Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Don't cry for me, Ames Iowa!

The Boston Globe did some more of its famous piling on to US Senator John Kerry, estwhile Democratic Presidential Frontrunner. Today's article brings Kerry's rollercoaster year to an end. He started out on top, and is ending with a whimper.

According to sources, he is struggling to get $2 to $3 million this quarter, which means he might very well get beat by Lieberman, and even maybe Kucinich, who has $1.5+ with a goal of $1.7 million.

'I'm dying out there,' a Kerry fund-raiser told the Globe "a veteran Democratic moneyman who spoke on the condition of anonymity." 'There was so much excitement about John Kerry early on, and now there's none.' ... "Top fund-raisers said they began this last quarter, on Oct. 1, with a $4 million goal, but said it was incrementally reduced over the last three months." that was a pretty weak goal.

Wasn't Clark's $12 million? Wasn't Dean's $15 million? Sounds like it is a two man race, and when it gets that way, Dean is in trouble, according to my friend Stirling Newberry at BOP.

"It is a delicate dance - if Dean knocks out other contenders, then there is only one place for the "anybody but Dean" vote to flow: Clark. And Dean does not do well in a two man race with Clark. Where as, with several smaller candidates drawing a few percentage points off here and there, and burning money to hold on to support - even the Kucinichites are making passionate pleas to their base to hold on to their man and not defect to Dean or another candidate - it allows Dean to be the first among equals, and "win" with only 40% of the vote."

"While Dean is the front runner, he has not made the sale yet. This means anti-Dean support will form around one person, and that person will, sooner or later, be Clark. Dean hopes it is later - then Clark becomes another speed bump. Clark hopes that it is sooner - after Iowa preferably."

People have also talked about these 527s, the new soft-money havens that Clintonities are stashing away with a goal of $100 million for that black out period of spring to summer for the Democratic nominee. The question is, will they hold off their money if its Dean, or will they use it to attack him if it is still close? "Does Dean really want the party's message in this crucial period shaped by the very faction of the party with which he's picked a fight?" asks Mickey Kaus.

Rumors from pundits abound that Clinton's pick is Clark and his people are hence going to bat for Clark, and that there is a civil war going on in the party between Gore and Clinton. Surely Dean and Clark are more than proxy fighters. Methinks things are looking up for the "old machine" after all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

4th Quarter Thoughts

Well, the money for the fourth quarter is pouring in for Presidential Candidates and it just confirms what we already know:

  1. Dean is leading
  2. Kerry is toast
  3. Gephardt's back virtue of his position in Iowa
  4. Clark is becoming the no. 2 behind Dean
  5. Lieberman and Edwards are like those NFL teams that needed help to make a wildcard spot
  6. Kucinich is being kept afloat by liberal Democrats worried about the Nader factor

Dean, according to the rumors they have been spreading, has $14 million with another $400,000 coming in tonight at their Gore/Dean house party/phone-a-thon. In a statement to supporters yesterday, Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi offered a new plea for more funds, saying: "Wes Clark and other candidates are waiting for us in South Carolina and Arizona and the five other states that come on February 3d. All their money together is aimed at stopping our campaign, even as we need to focus on Washington state and Michigan and the other races beyond -- and George Bush himself in the general election." All of this is of course true, assuming they make it that far.

Meanwhile, Clark has $10-12 million and will get $3.7 Million in matching funds coming in January, the most of any candidate, and much more in February for this 4th Q. Sounds like he has about 3/4th of Dean's CoH (cash on hand, AKA money left over after spending) even though he didn't start until September 17th.

Geppy has close to $6.3 million this quarter, which is amazing considering he looked like flotsam earlier in the year. Slow and Steady just might win this race. Their burn rate has slowed significantly.

Kerry has borrowed $6 million from his Beacon Hill mansion and has said nothing about how much he has raised. Sounds like Kerry is coming up very short. When asked how much, his campaign said this about Howard Dean "We're going to make him spend it all"

Kerry is going to do a two-stage Alamo, hoping for a strong 2nd or 3rd in Iowa and then a miracle in NH. But after he flops, he will be out by the end of January, having spent all his money and credibility up.

So who does he endorse? He has famously bad instincts politically (see War Resolution votes), almost as bad as Lieberman (see Department of Homeland Security, 2002 elections). If Gephardt wins Iowa, maybe he will be tempted to prop up Gep, not realizing that now is Clark's turn to take a hammer at Dean. Personally I would be surprised but not shocked if he got behind Dean, which could sink Dean right there ;) poor Kerry.

Lieberman had an uptick in fundraising since Gore's announcement but it is mostly sympathy cash. I would be surprised if he got better than 4th in NH. Edwards, haven't heard from his folks in a while and my feeling is, no news is bad news. The jig is up.

Kucinich is closing in on 1.7 million for this Quarter. Not much, but a lot more than the other jokesters. Hey he might even beat out Kerry, Edwards, or Lieberman in cash raised this Quarter, and boy wouldn't that spell their doom?!

As for the rest, they had to borrow a quarter to call some one who cares.

Monday, December 29, 2003

news happens even when we don't want it to

Plus, News flash: Dean wants it both ways and is arrogant

During the holiday season, families want to be left alone and manage to tear their eyes away from TV (except for sports like NFL football) but meanwhile, the world keeps chugging along.

For example, there is a huge disaster in Iran that has got about 30 seconds worth of attention on local and national news. 25,000 people are dead! Single digits die in California's mud slides or similar earthquakes and we have reporters standing by. OK well it is closer to home, Iran isn't very western-friendly to say the least and so on, but still! It also goes to show that California building codes are the only thing keeping massive amounts of people from dying there. Now they just need to stop more building from happening. Then there wouldn't be so many bad forest fires and successive mudslides. That state is just one big natural disaster.

In other news, Libya is opening itself up for real WMD's inspections and is trying to get back into the oil business it seem. Finally its dictator wised up and decided he was tired of being super-poor and on the verge of being bombed into the stone age.

