Hello and happy Saturday. I spent most of the week in our D.C. office, and it was a treat to see all of my colleagues. But, to be honest, I’m a bit less productive when I’m in the office: There are so many people to talk to, more meetings to attend, and I like to make Steve buy me coffee.
We’ve got a lot of good stuff coming next week, and I want to get a head start on that, so I’m going to keep this short (or try to) and give you, dear readers, a homework assignment.
In Kevin’s Wanderland newsletter on Monday (summarized below), he wrote about the demise of the Whigs and the emergence of the Republican Party in the mid-19th century. We’ve seen some failed attempts through the years to establish new political parties in this country, but the most they’ve ever accomplished is tilting elections in favor of one of the major candidates. Ross Perot got about 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992 as a Reform Party candidate, but that mostly helped Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush. And liberals are still mad at Ralph Nader for the 2000 election. Nader, running under the Green Party banner, earned 97,000-plus votes in Florida—just a tad more than the eventual 537-vote margin that gave George W. Bush the victory.
For all the rumblings today about third parties—Andrew Yang, the failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and 2021 New York mayoral candidate, has his Forward Party, and a group called No Labels is trying to get on the ballot in a bunch of states for 2024—it seems unlikely that any new organization could emerge and land a candidate in the Oval Office as quickly as the nascent Republican Party did with Lincoln.