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Algorithm Names Powell 'Ideal' Vice President Candidate

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the moldable-like-tofu dept.

Government 543

CWmike writes "Turns out the ideal vice presidential candidate for Sen. John McCain is the same person as the ideal vice presidential candidate for Sen. Barack Obama, according to a sophisticated online survey based on technology developed at MIT. Mr. Ideal? Colin Powell, a former U.S. Army general and former secretary of state. Affinnova's survey methods doesn't use the typical polling method of asking respondents to pick a name from a list. Instead, it gives respondents larger concepts, including photos, biographical information and possible first-term priorities. Affinnova calls this algorithm 'evolutionary optimization.' Steve Lamoureaux, the company's chief innovation officer, said of the VP finding: 'We never imagined that the same candidate would show up for both parties.'"

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Unlikely (-1, Redundant)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007401)

Colin Powell and Barack Obama aren't even in the same generation (Colin is 24 years older) Usually a Pres. and Vice-Pres. are in the same general age range. And it seems like the VP being older is rare, even though that's our current situation. So that was a variable that this algorithm didn't have.

Who does age matter to? (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007601)

I keep hearing "McCain is too old" and then read other age-relative statements about VP selection and wonder who age really matters to. Yes, at the extreme, I worry about the ages of the candidates but only to the extent that it is extreme and has other impacts (eg, health or lack of experience).

But are there people out there who are like "Gee, he's too old" even when the candidate's age has no bona fide health impact? Do the same people think "Gee, he's too young" about someone younger? Obviously there's no health issue, but experience could matter a lot.

I don't think of age outside of physical health, but I worry from the way the media portrays McCain's age that we're falling a little victim to the cult of youth.

 

Re:Who does age matter to? (5, Insightful)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007803)

As people age they're more likely to suffer health problems. Older people are significantly more likely to die or become incapacitated due to health. There's a certain amount of unrest with people at the idea of the president becoming incapacitated.

But what's this "cult of youth" and where can I join one? Does the YMCA host a local chapter?

Re:Who does age matter to? (1, Insightful)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007939)

There's a certain amount of unrest with people at the idea of the president becoming incapacitated.

*cough*FDR*cough*four term President*cough*

Re:Who does age matter to? (3, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007979)

Gender and race have rightfully been removed from the scope of politically correct comment.
Since discussing basic policy is too hard, we just settle for hammering a guy for being old.
This line of discussion rarely, if ever, comes up in the context of the other two branches of government, for some reason.

Re:Who does age matter to? (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007823)

Its not physical aging thats the problem. Its that he is out of touch with reality. Which could lead to regression. Alot of people in McCains age group are racist, religious, sexist, homophobic and hold hatred toward countries for things that occured 70years ago. This doesnt apply to all old people but alot of them apply to mccain so i think 'hes to old' sums up his faults quickly. Its like calling microsoft a dinosaur, it has nothing to do with physical health. Anyways, if we intend to move forwards we can't be pushing backwards conservative views.

Re:Who does age matter to? (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008103)

This doesnt apply to all old people but alot of them apply to mccain so i think 'hes to old' sums up his faults quickly.

What of these would McCain himself represent? I'm willing to bet that most of them are imaginary just like Obama's Islamic ties.

The Race Card. Re:Who does age matter to? (5, Interesting)

Forge (2456) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007933)

Not only am I playing the Race Card. I'm dealing it from the bottom of the deck :).

At the end of Gulf Wars episode one, a lot of Americans were suggesting Colin Powell for president. Then I went online and checked around. Turns out that most of them did not even know he was black.

I don't know what is going the rounds in America but where I live (a Caribbean country where over 90% of the population is at least part black). The popular fear is that if Elected Obama won't survive to inaugeration.

Giving him a black VP would mean bumping him off would still leave America with a Black President.

That calculation of course would just ruin the plans of whichever secret organization conspiracy nuts like this week.

Re:Who does age matter to? (1)

Caste11an (898046) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007973)

Age matters to me. McCain is too old for any of a number of reasons: physical health, inability to remember key facts (or to jumble them up), etc.