On a CNN/Faux News level, BSE or Mad Cow disease hit the US. People are freaking out and it could spell a disaster for the beef industry and the economy, but I think the dent will only be temporary.

People got stuck in the airport over Christmas because of semi-vague terror threats, which were delayed thanks to the French leaking the information before the flight. Now we want armed guards on flights going into the US. Yay, guns for everyone.

Dean to supporters: it's me or nobody

In political news, Dean is calling for double standards and sending left wing code messages again. The ex-Vermont Governor wants DNC Chairman Terry McAulifee to make the other presidential candidates stop attacking him, because they might end up working. Of course when Dean was making much worse attacks on his rivals, he was fine with Terry staying out of it.

"Hey look, somebody's going to have to win here," he said, referring to himself. "If Ron Brown were the chairman, this wouldn't be happening." Meaning, if the Clinton's hadn't gotten their man in there, things would be better. Even worse he also implied that many of his supporters,wouldn't support another Democrat if he loses.

"I don't know where they're going to go, but they're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician," he said. [Ed: What about Clark?]

Sunday he claimed that his support was "not transferable anymore" and that endorsements, including his own, "don't guarantee anything." Which must be why he and Gore said after his endorsement that it means so much and that people should just throw in the towel and get behind the good Doctor.

I am glad that Dean has gotten new people involved in politics and campaigns but I think it is highly presumptuous to say they will take their ball and go home like little spoiled children if he loses. Sounds like the 'Dean will be a third-party candidate' old post (see below) might be valid after all. Sounds like the first signal to his supporters to join him on a Nadereque campaign of arrogance to win the presidency from the left in a three-way race.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The three-way Dean (no not a porno industry title)

Slate's Mickey Kaus makes a good point today, would Dean really quit if he lost in the Democratic primary? Not if he is smart, says Kaus.

Picture this, Dean loses to a Gephardt type (after narrowly losing IA of course) establishment, pro-war Democrat. Dean could re-migrate to the left and take his own machine which is completely independent of the Democratic Party "his own lists, his own money, his own organization" and stake out the presidency on the war issue alone. That could be enough for 35-40% of the population to vote his way, assuming Geppy moves to the Center and Bush to the hard right. TNR even thinks that "Heck, Dean might even be the favorite in this scenario ..."

While I am done having nightmares, DLC types would love to let Dean have the party, if they could get enough folks to jump ship into a McCain Bullmoose party. The centrists think that more people believe their stuff, reggardless of party, so why not prove it? If we had a Green/Gore/Dean party and a Clinton-McCain party and a Bush-Lott party, guess who would win? I am afraid it would be the far out right wing, there are more of those wackos than the tree hugger wackos (just ask Ralph Nader).

Although folks say, well Dean has already said he would support the nominee, would it really be smart for him in the long run or short run? And when was the last time he kept his word? Or when was the last time he conceded? The man is pretty arrogant, and I can see why. He has already beat 4 sitting senators and one ex-senator, a congressman and might beat out another congressman and a 4 star general, not to mention some civil rights guy. Why wouldn't you think you could beat a sitting president after coming out of nowhere to do so well, even if all those loser senators ganged up on you and let their friend punch you in the stomach for the nomination.

This seems like some think my "BOP" friends would like this idea:"You can put up a Web site and fill out some forms, and you can have a party-like political organization in all 50 states in a few weeks. Who needs Terry McAuliffe?" I we can hope for then as Democrats is either pacifying Dean in some way or that he wins and then loses badly enough that the party wakes up after the ruins of 2004 and nominates someone good in 2008, if the planet will still be here.
And now for some analysis

In short, dispite the questionable methods of this polling firm, I think it shows that it is increasingly become a two-man race between Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. And really, if I had told anyone that this time last year, they would have said "Who?" and then laughed in my face after I explained who they were.

Remember how everyone wanted some McCain magic in the primary, they wanted to compare themselves to and snuggle up with ol' Johnny? Well this quote tells you who it won't be: Dean. "I would feel some sense of confidence about picking up every one of them if Governor Dean heads the ticket." -- John McCain, on the open Southern SEN seats, "Hardball," 12/16.

McCain has a pretty good sense of what it takes to win in the south, after all Bush creamed him there.

The ideal senerio for Clark is a narrow Dean win in IA, knocking out Gephardt but leaving folks dissipointed about Dean, and then a sneak attack at second in NH, at around 15-20+% Clark will have gone from 3% in the summer to 20% by January. Pretty amazing, "pretty Comeback Kid" like. Then on to 2/3 states. If he can win most of them-- OK SC are musts-- and finish a strong second in the is a Clark vs. Dean show down for the next rounds up to super Tuesday. Kerry, Edwards, and Gephardt (and Lieberman) folks will break toward Clark mostly, since the only reason most of them supported their guy was A winnability and B anti-Deanism, especially Kerry and Gephardt folks since they will be mad at Dean for beating their guy.
Groundhog Tuesday Numbers from questioned polling firm:


Dean 31
Clark 29
"Other" 11
Lieberman 10
Gephardt 9
Kerry 7
Undecided 3


Clark 34
Dean 21
Lieberman 11
"Other" 11
(all others single digits)

South Carolina:

Dean 21
Clark 20
Edwards 15
Sharpton 15
Gephardt 10
Undecided 7
(all others bottom feeders)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Was Saddam rescued by the US Army?

The Israeli-based military/intelligence site DEBKAfile seems to thinks so.

"A number of questions are raised by the incredibly bedraggled, tired and crushed condition of this once savage, dapper and pampered ruler who was discovered in a hole in the ground on Saturday, December 13:

1. The length and state of his hair indicated he had not seen a barber or even had a shampoo for several weeks.

2. The wild state of his beard indicated he had not shaved for the same period

3. The hole dug in the floor of a cellar in a farm compound near Tikrit was primitive indeed: 6ft across and 8ft across with minimal sanitary arrangements - a far cry from his opulent palaces.

