The Centrists Are Coming

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 11 2011 3:32 PM

The Centrists Are Coming

Greg Marx inveighs against the Politico Primary, a goo-goo interactive feature on the site that lets people nominate ideal presidential candidates. (For now, we'll cork the rant about how presidents can't really change things if Congress doesn't want them to change.)

[T]he reader nominations (selected by VandeHei and Allen from submissions via Twitter) are as uninspired as Politico’s picks. One ex-general apparently wasn’t enough, so now we’ve got Colin Powell alongside David Petraeus. And one professional deficit hawk apparently wasn’t enough, so now we’ve got David Walker—former head of the Government Accountability Office, and now CEO of the Peterson Foundation—alongside Erskine Bowles. Then there’s a moderate Democrat, Virginia Senator Mark Warner; a moderate Republican, former Utah Governor (and, of course, current actual presidential candidate) Jon Huntsman; and a billionaire independent, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. None of these folks is going to be the next president, but they might all share the stage at a No Labels conference one day.
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Coincidentally enough, guess which political organization is spending some actual time trying to win this thing? No Labels. In my inbox right now: A message from erstwhile GOP consultant and current No Label-er Mark McKinnon.

This morning, POLITICO announced No Labels Co-Founder and former U.S. Comptroller General Dave Walker as one of five readers’ picks for its POLITICO Primary. You helped Dave get on the ballot, now help him win. Vote here: http://www.politico.com/politicoprimary/
While this contest is merely a “parlor game” to speculate on potential independent candidates for president, the opportunity to spread the No Labels message of moving America forward is a real one.

Okay, now the rant: Fantasizing about dreamy presidential candidates really doesn't get you closer to explaining why Washington doesn't work.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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