Blog4kerry - He's the Real Deal

A quote from former Senator Warren B. Rudman, Republican of New Hampshire sums it up, "I think he's a moderate Democrat — very liberal on social policy and reasonably conservative on foreign policy and defense matters."

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Maybe we haven’t done a good enough job of articulating what four more years of Bush will be like. This new Zogby poll says voters prefer a take-no-prisoners candidate even if the candidate was unlikely to beat Bush. What is the other guy’s movement about, embracing defeatism?

Sen. Kerry’s campaign goes far beyond winning an election. His vision is to present the American people with a better set of choices. He’ll use the bully pulpit to take it to the Republicans on issues that matter to Progressives. He is the only true Progressive in race. He has supported us on the environment, workers rights, health care, judicial appointments, etc. The rest of the top tier candidates are the real “Bush-Lites.”

I’m surprise the debate has swung so quickly to now put Kerry supporters in the position of articulating why Bush must be defeated in 2004. I had thought all Democrats were focused on this task.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Found an interesting article in the Birmingham Post-Herald covering polling on the war in Iraq. Scroll down to see entry called: South May not Back Bush.

This supports my previous blog (8/7) that Bush is vulnerable in the South to a Democratic candidate with a strong national security credentials. Democrats need to make Bush spend some of his 250 million defending the South. Former veteran Kerry might even be able to pick off a few southern states (maybe Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Virginia) clinching the election for the Democrats. Note, Kerry has visited Virginia four times this year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Anyone catch Joan Walsh’s article “My big fat mea culpa” in Salon?

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.
What is it Jim Hightower said about Bush, “He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.”
Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe quotes Kerry at a stump speech in Iowa.
"George Bush went to a nice, fancy high school like I did, but I came out of my fancy high school asking the question, `Why can't everybody have a school like this?' " said Kerry, a graduate of the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H. (Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.)
"I think that's what we need in the United States: a president who understands that education is the great equalizer," Kerry said.
The entire article can be found at:

Friday, August 08, 2003

Patience... It isn’t a virtue to peak early in a presidential race. There are still six months before the first caucus.

Several other Kerry supporters I know have expressed emotions ranging from anger to disgust with what they perceive as the lethargic nature of the Kerry campaign.

Reports like the one in the USA Today showing Sen. Kerry’s “lead” slipping is making supporters nervous. See URL below:

There are several reasons Kerry supporters should not worry.

1) The Senator has not even announced his candidacy formally. He has not been introduced to many Democratic primary voters yet. You would not be a supporter if you didn’t find his story and vision compelling. Others will also...

2) The Senator has quietly been building a large network of endorsements and supporters. They plan major announcements in September to coincide with his formal candidacy.

3) The Kerry campaign is sitting on its war chest while other candidates are blowing through precious cash at enormous rates.

4) Remember the Kennedy strategy... Primaries are not setup to be a national contest. They are fought state by state. Kerry is still one or two in Iowa and New hampshire. When Lieberman who has zero chance of winning the nomination decides to drop out, it only helps Kerry in New Hampshire.

Plus, as a transplanted Southerner, I think once Kerry introduces himself in South Carolina, he will do very well. Remember the South has seen a disproportionate amount of their boys killed in suspect wars after being lied to by the elite. This is especially true in the African-American community. His call to national service for the youth will resonate in a South still holding firmly to patriotic values.

5) Blowing money over the next month would not be a good use of resources. Everything is going to be lost in the coverage surrounding the California gubernatorial race. Kerry should use the lull to reenergize and build on his emerging grassroots successes using low cost methods.
Who is going to call BS to Dean’s temper tantrum? The AP quoted Dean adviser Steve McMahon saying the former Vermont governor finds in his campaign travels that "Democrats are almost as angry at the Democrats in Washington as they are at Republicans in Washington."

Everything I hear out of the Dean campaign is that Democrats are trying to be Bush lite. With the except of Joe Lieberman, I find their resistance valiant. Dean started this myth and now is enjoying the benefits of it, regardless of what it is does to our party.

In the House without any success, the Democrats have been fighting the Republicans tooth and nail to gain any media attention. It isn’t their fault the fascist way the Republicans have shut them out of the democratic process. The Democrats in the Senate have also been very united in opposing the President’s legislation. So excepting the minority DLC, “Washington Democrats” have actually been very vocal in opposing Bush. Sorry Governor Dean, with the Republicans controlling the Senate, it is just impossible to get an independent council.

Dean’s rant is just more Democratic self-destruction. Every four years like clockwork, we can never get our act together enough to actually attack Republicans. Yes, I agree the garbage coming out of the DLC these days is wrong, since their thorny barbs are going to stick to any eventual Democratic nominee. But why try to destory the entire party because you disagree with a small minority. It is hypocritical for Dean’s campaign to blast a “Washington Democrat” straw man. Funny isn't it, how the media loves to cover Dean blasting the other Democrats, but dismisses all Democratic attacks on Bush as more "politics?"

Why kick the “Washington Democrats” around since they are powerless and ignored by the media? Shouldn’t Dean be taking on the media for their refusal to cover the Democrat’s fight since the 2000 election? Hmmm. Guess being the unexamined media darling keeps the Governor from comprehending his grand delusion.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Hey Starbucks drinking, NPR listening urban liberals. Don’t laugh about a Democratic NASCAR strategy because you don’t understand it. Democrats have an image problem with white men in the South and it isn’t because they disagree with us on the economy. “Mudcat” Saunders and pals engineered this strategy to win 51% of the rural vote for Governor Warner in VA in 2002. Unheard of...