4. Saddam looked beaten and hungry.

5. Detained trying to escape were two unidentified men. Left with him were two AK-47 assault guns and a pistol, none of which were used.

6. The hole had only one opening. It was not only camouflaged with mud and bricks; it was blocked. He could not have climbed out without someone on the outside removing the covering.

7. And most important, $750,000 in 100-dollar notes were found with him (a pittance for his captors who expected a $25m reward), but no communications equipment of any kind, whether cell phone or even a carrier pigeon for contacting the outside world.

According to DEBKAfile analysts, these seven anomalies point to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner. "

The article goes on to claim that PUK leader (leading party of the Kurds in Northern Iraq) Jalal Talabani (not related to the Taliban in Afghanistan, but his family tribal name) was negotiating to get the $25 bounty on Hussein's head.

In other bits of bad news, DEBKAfile claims "the notorious Lebanese terrorist and hostage-taker Imad Mughniyeh, who figures on the most wanted list of 22 men published by the FBI after 9/11, had arrived in southern Iraq and was organizing a new anti-US terror campaign to be launched in March-April 2004, marking the first year of the American invasion. "

During the War in Iraq, DEBKAfile had some of the best intelligence on what was actually happening on the ground, although it is definitely an unfiltered intell-dump. Way back in the spring, they had sources that claimed that Saddam was in Minsk.

Where are the WMD? DEBKAfile says Dr. David Kay knows: "The search has narrowed down to a section of the Syrian Desert known as Dayr Az-Zawr in Syria?s 600 sq. mile Al Jazirah province, which is wedged between the Turkish and Iraqi borders. The missing weapons systems are thought to be buried somewhere under these desert sands. "

All of this points a disturbing picture, one that makes US Rep. Jim McDermott (Dean supporter from WA) seem correct "I'm sure they could have found him a long time ago if they wanted to." He added: "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing" Remember this is the same guy that went to Iraq just before the war and critiqued Bush there-- and a favorite whipping boy of the Right Wing.

Could we find the WMD's, Osama Bin Laden all in time for November 2004? Maybe, but if it happens in September or October, Mr. McDermott will prove to be a wise sage after all.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Clark/Dean 2, DLC and Lieberman/Gephardt 0

When it comes to questions of war and milarty, who do you trust, a retired 4 star general and a governor of a tiny rural state, or a bunch of military experts who never served in a war and never worked for the Clinton Administration (even though the other half of the office did)?

On the war resolution and the $87 billion approperation, Clark and Dean took the same position, despite contrary belief. Clark and Dean support the Biden-Lugar version of the resolution, that would have had Bush come back to the Congress if the UN/NATO didn't work out. Instead, Gephardt and Lieberman short curcuited the process and the resolution was much more of a blank check for Bush.

Having learned their lession, Edwards and Kerry didn't vote for another blank check, this time a $87 billion one. Clark and Dean had said no to both blank checks, and Lieberman Gephardt and the DLC said yes to both. The DLC went so far as to call those who didn't support the money irresponsible and lacking leadership. Now look what happened.

"Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz last week directed a newly formed inspector general's office in Iraq not to request sensitive information about Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) activities related to intelligence or operational plans." The CPA was supposed to insure that there was no price gouging or anything fishy going on with the money. And the activities that the CPA was restrained from looking into are "initiating, carrying out, or completing an audit or investigation, or from issuing a subpoena, which requires access to sensitive operation plans, intelligence matters, counterintelligence matters, ongoing criminal investigations by other administration units of the [Defense Department] related to national security, or other matters the disclosure of which would constitute a serious threat to national security."

In short, Wolfowitz, who just said "No contracts for you, Old Europe," is saying you can be an inspector general as long as you don't do any inspecting.

Those who aspire to lead the country should show some backbone to the man that has walked all over Congress like the legislative branch doesn't matter, who has disrespected allies of over 50 years (and destroyed most of those relationships), hides information and lies to the general public and the press. Bush has no respect for anything except money and power, and not even the money or power of the US Congress, so why should members of the US Congress trust him? Why should a center-left think tank trust him? Bush has proven is untrustworthiness over and over, from basically January 20, 2001 onwards. Get a clue guys.

This is why outsiders and executors (governors generals etc) win the nominations for president and become president, not Senators and Representatives.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Dean says he can beat Bush, but what do the polls say?

NEW HAMPSHIRE (4 EVs): Bush Leads Generic Dem By 17; Leads Dean By 27
An American Research Group poll; conducted 12/7-10; surveyed 600 adults; margin of error +/- 4%. Subsample: 450 regis. voters; margin of error +/- 4.6% (release, 12/11).

WH '04 General Election Matchups (asked of RVs only)
All GOP Dem Ind 9/03 All GOP Dem Ind
Bush 51% 88% 5% 47% 50% Bush 57% 94% 14% 63%
Dem 34 6 76 32 36 Dean 30 - 67 11
Undec. 15 6 19 21 14 Undec. 13 6 19 26

Bush Job As President Bush Job Handling The Economy
All GOP Dem Ind 9/03 All GOP Dem Ind 9/03
Approve 58% 94% 5% 58% 51% Approve 54% 88% 5% 53% 44%
Disapprove 34 6 81 26 43 Disapprove 40 6 81 42 48

Bottom line: even in a state where he is well known, well liked and killing his opponnets in the primary, Dean is badly losing to Bush in a must win state. Remember, if Dean holds every state Gore did in 2000, he is still 11 electoral votes short. If Dean is losing a state by 27 points when Gore lost it by a few thousand votes, what does that say for the other swing states, including the ones Gore barely won, like PA?

Not good news for the "Howard is electable" meme or the "GOPers are truely afraid of Dean" meme.
so much for loyality

Gore thought that his brazen political move to endorse Dean would force people like Lieberman to drop out sooner. So much for that, according to the New Haven Register, Lieberman's campaign "received twice as many online contributions as any other day in the current quarter," and the rate of online donations "is 10 times above average." Translation: you helped him, you didn't hurt him.

