Needed 1990
Buttigieg 23
Sanders 21
Warren 8
Klobuchar 7
Biden 6
Bloomberg 0
Steyer 0
Remaining 3914
Political Wire logo Biden Finishes Second In Nevada
Mulvaney Doesn’t Fly to India with Trump
Marianne Williamson Endorses Sanders
Anti-Sanders Campaign Targets Black Voters
Trump’s Deep State Hit List
Clyburn to Endorse Biden
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      •  Nevada Has Spoken
      •  Sunday Mailbag

Nevada Has Spoken

There is much counting left to be done in Nevada, but even with only 50% of precincts reporting as of 1:00 a.m. PT on Sunday morning, it is very clear that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won a smashing victory in the Silver State.

Here are the numbers, as they currently stand, with number of county convention delegates (CCDs) won, percentage of CCDs won, and number of DNC delegates won (so far):

Candidate CCDs Pct. Del.
Bernie Sanders 3,564 46.6% 9
Joe Biden 1,471 19.2% 0
Pete Buttigieg 1,175 15.4% 0
Elizabeth Warren 785 10.3% 0
Amy Klobuchar 345 4.5% 0
Tom Steyer 288 3.8% 0
Tulsi Gabbard 4 0.1% 0

Obviously, there is nothing but good news for Sanders in these results. He crushed his opponents in both the opening round and the final round of balloting. When all is said and done, he will claim the vast majority of the state's delegates. He performed at or better than every single poll of Nevada that was taken. He won five of the seven caucus precincts along the Las Vegas Strip, which means that the criticism lodged against the Senator by the United Culinary Workers did not have much effect. The more Latino a precinct was, the better he did, blunting the argument that Sanders can't win over nonwhite voters.

Of course, Sanders' triumph means that it wasn't a great night for the other Democratic candidates. Joe Biden is spinning his (distant) second-place finish as the beginning of his comeback. If so, he'll need a big win in South Carolina. Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg is working hard to position himself as the candidate of anti-Bernie Democrats. Given that he's performed better, in the aggregate, than any of the other moderates, and that Michael Bloomberg appears to have almost as many skeletons in the closet as he has dollars, the former South Bend mayor may just be the moderates' last, best hope.

For all the other candidates, time appears to be running short. Almost certainly the grimmest night, among a bunch of bad ones, was had by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN). A sub-5% result presumably marks the end of the Klobucharge. Two explanations for her poor result present themselves: Either she can't win over minority voters, or she can't win without the benefit of extensive retail campaigning. Whatever it is, it does not bode well for when large, diverse, not-as-moderate-as-Nevada states cast their ballots on Super Tuesday.

And speaking of Super Tuesday, it's just nine days away. Between that, another debate, and the South Carolina primary, we're about to get a lot of truth.

We'll have a better wrap-up tomorrow when the votes have been counted and the dust has settled. Then we should even know who finished second and third, which matters a lot for determining who Sanders main challenger(s) will be going forward. (Z)

Sunday Mailbag

Lots of things to talk about this week.

Ghosts of Elections Past

V & Z: The 2020 calendar is the first to match 1992 exactly, with a Wednesday start, a Saturday leap year day of February 29, and December 31 on a Thursday. Could it also be the second time we have a serious wealthy independent run that splits things three ways? Seeing how badly Mike Bloomberg performed in the debate, and the growing fear that I and other moderate Democrats have of Bernie Sanders running away with the delegate math, could Bloomberg decide on March 4, assuming Super Tuesday goes really badly, that his pathway to take down Trump is to go Ross Perot running as a self funded independent? It was this very weekend in 1992, I believe, that Perot announced on Larry King's program that he was running.

Bloomberg could easily do this; he could run in all 50 states, as he would easily be able to pay the filing fees. Though he likely would not win any states, he would offer a place for never Trump voters like Charlie Sykes, who have stated nothing would make them vote for Sanders in the election. That would leave it to Sanders and the Donald in running the ultimate base election strategy.

The ultimate question may be, who would Bloomberg hurt more if this were to come to pass? He may have a very hard choice to make on March 4 of staying, going out on his own, or giving billions to every PAC that runs pro-Sanders and anti-Trump advertisements every 15 minutes from now until November 3. R.D., Austin, TX

Note: Very close; Perot first hinted at a run during his appearance on the Thursday, February 20, 1992 edition of Larry King's program.

