Please, John Carlson, steer clear of politics

I can be tough on David Yepsen from time to time, but the worst columnist at the Des Moines Register has to be John Carlson. It wouldn’t be so bad if he stuck to his usual human-interest columns, but whenever he strays into the political arena, the results are embarrassing.

His latest column on Christmas wishes has this passage buried in the middle:

To Mike Huckabee and Joe Biden. Huckabee, because he showed that an unknown with very little cash can travel Iowa, deliver a popular message and become a national political figure. It is the point of our first-in-the-nation caucuses. Biden, because he is possibly the most qualified and thoughtful of all the candidates running for president, and, sadly, he’s losing out to celebrity and money.

Excuse me? Carlson is now disappointed that a qualified and thoughtful candidate hasn’t broken out?

Is this the same Carlson who just a week ago was making fun of campaign staffers who call him about the caucuses?

The same Carlson whose column after the Des Moines Register-sponsored debate was full of approving quotes from cynical people who watched the debate while getting their haircut? The tone of that column is classic Carlson: while politicians are yakking, most Iowans (read: normal people) have better things to do and don’t believe anything the politicians say.

Carlson should stick to writing about church suppers and heart-warming charity projects. If he’s such a fan of Joe Biden, he could have done more during the year to encourage his readers to take the campaign seriously, get out there and listen to the second-tier candidates.  

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