Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Big Egos in Small Packages

Big Egos in Small Packages

The Washington Post looks at Dennis Kucinich and his GOP longshot counterpart Duncan Hunter:

Some calculate...

Uh, oh, the dreaded "some say"! An objective journaism code word for "This is something that is painfully obvious but not Objective, so I'm going to put it out there and get someone to say it for me."

Some calculate that their efforts may yield a vice presidential nomination. But those such as Kucinich and Hunter may be driven by something -- ego? passion? something else? -- that leads them to believe they have a chance of winning the White House despite what the typical measures of political viability suggest.

Fred I. Greenstein, a professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University and one of the major scholars of political psychology, says politicians -- including some accomplished ones -- have trouble knowing their limitations. He said candidates exhibit a tendency "where faith triumphs over reason and empirical reality-testing falls by the wayside, and a lot of what drives people is some combination of vanity and lack of self-perspective."

That's as far as they dare go, but it hits the nail right on Kucinich's head. I've had the luck as an Iowa Key Activist (TM) I've had the luck to observe many major leaguers up close in small settings. The true giants are self-effacing and unassuming. Howard Dean's rallying cry was "YOU have the power." I get a feeling of that from Obama, from Edwards.

Kucinich even scoffs at the notion that he is not one of the leading contenders in the Democratic contest. Told that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) appear to be the front-runners, he asked, "Says who?" (The answer, for now, is political polling.)

What I get from Kucinich, from this quote and from his whole persona, is "I'm Important." Which hurts his very good platform more than it helps.

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