V & Z: To many people's surprise, the Democratic Party's primary voters selected as their presidential candidate Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, the mild-mannered son of a preacher, to campaign against the reelection of Richard Nixon in 1972. McGovern opposed the Vietnam War, still a controversial position at that time. He had always been part of the liberal but loyal wing of the Democratic Party.

McGovern was undermined by Nixon's Watergate scandal, but more so by the conservative Democratic establishment and its supporters. The party apparatchiks vanished. The AFL-CIO Council voted to remain "neutral" in the election. Various unions, including the large Retail Clerks Union, declared for Nixon, against their own interests. A group called Democrats for Nixon campaigned against McGovern. In the 1972 general election, McGovern suffered one of the worst defeats ever. Within two years, reelected President Nixon and Vice President Agnew each resigned, drowning in their own corruption.

So, is the lesson from that Democratic primary process that nominating too "radical" a presidential candidate is fatal? Reagan and Trump were radical in their own ways, yet successfully elected. McGovern was a liberal, but no radical. No, the lesson is that while the conservative Democratic Party establishment demands (and receives) loyalty from everyone, the party will return it only to establishment Democrats.

That is the real problem for Bernie Sanders. If Democratic voters around the country choose him through their primaries, that ought to suffice for the apparatchiks of a party that calls itself democratic. But Sanders would receive tepid support at best from the functionaries and their favorites. During the 2016 primaries, Hillary Clinton, DNC chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and friends sandbagged Sanders through a partisan debate schedule and otherwise. He nonetheless endorsed Clinton and made 33 appearances for her in the general election campaign. Despite this and his remarkable grassroots fundraising numbers then and now, Clinton recently said publicly, "Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him...It's all just baloney..." She refused to say whether she would endorse Sanders, though she later backed down when criticized. This is the type of adversity that progressives must overcome within the party, when everyone should be focused on Trump. G.A., Berkeley, CA

What's Going on in Wisconsin?

V & Z: In reference to Wisconsin, it's not that Donald Trump won the state inasmuch as Clinton lost the state. One item that has been underreported is that Trump actually received 2,000 fewer Wisconsin votes than Mitt Romney in 2012. The problem for the Democrats was that Clinton received 240,000 fewer votes than Obama in 2012. So, what happened to those 240,000 people? Well about 100,000 didn't bother to vote in 2016, and the other 140,000 votes went to third party candidates, mostly Gary Johnson. Obama's Wisconsin success was really an outlier compared to other elections. Mike Dukakis in '88 is the only other Democrat to receive more than 50% of the Wisconsin vote in the last 50 years.

Now, why did the Democrats lose 240,000 votes in 4 years? For one thing, it might have helped if the Democratic candidate actually visited the state in 2016! Secondly, the arrogance the Democratic establishment showed towards those northern mid-western working class people was unbelievable. The warning signs were clearly there when Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin and Michigan primaries. Thirdly, and most importantly, NAFTA was the final nail in the coffin to that region after the Reagan-Bush years. The hubris of nominating a Clinton and expecting no backlash after the damage NAFTA created is simply mind-numbing. Trump was able to exploit the trade issue and then used racist/nativist tropes as cathartic scapegoats. J.Q., Pequannock, N.J.

V & Z: Appreciate your characteristically astute analysis of Wisconsin politics. I think there are a couple of factors to add in regard to Donald Trump's success there in 2016. First, vote suppression: It seems that Wisconsin's voter ID law was very successful in reducing voting by low-income people and college students. Second, the Jill Stein/Gary Johnson factor: Just the difference in Jill Stein's votes from 2012 to 2016 was enough to hand the state to Trump. Much of that was probably a product of the widespread assumption, held even by the Clinton campaign, that the state was comfortably blue. Of course, that doesn't explain why Trump is looking so strong there now, but isn't that largely based on just one poll? R.C., North Hollywood, CA

Gabbard for VP?

