On Winning

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,, center, speaks as fellow candidates businessman Tom Steyer, from left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. listen, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

fWell today I received  my mail in ballot for the Florida Democratic Primary election to be held on March 17.  It lists all of the candidates who have ever expressed an interest in running for President this year.  Even the ones who have already dropped out; in alphabetical order from Michael Bennet to Andrew Yang, including Corey Booker, Juan Casttro, John Delaney, Duval Patrick, Joe Sestak, and Marrianne Williamson.

Sheesh.  How many people are going to waste a vote on folks who have already dropped out for lack of support?  On the other hand, we have paper ballots which had to be printed up well in advance so it will be up to each voter to make sure his vote isn’t just thrown away on a non-candidate.

Meanwhile, Democrats, split between moderates and progressives look for the perfect candidate to beat Agent Orange.  Our candidate has to be the ideal – the second coming of JFK.  Unfortunately there will be no second coming.  We are destined to pick a candidate from the current crop, each of whom has a track record and something in their past, a vote in the Senate, something they once said which is now found “offensive” which can and will be criticized.

Meanwhile, Republicans in lock step like a storm trooper army, see nothing wrong with our current dictator wannabee.  It really looks to me like he could shoot someone in the street and the GOP would justify it with some spin or another.  This week he began to “get even” with those who testified against him during the impeachment and interfered with the sentencing of his odious, criminal crony Roger Stone.  He sent out a tweet lambasting the sentencing recommendations and his personal attorney, the head of the Justice Department immediately intervened.  But of course the President never told his Attorney General to intervene.  Like I just fell off the turnip truck.

He now speaks regularly of being President “forever” and at a recent campaign rally, his son, the moron Donald Trump Jr., wowed the crowd which began chanting “46! 46!” indicating support for him to follow his dad to the Presidency.

Let me make myself clear.  I will vote for whomever is the Democratic nominee as well as the straight party ticket.  I will vote for anyone but Trump and the GOP.  And I will not waste my vote on a third party – i.e. the Greens

Any one of the front running candidates would make a better President than our wannabe dictator.  Sure, I have my choice during the primary  but I will vote for any of them in the general electiom.

The Democrats are currently in a grave existential crisis and this is an election we must win.  And you can bet your ass the right will use every dirty trick to ensure that we don’t,  If we lose the Presidency and the House our democracy is in the gravest danger in its history.

So who should we pick?  Should we worry ourselves about a candidates past indiscretions if he or she is the strongest candidate to beat Trump?  Or should we continue, as lefties tend to do, take our marbles and go home if we don’t have it all our way?

Who is the strongest candidate right now?

Bernie has the momentum after the voting debacle in Iowa and his victory in New Hampshire.  Bernie is an avowed democratic socialist and has been for forty years.  He has never changed his stripes.  And he will be painted with that word by Republicans and the poorly informed who don’t know or care to know the difference between a democratic socialist and a Stalinist.

Some moderates are already calling Bernie a “commie.”  My problem with Bernie is that he will never be able to keep any of his campaign promises.  The idea of “Medicare for All” is a fantasy as I pointed out last June and back in 2017.


Even with Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate it probably would not pass.  Moderate Dems would not vote to take away private insurance from those who like their coverage, retirees on Medicare Advantage plans (which are private) and employer provided health insurance.  Most “socialist” health insurance plans in Europe are combinations of public and private plans.

I support what I would call universal health plans – build on Obamacare and provide a public option – Medicare for those who want it.  Allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs directly with the drug companies.  And as for cancelling student loans?  That too appears to be a pipe dream at this point although some action is clearly necessary.

Can Bernie win?  Maybe.  But I well remember George McGovern.

There are no black candidates left.  Both Kamala Harris and Corey Booker dropped out.  I can only presume that they left the field because they didn’t have overwhelming black support.  Booker, in particular made no headway whatsoever.  Harris of course was criticized for her actions as Attorney General in California by progressives.  She was not in synch with the current efforts to reform criminal justice.  There was no forgiveness for her past” missteps.”

Elizabeth Warren has plummeted over the first two primaries.  I evaluated her performance before the New Hampshire primary on this blog on February 8th.


“Too many folks I talk to and read on line agree in large with Warren’s policies but find her strident and condescending.   She points her finger and raises her arms.  “Listening to her are like nails on a blackboard!”

Yes I know.  Those are typical complaints leveled against powerful women.  But agree or not, like it or not, such opinions matter.  The fact of the matter is that the more she has spoken in public the lower in polls she has moved.  Once she was the leader of the pack; now she is running third and desperate to hold on.”

She slumped further in New Hampshire and Amy Klobuchar finished ahead of her in a strong third place showing.  Amy is running on the moderate track fighting it out with Pete Buttigieg.  She is well spoken, articulate and did quite well in the last debate.

