Thursday, June 01, 2006

JFK: the sequel

It's interesting, you've got Barack Obama, who wants to be JFK, Hillary wants to be JFK, John Edwards still has happy thoughts of being JFK and Kerry being his LBJ. But the odds of a first term Senator going to the head of the class are low. Part of the JFK legend is that he pulled off such an impossible stunt. Generally Presidents come from Governors' Mansions not down the street. But folks still try and try and try and.....

The thing is JFK's have been a pretty decent president even if he had been Governor of Massachusetts instead of Junior Senator from same. Imitating the man is more profitable than imitating the resume.

But given the long odds for Senators why do folks arrange their careers to follow that trajectory? Maybe a lack of willingness to risk being a governor? Senators may not get the big plusses a governor has in a presidential race, but they also do not face the risks. A lot of Democratic states are basket cases. I think Solomon would have a hard time making Michigan successful enough to be a good launching pad for a presidential run. Whoever replaces Ah-nold will be almost as unlikely to become president as the Austrian born bodybuilder-turned actor-turned pol. Given the woes that New York faces, who can blame Hillary for being disinterested in running the show in Albany? Plus, really building a legacy in a state often takes time, as in more than one term. By the time a pol gets to the level where they can win a Senate seat or a Governor's spot time is beginning to seem a precious commodity., so a lot of 'em head for the Senate and hope to posture enough to springboard themselves into the White House.

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