Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Don't Sleep on (or With) Tucker Carlson

If you haven't seen John Oliver's breakdown of Tucker Carlson's white supremacy and his influence on other white supremacists, you really should:


A couple of months ago, when thinking about how Trump made such a surprisingly strong showing again in November, I thought about the power of name recognition and the possibility that the fact that people have known who he is for 40 years might have factored into his election. A pattern emerged that I hadn't considered before. 

Until Joe Biden, who was elected partially because the country needed someone they trusted to clean up the mess Trump made, every Democratic President elected for the first time was someone who really didn't enter the public consciousness until his run. Obviously, the Kennedys ended up a juggernaut for more than half a century, but they weren't that well known until JFK ran. Carter was an outsider. Few people knew Clinton at least until he made his speech at the DNC in 1988, and that repeated with Obama in 2004. 

Over the same period, everyone the Republicans got elected to the White House was someone who was a household name for much longer than that. Eisenhower was recruited because he was one of the biggest war heroes in American history. Nixon had been part of the Red Scare, had served for eight years as VP, and narrowly lost to JFK in 1960. Everyone had been familiar with Reagan as an actor since like the 1940s. Bush Sr. had served as VP for eight years and his father was a Senator. Lather, rinse, repeat with Dubya. And love him or hate him, Trump had been one of the biggest self-promoters in American history and had been flirting with a White House run since the early '80s. 

That left me wondering -- do Republicans start with a bit of a deficit nationally and need that power of name recognition to get the last couple of points to put them over the top and into the White House? I don't have the data to prove it. It could be a coincidence. But the pattern has held for about 80 years. So I've been wondering who fit that bill for 2024. 

Cruz is known now, but wasn't really a household name until about 2014. Hawley was a nobody until he became an isurrectionist. The Paul family are an electoral joke on a national level. DeSantis and Abbott are pretty new and not known to most Americans. Pence was VP but only served one term. 

Carlson, on the other hand, has been consistenly on TV for two decades and now is a hero to white supremacists, as Oliver pointed out. People in Middle America have been eating his family's Swanson TV dinners since basically when TV was invented. I don't *think* he could really be elected, but he does start out with what seems to be a prerequisite for successful GOP presidential candidates -- fame. So I'm not going to laugh him off if he decides to run. 

I don't think he's stupid enough to run in 2024 if Biden is tremendously popular and runs for reelection, but he's only 51 now. The average age of a Democrat winning for the first time since JFK is about 48. Since Eisenhower, the average age of a Republican winning for the first time is well into his 60s. So Tucker's got time.

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