Can she beat Trump?  I hate to say it but fact is there are millions of men and women who will not vote for a woman President.  Democrats cringe at the idea of nominating a woman and losing twice in a row.  A defeat might end the chance of another woman being nominated for decades.

Klobuchar has avoided divisive issues, concentrating on issues that have bi-partisan support, such as endeavoring to lower the price of prescription drugs.  She is “Minnesota Nice” in her dealings but has drawn criticism from progressives for avoiding the tough overriding issues like immigration reform.  She will continue to face fire from the left of the party who state flatly that she can’t beat Orange Man.

Joe Biden has been irreparably damaged in my opinion by the impeachment “trial.” The Republican Senate just received documents from the Justice Department on his son Hunter’s activities in Ukraine.  No one has charged either Joe or Hunter with any wrong doing – yet.  You can bet your booty however you will be hearing more about it during the coming months if Biden was to show some life.  Joe, it appears to me is now damaged goods.  Can he survive the primary process?  We will know by super Tuesday when lots of states will be voting. 

Which leads us to Pete Buttigieg; the right has already made it “clear” that he is only a serious candidate because he is a married gay man.  As a mayor of the relatively small town of South Bend, Indiana he would not have been taken seriously if he were not an out gay.

“So you’re faced with dyed-in-the-wool socialist who’s not even a Democrat,” the conservative talker declared. “A gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages. Can you see Trump have fun with that?”

So said Rush Limbaugh, recently awarded the Medal of Freedom and popular right wing broadcaster two days ago about Pete Buttigieg, which Limbaugh pronounced as “Booty-gieg.”  The fact that Pete is an out gay man is never spoken of among Democrats yet it is the elephant in the room.  Don’t think Trump wouldn’t mention it?  And in the America we live in there are millions of men and women who will simply not vote for a gay man for President.  Sorry to say it, but that’s the way it is.   Besides he has only been a mayor – and not of New York.

He has drawn fire from the left for his handling of policing in the black community in South Bend; again there is little forgiveness for past “error.”  While young, polished and articulate, he is not the second coming of JFK as far as progressives are concerned.

Can he beat Trump?  I personally have my doubt.

There is another elephant in the room besides Pete’s.  Mike Bloomberg.

He is rising in the polls and is beginning to draw fire from progressives notwithstanding he is a strong supporter, giving big bucks to progressive causes.  His 12 years as Mayor of New York City resulted in impressive growth after 9/11 yet he is now drawing constant attacks for his  “stop and frisk” policies (for which he has apologized) and his reputation for being a bit of a potty mouth.

He is something like the 14th richest man in America and has been attacked because he is a billionaire, with little mention that he was born middle class, parked cars in college for extra money and made his billions all himself.  He wasn’t born with a golden sppon up his ass.  As Mayor there is no argument  that his administration created almost 500,000 jobs, extended health care coverage to 700,000 previously uninsured, reduced the city’s carbon footprint and reduced the incarceration rate by 40%.

Unlike other billionaires, he supports progressive causes giving virtually all of his company’s profits to those causes he supports – climate change, gun violence. health care, education and women’s rights.  And he favors raising taxes on the wealthy, taxing any capital gains over $1 million as ordinary income and imposing a wealth surtax.

So what’s wrong?  Well he is not an establishment Democrat -he has run (and won) as both a Democrat and a Republican.  Neither party liked that.  He is a pragmatic problem solver and not an ideologue.  For example, he would build on Obamacare rather than Medicare for All.

He is “Buying the Presidency.”  He states I am doing what everyone else does. One needs money to campaign.  Most candidates ask others for money – then they owe them something and will be called upon by those big donors when the time comes.   I cut my own check and am beholden to no one.

He has publicly stated he will spend up to $2 billion of his own money to defeat the Orange Man, even if he is not the nominee.  He will support whom ever is nominated as well as down ticket Senate and House races.   He mirrors the majority of Americans on gun rights and environmental protection. He has given billions to these causes.  

Bloomberg admits to telling off color jokes but compared to our President he is a lightweight. All of his remarks have been publicized for decades.   Many of these accusations were leveled while he was Mayor, a time he turned over control of the company to professional management.  Some 15 women over 20 years, out of some 20,000 employees currently  at his company have filed complaints over the “frat boy atmosphere at his firm – even though he wasn’t present for twelve years. BTW, his company offers the best benefits money can buy including 36 weeks maternity leave.

Most of those complaints were dismissed by the court or settled.  Finally, he is not a great debater. He can be less than charismatic. Still, with warts and all, he may be the best choice we have to beat Trump.

He gets under Trump’s skin. Orange man is worried about him. His ads are spot-on. Biting and to the point. And, very true. To the question about America deciding between two billionaires….he laughed and responded “Who’s the other one?”   Better still when Agent Orange referred to him as Mini Mike, Bloomberg just laughed. “you mean Dyed Blond Don with the spray tan?!”  

