If You're Tired of a Politician, It Just Means You Don't Like Them

In presidential politics, it never hurts to be the New Hotness. Who wants the old and tired, when you can get with the fresh, the happening, the now? But as in love, the intoxicating rush of discovery lasts only so long, and then you really have to bring the goods. Which is why exciting new candidates like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama became president, and exciting new candidates like Gary Hart and Howard Dean didn't.

Which brings us to the bigfoot of the 2016 race, one Hillary Rodham Clinton, with whom you might have a passing familiarity. Seth Masket (responding to Kevin Drum) makes a pretty strong case that the idea that we get tired of public figures is basically a myth. "Is there any evidence that voters 'get tired' of politicians? I don't want to get into the whole literature on what governs presidential elections, but the simple answer is no." He goes over a bunch of examples, noting that where an oldster like Bob Dole lost, it was always because of things that had nothing to do with the fact that they'd been on the scene for decades and people were bored with them.

I'd have to agree. The next time somebody tells you, "Ach, I'm just so tired of Hillary Clinton. Can't we have somebody new?", you might want to ask them whether they ever liked her in the first place. I'm guessing it would be hard to find too many people who used to just love her, but now feel like they're tired of her. I don't mean people who changed their mind about her based on some specific incident or issue, but for no reason other than the fact that she's been around a long time. Or think about it this way: you probably feel differently about Barack Obama than you did round about six years ago. But is that because he's just been on your teevee too much, or are there more particular reasons?

I don't doubt that in the coming two years, pundits will suggest many times that people are tired of Hillary Clinton. When you hear that, ask who it is that's really tired of her, and whether that just means they never liked her anyway.