The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, May 20, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Profile Series: People who cannot be elected President

Polls show that Jefferson Smith cannot be elected President of the United States. Our in-depth series profiles this non-candidate who doesn’t matter.

Non-presidents ride train: People getting on the train, most of whom will never be elected president.

Future subjects of this critical profile series.

The latest polls from established Democratic and Republican pollsters show that Mr. Jefferson Smith of Lochinvar, Texas has no chance of being elected President.

In early ballot projections from New Hampshire, the Texas Republican, who writes books and blogs, comes behind even Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.1

Early Iowa balloting last summer found that many Iowa GOP primary voters currently view Smith unfavorably, a higher number than dislike two other candidates with some tarnish in the state, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich2. Smith was viewed favorably by just 58 percent—a remarkable number for a conservative star in an area thought to contain a majority of conservative Republican voters.

Veterans of presidential politics typically dismiss early polls, which tend to lack predictive ability. But it is important to note those persons whose results in key polls, such as those which show Mr. Smith towards the bottom, are underwhelming.

Some critics have claimed that the news media are reporting far too often about a candidate who they claim isn’t going to win. But industry leaders say that they take their responsibilities about picking out the nominee seriously. According to Ben Smith (no relation to Mr. Jefferson Smith) of Politico, “if we don’t say, every day, that Mr. Smith will lose, he might not lose. And that would harm the public’s faith in polls and the news media.”

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank disagrees. “I’m getting leery of this guy,” said Milbank in an exclusive interview with the Reader. “We keep calling him dumb—and he keeps winding up in our hair!”

Milbank has chosen not to mention Mr. Smith or his prospects throughout February. He has announced this decision several times on his Washington Post blog. He’s also given interviews about the decision this month. “By not talking about Smith, I will become an expert on unelectable candidates,” Milbank said.

Columnist Ezra Klein agreed. “This Smith doesn’t have anything to talk about except what Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln said. That was all a hundred years ago. It doesn’t have any relevance today.”

Politico analyst Jonathan Martin justified the news coverage, adding, “people forget what this country means. This is a country where every boy in the land can grow up to not become president. We need to report on that. Polls are too precious to get buried on the back pages. Men ought to hold the polls in front of them—every day of their lives—and say, I’m free. Free to think, to speak, exactly as polls recommend. Polls are like a high-speed rail going through a long tunnel and you can’t see the end of it. Why, I guess I’ve been in that tunnel all my life. It’s the smart place to be.”

Mr. Smith, who has not yet announced his candidacy, had no comment.

  1. Tim Pawlenty will not receive a major profile in this publication.

  2. Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich will not receive a Reader profile in the foreseeable future.

  1. <- Milbank PDS relapse
  2. Federal checks ->