Saturday, January 31, 2004


How's that $15 billion to fight AIDS in Africa coming along?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Anyone From Iowa or New Hampshire?

There was some discussion on Bill Maher's new show last night that all the Deaniacs descending on Iowa and New Hampshire may have backfired. They drew a picture of a bunch of slacker hippie-wannabes with pierced noses telling traditional rural Dems who to vote for.

I was wondering if there was any truth to this.

Were the Deaniacs the sort of wild-eyed stereotypical radicals likely to turn off farm-state voters?
Or was that simply a bunch of horse-shit from people who weren't there?

I was kinda wondering about that whole Writing letters to Iowa voters thing myself. I can imagine that some of the people writing them might've gone a bit overboard in their fervor and scared the crap out of the typical suburban soccer Mom.

Am I the only one who thinks it's a sign that times have really changed when we have a woman doing the TV news named Soledad and no one even blinks?

Or when every white stockbroker's favorite athlete is a half-Thai, 1/4 black, 1/8 white, 1/8 Native American golfer with a Scandanavian wife?

Bet Against the Funeral Director

I've come up with a rule of thumb for wagering on Presidential elections (at least general elections).

See who looks most like a funeral director, and bet against him.

Shallow? Of course.

But no more shallow than letting the big donors decide, or the Supreme Court.

Gore - Bush
Clinton - Dole
Clinton - Bush
Dukakis - Bush (but this one was close)
Mondale - Reagan
Carter - Reagan
Carter - Ford

By my measure, Nixon was the last guy who won an election while looking more like a funeral director.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Watch This Video Right Now

Interesting KOS Diary on Kerry's stiff demeanor and it's portent for the Nov election:
Try to imagine courtroom whiz John Edwards one-on-one in a debate with George Bush. It would be the sort of one-sided slaughter the President of Mars so richly deserves. Dean would say two stupid things and 20 brilliant ones. Clark, whatever his other faults, radiates enough crackle to have leaped into national prominence as a TV pundit, for goodness sake.

Kerry would... umm... would... zzzzzzz...

I don't think this gets nearly enough attention from those picking Kerry based on electability. He's a boring guy. He's stiff, he's aloof, he's patrician, and he's a Yankee. Basically Kerry is a Yankee Al Gore with a better war record.

I liked Al Gore, and worked on his campaign. I think he would've made a pretty good President. But he wasn't a magnetic, charming guy, and efforts to make him come across as one always reeked of inauthenticity.

Like it or not, electoral politics is about wooing the voters and charming them with your personality. Clinton married this with popular positions on the issues, and he won. Gore was on the popular side of the vast majority of the issues, but he never made that connection with the voters. As a result, an incompetent faker pretending to be a Texas good ole boy conned his way within stealing range of the Presidency.

From what I've seen of Kerry lately, he's Gore redux. His stiff delivery of lines that should flow naturally like Bring It On, an uncomfortableness speaking to an audience, and a generally aloof manner will really hurt in November.

We need a candidate who makes voters feel comfortable with him as a person. I'm not even sure that voters can imagine Kerry as a person.

From a commenter on Daily KOS:
"In New Hamphire last night, Yalie 1 defeated Yalie 2 to secure his hold on the front-runner status in the Democratic nominating contest. Yalie 3 came in fifth but claimed to be tied for third."
"If Yalie 1 wraps up the nomination, he will have a face-off with Yalie 4, the son of Yalie 5."

"Skull and Bones was unavailable for comment."

Josh Marshall spent election day going to as many campaign rallies as possible with these highlights:
I’ve realized that it’s impossible not to believe Edwards is going to be the nominee while you’re actually watching an Edwards event. The certainty wears off a while later, of course. But while he’s got you in his crowd you’re under his spell. Tried. Tried again ... No, doesn’t work. There’s some sort of hypnosis. At least in the moment, he's that good.

[Clark]connected with the crowd. He hit the war issue hard --- Bush is someone who “prances around on the deck of an aircraft carrier.”

I'm only 7th in a google search for Burton bullshit.

This makes me very sad.

Who's the Big Loser?

Dean and Clark Both Lose!

