Sunday, December 27, 2009

I had two take aways...

...from watching Meet the Press today. The first was that Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts may be a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Even though President Obama has been in office for only a year (and I expect him to be re-elected in 2012), it's never too early for political junkies like me to think about who might succeed him. Since Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden might be too old (they'll be 69 and 74, respectively, in 2016), I've been looking around for another Democratic candidate for the Oval Office. And Deval Patrick hit my radar today.

Secondly, like many people, I've been trying for the last year or so to get a handle on the whole Sarah Palin phenomenon. For a while I thought she was just a female version of Mike Huckabee and would quickly fade into oblivion. But after her recent book tour, I've decided that she has more staying power than that. On MTP this morning, Andrea Mitchell compared her to George Wallace.

MS. MITCHELL: What I noticed when I was out covering Sarah Palin when she was out on the book tour, at 4 and 5 and 6 in the morning on freezing days, when people had been out for hours, camped out with their kids because they wanted to see her, they are so hungry for a symbol for anyone who can give them answers. And in this case, she was just signing books. But there's an anger out there, and I have not seen it since my very first campaign, which was 1968 and George Wallace. And that is the angry populism which is not fact-based, it's just furious at everybody; angry at Democrats, at Republicans. The tea party has higher numbers in our last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll than either of the other traditional parties. And that is what I think this news cycle which you referred to is feeding into, and that is what does frighten me. This spirit of America is so large and embracing, but there is an angry subtext because of economic dislocation that is very, very worrisome.

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