The Bernstein Effect

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Now that we will have our first African-American president, it’s time to start speculating about the next ethnic/gender/religious barrier to fall.

Over at Slate, Mark Oppenheimer does just that, looking at the prospective Mormon, Hindu, Muslim, female, etc. candidates.

As for the Jews…

Together now, a sigh of relief: It’s not going to be Lieberman! Having dirty-danced with too many political parties in the past four years, Joe’s rep is tarnished; Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid are both happy to use him, but neither really wants to be seen holding hands with him the next morning. So which members of the tribe — a tribe that is about 5 million strong in America, with deep pockets, high voter turnout, and diminishing fear of the Bradley (Bernstein?) Effect — might be next on America’s dance card? Top candidates: Rahm Emanuel, congressman-cum-chief of staff, a man whose debtors include every Democrat in Congress, since he led the House Dems’ fundraising effort in the watershed election of 2006; rising GOP star Eric Cantor, of Virginia’s 7th congressional district; and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, whose very name recalls that old, shattered dream known as campaign-finance reform. But Feingold, who has thought about running before, is on the record supporting same-sex marriages, so we may want to sub in Ed Rendell, the Pennsylvania governor who, after supporting Hillary, helped deliver his state to Obama. If you think Rendell (b. 1944) is too old, and you just can’t see Michael Bloomberg in the Oval Office, then it might be fun to consider Al Franken — should he push aside his fellow Jew, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, in the recount still in progress.

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Posted on November 17, 2008

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