Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Opinionator

July 17, 2007, 5:00 pm
No More Questions, Just Answers
By Chris Suellentrop
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The editorial page of The New Orleans Times-Picayune wants Senator David Vitter to be more forthcoming about his relationship with the “D.C. Madam.” “At a time when Louisiana needs a strong presence in Congress more than it ever has, Sen. Vitter’s standing has been compromised,” the editorial states. It adds:

Sen. Vitter did not give up all rights to privacy when he took office, and no one should expect or want lurid details about his actions. He said Monday that he doesn’t intend to answer endless questions. Fair enough. So far, though, he hasn’t answered the fundamental question: Whether he broke the law by hiring prostitutes.

Murder on the Straight Talk Express, cont’d: Two top Iowa staffers for John McCain said Monday that they were quitting his presidential campaign, which leads The Des Moines Register’s David Yepsen to declare that McCain has almost no chance of winning the Hawkeye State. “It’s rare that a candidate who is this far down can reverse field and make a comeback. McCain probably can’t,” Yepsen writes on his Register blog. He adds, “The question in Iowa is: Where do McCain’s supporters in this state go?”

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July 17, 2007, 9:43 am
Hey, Little Buddy!
By Chris Suellentrop
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More bad news for John Edwards: He is “in the running” to become the Gilligan of the 2008 presidential campaign, writes Ann M. Mack, director of trendspotting for the advertising agency JWT, in a guest column for Adweek. (Thanks, Political Wire.)

Last month, JWT conducted a poll that asked Americans to recast “Gilligan’s Island” using “the six top presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” Mack explains. The question: “Which character from the TV show would each political candidate best fit?”

“Hands down, Clinton was cast as Eunice ‘Lovey’ Wentworth Howell, the rich, spoiled socialite defined almost exclusively as the wife of the millionaire, Thurston Howell III,” Mack writes. (Mack notes that survey participants perceived Hillary as “decadent, condescending and pretentious” but also as “persevering and persuasive.” They did not consider her “approachable,” “engaging,” “humorous” or “fun.”)

Rudy Giuliani and John McCain were regarded as the Skipper, Mack says. And the rest?

As for the other characters, Obama is the Professor, and Romney is tending toward Thurston. (Not too surprisingly, no one is clearly cast as Mary Ann or Ginger.) And Gilligan? Edwards is in the running to reprise the role of the bumbling, accident-prone SS Minnow crewman made famous by Bob Denver.

Don’t dismiss the survey out of hand, Mack says, because “you can be sure that personality—or perceptions of personality—will be a prevailing force in determining who’s the last person standing after America has spoken.”

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