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How to "Kerry" up an election
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In USA Today, Dems are again worried about 'electability':
Democratic voters increasingly are focused on nominating the most electable presidential candidate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama fares better than New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton against prospective Republican rivals.
That was how John F. Kerry became the last "electable" Democrat to ride it into the ground. It isn't principles, it isn't policies, it isn't experience - its electability.

I.e - "we just want to win" and the rest is just window-dressing.

The interesting thing about that sort of approach is it is just as likely not to work as it is. If the candidate is experienced, has sound policies and is principled, then fine. But as the dominant or sole basis for selection, it produces a candidate much like a dog chasing his or her tail - the tail being blown to and fro by every shift and change in the polls that are in turn driven by the politics of the campaign. That normally leaves a pretty wishy-washy looking candidate (who has endeavored to be all things to all people) when it is time to go to the voting booth.

Seems a poor standard by which to choose a President - or not, in the case of Kerry and perhaps '08s Dem choice.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Perhaps, but how would one select Hillery on principles?

Or, for that matter, Edwards?
Written By: Don
URL: http://
the worrying thing is: how much different is this from what Republicans are doing?
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
You’re too harsh on the Democrats.

There’s nothing wrong with voters choosing a candidate who is somewhat less to their liking than others but more likely than the others to win, it’s not as if voters are picking someone who shares none of their values in order for them to claim ’they won’. Kerry may not have been the purest Democratic candidate (his military and post-military record, such as it is, disqualifies him, as they would prefer to run with someone who was never sullied by the military), but he certainly was no Republican and would have tried to give Democrats 90% of what they were looking for had he won. And the same holds this time around, none of the supposedly more electable Democrats is going to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court, move to ban abortions or do anything that would make a Democrat gag.

As to whether such candidates blow back and forth in the polling wind, I think that depends on the particular candidate and isn’t applicable to all the so-called ’more electable’ candidates. Kerry did, but due to his relative cluelessness (justice, isn’t it, that the guy so attuned to trying to play the polls could do such a bad job of doing so), while on the other hand, Lieberman, who isn’t running, is more ’electable’ than Hillary and I don’t see him holding his finger to the wind, while she, supposedly the less electable candidate, is notorious for trying to play the prevailing winds (and, like Kerry, seeming to make a mess of it).

From my perspective, while on one hand I’d prefer the Democrats go with the most rabid leftist partisan possible (the Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich), on the theory that this improves the chance of a GOP win, I’m glad they go with someone ’more electable’, as that, by definition, usually describes a candidate more to my liking, and I’m happy to eliminate any chance of fate conspiring to give us a hard left President. Better to have the Howard Deans out from the beginning than run the risk of him somehow actually pulling it off.
Written By: steve sturm
Well, let’s see, the Democrats offer H. Clinton, B. Obama, and J. Edwards, each unqualified in his or her own way, to be involved in public life. H. Clinton is the wife and co-conspirator of a rapist and a perjurer. B. Obama is a mere 35 years behind the times, a cliche posing as an archetype. And Edwards is an ambulance chasing pert’y boy who wants to be Huey Long without the beer gut.

Offered over and against that by Republicans are R. Giuliani, M. Romney, M. Huckabee, J. McCain, and F. Thompson. R. Giuliani is an experienced manager of a city whose skills are completely different from those required by a President of the United States. Plus, he would fragment the GOP coalition. M. Romney has the affect of a game show host. M. Huckabee is but another corn-pone hustler from Arkansas. J. McCain is a case of prickly heat that lasts all summer; he would make a terrible president.

That leave F. Thompson. I won’t say "regretably," because we’re lucky to have someone who doesn’t have a big red neon "EMBARRASSMENT" sign lit up on his forehead. He will know when to send bombers and when not to. He probably won’t give a flying crap about what the DC mob thinks about him. He gets an O.K. rating from me.
Written By: Martin McPhillips

That was pretty good. I have tried to be more tactful at this stage, but after reading your comments, I wonder why. You captured my thoughts pretty well.

Written By: vnjagvet
Managing New York City must be considered on par with a governor, and perhaps his experience there dealing with hostile bureaucracies would be useful.

Fred Thompson has very little executive experience and that worries me in an election vs. Obama, where there is going to be a groundswell of feel-good voting going on. Unless you give someone a real reason to check themselves from that feel-good factor at the voting booth, you might end up with Obama. (Fred also look too old. Sorry. I like what he says and would vote for him, but I have to express my worries about him.)

Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Fred looks old but he doesn’t look frail. I realize that there are other reasons not to like McCain but he looks frail. Maybe not as frail as this sweet old lady at a church I once attended where you just loved her so much but weren’t sure you wanted to visit for fear she’d fall over, dead, mid conversation, but not that much more vigorous looking either.

Fred might do well against Obama in debates. If nothing else I bet he could pull off "I’m being nice to the deluded young whippersnapper" without hardly trying.

What I’ve heard is that Fred doesn’t seem to come across as a hard worker. That he’s lazy and half-hearted about running for President.

I’m thinking that might not be too bad, actually. It almost seems sort of restful. And do any of us really trust someone who seems to want it too much? Really?
Written By: Synova
"but he looks frail."

Jeez, I thought so too. That’s twice in a couple of hours you have said what I have been thinking. This is scary.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
No question Thompson looks old, but if looks are a factor, how does one go about describing Giuliani? He looks like the skull from the skull and crossbones?

Then there’s the fact that Thompson’s views actually represent those of the Republican coalition and Giuliani’s don’t.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
That he’s lazy and half-hearted about running for President.
That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.

I want a president who’s too lazy to find ways to expand government even more beyond its bounds. And the more candidates like Hillary or McCain feel in their bones that they deserve to be president, the more scared I am of them.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://

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