Saturday, January 31, 2004
AP Story Confirming My Earlier Blog About Sharpton in SC
Go west, JK and focus on Arizona and New Mexico. We'll save that big Southern win for Virginia and Tennessee. Our number one asset is electability and we don't need to get the label in the press of, "Can't win in the South or West." Set expectations low in South Carolina so if we do pull off an upset, it magnifies the victory all the more.
On Dean's Demise
But I'll give him this, he has done a good job getting the Democratic base motivated. In a way, he has become a martyr, since he is just too polarizing a figure to the middle. It does not do any good to ignite the base and turn them out, if the swing middle runs in the other direction. Yes, he has done damage to Bush long-term with his relentless pounding, but it has also made him unelectable.
Democrats must have another candidate now, I believe Kerry is the guy.
You’ll Hear About This In 2004
"Let me give you some statistics," responded panelist Paul Begala, "I worked for Bill Clinton in 1992 and …in anticipation of this very question, I looked this up on Nexis. There were 13,641 stories about Bill Clinton 'dodging the draft' …and there were 49 stories about Bush and the National Guard," Begala said.
Don’t forget about old Dick Cheney who was never criticized for taking similar educational deferments to Bill Clinton. Didn’t see him roasted in the media.
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Go West JK
Post debate wrap-up: I think Edwards is going to start feeding on Clark’s vote in South Carolina. After hearing the debate, Clark sounds terrible. This guy has to go, you can’t run against Rove’s machine with his lack of experience. It would be a disaster for the Dems.
In the debate however, Sharpton did well with his core constituency and will probably do well enough to reach the 15% mark in SC. This will hurt Kerry’s chances to win the state since due to endorsements Sharpton votes should go to Kerry.
Does the media pounce on Kerry if he doesn’t win South Carolina and loses maybe one more state especially if that other state is in the West? The rap will be that Kerry can’t win in either the West or South. If Kerry just loses South Carolina, I don't think it is a big deal. Just don't focus on Edwards' "must win" state and lose one of the western states.
The fact is, Kerry made a mistake when he misspoke about Democrats not having to win a Southern state even though he was right. This could cost him enough votes in SC to allow Edwards a win. Very reminiscent of Dean's 2000 blasting of the Iowa caucus which resurfacing one week before this year's caucus...
A better strategy would be for Kerry not to go for the knock-out punch on the 3rd, but instead focus on winning the West (Arizona and New Mexico). Up to this point, Kerry has surprised each time because his campaign relentlessly set expectations low. Why be so risky now?
Kerry will still play in the South, but lets wait until Tennessee or a later state.
Dan Conley, a fellow Southerner, has a great blog today on Kerry's 2/3 "shock and awe" campaign strategy and the associated pitfalls. Sadly, I think his analysis is right on. Dan believes if Kerry doesn't fight too hard in South Carolina, Edwards would just get a token win and may not get much of a bounce out of it.
Edwards Populist With No Answers
So tell me, JE, are you against federal funding of job training? What would you do give them a hug instead?
Where Kerry Should Really Focus Next Week
Since New Mexico, Missouri and Arizona are swing states (and South Carolina is not in play in the general), it bolsters Kerry's claim to be the more electable candidate if he wins all three swing states on 2/3.
Updated 2/1: in NY Times - Supporting this Post
So whoever wins here can claim to have demonstrated the sort of broad appeal that any presidential candidate needs, and done so in a state that is certain to be a battleground this fall. Missouri has been hard-fought for decades, going with the winner in every presidential race in 100 years except 1956.
Interesting Article About Buyer's Remorse in the Bush White House
Some of Bush’s political advisers take credit for successfully tarring Dean as an angry liberal, and are now suffering a kind of buyer’s remorse. They wonder whether their criticism fueled the rise of Kerry — a more formidable candidate, in the estimation of some campaign officials.
He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, knowledgeable about domestic and foreign affairs, and has a certain gravitas and strength as a debater.
I think the Bush White House is overestimating their contribution to Dean's demise. Andrew Sullivan has a good blog that jobs may not be the only thing this administration is blind and dumb on.