Re:Unlikely (1)

tshetter (854143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007643)

And all the stuff about Bush being a puppet of Cheyney et al, the same things would be said about Obama if he had an elder VP.

Not to mention the possible crap about both of them being black....

But either way, Powell would make a great VP, IMO, and maybe even a good president. Dont know that much about his politics, but besides his loyalty to command from military experience (and thats me justifying his bull shit UN speech before Iraq war) he seems be level headed and not too corrupt.

But again, i dont know the man at all.

Either way, I hope the next 8 are better than the last 8.

Re:Unlikely (2, Informative)

crumley (12964) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007647)

Bush/Quayle, Kennedy/Johnson, Eisenhower/Nixon, and Roosevelt/Truman seem to suggest that multi-generational winning tickets are not uncommon. Plus, Kennedy/Johnson even had an older VP, as I am guessing Teddy Roosevelt did.

But yes, Colin Powell is unlikely to be a VP, since he has said many times that he doesn't want to, and he is more believable than most when he makes that claim.

Re:Unlikely (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008031)

Johnson was older than Kennedy.

Meet the new boss... (5, Insightful)

sohp (22984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007407)

.. same as the old boss.

'We never imagined that the same candidate would show up for both parties.'

What? The Demopublicans and the Republicrats are all the same? That unpossible!

Re:Meet the new boss... (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007455)

Well yeah, but now we have scientific confirmation that they're both basically the same!

Re:Meet the new boss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007477)

Damn you were quick. I came in here at "1 reply" just to say the same thing to pre-empt the Paulbots and libertarians, and you beat me to it on the second post. I salute you,sir. Or madam.

Re:Meet the new boss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008099)

...as the case may be.

Re:Meet the new boss... (3, Insightful)

yuda (704374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007557)

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. I see this as the main problem with the electoral system in the states, only allowing two parties to have a real show of winning means that they both have to appeal to a range of swing voters, thus it's not particulary suprising that they are very similar in certain policy.

Re:Meet the new boss... (1, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007675)

Of course at this point, the two parties dislike each other so much they'd never nominate the same person. If Dick Chaney changed his affiliation to Democrat, the Republicans would never nominate him for the office just because of that D next to his name. His strong right wing record wouldn't matter. Partisanship is too strong right now.

I'd like to see vice president either a separate ticket (so we could get 1 Dem and 1 Rep) or possibly the 2nd place finishing candidate of the same party (i.e. Obama would get Hillary). Some times it wouldn't work out well (see Obama and Hillary), but some times I think it would be much better than the choices they often make now.

But then again, VP has been a pretty useless job it seems for quite a while. Just a presidential "hot-spare". It wasn't until Chaney that they seemed to do much.

And the Chaney model will probably be outlawed in the next president's first 6 months in office.

Re:Meet the new boss... (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007819)

We tried vp as runner up once. It ended up with a tie, and the kingmaker was killed by the loser (who became VP- Aaron Burr). Really, VP as a separate race is a horrible idea- it puts a completely different worldview 1 heartbeat away from the presidency. Too much temptation, even if not to the candidate then too his adherents.

Re:Meet the new boss... (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007779)

Meet the new boss...
... same as the old boss.

Won't get fooled again [wikipedia.org] , hey? We'll see about that ...

Re:Meet the new boss... (4, Funny)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007867)

I think you're missing the point, which is that Powell in some sense falls into both parties and this is WHAT makes him (at least according to this) such a good candidate. I've done my own data mining studies on the US Senate, and the computer was able to easily divide the Senate into two camps. Uninterestingly, it placed almost all the Democrats into one camp, and all the Republicans into the other. So even a stupid computer can tell the difference.

You're taking the one guy who bucks tradition and using it as an example for why the parties are indistinguishable. You have it completely backwards.

(And by the way, the only Senator my data mining system got "wrong" was Hillary Clinton -- she ended up placed with the Republicans.)

Re:Meet the new boss... (1)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008053)

What would be much more interesting is to take a random sampling of people, regardless of political affiliation, and survey for a Presidential candidate with no weight towards the present nominees. Disqualify those who are ineligible (already served 2 terms, convicted felons, the Pope) and see what shakes out.

too scientific (2, Insightful)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007431)

Unfortunately I doubt most people vote based on anything so scientific as biography and 1st term priorities. I bet they more likely vote for Mr Powell or not based on their gut feel about whether they like him as a candidate or not.