V & Z: I don't support Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) necessarily (I'm still undecided), but I noticed she fits the criteria you proposed for Bernie Sanders' running mate: She's 11/10 on the "reassuringly young-and-healthy-looking" scale, and a minority woman. Also, she might help with anti-Trump moderates/Republicans who would otherwise consider a democratic socialist a bridge too far, since the Russians and FOX have been talking her up for a while now, presumably to try to divide the Democrats. There would be a certain karma to hoisting them on their own petards that way. B.B., Bangor, ME

Don't Forget that Russia was a Red State for Many Years

V & Z: On your item about the Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders, I would like to suggest another interpretation.

Given that Donald Trump will be the Republican contender, I can imagine Sanders would by far be the most likely challenger to divide the American people even further during this election cycle. And the more divided its people are internally the weaker a nation will be in international affairs. This would be in the interest of a tormented former superpower yearning to reclaim its position on the global stage. It would make sense for the Russians to help both Trump and Sanders. Their help would be neither pro- nor anti-Sanders. H.Z., Amersfoort, The Netherlands

V & Z: You wrote: "A pro-Sanders interpretation would go something like this: 'Even the Russians know he's a disruptor, and that he'll shake things up.' An anti-Sanders interpretation would go something like this: 'Even the Russians know he's a weak candidate, and the one most likely to lose to Donald Trump, the man they would like to see in office for another four years.'"

I don't see how your "pro-Sanders" interpretation is actually pro. The Russians do not like us and want to weaken us. That has always been their M.O. They chose Trump because they knew he would divide our country, and one could argue that bet paid off in spades. They like Sanders for the exact same reason. Choosing Sanders is a WIN-WIN-WIN for the Russians. Sanders getting the nomination divides and weakens the Democratic Party, who seem to be the only anti-Russians out there now (or, at least, the only ones willing to put forth legislation to hinder the Russian agenda). That's win #1. Sanders getting the nomination will likely put Trump back in the White House, which would be win #2. Even if Sanders wins the election, he will be just as divisive to the country as Trump (if not more so), which will further weaken America. That's win #3. You will notice that win #3 is the same thing as your "pro-Sanders" interpretation.

One might also notice this was the exact same Russian M.O. in 2016. D.M., La Habra, CA

V & Z: You wrote: "Not so much to [Sanders'] credit is that it took him a month to make this information public, and he only did so the day after the story about the Russians helping Trump again became public."

Could it be possible that the security briefings from U.S. intelligence, received by candidates, are classified information they are not allowed to declassify on their own, and that only once it became public some other way was Sanders allowed to make reference to it? N.T., Dallas, TX

V & Z: To anyone who actually has any experience in intelligence, it is now (and always has been) pretty damn obvious that the Russians did not "collude, connive, or conspire" with either Donald Trump or his campaign.

Why should that be so obvious? Because the Russians (and Vladimir Putin, in particular) are not stupid enough to "collude, connive, or conspire" (even indirectly) with anyone who had the background and personality type of Trump. That, however, does not mean that the Russians were in the least bit averse to dropping little goodies where Team Trump could stumble across them for their own use. It also does not mean that Team Trump would not be absolutely delighted to pick up the goodies and use them without really caring where they came from. Lest that be taken as "Anti-Trumpism," let me add that I don't think that the Russians would have been the least bit reluctant to (again indirectly) aid a candidate from the Democratic Party in exactly the same manner had they thought that doing that would best serve Russian interests (although I do suspect that the Russians might have had to be somewhat more circumspect because it appears that the Democratic Party is not QUITE as single-minded in its pursuit of seizing and maintaining control of the government of the United States of America as the Republican Party gives every evidence of being). G.T.M., Vancouver, BC, Canada

Maybe the Coronavirus Could Rebound on Trump

V & Z: I have to say that I disagree with you about the coronavirus being a potential factor in the election to the detriment to Trump. I think it could be a major factor, not because Trump will be "blamed" for the virus itself, but due to the impacts that the coronavirus could cause to the US economy, the global economy and the stock market. It is not inconceivable that this virus could trigger a significant hit to economic growth and start a bear market. I am not (necessarily) predicting this "trigger," but I am far from discounting it as well. J.A., Henderson, NV