All the pundits are saying now there is a Gore/Dean/ wing of the party and a Clinton/Clark/Lieberman wing of the party, with Gephardt/Daschle/Kerry/Edwards wing being the loser congressional Democrats that have never done nothing. The proxy fight between Clinton and Gore is on, with Dean and Clark as the main protagonists. We shall see who pervails. It used to be that Clinton could always be counted on having the upper hand in fundraising, but with Dean's "$100 revolution" that may not be the case any more. Who would you rather have 10 $2,000 donors or 2000 $100 donors? Pretty simple answer when you think about it, beyond the pure math, becuase you could always talk the $100 people to give more later, where as the $2,000 folks simply can't by law.

The White House thinks the Dems have their nominee already, according to the Times: "President Bush's political advisers are now all but certain that Howard Dean will be the Democratic presidential nominee and they are planning a campaign that takes account of what they see as Dr. Dean's strengths and weaknesses, Republicans with ties to the White House said."

"Throughout the year, many Republicans have been longing for a Bush-Dean matchup, saying Dr. Dean's opposition to the war with Iraq, his call for rolling back Mr. Bush's tax cuts and his support for civil unions between gay people would open the door to a Republican landslide in November.

Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's senior adviser and political strategist, was reported by The Washington Post this summer to have exhorted the crowd at his neighborhood Fourth of July parade to cheer for marchers wearing Dean T-shirts and carrying Dean signs. People close to Mr. Bush, who prides himself on his personal and political discipline, describe Dr. Dean as a sloppy candidate who gets himself in trouble too often by shooting from the hip and who is slow to clean up messes."

I know Dean is going bring in new voters into the process, according to his campaign. But I will not hold my breath. Most of these folks are the 18-24 crowd who, although they really might hate Bush, might flake out and not show up when it matters in January or, for that matter, November. Lets just wait for people to actually vote, shall we?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Hypocrisy 101

Will Saletan of Slate made an excellent point about Gore's speech when he endorsed Dean: the same man who in December 2000 said we should wait until every vote is counted in December 2003 says he doesn't want to wait for a single vote to be counted.

Elections should be determined, Gore said, "by the votes cast by the people, not by politicians." Gee, I wonder which one of those he is.

By telling everyone to get out of Howard's way and shut up, Al and Howard just made us all louder. I think it will be harder for some folks to raise money and get support and ultimately win and thus the process will be accelerated to be Dean and someone else, but what right does Gore have to tell us Democrats what to do? Unlike Republicans, we don't take marching orders well.

as Saletan said "Who decided Dean was the strongest candidate? Not the voters: They haven't voted. Not the polls, either: They've shown Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, and Wesley Clark scoring better than Dean in hypothetical match-ups with President Bush." In fact, even in national polls Dean by be leading but not by much, most of the time it is within the margin of error. Sure, he has a commanding lead in NH and is up in IA too, but how much of the party (or the country) really is behind or even knows who this guy is? Not much, that's because we haven't voted yet. And I for one am not voting for Howard Dean.

Did anyone notice where the announcement was held? In Cedar Rapids IA and Harlem NYC, a few feet away from President Clinton's office and a few more from Senator Clinton's New York district offices. But back to the point, no one doubts Dean is #1.

So who is that number 2 going to be, now that Dean is solidly number 1? I say Clark, and I am not the only one.

"Who's really still in this race?, Josh Marshall asks, "....Gephardt and Kerry can be effectively knocked out of the race by losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively -- eventualities which now seem quite likely....Lieberman isn't closely tied to success in either of those states. But his campaign has just never taken off... Lieberman is the only major candidate in the race for whom there is a significant core of Democratic primary voters who find him an unacceptable nominee. ...

In any case, that leaves Clark.

Add to this two other factors.

1. Clark is raising money at a better clip than any of the other candidates beside Dean.

2. Clark has a clearer raison d'etre for his campaign than that of any of the other candidates, save Dean: namely, his national security credentials as a retired general...Many presidents have been governors with no prior foreign policy experience. So Dean's in good company. But it's a clear distinction between Dean and Clark in what is sure to be a general election fought heavily on national security issues."

Finally, I would like to quote from David Letterman: "Al Gore has endorsed Howard Dean for president. That's pretty fitting, the guy that didn't beat Bush endorsing the guy who won't beat Bush" ("Late Show").

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Al Gore sold out

Gore 10.0 is out, and he decided to endorse Howard Dean. Everyone is talking about it. But why don't we stop and think about what Gore has to gain by this, because we know what Dean gains from this.

Al, after losing the election in 2000, has tried to stay relevant and a leader in his party. Even though he wisely chose not to run against Bush again, he managed to do that by hooking up with and moving to the left. He wailed against the war in Iraq and called for then Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott to step down first. His VP pick has sucked all year and made him look like a bigger fool that when Lieberman lost the VP debate to Cheney. In 2002, Al decided to abandon the DLC, a group which he helped found and was a chairman of. Al supported some folks for higher office in 2002, and the results were down right sad, I can't think of one that won that wasn't in a safe seat and even his picks in the primary didn't work out too well. 2003 wasn't much better, about even in terms of endorse and win Mayor Street (good) and Governor Davis (bad). Why should Gore, the ultimate insider, go for the outsider?

I'll tell you why. Al, like Hillary, decided that 2004 was unwinnable, and Bush was not someone they could beat. Those two will be fighting in 2008 for the nomination, and they know this because if Dean wins, we all lose. Why back a general election disaster? Because you want to shore up your liberal base and pant the seed for a comeback against Governor Jeb Bush or Senator Bill Frist. Running against Cheney would be too much fun.

Shame on you Al Gore. Have some faith in Democrats to pick a winner. Have some sense of country to pick a candidate who can turn this country around. Don't be Nader 2004, and hand the country over to Bu$h Co. We can't wait 4 more years for you and Hillary to rescue us off your white horse. If you think things are bad now, they will only get worse with more power and no accountability for GW Bush. We need leadership, not opportunists.

