Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Friday, February 13, 2004
Be Careful What You Ask For...
The primary schedule was set up to provide a clear nominee as quickly as possible, and it has succeeded in that goal. By Feb 11, only two serious candidates for the nomination remained standing, and one of those is on very wobbly legs indeed.
Is this actually desirable? Almost certainly not. The now apparent nominee emerged as the frontrunner less than a month ago and has not been seriously tested. It is unclear how much primary voters know about him or his positions. He has been subjected to nothing remotely like the attacks that will come once he is the official nominee. Voters say that they think him the most electable candidate, but there seems to be little grounds for that judgement. There is precedent, however - Jonathan Chait reminds us that Republican primary voters in 2000 believed, absurdly, that George Bush was more electable than John McCain.
Equally absurd is the contention that, since Kerry has won some southern primaries, he can win southern states in November. Al Gore won huge primary landslides in almost all the former confederate states, sometimes with as much as 80% of the vote, but it didn't help him in November. So how does 50% in VA make Kerry a southern man?
Of course I am subject to sour grapes here, since my candidate was defeated. But it seems plain that Kerry simply hasn't endured the scrutiny a nominee should. Furthermore, the last month, the only real period when the public's attention has been focussed on the Democratic race, has been terrific for us and catastrophic for Bush. Another month of focus on that race, instead of the Bush/Kerry race, could only help.