the talking dog

February 15, 2004, Playing To Win...

The Kerry juggernaut train rolls on, adding yesterday's caucus victories in Nevada and the District of Columbia to bring his string to 14 out of 16 contested primaries or caucuses.

Wisconsin's primary is coming up Tuesday; I'll be trying to get back some of the energy that was projected from earlier blogbursts for a Tuesday Wisconsin pirmary blogburst. All bloggers are welcome to send in their thoughts on it, especially Wisconsin bloggers (and I will be seeking out Wisconsin bloggers to participate). To be honest, Senator Kerry has a healthy poll lead there, and I see Governor Dean coming in third (though he said he both will and won't drop out if he doesn't do well in Wisconsin, i.e. win it). I think Wisconsin will confirm what we know already: John Kerry is your Democratic nominee. Everyone else is playing for something else (Edwards for veep, Sharpton for "bones", Kucinich because he's nuts, and Dean because he hates Kerry).

As I have said in comments, I really don't have a problem with Kerry securing the nomination. I'm kind of deluding myself by pointing out irrelevance like "John Kerry is not a good man". Well, if he was, he couldn't possibly be elected, now could he? I mean, in my lifetime, I can think of three people I'd regard as "good men" to hold the office, those being LBJ (flawed, to be sure, even if I think he was a good man), Gerald Ford (the accidental President) and Ronald Reagan (who I politically disagreed with almost across the board, but who I did, and still do, respect as a man). Two office holders I would regard quite literally as evil incarnate (Nixon and Poppy Bush), and the others as pretty much jerks (I was technically alive for the last year of JFK, but I don't know how to classify him on my subjective analysis; he was certainly no liberal.)

The Democrats (finally) are showing something I have actually admired in Republicans (in some sense): party discipline. The goal of beating Bush is now paramount: panderings on abortion, gay rights, environmental issues, trade, taxation, social security, medicare-- all out! One issue governs: who can beat Bush. Maybe we're picking the wrong guy (as I fear), or maybe by unifying behind him, we're assuring his victory. My other fear is that he (like Howard Dean) is peaking way too early. I don't want to see Bush on the defensive (about bullshit like his AWOL record-- we know the man is devoid of character, for God's sake!) in February '04: I want him on the defensive in late October.
When pulling Osama out of his out is seen rightly as a desperation move, rather than the mark of a "strong leader".

Some of you may disagree, but I'd like to see Kerry taken down some notches now, and then build up to an unstoppable crescendo on... Election Day. I still remember Mike Dukakis' 15 point early lead over Poppy Bush, and I don't want to see that history repeat itself.

But that's just me.

TrackBack (0)


I agree that timing is EVERYTHING when it comes to personal info, scandales, etc. Both sides are deeply involved in trying to define the other early on, rather than wait until later to lay their vision of the other guy out. The question is going to be how each holds up to the relentless press scrutiny and the brutality of our news cycles (cable tv; internet; and mass media). Kerry handled the Drudge Report allegation well with a dismissive "NO" which is great...unless there's most stuff that will come out right before the elections. The White House has not handled the controversy of Bush's military service well since they appear to be releasing materials under pressure; if they had released what they had earlier they could weather it better. But is there more stuff on him to come...and will the press have to squeeze it out? I still think if Osama is found by late summer or early fall it may be too late in the game. The Bush hatred is intensely strong among Democrats (and environmentalists), and the talk radio troops are well primed. What will the independents do? Last time a lot of them went with Bush because he argued he was a Compassionate Conservative. Will he try that again...and will it work?

Posted by Joe Gandelman at February 15, 2004 12:48 PM

Joe, if he tries that line the Dems should merely point (loudly) to the amount of funding NOT placed behind all those "compassionate" programs. NCLB, anyone?

Posted by Linkmeister at February 15, 2004 01:31 PM

Jimmy Carter was and is a very good man.

Posted by Dwight Meredith at February 15, 2004 03:19 PM


I do stand corrected; I myself have always considered Carter a decent man, if a less than optimal President. I have always regarded that he and Ford are the best of friends to be a credit to them both. However, Carter's "forgettability" (like Ford's!) is... a bit of a problem!

Of course, Carter (like Clinton and LBJ) hailed from Dixie-- something that every Democrat who managed to be elected President in our lifetimes has had in common-- something Kerry will have to overcome, though certainly ceteris paribus, Kerry will overcome it, and will be the next President of the United States. But 8 1/2 months is several political eternities.

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Should I tell him that his potential roommate is a aol spy ?

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