FOCUS ON THE GOVERNORS: As the unofficial vice-president of Ezra's Gore/Sebelius '08! fan club, I would be remiss not to link to Matt's argument here. The Washington press corps' bias towards politicians already in the Beltway does seem to be the most convincing explanation for the gross overrepresentation of senators, beltway politicians, and scions of political families when discussing presidential candidates. (Would anyone have been touting the hapless George Allen as a presidential frontrunner if he had been governor of Wyoming?) With Sebelius, for example, it seems clear that she has some serious political skills -- for a (pro-choice!) woman to become a two-term Democratic governor of Kansas is considerably more impressive than, say, a Democrat able to become a two-term senator from New York. But with some online exceptions, it's hard to evaluate her fit for a spot on a national ticket because so little is written about her. And what's all the more annoying about this is that Senators generally have such a dismal record as presidential candidates. I'm generally not inclined to ascribe a high degree of political efficacy to blogging, but like Matt I hope that the rise of Dean in 2003 suggests that online activists can broaden the primary electorate's attention beyond the same narrow cadre of hacks prominent media outlets will focus on.
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