The Tea Party is looking for people to run against Ron Paul in the Republican primary. And the reason they are doing this is that “he’s unwilling to work with others, and people are unwilling to work with him, and so we have no voice in Congress.” according to Tim Graney.

I think skepticism of leaders is a good thing, but Paul is such an icon that he may be worth keeping around for the sake of what he represents to the movement.

Incidentally, the Fox news article calls Paul “the model of the grassroots-backed conservative.”

(With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan):

“I am the very model of grassroots-backed Conservative,

I’m endeavoring to act as Liberty’s preservative.

I am very,very big on individual autonomy,

I quote Objectivists and Austrians discussing the economy.”

Obama went to Colorado to help out Senator Michael Bennet, who is facing a tough fight for reelection.
Alright, Bennet; do you have any charisma?


No. Who are you up against?
Well, first of all, there’s Andrew Romanoff, a primary challenger:

Okay, this guy is way more charismatic. Good work, Dem Strategists.
And the likely Republican nominee, Jane Norton:

Well, okay, she’s not especially charismatic; she sounds pretty stilted in the way she speaks. However, I think Norton is more telegenic than Bennet. I’d also have to say that Bennet has a more irritating voice, as well. This is not a good mixture for Mr. Bennet.
I think that this is one of the real dangers of appointing somebody to fill a Senate seat, or other elected office, as was the case with Bennet. It means they have to go and run for reelection without ever having had the all-important charisma factor tested. Add to that the fact that it’s always harder to run as an incumbent than a challenger, and you have a recipe for failure.
Anyway, this is something that Obama really has got to figure out sooner or later: He can’t grant other people his personal charisma. It will not work. I don’t actually know why, either. It should work, but the evidence says it doesn’t. With that it mind, he shouldn’t go around trying to help doomed, non-charismatic candidates.
There is a danger that, charisma being less of a factor in primaries than general elections, Obama’s aiding this Bennet guy will end up letting Bennet beat Romanoff and setting him up to lose to Norton.
I’m glad I’m not a Democrat.

Of course according to his religion, he better be; he’s supposed to be divine in some way. The BBC says: “Those who have met him describe an intense personal charisma.” I seem to remember that, in one of his books, Christopher Hitchens conceded the Dalai Lama had charisma. (To Hitchens, of course, the Dalai Lama is bad because he has something to do with religion.)

The Dalai Lama is chosen when he is a small boy by a group of monks, I think. (It’s sort of like the Jedi.) If charisma is an innate, rather than learned, characteristic, it would not be too much of a stretch to suppose that he had it even as a child, and that this led to him being picked. 

This article describes Mullah Baradar being “regarded as brilliant and charismatic.” (Emphasis mine.)

It’s true people sometimes throw that word around without really knowing what it means, but if he really is charismatic, it supports the idea that charisma is a quality that is independent of character or morality. And if charisma is as powerful as it seems to be, that’s scary.

A former U.S. Representative named J.D. Hayworth is challenging John McCain for the GOP senate nomination. The obvious question: Does he have the charisma to take on John McCain? Looking at this video, it’s hard to say. Hayworth doesn’t seem to be an especially charismatic individual, and, in that video, McCain has a certain charm to him. Plus, McCain’s been around for a long time. As John Huston said to Jack Nicholson in the film Chinatown: “Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”

But McCain has some charisma issues. At times he seems to have some–or at the very least he seems amiable enough. But watching his debates with Obama, or his acceptance speech at the 2008 Republican convention, he’s downright anti-charismatic. The debates can be explained by the presence of Mr. Charisma himself, but Obama wasn’t at the Republican convention. McCain seems boring and and dry–the worst things a politician can be if he wants to be elected. This Hayworth guy didn’t seem like much, but if the boring, cranky old man McCain shows up, he might have a chance. 

This is apparently his explanation for retiring. He says “I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology.” The article says: “Bayh is known more for the moderate tone of his politics than for any particular legislative achievements.” 

Well, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? You don’t achieve things by being moderate; you just get pushed around by people who there to get specific things done for a particular group.