February 11, 2004

Wisonsin's Date With Destiny. That's how R.W. Apple in today's NYT refers to next week's primary. Isn't it all already over? Do ordinary people keep paying attention when the outcome is so obvious? It feels like the media are pushing the it's-a-two-man-race-now line to keep the story alive. Do the two Johns, Kerry and Edwards, have a strategy to work together in stages, preserving the two-man-race as long as the press is willing to perceive a two-man-race, and, when that loses all momentum, to reactivate the publicity by announcing that Edwards is Kerry's choice for VP? I imagine they have a plan to roll out this process in stages to get the maximum time in the spotlight. I'd believe otherwise if I saw either of the two of them attack the other. But, failing that, I'm seeing it as over.

So here's Apple talking about Wisconsin (Wonkette takes note of this here):
The question awaiting an answer as the candidates began arriving in Wisconsin this week was this: Why should this state prove any different?

"Our tradition of supporting mavericks," answered Linda Honold, the state party chairwoman. "We're kind of quirky. We like people who stand up for what they believe in despite adversity, which could lead a lot of people to support one of the three underdogs."

In a kind of honor roll of mavericks, Ms. Honold mentioned ... [blah, blah] ... Proxmire... [blah, blah] ... Feingold ....

"We haven't had the presidential candidates here for a long time," Ms. Honold said. "People may want to speak with a distinctive voice."

But John McAdams, a professor of political science at Marquette University in Milwaukee, expressed skepticism about the idea that Wisconsin is unique. Professor McAdams said he had "a lot of trouble" with the idea that it would vote any differently than Iowa or New Hampshire.

"Frankly, in my view, this state is a lot less distinctive than people would like to think it is or than it once was," he said.
There's a big difference between thinking you're special and being special. We do like to think at least Madison is special, though!

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