Jason Linkins takes one last swing at TNR's "Elizabeth Warren 2016?" cover by reminding us of the time TNR profiled Russ Feingold as the Un-Hillary to Watch. I'm remembering the Great Lost Un-Hillary of 2005, profiled by Clay Risen about the time the magazine profiled Feingold: Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. Bredesen had won a close 2002 election, then thrived in office with an "un-glamorous agenda" consisting largely of taking 300,000 people off the state's Medicaid program.
Earlier this month, he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) regional caucus, and he has quietly begun laying the groundwork for a possible presidential bid. Given his background, Bredesen is the last person you would expect to find shooting trap on an East Tennessee farm or leading an increasingly red state. And yet there he is. Now some Democrats are beginning to think Bredesen is exactly the sort of person they want to see leading the party in 2008.
Well, yeah, that didn't happen. Nor did the Mark Warner for President campaign that was actually getting staffed and vetted throughout 2006. Both were predicated on a Democratic fear that quickly became outdated—that the GOP's Bush-era appeal to middle America meant that the Democrats needed some Southern, white face to win back voters. Hillary 2008? She was too divisive! She'd lose.
When Bush's approval numbers collapsed and the Iraq War festered, it became clear that basically any Democrat could win the presidency. Hence the Obama movement, and hence the lack of real oomph behind any 2016 un-Hillary. Democrats now think/know that the path to victory is turning out more nonwhites and winning just enough of their old base.
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney
Or at least trade it for something.
- Texas Lab Worker on Cruise Tests Negative for Ebola as Dallas Hospital Apologizes
- Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent
- Racist Rancher Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder in Bizarre Campaign Ad
- Supreme Court Allows Texas Law That Accepts Handgun Permits but not College IDs to Vote
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.