February 21, 2007

Why aren't we paying much attention to the most qualified Democratic candidate in the race?

Matt Yglesias wonders (via Memeorandum):
[Bill Richardson is] the popular, second-term governor of a swing state -- you know, the sort of person who back in the day used to win presidential elections. And it's not as if Richardson isn't getting attention because the field is crowded with popular second-term governors of swing states. No. We're too excited about the first-term senator from Illinois whose only competitive election in the past was against Bobby Rush -- and who lost. Or that vice presidential nominee from a losing ticket....

The point about Richardson is that in many respects he's exactly the sort of person -- a popular governor -- who was taken seriously as a presidential contender in the very recent past. The list is long and familiar -- Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. The difference is that Richardson is also super-experienced.

In retrospect, however, Bush was less the last of the governor presidents than a transition to the new era in which, to be president, you need to be a famous celebrity. Mayors of New York City are always famous, because the people who run the media live in New York. Hence, Rudy Giuliani is a serious candidate... Barack Obama has an extremely interesting personal story and was one of the only Democratic successes in 2004, so he became famous and now he's a serious candidate. John Edwards got famous running on a national ticket, so he's a serious candidate. Hillary Clinton's husband used to be president (you may have heard), so she's famous and she's a serious candidate....
So, let's pay some attention to Bill Richardson!

Ezra Klein responds to Matt:
... I attended a small policy breakfast with Richardson and found him very underwhelming. He talked of tax cuts and making Democrats "the party of space." His is a resume without -- at least thus far -- an inspiring vision or a clear ideology, and it's worth saying that pure technocrats rarely win national elections. The hunger for celebrity is unfair, but the appetite for inspiration isn't necessarily off-base.
Where does the bogus lure of celebrity end and real inspiration begin? In any case, I keep my distance from all politicians and don't look for them for any sort of inspiration. I know it's a stodgy device to drag out a dictionary definition, but let's look at what "inspiration" means:
1a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. b. The condition of being so stimulated. 2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention. 3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired. 4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration. 5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind. 6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
It seems too spiritual to me. I just want to vote for the most competent person and let him do his job well.

69 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Why doesn't the media pay attention? Because he's way out in New Mexico. Half the journalists in NY and DC can't find New Mexico on a map. It's so much easier to drive across town and interview a Hillary or Obama cheerleader (after all, that's what all the competition is doing -- wouldn't want to be scooped!) than to actually, you know, work to find out stuff about others.

George said...

I'd take him a lot more seriously if he got married to Bill Clinton.

RogerA said...

I think Madison Man and Yglesias have solved the puzzle: Yglesias for his observation about celebrity candidates, and MM for rightly pointing out the distance between New Mexico and the media offices that create that celebrity.

bearbee said...

Maybe those newfangled technologies haven't caught up with the media......telephones, airplanes, videoconferencing....... or more likely he doesn't have the war chest to keep his name 'newsworthy'.

SteveR said...

I live in New Mexico and basically agree with MM. (BTW we don't need a passport to travel back east)

Richardson is a great politician for a small state, a big fish in a small pond. I also think he'd have some history problems if it got down to serious run.

Bottom line is he doesn't have any electoral sway for a non celebrity notwithstanding Imus in the Morning.

vbspurs said...

I've been touting Bill Richardson as the weightiest POLITICAL candidate for the Democratic ticket, for a while.

(Since Senator Clinton's one and only political job is her senatorial position, she is actually trumped in the CV-stakes by Richardson, IMO)

It's true that he also has baggage, personally and from his Clintonista association.

But the commenters have said it well -- he's got little zing for a personality, and he's even more removed than Arkansas and Georgia were to the media elite at the time, which at least are nominally in the better timezones.

However, if Hillary gets in, I'd say forget Obama as Veep, since I have said already I don't think he would accept the secondary role, anyway.

I'd tell her, choose Bill Richardson.

He's dark-complected enough, to make certain people who rate that sort of thing, happy.

Cheers,
Victoria

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Bill Richardson should show up at a Hollywood premiere scantily clad and obviously intoxicated. He should surreptitiously release a homemade porn video. And then he should shave his head.

No need to thank me, Sir. It’s all in a day’s work for Celebrity Consultant Man.

Bruce Hayden said...

Still, of the Democrats, Richardson has by far the best resume. How big a budget have Hillary, Obama, and Edwards combined managed? Richardson has diplomatic, cabinet, and executive experience. None of the other Democrats come close.

reality check said...

I just want to vote for the most competent person and let him do his job well.

ROTFLMAO! Well played good sir!

reality check said...

(In other news, Spears says it wasn't her innate beauty that caused her to shave her head,
>it was lice
.)

This could also explain her hairless appearance during crotchgate.

tjl said...

"Half the journalists in NY and DC can't find New Mexico on a map"

NM is not THAT obscure. Santa Fe has long been a favorite weekend getaway for LA media types.

"His is a resume without -- at least thus far -- an inspiring vision or a clear ideology."

Correct. Richardson lacks that telegenic glitz factor needed to become a media darling. But wouldn't the country do better with a technocrat who has no ideological agenda? After all, it was Bill Clinton's freedom from dogmatic scruples that made possible some of the successes of his term, e.g., welfare reform.

Bissage said...

Sipp reminded me of something I couldn’t find evidence for, but if I remember correctly, back in 1992 or thereabouts, someone asked Ross Perot why he thought he was more qualified for the presidency than Clinton, who was Governor of Arkansas, after all. Perot responded with something like, "Hell, my company’s bigger than Arkansas."

Naked Lunch said...

"Why aren't we paying much attention to the most qualified Democratic candidate in the race?"

Because the press corps are bankrupt and lazy, and they would rather hit Drudge's site for scandals and rumors. And even then they won't shine any light on them, just perpetuate them [this way they can talk about said rumors tomorrow too].

I don't know what Ezra was going on about - but does he really think Hillary or Obama [or any candidate in either party for that matter] has answers for the Middle East? I know Richardson does.

TMink said...

Althouse asked: "Where does the bogus lure of celebrity end and real inspiration begin?"

Great question and I have no idea how to answer it. Complaining too much about the selling of the President makes me feel like an elitist slob. But inside, I fear we will have the pretiest candidate before we get the most qualified.

Trey

MadisonMan said...

When Russ Feingold first ran for the US Senate, the primary was a particularly nasty and disgusting mud-filled slugfest between frontrunners Joe Checota and Jim Moody. Feingold emerged the victor.

Perhaps Obama and Hillary! will negate each other in the same way, and Richardson (or others who AREN'T SENATORS) will benefit.

Daryl Herbert said...

When will a pro-war Dem candidate step up?

It's not as crazy as it sounds. For one, the anti-war vote is split several ways, but the pro-war vote is up for grabs.

Second, a pro-war Dem can claim that "stay the course" wasn't working, we weren't making progress in Iraq (or the situation was getting worse).

it was Democrats who forced Bush to admit that, fire Rumsfeld's ass, listen to the generals, and change the strategy

So a pro-war Dem can take credit for the surge and any ensuing progress. He can say that Republicans were either just as blind to reality as Bush, or knew the situation wasn't going as well as it could, but chose to keep quiet out of loyalty to Bush. (Either way, they're unfit to lead)

Then he could start throwing around slogans like "Whatever Americans voted for, they didn't vote for defeat" and "Support the Troops. Let them Win." Proclaim patience, flexibility, competence, and non-Republicanness. Major bonus points if they publicly opposed the war from the start (double bonus points if they voted against the war at the time).

The entire candidacy would be a bet on the status of Iraq improving between now and the primaries. If the promising initial signs of the surge blossom into long-term success, it would make the anti-war Dems look weak and petty. And if the war gets worse . . . oh well. It was a decent shot at the presidency.

Further, having a pro-war Dem candidate who would benefit by an improvement in the situation in Iraq would mean the anti-war candidates would benefit from the situation getting worse. It's not that hard to tell when a politician prefers one outcome to another. They find ways to put their foot in their mouth. That mechanism alone would discredit the anti-war Dems in the eyes of the mainstream.

