The Corner

Don’t Get Cocky

From a reader:

Jonah,

You know, I gotta tell you, when your party beat Gore by a couple of thousand (hundred ?) votes in Florida in 2000 and beat John Kerry by a few tens of thousands of votes in Ohio in 2004, it seems to me that being cocky about ANYONE you may face is pretty questionable. Now, it is certainly possible that the Democrats will decide to once again nominate someone who is near unelectable, but given the potential GOP nominees I wouldn’t assume anything is in the bag. Nevertheless, I’m inclined to think even the fickle American electorate would not view “being crazy” as a positive attribute in a potential President.

Me: I think this is all perfectly fine, though one could quibble here or there. My point wasn’t to say the Democrat can’t win in 2008 or anything of the sort. My point was to call attention to some really shoddy analysis and wishful thinking from one guy. For example, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to think Hillary Clinton might win (See John Pod’s new book for example). But if you said she was going to win because of her haircut, I would make fun of you.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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