Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Frank Rich on the National Circus"

Frank Rich (New York Magazine):
The third-party group Americans Elect announced yesterday that although they had "achieved every stated operational goal," no candidate had gained enough support to actually get nominated at their online convention. Was this idea doomed from the start? This is a fascinating episode that deserves far more scrutiny. In a very short time this “centrist” group spent $35 million on its effort to harm Obama’s reelection campaign by plotting to place a moderate candidate on the ballot as a spoiler in all 50 states. Americans Elect’s most prominent and vocal supporters were Thomas L. Friedman of the Times, the Obama–loathing pollster Douglas Schoen (a nominal Democrat), and Mark McKinnon, the former George W. Bush ad guy who plays a congenial centrist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The hope was to get a Michael Bloomberg, Jon Huntsman, or David Petraeus to run; in the end, the leading Americans Elect candidate was the former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, best known for being too inept to rise to the low single-digits polling level of even Huntsman during the GOP presidential primary contest last fall. My question: Who gave that $35 million and where did it all vanish in a matter of months? Paul Krugman, who has been relishing the demise of Americans Elect and slyly mocking his colleague Friedman for his support of it, should stay on the case. MORE...

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