Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What Kudlow Would Have To Overcome

I received some negative feedback to the suggestion that Larry Kudlow would bring some baggage to a senate race against Chris Dodd, some going as far as suggesting Kudlow has no baggage whatsoever. I do not know much about the man, but the baggage of which I wrote is all available in the public domain.

First there is his history of alcohol and drug abuse, which he has admirably confronted and to his credit put behind him. While he has turned his own personal nightmare into something of a success story, to pretend that it is not an issue that will be brought up is ignorance. It gets raised all the time - Clinton and whether or not he inhaled, Bush and alcohol (admitted) and illegal drugs (alleged and not denied), Obama and cocaine - even when the substance abuse is decades old. To think Kudlow will be treated differently because of the way he fell on the sword or any other reason is just foolish. Of course, it is not something that he can't overcome, but it is something that will have to be dealt with at some point.

Second, Kudlow has a recent history of being very wrong on economic predictions. One of Dodd's key weaknesses that can be exploited to his Republican challengers benefit is the economic disaster he has so heartily contributed to. Kudlow gives significant ground on the issue when confronted with statements such as those compiled by Mark Nickolas at his blog here. For example:
December 5, 2007

The recession debate is over. It's not going to happen. Time to move on.

At a bare minimum, we are looking at Goldilocks 2.0. (And that's a minimum). The Bush boom is alive and well. It's finishing up its sixth splendid year with many more years to come.
February 5, 2008

I'm going to bet that the economy will be rebounding sometime this summer, if not sooner. We are in a slow patch. That's all. It's nothing to get up in arms about.
July 24, 2008

It's a pity the mainstream media keeps searching for more and more pessimism. The reality is a possible upturn in the housing trend, and at the very least we are getting a bottom. Stocks sold off 165 points largely on media reports of terrible home sales and prices. But I am hoping the market comes to its senses and realizes the data are a whole lot better.
I don't think all of the quotes listed in the post are bad or wrong. I don't think Kudlow is an idiot. But for anyone to pretend that these kinds of quotes won't be thrown in his face is farcical.

I don't think that the other potential candidates, either Simmons, Caligiuri or Schiff, have issues as potentially damaging and already so public. 2010 will be a rare opportunity for Republicans in Connecticut to make some hay, and everything needs to be considered in making our selection. Ignoring the obvious will only hurt our chances.

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