Image and honor are everything in the South. We are going to destroy Bush on the question of honor in 2004. Read my lips the economy, read my lips Iraq, read my lips nation building, read my lips homeland defense, etc. However, if the Democrats select a “wimp” candidate, we’ll have a problem in 2004. We don’t have to cede everything south of the Mason-Dixon line to Bush. Let’s make him spend some of his 200 million defending his turf.

I can see Sen. Kerry hopping into a Monte Carlo and taking a lap at Bristol, then taking the afternoon to do a little hunting in the Smokey Mountains. The South will love it. They’ll forgive his Massachusetts roots with his silver star and three purple hearts.

Want a good laugh, image Dean taking a lap in a NASCAR race car. Dukakis’ tank ride would be forgotten to public memory with this moment of public levity.

Graham will make a great running mate for Kerry. He just needs to see the light. Hey “Mudcat”, Kerry gives you more to work with, come on over. Plus, come on, Kerry could take Graham in a quail hunt.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

How Kerry should deal with the Dean factor.

Is Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe correct the Kerry campaign is split over how to deal with Dean?


I’m personally amazed the Kerry campaign would consider attacking Dean. The governor has done a good job of tapping into the Democrats’ rage at the current administration. Dean's constant shrill attacks on President Bush only help the eventual Democratic nominee. Kerry’s campaign has to have more faith in their deep organization and believe that the Senator will be the eventual nominee. Plus, once Kerry has won, it would be difficult to image (but not impossible) the Deanites staying home from the polls in November 2004 given their hatred of the President.

However, Kerry has to tread lightly. If he squashes Dean with the weight of the establishment in the primary, but might lose their energy against Bush. I believe Dean has peaked and should start to fade as the establishment starts to weigh in and media starts probing the governors’s record. However, Kerry must stay on message, “I’m the electable one.” Pointing this fact out will not raise the ire of the Deanites just don't belittle what they have accomplished.

Why care? It is more than just a fear of losing the committed Dean activists. Dean has tapped into two unique new ways to involve the upwardly mobile
under forty generation (more on this tomorrow). With the changes in campaign finance reform, the soft money spigot that Clinton used has run dry for 2004. Democrats are going to have to hone their skills in grassroots organizing to beat Bush/Rove.

Even as the epitome of the establishment candidate, Kerry must not ever admit this fact. If the Deanites believe the party is anointing Kerry, they will carry a grudge. (Yes, it is true. I’m a former independent McCainiac who refuses vote for another Republican in this decade.) His inevitability of being the nominee should be kept close within the campaign, not used as a sledge to deflate the competition. As difficult as it will be, Kerry must even publically adopt Dean’s anti-establishment culture.

Kerry must ADOPT their CULTURE not their rhetoric! Let the Dean campaign continue to innovate and push the limits of campaigning. Learn from the successful parts of the Dean’s campaign and adopt them. Let them take the lumps for failures. Dean has tapped a large segment of the population that will also reward Kerry if he embraces their methods of communication. It does not matter he was a secondary adopter. He’ll be rewarded for GETTING IT.

The hard part for an establishment candidate like Kerry will be that the campaign will have trust their grassroots organizations to innovate and know their communities. Let’s hope he makes the right choice.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Up to this point in the campaign the media has used “kid gloves” with Gov. Dean. Really, that is to be expected with six months to go before the kick-off of the campaign. After all, Dean is an upstart creating a good deal of excitement with a very innovative campaign. However, most supporters could not name more than two or three of the Governor’s positions other than his stance on the Iraq war and his support of civil unions. What they love about Dean is his “thumb in the eye” approach to the Bush administration. Liberal Democrats “hate” Bush with such passion, it is reminiscent of how much the Newt Gingrich wing of the Republican Party hated Clinton. The problem for Dean is to not alienate the independent and moderate center while still drawing a contrast to Bush. Could Newt have ever been elected to national office even with the legions of conservatives who revered him?

Interesting enough, the media love-fest may be turning on Dean. Newsweek reports “in the early 1970s Dean got a medical deferment from the draft for a bad back not long before he spent the winter skiing the bumps in Aspen.”


If the Democrats hope to prove what a phony Dubya in this election, I don’t see how Dean can trash the photo-op landing. While hypocritical, given Bush and Cheney’s poor personal military history, Rove will point out the Governor‘s record and neutralize the Democrat’s criticism.

Friday, August 01, 2003

When voters go to the polls next year, they are not going to vote solely based on the economy. Wake up, Democrats. You should have learned this in 2002. They are going to want a leader with strong foreign policy and domestic security experience. Before 9/11, Sen. Kerry was on the commission warning Americans that terrorism was real. He is also a war hero, not a rich kid who used his family influence to join the National Guard then conveniently disappeared from duty. Voters may lean toward the Democrats on the economy, but will not "pull the donkey’s tail" unless they trust the President to have the experience to keep them safe.

Salon has another great article today about how to beat Bush in 2004. This article really brought clarity to me.


This is a must read column! Democrats must reverse the tables on the character issue and take it to the Bush/Rove machine. We need to reevaluate our strategy since 70% of the American people view Bush as trustworthy. How is this possible? 1992 was “It’s the Economy Stupid.” 2004 has to be “Bush is a fake.” We can turn the photo-op landing to our advantage by offering the American public a choice between a phony and a real “Commander-in-Chief” with three purple hearts and a gold star.

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