Monday, September 10, 2007

A feature not a bug

David Frum's correspondent hits on two essential facets of Fred's candidacy.

1. The Goldwater-Reagan GOP is a winning coalition. That is a lot more questionable now that at any time I can ever recall. Nonetheless I believe it is true, in 2012 if not now. My fear is that all of the other major candidates alienate significant chunks of this coalition. And given its tenuous state at the moment, there's a good chance that the GOP in its current form won't recover. And I can't see any other coalition that wins.

2. I think it's a good thing that Fred does not see himself as some kind of titanic figure on the world stage. Every serious candidate in today's world sees himself as the reincarnation of Reagan or FDR, depending on the party. These were men who combined the circumstances of their times, the vague yearings of the American people, and their own exceptional personalities to change the course of history.

But for most pols, this is a trap. In particular, Clinton and Bush fils are more or less ordinary men. And they would have been far more successful Presidents if they had come to grips with that instead of shooting for their "one sentence in history."