Then the general election would be pro-war R vs. pro-war D., and there would be a mass suicide at DailyKos.

bearbee said...

Richardson takes stage in presidential forum
The Carson, Nevada, forum begins at 1:00 pm Mountain time and will be carried live on C-SPAN. KOBTV.com will offer a link to C-SPAN’s live stream of the debate.

hdhouse said...

Instead of a link to find a link to the real text (http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=12502)

....we are treated to a snipet..carefully snatched out of the posting.

Aside from the utter nonsense of Rudy and the NY based media (that what?)....This governor business and Bush being a transition from that lineage to what comes next, the article's only valid point is Richardson's qualifications which are far superior to either side of the aisle.

Perhaps also we have had it with dopes who get into trouble or get the country into a mess and we are transitioning from that. So the American public is searching for someone with vision and energy because they are sick to death of marginal competency. It would explain Clinton's high current appeal and would explain Reagan's dithering at the end of his term and resultant low ratings..only now reclaimed in a show of forgiveness upon his death.

This current president has so poisoned the well that this country is searching for anyone with a little flair and doesn't speak like the village idiot..

Richardson's time will come because this pendulum will swing back to proven ability.

hdhouse said...

and Madisonman....I think you under estimate NY journalists..they are a pretty smart lot and of course you realize that the right wing thinks they are all on the democrat payroll so why decry them if they are so unimportant.

sonicfrog said...

... I attended a small policy breakfast with Richardson and found him very underwhelming.

Maybe you shouldn't judge a person over one breakfast conversation.

I'm not a Dem or Repub, so I have no dog in this fight. I simply like the game of politics (hate the stench though). I have always liked Richardson. He just seems, well, stable. But I still think this election is Al Gore's to lose. More here.

Richard Dolan said...

Who is the "we" in this question: "Why aren't we paying much attention to the most qualified Democratic candidate in the race?"

Except for true addicts, no sensible person is paying much attention to any of this right now. Lots will happen in the next year, let alone before the election in Nov '08. It will be time enough to pay attention later, when the problems are in better focus. The "we" that Yglesias is talking about are mostly folks like himself -- i.e., politicos or political fundraisers trying to push their own dog in this race, at a time when most people would like to give politics of that sort a rest for a while.

Gingrich gave a speech in NYC a few weeks ago, noting that the endless campaign was really a creation of political consultants who, not surprisingly, are its main beneficiaries. He added that he thought they were well on their way to ruining the Rep party. I couldn't agree more. No doubt, running for president takes a lot of planning and fundraising today. But there's no reason why "we" should be paying a lot of attention to any of that stuff at this point. And the candidates would do themselves a favor to stop worrying about positioning themselves, and instead just concentrate on doing whatever they think is the right thing for the country. People will notice the difference, once they start to pay attention.

And, per usual, Sippican is dead-on in ridiculing the idiotic notion that Rudy, McCain, and Hillary are getting a lot of attention from the punditocracy and professional politicos only because they are all fortuitously situated in NYC or DC where they can just bump into each other from time to time.

Revenant said...

Mayors of New York City are always famous, because the people who run the media live in New York. Hence, Rudy Giuliani is a serious candidate

Yglesias seems to be saying here that being a popular two-term mayor of a city of eight million people isn't a serious qualification for President, but being governor of a state of TWO million people is.

Um, ok. What, exactly, is the basis for this belief? Let's not even consider how much more culturally, economically, and politically important NYC is, to Americans, than New Mexico, or the role 9/11 played in showing Americans how Rudy handled himself in a crisis. Or the fact that a Rudy candidacy puts the state of New York in play for the first time in 24 years. Or... well, you get the picture.

I'm sure Richardson is a qualified candidate, just as Clinton was in his day. He's probably a more qualified candidate than Edwards, Hillary, or Obama, because hey, who isn't? But let's not denigrate Rudy's qualifications for office.

liberaltruth said...

