His prescriptions for Dem Party reform and his descriptions of Kerry's solonic staff-management style both ring especially true.
The Confidence Man must quibble, however, with the brackets of Clemons' piece:
- He opens with a precis of Team America that is notably tone-deaf, humorless, and out of touch; ironic, in the context of an essay that derides the Party and the Candidate for being all three.
- He closes with a lament that the VP Candidate was not ... Dick Gephardt. Dick Gephardt? I'm not sure how much more "Brezhnevized" a candidate could be than Dick Gephardt. The sole arguments for Gephardt were that he might deliver Big Labor (which was going for Kerry anyway) and stood an outside chance of delivering Big MO (which, as it turns out, more ad and GOTV dollars directed at the black communities in Kansas City and St Louis probably would have done anyway). Yes, Edwards didn't actually deliver anything at all -- but primarily because he was criminally underused by the campaign. Kerry was never going to take North Carolina even if he had Jesse Helms as his no. 2.