Who Would You Have a Beer With?
Since you're here reading RedState, it's safe to assume that you're better informed than the main run of American voters. (At least in part because of you reading RedState and Townhall Media Group sites; yes, we're taking credit for that.)
Plenty of voters, though, make their voting decisions based on many different reasons, not least common of which is a candidate's charisma and personal appeal. For decades now I've applied the term the "who would you sit down for a beer with" vote. Sure, that's a trivial and silly reason to decide a vote - rest assured that doesn't enter into my own voting decisions - but it's Sunday, it's appropriate to take a lighter tone, and this can be a fun thing to talk about. And it's a fair question. I can't answer for you readers on this particular topic, but I can tell you my druthers.
Who, among the main run of prominent national politicians, would I sit down with to knock back a few beers and talk about the events of the day? Let's start by looking at the main presidential candidates.
Let's start with the incumbent, Joe Biden. Even in his prime, Joe wasn't particularly bright. Nowadays, a conversation with the Big Guy would be stilted, tainted with dishonesty, and marked by frequent wanderings into the realm of dementia. Even in lucid moments, he seems unable to do much more than spout some pre-programmed proggie talking points. A session with him may not be boring, but by the end of it, I expect I'd be almost as confused as old Joe is. Plus the guy is teetotal, and given my long history as a happy old soak, I harbor a tiny bit of suspicion about a guy who doesn't drink. Conclusion: Hard pass.
Now, his main challenger (at the moment, anyway) is Donald Trump. I'm of two minds about this, and I suppose it would depend on which day you caught him. I can see him being interesting and engaging at times, but he also comes across as prickly and thin-skinned, and it's not a fun conversation if you're worried about accidentally pushing one of the other guy's hot buttons. Also, like old Joe Biden, Trump is teetotal; my same suspicion applies. Conclusion: Maybe.
The next guy in the race, of course, is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. I confess I don't have a big data set here on the Florida governor; being that he's the only veteran in the top tier of the presidential race, I'd have at least something in common with him. My impression is that he's friendly, engaging, and always willing to sit down for a talk. Conclusion: Yes.
The others? I think Vivek Ramaswamy would be tedious, and Nikki Haley would try to impress with her resumé. Hard pass on both. The rest? Well, let's limit this to POTUS candidates who have a chance of winning.
There is one thing I will give former President Bill Clinton, and that is that he has personality. He'd be a fun guy to go out cruising for chicks with, if you're into that sort of thing - or at least, he would have been about twenty years ago. He does have charisma, and from what I understand, he can be charming and engaging, but I'd never be able to resist the urge to keep checking that my wallet was still in place. Clinton is the kind of guy that if you shake his hand, you'd best count your fingers afterward. Conclusion: No. Tempting, just to see what you might provoke him into admitting while he's in his cups, but no.
As for his strident and grating wife? No discussion is necessary. Conclusion: Hard pass.
Then we have former President Barack Obama. This guy would be a crashing bore. He would talk about himself the whole time, and he is not only a stilted, awkward, droning speaker, especially when off the teleprompter, but he has a vastly inflated estimate of his own intelligence. The guy is, candidly, a walking demonstration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Conclusion: Hard pass.
How about Congressional types?
Rand Paul might be interesting to talk to. If I could prompt him into talking about the Fed, what he'd do with that and with federal fiscal and monetary policies, that could be interesting and would likely fit in well with my own preferences on those issues. It would be interesting to get his take on health care policy as well, since, unlike most pols who spend a lot of time bloviating about health care, Rand Paul is actually a doctor. Conclusion: Yes.
Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana would be an absolute hoot to sit down with for an hour. If I could prompt him with an idea, it would be, "Give me your honest opinion about some of your fellow senators," and then just let him talk. His trademarked folksy aphorisms and metaphors are always entertaining. Conclusion: Yes.
How about New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer? My impression is that the guy is an insufferable jerk. He would bloviate, grandstand, and, in the end, say nothing interesting. Conclusion: Hard pass.
Texas's own Ted Cruz may be interesting. Key to talking with him would be setting the stage; when speaking with politicians, I've found that it's advisable to prompt them with a pointed question or two on a topic you know they are interested in. In Cruz's case, a prompt on the open southern border should keep him going for a while, and he usually has something interesting to say on that subject. Conclusion: Yes.
Anyone from The Squad? Same comment that applies to Hillary Clinton: No discussion necessary. Conclusion: Hard pass.
You can't talk politics in the Great Land without one name coming up, sooner or later: Sarah Palin. Here it gets interesting, as my odds of having at least a quick informal chat with her aren't that unlikely; she lives about 30 miles from where I sit at this moment, and it's not all that uncommon to bump into her in Wasilla; a buddy of mine who lives on the next side road up the highway ran into her at the Walmart there (Sarah was buying ammo to go caribou hunting) and said she was very friendly, cheerful and outgoing; she stood and talked with him for ten minutes. She also apparently does her trading at the same grocery store we do; last summer a cashier at our Wasilla Fred Meyer was telling us that Sarah had come through her checkout line a few days earlier, describing her as "very nice." Conclusion: Sure, why not?
Granted, we shouldn't make voting decisions based on personality but rather on experience and policy positions. But sometimes these kinds of things are just fun to kick around, and that's reason enough to do it. After all, we can't be deadly serious all the time.
Any pols you'd sit down to hoist a few with? Any to whom you'd give the cold shoulder? Let us know in the comments!