David Yepsen has a horrifically bad column in the Sunday Des Moines Register.
In it, he distills each candidate down to the usual cliches of the leftist/"centrist" newspaper agenda:
Mike HuckabeeDavid Yepsen hates Christians who are Republicans. Hates them. Unless, of course, they're "moderate" (meaning only one thing: they love abortions).
The former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister has soared in the GOP race following his second-place finish in the Iowa Republican straw poll in August. He has rallied party social and religious conservatives as well as supporters of a big national sales tax to replace the income tax.
He's a witty speaker and an affable politician whose criticisms of the nation's economic policies sound a lot like the populist attacks coming from Democrat John Edwards. His recent criticism of the "bunker mentally" reflected by the Bush administration's Iraq policy also sounds as if it's coming from a Democrat.
Huckabee appears to be a candidate who could rally Reagan Democrats, particularly in his home area of the South. That's a vital region for Republicans to carry to win presidential elections.
Huckabee's views on social issues have some moderating tones - such as saying that it's not enough for pro-lifers to just be against abortion, but that they also ought to be for better health care for women and children. That softer edge may help him win votes from more moderate Americans put off by the strident tones coming from some religious conservatives in the past.
The most important thing to David Yepsen is that a Republican appeals to Democrats.
Riiiiiiight. Like any Democrat is going to vote for a Republican.
You never hear Yepsen yammering on about how Hillary Clinton should appeal to Republicans. Or Obama. Or John Edwards. Go read Yepsen's column again. Only Republicans must be bi-partisan. Never Democrats.
The Arizona senator may well be the most electable Republican because of his strong appeal to independent voters. Many Americans admire him as a Vietnam War hero. He has been through a national presidential campaign, and his independent streak on issues like pork-barrel spending wins plaudits.
But Republican rank and file have been less enamored of his stance on campaign-finance reform and his centrist views on immigration policy...
When did being in favor of blanket amnesty for criminal illegal aliens represent a "centrist" viewpoint?
That's sort of like saying meth dealers are just unlicensed chemists.
McVain loves the press and the press love McVain. And that's about it.
...His biggest impediment seems to be his Mormon faith. Many evangelicals in the party believe the church is a cult. Other general-election voters are wary, too, and Romney has had to spend time discussing it. While he gets support from other Mormons, polls show some Americans could never vote for a Mormon for president.
No, Romney's biggest impediment is flip-flopping on issues important to the Republican base. The Mormons may be weird, but they all look good and appear successful. They don't believe in blowing themselves up for Allah's sake. And you never see a Mormon living in a trailer park, if you know what I mean.
Fred ThompsonYepsen sure keeps the "...that nigga's so slow..." cliches going, which is exactly the agenda of the lamestream media. Don't look into what Fred is saying, just keep lying about what he says.
The tall, deep-voiced former Tennessee senator and movie actor sure looks the part of a president. He has also shown vote-getting ability in a border state, and his conservative credentials are solid.
But his late entry and meandering speeches have caused concern among party stalwarts who wonder whether he could put together a successful November campaign. Thompson is also not seen as a very energetic campaigner.
The Republicans can't have a straight-talkin' conservative on the ticket! Horrors!!! Fred must be marginalized at all costs!!!
It's much better for Democrats if the top of the Republican ticket is a softy lefty who appeals to "moderates" and "centrists" rather than conservatives. That was the only way Dave Loebsack beat Jim Leach in 2006. Newspapers know this. Yepsen understands this.
The Delaware senator argues his years of experience in Washington equip him best to deal with the nation's problems, particularly in foreign affairs. At a time when voters are concerned about national-security issues, this makes him the most electable Democrat in the field, he contends.
Biden has a reputation for being scrappy and long-winded. He's worked to shorten his speeches and contends his scrappiness is just the sort of trait Democrats need to go up against any of the likely Republican nominees in debates and on the trail.
And, and, and.... what?
Why isn't Joe Biden doing better? Biden's got numbers worse than Ron Paul does for the Republicans, yet Yepsen wrote Ron Paul off as someone who has "almost no chance of winning the Republican nomination".
Hillary ClintonGOP attacks?
The New York senator and former first lady evokes strong arguments over electability. Her supporters argue that as the first woman with a realistic chance of getting elected, she will draw thousands of new women voters to the polls to support her. This, they contend, will put additional states into play in the November election, as well as help other Democratic candidates.
Her opponents disagree. They believe that her high negative ratings in the polls put too many voters out of her reach and that she also will energize Republican opposition and prompt other Democratic candidates to distance themselves from her ticket. They also fear some voters are wary of electing another Clinton and want to "turn the page" past the 1990s and the controversies of Bill Clinton's presidency. While Democrats like her, she's just too politically radioactive to win, some contend.
She counters by saying that compared to the Bush administration, the Clinton years were pretty good. Her high negatives result from years of GOP attacks, she says, and any Democratic nominee will have similar negative ratings by the end of the campaign. She also says that what's important is that she's weathered these attacks, that her life has been examined and that there isn't much more the GOP can hurl at her - unlike Barack Obama, who is new to the political scene and has not undergone a rough-and-tumble campaign.
