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VPs and electoral narcissism


Well, I just had my first blogger-eaten post. Dammit. 20 minutes I’ll never get back.

Here’s the thrust of it: Atrios is right (as usual). The obsessive handwringing about VP selections (like Yglesias and Klein on Gephardt, for example) is unnecessary and counterproductive. The VP matters very little, and only electorally. If Gep helps win MO, IA, OH, PA, and/or WV, without hurting in other important states, well, I say go for it. Yglesias speculates that he won’t, but he doesn’t know. Furthermore, I expect Kerry and co. are researching the hell out of each choice in the relavent states. I would take a Gephardt nomination as evidence that Kerry has evidence that suggests Yglesias is wrong.

But the larger point, and the best part of this long post was a plea to stop demanding Kerry address pet issues or particular political positions. Everyone sensible enough to understand how important it is that Kerry beat Bush, be they progressives, centrists, sane conservatives, libertarians, socialists, Althusserian Marxists, whatever, need to realize that Kerry saying things you want to hear might not be the best strategy for him, and while making you feel warm and fuzzy, might decrease his chances of winning. And to make such a demand is pretty narcissistic. You may think that appealing to your persuasion and pet issues is good strategy. You may be right. You may be wrong. You may not be the most objective judge of that. Let it go. There are far more effective and less potentially counterproductive ways to pursue your policy goals.

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