Monday, June 5, 2006

Free-For-All-2008: Does Exposure Mean Anything?

Wanted: A volunteer to execute the Chatter Rankings next month. You don't have to do any of the write-up stuff, but it would be very helpful to have data from mid-July. Email me if you're interested.

This month's Chatter Rankings come early, since I'm leaving the land of the internet shortly, and wanted to get one more edition in. Consequently, there's a high degree of intertemporal collinearity, since Google News lists articles from the past five weeks. Thus, we see much less change than in any previous ranking. There are, however, some big movers:

  • Jeb Bush is suddenly being given consideration by the media. He won the "Best Governor" honor from his peers, and was lauded by his brother as someone who would make a good president. He has, however, said he won't run in 2008. 2012, then?
  • Al Gore has emerged as the darling of the left, something he never enjoyed during his first run. He's now as sexy as Cannes can make a politician
  • The Democrats are undergoing a groundswell of anti-Hillary feeling. Not only is the left half of the party unhappy with her, but more and more party Democrats think she can't win. One article highlights Florida poll data that suggests she has no advantage over Gore (the 2000 edition) or Kerry (2004).
So there are two opposite phenomena at work: Hillary could be losing out because of her early exposure and constant scrutiny of her, but Gore could be gaining from his new movie career. Hopefully, the continued Chatter Rankings will not only show us the levels of month-to-month publicity, but also open a window on how successful candidates gain their exposure.

The monthly prediction...
Jun '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
May '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
Apr '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
Mar '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Rice
Feb '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Rice

Check out graphs of the Chatter Rankings from May 2005 through April 2006

Rank Candidate ChatterRank Change
R.1 Sen. John McCain 2,2300
R.2 Sen. Bill Frist 1,6000
R.3 Gov. Jeb Bush 919+2
R.4 Sen. George Allen 468+2
R.5 Rudy Giuliani 451-2
R.6 Secy. Condoleezza Rice 425-2
R.7 Gov. George Pataki 350+1
R.8 Gov. Mitt Romney 344-1
R.9 Gov. Mike Huckabee 3180
R.10 Sen. Sam Brownback 2250
R.11 Newt Gingrich 1880
R.12 Sen. Chuck Hagel 126+1
R.13 Rep. Tom Tancredo 72-1
D.1 Sen. Hillary Clinton 2,2600
D.2 Sen. John Kerry 1,1200
D.3 Al Gore 909+3
D.4 Sen. Harry Reid 843-1
D.5 Sen. John Edwards 698-1
D.6 Sen. Joseph Biden 642-1
D.7 Sen. Russ Feingold 532+1
D.8 Howard Dean 520-1
D.9 Gov. Mark Warner 4550
D.10 Sen. Barack Obama 223+1
D.11 Sen. Evan Bayh 187-1
D.12 Gov. Bill Richardson 149+1
D.13 Gov. Tom Vilsack 107+1
D.14 Wesley Clark 89-2
D.15 Tom Daschle 650

Notes: The Chatter Rankings are created by searching each candidate's name plus "2008" in the Google News database. This month's tested-but-not-qualifying list is Rep. John Murtha, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and Haley Barbour. Some of the men on the list almost surely won't run for president (Reid, Dean) and are there just in case, or as an indication of VP popularity.

See the Chatter Rankings from May, April, March, February, December, August, July, June, and May.

The Dorchester Giant

I found this poem today about the places I grew up in an old poetry anthology. Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet and Supreme Court Justice, speculates about the origins of the ubiquitous, curious puddingstone in the Boston area:

THERE was a giant in time of old,
A mighty one was he;
He had a wife, but she was a scold,
So he kept her shut in his mammoth fold;
And he had children three.

It happened to be an election day,
And the giants were choosing a king;
The people were not democrats then,
They did not talk of the rights of men,
And all that sort of thing.

Then the giant took his children three,
And fastened them in the pen;
The children roared; quoth the giant, "Be still!"
And Dorchester Heights and Milton Hill
Rolled back the sound again.

Then he brought them a pudding stuffed with plums,
As big as the State-House dome;
Quoth he, "There's something for you to eat;
So stop your mouths with your 'lection treat,
And wait till your dad comes home."

So the giant pulled him a chestnut stout,
And whittled the boughs away;
The boys and their mother set up a shout.
Said he, "You're in, and you can't get out,
Bellow as loud as you may."

Off he went, and he growled a tune
As he strode the fields along
'Tis said a buffalo fainted away,
And fell as cold as a lump of clay,
When he heard the giant's song.

But whether the story's true or not,
It isn't for me to show;
There's many a thing that's twice as queer
In somebody's lectures that we hear,
And those are true, you know.

. . . . . .

What are those lone ones doing now,
The wife and the children sad?
Oh, they are in a terrible rout,
Screaming, and throwing their pudding about,
Acting as they were mad.

They flung it over to Roxbury hills,
They flung it over the plain,
And all over Milton and Dorchester too
Great lumps of pudding the giants threw;
They tumbled as thick as rain.

. . . . .

Giant and mammoth have passed away,
For ages have floated by;
The suet is hard as a marrow-bone,
And every plum is turned to a stone,
But there the puddings lie.

And if, some pleasant afternoon,
You'll ask me out to ride,
The whole of the story I will tell,
And you shall see where the puddings fell,
And pay for the punch beside.
So why doesn't Dorchester High School field the Giants as their sports teams?