Wednesday, August 13, 2003
The Dean campaign really believes the key to winning this November election is turning out 3-4 million people who didn’t vote last time around. Joan retorted, “I've heard that before, I shot back. I knew I only had a short time with Dean, so I poured my heart out. I want to believe you, I said, but I've heard Democrats talk about that since 1984, when I was covering the NAACP's Operation Big Vote and HumanServe and the Women's Vote Project, and nobody's ever done it. How do you make it happen? He just smiled and said: ‘We'll see.’”
And she dropped it… She asked a great question, but never followed up on the logic of it. Are Democrats really ready to put their trust in a candidate who main tenant of electability is, “We’ll see.”
Turning out 3-4 million voters who never voted before on election day is not guarantee of victory in November. It all depends if these voters will be turning out in the five or six states actually in play. Al Gore can testify to the fact the Presidential election is not a popularity contest. The majority of states are either solidly in the “Red” or “Blue” camps.
Sadly, 50% of the people in this country would care about politics even if Gandhi, Buddha and Jesus were running on a ticket. They are in one of two camps, either hopelessly politically uninformed or so proud of their cynicalism that they pompously view as their superior “intelligence.” I wish Dean luck on energizing and bringing these voters into the Democratic fold, but don’t think he has a chance. After all, look at the people attending his Meetups. His people are not new voters, they are politically savvy, sometimes activists, many times C-SPAN junkies with one trait in common, Bush pisses them off. I applaud Dean getting this group (myself included) off our collective butts this summer instead of waiting until January, but it still doesn’t change the question. “I've heard that before…”
The states in “play” are mid-western (excepting Florida), relatively moderate, patriotic and very interested in security. Dean does not play as well in these states. Plus, voters are not going to vote for a candidate that they believe might jeopardize their security. Of course, Dean would not jeopardize our security, but with 250 million in the bank Rove will have an easy time convincing voters that Dean will invite Osama to spend the night at the Lincoln bedroom. You think I’m kidding… Forty percent of Americans think Iraq was responsible for 9-11.
The Republican convention is going to coincide with the 9-11 memorials. John Kerry is the only Democratic candidate who can call BS on this phony photo-op presidency. Kerry can focus the campaign on issues where Democrats are strong in the swing states, because he will neutralize Bush on security.