Monday, August 13, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to John Slattery, 50. Was on a Ned and Stacey! Oh, also some other show.

But as much as I'm tempted to check to see if Ned and Stacey is available, I think I better get to the good stuff:

1. Seth Masket passes along research on the effects so far of the new California primary system; parties adapting about as quickly as the Borg.

2. Michael Grunwald has five myths about the stimulus.I suspect his new book is going to be worthwhile.

3. And on Paul Ryan, great items at the Monkey Cage: Eric Schickler on John Nance Garner and the dangers of NOMINATE; John Sides and Lynn Vavrick on independents and Ryan; and John on Ryan as an unnecessary base-mobilization strategy.

1 comment:

  1. Re: Ryan as unnecessary base mobilization

    I suspect the conventional wisdom that candidates always move to the center after wrapping up the primaries is overstated. There's this intuitively plausible idea that in the general election the candidate is no longer beholden to the base of his party--it's that sort of thinking that led people to believe McCain was ever likely to choose Lieberman. But as a number of commentators have pointed out in the past few days, all of the Republican nominees since Bush Sr. have made vp choices primarily for their base appeal--Quayle in '88, Kemp in '96, Cheney in 2000 and Palin in 2008. To say it's a strategy to mobilize the base on Election Day is an oversimplification. I don't think that's the main objective. I believe it shows that the influence of party actors extends well beyond the primaries.

    This leads me to question the notion I've been hearing that selecting Ryan was a gutsy move on Romney's part. Yes, it carries considerable risk that alternatives like Portman or Pawlenty probably would not have. But ultimately I believe Romney made the choice because he felt he had no choice. While the pick did surprise a lot of people, including yours truly, it actually confirms what we've known about Romney all along: that he's purely a GOP puppet at this point, doing whatever he believes the people really pulling the strings want of him.


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