I am a New Mexico girl myself, and I am a big supporter of Governor Richardson. I think it is ok that he his kind of below the radar at the moment, but not for much longer. Let Hillary and Obama catfight if they want, Richardson will rise above it. And I think that most people want a candidate of substance after the last six years of a light weight in the White House.

Simon said...

tjl said...
"Richardson lacks that telegenic glitz factor needed to become a media darling. But wouldn't the country do better with a technocrat who has no ideological agenda?"

I went to the doctor yesterday, and while I was waiting, flicked idly through a copy of U.S. News from a couple of weeks ago. Writing about Gerry Ford, they offered something to the same effect as the above - that Ford succeeded because he was willing to put the needs of the country ahead of ideology.

I'm uncomfortable with this idea. It seems to me that ideologues aren't usually committed to an idea purely because of the idea qua the idea, but because they believe that the idea has superior normative value. Communists don't put ideology ahead of the needs of country, they see their ideology as serving the needs of the country, and ditto some kind of theoretical right wing ideologue. The problem with Kucinich, for example, isn't his commitment to his ideas, it's that his ideas are dangerously flawed. I find it hard to believe that anyone -- and not even a rational actor, just any person who isn't psychotic, really -- supports a normative political theory that they think will make the country worse.

Even assuming that we're talking about ideology qua ideology being bad, rather than the deficiencies of any particular ideology, I'm still not sure I can agree. Sure, ideology carries the risk of blinding adherents to a truth in front of their faces, and that's a problem. But it's a tendancy, not an innate characteristic. Ideology per se is little more than a useful framework in which to assess new information; the problem isn't the presence of a scaffold, the problem is the absence of an inquiring mind, the willingness to use the presence of a scaffold as an excuse to stop assessing, as a substitute for thought.

Thus seen, ideology -- the right one, at least -- may even be desirable in a candidate for an office where they may often face challenges unimagined when they were elected; it is surely valuable for the electorate to have some means of assessing the general thought process of a candidate and her or his likely reaction to changed circumstance. Likewise, in assessing Supreme Court nominees, I'm interested in how they approach the law, not how they come out in specific cases; in the main, that's because I'm a proceduralist, but I tend to think there is normative value in that approach as well: no one could have predicted that abortion would come before the court when the Justices on the Roe court were nominated; no one could have predicted that the President's desire to detain citizens without trial would come before the court when the Justices on the Hamdi court were nominated. In asking Justice Breyer or Justice Alito about their views on this pet case and that, Senators seem to have forgotten that we have no idea what the most significant legal crisis of the next generation will be (although I would lay bets as to who will ignite it); far better to determine how they will handle it when it arrives, which is to say, what is their legal philosophy - which is just another way of saying "ideology."

Pogo said...

Re: "They can't think, and they won't read, and they can't write."

Other than that, they're a pretty talented bunch!

Kirk said...

"I keep my distance from all politicians and don't look for them for any sort of inspiration."

Well, that's just more evidence that you're a normal person with an adequate hold on sanity! :-)

Somewhere, once, I read a quote from some British Prime Minister in the 60's. It was election time, and the reporter interviewing him, dissatisfied with the technocratic, governmentalese answers he was getting, asked, "But what would your party do to inspire us?" The PM replied, "If people are looking for inspiration, I suggest they ask their biships."

Now, my google-fu is extremely weak this morning (and my snopes-fu completely non-existent) so I can't find any reference to this anywhere in Ted Steven's Big Pipes™, but I'll stick my neck out and say it was probably Heath or Macmillan. I do hope it's not completely apocryphal, as it has the ring of truthiness.

Kirk said...

Simon,

In regard to your 12:39 PM, all I can ask is, why aren't you writing for some big-name publication, instead of the clowns who are?

Very nicely put.

Naked Lunch said...

And, per usual, Sippican is dead-on in ridiculing the idiotic notion that Rudy, McCain, and Hillary are getting a lot of attention from the punditocracy and professional politicos only because they are all fortuitously situated in NYC or DC where they can just bump into each other from time to time.

