Primary colorless

Joe (“Anonymous”) Klein tries to add color to the New Hampshire primary with this “study in contrasts” between Kerry and Dean. Klein believes that Dean is getting the better of Kerry, which may well be true.
It occurs to me that the political parties consistently reject their more moderate candidates in elections following close lossses by heads of the party establishment. After Nixon’s narrow defeat in 1960, the Republicans turned to Goldwater. After Humphrey, the Dems nominated McGovern. After Ford came Reagan. If this mini-trend continues, the Dems will reject Kerry in favor of Dean. (Klein says that Kerry’s campaign is suffering from his reliance on the same consultants that brought us the “dreadful” Gore campaign). As to the general election, no clear trend exists. Goldwater and McGovern were crushed, but Reagan won easily.


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