Home / General / The “C” in Charles C. W. Cooke Stands for “Cool”

The “C” in Charles C. W. Cooke Stands for “Cool”



Resident since...well, pretty much forever.
Resident since…well, pretty much forever.

Now we know. National Review’s arbiter of cool has warned us that from here on out it’s Squaresville for us. Oddly, I am comforted by the idea that we have kept Republicans out of the Oval office so many times as of late, and will probably do so again tonight.

Barack Obama, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen held a rally in Philadelphia last night. At the end, Hillary Clinton showed up and ruined the vibe.

Hillary–having read this–chokes back tears as she makes her acceptance speech after becoming the nation’s first female president. Somehow, it doesn’t seem worth it now. Charles fucking COOL W. Cooke doesn’t think she’s hip!


Neat, huh? But, watching it this morning, a thought occurred to me: This might be the last period for a while during which the Democratic party is cool. In two months, Barack Obama will be an ex-president, and, if today’s polls are correct, his replacement will be a septuagenarian Nixonian whose aides have spent the best part of three decades trying to make people like her. Although President Obama has been a poor salesman for his ideology — there are few ideas he has made more popular during his presidency — he is generally liked and admired, and he has been for a long time. Hillary is not, and nobody seems to be able to do anything about it. That matters.

Not quite enough though, huh?


Looking at the party’s future prospects, a handful of names come to mind — Cory Booker, Kirsten Gilibrand, Tammy Duckworth, the eternally over-hyped Castro Brothers — but one cannot help but be impressed by how limited the selection is.

Actually that list of names has me pretty psyched even if I’m not 100% in lockstep with them on all the issues. Why he’s arbitrarily decided the Castro brothers are over-hyped is beyond me. Maybe they don’t listen to enough Bon Jovi. *shrug emoji*


The Republicans, by contrast, are younger, more diverse, and come from a broader collection of states. The GOP is never going to be cool — a certain squareness is in the nature of conservatism — and, if the party continues as it has this year, it is never going to be taken seriously, either. But if it does decide to change, it seems well-set to do so nevertheless. Who are its leaders? The Senate Majority Leader is 74, so we can put him in the same camp as Warren, Sanders, Clinton, and co. But Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, is 46. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, the runners up in this year’s primaries, are both 45. And, going forward, the GOP has a strong range of younger guns just waiting to take the reins. Among them are: Cory Gardner (42), Tim Scott (51), Nikki Haley (44), Susanna Martinez (57), Tom Cotton (39), Dan Sullivan (51), Ben Sasse (44), Joni Ernst (46), Rand Paul (53), Scott Walker (49), Brian Sandoval (53) — and, for now, Kelly Ayotte (48). The oldest governor in the country is a California Democrat; the youngest is a Southern Republican. The oldest senator in the country is a California Democrat; the youngest is a Southern Republican. All is not as it seems in paradise.

This–THIS–is his closing case? It’s like he got super-depressed in the middle of writing that paragraph and just starting listing names and ages. If he weren’t such a dumb do0-doo head, I’d feel sorry him.

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  • science_goy

    How’d that “diverse,” “dynamic” slate of “cool” “young” conservatives work out in the primaries, Cookie?

    • Timurid

      He’s snarking about the Democratic bench? Mote, beam skyscraper, eye-eye, sir!

    • Captain Oblivious

      I think “diverse” here means they’ve increased the number of brown- and dark-haired whites, mainly by using less peroxide.

  • SoRefined

    “The Republicans, by contrast, are younger, more diverse, and come from a broader collection of states. ”

    More diverse?

    • CP


      • sharculese

        He’s at least right that they represent the largest mass of land where people don’t want to live.

    • Monty

      Republican diversity!
      featuring Charles CW Cooke

    • efgoldman

      The Republicans, by contrast, are younger, more diverse….

      Well, there’s Michael Steele, and that Senator Scott, and… and… and….

      • Monty

        …Dr Ben Carson, Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza…

      • Joe Arpaio and Susanna Martíinez?

