Monday :: Nov 3, 2003

Democratic Update


by Steve

I havenít written much about the day-to-day maneuverings of the presidential campaigns because I had felt that heretofore it was too early to spend a lot of time on nitpicking what each candidate does when we were still months away from Iowa and New Hampshire. But I plan to spend a little more time from this point on, since it appears that there will be no more drop-outs between now and the campaign season. And on that note, it is being reported that Bob Graham will make his announcement today about whether or not he will be running for the Senate again, or retiring. For the sake of the party, Florida, and the country, letís hope that Graham runs again.

John Edwards made a good point over the weekend when he said the race amongst the Democratic candidates was too personal and not focused enough on unseating Bush.

Dick Gephardt is doing well at retail politics in Iowa, and making the point that Democrats donít need Florida to win in 2004, if they grab several states in the Midwest, which Gephardt claims is his strong suit. David Brooks of all people gave Gephardt a backhanded compliment when he wrote over the weekend that Gephardt is successful in Iowa and elsewhere in making people question the wisdom of free trade policies sold to us during the 90ís by Bill Clinton.

Elizabeth Drew writes up an assessment of Wesley Clark in an upcoming New York Review of Books piece that you may want to check out. Clark, for his part, had a successful appearance yesterday in San Francisco, succinctly laying out the criticisms against Bushís policies in Iraq.

Joe Klein writes an early obituary of Joe Lieberman in Time.

Prospects look good for the Democrats to hold on to Wisconsin next year.

And I will say it once, and then let it go. I think that what Howard Dean said about appealing for Southern voters who have pickup trucks and confederate flags in their cars was fine. I think it was pandering for the rest of the candidates to then jump in and bash Dean by playing for the ďIíd rather get the NAACP vote than the NRA voteĒ line like Kerry did. But Kerry wasnít alone; they all did it over the weekend. No matter what Zell Miller thinks about the Democrats and the South, what Dean was trying to say was entirely plausible. The imagery to some is regrettable justifiably so, but it speaks volumes about the state of the campaign that the only thing people may remember about the campaign over the weekend was the comments in response to Deanís original comment. For Godís sake guys, stop swinging at every ball in the dirt from Dean. Start leading with your own vision and coherent attacks against Bush and what you would do differently. But if your own campaign is defined as responding to whatever Dean says, then Dean has already won and you are irrelevant.

Steve :: 8:10 AM :: Comments (20) :: Digg It!