Saturday, November 06, 2004

Southern fried electoral chicken

Something that I’m surprised I haven’t read in connection with the Kerry loss in the US presidential election is that once again a Northern Democrat has failed in his bid for the Whitehouse. The last Northerner to occupy the White House, from Massachusetts no less, was Kennedy. Johnson (Texas) succeeded him and won in 1964 but did not contest the 1968 election. Carter (Georgia) won in 1976 and Clinton (Arkansas) in 1992 and 1996.

For the Democrats, that’s just 4 victories in 40 years, and all Southerners.

Gore, a kind of Southerner from Tennessee kind of lost in 2000, though he won the popular vote. The parade of losers before him:

Michael Dukakis (1988, Massacusetts)
Walter Mondale (1984, Minnesota, hammered 525 – 13 by Reagan)
George McGovernn (1972, South Dakota, hammered 520 – 17 by Nixon)
Hubert Humphrey (1968, Minnesota).

The simple message here is Democrats don’t win much and Democrat Northerners (after Kennedy) don’t win at all. And for God’s sake give Massachusetts and Minnesota a miss next time.

Everyone is wise in retrospect but maybe the best pick would have been smooth-talking Southerner John Edwards, despite his inexperience. Give him the nod in 2008 (probably against McCain or Jeb Bush), make sure he uses the word ‘God’ a lot and he may be in with a chance…

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