Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Elsewhere: Romney/Bush, First Read

At Greg's place, I wrote about Romney and Bush's similar platforms, and one difference: there's a policy gap. Bush had some, in 2000.

And at PostPartisan, I wasn't happy at all with First Read, which claimed to know what Romney and Obama were really thinking during the debate. Oy, First Read!

That's it for now; time to concentrate on the game in St. Louis for a while.


  1. In regards to trying to get into politicians heads, historian Barbara Tuchman always did a great job of explaining the personal traits of generals and leaders in history, but she never tried to definitively claim what they might have been thinking at a certain time. When describing why Sir John French, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force, did what he did in the opening weeks of World War I she has one paragraph were she lays out a good seven plus potential mindsets and/or reason that might have explained some of his actions but never settles on one as the "answer." It's a good model for explaining potential motivations for political behavior. More importantly it really is quite helpful to get rid of the whole mind-reading thing because once you do, what remains is actually helpful. So while its a waste of time to speculate on whether Mitt really is a "moderate" it is helpful to look at his campaign promises, because we know he is likely to try and follow up on them if he is in the White House. It is also helpful to look at the agenda of Congressional Republicans, because we know that in our system of government Presidents have strong incentives to work with their own party in Congress.

  2. Putting aside all the fascinating commentary and analysis, I want to express a more general frustration. I wish that this election wasn't so close. Because then my favorite political bloggers could start telling me how to think about the next two years. Am I going to spend '13 and '14 watching Prez Romney try and somehow get the GOP agenda through Harry Reid's Senate? Or (slightly more likely, according to The Great Nate Silver) am I going to spend these next two years watching Obama complain about House Republicans on The View?
    Honestly, even if Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown lose (the liberal's worst nightmare), I'd rather be prepared now. Because then DailyKos can start talking about how Cory Booker is going to crush Chris Christie in the '13 NJ Governor race, and I can feel good about my team.


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