By the way - I think he would make a great candidate for Veep.

Algorithms... bah! (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008095)

As parent says, most people are incapable of rational thought, so using a rational approach to predict their behavior is bound to go awry.

People will say they want the person with the best tax policy, yet vote for the guy with the nicest shoes or looks like a hero. The Governator is only there because he dealt to the bad guys in the movies, not because of anything he's done in Real Life.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007441)

The man who at best was complacent in the lies leading up to the War in Iraq and at worst was heavily involved. Sure why not... Even better Rumsfeld should be the Veep

Re:Seriously? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007649)

As VP Colin would be in a much better position to be heard than in his previous positions where he was basically told to make things look good, which he did well enough, IMHO.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007713)

As VP Colin would be in a much better position to be heard than in his previous positions where he was basically told to make things look good, which he did well enough, IMHO.

Not to the rest of the world, he didn't. Everyone outside the US knew his presentation in the UN was a sham for the US public, and not for the world, since the rest of the world got to see the TV reports (funny how the US stations didn't carry them, hmmm ...) debunking his "findings" before he even presented them.

More like "Semi-Colin Powell" or "Up Your Colin Powell", since he's at best, a half-measure, and at worse, helped give everyone the shaft by presenting known lies as truth.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008109)

Personally I would prefer a VP (or anyone holding a position in government) that stood up for what he thought was right and was in the best interests of the public that he serves, rather than be a good little soldier and do what he is told. If Powell had stood up to Bush re: Iraq, we might not have gotten into the nightmare we are in today. I had quite a bit of respect for Powell until he chose to publicly support Iraq while privately thinking it was a disastrous course of action. I don't blame him for doing what he did, but he did screw up, with disastrous consequences for our country.

Webb, Richardson, or Clark are better choices imo (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007463)

Powell strikes me as a vastly better civil servant than politician. But if Obama wins, he should definitely ask Powell to be Sec Def or Sec State. Hell, same with McCain for that matter. He was a good Sec. of State in an administration that didn't give two shits about him or his opinions, imagine what he could do if the President actually tried to make use of his experience and expertise.

Re:Webb, Richardson, or Clark are better choices i (1, Insightful)

nickhart (1009937) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007597)

Yeah, we really need an accomplished fraud who's good at lying to the world [counterpunch.org] to be in charge of the most powerful military in the world or its PR department.

Re:Webb, Richardson, or Clark are better choices i (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007989)

Well the fact is that he told his bosses the truth, and they didn't want to hear it. They told him to go speak a pack of lies, and he did. You can feel free to hold that against him, following orders is no excuse and all that. That doesn't change the fact that in the employ of an administration that wanted to listen to his honest opinions, he would be a tremendous asset.

"chief innovation officer" (2, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007473)

Ooooh! Job titles like that have TRUST written all over them!

An alternative they didn't seem to face (4, Interesting)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007491)

is that their algorithm is severly flawed.

For example, most people - dem or rep - want responsible spending, national security, etc. Where the difference lies is in the road to take to get to that point. Any survey that says one of the primary party leaders would be the same person for either party is obviously in error.

Re:An alternative they didn't seem to face (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007679)

Yes, but what do most people Vote for ? The algorithm probably weighs that a little heavier.

Re:An alternative they didn't seem to face (2, Funny)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008061)

is that their algorithm is severly flawed.

I don't know how it could be flawed. It was developed by Colin Powell himself, and is very simple to follow:

switch(presidentialCandidate)
{
default:
return colinPowell;
break;
}

I don't see any bugs, do you?

Re:An alternative they didn't seem to face (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008071)

Any survey that says one of the primary party leaders would be the same person for either party is obviously in error.

Why? It reminds me of an example from a class I took once. Imagine you have a beach with two ice cream salesmen, for the exercise assume the customers are uniformly distributed, price is equal and they have no preference or loyalty. Now the theoretically optimal is obviously that they set up at 1/4 and 3/4, each getting half the beach and the customers walk as little as possible. But then, one of the ice cream salesmen decides to stand a little closer to the center, catching more than half. The other moves closer to compensate and so it goes. Eventually they'll stand right next to each other on the middle of the beach. With both fighting for the customers in the center, they'll become more and more equal until there's basicly no difference at all.

