May 08, 2003

The Dean Effect
Howard Fineman of Newsweek tends to be one of the more thoughtful, less partisan, and less shrill of the political pundits that make the cable circuit. In many ways, I think this is why he's dead on with his analysis of Gov. Howard Dean's position in the Democratic primary.

Having said that, I also think that Bill Schneider of CNN made a contrary, yet still excellent point about the 2004 presidential election on the Charlie Rose show this week and it is this: Each election ultimately comes down to a job interview with the American public, where a given candidate has to make a case as to why they should not just hire him but, when running against an incumbent, why they should fire his opponent. Reagan was the Un-Carter. Clinton was the Un-Bush. 2000 doesn't count, in my opinion, because Bush Jr. won on a technicality. But it's not enough to be the opposite of your opponent. You have to offer something he's lacking that the public desperately wants. Reagan was gonna get those Commie bastards because Carter was too soft. Clinton was going to take care of us because Bush didn't care. The question remains: what does the country desperately want from George W. Bush that it's not getting?

One last thing: is it me, of does Howard Dean's candidate profile bear more than a passing resemblence to President Bartlett on The West Wing?
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