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View Diary: September dKos Straw Poll results (417 comments)

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  •  I love Feingold (none)
    but senators are a losing formula in presidential elections. Let some governors or non-senators run this time around.

    Clark, Warner, Richardson - any combo of these three does it for me.

    •  Senators that sound like Kerry, yes (none)
      Senators that sound like Feingold, no.
    •  what's the taboo on Senators? (none)
      I think the history is confused by WW II and Watergate. Truman succeeded, so no option there, Eisenhower was a unique national figure, and then all other major candidates were ALL out of the Senate until Watergate -- JFK and LBJ both running from the Senate in 1960 on the Dem side, Nixon originally from the Senate to become VP; in 1968, RFK from various roles but ran as a Senator in 1968, and I think he would have won. And of course McGovern was from the Senate...which would seem to give ammunition to the Senators-are-losers folk, who can then well of these, see, only JFK became prez right from the Senate. But that's one of four presidents after Eisenhower (until Watergate), and in 1968 Nixon had incumbency.

      Then there's Watergate. Simultaneously, there's a shift in the electoral dynamics, after LBJ, that takes the south out of the Dem column and gives it to the Republicans. I think Watergate gave the outsider mystique extra value. I think the shift in the electoral map initially boosted the appeal of Dem governors from southern states (Carter, Clinton). But I don't think these dynamics necessarily apply for all time -- or for now. You have to look at the recent chunk of presidential political history and ask, do the same conditions still hold?

      I don't think so. Or rather, I think Gore made clear that we can lose the deep south and still win (because of course he did win), and the same math would have worked for Kerry: Ohio or Florida gives him the victory.

      In theory, being a Senator should give a candidate a leg up, because (s)he has been dealing with national issues, and has a record. That of course is also sometimes a problem (the reocrd). Also, Senators can have a harder time showing their name on something.

      But thats's not the case with Russ. He has his name on a major piece of legislation (McCain-Feingold) that is widely known, associated with another person who, whatever his (numerous) faults, is thought of as a strong independent leader. He also votes where he his vote stood alone as a vote of conscience. He has a strong "do the right thing" rep.

      Feingold would face many obstacles to become president. But I would hope that the "misfortune" to be a sitting Senator would not be one, and that before people invoke this as a problem, they go beyond a simplistic recitiation of recent election results, and look at the underlying dynamics, and ask if that is really a problem.

      I say: Go Russ in 2008!

      "Scrutinize the bill, it is you who must pay it...You must take over the leadership." - Brecht

      by pedestrian xing on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 11:45:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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