Sunday, November 7, 2010

Grown-Up Midterm Election Analysis

If you're upset about the midterm elections (e.g. you're a Democrat sorry about the cremation, or you're a sane Republican mortified by your party's descent into extremism), you may be trying to ignore the news and punditry.

I know I have been. But I found myself absorbed in the election rundown by Vanity Fair's national editor Todd Purdum on Fresh Air. I found it insightful, interesting, and, much to my amazement, calming. Purdum is one of those old-fashioned journalists who reports even-handedly, with bemused detachment. And I'd forgotten that the political process could be viewed - much less reported - like that. Can we clone this guy?

The program ran down lots of election topics, but focused on House Speaker-elect John Boehner (who Purdum profiled here). And I actually listened to it twice.

I especially enjoyed his simple, sensible analysis of John McCain's recent political transformation (he profiled McCain here):
"John McCain ended his 2000 presidential campaign thinking it was a wonderful ride, and he'd experienced something he'd never see again, and that he'd be too old ever to run for president again. But then he did run for president in 2006 to 2008, and he did get the nomination. And by that point I think at that point he really wanted to be president, and he wakes up every morning, I think, and can't believe that Barack Obama is the president and he's not. And I think in some ways he'll never be the same again."

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