THE EQUATIONS OF POLITICS….Walter Shapiro listens to the stump speeches of the three leading Democratic candidates and sums them up this way:

Edwards and Clinton are both playing traditional roles in the never-ending political drama of the outsider versus the insider. Obama is the wild card, as the 21st-century candidate trying to rewrite the equations that govern political math.

There’s nothing original there, but it does get to the heart of the difference between Obama and the other two. The question is, do you believe that there’s a “new politics” out there waiting for someone to grab hold of it and change the “equations that govern political math”? I gotta say, I’m skeptical — the same way I was skeptical when the dotcommers thought they’d rewritten the rules of stock valuation and the subprime lenders thought they’d rewritten the rules of risk evaluation. Call me cynical, but from where I sit politics doesn’t look a lot different today than it did when I cast my first vote 30 years ago.

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