V & Z: I wonder about your reply to the coronavirus question. I can certainly see it impacting the election in some way, especially if things truly and totally hit the fan, as it were. Although it's probably true that Trump's base would just shrug off a severe U.S. outbreak (and probably blame it on the Chinese or the Democrats), fence-sitters or otherwise uncommitted voters could see it as (further) evidence that this administration is the incompetent, raging dumpster fire the rest of us already know it to be. If it pushes independents away and increases Democratic enthusiasm, it could make a difference in a close election. Trump can't win with only his 40%, demographically-dwindling base alone. S.R., Wyomissing, PA

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

V & Z: As regards your point about feminists/Jewish progressives, a heretic is always worse/more dangerous than an unbeliever, whether the Reformation/Counter-Reformation, Mao's CCP, or the Republican Party (RINOs). Note the headline from analysis Friday's New York Times: "Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates." B.C., Damariscotta, ME

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

V & Z: In response to the question from J.B. of Forest Hills, NY about Donald Trump's wealth, you wrote:

In fact, it cannot really ever be known in the way that (Z) could figure out his net worth down to the dollar or (V) could figure out his. Trump's fortune is so complicated, and is so tied up in things whose value can only be estimated (What's the value of his "brand"? How much is Trump Tower in New York actually worth?), and is so enmeshed with complex debt obligations that any figure placed upon it is necessarily a very crude estimate.

I agree. This is why Bernie Sanders' or Elizabeth Warren's idea of a tax on wealth to fund their programs is very unlikely to actually work. Companies do have to make these complex valuations (see any 10Q for how they do it) but it comes at a large cost of specialized accounting resources and most estimations are ridiculously conservative in order to avoid potential future write downs. The point being that even if a wealth tax is declared legal and implemented, it will likely raise far less in taxes than estimated by the campaigns. M.A., Denver, CO

Jackson Is a Shrewd Cookie

V & Z: In your response to R.J.C. of Salem, OR, you discussed Judge Amy Berman Jackson's sentence and her downward departure from the sentencing guidelines and from the original prosecutors' recommendation of 7-9 years. In addition to the points you mentioned, I think there are some other possible facets to her sentence that should be considered. While judges make rulings based upon their best judgment of the facts before them and the law, they are also human. They would prefer not to be reversed by an appellate court (or a presidential pardon), and they would prefer not to be publicly castigated (even if meritless and crazy), although they also recognize that both are occupational hazards of the path they have chosen. So, a downward departure: (1) is pretty much bulletproof as a sentence on appeal, unless the appeals court throws out the entire thing and orders a new trial (unlikely here); (2) at 1/3 of the maximum permissible under the sentence guidelines, is much harder to criticize as "unfair" or "biased" or "political punishment"; (3) makes a pardon even more politically difficult as cronyism (not that Trump cares, but swing voters might); and (4) has already blunted presidential tweeting about it. Judge Berman Jackson, is, frankly, a formidable and adept intellect, and strategic "decider." B.D.P., Pensacola, FL


V & Z: If Mike Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and others among the extraordinarily wealthy really want to change the election scene, they should buy into the sports/politics radio market so as to offer a replacement for, or at least an alternative, to the GOP line that dominates 90% of the airways today, especially in the South. G.R., Amherst, NY

Note: Left-leaning talk radio has been tried (e.g., Air America) without much success. There must be some reason it doesn't work, much like there must be a reason there aren't many right-wing comedians.

Debatable Debate Wrap

V & Z: I wanted to push back on your assessment of the debate, especially in regards to Elizabeth Warren's performance. I think she had her hand in the air trying to interject before the moderator had even finished the first question—which was not directed to her! She wanted to lay into Bloomberg and she was going to do it regardless of what the question actually was. I think political junkies like the aggressive style, and enjoyed watching her give it to everyone she went after. But in survey after survey, the average Democrat says their top priority is beating Trump. Warren isn't very likely to be the nominee and she probably did damage to every candidate with Sanders possibly being the exception. As such, I think she made it more likely Trump wins in November. That didn't win her any points with me. I am left-leaning and with Trump in office, I am a reliable D vote. So, it doesn't matter who wins, I will vote for them.