Try mapping it directly over to politics, with the customers as the voters and reps/dems as the icecream salesmen and the distance to the ice cream salesmen as the political distance. Everyone's fighting over the independent voters so both focus on what they want. I think what happened here is that you showed they're so close, if one is a little better at buzzword bingo it could "win" both sides. I think he should run for both parties, would be funny... Obama/Powell vs McCain/Powell, maybe it'd clue people in on how little choice they really have.

Makes sense... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007509)

Affinnova's survey methods doesn't use the typical polling method of asking respondents to pick a name from a list. Instead, it gives respondents larger concepts, including photos

Cause, you know... we REALLY need the opinions of all those illiterate retard's.

Did they try with photos and biographies of dead and/or imaginary people too?
How many voted for JFK?
Or Elvis Aaron Presley?
Or Santa Claus?
Or Dart Vader?
Or SpongeBob?

Re:Makes sense... (2, Insightful)

holmedog (1130941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007563)

Call me an elitist jerk all you want, but I think you should have to be a property owner to vote. Not physical property, but some kind of net worth. I don't even pretend to be able to create such a system, but you should have something invested in the government before you are able to decide what is best for "everyone".

Re:Makes sense... (5, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007657)

Call me an elitist jerk all you want, but I think you should have to be a property owner to vote. Not physical property, but some kind of net worth. I don't even pretend to be able to create such a system, but you should have something invested in the government before you are able to decide what is best for "everyone".

Including what is "best" for non-property-owners?

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007705)

Okay; you're an elitists jerk.

"All" means "all". Not "all white male property owners age 35 and above", even though that's what it meant when this Consititution thing got its legs; but ALL. The closer we get to all, the better.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008117)

>The closer we get to all, the better.

Although I agree with you in general, I don't think working to increase the undermedicated paranoid schizophrenic vote is really a good thing. :-)

Re:Makes sense... (2, Insightful)

The High Druid (1098731) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007715)

But won't those people that are allowed to vote likely vote for policies and laws that make it increasingly difficult for none-voters to qualify? Afterall the more people you allow to vote the less your vote is worth.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007863)

But won't those people that are allowed to vote likely vote for policies and laws that make it increasingly difficult for none-voters to qualify? Afterall the more people you allow to vote the less your vote is worth.

I don't think that's true. I mean, that was the system the US first started on, and we've slowly expanded the voting rights to include just about everyone (exception: minors and felons). Sometimes, people in power actually do the right thing and share that power.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007837)

You elitist jerk.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007845)

I wouldn't go that far - but I would demand that they live in the country they are voting for at least 51% of the last president's term.
You traveling around the world, not in touch with who or what you are voting for? Sorry... go vote in that other countrie's election if they will let you.
And yes... I mean that for the soldiers "fighting for democracy" somewhere out there too.

And if we are going to get elitist...
IQs... Do you have them?

-Under 90 points - you don't get to vote.
-Can't read or write - you don't get to vote.
Elementary education IS free AND mandatory.
You are old enough to vote but couldn't find time to learn to read yet?

Why should I let a illiterate imbecile who does not live in my country vote about my future?

Re:Makes sense... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008007)

Why should I let a illiterate imbecile who does not live in my country vote about my future?

Well, for one thing, US citizens who live outside the USA still have to file & pay US taxes. There was a little phrase that played a large role in US history: "no taxation without representation"

Maybe you should read up on it.

Re:Makes sense... (4, Insightful)

iMaple (769378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008041)

Why should I let a illiterate imbecile (snip) vote about my future?

On similar lines:

Why should I let a uncouth non-college-graduate vote about my future ?

If you aren't smart enough to get a PhD, how can you decide what good for the entire country ? We should allow only PhD's to vote.

