More Americans Elect Commentary

I’m going to lump these two articles together so as not to clutter up the site with multiple AE stories which are likely to start coming fast and furious with AE’s planned announcement tomorrow of their future plans.

First, here is a Washington Post column from Dana Milbank.

Faced with this twin disappointment — desirable candidates being uninterested and interested candidates being undesirable — Americans Elect has announced that it is abandoning its online nominating process because no candidate had reached its minimum threshold. This is profoundly depressing… It’s discouraging because it shows politics may be too broken to fix.

Americans Elect had taken care of just about everything a third-party candidate would need. It spent about $35 million on marketing, technology and ballot access. As of Tuesday it had won a place on the November ballot in 28 states (and it still expects to be on the ballot in all 50 by Aug. 1). It had attracted 3.5 million people to its Web site. But what it couldn’t — or hasn’t yet been able to — do is persuade a plausible candidate to submit himself or herself to the ravages of a presidential run.

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Here is Daniel Larison’s, an AE critic, response.

The annoying thing is that the American public is ready for an alternative. There is potentially an opening for a political movement that appeals to constituencies habitually neglected by both parties. What the organizers of Americans Elect never seemed to realize is that their organization didn’t represent an alternative to the major parties. In order to combat the duopoly, Americans Elect planned to nominate a ticket that represents the very same duopoly. Combining members of two parties that the public already dislikes doesn’t represent an alternative to the two-party system. It is the fusion of the two-party system in one organization. As a result, it rendered itself politically irrelevant from the moment of its birth.

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28 thoughts on “More Americans Elect Commentary

  1. paulie

    ” Americans Elect has announced that it is abandoning its online nominating process ”

    Milbank probably got this wrong idea from the AP spectacular screw up of Kahlil Byrd’s release.

    The only thing AE announced is that there will be an announcement tomorrow.

  2. paulie

    Larison is much closer to the mark, but I think he may be jumping to conclusions as far as what will or won’t happen with AE – or for that matter with Johnson, Goode and Stein (the latter especially if R. Barr is her vp). Any of those – Johnson especially – may break out – not to say they will.

  3. bruuno

    Dana Millbank made several major errors? I’m shocked, just shocked. Seriously though he is one of the worst journalists in DC. One of those people who you are mystified that they have gotten as far as they have and wonder why anyone listens to him.

  4. paulie

    Consider the source (ED not BAN).

    They were already done or not yet started in pretty much every other state, if any other states were still going on I would not take his word for it that they have stopped, and as far as other states starting we’ll see what happens after tomorrow.

    ED lies compulsively and regularly so anyone who takes his word for anything is just not being smart.

    No knock on Richard but he trusts some people who very much do not deserve it way too often. This is an example.

    I will call him in a bit to see if he has other sources on that.

  5. paulie

    Another thing.

    Why would they keep Texas going if they were shutting down?

    It’s not cheap you know. Well maybe by their standards it is, LOL

  6. paulie

    One of those people who you are mystified that they have gotten as far as they have and wonder why anyone listens to him.

    A saying comes to mind; it’s not who you blow, it’s how well you blow them.

  7. Trent Hill

    I would not report anything from Dondero without first confirming it with a source I trusted.

    In fact, I’d be LESS likely to believe something if Dondero said it.

  8. paulie

    Same here. I did talk to Richard and he has no other sources on that. The two drives they may have shut down were WV and NH, but both were so far along that they may have more than enough already anyway. My guess is they probably do and were just going for insane overkill padding like in every other state I have seen.

    Richard did tell me a reason why they have not started other states that they should have started already. Not sure if it’s OK to repeat it here.

  9. Deran

    Yes, I didn’t think it seems to realistic. But who knows, I guess we find out tomorrow.

    Sorry abt that double post. The first time it didn’t appear to post, I waited a few minutes and then posted again.

  10. Say Amen

    Americans Elect is a defective concept. They expected to attract a stellar politician to win millions of disaffected voters. Instead, they attracted political failures and unknowns who obtained a mere few thousand votes. Of course!

    Stellar politicians today are either Republican or Democrat. A stellar politician would know that it is politically impossible to win the presidency as a third party candidate. The most a third party candidate could do would be to act as a spoiler, splitting the vote of his own party, Republican or Democrat, so the other party’s candidate would win. No stellar politician would want to be the cause of that “treachery” to his party compatriots.

    If, by some miracle the AE candidate won, how could he/she ever accomplish anything as president? He would have no AE members in Congress to work with. Every member of Congress would be in the opposition party, with his former party members hating him the most. There would be increased gridlock as all of Congress would want the AE president to fail, proving the AE idea does not work.

    AE should start at winning seats in state offices and in Congress, before aiming at the presidency. No athlete runs his first race at the Olympics. Why did the AE donors think they could start first at the highest political office?

    Buddy Roemer is one of the few politicians seeking the AE nomination, but he lacked supporters to qualify as a potential nominee. Roemer had a failed political career and no party wants him.

    He was one of the worst governors in Louisiana history. He could not get along with people, put together a competent staff, or pass legislation. He did not work hard and had no ability to govern. Read this history of LA governors, pages 259-268:,%22+Roemer&source=bl&ots=GXt38E_jVv&sig=poXJMn9QbCUESjDIP2-foOb3YLY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=n-xjT7CXDOORiQL8n_SiDw&ved=0CGMQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=%22Often%20wrong%2C%20but%20never%20in%20doubt%22%20Roemer&f=false

    Even today, he is LA’s most UNfavorite son. A recent PPP poll rated him the most unpopular presidential candidate, with a 2:1 unfavorable rating in his home state!

    As a LA commentator quipped, in bayou style:
    “Buddy Roemer, who has been out of politics for 19 years, couldn’t win an election as a dogcatcher in Louisiana, much less the Presidency of the United States.”

  11. Nick

    In my opinion, AE did itself in. I think they thought big named candidates would try to get their nomination, so they did little self promotion. In doing so they made themselves to obscure. Very few people know about them, so few people participated.

  12. paulie

    There were lots of media articles and interviews. I guess they could have done paid ad buys. Anyone know why not?

  13. zapper

    @18 Paulie, Although to you there seemed to be lots of articles and interviews, to the average American and even the average politician it has been a near blackout.

    If you don’t buy major network TV and if you don’t get some kind of magic, free-media ticket, you will remain an obscure non-entity.

    So we’ve seen for AE and so we’ve seen for nearly the entire history of the LP.

  14. Jed Siple

    And with billionaires bankrolling AE, there’s absolutely no excuse for not having major network & cable TV advertising. Most people I talk to have never even heard of Americans Elect, and it’s the group’s own damn fault.

  15. bruuno

    @20- Amen! The major media outlets seemed more than willing to give them time and many have been openly sympathetic to them. The problem is without any sort of platform or candidates they had little to say. And the lack of advertising has been baffling considering how ugh money they have already spent. The whole thing has been run terribly.

  16. bruuno

    hold have said “much” and not “ugh”.Kind of a funny typo on my part.

  17. JT

    SA: “Stellar politicians today are either Republican or Democrat.”

    What is a “stellar politician”? What standard are you using as a measurement?

  18. NewFederalist

    I think they were meeting with the big dudes today and will announce what their decision was in the next few days.

  19. Trent Hill

    Now the real question–these ballot lines are surely controlled by local guys, right? Will they sell them off or offer them to other candidates?

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