Who knows? Maybe winning the Gore primary will be like winning the Shrum primary, something you don't want to meet.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Goodbye, Senator

What I failed to mention in my post yesterday, was some think that Mickey Kaus pointed out in such harsh, but true prose:

"The more I think about it, a turning point in the Democratic presidential campaign has to come with the first N.H. poll showing Clark ahead of Kerry and in second place. It could come any day now. Clark's only three points behind in one poll and only two in another. [well within the margin of error; see yesterday's post] And Kerry's fading while Clark is rising. ... When the lines cross, several things will happen: 1) The main surviving rationale of Kerry's campaign--"I'm the electable alternative to Dean"--evaporates. It turns out there's a more electable alternative. Kerry's vote asymptotically approaches zero. 2) The #1 versus #2, Dean versus Clark match up will get lots of play in the press because Clark's strengths are Dean's weaknesses, yielding a story line that is simple and compelling: "Peacenik McGovern II versus Electable Military Man. Which will the Democrats Choose?" ... 3) Clark will get a lot of favorable treatment in this new round of coverage--in part because the press feels guilty about giving Dean (as The Note notes) a relatively easy time so far, in part because the press wants a close race. If Clark's ready with an appealing message when the spotlight turns to him, he could give Dean a scare and at least come close enough to winning to get a boost for the post-N.H. primaries. ... "

Earlier, Kaus tries to think up good withdrawal speeches for John Kerry. I feel sorry for Kerry, about the same why I feel sorry for Al Gore...What a nice smart man, who is a horrible candidate with lots of woulda coulda shouda. True, Kerry is dead because of Dean's rise, but Dean rose because he was pointing out Kerry's flaws, the ones that make him unelectable even in Massachusetts in the primary (Dean leads him in two polls).

In truth, Kerry's campaign collapsed in October 2002, when he voted for the war because he thought that would be politically expedient. He was trying to make up for a bad vote on the 1991 war in Iraq, but instead, he voted the wrong way both times. The Gulf War was justified (Iraq had violated the sovereignty of, happily for us an oil-rich country, but a country nonetheless, which violates the most basic part of the UN charter) whereas "Operation Bush/Cheney 2004" was not. Even Al Gore figured that out, having voted for the Gulf War and opposed the current one.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Headline in 54 days: Dean wins NH

If you had hopes that Kerry could stage a come back in NH, or that anyone might give Dean a scare up there, you better give up now. Not one but two polls show Dean destroying everyone and Kerry flopping further and Clark ticking up to be close to 2nd place, thanks to a $221k ad buy.

A Zogby Int'l poll, conducted 12/1-3, surveyed 503 likely Dem primary voters (302 Dems; 201 indies); margin of error +/- 4.5% (release, 12/4).

Dem Primary Matchup Now 10/03 9/03 Dem Ind Fav/Unfav
Howard Dean 42% 40% 30% 44% 39% 78%/12%
John Kerry 12 17 20 15 9 64 /28
Wesley Clark 9 6 n/a 9 9 50 /23
Joe Lieberman 7 3 5 6 9 55 /35
John Edwards 4 6 2 4 4 52 /16
Dick Gephardt 3 4 6 2 4 52 /31
Dennis Kucinich 2 0 1 2 1 21 /25
Al Sharpton 0 1 1 0 0 12 /58
Carol Moseley Braun 0 0 0 0 0 25 /27
Not Sure 19 19 22 18 22

An American Research Group poll, conducted 11/30-12/3, surveyed 600 likely Dem primary voters (430 Dems; 170 indies); margin of error +/- 4% (release, 12/4).

Dem Primary Matchup
Now 11/20 11/5 Fav/Unfav
Dean 45% 38% 38% 69 / 7
Kerry 13 17 24 57 /18
Clark 11 7 4 43 /12
Gephardt 5 4 3 51 /22
Lieberman 5 5 4 43 /38
Edwards 3 4 4 42 /18
Kucinich 2 3 1 23 /17
Braun 0 1 1 21 /15
Sharpton 1 0 0 15 /46
Undec. 15 21 21

OK in the 40s with 9 people in the race? Its over baby. Even if Kerry can get 2nd in IA (see yesterday's post), which isn't going to happen, he still has no chance in NH. And I don't know how Kerry can think that he can get enough money or support if he can't win the state that has seen his TV ads for over 20 years. And if he is losing his own state to Dean. Quit while you are behind Senator. Its beginning to look like a Greek Tragedy for Sen. JFK. Now I see it as a race between Gephardt Edwards and Clark on second fiddle to Dean. Who will it be?

Gephardt, even if he wins IA, won't have any $ left. Will the cash come when he wins? Maybe, but will it be enough to keep him afloat? I doubt it.

Edwards has as many ifs as Clark: both have to place so high in IA (or in Clark's case NH) to have a shot at SC. or do they? Could they all just leave NH and IA for Dean and make sure they beat him on Super Tuesday Jr. ? The problem with that idea is Dean has sooo much money, he can do both (win IA and NH and put up ads in 2/3 states). I wish it weren't true but unless they clobber Dean in 2/3 and or Gephardt wins IA, don't see how Dems are going to stop the train wreck that is Dean from being the nominee. Gulp

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Iowa end game

Al of a sudden, the Hawkeye State became important for 2 other candidates, or at least they suddenly realized it.

  1. Kerry figured out he has to do well in IA to have a prayer in NH, and since he wasn't getting much traction in the "Live Free or Die" State (great motto by the way), and was closer to Dean in IA than NH he might as well try for 2nd/"1st" since his campaign spin is still that he will win IA and NH and the nomination (riiight).

  2. Edwards figured out that if he had a strong 3rd and knocked out Kerry, he could get a strong 3rd or 2nd in NH and all of a sudden be in shape to win the whole thing. Look where his ad budget and visits are going. Not a bad idea, since Kerry was sinking faster than Michael Jackson record sales.