  • Murc

    The Republicans, by contrast, are younger, more diverse, and come from a broader collection of states.

    “Broader collection of states” is doing a lot of work there. Yeah, when you smear the population of NYC out across like six of the empty square states, sure, that can happen.

    • CP

      Yeah, that’s the only part of that sentence that has a leg to stand on.

  • Jackson87

    I would have thought that Tim Kaine would have made the list as a future prospect, but I’m no high-falutin political expert.
    Also, isn’t “future prospect” redundant?

  • catbirdman

    What’s cool is knowing every elected official in the country and their relative coolness. I mean, sure he might have missed a few passably cool Dems, like Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom, but I’m sure his larger point remains totally valid. Is it too late for me to try out for the Cool Party? Is there a test or do you need to be nominated by an existing member or something?

    • Domino

      Jason Kander made a video where he puts together an AR-15 blindfolded, doesn’t that give the Dems a +100,000 for coolness?

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Too close to home for them, esp. the chickenhawks who never had to learn that skill. Doesn’t exist! Down the memory hole!

    • Is it too late for me to try out for the Cool Party?

      If you could stretch yourself to the Cool Moose Party, the founder, perennial candidate, and perhaps only member of Rhode Island’s party of that name has recently died; the future could be yours for the taking!

  • Republicans passed on young guns Cruz and Rubio and picked the septuagenarian Skroobian whose aides have had to stop from using Twitter, which is central to his point.

  • sharculese

    Welp, if this is the best they can do than it’s official. The culture war is over, and we won.

    • GFW

      I’ve been looking at the public cultural figures (singers, authors, actors, etc.) lined up with each candidate and my reaction was “The culture war is still raging, but all the culture is on one side.”

      • BiloSagdiyev

        You just made Joe Piscopo cry.

  • LOL at a Republican trying to use “Nixonian” as an insult.

    • Matt McIrvin

      That NYT article’s description of Trump privately fuming and plotting to start a new super PAC just to punish his many enemies reminded me of somebody.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Oh, but of course. They were fans of MLK Jr., very concerned about Nixon, and were always at war with Eastasia.

  • sharculese

    Also how does he think this is going to work? Are all the cool, popular celebrities going to abandon the Democratic Party in droves because Hillary is president?

    Because, Chuck, bad news. They’re campaigning for her. Which… you should, because you wrote about it.

  • mikeSchilling

    He’s right: Raul and Fidel are overhyped.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Yeah, I had to scratch my head on that one. I’ve not heard of any other Castro brothers, so I thought of the elderly siblings of the Caribe.

  • swkellogg

    “The Republicans, by contrast, are younger, more diverse, and come from a broader collection of states.”

    Better “C” choices: clueless, concussed, confused, cockamamie…

  • Sly

    “All the cool kids read National Review Online.” Said no one ever.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      “How do you do, fellow kids! Have you seen the mad science that K Lo just dropped?”

  • GHorn

    What person would have put Joni Ernst on that list and then left her there? Seriously

    • bobbo1

      The same person who would put Cory Gardner, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Susanna Martinez, Tom Cotton, Dan Sullivan, Ben Sasse, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Brian Sandoval, and Kelly Ayotte on that list.

  • Fighting Words

    Wait, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are the same age?

    Holy Sh!t…I never knew that…

    Of course, the reason that I didn’t know that was that I just didn’t care. But I thought Ted Cruz was much older.

    • David Hunt

      The fact that he has the shriveled soul of Pete Peterson mixed with some Jim Jones tends to leak into his outer appearance.

      • Bruce B.

        I’ve just realized. The movie The Veil is a docudrama about Cruz.

        (It’s actually a darned good horror movie that riffs on Jim Jones’ career but goes somewhere plot-wise I found genuinely surprising.)

    • It’s understandable. He uses verbiage that folks in the 50’s would find quaint. You squish.

    • But I thought Ted Cruz was much older.

      Cruz is not taking his meatsuit in for regular maintenance.

