Wednesday, December 26, 2007

what makes a "serious" candidate?

Here's what I posted in response to Bile and Blather's post about Gretchen Clearwater (hat tip: HoosierPundit)

It's difficult to define "seriousness" when it comes to underdog major party or "third-party" candidates. In terms of resources, neither is likely to be a "serious" challenger. In terms of effort, the energy expended is most likely quixotic in terms of winning. And so, one is mostly left with the opportunity to educate people and get the major party candidates to address issues they would otherwise ignore.

As for Gretchen, I had lunch with her after her primary loss to Baron in 2006. I thought she was quite "serious" as a person and political observer, but she seemed to have run a race of average "seriousness" in terms of resources and effort.

In a word, I doubt that she is a plant. From what little I know of her, I can't imagine it. Moreover, it's not clear to me how her presence makes things easier on Hill. How "seriously" will she run in 2008? It depends, in part, on whether she receives significant resources-- for example, from

Finally, there are many different definitions of "progressive"-- some more ironic than others. If you're looking for a candidate who is opposed to the War in Iraq and is focused on issues affecting the working poor and middle class, then it looks like you'll have one choice in May and another one in November.