Faster Katrina Recriminations
All true but you missed Biden's true utility for lots of Democratic money/influence/operative types. He's a parking space! They support him, knowing he will lose, but then get better seats at the nominee's table than they would have if they had started with the nominee in the first place.
It's all about negotiating with Hillary's palace guard. Come in now with Hillary's team and you'll get jerked around and screwed over, no matter how hard you work or how much money you raise or whatever. Come in in the spring of '08 on a wave of "party unity" and your chances of getting some good real estate are much improved.
The Biden team will be heavy with guys who know how to play the game.
Maybe that's the answer Arianna's question about what Biden has to offer that Hillary doesn't. ... 12:20 P.M.
Anger=Victory? Will relatively greater Democratic intensity (i.e., anti-Bush anger) translate into relatively greater Democratic turnout in the 2006 midterms? Mystery Pollster looks at the question, and notes that anti-Bush voters were more "intense" in 2004 too--but the Dems still lost the turnout battle. But doesn't relative anger count for more in a low-turnout midterm, when mildly satisfied, non-intense voters are apt to just not vote? 2:22 A.M.
kf's "Zeta" Jones: This Autoweek report suggests GM's decision to cancel its rear drive "Zeta" cars--only to later revive them in another form--has been more damaging than I thought. It's delayed their introduction by three years--from 2007 to 2010 ("at the earliest") in the case of Buick's Roadmaster. But, hey, with a gas crisis looming I bet GM is glad it chose instead to rush its new full-size SUVs to market! ... P.S.: GM also seems to have moved even closer to killing off Saturn. The basic small Saturn sedan--the Ion--will no longer be built at Saturn's innovative Spring Hill, Tennessee plant but at GM's once-infamous Lordstown, Ohio factory, according to Autoweek. ... Update:Why is rear drive more fun? A couple of years ago I claimed that there were actually five big reasons. I was wrong. There are six! The sixth is the superior steering feel of rear-drive, which Motor Trend attempts to explain here. It involves geometry, the "scrub radius," the "kingpin axis," and the interplay of the mechanical and "pneumatic trail." I'll take their word for it. 1:48 A.M. link
'I Think I Have a Higher IQ Than You Do, Gary!' If you were entertaining the thought that Joe Biden had grown in office since 1988-- when he had to drop out of the presidential race after being caught on C-SPAN telling a voter, "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do"--you should take a look at his performance on last Sunday's This Week. (Free video excerpt available here.) Biden's unpleasant and defensive from the start, perhaps because he knows he's in the same bind Hillary Clinton is in, having voted for the Iraq war (and continuing to favor toughing it out) but now facing a Democratic primary electorate that craves a clear antiwar champion. When Stephanopoulos actually plays a clip of former senator Gary Hart calling for "one of those party leaders" who backed the war "to say, I made a mistake," the old C-SPAN Biden reappears:
First of all, for me to defend myself against Gary Hart is kind of ludicrous to begin with. I kind of resent it, to tell you the truth.
Stephanopoulos asks what's so bad about Gary Hart? Biden is so upset (perhaps recognizing that he's in the process of blowing it) that he has to stare down at his microphone to pull himself together. ... [Note: This part is at the end of the ABC video excerpt.]
P.S.: Senators rarely grow in office. Usually they just get more childish and egomaniacal! ...
P.P.S.: Biden's in less of a bind than Hillary, because as a potential presidential candidate he's not counting on the adoration of the party's left wing (or shouldn't be). Why isn't the way out of the Iraq bind, for him, to forthrightly defend the war and whatever tough-it-out strategy he favors? Where his strategy doesn't differ meaningfully from the Bush administration, say that.** It would be more honest than trying to bury his support for the war under scornful, faux-oppositional second-guessing of Bush's conduct of it. ...
P.P.P.S.: Columnist David Ignatius delivered the Beltway CW on Biden a couple of weeks ago:
Photograph of John Kerry by Brian Snyder/Reuters. Still from Star Trek on Slate's Table of Contents © Bettmann/Corbis.