The simple answer to that is because its not just your future they are voting for, its their own future too. If you live in city, should the president you elect not have any powers to make any changes in the rural areas ? Why should an urbanite decide a farmers future. etc. etc.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007935)

I agree. Screw this universal suffrage crap. Way over-rated. Plebians should have to show their respect and worth by working their trade, not voting or governing. Now where did Jeeves go? I need another julep to make it through this insufferable poolside heat.

Re:Makes sense... (4, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007579)

How many voted for JFK?
Or Elvis Aaron Presley?
Or Santa Claus?
Or Dart Vader?
Or SpongeBob?

The better question is, how many of those would do a better job...

Re:Makes sense... (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007671)

Well... JFK managed NOT to start World War III.
AND he did the sexiest movie icon ever...

And SpongeBob would probably do far better job than most.
Have you seen his work? That guy apparently can't do wrong.
Even when he fucks up it turns out great in the end.

Oh shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008127)

Well... JFK managed NOT to start World War III.
AND he did the sexiest movie icon ever...

And SpongeBob would probably do far better job than most.
Have you seen his work? That guy apparently can't do wrong.
Even when he fucks up it turns out great in the end.

Oh shit! I thought Bush was Spongebob! Sorry folks!

Re:Makes sense... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007899)

Where have you been? Darth Vader is ALREADY Vice-president.

This makes perfect sense (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007515)

If the VP is the same for either guy, then he negates himself off both tickets. It doesn't matter if he is good or bad, because he both helps or hurts both tickets. It makes since that the algorithm should ALWAYS pick the same guy for both sides. That's the best way for both sides to ensure that neither side accidentally picked the WRONG guy. It's classic Prisoner's Dilemma.

Re:This makes perfect sense (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007737)

Not necessarily, if the voters are looking for a complementary set of skills or attributes. So, for example a old warhorse might be a good vice president for a young liberal presidential candidate, but a poor choice of running mate with another old warhorse.

Loathe as I am to bring race into the issue, I would be somewhat surprised if a black presidential and VP candidate made it onto the same ticket, society being what it is. Disclaimer - I'm from the UK so I may have that entirely wrong.

Algo source code (4, Funny)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007555)

It isn't that surprising of a result if you know Java.

...
public static String pickIdealVP(Party party)
{
String s = "Colin Powell";
return s;
}
...

Re:Algo source code (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007669)

System.writeln("Posting stupid fucking code that isn't funny, is sadly, not very funny\nFuckyou.");

Re:Algo source code (2, Funny)

IthnkImParanoid (410494) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007683)

Nah, that's not remotely realistic. It probably looked like this.

public static String pickIdealVP(Party party)
{
//Very funny, Steve. Make sure to fix this before release.
String s = "Colin Powell";
return s;
}

Flawed candidate (5, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007565)

Colin Powell was the face of the deception campaign the Bush administration orchestrated. He was the one who went to the United Nations, and made a whole bunch of claims that turned out to be false. He's damaged goods. Why on earth would someone suggest he'd be a good candidate in a year when the electorate is itching to repudiate everything about this war?

Empty Slate is liked by all! (5, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007575)

Shock and Amaze! A politician who has made almost no memorable positions known on any domestic policy beyond truism of cooperation is liked by everybody!

Of course he's a top pick by everybody--he's like Opera-- nobody knows what his actual beliefs and agenda is, therefore nobody disagrees with him. If Colin Powell were so audacious as to actually make his position known on a politically hot subject he would suddenly see his popularity plummet.

This is America. If you agree with me you're a good guy. If you don't, you're a muslim terrorist. The only way to be liked by everybody is to say nothing of consequence.

Re:Empty Slate is liked by all! (2, Insightful)

seyyah (986027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007711)

Dude, next time you're at the Opera, look for the screen just below the stage providing real-time translation of the German or Italian. Maybe you'll learn to trust Opera.

But I'll give you Wagner. What was he on about?

Re:Empty Slate is liked by all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007855)

Aaahhh! My mod points vanished just before I could mod you +1 Funny!

Re:Empty Slate is liked by all! (1)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007871)

If you agree with me you're a good guy. If you don't, you're a muslim terrorist.

