Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Class President

I'm always doing the high school analogy with McCain and Romney. Michael Scherer at Time magazine compared the two in the same fashion. Pretty accurate:

Here's one thing you need to know about John McCain. He's always been the coolest kid in school. He was the brat who racked up demerits at the Naval Academy. He was the hot dog pilot who went back to the skies weeks after almost dying in a fire on the U.S.S. Forrestal.

When he sits in the back of his campaign bus, we reporters gather like kids in the cafeteria huddling around the star quarterback. We ask him tough questions, and we try to make him slip up, but almost inevitably we come around to admiring him. He wants the challenge. He likes the give and take. He is, to put it simply, cooler than us.

Now here's the thing you need to know about Mitt Romney. He is the overachiever, the do-gooder, the kid in class who always does everything right. All his life he has outperformed, as a Mormon missionary in France, as a corporate takeover consultant, as the guy who saved the Winter Olympics from financial ruin. He works crazy hours and apologizes after he makes a joke, because he is worried you won't understand his meaning. He is the one who takes endless notes in every class and has a little plastic container inside his locker for all of his mechanical pencils. He will probably be the valedictorian, and he will surely disappoint you at graduation by giving a bland speech that all the parents just love. "Isn't that boy so sweet," say all the moms.

So here is the situation that Republicans in New Hampshire face on Tuesday: Do we elect the jock or the overachiever? Do we go with cool and confident, or cautious and competent?

He had to add a post script for Huckabee:

Mike Huckabee also fits in my mythical high school typology. He is the class clown with the weight problem everyone likes, who always seemed to have his heart in the right place. When he runs for class president, you are tempted to vote for him if only because you just know he would make the weekly assemblies more fun.

I might add that no matter how hard you think about it, Fred always comes out as the Principle of the school. And who is high school would have voted for him? Maybe that's the problem.

Rudy is the bad kid who smokes cigarettes before school, wears a black jacket and gets all the girls who want the bad boy.

And we all know Ron Paul is the one who was stuffed in his locker every week. Poor guy.

Sometimes it seems in life, we are always replaying our teenage years.

h/t BigDog