On the other hand, my sister is a soft Republican who couldn't stomach Trump in 2016, but also didn't like Clinton so she voted Evan McMullin. She would prefer not to vote Trump in 2020 either. She texted me at the end of the debate and said it was awful and that Warren and Bernie Sanders drive her nuts. She says if it's Trump/Sanders in November, she wants to leave the country so she doesn't have to listen to them. I thought Warren came across as strident and I keep trying to decide if that is because she is a woman, or if a man would have left the same impression. I am not 100% sure but I don't think it was a good look, especially for suburban women who are fleeing Trump, but are not looking for a firebrand. The upside is that I am guessing many of them weren't watching or will have short memory and by November will have totally forgotten this debate. In truth, I thought the entire debate was a bad look. Pete Buttigieg going after Amy Klobuchar seemed opportunistic and her response seemed angry and not particularly strong. By the time I turned the TV off, I thought I would feel better staying home in November, but I can't stomach four more years of Trump so I will have to vote for one of these sub-optimal candidates instead. T.V., Ogden, UT

V & Z: As a long time daily reader of your blog, I get an uneasy feeling when you repeatedly refer to the show "Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man," which plays at the same hotel as the recent Democratic debates. I detect an "icky icky" subtext here. What is your issue with this show, gay men, or sex tips? This subtle editorial comment is best avoided. A.G., Denver, CO

Note: Nothing homophobic or otherwise icky was intended, and we regret if things were interpreted in that way. If you visit Paris (or Bally's, which is basically the same hotel), there are posters for that show plastered all over the place. They emphasize how wild and wacky and ribald it is. We could not help but notice the juxtaposition between that and a rather staid, buttoned-down political debate. If the debate had been at the Flamingo, we would have made the same joke about Donny and Marie Osmond instead.

V & Z: I couldn't disagree more with your review of Bloomberg's performance in the Las Vegas debate. I think it was absolutely a total train wreck, and all the candidates were very effective at unwinding the romance that the media and the DNC seem to have with this guy. Dare I even say you guys have the same enamorment, considering every post you make about him is relatively positive (and usually always mentioning a side-ways "joke" about him being loaded with cash... looking at you, [Z]). His stop-and-frisk response was dry and filled with unapologetic apologies, and again it was Elizabeth Warren that called him out on exactly that with the crowd wholeheartedly agreeing with her sentiment. I hardly think that was a "win" for him. In fact, I believe him appearing at the debate at all was a total mistake on his part.

I think Warren's assertion that Bloomberg is just another rich arrogant billionaire from New York hit the nail on the head, and the crowd usually cheered on the assault as each of the candidates took their turn at beating him down to size. To be perfectly honest, I struggle to see any real differences between this guy and Donald Trump, inasmuch as they are both opportunists in that they have switched parties to better angle and manipulate the electorate with their adopted messaging. The Republicans may have fallen on this sword of injustice in 2016, but I don't think the Democrats are as naive. At least, they won't go down without a fight, as we saw at the debate. A.D., Charleston, WV

Note: Most or all references to Bloomberg's money are not meant as jokes, but instead as reminders of the very foundation of his candidacy and his campaign.

In Blockchain We Trust?

V & Z: The letter from K.R. on Bitcoin lacks an understanding of macroeconomics. I keep hearing these arguments about Bitcoin that it would stop inflation, but that is not really the case. The fact that Bitcoin is finite doesn't solve the fundamental problem of wealth gathering, and in the case of Bitcoin it could actually get worse. The worse part is that once the wealthy establish 51% of the Bitcoin, they would effectively be able to own and change the blockchain however they wanted. The 51% threshold is a flaw in the way the blockchain works.

Here is why the macro view of any finite resource is flawed: Today I pay 10 units for my new phone. This price is based on the overall cost of production plus a profit. This profit over time is gathered to a single company, maybe named after a fruit or something. After paying wages over this time in a region of the world, that place now has enriched the impoverished to the point where they no longer like working 12 hours a day for 0.001 units. They now demand 0.002 units. This increases the cost of production and the company, not wanting to lose profit, now charges 10.001 units for the same good. While not government-based inflation, we still have inflation in that you have to pay more for the same thing.

