The most presidential candidates EVER in one place?


I mean, it’s gotta be, right?

I don’t remember a time when there were this many people running for a major-party presidential nomination before, and almost all of them (21!) were right there today in the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Of course, MY candidate went last, as I had a feeling he would. And after waiting through a bunch of the prelims I finally went home to get a late (about 3) lunch and watch the rest on my iPad via MSNBC.

Joe did not disappoint. Personally, I didn’t need him to rattle off all those policy proposals he recited — I guess Elizabeth Warren has made him think he needs to do that — but he did great. I got a little irritated when someone off-screen tried to hurry him right when he got to the podium, saying standing there receiving applause was using up his time (he’d only been standing there a few seconds), but hey, he didn’t get rattled and he did fine.

The next two best among the ones I heard (I missed some of the early ones, including Warren, Harris and Buttigieg) were probably Andrew Yang and Jay Inslee. Interestingly, Yang was a smoother speaker than veteran pol Inslee, but I could still see why Bud likes him.

Anyway, I’ll just post my Tweets here as a conversation-starter, and then I want to know what y’all thought if you were watching. And if you weren’t, here’s some coverage by The State and the Post and Courier:

And then, finally, Joe. Which was a great note to end on…

8 thoughts on “The most presidential candidates EVER in one place?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    As I walked by the candidate tables, I found names of people I didn’t know about who were running for president. Bennett, for instance.

    And until I saw him on the screen on MSNBC after I went home, I’d never heard of Robby Wells — the Hank Schrader guy — even though he has spent a good bit of his life right here in SC, as he made sure to tell us…

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    I should have paid better attention and counted the shots aimed at Joe. I mean, that’s what they’ve got to do, right, for any of them to have a prayer? Take down Joe, or hope he takes himself down.

    The only two I remember looking back now were Cory Booker saying getting rid of Trump is not enough — which I took as a shot since Joe is the one who most directly and insistently says restoring our country from this debacle is Job One. And the Hank Schrader guy made some crack about the nation needing someone with the vim and vigor to last two terms. Picture Hank and you’ll know just how he said it. You know, like it’s gonna be him or something…

    Oh, and let’s not forget Arik Bjorn standing next to Beto (since Beto insisted on the cheesy shtick of speaking from among the crowd) saying “NO OLD WHITE MEN.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, speaking of Beto…

      Why did he start out saying “Buenas tardes?” Does he just say that everywhere? Most of the candidates shaped their message to appeal to the 60 percent of SC Democrats who are African-American. So it seemed odd. But maybe he says it everywhere, and his fans expect it…

  3. Zeke

    I was there as a Biden volunteer. Other candidates camps showed much more enthusiasm and organization…….Cory, Beto, Warren, Harris. One of the paid guys told me they got off to a late start. It showed. The convention had been on the calendar for how long? C’mon. Other candidates had pep rallies and such and we stood around much of the day. Some of the staff kept looking at me as if I were a Trump spy or something. The campaign must do better. As some of the talking heads who were there interviewing voters there are still a lot of undecideds. C’mon Joe. Don’t blow this. Guys, you gotta pick up your game. I miss Trip King.

  4. Zeke

    2008 the day of the Charleston Dem debate… can’t remember the news outlet…. said Joe’s team won the sign war. I stood by a busy highway for I don’t know how long holding a sign, waving and smiling. I felt and looked like a boiled lobster when I got home, but we won the sign war. Too bad Joe never made it to the SC primary.

    Saturday I was afraid we would be arrested for loitering.

    Googling Trip, looks like he’s a consultant.

  5. Harry Harris

    I don’t know if they were the most presidential ever. They were certainly more presidential than the current occupant of the oval office.

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