This is a great commentary, especially in emphasising Rove's limitations specifically as a POLICY thinker. For me the policy genius of Karl Rove is summed up in his great idea for the SOTU, meant to show Bush was a visionary above the petty politics of the day: sending a man to the moon. It took one late night comedy cycle to put that one away and it was never heard from again. Karl Rove is a master of tactics, especially dirty ones, and one of these tactics is scaring Democrats with the image of his own strategic genius, but he is in fact strategically blind.
I say, follow his advice GOP. Bring the base home: Brownback in '08!
McCain has hinted pretty openly he would choose Graham as his running mate. I am not so sure -- double-Senator tickets aren't sure winners... but who knows, McCain's a renegade (we are constantly told). Graham would presumably do a Lieberman and run for Senate and VP simultaneously -- but on the off chance he doesn't, do we have a good candidate there?
After the Reformation, the Pope refused to concede his own infallibility, and called Protestants "weak on the issue of Holy Crusades against the Muslim Infidel". He did however pledge to work with Protestants in a spirit of bipartisanship -- even as his Catholic minions began to plot total war.
If Edwards wins he'll want someone weightier. "Two freshman senators with no executive or foreign policy experience" would be too tempting a target. Richardson would be a likely choice, although another one (with executive if not f.p. experience) might be Neapolitano.
One thing Edwards showed in the primaries last time round is that he is a past master of going negative while making a show of never going negative. That said, I don't think this time round he'll make the mistake of claiming to be Mr Positive. I think his determination never to be seen to be attacking his opponent was responsible for his much-derided performance against Cheney in the debate. It depends on being sly which is hard to do against a bald-faced liar who attacks and attacks based on those lies. I suspect that freed of the pretense of positivity, Edwards will prove a much more formidable debater than he sometimes is given credit for being. I am not a Dean supporter so I am not voting, but Edwards has my vote this time round.
I think Richardson has an opening if he can somehow turn the debate to foreign policy/national security. That's an Achilles heel for Edwards and Obama. How does he do that? How does he do that? I don't know -- maybe if he personally thwarted an attack on Los Alamos? Still a long shot. And there are all those rumours about his personal life that need to be dealt with.
Given his reputation for integrity, I think the key to undermining credibility on policy issues is pointing to conflicting statements and positions. Rather than trying to point out McCain is a true conservative, which might not frighten people as much as we'd like (it didn't work with GWB during the campaign), emphasise the conflict between his attempts to be a Roosevelt maverick-progressive when he was running to the left of Bush, and his increasing attempts to pander to the right. He frames himself as a maverick when really the very things that establish him as one actually prove he has no principles that trump his desire for power -- if that message gets out, it undermines his most important attribute, his reputation for independence and principle. We should compile a dossier of his most progressive-sounding pronouncements and then wait for him to say things that explicitly contradict them.
There has been a lot of discussion of this over at Daily Kos. 12-11-1 is superceded by later statutes -- 12-11-4 and 12-11-5 I believe -- that says the governor appoints a replacement, with a special election held at the next GE (Nov 08 in this case).
People have already considered the politics if the news is bad. But what if the news is good -- I want to believe it will be -- and Johnson recovers but decides, understandably, not to run again? Can Herseth win the seat?
These words are almost impossible for me to type, but Newt Gingrich actually had the right idea. He wanted to start moving away from seniority in determining committee chairs and towards actual merit, on the Parliamentary model. In a Parliamentary system, choosing cabinet ministers among your oldest members would be considered lunacy. The fact that out of over two hundred members, including many with absolutely stellar backgrounds in military and security matters, the choice comes down to these two is a sorry comment not about Pelosi or the Democrats, or any faction therein, but about the unwritten (yet somehow unquestionable) traditions of the congress.
One of the tricky things here is that we need a two-pronged approach -- yes we need to start warning centrist voters about his conservative views, but we also need to make sure we do whatever we can to help our good friends Brownback, Huckabee and Romney destroy him in the GOP primary. For instance, McCain and Lieberman introduced a global warming bill that was actually a sane, if modest, piece of public policy. Sane, modest public policy, especially on the environment, is enough on its own to lose you the GOP nomination if word gets out about it. But it's a fine and difficult balance.
We need more on Huckabee than some illicit silverware. He has a compelling personal story and the potential to speak in dog whistles to the right while obscuring his real positions, just like GWB did in 2000. Evangelicals will say they "know his heart" and will let him get away with it in a way that they won't with Guilliani and McCain. That's the great thing (for us) about those two -- they actually have to court the right rather than winking at them, which hauls their positions into daylight.
Dear God let it be Frist. He's got it all. He's ethically compromised by his financial dealings. He is closely tied to the Schiavo disaster. He was an embarrassingly incompetent majority leader. And he pissed off the fundies by not pulling the nuclear trigger on the judicial filibuster. And don't underestimate the fact that he gave money to Gore back in Tennessee and may have a pro-choice history as a doctor. For all these reasons... there's no way.
PS. I admire Richardson a lot but why can't he take a page from Huckabee's book and lose a few pounds?