You mean the cattle futures? Health care? Whitewater? Travelgate?
The vast right-wing conspiracy of her husband sexually assaulting a subordinate employee with a cigar in the workplace?
Her crooked brothers?
Like Biden, he contends his long experience in Congress would make him electable in November. He has shown an ability to work with his opponents in Congress to get things done, which would appeal to Americans tired of the partisan deadlock in Washington.
But he ranks dead last in polls of the Democratic race. While he's a respected U.S. senator, his inability to break through in the primary fight does not bode well for his ability to win a general-election contest.
Oh, come on. You talk to any Democrat and they're just cocksure that any Republican can be beat in 2008. Any!
John EdwardsEdwards did little for the 2004 ticket? Hardly.
The former North Carolina senator, one-time presidential candidate and 2004 vice-presidential nominee contends he would be the most electable because he is a Southerner, and in recent elections Democrats don't win the White House without one on the ticket.
Edwards also argues he can appeal to rural Americans and could compete in every state. He contends the other leading contenders - Clinton and Obama - can't. They, or their views, would be too controversial for some regions.
Edwards' critics argue he did little for the 2004 ticket and couldn't even carry his own home state, home county or hometown. George Bush swept the South. They also say Edwards' change of heart on a number of issues will enable Republicans to paint him as a flip-flopper. Controversies over his pricey haircuts, big home, work for a hedge fund and high speaking fees will enable them to shred his populist image and paint him as a phony.
What he doesn't say - but some Democratic strategists say privately - is that some voters might not be willing to elect a woman or an African-American to the presidency. Those issues aren't present if Edwards is the nominee. Of course, he might not have the same ability to inspire and bring out new voters from women or minority groups.
More like John Kerry blew it.
Everybody remembers 1988 and how a Bensten/Dukakis ticket would have likely beat Bush/Quayle. The same thing probably holds true for an Edwards/Kerry ticket in '04. Don't ya think?
I also find it interesting that the voters who might not be willing to elect a woman or a black to the presidency are in the Democratic Party.
And what's with this notion that women are going to vote for women or blacks will only vote for blacks? Bullshit!
Democrats will vote for whoever is at the top of the ticket, unless of course Ralph Nader is running again.
Blacks vote Democrat 90% of the time or more. Even if a white guy is running, they'll still cross the Mississippi River in St Louis a few times in order to make their votes count.
Barack ObamaGive me a break. Even though I disagree with most of Obama's positions on issues, he's run a really good campaign in Iowa, at least from what I've read, seen, and heard. I believe the guy could go the distance. But if white Democrats don't want to vote for him, that's a problem within the Democratic Party.
The Illinois senator positions himself as the fresh face in the contest, the candidate who will attract voters by "turning the page" to a new chapter in American politics.
But the flip side to being a fresh face is that he's also inexperienced. Four years ago, he was just a member of the Illinois state Senate, and Americans have rarely elected such novices to the presidency. Republicans could exploit that and argue he's unqualified....
The New Mexico governor puts together an impressive package. He's of Hispanic ancestry, which should give him appeal to that growing segment of the electorate in a number of states. As a Western governor and former congressman, he's shown his electability. He's also got federal experience as energy secretary and U.N. ambassador.
Richardson specifically argues he would put Western states into play. This is an issue for Democrats. Since Democrats have trouble winning Southern states, political strategists have looked to the changing mountain West as an opportunity. Once solidly Republican, some of those states have shown the ability to elect Democrats as they become more urban and suburban.
But his inability to break into the top tier of Democratic candidates has led some political observers to believe he's now angling for his party's vice-presidential nomination, a suggestion he denies.
Wow! He's Hispanic! Like that's some sort of silver bullet.
Wow, he was an ambassador! How hard is that job? He got to go to New York City and pal around with terrorist Yassar Arafat.
Big whoop. Richardson will be history within a few weeks and throwing his support behind Hillary.
Among likely caucus-goers, 34 percent of Democrats said Clinton had the best chance of defeating the GOP nominee, according to a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll released last week. Obama and Edwards were tied at 22 percent each.
Iowa Republican caucus-goers are split over the question. Romney and Huckabee tied, each with 25 percent of the GOP activists who chose them as the most electable. McCain has 13 percent, Giuliani has 11 percent and 15 percent weren't sure.
I bet this poll isn't anywhere close to the outcome. I can't see Hillary beating Obama in Iowa, especially by 12 points. But who knows, maybe Iowans are that stupid. I honestly believe Obama will kick some major ass on January 3rd.
On the Republican side, Romney's got quite an organization in Iowa so he might do well. Huckabee is all hype, and he's been stumbling bad lately, mostly by pissing off real conservatives. Thompson will do better than the media thinks he will. And John McVain will be lucky to break out of the mid single digits.
As for David Yepsen, I can't believe this clown is taken seriously as a columnist. That's just because he's the "go-to guy" for the lazy journalists living in Manhattan or the Beltway. Better to call up the pudgy "centrist" Christian-hater Gannettoid than actually get on a plane, fly out, and do your own digging.