The Corner

Rising Stars (Let’s Hope)

Time hosted a panel yesterday on young Democratic “hotshots.” Rick Stengel, the magazine’s managing editor, noted that Obama had done a similar event four years earlier. I thought Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.) and Newark mayor Corey Booker were quite impressive–or at least they said things I liked hearing. Booker argued that his party needed more honesty on education, and should support reforms that not only made it easier to dismiss bad teachers but created incentives to do so. Davis, a moderate free trader, pointed out that too many people in his party denounce unilateralism in foreign policy while alienating our allies on trade. (Davis lost me, however, when he started arguing that Democrats get into trouble by being too empirically-minded.)

As for San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom: I am tempted to note that he is handsome and leave it at that, but he did make one nice small point–that it is possible to be hopeful and fearful at the same time; you wouldn’t know it from listening to all the speakers here in Denver.

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

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