Matthew Yglesias is “baffled” by a WaPo report saying the Bush campaign thinks Gephardt is the most dangerous of the challengers. He’s thinking it may be disinformation.

Maybe. But, as I see it, here’s how it shapes up: Kucinich, Sharpton, and Braun are buffoons who can’t get the nomination. If the economy is horrible, something major comes from the Plame affair, or events in Iraq get truly out of control, any of the nominatable Democrats will win. But if things stay essentially as they are, I don’t see how Dean or Kerry can win–just too leftist for much of the country. I don’t see how they pick up any state that Gore didn’t and, frankly, they’d likely not pick up all of those. That leaves Clark, Gephardt, Lieberman, and Edwards. Edwards doesn’t seem to be projecting any “gravitas.” Clark is starting to look, well, weird.

That leaves Lieberman and Gephardt. Both of them are serious guys with the experience to be credible wartime presidents. Of the two, I’d prefer Lieberman for ideological reasons. But Gephardt seems much more like a “regular guy.” He strikes me as a much more plausible contender in the blue collar states.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.