Then can you explain why Plamegate is actually Watergate in reverse? That is, where the reporters are scrambling for cover and being put on the stand? They get paid to please their bosses, and that means schmoozing up to anyone in power that will give them access, and they won't give access if they don't like the questions or don't think they can get their message delivered. If you don't play by the rules, well ask Howard Dean.

Simon said...

Kirk - they're only scraping the bottom of the barrel, yet - they'll have to dig a little before they resort to hiring me. ;) Honestly, there's not much you're going to hear from me that you've not heard more eloquently and with greater intellectual force from Scalia. In any event, I'm pretty happy commenting and blogging to the extent I do now, and I'm pleased if I have some level of insight to offer. :)

Cedarford said...

Before George W Bush, a good argument could be made that the best recent Presidents are former governors or people with considerable executive or leadership experience. (FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton). With 3 enormously consequential Presidents derailed by character flaws still showing superior ability in getting things done that benefited America. (Truman, LBJ, Nixon).

The lustre was with governors.

Jimmy Carter nonwithstanding.

Yet the media & Hollywood gravitated for 40 years to a character the public rejected from their long-time JFK infatuation. The telegenic Senator with gravitas.

Now with Dubya joining Jimmy as a failed President from the governor's ranks, the chattering classes are reinvigorated in their quest for a new Senator to resurrect Camelot. Which lately "gifted" us with Senator Treebeard, perhaps the worst candidate either party ran since unelectable Senator Barry Goldwater ran. Kerry managed to lose to a guy with Nixonian popularlity, without Nixon's brains, with half the Republicans detesting Dubya - that's how bad Kerry was.

But activists are trying a new gambit to push out the Presidential race an extra year before normal, trying to create candidates of "excitement", Senatorial versions of pop stars.

Hence the creation of Tabula Rasa Obama.

Hence the marginalization of "unexciting" Richards.

Hence Hillary now warring with Obama in Hollywood over who is more exciting and would help Israel more - in an attempt to lock up wealthy Mogul's dollars.

At this stage, the whole "race" is little but amusing, even as billionaire's dollars begin flowing. I think the public is more concerned about Iraq and other Bush blunders and America's many economic and diplomatic setbacks outside Iraq, the health care crisis, medicare crisis - than who Spielberg, Geffen, Reitner, Meathead, Senn Penn, Sarandon currently "love as a rock star".

RogerA said...

I think liberaltruth is on to something--if HRC and Obama are this testy this early (the Geffen dust-up as reported by the NYT's ace gossip, Maureen Dowd), it isnt going to be very pretty. The lower profile guys just may come out unscathed! They are already talking about lincoln bedroom sleepovers, and pardons.

AJ Lynch said...

My take on Richardson. He's too rumpled of a guy. Not crisp and TV anchorish which is the desired profile for prez candidates.

That's just the way it goes, I am rumpled too. When I wear those no-iron khaky pants they look like I slept in them five minutes after I put them on. Not making this up.

Doyle said...

I just want to vote for the most competent person

ROFL

Doyle said...

Daryl @ 10:53:

When will a pro-war Dem candidate step up?

Oh man this is good stuff. Complete with an earnest argument in favor of it. You're just as cute as a button.

hdhouse said...

Revenant said...
"Yglesias seems to be saying here that being a popular two-term mayor of a city of eight million people isn't a serious qualification for President, but being governor of a state of TWO million people is."

Please read his full resume (the "you dolt" is a given so I'll leave it out)

"Or the fact that a Rudy candidacy puts the state of New York in play for the first time in 24 years."

Now just now, 6 years later, NYC is digging out of the fiscal mess pre 9/11 that Rudy just pushed on to the next guy. NYers have long memories and we do remember NYC and Rudy's positions prior to 9/11 - and it is a current toss up in NY between the two. the democrat machine will do its work and there is no republican machine in the state so come election time...well ("given") you figure the rest.

and don't hurt your knees kneeling to kiss Rudy's ass ok?

