Thoughtful vs. Passionate
Ezra ruminates on John Kerry and comes to the conclusion that he would be a better president then Howard Dean because he is more thoughtful than Dean but that Dean is more likely to become president because he is more passionate.
Concludes Ezra: "... in this country we reward like-ability and passion, not thoughtfulness and intelligence."
I only partially agree with this assessment.
The Democrats biggest problem in the last few years is that they have rarely demonstrated the fire of leadership. By that I mean they haven't stood up for their principles and taken risks in defending them. They have "played along to get along". The result has been the creation in the public's mind of an image of Democrats as wimps.
We need leadership that will fight as well as think. I believe the people will reward intelligence, but only if it is combined with the will to fight for what you believe in. As has been so frequently noted of late, why should the people trust someone to stand up for them if they won't first stand up for themselves?
Thoughtful leadership simply isn't enough, whether on the campaign trail or in the oval office (Carter was thoughtful, but he was a terrible leader). I would love it if there were a way to combined Kerry's thoughtfulness and Dean's passion into a single candidate, but we have to work with the material that has been given to us and, if given a choice between the two, we have to go with passion because it is the most necessary requirement to win power.
Besides which, I think Dean can be pretty thoughtful as well and he will bring with him a lot of thoughtful Democrats (Kerry for Sec. of State?). It doesn't have to be a choice between two extremes.