Why Am I Endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton for President in 2016?

Why isn't Maureen Dowd a New York Times Arthur-Anderson moment?

Across the Wide Missouri: Scott Lemieux: Maureen Dowd's Seeing the 2000 Election as a Teen Comedy: "I can’t believe they let this man have an op-ed column...

...to correctly observe that most of what well-compensated pundits spend their time discussing is of no value. [Paul Krugman:]

So Hillary Clinton is officially running, to nobody’s surprise. And you know what’s coming: endless attempts to psychoanalyze the candidate, endless attempts to read significance into what she says or doesn’t say about President Obama, endless thumb-sucking about her ‘positioning’ on this or that issue. Please pay no attention. Personality-based political analysis is always a dubious venture — in my experience, pundits are terrible judges of character. Those old enough to remember the 2000 election may also remember how we were assured that George W. Bush was a nice, affable fellow who would pursue moderate, bipartisan policies. In any case, there has never been a time in American history when the alleged personal traits of candidates mattered less. As we head into 2016, each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.

To be fair and balanced, here’s what a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist chosen entirely at random was writing about the week of the election that would give us the Iraq War, two rounds of massive upper-class tax cuts, and Sam Alito: [Maureen Dowd:]

I feel stunning

And entrancing,

Feel like running and dancing for joy...

O.K., enough gloating. Behave, Albert. Just look in the mirror now and put on your serious I only-care-about-the-issues face.

If I rub in a tad more of this mahogany-colored industrial mousse, the Spot will disappear under my Reagan pompadour.

Whew! Now that W. has slipped on a mud pie at the finish line, I can admit I was scared, just like all the other Democrats. Things were stickier than a barrel of goo-goo clusters.

It would be awful to blow it just because no one can stand the sight of me. Or to win the Electoral College but not the popular vote. Ouch!

You have to admit seeing the 2000 election as a made-for-TV teen comedy about a rivalry between an inauthentic nerd and an affable jock holds up as well as ever! I’m not sure why Krugman can’t see that.

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