The Goddamned Horse Race as posited by the Goddamned National Journal

Tapping my fingers at this National Journal horse race rankings of the Democratic Presidential candidates, a conventional wisdom barometer, I have to wonder something.  Aside from the non-candidate Al Gore, who the list-makers inserted last time out and have flushed downward after amazingly continuing to hint that he is not running, and aside from Mike Gravel — slated permanently at the bottom (and they do include his photograph), who is maintained with no arrow…

All the arrows are up

Considering the way a horse race usually works, how is this possible?  Jockeying for positions, one candidate generally rises at the expense of another candidate falling.  Not always, but it is a decent rule.  But not here — everyone is moving up.  For this campaign, there does seem to be a stratified positioning — Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, Biden, Kucinich, Gravel as it were last time out and as it will be next time out, meaning everyone is keeping pace.  I would quibble, believing that Biden’s constituency largely doesn’t exist in actuality and ends up being the Beltway, and Kucinich — whatever else one may say — has a small loyal following, but I can just accept the National Journal as engaging in a Beltway Bias which props up Biden.  None of this matters, as the two campaigns are going nowhere, so to argure that is to argure the number of angels that can dance on the tip of a pencil.

The announcement of Elizabeth Edwards’s relapsed cancer pierced John Edwards back into the spot-light, meaning that, yes, in a perverse and deeply cynical sense the cancer is a political asset for the John Edwards campaign.  I understand that the best way to deal with cancer is to continue your life as normal and continue with your ambitions, which for the Edwards means running for the presidency, hence the campaign continues.

Absent the cancer, the media had well effectively narrowed their coverage of Too Early Campaign 2008 to Clinton and Obama, resulting in the continual feeling of malaise that we are being set up, whehter we like it or not, for a Clinton — Obama ticket.  Nice to see you, Bill Richardson, but you really don’t exist.  (Unless, I guess, the localities take care of the national press, and Edwards gets Iowa, maybe Obama gets New Hampshire, and Richardson gets Nevada?  A very different result than the winner of Iowa basically being crowned and running the table.)

The malaise floats in with the statement from the uncovered creator of the 1984 Apple ad spoof — pro-Obama anti- Hillary.  He who placed Hillary Clinton as Big Brother speaking before drones will vote for Hillary Clinton should she be the nominee.  Game set and matched, it is a matter of partisan pride that everyone must and will and shall rally around the nominee and stuff away their queasiness in a fevered pitch of volunteering to make sure that candidate wins the presidency.  I saw a Winsor McCay spot illustration (an editorial cartoon that didn’t make any political point) from 1904 which had two prominent Republicans — I don’t remember who — one one side stumping on behalf of Theodore Roosevelt.  On the other side, two prominent Democrats were stumping for the Democratic candidate — well – nigh forgotten conservative judge Alton Parker.  The two Democrats were Grover Cleveland and William Jennings Bryan — examples of the schizophrenia of the Democratic Party, somewhere on opposite sides on anything and everything.  Bryan could easily dismiss Parker away upon his election defeat.

It’s like that.

So, I guess Hillary Clinton’s campaign is “up”, as is Barack Obama’s, John Edwards’s, Bill Richardson’s, for whatever reason Chris Dodd’s and Joseph Biden’s, and apparently for rather slap-dash reason Dennis Kucinich’s.  Maybe the up arrow, needing something to be pushing up against, is in relation to the Republican list?

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