By Mark Steyn
Readers keep asking me about the presidential race, and to be honest my heart sinks. Yes, yes, I know it's important to elect a Republican candidate because, if nothing else, as we're always told, they get to nominate strong candidates to the Supreme Court - like, er, Anthony Kennedy and, um, John Roberts. So that said:
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Because for many years the only TV station I could get in my corner of New Hampshire was Channel 3 Vermont (with its excellent local news show anchored by the late and much missed Marselis Parsons), I've been watching Bernie Sanders since he was Mayor of Burlington. His rise from mayor to congressman to senator embodies what one might call the Ben&Jerrification of a once great and rock-ribbed Republican state. A New York Jew with a very urban accent, Bernie started in the latte enclave of Chittenden County, expanded to other semi-flatlandered quartiers of the state, but eventually conquered the plaid-clad hold-out of the North-East Kingdom. He did all this as an "independent socialist" without any party machine.
So he's not just an attractive gadfly but an extremely well organized one. Which is why a man who is largely unknown to the national media is pulling the largest crowds of this campaign - 10,000 in Wisconsin, 8,000 in Maine. And he's being very positive - it's all about Bernie, very little about Hillary. He would be the oldest man ever elected president and 83 years old at the end of two terms - which we won't have to worry about because the entire country will have slid off the cliff long before then. But he's enthusing the base, and any base wants to be enthused.
Hillary, by contrast, is in trouble not because she's a sleazy, corrupt, cronyist, money-laundering, Saud-kissing liar. Democrats have a strong stomach and boundless tolerance for all of that and wouldn't care were it not for the fact that she's a dud and a bore. A "Hillary rally" is a contradiction in terms: the thin, vetted crowd leave more demoralized and depressed than when they went in. To vote for Bernie is to be part of a romance, as it was with Obama. To vote for Hillary is to validate the Clintons' indestructible sense of their own indispensability - and nothing else. Hillary is a wooden charmless stiff who supposedly has enough money to be carefully managed across the finish line.