Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Notes on Mini-Super Tuesday:

1. Joe-mentum has officially run out of gas. Credit his supporters - as far off the mark as Kucinich's - for having the courage of their convictions and voting for him anyway instead of jumping on the misguided "electability" bandwagon. The fact that he'll have a voice at the convention and Kucinich may not really pisses me off.

2. Kerry's military resume ultimately doesn't count for shit. If it did, Clark would be the front-runner, hands down. If the other candidates only learn one thing from Dean's rise and fall, it should be that you can't run on one issue. The war is a big deal but it's remote, not happening in people's living rooms. People are dissatisfied with Bush for a bunch of reasons and the war is only one of them and giving them a choice between two silver spoon millionaires isn't the best recipe for guaranteeing the kind of turnout it will take to beat Bush. Kerry's flaws far outweigh his war story - a story, it should be noted, that many Americans share, the majority of whom I wouldn't want to be President either. The difference with Kerry is that he was a rich kid with something to come home to and didn't get left out in the cold like the majority of his fellow soldiers.

3. This "play nice" nonsense some party leaders are throwing around is total bullshit. They beat the hell out of Dean, and Kerry and Edwards deserve no less scrutiny. Consider it boot camp for the beating the Republicans are preparing to deliver as soon as a nominee is chosen. Suck it up, answer the questions and tell us what you stand for.

4. If Edwards pulls out Oklahoma - he's neck and neck with Clark as I write this - he's going to start attracting a lot more attention and probably drop the nice guy act and start delivering some real body shots to Kerry who I think is even less able to take the heat than Dean was. Edwards is running on a shoe string budget at this point but the momentum from tonight should bring him enough money to make a push into some of the upcoming states. If Clark or Dean can steal New Mexico, this thing stays wide open.

5. Howard Dean. Paging Howard Dean. I'd gloat if it weren't so terribly sad. There's a thin line between conviction and egomania and I think he crossed it somewhere right around when he got Gore's endorsement. Credit him for successfully changing the tone of the primaries, though, making even Kerry a vaguely interesting candidate. Ended up not working out for him but, if he's truly about the message of his campaign, he can take some pride in that and keep pushing the rest of the field until his money runs out. His supporters deserve that much.

No comments: