Thursday, January 22, 2004
As longtime readers know, I have developed a penchant for wagering small sums of money on political events. Yesterday, I saw that Dean had dropped all the way down to being given only a 26% chance of winning the New Hampshire primary (3-1 odds!). I thought that this was plainly a market overreaction and that somebody with as much campaign funds and with such a recent lead in the polls surely had a greater chance of winning the NH primary than this. So I bet $10 on it. However, I just now listened to Howard Dean's Crazy Train, a remix made from his WWF-style Iowa "concession" "speech," and I realize that the man is doomed.*
The comparisons of Dean to McGovern are unfair. People act like McGovern was a desperately poor nomination choice and would have lost as badly as he did under any circumstances. True, he was the candidate that Nixon wanted the Democrats to nominate. But if McGovern hadn't had to go through the incredible humiliation of having to replace his vice presidential candidate (Thomas Eagleton) after it was learned that Eagleton had shock therapy for depression (and after McGovern had earlier declared himself to be behind Eagleton "1000% percent", before he realized just how intolerate and freaked out the American public was about shock therapy), McGovern would still have lost, but not as badly as he did. Dean right now is a much more unviable candidate pre-nomination than McGovern was.**
* Dean does deserve to be commended for how he has changed Kerry and the other major candidates running against him. I like Dean; moreover, I can't think of anyone of his age and stature that I would rather have on my side in a street fight. The eventual nominee will be stronger because of Dean, just so long as the eventual nominee is not Dean.
** Doesn't this sound like an awfully assured political comment for someone who was 20 months old when the 1972 elections were held?