January 06, 2008
Anecdotal Evidence

This is from Jim Fallows. who was once Jimmy Carterís chief speechwriter. Now heís in Beijing for The Atlantic.

Yeah, yeah, anecdotes arenít proof. But they get your attention. Two that have gotten mine:

* The truly startling one was a conversation just now with a very close family friend who, through a lifetime of voting that began in the Harry Truman era, has always and only gone Republican and still refers to G.W. Bush strictly as ďThe President.Ē The friend said: ďIf Obama is the nominee, Iíll vote for him. Iíd never vote for herĒ ó meaning Hillary Clinton. This friend lives in a swing state.

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, just before the Iowa results I was struck by this fact: I had come across countless people in the previous two years who assumed that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. In fact, I can hardly think of anyone who didnít assume that. But in all that time I have met only a handful of people who were actually for her. And in my experience, every one of these people had been part of the Greater Clinton team.

There had always been a way to explain away this paradox. Perhaps Hillary Clinton í08 would be a version of Richard Nixon í68 ó beloved by few, but still grinding out a win. But the other possibility was that the tensions couldnít forever be contained ó if people donít really like a candidate, in the end the candidate wonít win. The Nixon scenario isnít looking so likely now.

And you might also be interested in Jimís thoughts on The Essential Exchange of the New Hampshire Democratsí Debate.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 06, 2008 11:05 AM
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