Can Iowa County Chairmen be wrong? I'm all for anecdotal evidence, but my colleague John Dickerson's case for why Fred Thompson has "about a week to save" ** his campaign seems awfully thin, consisting mainly of one disgruntled Iowa County chair (and another who says ambiguously that Thompson "may be a disappointment"). This in a week in which Thompson unveiled a tough, detailed anti-legalization immigration plan that was anything but "muddled." Given the shaky Giuliani and Romney positions on this salient issue (and McCain's prior diametrically opposed stance), I smell traction potential! ... P.S.:Slate's own poll chart shows Thompson continuing to gain in Iowa and zooming ahead in South Carolina.. But, hey, he has one week! ...
**--This is a quote from the absurd Slate headline to Dickerson's piece. Dickerson himself says "a door feels like it's closing for Thompson." ...
Update: Jay Cost suggests that Thompson's doing badly in the "perpetual campaign"--the daily news cycle the professionals and pundits and the MSM pay attention to--but doing OK in the "real campaign" for voters. That gets close to my complaint about Dickerson's door-is-closing conclusion (as well as Slate's hyped-up heds). True, Dickerson's not reporting the CW buzz in Mark Halperin's "Gang of 500"--he's reporting real buzz among real people in primary states outside the Beltway. But he's applying a political cadre's accelerated and narrowed set of expectations (e.g., who's winning over the people who show up at events now). I just don't believe that Iowa county chairpersons know today which way the actual mass of voters is going to jump two months from now--or that the actual mass of voters knows. Even if they're madly buzzing about Huckabee this week. If anything, the Feiler Faster Thesis suggests that it's possible to pack more drama into a two month period than it was in previous campaigns--meaning a candidate like Thompson has, in effect, more time to make up for missed opportunities. At some point, for example, conservative voters may actually compare Huckabee's immigration views with Thompson's! Crazy, I know. But certainly the door is open. ...
More-- Nostradamus speaks! As if to provide parodic grist for Cost, Weekly Standard'sFred Barnes doesn't even give Thompson a week, writing him off because a) he hasn't raised enough money yet and b) Frank Luntz's focus groups 'liked him 'but they don't see the passion.'" ... In other words, because Thompson hasn't already sealed the deal with conservatives, Reagan-style, he hasn't produced a "credible scenario leading to the nomination." This would be more persuasive if one of the other candidates had sealed the deal, Reagan-style. Actually, had Reagan himself even sealed the deal at this point in 1979? I don't think so. 2:55 P.M. link
Does Hillary--and by extension, Bill --Clinton really want Radar magazine to get in a gossip war with Page Six involving Bill's bachlor buddy Ron Burkle? Even if Burkle wins, Page Six might get in some shots that wouldn't make for a happy news cycle in Hillaryland. This isn't an area she wants lots of reporters nosing around in! If Burkle is one of Radar's owners, as often-rumored, his magazine isn't doing Hillary any favors. ... P.S.: But Burkle has Gawker to defend him! Hillary no doubt takes comfort in that. ... 12:07 P.M.
In a desperate bid for respectability, the struggling New York Times has begun an association with the prestigious bloggingheads.tv start-up. David Corn puts on a jacket and tie for the occasion. ... 11:29 A.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself.
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.