Posted by Mary
Iowa is a happening place this week and boy, I wish I could head out there myself. Natasha, my blogging partner over at Pacific Views, is heading out Iowa and then to New Hampshire to work on Dean's campaign. After travelling with Dean from Milwaukie to Seattle in August during his Sleepless Summer tour, natasha signed on for Dean in a big way. She'll be sending us reports as she engages in primary politics on the front line. Write home soon, lady!
Our amigo, MattS (who helped set up one the draft Clark sites) is also headed to Iowa to report on the scene along with others from Blogging of the President: 2004. They are planning to blog from Iowa, New Hampshire and California. We should be getting some great realtime reports from the front line.
I also wanted to pull on to the front page a comment left by Pat M who gives us a perspective of Iowa from someone who lives in Iowa:
Iowa City, Iowa guy here.
From my own limited little world and my own limited perspective it appears to me that Dean is tanking. And I think that the negative ads he currently has up are hurting him further. For the first time in the campaign, over the last couple weeks Dean has seemed to have a tin ear to the mood of the electorate (at least the Iowa one)
The surge that I've picked up on is for Edwards, not Kerry. Edwards has really helped himself with Iowans via his debate performances and his above-the-fray refusal to engage in the Gephardt-Dean mud fight. Edward's seems to be able to combine a pretty withering critique of the Bush administration with an upbeat tone, something Dean hasn't been able to pull off yet.
I found Pat M's report about Dean's tin ear very interesting and I wonder how much of Dean's focus on "here is my resume for the job" rather than "let me charm you so you hire me whether or not I can do the job" is a problem right now. It seem to tie in with this oped piece that natasha brought to my attention.
Things are going well for Dean, but they can always get better. Is there any way, for instance, you can thaw him out, loosen him up a bit?
He talks a decent game. If he doesn't really know his stuff, he sounds as if he does.
But whom are we dealing with here? Who is this guy? Give us a glimpse of the man.
One of the more problematic issues of our time is how much of our lives and our thoughts can stay private, especially if we opt to be public persons. We have been conditioned to believe that anyone that goes into politics has to open their lives to total scrutiny - yet, how much of GWB do we know? He has a very accessible, 'just one of the guys' image, but is it just another part of the "actor playing the leader" that the Republicans put up? Do we really demand our politicians to open up everything about who they (and their families) are before we will vote for them? Will Dean's reserve (and his wife's desire to continue to do her own work as a doctor) hurt him in the primaries?
Celebrating another happening - this week Kevin Hayden (Cowboy Kahlil) debuts a new groupblog called the American Street where I'll be posting Mondays along with Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest. Kevin's vision is to have a blog that can get a bit closer to the American Street. Kevin has gather some really topnotch bloggers including Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft), David Neiwert (Orcinus), Digby (Hullabaloo), Mark Kleiman, Skippy (the Bush Kangaroo), and both Kash and Angry Bear (both of Angry Bear). Others that have been signed up will be joining through Saturday. It should be a very interesting conversation on that street. My first post was last Monday where I discussed Democratic Party Politics. Do drop by for a chat.