Thursday, January 17, 2008

How Many Different Ways Has George W. Bush's Presidency Chastened Americans?

My new favorite NYT columnist, Gail Collins, lists one:

The debate, a thoughtful and polite discussion of the issues, didn’t make for political drama, but it did remind you that these three can be rather likable people.

But not too likable. The election is “not going to be an issue of, you know, who’s got the nicest smile or, you know, who’s going to be fun to have a beer with,” said Obama, to general agreement.

Likability has become another one of those qualities that used to be desirable in a candidate until it started reminding us of how we got George W. Bush. We’re not falling for that likable-guy trap again. No siree. From now on we want the kind of person you would try to avoid standing next to in a long line at the supermarket.

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