Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'm still not sure the election was won on abortion and same-sex marriage. When you think about it, in nearly every election since FDR's Fireside Chats--which helped begin the personality era of presidential politics--the friendlier candidate has won (Eisenhower over Stevenson twice, Kennedy over Nixon, Carter over Ford, Reagan over Carter and Mondale, Bush Sr. over Dukakis, Clinton over Bush Sr. and Dole, Bush Jr. over Gore and Kerry). Nixon's wins might be an exception, but even he learned a hard lesson in likability in 1960. (In the case of Truman and Johnson, neither they nor their opponents--Dewey and Goldwater--were friendly, so it wasn't the friendliness factor, but the macho factor.)

So if the presidential nominees had been Edwards and Cheney...

[Update: Slate on the gay marriage election myth; Louis Menand on why voters weren't sending a message]

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