Thu 19 Feb
The way the race for the Democratic nomination has turned out, I feel that my “amateur pundit’s license should be revoked,” as a friend of mine put it in reference to his own opinions on recent events. Certainly, I had no idea that the last men standing would be Senator John Kerry, he of Central Casting Presidentiality, and retiring Senator John Edwards, graduate of the Alex P. Keaton School of Law and Grooming. Who woulda thunk it?
On the other hand, though I wouldn’t have admitted to the idea with great alacrity late last summer, I can say that it doesn’t surprise me a whole heck of a lot that former Vermont Governor Howard Dean called it quits yesterday. It’s true that there was a time when I would have been euphoric if he had made it to the convention this summer, but his stumbles and his awkward alliance with the increasingly discredited political camp of Al Gore has shown an unkind daylight on him since the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses. He deserves a lot of the credit — all of the credit — for returning a fighting spirit to the DNC, but it’s pretty clear to me now that, given his political personality and temperament, running him against Bush would have been a massacre.
Between the two Senators, I much prefer Edwards to Kerry, not just for his willingness to actually talk about the fact that there are poor people in this great nation and that they need our help, but also for the fact that he actually seems likable. “Seems” is important, because one should never place too much unqualified trust in a trial lawyer. All the same, I think he could actually make a very compelling appeal to the general electorate. His lack of meaningful experience notwithstanding, I relish the idea of him facing a born liar, practicing criminal and oratorical mushmouth like George W. Bush in a one-on-one debate. Which is why fifty dollars of my money went to the Edwards campaign this morning.