“.@realDonaldTrump – we know many of the same people in NY. Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown. They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence. I have the record & the resources to defeat you. And I will,” 

Bloomberg has the kind of New York mouth to take on the con man.

Finally, we need to win the majority of the dozen or so battleground states.  Red states like Utah and South Carolina will vote Trump no matter who we nominate.  New York and California  will vote Blue no mattner who we nominate.  We can poll 5 million more votes than Trump and still lose the Presidency and perhaps our democracy.  Remember Hillary’s popular vote victory.  In depth analysis now reveals that Clinton lost 3 states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by the thinnest of margins.  And she lost those states because Bernie supporters, angry because they felt the DNC had unfairly denied him the nomination, turned around and voted against Clinton, giving Trump the Presidency.  His margin in each was thinner than the number of Bernie supporters who admitted voting for Trump.

We cannot allow that to happened if we hope to win.  If you support any one of the current candidates, please commit to vote for the eventual nominee no matter which one comes out on top.

Don’t take your marbles and go home in a huff.  Your country needs you.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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15 Responses to On Winning

  1. Brookingslib says:

    I’ll be honest. I hope to hell I do not have to vote for Bloomberg. But, I’ll do it if he’s the nominee. The thing is, he goes against so much of what I, as a progressive, rail about all of the time: money in politics…buying the presidency…etc… This stuff needs to change, or we will never see real progress on things most Americans want. He’s playing by the rules as they exist, however. And, he’s on the right side of many issues. I will hold my nose if it’s him. And you’re right-no JFK…no Obama this time around. It shouldn’t matter because we’re facing the worst POTUS in history. The electoral college, though, gives the idiot a fighting chance. Oh well, that’s another rant for another time! Excellent post sir…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I think Bloomberg is the only one who intimidates the Donald. But I will vote for a yellow dog as did the old time Democrats before I would vote for the incumbent. And I will vote. I can’t stand the idea of Bernie ruining a second election. Hope at least to flip the cowardly Senate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will vote for whoever is the Democratic nominee. I would vote for the proverbial ham sandwich before I would vote for Trump!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beetleypete says:

    I think you need a general ‘Anyone But Trump’ option on the ballot paper.
    From over here, it seems to me you have to pick from the lesser of two evils, whoever gets the Democratic nomination.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vic Romanelli says:

    I will also “vote blue no matter who.” I have one comment about the Bidens. I don’t believe the GOP is interested in further investigating them. The publicity of saying you are going to, as they did during the impeachment trial, especially from your former Florida attorney general, were simply to ruin his chances for the nomination. You can double down on lies or make baseless accusations and these days that’s all it takes to convince much of the public. One of craven senators, Jodi Ernst during the trial actually admitted it would impact Biden’s chances in Iowa. They were either successful or Biden may have faltered on his own or both.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Norman Pilon says:

    I honestly don’t think it makes any difference who sits as President of the United States. The economy will remain capitalist. The majority will continue to struggle, whether in the good or bad times ahead.

    Not, of course, that I have any idea how ordinary Americans might get themselves past the deadlock of a democracy of, by and for the obscenely rich. But I’m fairly certain that it will not now or ever result from casting votes in an election that is really and truly a charade.

    Yep, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m one of those lefties. I don’t bother voting. And it’s true, I’m not an American. But I’m stuck in the self-same farce, that thing that goes by the name of ‘liberal democracy.’

    Nevertheless, an interesting and fascinating read, Frank. Hope it ain’t Trump to win. It’s my impression that most Americans loathe the Orange. I’m with most Americans.

    Liked by 2 people

    • toritto says:

      Hi Norm. Here again its either the great orange evil or an “ok I can live with that” attitude. I won’t get what I want, but maybe I’ll get what we all need. To be rid of him. Best from sunny Florida

      Liked by 2 people

  7. GP Cox says:

    I never have understood why people just vote by the party instead of trying to find the right candidate for each office, I think it helps to fuel the constant and ever-lasting feud that goes on, but that’s just my thoughts on the matter.
    (Off topic – I was at the cemetery yesterday to visit my family and wanted you to know that as usual, I read your poem, “If Poetry Could Raise the Dead” while I was there.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • toritto says:

      G.P. – You ripped my heart out when I came out of the shower. Thank you. And I hope it gives you comfort.
      As for voting I DO go by the candidates – never the party. Honest!
      Just not this time.

      Frank S.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Is Bloomberg on your ballot? Apparently he’s really courting Black votes in the South – lots of ads on Black gospel stations.

    Liked by 3 people

    • toritto says:

      Indeed he is Doc. And he is gaining traction as the black community, formerly a lock for Biden, begins to look at alternatives given Joe’s recent performances. It is becoming rather obvious that he was been seriously damaged by his performances in Iowa and New Hampshire and the constant drumbeat of the impeachment.

      Best from Florida.

      Liked by 1 person

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