Maybe Take a Chill Pill

g amd t

In Buttigieg is the ‘get-to-yes’ candidate, Matt Bai muses on Buttigieg and some of the other candidates. Right now, in the eastern part of the United States, it’s happy hour. So maybe you should go grab a G&T, read Bai’s article, and chill out.

Matt’s thesis is that a whole lot of Democrats like Mayor Pete—young, smart, personable, etc. As with Barak Obama, it “feels ennobling” to support him. But they have had a little difficulty in getting to yes, i.e., persuading themselves that his drawbacks don’t make him unelectable. Now, he says, the process of getting to yes is well under way. Sounds about right to me.

I also think Bai is on sound ground about Biden and Warren.


Bai thinks people like Biden too, but he’s “too slowed and too muddled to quiet the doubts” about him.

Right again. Here’s my example. He began the New Hampshire debate by predicting that he was going to get his ass whipped once again. Really bad idea. It translates to, “I’m going to say a lot of things in the next three hours, and you’re going to find none of them persuasive.”


Bai on Warren:

I can’t help thinking it’s the way Warren blows through questions on the debate stage — the way she starts every single answer with “so …” or “understand…,” as though she’s hoping we can grasp this difficult concept, but let’s be real, the odds aren’t high — that pushes some voters away. Choosing Warren feels like signing up for a very long lecture just because you should.

Here’s how I would put it. She’s Johnny One Note, and she never dials back the affect knob. As I said recently, you need to appeal to the fast-thinking part of our brains with emotion. And then, by lowering the affect and speaking as one reasonable person to another reasonable person, you need to signal that you’re switching to appeal to the slow thinking, reasonable part of the brain.

And no, I’m not “saying this because she is a woman.” Most women know how and when to dial it back. Take Dr. Aardvark, for example. She feels strongly about many things. But she doesn’t operate at a high emotional pitch all the time. If she did, I don’t think we would have made it into our sixth decade.


Canadian readers today outnumber United Statesians. I know you all are laughing your butts off at us. In a feeble attempt to return the sentiment, I present