President Gary Hart would tell you, beware the wave!
Hart, the 1984 candidate of “new ideas,” rode the crest of popular, new generational appeal. After four years of Reagan, Hart offered something new against the establishment candidate Walter Mondale. He offered “new ideas,” however vague.
Keep in mind, after Hart rode high during primary season, Mondale came away with the nomination by hording supedelegates, and by asking a simple question– “where’s the beef?” that appealed to the public’s lingering doubts about Hart’s “new ideas.” (Hart later came away with Donna Rice).
Lesson for Barack? Beware the overconfidence that can follow sudden “rock star” status on the eve of what looks to be another big primary night. Beware cocky arrogance that will turn a now fawning press against you–instantly– and beware the clinton version of the mondale question that will no doubt be asked in some upcoming debate, “where’s the beef?” For Mondale, that question was all it took to reclaim the lead and for the Hart campaign to unravel quickly and unglamorously.