Wherein I Question Victor David Hanson’s Analysis

In commenting on the latest GOP debate, Hanson wrote the following:

If we were to read transcripts of the debate and not watch or listen to TV, both would be at or near the top.

The “both” in question are Rich Santorum and Michele Bachmann.

What, their voices  are off-putting?

All Hanson offers is “They seem aware of the dilemma that they are not naturally self-referential or in-your-face attackers”—which I take to mean that if only they were more aggressive they would be polling outside the single digits.  Let’s say that I have my doubts on that count.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Hey Norm says:

    Santorum and Bachmann…now there’s a frothy mix

  2. John Burgess says:

    If ‘frothy’ means ‘foaming at the mouth’, then I agree.

  3. ponce says:

    Did he reference Greek “history” to back up his claim?

  4. Chefmarty says:

    Did you really use ‘Victor David Hanson’ and ‘analysis’ in the same sentence?

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    As the late Mayor Daley used to say, let’s look at the record. Here’s a transcript of one of the debates from last week. Here’s
    Rep. Bachmann’s first response:

    MICHELE BACHMANN: Well– one of our former competitors was Herman Cain and he always reminded us of the 9-9-9 plan. And what I would like to do is have the Win-Win-Win plan. And the way that we can do that is first addressing the tax code. I’m a former federal tax lawyer. And that literally, we will create millions of dollars if we abolish the tax code and embrace a pro-growth policy not only by lowering the rates for businesses, but by individuals as well.

    And making it a tax code that applies fairly and the same to all Americans. That’s very important. And something else I wanna do with my tax code policy is make sure that everyone pays something. Because today, 47% of the American people pay nothing in federal income tax. Everyone benefits by the country, they need to pay. But also, one of my “Win” points is with American energy production.

    If we legalize American energy, we’ll create 1.4 million jobs in just a few years’ time. And here’s something we– else that we can do under the “Win” plan. We can cut government bureaucracy, which is ObamaCare. N.F.I.B. tells us, that’s the small business agency, that we will lose 1.6 million jobs over five years if we keep ObamaCare. I wanna– I am committed to repealing ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, cutting out the E.P.A., and we’ll save millions of jobs if we do that.

    Does that support his contention? Not to my mind. To be honest I find it pretty incoherent. In fairness Rick Santorum’s first response is a bit more coherent (once you remove the transcribed disfluencies) but not much.

  6. Liberty60 says:

    Mr. Hason is a bit like those he describes- he grows in stature the less one experiences him.

  7. flataffect says:

    Michele seems kind of whiney, and Santorum seems plenty aggressive as is. I can’t define it, but neither one inspires me as a leader. They seem more like commentators than people who get things done.

    Gingrich is a loud critic, who excels at pointing out what others have done wrong, but he doesn’t make me trust his leadership.

    If I hadn’t seen what he did with the 2002 Winter Olympics, I might say the same of Romney, but he turned a pending financial disaster and a scandal into a big success of the kind we all want the Olympics to be. He didn’t do it by making speeches and elaborating bold proposals. In fact, I sometimes wondered just what he WAS doing, but he was busy the whole time cutting costs and waste, making new deals, enlisting volunteers and making things run efficiently, and when the product was unveiled, it was amazing. I live in Utah, and he turned a looming shame-filled and corrupt operation into something we were proud of.

    Perry’s success, I think, has come from finding successful business men like Mitt Romney and following their counsel. Why elect a middle man? And Ron Paul is just unacceptable. He has the same deficits as Bachmann and Santorum but in spades.

  8. The problem is that everytime that I read some transcript of what Bachmann wrote I hear her voice.

  9. A voice from another precinct says:

    Clearly, what he is trying to say is that they are the best at pandering to his biases about the world, but their delivery is in some way off-putting. Maybe they are not as glib and free with expression as he would prefer.

  10. Dazedandconfused says:

    There has to be some reason those two deep-thinkers are not polling well. There simply has to be….