I'm sure Richardson is a qualified candidate, just as Clinton was in his day. He's probably a more qualified candidate than Edwards, Hillary, or Obama, because hey, who isn't? But let's not denigrate Rudy's qualifications for office.

Jeremy said...

It's because he is a serious person, a grown-up, and the Democratic party right now is acting like a bunch of whiny children.

George said...

I was playing poker with a DNC Rep who went to a recent Dog and Pony show in DC. He said Obama was underwhelming and that Richardson "blew him away."

Adjoran said...

Richardson indeed has a great deal of varied experience: long-term congressman, UN Ambassador, Energy Secretary, two-term Governor. He has three major problem areas, and two smaller ones which could blow up in his face, however.

The biggies:

1. He's a boring speaker - in this television age, a big obstacle.

2. He was Energy Sec. while top-secret stuff was casually walking out of our nuclear labs.

3. As UN Ambassador, he gave a personal job interview to the spectacularly unqualified Miss Lewinsky as a favor to the White House, showing questionable judgment.

And, the smaller-but-maybe-dynamite items:

1. He has long claimed to have been drafted by the (then) Kansas City Athletics as a baseball pitcher. He was not, but repeated the claim for years.

2. He wants more investigations of "what went on at Roswell."

Neither of the latter is huge, but both have the potential to become albatrosses around his neck.

That said, he will probably shine in debates, because he is one of the few with actual policy knowledge. This might not be enough if the Democrats continue their past insanity of including every moron who declares himself a candidate. Sharpton and Kucinich were wonderful comic relief, but took valuable time away from the serious candidates.

The Drill SGT said...

Mayors of New York City are always famous, because the people who run the media live in New York. Hence, Rudy Giuliani is a serious candidate...

I was all ready to make that quote the lead to my comments, but of course sip and revenant beat me to it, so, I'll just pile on with 2 more in the same vein.

1. NYC is said to be the only city in the country with its own foreign policy.

2. After handling NYC Unions, Rudy should not have any problem with 3rd world dictators


I like Richardson, and Rudy is my second choice for President. I think there are some republicans many independents who could vote for Richardson. That is crucial factor IMHO.

Internet Ronin said...

Lest it be forgotten, Richardson was responsible for the Energy Department, which had a $23 billion budget 2006. Not exactly chump change.

And, I'll add that, while Giuliani ranks very high indeed on my personal list of contenders, it must be said that there is more to being Governor than being mayor, no matter what the size of the state.

tjl said...

Simon's 12:39 post takes issue with my suggestion that the country and its political discourse would benefit from having a pragmatist (like Richardson) as president. But he concedes, "ideology carries the risk of blinding adherents to a truth in front of their faces, and that's a problem."

Yes, that's the problem. Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

Internet Ronin said...

As far as Ezra Klein's response to Matthew Yglesias, it seems to me that, like many reporters who follow a candidate day-to-day over a period of time, Klein has fallen in love with John Edwards. (See his last bloggingheads exchange for the telltale signs.) I haven't read his article on Edwards in The American Prospect though, so perhaps it is not as hagiographic as I expect it to be.

cokaygne said...

I like both Richardson and Giuliani. A general election between those two would be interesting in view of their opposite attitudes towards the Second Amendment. A lot of states would be in play. There is a problem, however, and that is the money primary. It is bad enough that totally unrepresentative states like Iowa and New Hampshire are blessed by the media with such outsized influence on who would be our next president. Now it is worse because it is going to take a lot of money to get through the next year or so and the source of that money is a few Hollywood moguls who are less representative than even the primary voters of New Hampshire and Iowa. If fortune smiles on our country, Giuliani will continue to wow the GOP fat cats (have all those investment bankers forgiven him for the 'perp walks' from the floor of the stock exchange?) and Hillary and Obama will spend every dollar they raise in Hollywood tearing each other down. When actual votes are cast, Richardson will do fine.

paul a'barge said...

I attended a small policy breakfast with Richardson and found him very underwhelming

Ezra Klein is the typical Get-Me-Off DHIMMIcRAT. It's never about the issues, it's all about sprouting that woodie for Ezra.

