Tuesday, January 04, 2005

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.


Steve said...

I noticed the same thing about Fillmore today, but on the Fillmore scale, this is pretty small stuff. (If you've got a Fillmore archive, check out if he just took his Streisand and changed the hair.)

BTW, did you know that contributions to JWR are tax deductible? (501c3 I think.)

I'm convinced the Globe keeps Fillmore just to make conservatives look bad. If they wanted to run a serious conservative cartoon, they'd go for "Day By Day" by Chris Muir (http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if there's one thing I always make time for in my busy day, it's a "serious" cartoon. The reason Mallard is retained is because it is as thoughtful as Garry Trudeau, which is to say, not very. Remove one, you no longer need the other. How exactly is equal-opportunity venom useful?

Anonymous said...

RE: Mallard/Globe

Generally I can't stand Mallard, but just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, I pretty much agree with the sentiments in today's strip. Dan, I think you're quite right about the physical characterization.

The Globe hass become as bland as skim milk. On the one hand... on the other hand.... Honest to God, take a freakin' stand, have a point of view. The paper as it now is never would have made Nixon's Enemies List; no-one would have cared.

Anonymous said...

Every time I gripe that Mallard Fillmore belongs on the op-ed page, someone says, "Oh, but then they'd have to put Doonesbury there, too!" I don't see why. Doonesbury and the Boondocks are about so many things in addition to their particular political slant, unlike Mallard. Or do I just feel that way because I happen to agree with most of what they say?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that no one is saying a word about the Kerry vs. Romney or Metro posts. Mallard Fillmore? Who gives a flying frig. It's a cartoon. Having said that, what would Romney run on? He hasn't really done a thing. He pretty much blew his 2002 mandate when he failed to get any of his candidates elected to the state Legislature - at a time when the Legislature is the biggest joke in the world. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't figure out what cigar-chomping guy you were talking about until I noticed that the JewishWorldReview page seems to have removed the strip in question. They show the strips for Saturday 1/1, Monday 1/3, and Wednesday 1/5. Move along, now - no offensive stereotypes here.

Anonymous said...

Mallard cartoon is still online everywhere else of course. E.g. Seattle PI. His syndicate advertises the strip as as "ruffling feathers ... from the Boston Globe to ..." . Globe on Mallard : Omsbudsman 2003-09-22 and Arts+Entertainment 2003-10-22 and and Letters 2004-04-27 .

Metro/Globe - Interseting.

Romney - Agree. Even if Romney is a bit to the right of the Volpe/Weld Liberal Republicans of his father's sort, he's not a Red State Republican. He might be a great uniter candidate, but would be more likely to be nominated by Les Blues than The Reds.

Kerry and The Party of Forgiveness - The Democrats may allow losers to re-enter primaries, but re-nominate? Let's fact-check this.

The Republicans won 1 of 2 of the two times they re-nominated a loser - the winner being the last re-nominated Loser. The Democrats are 0 of 2 in 20thC, but 2 of 3 further back -- but those both have asterisks on the "loss" (as Gore would have had, with claim of moral victory in prior election, had he been re-nominated).

D Andrew Jackson (Lost: 1824, Won: 1828, 1832) (Won the popular vote in 1824: Contested the election results)D Grover Cleveland (Won: 1884, 1892, Lost: 1888) (Won the popular vote in 1888)D William Jennings Bryan (Lost: 1896, 1900, 1908)
R Thomas Dewey (Lost: 1944, 1948), D Adlai E. Stevenson II (Lost: 1952, 1956)R Richard M. Nixon (Lost: 1960, Won: 1968, Won: 1972) .

Historically, Forgiveness doesn't work, but it was last done by the Republicans, successfully. Go figure.

But Kerry does not have a strong enough "contested election" asterisk for him to put his own /a/*/*/ /t/o/ /r/i/s/k/ hat in the ring again.

Bill R

Anonymous said...

Simply put, a comic strip (political or otherwise) should to be funny. It has to at least try to evoke a laugh. The above-mentioned strip, like the vast majority of Tinsley’s work is a purely political statement without even an attempt at humor. There is a conservative strip I like, Scott Stantis' “Prickly City”. While I rarely agree with the writer’s political views, I often laugh at the strip’s humor and appreciate the interesting artwork. “Mallard Fillmore” is bombastic, single minded, riddled with straw man arguments and just plain un-funny.

I had not seen Chris Muir’s "Day By Day" before. It seems funny enough and thoughtful. One thing I have to wonder about, Both Muir and Stantis are white. Both write strips with a black a "Republican" main character who is surrounded by white "Democrats". Is this tokenism or just wish fulfillment on their parts?