With four months to go before the presidential elections, no sensible person should make even an educated guess of the winner. We don't know much more today than we did a year and a half ago. Back then it was pretty obvious that George Bush was likely to get re-elected if the public judged his handling of Iraq and the war on terror favorably.
If the public judged him poorly on that supreme topic, the Democratic Party nominee was likely to win -- unless they nominated a total loser. They avoided that latter contingency at the last moment -- by rejecting Howard Dean -- and so are prepared to harvest most of the anti-Bush votes that will be available.
While there are several obvious minor plusses and minuses that attach to the Edwards selection, Mr. Kerry's chances would be about the same if he had chosen almost any of the top dozen mentioned vice-presidential names. We are already 24 hours into a frantic over-assessment of what the Edwards selection means. Republican-leaning commentators are painting in bold hues Mr. Edward's minor shortcomings, while those who lean Democratic are falling over their adjectives to describe Mr. Edwards' selection as a stroke of inspiration on the part of Mr. Kerry. It is all too tedious to listen to.
The political class' Edwards huffing is like a summer heat rash -- it is mildly irritating but should subside in about a week. Wear loosely fitting clothes, keep out of the heat, and ease your way through an adequate provision of gin, tonic, limes and bitters. Tropical drinks served with little umbrellas are acceptable substitutes. Now would be an excellent time to catch up on your genuine summer fiction reading (in other words, avoid Edwards media commentary for a week, which is not quite fiction, nor quite non-fiction. It is not so much fiction as it is faction).
By about July 13, Mr. Edwards will return, with Mr. Kerry, back into obscurity until July 28, when he will re-appear on the evening news to deliver a seemingly sincere, empathetic and vigorous acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. At that point, shrewd commentators will judge the speech to have hit just the right mark: hitting Bush and Cheney firmly, but not overshadowing Mr. Kerry's expected drone on the 29th.
At that point there will be another very exciting week where Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards will travel around the country -- pretending to really get along with each other's wives. Inevitably we will be obliged to be on a first-name basis with the wives. This always seems a little sexist to me -- but the liberal media always insist on trying to induce such strained intimacy with nominees' wives.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.