Wouldn't you just hate to wake up one morning and find yourself trapped in a relationship with this guy?

william said...

Sipp was right on journalists. Karl Kraus said about newspaper writers: "To know nothing and be able to express it."

Internet Ronin said...

Oh, I don't know, Paul. I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers. He's kind of cute.

Daryl Herbert said...

Am I wrong, Doyle, that a pro-war Dem who planted the flag now, would be a serious threat to other Dem candidates if the situation in Iraq began to improve?

Surely you don't really believe that Americans have already moved from being tired of the war to where the far left is, which is to say hating it and hoping we lose.

Wouldn't it be devastating to all of the "pull out in 90 days" Democratic candidates if things started to go well?

What part of this am I missing? Or maybe you think I'm right the very idea of it has already driven you half-insane.

Daryl Herbert said...

I'm also fully aware that the only reason no pro-war Dem has stepped up to run is because the netroots would hold it against them forever.

The threat is that they would work to defeat that candidate in whatever endeavor he pursued (elective office, private industry, enjoying a beer at a local pub, etc.) for the rest of his life, and no Dems are willing to risk that.

Losing the primary or general election would be a career-ending move.

Internet Ronin said...

Daryl, I don't know about Doyle, but I do think you are wrong, given the average Democratic primary electorate.

And, yes, if this war is still raging in January, 2008, most Americans will have "moved from being tired of the war to [somewhere near] where the far left is, which is to say hating it and hoping we" leave sooner rather than later. Most people are, at the moment, not particularly paying attention to either event (the war or the election) because they don't have to. By then, they will have to.

Revenant said...

Am I wrong, Doyle, that a pro-war Dem who planted the flag now, would be a serious threat to other Dem candidates if the situation in Iraq began to improve?

A pro-war Dem could be a threat whether the situation improves or not, since it is easy (and, some would argue, entirely fair) to blame Bush for bungling a war that should have been winnable. Most Americans do not share the fringe leftie view that the war was a hopeless cause from day one.

A Democrat who took the position that we need to fix Bush's mess but not pussy out on the war on terrorism would attract a LOT of Republican votes as well as Democratic ones. Unfortunately I doubt any such Democrat could get nominated by his or her party.

Doyle said...

Gentlemen, please.

If, by pro-war, you mean of the opinion that the Iraq War was a good idea, then there is no way a pro-war candidate is getting elected in 2008. It's just that simple. The Republicans won't nominate a pro-war candidate if they know what's good for them.

jakemanjack said...

Richardson is the only Democrat candidate on the horizon that doesn't make me want to hurl.

Internet Ronin said...

As substantial contributions by Doyle are exceedingly rare events that I'd like to encourage, I think his comment probably hits the spot for the 2008 election:

If, by pro-war, you mean of the opinion that the Iraq War was a good idea, then there is no way a pro-war candidate is getting elected in 2008. It's just that simple. The Republicans won't nominate a pro-war candidate if they know what's good for them.

Revenant said...

hdhouse,

Please read his full resume

His full resume is irrelevant. Yglesias was arguing that real candidates are ex-governors, and ex-mayors like Giuliani are mere celebrities. But the fact of the matter is that being mayor of New York City is a much tougher, more demanding, and more important job than being governor of a low-population flyover state.

Maybe Richardson is, when you look at his whole resume, a better qualified candidate than Giuliani. So what? They're both better better qualified candidates than Carter, Clinton, Reagan, or Bush were, which is what makes Yglesias' bemoaning of the good old days of qualified candidates so silly.

Now just now, 6 years later, NYC is digging out of the fiscal mess pre 9/11 that Rudy just pushed on to the next guy.

Yeah, yeah, congrats on being able to parrot the Democratic Party talking points. We've seen you do that trick before.

The fact of the matter, though, is that Rudy still polls extremely well in both New York City and in the state as a whole. That means that my claim that his candidacy puts New York in play is true, regardless of whether or not you think he did a good job running it or not.

vbspurs said...

