February 18, 2006


Perotists: a review of Three's a Crowd: The Dynamic of Third Parties, Ross Perot, and Republican Resurgence By Ronald B. Rapoport and Walter J. Stone (Martin Peretz, 02.17.06, New Republic)

In his first presidential race, Perot appealed to the economic nationalism of voters when the two major party contenders were trying to play down the issue entirely. In the House elections of 1994, a revolutionary year for the Republican Party, Perot voters gravitated mostly to GOP candidates because they spoke to and for a familiar muscular patriotism.

The Perot wild card without Perot is bad news for Democrats. Most of those middle-aged voters who went for Perot simply cannot vote for the mushy Democratic policies and attitudes on national defense and security. In any case, it is good news for John McCain. As the authors demonstrate, McCain picked up many Perot voters in the 2000 primaries. He has distanced himself from the most distasteful of Bush policies without losing the hard edge that people can attribute to his long and heroic stay in the Hanoi Hilton. In any event, this is one reason why the aspirants to the Republican succession can read this book with some pleasure. And why, probably, since they don't like encountering unpleasant tidings, Howard Dean and company may not have yet bought it. In the end, they will because they will have to. But it will probably be too late.

Hillary Clinton will easily pick up Perot voters if she runs on isolationism, protectionism and anti-immigrationism, all natural positions for her party's base.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2006 9:23 AM

The missus still needs to work on her campaign style to get that folksy outrage Perot had down pat, in order to sway Ross' type of voters, who mostly migrated over from the Buchanan campaign after the '92 primary. Hillary might also have a problem with the Perot-Buchanan social conservative types, who even if they're teed off at the Republican nominee, could just stay at home (or write in Tom Tancredo's name, or vote for Harry Browne) rather than put her husband back in the limelight of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Posted by: John at February 18, 2006 11:00 AM

I keep hearing things like this, ... the most distasteful of Bush policies ... and references to all trouble Republicans are having and that Republicans candidates are distancing themselves from Bush.

BDS or wishful thinking, or both?

McCain, the most dangerous man on the planet, is the one most likely to put the missus in the Oval Office not the other way around.

Posted by: erp at February 18, 2006 11:57 AM

is that a kate bush reference ?

Posted by: toe at February 18, 2006 12:51 PM


Posted by: oj at February 18, 2006 2:14 PM