I thought this was stupid. But right after I "disagreed" with it, someone started strapping a bomb to me. It's only in this late hour that I see the error of my ways. Rahi Alla... NO CARRIER

mmmkay (4, Insightful)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007577)

Yup, what the US really needs is a VP who has shown that he's willing to help out his boss by publicly giving excruciatingly bad "intelligence" to the United Nations.

Re:mmmkay (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007615)

You seem to assume that US voters care whether or not they are being lied to. I don't know if that is a valid assumption.

Re:mmmkay (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007663)

Yup, what the US really needs is a VP who has shown that he's willing to help out his boss by publicly giving excruciatingly bad "intelligence" to the United Nations.

Agreed. Whether he was duped or complicit, it doesn't matter. Powell blew any and all credibility he ever had.

Re:mmmkay (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007741)

Unfortunately for us Americans, no one ever went broke by selling out.

Re:mmmkay (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007913)

I've said it before, but it didn't seem like ANYONE reported on the timing of Colin Powell's shift to supporting the war. He was steadfastly the only administration dove, until the week that he gave very off-party-line comments defending affirmative action admissions policies in universities. It was like he was given a bone, allowed to speak his mind on university admissions, in exchange for future devotion to the hawk position on Iraq. I could just imagine the "come to Jesus meeting" that must have happened in 2003. That very week, I lost all respect for the man.

Re:mmmkay (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008037)

At least he tried [youtube.com] . He was the closest thing to a sane, competent voice in an administration almost completely devoid of either quality.

Re:mmmkay (2, Interesting)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008131)

Actually Powell strikes me as a guy who was deceived by his boss.

After all he left the Govt long ago (nobody knows why but I assume that due to some disagreement with bush), however decided not to act like usual politicians (changing sides in a heardbeat) even if it costs him his political career.

I would personally would like to hear what he has to say before making stoning him to death.

Will never happen. (1)

xclr8r (658786) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007587)

Colin is disgusted with politics and Washington. The misinfomration given to him before he presented infront of the U.N., and the debacle on Meet the Press where an Administration aid tried to stop the interview during a question. clip

So unless Powell is calling the shots.. I don't see it likely he will join either ticket. http://youtube.com/watch?v=kMAguqSeRrE [youtube.com]

Re:Will never happen. (1)

graphicsguy (710710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007919)

I think it's pretty naive to suggest Powell was somehow misled. In the end, he made his bed with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.

Only in the United States would a war criminal be (0)

o1d5ch001 (648087) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007631)

Only in the United States of America would a war criminal be the ideal choice for Vice President for both parties. Yes, I said war criminal. Starting an aggressive war is what Mr. Powell took part in when he knowingly showed the UN the pictures of the "weapons of mass destruction". The is what the Nuremburg trials were all about...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Trials

"The prosecution entered indictments against 24 major war criminals and six criminal organizations - the leadership of the ... Gestapo, the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the High Command of the German armed forces (OKW).

  1. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of Crime against peace
  2. Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
  3. War crimes
  4. Crimes against humanity

Full Stop.

Re:Only in the United States would a war criminal (1)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007739)

Why stop there? Don't forget about is roles in the Iran Contra scandal, and the overly aggressive tactics in the "war" on drugs.

Re:Only in the United States would a war criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008101)

Only in the United States and 98% of the other countries in the world.

Have you ever read anything but your Montreal local news or had any grasp on history outside of some babbling idiot on the street saying "Then Canada was made, and war ended forever!"?

90% of all leaders in history made their way to the governing house leaving bloody footprints. The rest were either born in, married in, or (in the last 200 years) elected in and then were in for less than 10 years -- and 90% of those left a trail of blood on the way out. World leadership is very messy business. Sorry if this shatters your dangerously naive perceptions.

noboby asked yet but ... (0, Offtopic)

koutkeu (655921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007651)

did it run on linux?

Test data (1)

JakeD409 (740143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007677)

Steve Lamoureaux, the company's chief innovation officer, said of the VP finding: 'We never imagined that the same candidate would show up for both parties.'"

When I hear someone say something of that nature in response to a program's output, it usually means they forgot to get rid of the test data and put the real stuff in.

"We never imagined that 'foo' would show up for both parties!"

