Monday, May 14, 2007

'Where's the Beef?'

Kevin Hassett says Barack Obama is looking a lot like Gary Hart:
Back in the 1984 presidential campaign, Hart challenged Walter Mondale, the heavy favorite for the Democratic Party nomination, by billing himself as the candidate of ``new ideas.'' Hart was gaining momentum, winning a number of state primaries, including Florida. He began to fold, however, after Mondale famously challenged his ``new ideas'' with the immortal line: ``Where's the beef?'' ...

The Hart story suggests an important lesson for those seeking office. It is a bad idea to bill oneself as the candidate with new ideas. If the ideas are truly innovative strategies to solve our nation's problems, then things might work out. But if the ideas are weak or rehashed, the candidate is in trouble.
To paraphrase a Robert George quip, Obama's ideas are about as "fresh" as a 1976 copy of Mother Jones.

1 comment:

Tomas said...

You've got history wrong here. In '84, Senator Hart won 25 primaries and 1,200 delegates, coming from nowhere to almost overtaking Vice President Mondale, the long-standing presumptive nominee. Had it not been for the un-elected super delegates, Hart may have succeeded, mostly on the strength of his campaign of new ideas, which contained plenty of "beef" in them.