J. D. Vance Considering Senate Run

The man is most famous as the author of Hillbilly Elegy, a book that became very popular among coastal elites trying to understand the hinterland. That makes him a kind of celebrity candidate, in that he is really being considered for office on the basis of his fame as a cultural figure. On the other hand, it's not like he's a reality TV host or a talk show host: his fame depends on a set of ideas, set out and defended in book-length form.

I wonder how popular he would be with voters who are actually a part of the culture he discusses in his book. He was not entirely flattering to them. The opioid crisis suggests that some tough-love criticism is not out of order, but that doesn't mean that they'd like his analysis of just what he thinks is wrong with them.

1 comment:

Gringo said...

Someone who read the book told me that Vance was too full of himself. My reply was that a lot of memoirs are like that- look at Obama's Dreams From My Father. Not all memoirs have the modesty of Grant's. I didn't consider Vance to be full of himself. He had a lot to be proud of, and he was generous in acknowledging help he received and also his own faults. We hypothesized that as Obama probably wrote Dreams in anticipation of running for office, that maybe Vance had written Hillbilly Elegy also with office in mind. (We were also discussing Pubs wanting Vance to run.)