Let's start with the bad news. That would be Kathleen Parker's latest column about Rick Perry. Excerpt:
The same things that drove liberals mad about George W. will repeat themselves with Perry. It’s that certitude mixed with bravado. It is also, dare I say, their certain brand of manliness. Weathered, creased and comfortable in jeans, they convey a regular guyness that everyday Americans relate to. Take it or leave it, it happens to be true.
|Regular guy, |
comfortable in jeans.
Luckily, there is a decidedly good development in campaign journalism pulling me back from the abyss. A few weeks back, political scientist Hans Noel challenged journalists to try covering the party aspect of nominations rather than the candidates themselves. Mark Blumenthal has decided to do exactly that, conducting a survey of party elites (or what he calls the "power outsiders") in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The survey questions are pretty limited so far, but this approach has the potential to yield some very useful information about how the party picks its nominee -- a lot more useful than information about Michele Bachmann confusing Elvis' birthday with the anniversary of his death, entertaining though that may be.
For some other encouraging coverage along these lines, check out this piece by Jay Cost and Nate Silver's recent post that features this awesome Venn diagram: