« Alternative Histories | Main | The Poverty of David Brooks »

Chapter 12: In Which I Am Actually Asked for My Opinion...

A question from a reader:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Brooklyn Heights is getting blitzed today.
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 06:28:00 EST
To: mark.schmitt.decembrist@earthlink.net

We have to decide Kerry or Edwards. Do you have an opinion you wish to esxpress?
Brooklyn Heights


Interestingly, my own neighborhood, Cobble Hill, just south of Brooklyn Heights, has NOT been getting blitzed. In fact, I have to remind myself to go vote tomorrow. We have received not one phone call, not one robo-call, not one piece of mail, not one canvasser. We have not seen one poster or one TV ad for any of the Democratic primary candidates. And yet we are on every list imaginable. We used to get robo-called by Howard Dean almost daily, despite what I thought was my very public criticism. Very strange.

Anyway, I don't think I've been shy about expressing my opinion, which is basically great respect for Senator Edwards. I liked the way he talked about tax policy from the very beginning of his campaign (i.e., talking about how favoring investment income over work income is "the most radical idea since socialism") and the way he has talked about poverty in the later stages of his campaign. And I'm extremely impressed at his ability to not flinch at the rise of Dean, unlike General Clark, who let his whole campaign be a reaction to Dean, instead of justified on its own terms. Edwards has shown a lot of discipline.

So I will vote for Edwards, probably just as a way of acknowledging his language, his positive campaign, his future, and perhaps the idea that he should be Kerry's running mate. But I won't shed a tear if/when Kerry wins. He's done a remarkably good job since taking command of his campaign last fall, almost entirely without mistakes. And I don't put too much weight on any distinction between Edwards and Kerry on the elusive quality of "electability." Yes, Edwards might have an easier time in Southern Ohio, Northern Florida, West Virginia, and some other key areas of potential swing states. (He would not win North Carolina and that's not the point.) But Kerry has a little more experience with big-time national-level politics -- he was a major target in 1996 -- he's a superb debater, and I feel a little more confidence that he can deal with $100 million worth of crap without crumbling. I've also begun to think about who can actually govern the country after the election, because if the new president faces an instant backlash, as Clinton did in 1994, it will be almost as disastrous as if Bush wins. That's going to be a major topic of this weblog in the next few weeks. I have a little more confidence in Kerry's ability to do some of the things that a Democrat will need to do in order to govern successfully, but again, it's a guess.

So my opinion winds up reading like a New York Times editorial, with lovely things to say about both candidates, and an endorsement so mild that it probably has no impact. But that's fine. We are fortunate to have two candidates with the right values, comparable but very different political skills, and very good chances to win in in November, whether they run together or not.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on March 1, 2004 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Chapter 12: In Which I Am Actually Asked for My Opinion...:

» Bmw. Bmw part bmw motorcycle bmw usa bmw m3 bmw car from Godzik Blog
2005 BMW 5-Series. Competition from Acura, Audi and Mercedes-Benz Make AWD 5-Series Reality... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 24, 2005 6:40:18 AM

» No Worms in this Apple from The Other Corner
Couldn't have said this (or this) better myself. Nowhere in the first amendment does it give someone the right to traffic stolen property... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 25, 2005 12:54:14 PM

» Conspicuous absenc from Crooked Ti mber
Forbes is the latest magazine trying to capitalize on the blogging thing by holding a best blog competition across various categories. It’s interesting to note that no less than 53% of voters say that the best blog on the economy... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 28, 2005 10:33:07 AM

» Email, RSS un Wikis from HIRSCgarden
Reiner Langenhan schreibt auf Handakte Von E-Mails zu RSS, in Reaktion auf meinen Beitrag im KMU-Blog: das kann ich nur best䴩gen! Ross Mayfield hat einen recht 䨮lichen Artikel in seinem Blog zu... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 30, 2005 11:23:04 AM

» Oregon man survives 12 nails to the head from complaining of
who went to a hospital complaining of a headache was found to have 12 nails embedded in his skull from a suicide [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 28, 2006 10:47:11 AM

» Indy Set for Home Cookin' vs. Nets from O'Neal neatly
- the series is tied 1-1 and three of the five remaining games are scheduled for Indiana. [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2006 2:10:12 AM

» Finding Information on the Internet from Net Search
The University of California Berkeley recommends search strategies, explains search tools, and gives guidance on evaluating and citing web pages... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2006 9:22:22 AM

» GM draws the line at helping Delphi from Permalink |
of the year to take some of the pressure off Delphi, but now wants Delphi to start living up [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2006 11:44:52 PM

» Italian Charms from ItalianCharms -- Search results
Italian charms has stainless links from companies by Zoppini, Boxing, ReFlorence, Puzzle, Ryry, Talexia & Unodomani... [Read More]

Tracked on May 28, 2006 6:38:26 PM

» WebPals from Full Catalog
Need some help with your search? Please click on How to search. ... Use the search criteria below to narrow your search. ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 5, 2006 12:26:02 PM

» Extra pounds raise heartburn risk from ead full story
ead full story for latest details. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 7, 2006 1:23:50 AM

» Riley Solicits Van Gundy's Input from me -- we're constantly
write Israel Gutierrez and Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. ''He e-mails me -- we're constantly in touch, and he's scouting [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 29, 2006 12:43:04 PM

» Songaila Is Expected To Sign Deal Today from last night, take
late last night, take a physical this morning and sign a five-year contract worth around $21 million today, according [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 7, 2006 11:39:07 AM

» CELEB: Johnny Depp To Tell Fatty Arbuckle Story from story, including
evidence that Arbuckle was in any way connected with her death. Despite the highly publicized trial and his acquittal, Arbuckle [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 7, 2006 4:27:46 PM

» Girl, Finger, Bath from Heres
Heres a lovely pieceof erotic art by Milo Manara: [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 9, 2006 7:46:19 AM


Matt Yglesias raised the point about Edwards that it would be undesireable to nominate a candidate who can be derided as too young or too inexperienced. The Bush team will push continunity in the war on terror. They will want the voters to "stay the course."

Granted, Kerry is also vulnerable to this line of attack.

When it comes to governing effectively, I think the Clinton example will be looked at as a cautionary tale. Any democratic administration in 2005 will certainly be somewhat of a reaction to the hierarchical, controlled Bush White House, but Kerry/Edwards would do well to avoid the ad hoc collegial atmosphere of the early Clinton administration. Both men are senators, and I'm not sure that either brings with them a particular advantage over the other when it comes to setting up an administration, though Kerry does have a longer history in DC.

I'm unfortunate enough to live in a state with a late primary. I will certainly vote for Edwards if he's still afloat, but Super Tuesday looks to be a bad day for him. Anything can happen, but we all know what's most likely.

Posted by: Kennedy | Mar 2, 2004 1:51:59 AM

There will be a backlash, or rather,
a concerted attack, from the moment that
the Dem wins.

It doesn't matter who the Dem winner is.
Relentless and savage attack worked quite
well for the GOP - it got them Congress in '94,
it kept Clinton occupied during his term,
and it cut Gore's legs from underneath him
from the start of his campaign.

They'll do it again.

Posted by: Barry | Mar 2, 2004 8:09:50 PM

Well, it seems we have a nominee now...

Posted by: Kennedy | Mar 3, 2004 12:14:36 AM


Posted by: drukarki | Dec 9, 2004 8:50:16 PM