wasn’t a thing he’d probably fairly easily beat Trump or DeSantis. I can only imagine how a Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Barack Obama would be. (If Trump didn’t chicken out)

Obama lost his debates to Mitt Romney of all people, who has all the personality of an old ham sandwich.  Obama was a great President, but a poor debater.

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On 11/6/2022 at 11:26 PM, Hestia said:

If he were a better strategist, he would've kept his NY residency and pressured DeSantis into a VP slot for '24. Now it looks like they may go head-to-head, but it isn't certain yet.

There’s no way he chooses DeSantis.  He wants a loyal toady, not someone with their own personal ambitions who might break free from Trump at any moment. 

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2 hours ago, MrPotatoTed said:

I disagree with the idea that Trump is “too chicken” to debate.  Of course he’ll debate.  He’ll do it with zero class and make a mockery of the whole system, but he’s well aware that other candidates have trouble adapting to his childish behavior in debates.  His ability to shut everyone else down in debates is how he got the 2016 nomination in the first place.

Man. The way he got Jeb to high five him. I mean yeah that was kind of a cool show of "togetherness" and "unity" but in hindsight it kind of made Jeb look weaker, almost like he submitted to Trump and was excited to do so. Just my take.

 

I will give Trump credit for when he made Cruz look foolish about New York Values.

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17 minutes ago, SilentLiberty said:

I will give Trump credit for when he made Cruz look foolish about New York Values.

That was Trump's best moment. That was the only time in my life that I cheered Trump. It also seems like the only time he came off as a normal, empathetic person. 

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Clinton got sidelined in 2016 when the Access Hollywood tape came out.  Can't claim the high ground on sexual harassment with him as a prominent surrogate.

I can't imagine why any Democrat would debate Trump in the general election.  That's the definition of a no-win scenario.

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5 hours ago, pilight said:

Clinton got sidelined in 2016 when the Access Hollywood tape came out.  Can't claim the high ground on sexual harassment with him as a prominent surrogate.

I can't imagine why any Democrat would debate Trump in the general election.  That's the definition of a no-win scenario.

That's a fair question, but my expectation is that they will debate anyway.  We're supposed to be the party in favor of preserving our democracy, it's not a good look to abandon democratic election norms.  Plus, refusing to debate Trump will of course be played as the candidate "being afraid" of debating Trump. Don't give him that.  Fight!

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