After two endless years of non-stop campaign news cycles, there are many things I’m ready to never see again. Here’s my list of what needs to be retired. Now.
Pundit: Michael Goldfarb With a week left before the election, McCain staffer Michael Goldfarb started showing up on cable news shows, and reporters covering the campaign were surprised: the campaign’s official blogger had not been much of a presence beyond his caustic entries and occasional email. On the plane, someone asked campaign manager Rick Davis about the apparent promotion. Davis raised his eyebrows: “He’s our blogger.”
The Bradley Effect: Epic fail.
Goldfarb (formerly of the Weekly Standard), we theorized, had gone rogue. With his mentor, Randy Scheunemann, banished from headquarters, Goldfarb must have locked up the affable Tucker Bounds in the basement, hijacked his contact list and started booking himself.
It did not go well:
I think this is situation where Rick Sanchez’s apparent political ignorance, however, totally worked in his favor.
Term: Maverick I've forgotten what it means.
Website: The Corner My addiction to National Review’s group blog has long been a source of confusion and shame, though not without some benefits: It was a useful collection of voices across the conservative spectrum, and yes, that exists—from the lucid arguments of social conservative Ramesh Ponnuru to the clever reporting of Byron York. And John Derbyshire is the world’s funniest prop comic. If you consider homophobia a prop. Now that it has become a Sarah Palin 12-step program of its own, I’m thinking of switching to RedState.
Moniker: First Dude In this case, I mean the actual guy.
Election-year theory: Bradley Effect Epic fail.
Slang term: Spox For “spokesman.” We have my old friend Jake Tapper to blame for this.
Pluses: Gender neutral. Short. Would be a very useful Scrabble play. It sounds like a favorite Star Trek character.
Cons: When you actually say it, you sound like a total tool.
Email sender: Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza I don’t know her personally. I’m sure she’s a fine person with a lovely personality. But as a Democratic National Committee staffer, she also sent me literally thousands of emails over the course of the last few months: latest polls, good news for Obama, bad news for McCain, etc. I could go a long time without seeing her name again. As it is, she’ll probably join the Obama administration and have me audited for even writing this.
Magazine: The Newsweeklies Yes, I sort of work at one. Now name a single cover story that made a difference in this election. Their websites, blogs, and individual reporters, yes, contributed a lot to our ongoing national conversation, but I think this is one case where U.S. News, of all places, can now be considered a leader.
Thinking: “Red States versus Blue States” Always more of pundit crutch than a really meaningful distinction, the mixed-ideological results in places like California (yes to Obama, no to gay marriage) should force people to abandon rhetorical shortcuts in favor of actual analysis.
Systems: The Electoral College Now that the Rs have experienced just how wacky that system is—McCain aides, right to the end, kept pointing out that, popular vote-wise, they didn’t lose that badly—maybe we can do away with this 18th century relic.
Phrase: "Yes We Can" Let's just get it done.