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What do "sure-to-lose" candidates stand to gain by running for President?

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Bicoastal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:23 PM
Original message
What do "sure-to-lose" candidates stand to gain by running for President?
This question has haunted me lately...people like Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel are spending untold amounts of their money and time, and for what?

Both of these guys must have known they didn't stand a snowball's chance--even if a household name like Clinton or a rock star like Obama wasn't in the running, both men must have known that they'd never catch up to Edwards, or Biden, or Richardson, or even Kucinich. No matter how much they tried, they were virtually assured a place in the rear. So why do it?

To possibly garner the nod for Veep?--I can think of plenty less expensive ways of doing this...

To gain national exposure?--Doubtless useful for a political animal, but again, at what cost?

To provide "a different perspective" at debates?--Well, what's the point if you end up looking like an unpopular loser?

To honestly make a difference?--I'd like to believe this, but honestly, the cynic in me says no sane man or woman would embark upon a harrowing journey such as the electoral process without first calculating the cost of losing.

Or are some people (like 2004's Joe Lieberman) so deluded that they honestly think that the other +95% of the elctorate WILL warm up to them if they make enough speeches and attend enough BBQs in Iowa?

The same goes for the long-long-longshots on the other side, such as Tancredo and Hunter--Why do it?


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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. My guess would be to help build the Democratic platform for the General Election
Anybody else have a theory?


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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. There's always the speaker fee consideration
Sorry, that was my cynical side. lol
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peace13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. A better question might be ...
Why do 'rock stars' and corporate shills run for president? Or why do Americans insist on living in High School long into adulthood and selecting a pretty king or queen instead of voting for a candidate who would represent the American people and protect the constitution?
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Bicoastal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Yeah, Mike Gravel would really "represent the American people."
I can totally see that. :sarcasm:

It isn't all the media, you know--it's fairly clear to me that the front-runners have done a bit of the heavy lifting themselves. But whatever.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. "These people frighten me, they really do".
The fact that they don't frighten you says far more about you than it does about Mike Gravel.




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Bicoastal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Ohhhhhh, Mike Gravel can take all the cheap shots he wants to...
...without fear of retaliation. The man hasn't had the responsibility of voting Yea or Nay, or passing any sort of legislation for the common good in 26 freaking years!!

I don't mind him coming out of retirement, or even "stirring the pot," but it sure is easy to pass quick judgment on elected officials when you've been sitting on the sidelines since the beginning of the first Regan administration. Forget voting or not voting for the Iraq war resolutions--the last time Gravel had to go on the record about anything as a public servant, we were still worrying about Iraq declaring war on Iran, for fuck's sake.

THAT's why I have very little respect for Gravel name-calling the other candidates like he did and still does. If it was 20 years ago, sure. If Kucinich does it, fine--Dennis has earned that privilege. But for the last 2 decades, Mr. Gravel has been little more than a political spectator--and now he wants to storm the field and throw rotten tomatoes at the Quarterback?! Screw him.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. A better question indeed.
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. Feel better?
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peace13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Unfortunately no!
It is very painful to see this country brought to its knees. Let the media and mega corps have their way and we will all pay dearly for eternity.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. They are issues candidates
If someone like Dennis Kucinich makes a strong showing in the primaries and caucuses, the platform committee at the National Convention will have to pay attention. Maybe, if we are lucky, they can force the nominee to openly and clearly address issues such as war crimes, poverty, and the continuing loss of American jobs.
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pstans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. Gravel? Spending money and time?
I wouldn't put Dodd in the same category as Gravel. I heard Gravel didn't attend a forum earlier this month in Iowa because he couldn't afford a plane ticket.

Dodd has come in 4th or 5th place in fundraising each quarter among Democrats (Having $6.4 million cash on hand in August). He at least has the money to actually campaign.
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. Standing within the party
Edited on Wed Dec-12-07 10:38 PM by Hardhead
Publicity is its own reward.

What we gain from their running is more important: alternatives to the status quo.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. We've been hearing it's gonna be Hillary for so long we decided it's time for a change

Like when Truman beat Dewey.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
10. They can force electable candidates to take stands
particularly on things they are uncomfortable with, or deliberately wishy-washy about. By bringing up policy alternatives to what the electable candidates are proposing, they can also serve as mechanism to provide options when an elected candidate's policy fails. If all we had heard from was the big three candidates on health care reform, for example, there would never be any consideration down the road for universal government health care, since no one would have raised the subject.

Plus smaller candidates can always hope the electable candidates will steal their ideas. For some of the smaller candidates, getting personally elected may not be as important as seeing their policy program enacted, even if someone else does it.
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Bicoastal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Finally!!!
I cannot fucking believe DU sometimes.

I ask a simple discussion queston about political strategy, and practically EVERY OTHER RESPONSE is a targeted slam against another Democratic candidate. (No offense to the few that weren't.)

Thanks for actually giving some thought to this. Jesus Christ, I can't believe the atmosphere around here lately...
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. In case you are not thanked for this considerate answer,
I will thank you now.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. Ok...my feeble attempt....A fair amount of the candidates suffer from VANITY,
Some to the point of LIVING IT....

Some are being used by the Masters and Crew Chiefs of the Rich and Powerful....Being a Front Man is OK ... I guess.........

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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
14. As mentioned above, they help frame the debate about things they care about
Edited on Wed Dec-12-07 10:58 PM by wlucinda
and hope to nudge the party in the way they feel it needs to go. And, occasionally, they hope to actually win.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
15. Choice, conviction, debate, hope. n/t
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. I wonder that too--I'll always remember that photo of Sam Brownback
talking to about 4 people in an entire auditorium. What must that do to your ego, after all the hours, days, months of fundraising and speechifying and policy-crafting and baby-kissing and handshaking? What must a sane guy like Dodd think of, to get himself psyched for one more stump speech or diner appearance? He must know that there would have to be a major DC catastrophe for him to be the nominee. Now, the dreamers and crazies, they've got their own special motivations, I'm sure.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
21. To maintain a "voice" for less popular issues
That would not have a "voice" without that candidate "running".

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-13-07 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
22. Last night on CNN, in talking about Alan Keyes, the pundits said
Edited on Thu Dec-13-07 10:21 AM by applegrove
that nomination races could up someone's exposure resulting in increased fees for speaking engagements.
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