Dean is toast. As I've said before, I don't consider him to be a flaming liberal, but his speaking style and his core of support among the left-wing has painted him as such. This has cost him his shot at the nomination. Moderates don't want him to win, and many liberals don't think he can.

Dean was building some bandwagon support before Iowa (even I thought he was inevitable), but it's all gone now. None of the anybody but Bush voters are going for him, and the upcoming primaries are all unfriendly. I see Delaware as the only potential Dean win next week.

Clark is hurting. He skipped Iowa to concentrate on New Hampshire, and still finished tied for third. Instead of Howard Dean, he's now faced with as chief rivals a better financed, highly decorated veteran with years of experience and a fellow Southerner who seems born to speak in front of an audience.

Clark needs a win next week or he's done. If I were him, I'd spend all my time in Oklahoma and North Dakota (at least I think it's North Dakota that votes next week :) ). Clark needs a win, any win. He should campaign where he has the best shot and the least competition.

While Edwards certainly wasn't helped, he wasn't hurt badly either. He went from dead-ass last to a tie for third in one week of campaigning, which tells me that he connects with voters when they get to know him. The longer he stays in, the more his support builds. People respond to John Edwards, which bodes well for him as the campaign goes on; but the longer Clark stays in, the worse it is for Edwards. He needs to pull away from the pack with a couple wins and build momentum for Super Tuesday.

He needs South Carolina, but he should also compete in Missouri, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Those are places where his background, his message, and his accent (yes, that matters) should go over well.

Who's the big winner?

Kerry Wins!

And he won in more ways than one:

1) He got the most votes and therefore the most delegates. While this is definitely a win, it also shouldn't be much of a surprise. He's from next door, and the Boston media market dominates NH. A loss would've hurt far more than a win helps, just as it has done to Dean.

2) More importantly, his opposition remains split. If either Edwards or Clark had emerged with big momentum, it really would've hurt Kerry in Yankee-phobic places like Oklahoma and South Carolina. An Edwards or Clark clean sweep in those places would've seriously dented Kerry's pitch as the most electable candidate.

The strategic voters who will vote for anyone who can beat Bush would think twice about turning their back on a guy who swept the South and Mountain West. As long as both Edwards and Clark are in the race, a sweep by either is much less likely.

Keryy needs to be very concerned about the expectations game. Novak, the Prince of Darkness, is on CNN right now saying that Kerry could sweep the next week's worth of primaries. I think there's chance he might only win a couple of them. If anything short of kicking ass next week is a defeat, then get ready for Kerry to get handed defeat.

KOS gives us the rundown on NH, including the fact that about 5% of the Republican primary voters bothered to go out in the cold to write in Democratic candidates (since registered Republicans can't cross over and vote in the Democratic primary).

One of his commenters, Maire, had this to say:
DEMs could have won in 1988 if we had selected a halfway decent candidate. We could have won in 2000 if we had reached out to the left and forged an alliance. We could even have won in 1984 if we'd had a dynamic candidate. Kerry is NOT DYNAMIC. The general population does not like watching grass grow or paint dry and that is what watching Kerry is like.

Then I found in her KOS diary some interesting observations about Wes Clark, and the comparisons to Eisenhower, our last former General in the White House (hint: She doesn't buy 'em).

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Joe, it's over. Don't drag it out any longer.

Take a cue from Gephardt. He saw the writing on the wall and bowed out. You should do the same.

Spin it how you like, but you finished 5th in a state you'd been spending all your time and money in. One of the guys ahead of you only started campaigning there last week.

You've still got your Senate seat, which puts you one up on Gep. Go back to it, and be the best Senator from Connecticut you can be. Cause that President thing just ain't gonna happen. I'm sure you'd be better off now if you'd never caught Potomac Fever, but you did.

You will not be President.

It's over. Don't drag it out any longer.

Monday, January 26, 2004

33 year old Doonesbury cartoon poking fun at John Kerry.


1st: Kerry (by a pretty big margin)
2nd: Dean (barely)
3rd: Edwards (close on Dean's heels)
4th: Clark
5th: Lieberman

Lieberman drops out, blaming inability to raise money.

