Monday, January 19, 2004


Well, to paraphrase Josh Marshall from another election, that really could have gone better.

It seems to me that the big stories to come out of this caucus are:

  • Kerry and Edwards gave the press a new story to tell

And the media’s fixation on whether Dean’s wife will or won’t campaign for him is nuts. Why do we care?


  1. _And the media's fixation on whether Deans wife will or wont campaign for him is nuts. Why do we care?_

    The same reason why we care about the Micheal Jackson and all sorts of other stupid stuff.

    There is a reason the National Enquirer is at the checkout and not the Economist.

  2. Rick,
    Remember Dukakis.

    That said, Edwards seems to have a pretty damn compelling stump speech, and Kerry an underrated organization. And neither have the gaffes that Dean seems almost intent on producing -- I don't get it. And then there's the general. My guess is that Kerry and Clark will compete for the same voters in NH, leaving Dean close to or at the top, with Edwards in the top three. Then on to SC, where Edwards will most certainly feel at home....
    It should be interesting, at the very least.
    Cheers, Ben

  3. I just saw Dean's concession "speech". Bush, Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman--any one of them could run that speech as a campaign ad. I know that "Deaniacs" love that pumped-up, "us against the world" attitude, but it really, *really* doesn't play well among everyone else.

  4. First let me tell you all that you haven't really lived primary politics until you've lived in New Hampshire. I used to think I *got it* until I moved here. There's nothing like the 10 or so calls per day we're getting this week, at all hours of day and night. Apparently 20 yo campaign workers don't understand that people with kids do not want a call at 10 pm.

    Anyway, the change here in momentum, attitude, etc... in the past week to two has been palpable. Clark's decision not to enter the foray in Iowa has proven an excellent strategy. He is getting an amazing amount of buzz - similar to what Dean had 2-3 months ago. While I agree with Rick to a certain extent that Dean has borne the brunt of the negative campaigning, he and his staff should have been prepared for that with appropriate messaging, instead of getting into petty arguments with potential voters. I suspect that a lot of people viewed that incident as an example of how he would react/behave when confronted by Bush or his cronies. People do not want an intemperate candidate or president.

    I think Dean has lost his focus. The first indication of this came with the capture of Saddam; at that point, his messaging needed to change, and while it did somewhat, it clearly was not enough. Since then, it's been downhill. Clark's message began to resonate, and his polling numbers have surged. If my neighborhood is any indication, there are now as many Clark lawn signs as Dean signs -- where 3 weeks ago, there were none.

    As much as I hate to say this, if Dean does not find a solid message to campaign on this week, he will not win the primary here.

  5. Allison,

    What I don't get is how you are willing to support any candidate what so ever for the Presidency of the United States EVEN WHEN he/she changes their message constantly.

    Do you want a 'Leader' that knows who he is? Or someone that wants to be who YOU would vote for?

  6. Rick,
    As a life long Republican who became disinterested in politics after the first Bush was elected but increasingly interested (in a negative way) after seeing what the second one has done to our country, I am seriously thinking of voting, cough, ahem... Democrat this election.

    For someone like me, Iowa's results are really disappointing since the ONLY candidates capable of beating Bush are Dean and Clark. They would actually make a good running team together - one that could beat Bush/Cheney.

    I fear now that Kerry and Edwards, even if they are not the ultimate winners, will stay in longer and further confuse voters.

  7. That's an interesting thing about people who decide to vote democrat. It's all about 'hatred' and it gets to the point where you don't have a leader you can look up to because you don't like anyone.

    What I am saying is that.. I get this impression from those people who say they 'were' republican but our 'now' democrats.... Is that they switched over only on simply not liking anyone. And this philosophy of being disgusted with everyone because no one is 100% a mirror of your own philosophy is nothing more than pure emotion.

    When you get right down to what Bush has done for America. (Fight Terrorism, Cut taxes, Help families with child tax credits, faith based initiative, fight affirmative action, fight kyoto treaty mess,) doesn't it all matter to you? It does to me. I can forgive Bush's faults and forgive how different he his from ME.

    I can forgive all that. Because George W. Bush at least 'acts' like a leader and stands on his own principles and values. Those principles and values tend to match my own values.

    It is that and that alone that keeps me voting for the Republican and keeps me a hard core conservative. When I look over that the Democratic Primary Race... All I see is 'Hatred' and Vietnam Era Politics and selfishness. I don't see any clear leader from you guys. Not one. And I know I am not alone in that. Many of you feel the same way I do but you are still holding on to this false, image.. this fantasy.

