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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Longshot Logic

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.

Adam Wren at Politico:
The hottest club in GOP politics right now is the party’s presidential primary. The calculus of every longshot is that anything could happen. And the likely, worst-case scenario? It isn’t that bad at all.

A failed presidential run is often the ladder to a better gig: a spot on the ticket, an elevated platform to run for a different office, landing an administration job— a Slovenian ambassadorship, perhaps—or to notch a plum media contract.

Truth is, the shoot-for-the-moon-and-you’ll-land-among-the-stars strategy is all upside. And in the presidential attention-grabbing industrial complex, 2024 is looking like one for the record books.

More than a dozen people have declared in the Republican field. All but two of them are polling below 10 percent. Even candidates who would typically appear viable have other motivations to run.

Makes sense. Biden dropped out of the race after crashing in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, then became Obama's running mate.  Even campaign missteps are not fatal.  Rick Perry's infamous "oops" moment in the 2012 race did not prevent him from becoming Trump's Secretary of Energy. 

Sometimes the attention is enough.  Anna Merlan on RFK Jr.

The longtime anti-vaccine activist is now running for president as a Democrat, bringing new attention and a touch of respectability to the same bad ideas he and others in his circle have been spreading for years. While Kennedy downplayed his anti-vaccine activism in the first weeks of his campaign, he’s since returned to form, first with a pseudoscience-heavy appearance on Joe Rogan and now with a health policy panel, featuring an array of figures who are not recognized experts in either health or policy as most people understand it.

In the course of the evening, Kennedy also revealed why he’s not running as an independent: in part, because of the enormously valuable press coverage he’s currently bathing in.

“Nobody pays attention to the independent until the general election,” he said at one point. “And that is a year from now. And I, right now, have 800 press requests. I’m somebody who could not get on the press for 18 years.”