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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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FIghting the The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Who do you think is going to get the Democratic presidential nomination? Hillary, right? Or else maybe that Irish fella, O'Bama. But why? Well, they're ranked 1-2 in all the polls, and ranked 1-2 in the fundraising. And the news media have anointed them winner and runner-up, so they get the most press.

But why?

Let's stick with Hillary, who as we apparently all know, will be the next president of the United States. Why exactly are her poll numbers so high? Well, because she has the most money, and she gets the most press. That's reflected in the polling. And why does she get the most press? Well, because her poll numbers are so high, and she's raised so much money. And how has she managed to raise so much money? That's right-- because she gets the press and has the polling numbers. People want to support the winner; no one wants to throw good money after bad.

Notice anything missing in this upward spiral? Yup. The voters. Hillary Clinton has been anointed the Democratic nominee for president, and not one vote has been cast in a single primary.

Is this really how democracy is supposed to work?

This isn't a knock on Hillary; she knows how to play the game. From the beginning, her campaign was based on creating and sustaining an air of inevitability, not on merit or policy (she's neither the most experienced or the best at policy; why she refuses to admit her Iraq vote was wrong is beyond me.) It has been all about the juggernaut, about the polling and the money and the press coverage, because sadly, that seems to be how elections are won in America these days. She has the best team in place, and they know how to win.

With states tripping backward over one another as they move up their primaries and caucuses in order to be "first" and to "matter," a case has been made that the disproportionate importance traditionally held by votes in Iowa and New Hampshire somehow perverts democracy. The argument goes that bigger, more populous states ought to go first and carry the disproportionate weight. I could not agree less. If New York and California were the first two primary states, then yeah, the Democratic race would be over. Because the kind of money you'd have to spend to compete in these media markets would essentially eliminate the sleeper candidate; if you didn't have tens of millions of dollars to spend on spot TV (in New York and LA yet, where that gets expensive fast) you'd already be wasting your time.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, though, you campaign the old fashioned way. You kiss babies. Drink coffee at the diner. Speak in peoples' homes. Shake tens of thousands of hands. It is precisely because these states are small that they need to go first-- so that we can at least cling to some vestige of hope that voters still matter, matter as much as polls and coffers and CNN. The voters in Iowa and New Hampshire take their politics seriously; they endeavor to make informed, committed decisions. Maybe, just maybe, it is still possible for someone to come out on top in these two states without having the most money or the highest national name recognition.

Take a look at Joe Biden on This Week With George Stephanopoulos today. Around here, we think he's far and away the best candidate in either party. But be honest. Does it make any sense at all that Hillary stands, depending on the poll, at forty-some-odd percent, and this guy is floundering in the single digits? Watch that video, and then tell me he isn't the best candidate in the Democratic field. He doesn't waffle, he isn't calculated, he has command of every issue, the right position on every issue, he's the only guy with a plan for Iraq. He smiles when he's amused, not when his handlers think a smile would soften his image. But he isn't inevitable, so you probably think I'm crazy.

Which brings us back to Iowa and New Hampshire... because maybe, just maybe, Joe can finish, let's say, second in both Iowa and New Hampshire, behind Hillary in one state and O'Bama in the other. Suddenly he's a player. Suddenly all bets are off, and he becomes the juggernaut, gets his face on Time and Newsweek at the same time, like he's Springsteen or something.

I like to think we live in a country where something like that can still happen. Watch the video, and tell me you disagree.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 8:03 PM  

At 10/22/2007 12:27 PM, Anonymous Annie said...   

"He has...the right position on every issue..."

Not necessarily. He just has the position with which you agree.

Not saying he and you are wrong. Just that agreement isn't the same thing as right.

Also, for every voter who dully says "Yes I'll vote for Hilary because she's anointed", there are at least two other voters who says, with an equal lack of brain power, "No I will not vote for Hilary because I don't want a castrating bitch in the White House."

As a white male, Mr. Biden has a much better chance than you might think.

At 10/22/2007 1:05 PM, Blogger --josh-- said...   

I don't so much mean "right" as in, he agrees with me. I mean right as in, the position the Dem candidate ought to have.

By the way: why I have ads on my blog. I see that Google served one with this post that says, "Hillary: shoo-in in Iowa?" and then you click the link to bet on it in a "fantasy politics" game. That's a little scary.

At 10/22/2007 1:37 PM, Blogger annienewman said...   

Extremely scary.

I will say that I think neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Biden have any chance at all to win The Next Iron Chef.

Check out my blog, http://www.annienewman.typepad.com, for more TNIC news 'n' views!

(Hey. It's marketing).

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