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It may be that Americans don’t want to settle for turning back the clock to just one bathroom but would rather prefer growth and increased standards of living, or at least politicians who promise them. Mr. Brokaw will be 72 in 2012, the same age as John McCain was in 2008 and a year younger than Ronald Reagan was when he was re-elected in 1984.
But if the political-media establishment or the electorate are hungering for a candidate in 2012 who isn’t Barack Obama, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, or Mitt Romney, and if Michael Bloomberg isn’t going to run—well, let’s just say the debates could be livelier next year if Mr. Brokaw participates not as a moderator but as a candidate. As Mr. Brokaw’s book puts it: “It’s now accepted that independent voters make up about thirty per cent of the American electorate, and with every new election they’re proving to be a powerful swing vote.”