EDWARDS VS. THE DEFICIT HAWKS. Des Moines is a very charming town, with some truly fantastic steakhouses. That's particularly if some of your fellow reporters are feeling generous with ther expense accounts. But I digress.
It is standard wisdom that globalization has led to a redistribution from wages to profits. In fact, an NYT column by Tyler Cowen actually presents this redistribution as a reason to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. (For low income workers, the cuts are offset by contributions to private accounts.)
EDWARDS' SHREWD MOVE: While I, like Garance, will reserve judgment on Edwards'announcement speech until I hear it, there is one aspect of his entrance into the race that I think shows that he is taking the right approach: his choice of location. The Ninth Ward of New Orleans has the potential to be the Democrats' Ground Zero--a symbolic space that can be used to rally the public. Having made poverty eradication a centerpiece of his 2004 campaign, Edwards is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the Republicans' weakness on this issue.
The Financial Times reports that the value of euro notes in circulation worldwide now exceeds the value of dollar notes. This should tell us two things.
First, the dollar is not essential to world finance. People are happy to hold euros and other currencies, no one needs to hold dollars. Second, the euro passing the dollar is not some sort of cataclysmic event. As long as people still have faith in the basic soundness of the dollar, they will be happy to hold it, even if it slides to number 2 by some measures. Of course, if investors become convinced that the currency is on a downward path, then it could lead to a serious run.
EDWARDS IS IN.John Edwards reportedly chose the quiet week before the new year to formally announce his second run for the Democratic presidential nomination in hopes of having the political press all to himself, but things are not exactly going as planned. Gerald Ford's death has created a major competing story, and a website goof today forced him to move up his announcement. Reports the A.P.:
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race Wednesday a day earlier than he'd planned, prodded by an Internet glitch to launch a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.
YOU'RE VOTING FOR WHO? There must have been 10 or so of us, sitting around a table at the Commons dinner hall at Goddard College, all examining the absentee ballots we had received from our home states. The year was 1976, and this was the first time any of us would vote to elect a U.S. president.
In residence at one of the most hippy-dippy schools ever conceived (though conceived before the existence of hippies), it was assumed by everyone at the table we would all vote for the Democrat, Jimmy Carter, governor of Georgia. Well, that would be, assumed by everyone but me.
FORD ALMOST CAUGHT HOOVER.Gerald Ford's death got me to thinking about the power (and length) of recent post-presidencies. Because presidents are living longer after leaving office, there's increasingly more to say about them once they leave the White House but before they depart for the big sleep.
CARETAKER NOSTALGIA.Gerald Ford served ably during a difficult time and gave a troubled nation what it needed:
After a decade of division over Vietnam and two years of trauma over the Watergate scandals, Jerry Ford, as he called himself, radiated a soothing familiarity. He might have been the nice guy down the street suddenly put in charge of the nation, and if he seemed a bit predictable, he was also safe, reliable and reassuring. He placed no intolerable intellectual or psychological burdens on a weary land...
TO CLARIFY. Good to see someone using the Tapped holiday posting system (the office is down this week and those who are posting are doing so sans Sam Rosenfeld). Mark may be reading a bit more in my item that I intended to put there, however. Of course Hillary Clinton will have significant challenges in winning election -- heck, she'll have major challenges just getting through the primary at this rate. Nothing about her run will be a waltz.