Kerry on Meet the Press

Kerry and Russert are bobbing and weaving on MTP right now. Any Dean supporters that thought Russert gave Dean an overly hard time should be watching now — he’s being as hard on Kerry.

But each time Kerry answers, Russert comes back with a question along the lines of, “But Howard Dean…” It’s driving Kerry nuts, and I don’t blame him. I support Dean, and there’s no doubt that part of the story of this race is the horse race between Dean and Kerry — but shouldn’t this be as much about Kerry’s views, not Kerry’s views as opposed to Dean’s views? Russert’s doing it deliberately to try and tweak Kerry enough to get him to slam Dean, and so far (we’re half way through the program) Kerry hasn’t bit. He’s made a few comments, but so far he’s avoided going negative. For that, I commend him. Kerry’s got to be thinking that if he manages to navigate through this race with the nomination in hand, he’ll need the fiercely motivated Dean supporters behind him.

And isn’t that an interesting change in the race? Everyone has been talking about how, now that it’s Labor Day, Dean as frontrunner means Dean-with-target-on-his-back. But with more than 300,000 motivated supporters (and growing), anyone who overtly attacks Dean risks alienating the largest and most dedicated group supporting any candidate. They’re being used for good now — in support of the Dean campaign — but God help the candidate that is in their crosshairs.

One thing is certain (as if there were any doubt): Dean continues to define this race. Even when he’s not in the same zip code as any of the other candidates, he’s setting the agenda and forcing others to react to him. As long as that continues, he looks like the leader, he looks like the standard-bearer, and his name recognition goes up.

7 responses to “Kerry on Meet the Press”

  1. I missed the talking heads this morning, but I think you've brought up an interesting point. In one of the polls I read, Dean supporters have a generally positive impression of Kerry. I know I have nothing against Kerry, while supporting Dean. But, on the other hand, Kerry supporters have very negative feelings about Dean. Now, in theory, if Dean wins the nomination, the Kerry folks will fall in line. But from those numbers, it looks like it'd be pretty grudgingly.

  2. It seemed to me Russert was haranguing Dean more than Kerry. But he did dominate the interview with Dean questions. That should be making Kerry kooky by now. I think Kerry handled himself very well. As well as can be expected with his Beltway Insider hedging evident. He is like a corpse when compared to Dean.

  3. Kerry got destroyed! Kerry Supporters find another guy. This guy said the Newt Gingrich takeover was a 'good thing'. Some Democrat! War hero you argue he threw his metals in the garbage after vietnam! (Un-Patriotic)

  4. Russert jabbed Kerry a couple of times good, but he also jabbed Dean and allowed Kerry to jab Dean.Look at the interviews side by side and you cannot say that he was “equally tough” on Kerry as he was on Dean.

  5. Russert totally let Kerry go on how he was suppposedly going to cut the deficit in half in the first year and not repeal the Bush tax cut.I hope we don't “Tsongased” by a Bill Clinton-type campaigner. Remember Pault T criticising Clinton for promising everything to everyone? Tsongas gave tough answers and asked Americans to suck it up for their country? Lets hope that HD's message of needing to suck it up for the good of the country is the message that folks are ready to hear.Keep Hope Alive. Elect Howard Dean!

  6. It seemed to me Russert was haranguing Dean more than Kerry. But he did dominate the interview with Dean questions. That should be making Kerry kooky by now. I think Kerry handled himself very well. As well as can be expected with his Beltway Insider hedging evident. He is like a corpse when compared to Dean.

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