Don Boudreaux loves to try to teach with analogies. Sometimes they work for me, sometimes they don't. I really liked this one. Suppose you were tasked with selling a food product that 100,000,000 people would buy. Anything at all interesting - sushi, a spicy southwestern dish, a nice pork tenderloin - would only appeal to a niche. To get something that appeals to 100,000,000 you have to hit some lowest common denominator.
Eventually, you settle upon something that is unquestionably bland and common and uninspiring – something like a plain hamburger, or perhaps a dish of mild meatloaf with mashed potatoes topped only with butter. Anything more exotic than such offerings will, while being much preferred by a few million of the people whose patronage you’re trying to win, will be rejected by a majority of the people.
The same rules, he argues, apply to Presidential candidates
No one should be surprised that candidates for the U.S. presidency transact mostly in platitudes and are forever performing deeds on the campaign trail that any self-respecting person with independent judgment and a genuine sense and appreciation of his or her uniqueness would never in a million years dream of doing. And the closer a candidate gets to the political promised land, the more intense becomes the pressure for him or her to be the political equivalent of a Bud Lite.