Ok reality check time: the most recent Zogby Poll Sez: Dean 26, Gephardt 22, a difference within the margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. (The poll of 501 voters who say they are likely to participate in the caucuses was taken Monday and Tuesday. )

In the latest poll, almost three in 10 voters, 28 percent, were undecided -- close to the level of undecided voters in October. And the rest? Single, laughable digits:

Kerry 9 ; Edwards 5; Clark 4. Kucinich and Lieberman 1 percent. Moseley Braun and Sharpton were at 1 percent or less.

So what's going to happen? Either a Dean blowout or a narrow Gephardt win. This is because each caucus group gets to convince the undecides to join with them, and Dean has a huge org network to babysit for caucus goers, drive them to and from and lots of supporters in every single one of IA's 99 counties. Gephardt has risidual support from his '88 days and his career as a labor man in the House...

As for third place? Clark could sneak up on Kerry or Edwards with volunteers, you never know. the fact that he is even within striking distance of those two (w/ the MOE) is a sad statement to those two who have blown, I mean spent 100s of thousands on TV and so on there. Clark spent like $50 in comparison.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

No rest for the week

Appologies for the lack of posting over the Holiday. I needed to relax and read some books, watch some movies and only take one practice LSAT. I have at least 2 this week and then the big kakuna on Saturday morning. But after that, I am free man...sort of.

In the meanwhile, Dean is getting hit hardest on where he is weakest, hipocracy and national security. The whole Aspen-skiing-with-a-bad-back-draft-dodging makes Clinton look good. Now I wonder, do people really care about that. After all, most men that age either tried to get out of it or lucked out when their number wasn't called. Maybe those who had to go because they were poor, etc will resent him, but clearly those people aren't giving money to Democrats now and are most likely not voting in IA or NH in January. Will Kerry or Clark be able to use it to their advantage with Vets? Maybe in SC or AZ, but those are later and Kerry will be gone by then if he doesn't win these are only helpful to Clark other than making Dean look bad.

In a unsurprising move, Lieberman is attacking a fellow candidate, Dean, this time on his poor record of hiding his records. In a Bush-like move, Dean has sealed records on his 10 years as governor, keeping Gephardt's, Kerry's and maybe Bush's oppo researchers at bay. Look for a possible court order if it gets really ugly. My quib is this, if you go around bragging about what you did as governor, why on Earth would you want to hide the records? Its like the Senators/Congressmen sealing their voting records or Clark his military records or Sharpton sealing his court/criminal records. Its just pretty indefensable, but lets watch him try.

"I'll unseal mine if he will unseal all of his," said Dr. Dean, about Bush's Texas records. Gee, this is another one of those things in common with Bush you don't want to have or want to compare yourself with, like his national security/foriegn policy experience. Dumb all around.

According to the Times, Judicial Watch plans to file a lawsuit, perhaps as soon as this week, to gain access to the records, which were sealed under the executive privilege exemption to the Vermont Public Records Act and include reams of correspondence with the state staff.

"He has been acting like he has something to hide," said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, who went after Clinton in 90s and has gone after Cheney's energy commission.

Dean had wanted a 24-year seal, because "we didn't want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time in any future endeavor." Could 'future endeavor' be code for 'Presidential Run'? Gee, that's a tough one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

What the Zell is wrong with you, Miller?

Thank you Ed Kilgore. He finally answered the riddle to me on why Zell decided to out Republican the GOP: he hates Washington. This ol' boy from Georgia feels like he is being talked down to all the time, and doesn't like is more liberal party-mates from the likes of San Francisco.

Kilgore, then-Gov. Miller's federal-state relations director from 1992 to 1994, certainly knows the man of which he speaks when he reviews his book in this month's Blueprint, a rag that let me get a byline or two.

"Sadly, Miller's perverse and premature endorsement of Bush, and his adoption by the right-wing media machine, will all but guarantee that few if any Democrats will pay attention to the nuggets of sound advice he offers his party. Most of the book simply warns Democrats that they cannot remain competitive in the South if they abandon traditional party commitments to mainstream cultural views and to the economic aspirations of the middle class. He repeatedly praises the Democratic Leadership Council for offering the right advice to Democrats, even as he endorses Bush administration positions on economic, fiscal, and foreign policies that the DLC consistently opposes. At a time when centrist Democrats are fighting insidious claims that its positions are no more than Bush Lite, Miller offers Bush Heavy as an alternative."

The real question this book doesn't answer then is, why did Zell become a Senator if every time he went to DC, as Ed claims, he got all tense and defensive? His sense of duty to the party? And since not all democrats are not New Democrats, Zell thought: 'to hell will ya'll' and let the right-wing pander start.

"In the first chapter of A National Party No More, Miller compares himself to Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Smith, and sadly says: 'What I discovered in Washington was truth, and truth did not set me free. It simply made me mad.'

That's vintage Zell, but he's got it backward: He came to Washington and got mad, and his anger has bent him against the real truth, and driven him into the arms of people with little but contempt for his old-fashioned Democratic values. "

Monday, November 24, 2003

Right-Wing Hippocrite of the Week

Louisville anti-porn activist John Riddle was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. He had "a bottle of Viagra in his possession," according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

and Picture of the day It wasn't this year, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I give you this; enjoy
Kerry's bleeding more than Ketchup

MASSACHUSETTS (3/2 primary): Two New Polls Show Dean Leading Kerry

A Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll; conducted 11/19-22 by KRC Communications Research; surveyed 400 likely Dem primary voters; margin of error +/- 4.9% (Boston Globe, 11/23).

WH '04 Dem Primary Matchup
Dean 27%
Kerry 24
Clark 6

Which Do You Agree With?
Kerry's campaign is moving forward, even though he has faced
recent rough spots 46%
Kerry's candidacy is floundering and he should drop out 25

And This One Has Dean Up Nine
A Boston Herald poll; conducted 11/19-21 by RKM Research and Communications; surveyed 424 "probable" Dem primary voters; margin of error +/- 4.8% (Boston Herald, 11/24).

