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Bush Knows What "Regatta" Means

Bradley's SATs; the media's mood swing; the neoliberals' nightmare.


Posted Monday, January 31, 2000

        My first reaction on learning Bill Bradley's verbal SAT score--485--was, "Gee, that's pretty low." My second reaction was that this proves that the SATs, at least back in the '60s, really were culturally biased. I've interviewed Bradley (as part of a group of reporters) a couple of times--he seems like a smart guy with a lively sense of Washington's absurdity. If, as an achiever from a small town in Missouri, he scored lower than George W. Bush did as an unfocused, rich, Connecticut/Texas/Maine WASP, it shows how skewed the tests were in favor of rich WASPs. ...

        My third reaction was, "Gee, that's pretty low." ...

        Where Are the "Minutes of the Media Conspiracy" When You Need Them? It's been obvious that the press has doing its best to give Bradley a boost in New Hampshire. ("Former Senator Bill Bradley was a candidate transformed today, stumping with renewed vigor ..."--James Dao, New York Times.) Reporters needed a new story line--the "New Gore" story having been done to death. "Bradley Battles Back" is the story they've wanted desperately to write. ... More important, we journalists are terrified the Democratic primary campaign might actually end next Tuesday, stopping all the fun and giving us half as much to cover in the next six months. We signed up for a race, dammit! If Bradley fails to give it to us, as looks likely, the reaction against him by reporters will be vicious. Don't expect Bradley to get the usual "He Raised Important Issues" campaign eulogy. ...

        Who Speaks for the Paranoid Center? The appearance of the New Gore suggests he may do to Bush what he's doing to Bradley--methodically chew him up. And it's hard to believe that if Gore wins the presidency the Democrats won't pick up at least six seats in the House. So there's now the distinct possibility, maybe even probability, that my own chosen party will control both the House and White House. It's hard not to be at least mildly alarmed by this prospect.

        Think of all the mischief Chairman Rangel (Ways and Means) and his unreconstructed colleagues could make if freed from Republican constraint. Goodbye welfare reform, hello Urban Development Action Grants! I sort of trusted Clinton, for all his faults--or maybe because of his faults--not to give in totally to the congressional Dems most clichéd instincts. Even if Clinton hadn't run as a New Democrat, he's self-confident and slippery enough to avoid giving anybody more than he has to. It's not easy to have the same confidence in Gore--one reason his gratuitous gay-litmus-test pander was so disturbing. ...

        Actual Inside Dope: Where's Clinton's long-awaited book on "race"? Nowhere to be seen, that's where. There are still some New Democrats left in this White House. ...

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Gore's Secret Weapon

posted 08.03.99

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Copyright 2000 Mickey Kaus.

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