Why photos? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007727)

In general, ability to do a job was not dependent on which way you comb your hair or whether you have a Roman nose or not. The political philosophies sounds better, but people in general don't know what philosophy will get the result they want, they only know the result. (That's why software engineers should never ask a customer how they want the program to work, but should focus on deriving that from what the customer actually wants the program to do.)

I'd have approached this problem from a different direction - ask questions about how they feel about past VPs, whether they achieved the stated and/or desired objectives, and so forth, to build an understanding of how the person thinks. THEN ask them the political questions, but translate them from what the person says they think they want into what the person actually does think and feel. Then compare that to the potential VPs.

Opinion polls are notoriously inaccurate because people either lie or simply don't understand their own mind. Very very few people are really that in touch with their own mental processes that they understand them, let alone have a vocabulary to describe them. A training algorithm that analyzes the real requirements of a person based on something measurable would seem a better approach, although fewer people would be interested in taking the time to answer the longer questionaire. Requirements analysis does work, when performed correctly. That, however, is the catch. It has to be performed correctly, which is not trivial.

Algorithm Revealed: +4, Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007745)


Surveys are SHAMS because they rely on Pearsonian statistics.

Powell named for both parties because both parties are
SHAMS.

Kudos for the war criminal description.

The United States has collapsed. The war criminals in the White House AND Congress have simply decided NOT to announce it publicly for fear the revolution WILL be televised.

Cordially,
K. Trout, M.D.

debug test (1)

brunokummel (664267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007751)

Steve Lamoureaux, the company's chief innovation officer, said of the VP finding: 'We never imagined that the same candidate would show up for both parties.'"


Just make a simple test like asking "who would be the best candidate for the next German elections just to check if it would answer Colin Powell as well..."

And the ideal president? (1)

paratiritis (1282164) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007769)

I mean if you are going to do this you might as well go for the top man. Would Obama and McCain take the two first spots? That would be the real test to this approach. I honestly can't guess. Although I am sure that Colin Powell would score very high there as well.

for it to work right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007771)

Don't they need to add in more than 1 name as a possible selection?

The questions they asked (0, Flamebait)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007773)

1) Do you want a VP who came to power by covering up genocide?

2) Do you want a VP responsible for the slaughter of over a million innocent people?

Not strong enough (1)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007797)

He was just a Bush/Rove puppet, he didn't stand up to them when his gut told him to. I don't see that as VP material. Also the aftertaste of Bush is still in Powell's mouth so I don't think he's even interested in politics any more.

Powell needs to come clean first (-1, Troll)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007835)

First he needs to admit that he glossed over the My Lai massacre in Vietnam decades ago.

Then he needs to admit he was a "house nigger" for George Bush for lying to the world at the UN.

Once he's made enough mea culpas, he needs to denounce McCain as being "McBush 2.0", denounce the war in Iraq, distance himself from Obama on Iran, and then MAYBE - MAYBE - somebody should consider him as VP material.

In other words, if he'd grow some balls and stop being an enabler for war mongers, he might be suitable.

Naah...never happen.

And Obama wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole, anyway. TWO black candidates for Prez and VP? They'd be nuts. Obama has a decent chance to be the country's first black President - but running another black for VP would be too much for even the liberals in this country. Obama's not that stupid.

Re:Powell needs to come clean first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008017)

Then he needs to admit he was a "house nigger" for George Bush

TWO black candidates for Prez and VP? They'd be nuts.

but running another black for VP would be too much for even the liberals in this country

Your derogatory racial references are unnecessary and quite illustrative of your mentality. So you speak for the "liberals in this country"? Then I guess you speak for me. But the only thing is that you don't. Your rhetoric conjures up racial divisions that are dated and should be long gone. Unfortunately, it's people like you who crouch behind a veneer of tolerance and color-blindness.

I'd rather vote Green than for Powell. (1)

acecamaro666 (1243364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007839)

I'm a Democrat planning on voting for Obama. If Obama were to pick Colin Powell as a running mate, I would vote for who ever is running for the Green Party. I sure remember Colin Powell. He is the one who went in front of the UN with the Powerpoint presentation full of lies to make the case for the Iraq war. No thanks.

