The Corner


Professor Bainbridge says that National Review’s writers are too pessimistic. A certain connection between conservatism and pessimism has, of course, long been rumored; I won’t try to dispute his point. But I think he has it wrong on one point: “In the latest NRODT, for example, Ramesh Ponnuru basically concedes the 2008 election to Hillary Clinton.” As a matter of fact, I do not think that Hillary Clinton would be all that formidable a general-election candidate for president. There was pessimism in my article, but of two specific types: 1) pessimism about the likelihood of victory for senators running for president, and 2) pessimism about conservatives’ chances of finding a strong standard-bearer for 2008. I didn’t discuss whether Republicans or Democrats would be in a stronger position in 2008, as I do not have a view of the matter.

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.