The Corner

Go Edwards?

If Dean continues his Iowa fade, Bush may have to think more about his base. The GOP’s preference for a Dean nomination comes from the fact that Dean could very well get beat the way McGovern did. In a Bush-Dean race, the president can make stabs for the political center with new spending, amnesty deals, etc. and hope for an election landslide that gives him a broad mandate. (But to do what?) Against a figure like Edwards, he’ll need to gin up conservative support and make sure his base turns out for him–he might be forced to run a more conservative campaign than otherwise, and this would set a better tone for his second term. So for conservatives, an Edwards nomination may be high risk/high reward.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.