While fiat-based currency is flawed, it does try to remove the imbalance between different forms of currency and level out some things. In the above example, as the workers in another region's fortunes improve, their currency may not improve. In fact, the opposite could happen if another sector of the local economy is in trouble. In that case the worker could get paid more with zero increase to the company as they are selling things at different currencies. The exchange rate can benefit the company and limit the need for a price increase. While this is possible, the other extreme is also possible. This is why we have seen our clothing manufacturing move from the U.S. to China to Vietnam. I realize this is not perfect but the idea that Bitcoin would solve this is naive at best. K.B., Dallas, TX

V & Z: K.R., from Oconomowoc, WI, posits that Bitcoin is our financial savior. There are a number of reasons they're wrong:

  • Deflationary currencies cause depressions, as you noted—in fact, there is a very strong correlation between when countries recovered from the Great Depression and when they went off the gold standard.
  • Bitcoin itself cannot handle the volume of transactions needed to be a useful currency for anyone
  • The price of basically all cryptocurrencies is not a true market, but is dominated by whales manipulating the price through "wash trading" and other means, to benefit themselves
  • So, so many other reasons, too many to list here.

Cryptocurrencies are in practice securities, but they're worse even than fraud-soaked "penny stocks": There is no hard asset at all even theoretically backing them (not even, as has become obvious, Tether, which was explicitly supposed to be backed 1:1 by US Dollars forever, but is now known to never have actually been so backed).

I refer interested readers to the work of my acquaintance David Gerard, author of the book Attack of the 50-Foot Blockchain, and his ongoing blog of the same name. J.T., Harpers Ferry, WV

An Old Complaint

V & Z: As a faithful follower of your site, I am disappointed in your blatant prejudice concerning older people. You speak out against people who are racist or sexist or who do not support the LBGTQ community. But you see no problem with implying that an elderly caucus worker would be "in awe of" an iPad or that they would only have heard about them from grandchildren. The reference to "grandpa" deciding to use the WiFi service is also a demeaning and untrue stereotype.

I started using computers in college in the early 70's by entering data on punch cards. I used the mainframe computer in grad school and bought a home computer as soon as I could afford one. I volunteered at my children's elementary school to teach the students the basics of computer usage and used computers throughout my entire working career. I have used Apple II's, MAC's and PC's. Desktops, laptops, tablets and, yes, iPads are all familiar to me. I am 69 years old and expect to continue using computers for a long time.

Incidentally, we ancients also do not become Republicans after being Democrats from the Vietnam era through the present Trump catastrophe. Ageism is often accepted by those who would be turned off by other forms of discrimination. Please be careful about this negativity and rethink you views on people who have attained a certain number of years of life experience. L.H., Middleburg, PA

Note: Certainly, no offense was intended. That said, if you look back, you will find that all of those remarks appear in items written by (V), who—as a computer scientist born in 1944—knows very well that there are many computer-literate senior citizens, but also feels entitled to make a few geezer jokes.

Not So Fast on Amy Klobuchar

V & Z: You wrote that Amy Klobuchar is the only remaining Democrat candidate that doesn't have any major flaws. However she, like Pete Buttigieg, has relatively little support among black and Latino voters. That can become a problem for her in upcoming primary elections, including South Carolina and Nevada. D.P., Chicago, IL

V & Z: You have stated more than once that Klobuchar is a candidate that "nobody really dislikes and that doesn't have any serious liabilities." As a native Minnesotan who has voted for Klobuchar in each of her elections, I can attest that many staunch DFLers in her home state—myself included—disapprove of her continually abusive management style. Her belittlement and humiliation of workers goes beyond merely being "tough on her staff." If Klobuchar were to become a truly viable candidate, I suspect these weaknesses would resurface in a hurry. T.J., St. Paul, MN

But Has Anyone Seen His Birth Certificate?

V & Z: I was disappointed to see you repeat the rumor that Andrew Jackson was born on a ship without giving any context to why said rumor is obviously incorrect.

The full version of the rumor is that Jackson was actually born in 1755 on a ship bound for the British colonies instead of being born in 1767 in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas. The reason given for why he would have pushed his birth back 12 years is that had he not done so, he would have been ineligible for the presidency, because he would not have been a natural born citizen. This is absurd, even without getting into the hearsay evidence supporting said rumor; the fact is that Jackson is known to have been a teenager during the American Revolution.

