Who’s the Goliath?
The political landscape has been changing so rapidly, of late, that it’s tempting to refigure the narrative over and over again, but it seems to me that the story of the upcoming election is pretty consistent, no matter who the players are. Consider a recent Ed Fitzpatrick column on John Loughlin:
For one thing, [Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman] said, “A lot of [Loughlin’s] appeal is built on running as David to Kennedy’s Goliath. Now, he can’t take advantage of running against Washington.”
Loughlin begs to differ. “I think it’s always been David vs. Goliath, and it’s still David vs. Goliath,” he said. “The Goliath is the Congress of the United States and an administration that is spending our country into oblivion.”
Former Brown University Prof. Darrell M. West, now at the Brookings Institution, said it is easier to run for an open seat than to take on an incumbent. But he said it will probably prove more difficult to raise out-of-state money without Kennedy as an opponent.
“Goliath is no longer going to be on the ballot,” West said. “It’s going to be a bunch of Davids at this point.”
I’d agree that one can include the Republican Congress of the early ’00s in the Goliath characterization, which is probably what restrained Loughlin from partisanship. And it’s understandable that establishment, even Democrat-leaning commentators, such as Fitzpatrick and his sources, would see all non-incumbents as Davids. But I don’t think it’s excessively partisan, on the other side, to suspect that the Congressional Goliath at least overlaps with the Democrat Goliath, if the two are not synonymous.
In other words, the Democrat primary is mainly to choose the face that Goliath will wear locally. The dynamic has only changed to the extent that Patrick Kennedy’s own foibles were a factor.