Then the Algorithm is Retarded (2, Insightful)

Slithe (894946) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007853)

Colin Powell would have made a great vice-president for GWB in 2000 (or even a good presidential candidate), but now his reputation has been permanently tarnished by his association with the Iraq War and the Bush Administration in general. Since we are still in Iraq, I do not think his reputation will recover any time soon. Anyway, I do not think he would make a good Presidential candidate for Barack Obama. Let's face he (Powell) is black and so is Obama. It would be best to have a white guy to 'balance' the ticket.

hmm.. but my Al Gore Rythm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24007881)

Names Al Gore as the ideal V.P...

Re:hmm.. but my Al Gore Rythm (1)

graphicsguy (710710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007981)

Wasn't he the one who invented the field of Internet Al Gore Rhythms?

nice theory, but for one small detail (4, Interesting)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007883)

This is a good example of why even the best algorithms are poor predictors of human behavior. Powell probably IS one of the best, if not THE best, choices for McCain's VP. If only the world could fit neatly into the parameters considered by the algorithm. It's just not going to happen. Powell is on record saying that his wife has vetoed him being on a Presidential ticket. Period. She has personal issues around it and it's simply not in the cards. End of story. And end-of-line for El Algorithmo.

huh. (2, Interesting)

crazybilly (947714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007893)

Maybe I don't follow politics well enough. or maybe I'm just naive. I thought Powell got the shaft by the Bush administration and quit b/c he was a good guy and didn't want any part of it.

I guess everybody else thought he was the lynchpin of deciet. Shows what i know.

Re:huh. (1, Informative)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008089)

If Powell had resigned in protest over the planned invasion of Iraq then he would be considered by many more Americans to have great foresight, intellect, and integrity. Because he didn't resign, but instead became a shill to push the Neocon's agenda, his reputation plummeted.

Even if Iraq had had chemical weapons labs (which they didn't), and those labs had posed some immediate strategic danger to the U.S. (which they wouldn't have even if they had existed), then the "Powell Doctrine" called for the use of overwhelming force to utterly defeat the enemy (purportedly Iraq) in the shortest time with the fewest casualties. Yet Powell shilled for a war that was conducted on a shoestring on the insanely optimistic grounds that it would be a cakewalk and the U.S. Army would be greeted as "liberators" and have roses thrown at their soldiers as they marched through the streets of Baghdad.

The result? Thousands and thousands of dead people (Americans and Iraqis and many other nationalities) who didn't have to die. Powell was either too stupid to foresee this disaster or too spineless too oppose it. Take your pick.

party priorities (2, Interesting)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007925)

I was kind of surprised to see the difference in priorities for members of each party:

The top issues for Obama supporters in the survey were middle-class tax cuts, an improved health-care system, a change in trade policy that supports U.S. jobs, increased support for alternative energy sources, and an improved education system.

Top issues for McCain supporters were stopping congressional earmarks and wasteful government spending, reforming defense spending, cutting taxes, improving pay and support for military families, and modernizing and increasing the size of the U.S. military.

Given that none of them are the same in those lists, how can Powell be a good choice for both at the same time? Is it simply because he's a yes man like other posters are saying?

What's the difference between a Vice President? (1)

cmaxx (7796) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007971)

One of its running mates is both the same!

(What's the difference between a duck.. ;)

Al Gore Rhythm picks optimal vice president (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24007975)

Divination through dancing retired politicians is no way to run a society!

Watery tarts throwing swords is clearly a superior methodology.

The Algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008029)

I can see it now:

public String getIdealVP()
{
    return "Colin Powell";
}

Fool me once (3, Interesting)

chicago_scott (458445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008039)

Gen. Powell was the only reason I considered giving the Bush Administration the benefit of the doubt on Iraq. If Gen. Powell wants to go back into the military then I'd say that would be great and I think we'd benefit from that as a country, but politics is apparently not his thing.

What if we have an actual crisis and he's expected to explain to the country why we need to take some drastic action? I for one would have trouble buying his story after this Iraq debacle.

"Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again!" -George W. Bush, 2002

Public baffled... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008051)

as fools vie for office.
Watch our election night coverage as we sort it out for you...
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