KERRY VERSUS ROMNEY IN '08? It will never happen, of course. Mitt Romney may be plenty conservative for Massachusetts, but he's not nearly right-wing enough for the national Republican Party. John Kerry had the misfortune to lose as the standard-bearer for a party that rarely gives candidates a second chance, even one who came as close as Kerry did.
Still, here we are, three years and 10 months before the next presidential election, and Kerry and Romney are two of the most-mentioned White House possibilities for 2008.
Kerry's week started off with this Newsweek story by Evan Thomas, which does nothing to dispel the notion that he wants to run again. The Herald's Jack Meyers pushed that on Monday under the headline "Mag: Kerry Seems Ready for '08 Run." And today's Globe reports on Kerry's 13-day trip to the Middle East, with reporter Rick Klein calling it a chance "to maintain a high profile after his losing presidential campaign."
Romney's ambitions, meanwhile, have been the subject of speculation for some time, although it's pretty hard to figure out what his platform would be. There have been no major scandals on his watch, but his resolute failure to come to grips with the one he inherited - the Big Dig - has got to start catching up with him at some point, don't you think? Well, he can always talk about the Olympics.
Anyway, Globe columnist Joan Vennochi today looks ahead to a Romney presidential campaign, making much of this unfortunate Romney quote: "From now on, it's me, me, me." From now on? It kind of reminds me of that classic Pat Oliphant cartoon of Richard Nixon telling Barry Goldwater, "This time, no more Mr. Nice Guy!"
GLOBE LITE. A few months ago I wrote this piece for Bostonia magazine, which is partly about the phenomenon of metro dailies starting their own dumbed-down free tabloids aimed at young people. Now the New York Times Company has bought one for the Globe. Today both the Times and the Globe report that the Times Company has purchased a 49 percent share of Boston's Metro, which will soon start featuring some Globe content.
The Metro - an outpost of a Swedish conglomerate - has a circulation of some 180,000 readers in Boston. (The 300,000 figure reported by the Times is the number of actual readers the Metro claims to reach. Apparently the company has people who stand on subways with little calculators watching for commuters who pick up abandoned copies and start leafing through them.)
The big loser in this is the Herald, a quick 50-cent read that, since the Metro's 2001 founding, has found itself competing with a quick free read.
ONE STEP BEYOND. Several, actually. Do you see a problem with today's Mallard Fillmore cartoon? (Scroll to bottom.) No, no, not that. I already know it sucks. I'm talking about the depiction of the sleazy, culture-trashing "TV executive" as a cigar-chomping guy with a hook nose, thick lips, a bald pate, and curly hair around the sides.
I'll let you be the judge. I'll also let you enjoy the irony of its being posted at JewishWorldReview.com, a conservative website.
Here's a New Year's resolution for the Globe: drop Mallard Fillmore.
Somehow I don't think we've heard the last of this. I hope not.