While the Constitution does only allow natural born citizens to become President, the relevant clause of the Constitution also states that "a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution" is also eligible. Since Jackson was living in the United States in 1789, he was a citizen and thus eligible.

Even had he actually been born overseas, he would have been eligible at the time. Alexander Hamilton was born on the island of Nevis, yet nobody claimed he was ineligible for the presidency when he explored a run. Albert Gallatin was born in the future Switzerland, yet was the official Democratic-Republican nominee for Vice President in 1824 after the 12th Amendment provided that the Vice Presidency be subject to the same eligibility rules as the Presidency.

You should give said rumor as much credence as the "Obama was born in Kenya!" one. J.W., Queens, NY

Sometimes, Our Word Choices Are Bull**it

V & Z: I noted you used the phrase "bull in a china shop" in reference to Ambassador Richard Grenell. I found this an interesting choice of words, as I remember about a decade ago the popular television program Mythbusters putting this statement to the test and finding it convincingly false. M.W., North Providence, RI

V & Z: I find it highly amusing that America is still wrapped around with George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." Most of the rest of the world has gotten past the point where you cannot report the actual words of someone simply because those words contain "forbidden words." G.T.M., Vancouver, BC, Canada

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Feb22 It's the Silver State's Time to Shine
Feb22 Russians Are Trying to Help Sanders, Too
Feb22 Saturday Q&A
Feb21 Russians Are Back for Another Go-Round
Feb21 Takeaways from the Debate
Feb21 Bloomberg Isn't the Anti-Trump Juggernaut He Seems to Be
Feb21 Warren Raises Almost $3 Million on Debate Night
Feb21 Wisconsin May Be the Democrats' Toughest Hill to Climb
Feb21 What about Arizona and North Carolina?
Feb21 Unicorn Sighted Far in the Distance
Feb21 Stone Wins
Feb21 Republicans Will Spend Millions to Fight Democrats' Lawsuits about Voting
Feb20 It May Have Been Paris, But Nobody Surrendered
Feb20 Is High Turnout Actually Bad for the Democrats?
Feb20 Florida Republicans Lose In Court, Again
Feb20 Assange Claims Trump Administration Tried to Bribe Him with a Pardon
Feb20 The Stone Pardon is Coming
Feb20 Obama Will Keep His Cards Close to the Vest
Feb20 Another Election, Another Challenger for Lipinski
Feb19 Scales of Justice Grow Even More Unbalanced
Feb19 Will Candidates Go All-In on Vegas Debate?
Feb19 Sanders Is Definitely Your Frontrunner Now
Feb19 Sanders Won't Release Any More Medical Records
Feb19 Latest Iowa Results: It's a Tie
Feb19 An Unfamiliar Position for California Voters
Feb19 Collins Is in Danger
Feb18 Sanders Poised to Hit the Jackpot in Nevada
Feb18 Did You Hear that Obama Has Picked a Candidate?
Feb18 Trump Is Affecting Schoolchildren, and Not for the Better
Feb18 Disingenuous or Dimwitted?
Feb18 Today's Ratfu**ing News
Feb18 Loomer Is the GOP Establishment Candidate in FL-21
Feb18 The Bromance Appears to Be Over
Feb17 Over 1,000 Former Dept. of Justice Officials Call on Barr to Resign
Feb17 Democrats Are Worried about a Possible Meltdown of the Nevada Caucuses
Feb17 Kellyanne Conway Slams Bloomberg for Sexist Remarks
Feb17 Bloomberg Is on the Cusp of Making Wednesday's Debate
Feb17 Cracks Are Appearing in Biden's South Carolina Firewall
Feb17 Klobuchar Has Raised $12 Million Since the New Hampshire Debate
Feb17 Trump Does the Daytona 500
Feb17 California's Newest Export: Blue Voters
Feb17 Presidents' Day Quiz
Feb16 Sunday Mailbag
Feb15 Saturday Q&A
Feb14 Barr Lashes Out?
Feb14 Donald Trump, Man of Steel
Feb14 Senate Pushes Back
Feb14 It's Crunch Time for Bloomberg
Feb14 Nevada Unveils New Caucus Procedures
Feb14 Nevada Polling Update