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February 16, 2007

Because Your Friday Night Isn't Lame Enough

I've got a BloggingHeads up with Ross Douthat discussing, among other things, the presidential chances of Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, and Al Gore, the death of small government conservatism, why I've no love for Unity 08, and the greatest Jon Breaux anecdote ever. Watch it here.

February 16, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Always good to pregame with the Ezra so i can sound smrat when i'm chatting up strangers at the pub.

Posted by: yoyo | Feb 16, 2007 8:53:08 PM

Whoah you're a very good looking bro.

Posted by: yoyo | Feb 16, 2007 8:53:35 PM

No Brownback/Huckabee??? Great point on 'what candidates care about/rings their bell'

Posted by: yoyo | Feb 16, 2007 9:35:50 PM

an excellent discussion!
i enjoyed it very much!

Posted by: jacqueline | Feb 16, 2007 9:43:30 PM

would buy again!

Posted by: yoyo | Feb 16, 2007 10:03:05 PM

Two things. First, that John Breaux anecdote is not very good. Maybe I'm missing something. He was just telling a constituent what she wants to hear. Is that so out of the ordinary?

Second, I always heard his name pronounced "bro," not "brew."

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 16, 2007 11:12:26 PM

First, that John Breaux anecdote is not very good.

Yeah, but it's the greatest John Breaux anecdote ever.

Posted by: Stephen | Feb 17, 2007 12:45:07 AM

oh for crying out loud

and this probably won't work anyway

Posted by: Stephen | Feb 17, 2007 12:46:49 AM

i like that john breaux anecdote, it just doesn't really work in that context.

on the pronounciation: i always said "BRO" but thats the France-French, he's of cajun extraction, no?, so it might be different.

Posted by: yoyo | Feb 17, 2007 3:31:34 AM

I almost never read Ross, but he's a smart fellow judging from this.

-----

Two corrections for you:

- If Edwards wins both IA and NV, you can bet your house he'll win NH. Momentum is a wondrous thing in the first blush of primary voting. The mechanics get very Newtonian.

- Your health care pieces are far less boring than you think. All your stuff is pretty good, and they're the best of your stuff.

-----

And one coda on Marcotte-gate:

You're entirely correct it was a massive unforced error on the part of the Edwards camp. But one thing no one has noted about all this is the double-edged nature of the 'straight-talk' campaign.

Just prior to Marcotte-gate, Taegan Goddard had a post about how the Edwards campaign was reminding him of the McCain 2000 campaign in its straight-talkin' nature. But it's worth remembering that while straight-talkin' fueled McCain to prominence, he also flamed out due to unforced errors in SC. Likewise, Dean flamed out due to gaffes in 2004 after running a straight-talkin' campaign.

At the end of the day, a straight-talkin' campaign is bound to produce more gaffes than a scripted campaign. I have a certain amount of faith that Edwards can keep the scriptedness and the straight-talkin' in enough balance to make it all work in the end, but some amount of mistakes are bound to happen when you take more risks.

Posted by: Petey | Feb 17, 2007 3:37:07 AM

Dean didn't flame out because of gaffes, but because of loss of momentum. Before Iowa, he led in the polls and Kerry was a spent force, so voters in New Hampshire whose first choice was Kerry looked for a live candidate to support, artificially depressing Kerry's numbers. Then Kerry won Iowa by sheer luck, and all those voters in New Hampshire plus many undecideds switched back to him. The scream turned Dean into a media joke but didn't cause him to lose.

Posted by: Alon Levy | Feb 17, 2007 12:19:04 PM

Poor Ross, Ezra must have more practice in dominating 'round the beer table' discussions. Alpha Ezra! Who knew?

A good discussion though.

I'd love to see a Ezra/Doughy Pantload Goldberg hour discussion.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Feb 17, 2007 12:54:54 PM

Hey, Ezra, NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" just quoted you this morning. (Peter Sagal referred to you as "pundit Ezra Klein." Heh.)

Posted by: Sharoney | Feb 17, 2007 12:58:25 PM

Then Kerry won Iowa by sheer luck, and all those voters in New Hampshire plus many undecideds switched back to him.

I don't mean to nitpick, but Kerry didn't win Iowa out of sheer luck; he won it because he and his advisers did an incredible job gaming the ridiculous caucus system. But other than that, your analysis is exactly right: a fluke win in Iowa by Kerry determined the whole campaign.

This kind of thing is why it is completely insane for Democrats to keep doing Iowa first. It's bad enough that small states like Iowa and NH can easily determine who gets the nomination (though they don't always, e.g. McCain), but the problem is exacerbated by the fact that Iowa isn't even a straight primary but a byzantine procedure that simply rewards whoever is most familiar with it, a skill that is immediately irrelevant after the caucus is over, and doesn't necessarily translate into general skill at campaigning.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 17, 2007 1:05:54 PM

Hey Ezra, nice job. And in a related bit of blogwhoring:

http://www.convergencetime.com/weaselden/?p=421

By the way, I don't think you violated any of my criticisms at the link.

I hope you do more videos of the quality of that one (you're video with Wilkinson was irritating but that was all wilkinson who is an irritating blowhard).

Posted by: ice weasel | Feb 17, 2007 2:14:09 PM

The scream turned Dean into a media joke but didn't cause him to lose.
But being turned into a media joke made it impossible for Dean to recover -- not that he necessarily would have recovered otherwise, but at least it would have been conceivable. That particular "gaffe"-based media firestorm was the most annoying because it was so entirely content-free. Even the manufactured controversy over Kerry's botched joke had more meat to it, despite its utter triviality.

Posted by: KCinDC | Feb 17, 2007 2:56:53 PM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 26, 2007 12:02:30 PM

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