Dean limps on, but finds enthusiasm/money harder to come by than previously.

Clark continues on, but drops out after losing South Carolina to Edwards.

Of course, I could be full of crap. Dean could win handily, declare himself The Comeback Kid, and lead the pack once again.


Have just looked at 2 different electoral vote calculators. They both agree.

If the Democratic nominee wins every Gore state plus New Hampshire and Nevada, the vote will be evenly split 269-269.

I'm guessing that the House would then jump in to throw the race to Bush.

Would really suck to have 8 years of a fucker who never won the election even once.

Almost missed this brutal takedown of Bush's State of the Union Address by South Knox Bubba:
It was just... weird. It was all over the place with half-baked ideas and half-hearted, non-specific proposals. There was no flow or cohesiveness. The segues were disjointed and bizarre, like whole pieces of it were missing.........

.........The shocking thing this speech revealed was that Bush has absolutely no coherent domestic policies whatsoever. I wonder if he is even aware of what is going on out here. I was shocked that the GOP missed this opportunity to advance their domestic agenda, whatever it is.

I Want to Hate John Edwards

He's a multimillionaire former trial lawyer who looks like Robert Redford in The Candidate and has a decent shot at becoming the next President of the United States. He's 15 years older than I am, but looks like my younger brother.

Top that with the fact that he's running a positive campaign based on what he wants to do as President rather than just on running down his opposition. I'm sure he's nicer to old people and puppy dogs than I am, too.

Reminds me of a couple guys I knew in High School, Chas Morton and Matt Ligon (you too, Tommy). They were really smart, really athletic, ridiculously good-looking guys who it would've been easy to envy and hate. But they were both so damned nice that I couldn't hate them. That drove me nuts.


Just saw a Clark speech where he was bragging about never having cut a deal for votes as if it were a really good thing.

It's not.

His lack of legislative experience is Clark's weakpoint, not a strength. How is he gonna jam his agenda through an often hostile and always self-interested Congress if he doesn't have any experience arm-twisting and vote-buying?

I like Clark, and I think he has the potential to be a good President, but he'll need a VP and a staff with good political instincts much more than the other candidates.

Politically, he's the 2nd biggest loser from Iowa. He was expecting a resounding Dean victory to clear the decks and leave him as the principle alternative to the Gov. Now he's battking for 3rd in the polls with Edwards, and will have to fight with him to win the more conservative primaries in SC, OK, and the Dakotas.

He doesn't need to win NH, but a 4th place showing would really hurt Clark's campaign. On the other hand, a 2nd place finish would be a real boost.


Matthew Yglesias thinks that a 3rd place finish in Iowa actually helped Howard Dean by keeping the opposition from uniting around a lone opponent.

I disagree.

The fact that there are multiple viable opponents in New Hampshire helps Dean win New Hampshire, but his lousy showing in Iowa makes New Hampshire far more important than it would otherwise be. Lots of candidates have finished 2nd or 3rd in New Hamshire and Iowa then gone on to win the nomination. Howard Dean is not one of these candidates. If he doesn't win in NH, he's toast. He could drag this out as long as wanted to, with his strong finances and devoted core of supporters, but he'll still be toast.

After NH, the campaign moves to places like South Carolina, Michigan, and Oklahoma. These are not likely to be very Dean-friendly. The Super-Tuesday races in the South will likewise be a bloodbath for the Dean campaign if Clark and/or Edwards are still in the race.

The only races coming up where I'd consider Dean to even be competitive are Delaware and Washington. He needs a win in NH to keep him from completely disappearing from the radar. If he goes under, he likely won't come back up in time for friendlier races in the Northeast and West Coast.

As I've stated before, I don't think Dean is as liberal as either his supporters or the general public consider him. But that hardly matters now. As long as people think Dean is an unelectable radical, he might as well really be one. And screaming on TV sure doesn't help change that perception.

He doesn't win NH, and he's toast.

Faux "News" is apparently under orders to prop up Dean while taking down Clark and Kerry.

They also seem to be kind to Edwards, but that may be a miscalculation. I'd don't think he'd be as easy to take down as the Pubbies think.