I'm not sure much of anything will necessarily be known in the Republican Presidential race before late February 5, but Rudy's strategy of waiting to win a state after three or four other candidates have made themselves more viable than him doesn't seem like a great idea. If there were only two or three candidates going into January 29 there might be a niche for him to exploit — and I think, in fact, that he was hoping for at least two candidates to split the vote that finds him too liberal, but he's taken it to the point where every point in his favor is something someone more viable has at least as well as he does, and it requires exquisite balancing of priorities to choose him on executive experience, ability to appeal to independents, and general SOB-ness.
Friday, January 11, 2008 :::
Thompson has the same problem, though perhaps less so; the niche he's fighting for is a little wider. It's just a bit late to become the fourth viable candidate and, though I think a lot of Republican voters would choose him over the other three, he's created something of a coordination problem for them.
McCain has a problem with what I very recently saw very aptly described as "self-righteousness", which is perhaps a bit the flip side of the SOB-ness that sometimes attracts people to him and to Rudy. I recently saw the complaint, probably on the Corner, that his response to fiscal conservatism is always stronger on spending than on taxes; I guess that's the side I care more about, so I'm supportive of him on that. I take a certain amount of my recently-found peace with him from the support of Phil Gramm; I kind of hope that, if he got into office, any nutty impluse against, e.g., pharmaceutical companies would be held in check by some economically-literate advisors.
For similar reasons, on the Democratic side, I find myself supporting Austan Goolsbee — er, I mean Barack Obama, at least on the domestic front. I imagine whatever he ended up proposing would at least be somehow technically right in ways that I don't expect from Hillary Clinton. I'm still worried about his instincts, though.
I don't think he's an empty suit; he just plays one on TV.
::: posted by dWj at 7:46 PM