I had dinner with Michael Barone tonight. He pointed out an interesting connection between this election and the election of 1960. In that year too, one candidate campaigned on a platform of freer trade, lower taxes, and military strength: John F. Kennedy.
The parties have changed a bit since then.
Barone thinks that this year, too, may be an election that significantly reshapes the political landscape. A lot of states are up for grabs. A sharp divide between the parties on taxes could shift New Jersey to the Republican column. Montana, in contrast, could go Democratic. “If I’ve made anything clearer,” he said after talking about the election, “I’m sorry.”
Incidentally, half of the Republicans in the room are voting for Hillary in tomorrow’s primary. It’s not a very representative group, but still…. The argument is simple: If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, (a) she’s more likely to lose to McCain, and (b) if she wins, she’ll be a better (or at least less horrible) President than Obama. As one person put it, “Anyone but Obama.” I wonder how widespread that attitude is among Republican voters, and what it portends for the general election.