The Corner

Jim Pinkerton

has a good article in defense of the conventional wisdom on Howard Dean. (Come to think of it, given that the conventional wisdom about conventional wisdom is that it’s wrong, is it really possible to write a defense of it?) I liked these two passages in particular:

“And Dean has other assets, too. The headline in Sunday’s New York Times reads, ‘Dean Formulates a Nuanced Approach to Foreign Policy’; one can’t buy advertising like that. In the article, readers are assured that that the Vermonter ’shows a fluency in discussing the world that is certainly beyond where Mr. Bush was four years ago.’ Even under the new McCain-Feingold law, such contributions don’t have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission. . . .

“This is a mostly hawkish country. Dovish candidates of both major parties — George McClellan in 1864, William Jennings Bryan in 1900, Wendell Willkie in 1940, McGovern in ‘72 — have all gone down to severe defeat. It’s fair to say that in wartime American history, no anti-war candidate has ever won.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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