WH '04 Dem Primary Matchup
Dean 33%
Kerry 24
Clark 7
Lieberman 4
Gephardt 3

All of a sudden, Lieberman's tiny lead over Dean in CT doesn't look so bad. I don't care what you say to try and spin this, you are weak, you are in bad shape, you are toast if you are losing your own state in the primary. How can you expect to beat George W. Bush, if you can't even win Massachusetts, Senator? It is like McCain topping Bush in Texas in 2000. Or Bradley beating Gore in Tennessee.

Go back to your mansion on Beacon Hill and listen to the Democratic nominatee's speech from there, because that is as close as your are going to get. Add Kerry going to play dress up ala Bush.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Wes, then the K's

OK, so I am a biased, but after watching Dan Rather's interview with Clark on 60 Minutes II, I am more convinced than ever that this guy would make the best president of them all. After reading the transcript which is the unedited interview, it gets even better. If you were a doubter before, try that on for size (warning, 3 part interview).

On the scary side, check out a computer model of what President Kennedy would look like if he were alive today. Boy he really does look like Teddy. I think I would rather remember him in his prime now. I can't help but think about how different the world and country would have been if either one of the slain Kennedy boys hadn't been shot.

No Watergate. The Vietnam war would have been smaller, over sooner, if not never really happened if you believe Ted Sorensen. No Ford Aministration, no Cheney, no Rumsfeld, or half the Bush cabinet. No one for Reagon to beat up on in 1976, and maybe no Reagan in 1980, and 84. The ripple effect would have been huge. And I forgot this key back, the world and country would have been much better off.

Sure, Jack was on all kinds of drugs, he had more affairs than Clinton (like that WH secretrary that wasn't there to type), etc. But look at his legacy: Man on the Moon, Nuclear detante and reconsilation, the Peace Corps (and AmeriCorps via Kennedy-inspired Clinton), the Civil Rights Act, etc. Of course, one could argue that if it weren't for his slaying and his super competent VP LBJ, all this wouldn't have happened. Perhaps. But we do know that in 1968, RFK would have won. The nation would have been spared Ratf*cking, Ford, Agnew, Watergate, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.

The beginning of Nixon also spelled the downfall of the Democratic party too. It became the party of Congress. Clinton tried to bring it back in 1992, but they all shot themselves in the foot. By 2000, the Democrats became the whinny party of sizable minority in Congress, who, when they had power in the Senate, did nothing with it. Now we need a new leader to revive the party. Some say it is Ho Dean. I say he is the inverse of Bush, which is just as bad. Others Gephardt, Edwards, and crazed ones say Lieberman or Kerry. Sorry too insider too much of the failed past. Edwards, as much as I like him, doesn't seem up to the job.

Clark is the answer. Who else can make our party the responsible party of security? Who else has credibility to truly "change the tone in Washington?" Who has the dream of real, Kennedy-sized change? Bush maybe, but not the kind of change that will make this country better. The Wes is the best.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Quote of the Day

"Dear Sir/Madam; I want waste much of your time..."--Ray Cox of Northern Virgina (just south of DC), to Massachusetts Legislators on the SJC's ruling allowing same-sex marriages. Of all the openers to form letters from people in other states who write against the ruling, this one is the most honest and direct.

Hats off to Ray. Oh here's his phone number: 703-392-7691 Harrass back if you wish :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

"The New Abortion"

If any readers were wondering why I failed to post yesterday, it was due mostly to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's sweeping ruling, which basically mandates Cities and Towns in the Bay State to issue marriage lincenses to same-sex couples in 180 days (or six months from today).

According legal experts, such as the future head of Human Rights Campaign (a gay-rights advocacy group based in Washington DC) Massachusetts State Senator Cheryl Jacques, the legislature really can do nothing to stop this ruling until 2006 at the earliest. Under the Commonwealth's constitution, two consecutive sessions of both houses of the legislature must overwhelmingly agree to do a DOMA change to the constitution, AND the voters must then, two years later, approve the change. Which means in effect, the change can't come until 2006 at the earliest, 3 years after the law goes into effect.

On a political side, I think this helps Republicans more than it helps Democrats and hurts both. Our mailboxes have been overflowing from Red States demading we change the constition in MA, and relatively few calls (5 at most) have come in from real constituents. While GOPers may look insensitve and biggoted for passing a DOMA, the upside for rallying their base is huge. Whereas, the Democrats are trying to to seem beholdant to these gay rights advocates, and all of the serious Presidential candidates have said in effect, "yes Civil Unions, no Gay Marriage."

This a wedge issue, which will be used to further divide the country like Abortion has done, between the Gore America and Bush America and our so-called 50-50 nation. This is going to get ugly.

How do I stand? I think every state should get to decide on the marriage issue, but I think nationally there needs to be a law that gives same sex couples the same rights to insurance, inheritance, hospital visitation etc that hetrosexual couples get. I get the "separate but not equal" argument against civil unions but I feel uncomfortable with shoving down marriage into people's throats that vehemitly oppose it. Let every state and church decide what they want to do marriage-wise but rights wise, there should be no difference between hetro- and homosexual couples, in my view. Also, I am concerned about the court deciding this and the state legislature being unwilling to take action in this regard. Just goes to show that legislators are cowards in general. I would have rather the legislature decided this, but at least statewide polling says that the decision will be supported (except for those who are over 65 and over evangelical christians, surprise surprise) in the high 50s.

Keep those emails coming, Texas!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Is it over yet?

A Marist Inst. poll, conducted 11/11-13, surveyed 711 "interested" Dem primary voters; margin of error +/- 4%. Subsample: 447 likely voters; +/- 5% (release, 11/17). Note: all results are w/leaners. The demo breakdowns are among the entire sample, not the LVs.