In what other blog but Althouse, could commenters talk with such authority, about Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, Ezra Klein, Russ Feingold, Britney Spears, crotches and lice?

Althouse rules!

Cheers,
Victoria

TMink said...

Doyle wrote: "ROFL" and "Oh man this is good stuff. Complete with an earnest argument in favor of it. You're just as cute as a button."

Care to contribute an idea or two? Wanna step up and do something besides ridicule? I have seen you post an idea, how about grace us with one.

Trey

MadisonMan said...

Rudy still polls extremely well in both New York City and in the state as a whole.

It's still too early for me to pay any close attention to polls; is there a difference between Rudy's poll numbers as a warm-fuzzy post-9/11 attaboy type thing vs. poll numbers on likely votes for President?

I will agree that Richardson vs. Giuliani would be a very interesting matchup -- and I don't know if I'd be shaking my head in wonderment at the American Public for electing a buffoon if either were elected. That seems to doom the possibility. We'll get ideologue vs. ideologue and it'll be the least objectionable choice yet again. Maybe I'm too cynical.

SippicanCottage said...
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downtownlad said...

I agree. Richardson is the most competent Democrat. Evan Bayh would ave made a good candidate as well.

On the Republican side, I think Hagel is the best. Would be nice to see him enter the race. Imagine that - if we had grownups running for office.

me said...

I think the Geffen comment about the Clintons was dead on.

Hilary has forgotten about Whitewater and the last minute pardons.

However, there is plenty of mileage left in those scandals, and they will rise again.

Revenant said...

It's still too early for me to pay any close attention to polls; is there a difference between Rudy's poll numbers as a warm-fuzzy post-9/11 attaboy type thing vs. poll numbers on likely votes for President?

Rudy's poll numbers during the post-9/11 warm-fuzzy attaboy era were so ridiculously high that he could have run for office on the "fuck it, let's feed babies to lions" platform and won in a landslide.

Now he's just popular enough to threaten Democrats in what *should* be guaranteed Democratic states.

LoafingOaf said...

The reason the media isn't paying much attention to Richardson is because he's not been saying or doing anything that are particularly newsworthy. What is the media supposed to do? Lead the newscasts each night with: "Bill Richardson is still planning to run for President"?

It may be that it has been his strategy to fly a bit beneath the radar the past several weeks. That may actually be a good strategy.

But then again, he made the news this week by demanding Obama denounce Geffen's attack on Hillary and that all the Democratic candidates pledge to run a positive campaign. I don't think you're getting get much attention by saying you refuse to attack the front-runner, but I dunno.

What I do know is it is on the candidates to force the media to notice them. Perhaps he's just waiting for Obama and Edwards to make more gaffes and then he'll speak up as the alternative to Hillary.

hdhouse said...

Let's hear what Faux Noise has to say on the issue......oh I forgot. We have Revenant.

Any comments on Natalie Halloway champ?

And never let facts get in your way little fella...

Internet Ronin said...
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Internet Ronin said...
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Revenant said...

Let's hear what Faux Noise has to say on the issue......oh I forgot. We have Revenant. Any comments on Natalie Halloway champ? And never let facts get in your way little fella...

I'm pretty sure that was supposed to be insulting, but since I don't watch Fox, have no idea who Natalie Halloway is, and am nothing but amused at the idea that you may one day bring facts into a discussion, I'm afraid I just don't feel offended. You'll just have to try harder, hd.

Daryl Herbert said...

If, by pro-war, you mean of the opinion that the Iraq War was a good idea

No, I mean that continuing to fight it would be a good idea, regardless of how we got in.

It would be very dumb to make a campaign out of selling the original decision to invade Iraq, for a number of reasons.

Simon said...

Daryl Herbert said...
"It would be very dumb to make a campaign out of selling the original decision to invade Iraq, for a number of reasons."

Not least the total irrelevance of that to everyone except historiansand -- apparently -- democrats. Its utility to the latter seems obvious enough: blather on about how awful it was that we got in and maybe no one will ask for your plan about what to do now we're in.