  • aidian

    He’s got a point inasmuch as the Dems don’t have the greatest bench, and have done a poor job of grooming the next generation of leaders at the state level. All the ones he mentioned are legit prospects to be party leaders on the national stage, but I can’t think of a ton more.

    Part of this is the nature of the party, part of this is historical accident, a big part of this is lack of resources — give us a dozen billionaires willing to routinely invest tens of millions and wait decades for a payoff and we’ll build a hell of an infrastructure, too.

    • sharculese

      Yeah, it finally dawned on me that that’s what he’s talking about, but… in the year that young people were clamoring for a cranky 70-year-old Jew, I’m not sure how he thinks he has a point.

      This sounds like preemptive sour grapes.

    • mongolia

      the “bench” isn’t nearly as bare as it’s made out to be – it’s just that we don’t go around touting young mediocrities as the “next big thing.” also, part of the reason it looks like the bench is bare is that we had a popular member of the party receive the support of most of the electeds of the party nearly a year before the primary, so that there was no real space for a mainstream nominee to really create a name for themselves.

      compare this to the list cooke put up – it’s a list of young or young-ish republican senators and governors. it’s not hard to do a similar one for dems – klobuchar, gillibrand, baldwin, heinrich, booker, murphy, bennet, raimondo, (and soon) duckworth, harris. this is why the entire *purpose* of the article is an exercise in futility – their bench is in reality mostly trash, and when cotton, sasse, ernst go up in 2020 they’ll be either too boring for the mouth breathers or too unhinged for the national electorate. and that assumes any of them understand how to expand their operations from running in rural states of 3-5 million to a national operation where you’re working on gotv for states with combined populations of 120-150 million people. this may be why the dems that have won primaries recently tend to be from blue states with (relatively) large populations – MA, IL, and NY. which is why i’d think the really early 2024 money should be on kaine, duckworth or harris: young enough, and in what should be for the foreseeable future dem machine states

      • efgoldman

        Not Raimondo.
        But Senator Whitehouse, also from RI, would be good, if HRC doesn’t tap him for FBI or AG.

        • mongolia

          know nothing about her. i just looked at the list of governors and senators around the ages that cooke put up there. mostly to point out the vapidity of his point, while putting in approximately the same amount of effort he put into that paragraph

  • synykyl

    As long as we rule, who cares if we’re cool?

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    It’s true that the oldest senator is a Democrat. It’s also true that 7 of the 10 oldest senators are Republicans. And after the new senate is sworn in, it is likely to increase (assuming Grassley and McCain are reelected). What this is supposed to mean, I don’t know.

    The larger number of young Republicans, is of course primarily a function of their recent successes in 2010 and 2014, since typically new senators will be younger than retiring or defeated incumbents. That doesn’t make them cool.

    But thinking youth=cool seems about par for the course for a Republican.

  • Randy

    The GOP is never going to be cool

    Good Lord, Cookie, I’ve known that longer than you’ve been alive. It’s been clear since ’72, when Sammy David Jr. was brought in to entertain at the Youth for Nixon victory party (the origin of the classic Sammy hugging Nixon picture). Sammy Davis Jr.? For the “youth?”

  • Thlayli

    You know you’re not really getting anywhere in life when:

    The Speaker of the House is younger than you, and the NBA MVP is shorter than you.

    (I have two years on Ryan and two inches on Curry.)

    • Gee,thanks for pointing those two things out. I
      I’m feeling so much better about life in general now.

  • veleda_k

    To be fair, this makes a lot of sense. What better criteria could there possibly be for choosing political leaders than how hip they are? I can't think of one.

    (I feel this post lost a prime opportunity to use the Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” image, though the chosen one is good too.)

  • BiloSagdiyev


    “Hey, how come nobody likes you, yelling old man?”

    “I guess I just have those ‘square’ traditional values.”

  • tsam

    Did he not (why am I even asking) see that Hillary also got Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to show up at her events? Don’t get no cooler than Lady Gaga and Kitty Purry (Literally the name of her cat, which is the coolest pet name in history!). (At least I think that’s what the kids these days are into)

    I have too many of ( these()) Want some more? 0))((0

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