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Kristof Sad Trombone…


The well-oiled ship of the Nick Kristof campaign is hitting an iceberg:

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Nick Kristof does not meet Oregon’s residency requirement to qualify to run for governor, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced Thursday morning.

Fagan offered no specifics about why her administration found Kristof did not meet the three year residency requirement, which a previous secretary of state and Oregon courts have interpreted with deference to candidates.

“In this instance, the candidate clearly does not meet the constitutional requirement to run or serve as governor of Oregon,” Fagan said in a press release.

I don’t have super-strong opinions about this, beyond believing that Nick Kristof is fundamentally unserious about the problems he purports to care about. Dilettantes and newcomers have a long history in the American electoral system, and my feeling is that when dilettantes run for office they should tend to stick to the legislative side rather than the executive. There’s a huge party infrastructure designed to ensure that legislators don’t make stupid newbie mistakes, and even when they do make rookie errors the stakes are generally a lot lower than on the executive side. When a noob tries to run for an executive position I’m generally quite skeptical even if the ideologies in question are in line with my own; being a mayor or governor is hard, complicated, and generally requires a lot of experience to get even mostly right. Actors, businessmen, columnists, military officers… they all have to make substantial adjustments when put in an executive position, and those adjustments can play out in deeply suboptimal ways. The fact that Kristof couldn’t apparently be bothered to a) investigate Oregon electoral law or b) formulate a strategy for dealing with Oregon electoral law is a pretty good indicator that he would not have been a very good choice.

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