My synopsis of the new Howard <$NoAd$>Fineman article on John Edwards …
John Edwards is a man in a hurry. Maybe too much of a hurry. No one’s ever been in such a hurry except for the other people who’ve been in a hurry.* And when you’re in a hurry you make mistakes. And if Edwards made mistakes you can be sure Karl Rove will find out. And if Rove finds out about Edwards’ hidden mistakes it’ll be a bad day for Edwards and John Kerry. And now Edwards is in the fight of his life. And it’s only a matter of time before Rove lowers the boom on Edwards’ mistakes — if he made any. And if he did, boy will Karl Rove ever find them and lower the boom on them.
That asterisk is a reference to this paragraph, the second of the article …
Except for Ike, I canât think of anyone in modern times that entered electoral politics and gained a place on a major-party ticket on such a hurried timetable. Dan Quayle, whoâd held office for 12 years when George H.W. Bush picked him, was a grizzled veteran compared with Edwards. Yes, George W. Bush had been governor of Texas for only six years when he won the presidency. But he had run for the House years earlier, and essentially had spent his entire life in the family business of politics. (A helpful reader points out to me that Richard Nixon had a similarly rapid rise. Elected to the House in 1946, he became Ike’s running mate in 1952. But an Edwards-Nixon comparison is hardly one that Democrats would like to make.)
So, Bush was in a hurry too. But he once ran for the House between business failures and, besides, for him politics is genetic. And Nixon did it in six too; but he did bad stuff so that doesn’t count.
Also of some interest on the Fineman historical acumen watch …
Wendell L. Willkie: Never ran for public office before presidential nomination; nominated for presidency in 1940. Zero to sixty in zero years.
Thomas E. Dewey: First run for public office (District Attorney) in 1937, New York Governorship in 1942; nominated for the presidency in 1944. Zero to sixty in seven years.
Adlai Stevenson: First run for public office (Illinois Governorship) in 1948; nominated for the presidency in 1952. Zero to sixty in four years.
Spiro Agnew: First run for public office (Chief Executive of Baltimore County) in 1962, Maryland Governorship in 1966; nominated for the vice-presidency in 1968. Zero to sixty in six years.
Geraldine Ferraro: First run for public office (NY Congressional seat) in 1978; nominated for vice-presidency in 1984. Zero to sixty in six years.