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A Winnable Fight

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Good evaluation of veep candidates at TAP online. The Gephardt critiques are nothing new, but show that the hostility isn’t just limited to free traders. The Graham piece is a good one; if anything, I’d prefer Gephardt. The most important report is on Vilsack; they actually make a pretty good case.

One thing that comes up when discussing both Vilsack and Edwards is that they can be demonized as evil trial lawyers. In terms of how much this should affect Kerry’s thinking, I would say “not one iota.” First of all, it’s far from clear that this strategy works. “Tort reform” campaigns are much less popular than they’re made out to be, and rancor against “frivolous lawsuits” tends to focus much more on defendants than their attorneys. Second, being a trial lawyer brings obvious advantages: access to pots of money and skills that make one–unlike certain recent nominees one could name–unlikely to lose a debate to Dick Fucking Cheney. And, third, it strikes me as particularly unlikely that this particular Republican ticket is likely to focus on this, much less make it stick. But if they want to turn this into a battle between oil executives and lawyers when gas prices (by American standards) are orbiting Pluto–I’ll take a fight on that terrain any day.

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