Begala in this instance is acting as an advocate. Doing a good deed as a Democrat.
These statements have little bearing on the debate at hand; Begala can't create a narrative here because it would be at odds with what Kerry was saying. Begala is lamenting the lack of a narrative; but during a campaign, what's he going to do, jump up and down publicly and say "Kerry is making a mistake?". He tried that privately. Google a meeting he had with the team when they were checking him out as a senior advisor. He wrote on a napkin several lines of attack and said, "pick one". They didn't listen. He only came on board later in a supplementary role.
You think Huckabee's "extremely" good on the stump?
In my spare moments at work I occasionally tune into Cspan's Road to WH. I watched Huckabee and thought him plodding and passionless, though decent looking and genuine. He just had no juice with the crowd.
I was most impressed with George Allen. He talked about conservative values, and with some passion. He moved the room. To me, that's why they're going to get behind him; he's got talent to appeal to the base stylistically. Allen would do OK for them, but....
If we nominate anyone other than Hillary, I think we beat all of those guys, Allen included, except possibly McCain. But I think McCain's appeal to the R base is always overstated by the beltway crowd, much in the same way HRC's popularity is.
Will small donor Joe Average Conservative open their wallets Democrat-style and give McCain an ability to compete with establishment titans like Allen? I doubt that small donor conservatives really exist. They don't want to give their money to politicians.
So, this Third Party vote that embraced a candidate with a platform that is way, way out of the mainstream is the key to future victories?
That's a fantasy. The 2000 third party vote was a coalition of idealists, cranks and fantasists, with a tiny slice of persuadeables. Many more equally persuadeable sat on the sidelines or voted the other way. That happens every election; you can't reach everyone you "should" reach.
The road to victory for Democrats is not in finding a mythical magical hidden left-wing vote.
Right, and you and the other posters making inferences from reading between the lines of polls 30 months out from relevenc are representative of "the people". Right.
All I am saying is you are overstating the broadness of the enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. It's there, but it's confined to a segment of the activist base. Ask Howard Dean how well that is guaranteed to play out.
I will be happy if she surprises me. All I know is, without the name Clinton she's a nobody.
GWB only had one real other contender. In the Dem field there will be at least 3 other real contenders.
Sure, If I were, say John Edwards, I'd like to be HRC. With different people skills and a different speaking voice! And with some warmth.
Check out Elizabeth Edwards. That is a "famous political wife" with talent.
Obviously this is totally subjective. But I really don't like the woman, and I'm not alone. I'll vote for her if necesary. My prediction is that she'll be rejected basically as an electability risk. I could be wrong of course, but my record is good.
Well, I get pissed about a lot of things. Including the "fact" that, say, Charles Schumer could not get elected President. I think that's a fact, you could debate me on it all day, but nothing would change my mind on this, and I bet a large majority of observers would agree. Is it true that we'd never know until Schumer runs? Yes. But when you work in politics and live an adult life for a while you get a picture of how people think, and a sense of the persistence of prejudicial attitudes.
Political elections are not an exercise in rational thinking.
By the way, I'm Jewish and originally from New York. Hence the Schumer comparison; I wanted to make a point about ethnicity and personality. And certainly, all barriers are surmountable, if the candidate is good enough.
Why nominate someone with insider baggage when all signs point to a great desire for an outsider, for change? That's the way I see 2006 and 2008. And Hillary is not Bill, skills-wise. And her voice is annoying to most people I've asked.
If her name wasn't Clinton, we wouldnt be having this conversation. That's what's sad about those trying to anoint her.
i talk to people inside and outside of politics all the time. Everyone outside has heard she might be running, but I sense a curiousity, not excitement. The "grassroots" is not paying attention.
It's so freaking early, it's actually a waste of time to discuss this. We are doing this for fun. But as another poster mentioned, there are so, so many counterexamples of early shoo-ins that didn't pan out. I never buy the "but this one is special" argument.
True, she'll probably be one of the best 3 or 4 contenders. But I think her numbers are meaningless. People from states traditionally take a dim view of their own running. Actually, Feingold's Prez numbers in Wis are pretty good.
If you think that John Kerry wasn't hurt among fence sitters in 2004 precisely because he was from the Northeast, you are naive. There is great mistrust of the Northeast and West Coast on the part of many in the South.
The elitism campaign described by Thomas Frank as the 'backlash narrative' combined with residual southern exerts a pull. Any candidate from the Northeast or easily labeled an "insider" is in a hole from the start. Not insurmountable, but undeniable.
And Hillary clinton is percieved as a beltway insider and now a New Yorker. Illinois is deep in the past for her.