  8. Jeff, I know it's really hard for you to believe that anyone could differ with you on every point you've made above regarding Bush's performance and that said differences would be principled and fact-based. I know that you've got it in your head that we all *hate* America, but you've got it wrong. We just hate the direction our country is taking. For some reason, you choose not to see this, and take the amazingly simplistic approach of blaming our differences in opinion on stupidity and hatred. We are trying to engage in a debate/discourse that is critical to our country.

    But to answer your question directly, I want a president who can a)articulate and frame a message around his or her core beliefs and b)roll with the punches. When I say someone should change their messaging, I don't mean they should change their opinion, I simply mean they should communicate better, especially when challenged or in a time of adversity.

    Further, as I've mentioned before, I live in NH and have for quite some time. What you did not see outside NH in late 1999, before the campaign hit the national media, was George Bush refining his message. I assure you that as a neophite presidential candidate, he zigged and zagged with his messaging as he discovered what resonated with his audience. I know you won't believe me, but it's true.

    You actually said it pretty well above. George Bush reflects your principles and values. He does not reflect mine. I guess that's the bottom line.

  9. Allison wrote,
    "We are trying to engage in a debate/discourse that is critical to our country."

    No it is not 'critical' to the country to debate 'beyond' the water's edge. I am referring to all of this ANTI-WAR crap.

    How don't know how you liberals sleep at night. You berate the war and add comfort to our Terrorist Enemies. You attack America and President Bush and provide comfort for Saddam Hussein's Baathist Sympathizers and Al Queda.

    How do you sleep at night turning foreign policy into a political debate? How do you put your head on the pillow knowing full well how our soldiers morale has been shot due to too many Peace Rallies on T.V. and not enough Support the Troops rallies.

    I've heard from Anti-War people about how they 'Support the troops.' However, I have not see A SINGLE ANTI-WAR person participate in a 'Support the Troops' rally here in Ann Arbor Michigan.

    In Ann Arbor Michigan when we hosted the first 'Support the Troops' rally guess what happened??!??! We had about 1 dozen Peaceniks crashing our rally. Our rally was peaceful and approved by the city and right in the center of campus on what is called 'The Diag' of U of M.

    It was a fine and wonderful rally that made it on T.V. However... There were 1 dozen PEACENIKS trying to crash the event!

    You call 'THAT?' a debate? You call 'This' a debate? No.. When our soldiers LIVES are on the line the last thing they need to hear is that they are 'murderers' for following George W Bush's 'Revenge War.'

    You guys and girls keep justifying and excusing your behavior. And by justifying it you keep on doing it and the morale of our soldiers keeps getting effected. How many LIVES have been lossed because of you?

  10. I can not possibly forgive any Anti-War Peacenik for their behavior until they at least admit they are wrong to debate beyond the water's edge.

    I view YOU GUYS as just as bad as terrorists. I keep wondering why you don't just go off and join Al Queda yourselves given how much help you gave them!

  11. Re spousal campaigning or not campaigning...what a schizophrenic population,,,or, rather, what an absurd journalistic corps willing to stir a pot,,,,with Hilary it was too much spousal involvement, with Barbara it was fulfilling the matronly, grandmotherly role, with Laura it was actively, but quietly in the background, supportive role .... it's not relevant...there's no constitutional matrimonial requirements for candidates, and the spouses are not running.

  12. I give up. I think I'll just go burn some incense, put on my Berks & call up some of my peacenik friends for a "We Hate America" vegan potluck.

  13. What a relief. Somebody gets it.

    New front runners need to take the attacks. Also, people out here in CA were pissed AT Dean because the media declared him the nominee before the first votes had been cast. Today they see the truth: they are telling me how insane the media is. Media declared him the nominee before Iowa, media is declaring him dead before New Hampshire.

    I didn't get into this because I thought it would be easy. I hope the remaining supporters are in it for the long hard slog.

  14. TS, you go on and switch your allegiance; I think your "dream team" of Dean and Clark are just about finished. A couple of real winners--a "Washington outsider" and a Clintonista general who ordered a British general to fire on Russian troops. The British general declined, stating that he wasn't going to start WWIII for General Wes.

    Jeff MacMillan, you get it. Allison, sarcastic Allison, what ARE your principles and values, a liar who will raise taxes and dismantle any chance of security this country has?

    Have all you liberals forgotten? Read Admiral Moorer's Last Warning in; maybe you'll wake up and understand why the Bush administration did what it did, why we'd all be bowing to Mecca five times a day if Al-Qaeda Gore had won in 2000!