Perhaps looking to steal some signals loyal reader Michael “Proud Belichick Defender” Goldstein writes to ask:
Why wouldn’t one of the second tier, or even third tier, Dems go aggressively reform-manic on K-12? I totally understand why not if you’re the front runner.
It’s a good question. If history is a guide then the answer is that to go from being a second or third tier candidate to winning the nomination you need to win Iowa and/or New Hampshire. In the modern era winning one or both of those is pretty key to winning the nomination. A win, or even strong finish, in those states provides momentum and free media to jump start a campaign. But the teachers associations in both those states are organized and powerful and they do not really like reform-manic candidates. So, rather than going reform – manic it’s more likely that second and third tier candidates will start going anti-reform manic as the voting nears. And, although the dynamic changes some after the local associations endorse, teachers don’t vote in lockstep so candidates still want to seek support. In fact, it’s actually a confident front runner looking toward the general election who is better positioned to champion some real reform.