Is Dick Gephardt the Democrats’ best candidate for 2004? That’s the claim some Republicans are making, according to this Washington Post story. I’ve often had the same thought. He’s a certified grown-up who can’t be pegged as an east-coast liberal. Yet he’s also working against a Democratic tradition of picking candidates who seem to come out of nowhere. This is the party of Carter, Dukakis, and Clinton–figures who burst on the national scene in short order and probably wouldn’t have made it in a GOP primary, where turn-taking plays a huge role.