Sen. Chris Dodd Issues Memo Declaring Himself to be Unelectable
Not quite, but close enough.
Sen. Dodd's latest campaign press release says (emphasis mine):
Re: Impact of Perceptions of "Honesty," "Integrity" on Electabilty
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released today shows that only 34% of Americans view Senator Clinton as honest, while a plurality of Americans, 43%, rate Senator Clinton negatively for "honesty." [Wall Street Journal, 11/8/07]
These findings are all the more significant in light of the fact that public polling has repeatedly shown that Americans have said that "honesty" and "integrity" are the top characteristics they are looking for in a president, ahead of specific positions on issues including the war, the economy and other areas of national concern. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted earlier this year found that 55% of Americans consider honesty, integrity and other personal "values" characteristics the most important qualities they look for in a presidential candidate. [Associated Press, 3/11/07] These findings track an earlier survey from Associated Press-Ipsos showing similar findings.
Simply put, voters tell us clearly that Senator Clinton is perceived to have least what they say they want most: honesty. As such, these findings pose a significant hurdle for Senator Clinton to overcome in a general election and are telling to the issue of "electability."
According to Sen. Dodd's
screwed-up logic, he believes Sen. Obama, Sen. Edwards and most importantly, Sen. Dodd himself, have a significant electability problem - at least in the Democratic primary. After all, according to the latest ABC/WP poll, as Georgep has noted at MyDD, when you look at Democratic leaners:
6. Honest and trustworthy. Clinton wins here as well. 34% (Clinton) to 29% (Obama) to 18% (Edwards). To wit, Clinton has an almost 2 to 1 advantage over Edwards on who the most honest and trustworthy candidate is, which is in a way ironic, since Edwards has tried to make honesty and trustworthyness an issue. It probably would have a chance to resonate better if more Democrats thought of Edwards as the most honest and trustworthy of all candidates at this point. Indeed, according to the data he is seen as the least honest and trustworthy of the 3 top-tier candidates.
If Sen. Obama and Sen. Edwards are believed to be less honest and trustworthy than Sen. Clinton, does Sen. Dodd think he has even an iota of a chance of being perceived as the most honest and trustworthy if we ran some polls of Democratic voters today? So, should progressives just believe what the masses think is true and ignore his campaign altogether and treat him like a complete waste of time? (I don't think so, but he certainly seems to be advocating something bordering on that with these kind of self-destructive and insidious memos). In fact, looking at the Democratic electorate:
1. Electability. Clinton is seen as the most likely Democratic candidate to win in Nov. 2008 against any GOPer. This internal is not close at all. 62% of all Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents in this poll believe that Clinton has the best chance of being selected president in Nov. 2008. Obama is seen as that most electable Democratic candidate by only 15%, well below his overall polling performance. Edwards is seen as the most electable by 14%, pretty much in line with his overall polling performance.
We can bet that Sen. Dodd's electability is perceived by the Democratic electorate to be even less than 14% (Edwards). Which means he has a huge problem when it comes to electability in the minds of the voting primary population, according to his own logic. So Sen. Dodd, let me repeat. Do you believe, consistent with your memo, that progressives should just essentially ignore your campaign and tell you not to waste our time or money?
Follow me below the fold for a couple of my own "memos" to Sen. Dodd.
Memo 1 to Sen. Dodd:
If you really represent progressive values and believe the media needs to be reformed, it is a damn shame that you would perpetuate false, media-crafted narratives about the Clintons and let them go unchallenged just to help your own campaign. Tomorrow, the Republican Noise Machine can get your "dishonest" numbers up to 50% as well. Just don't come back to the blogospehere then to tell us how unfair and unbalanced the media is.
Memo 2 to Sen. Dodd:
I hope I don't see a press release from your campaign with this title:
Re: 45% of Americans Believe Saddam Hussein was Personally Involved in 9/11; Maybe Its True, and If Not, It Still Poses a Big Hurdle to Convince Americans Otherwise, so Why Bother?