Prospective Presidential Candidates

Cory Booker PPC #4

Re-posting of Cory Booker thoughts.

I should preface this one by saying that I arrived a bit late and ended up outside the main hall in an overflow area for about have of the event.  So, I didn’t see the first half, and while there was a speaker in the overflow area I wasn’t able to fully hear everything due to background noise and conversation.  I was able to fully catch a good portion of the Q & A, and stuck around after to ask my question.

What Cory Booker has going for him is his ability to connect and empathize and inspire from that place of connection.  I think empathy is a vastly undervalued trait in our society, so I’m excited to see and hear it from a potential president.  He spoke a lot about how everyone can make a difference, and even if you can’t do the big things, there are things that you can do to make things better.  He phrased it something like you lead from big ideas and deep moral values, and you make progress by taking the smaller tactical steps that are doable to get you there.  For example, universal health care is a need, and the aim, but if what is doable is lowering the age for Medicare then do that first.

While Cory Booker wasn’t really short on addressing policy or specific, his focus was much more on his vision for relationships in the United States, and the need for building and uniting and working together as a nation of individuals who see problems and work together to fix them.  He wants people to believe in themselves and each other and their power to realize their vision.

In the media scrum afterword, I asked “How do you, and how will your staff make decisions?”.  He focused on being a value-based decision maker, making decisions that achieve and support his values.  He also noted that he is clear about his values with his staff and surrounds himself with others who share his values.  I followed up by saying I was asking because I am a decision scientist, to which he stopped me to ask what a decision scientist is.  I really need to get better at having an elevator speech explanation, but I said something about how it is an approach focusing on how to make decisions by identifying your objectives, or values as he described, what alternatives are available, and then using prediction to bring the two together and evaluate which best achieves your objectives.  This elicited a discussion from him about the need to weight trade-offs, and how that can be a difficult thing to do.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember this concluding bit very accurately as the circle of news cameras, as well as my swirling mind that was still thinking about how to describe decision science distracted me.

Edit: The encouraging part about this response is that Cory Booker seemed willing, interested, and capable of learning and applying decision science. The disappointing part is that it is not a terminology, or seemingly methodology that Cory Booker is familiar with.

Summarizing:  Inspiring and empathizing speaker who seems capable of bringing people together to address big things.  His presentation itself doesn’t give you a lot on his politics, so I’ll have to follow-up to learn more.  Disappointed by the lack of knowledge about decision making, but at least he is values focused and was interested and able to respond logically about what I was talking about.  High end Tier 3 for now.

Ranking of those I’ve meet so far:

  • Tier 1: Andrew Yang
  • Tier 2: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders*
  • Kamala Harris
  • Tier 3: Cory Booker
  • Tier 4: Tulsi Gabbard
  • Tier 5: tbd
  • Tier Nope: tbd
  • *(Based on past meetings, not 2020 events, and w/o the decision-making question response)

Expected distribution of candidates is:

  • Tier 1: 1 or 2
  • Tier 2: ~3
  • Tier 3: ~1/4 of remaining
  • Tier 4: ~1/4 of remaining
  • Tier 5: ~1/4 of remaining
  • Tier Nope: ~1/4 of remaining
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