Dem Primary Matchup LVs RVs 9/03 Dem Ind Men Wom 18-44 45+ Choice
Howard Dean 44% 40% 35% 38% 44% 39% 41% 40% 42% 20%
John Kerry 23 25 22 28 21 25 25 26 24 22
John Edwards 7 7 4 7 6 8 6 6 7 9
Joe Lieberman 6 6 6 6 7 7 6 8 6 11
Dick Gephardt 6 6 3 6 5 7 5 4 7 10
Wesley Clark 3 4 11 3 5 4 4 4 4 11
Dennis Kucinich 3 2 1 1 3 3 1 2 2 3
Al Sharpton 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Carol Moseley Braun 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
DK/Other 7 9 16 10 8 6 11 9 7 12

Describe Your Level Of Support For Your Candidate (LVs)
Dean Kerry
Among LVs Supporters Supporters
Strongly Support 46% 54% 38%
Somewhat Support 32 31 38
Might Vote Differently 21 14 23

Has The Campaign Focused Mainly On...
Candidates Talking Issues 54%
Candidates Attacking Each Other 39

Have You Seen/Met Any Of The WH Dems In Person
Yes 19% 24%
No 81 76

Which One Of The Following Is Most Important To You
In Deciding Whom To Support All Dean Kerry
LVs Supporters Supporters
Is Closer To You On Issues 25% 42% 22%
Can Beat Bush In Nov. 21 49 25
Has Values Like Your Own 20 38 22
Stands Up For What They Believe In 18 38 30
Has Experience To Be POTUS 8 25 36
Is Not A Typical Politician 6 49 23

Which Of These Issues Are You Most Interested
In Hearing About During The Campaign
Domestic Issues Like Health Care/Educa. 49%
Economy 27
Iraq 13
Homeland Security 5
War Against Terrorism 4

Are You More Likely To Vote For A Candidate Who...
All Dean Kerry
LVs Supporters Supporters
Support The War With Iraq 35% 28% 34%
Opposed The War With Iraq 56 51 20
Unsure 9

UNH Poll Got Lots More Local Promotion
A Univ. of NH poll, conducted 11/6-13 for WMUR, surveyed 445 likely Dem primary voters; margin of error +/- 4.6% (release, 11/14).

Dem Primary Matchup Now 10/03 7/03 2ndChoice Fav/Unfav
Dean 38% 30% 16% 17% 75%/12%
Kerry 16 17 18 21 68 /20
Clark 5 10 3 14 45 /21
Edwards 5 5 2 11 48 /16
Lieberman 4 6 11 11 48 /33
Gephardt 3 5 3 10 51 /25
Kucinich 1 3 0 23 /22
Sharpton 0 1 1 13 /56
Braun 0 1 1 26 /21
DK/Other 17 20 45

The 2nd Choice Picks By Candidate
--Among Those Who's 1st Choice---
Dean Kerry Clark Edwards Lieb Gep
Dean -- 39% 50% 38% 5% 17%
Kerry 30% -- 18 14 37 0
Clark 17 15 -- 10 5 8
Edwards 12 3 9 -- 26 42
Lieberman 7 15 9 24 -- 33
Gephardt 13 7 9 5 11 --

Regardless Of Who You Like, Who Will Win The NH Primary
Now 10/03
Dean 61% 51%
Kerry 14 12
Clark 2 5
Lieberman 2 2
Gephardt 1 4
Edwards 1 1
DK 19 23

Electability Over Issues's Pindell reports, A dozen interviews with "undecided" NH Dem voters in the past week "showed a growing pattern away from concern over how candidates stood on the issues like the economy and the Iraq war to the candidate's ability to defeat" Pres. Bush in '04. It is part of a "maturing process of the primary," where the concerns of "everyday" Dems "begin to lead the discussion over activists representing certain groups wanting to hear positions on specific issues." Electability is "an issue very prevalent" to NH Dems, who "notice their entire" cong. delegation and statehouse are dominated by GOPers. This shift "may begin to explain" why campaign arguments, especially by Dean and Kerry, "all seem to center around the electability component."
A 11/14 UNH poll showed a "larger number of voters find themselves undecided," while campaigns "are increasing their door knocking effects to levels not seen before this election cycle" and Dean's lead grows.

Yet at the same time, Clark supporters spoke to over 8k NHities and found out that +95% are still undecided-- a much larger, abeit perhaps unscientific sample than these polls. So which one is wrong? Is it over, or has it just begun? My bet, a bit of both. I think people have chosen Dean because he offered the best critique of Bush and most exciting, energenic campaign. Clark stumbled out of the gate, Kerry has dug himself in a huge hole, Lieberman is standing in quicksand (he is sinking by the minute), Gephardt never really bothered, and Edwards' bus is spinning its wheels. Besides all that money/gas, itsn't moving. They could still move away from Dean like the plauge.

It still remains that NH is a must win for Dean and Kerry. Clark has to do well to show that he is for real after a bad start and lost possibilities. SC is a must win for Edwards, and possibly Clark. OK and or DE is a must win for Lieberman, because he has wrote off almost every other state. Gephardt has to win IA 0f course but also MO and MI to stay viable. Some Dems are hoping that Kerry and Gephardt be the next Max Cleland (no, not they get compared to Saddam and Osama): that they jump on top of the hand genade known as Dean and aborb the blow so that other campaigns, particularly in the House and Senate in the South can be viable. If they do it sucessfully, look for a President Clark or Edwards to appoint Gephardt the sec. of Labor and Kerry to be a point man in the senate.

Meanwhile, Clark is in the news: his campaign expects to rake in no less than $12 million by the end of year, it seems to be the time to start showing everyone the money with their New Hampshire media buy of $1.1 million for two months. Reaching out to voters who very well may not have heard of him, odds are good that your average New Hampshire TV watcher may get hit with a slick look at the general’s military credentials. And South Carolina and Arizona ads buys are not far behind.

Steve Bouchard, New Hampshire state director expects to be opening at least four more regional offices around the state in the next 10 days and are looking for a few more after that. Also, they are expecting the campaign-proclaimed “Student Invasion” this weekend where college students from a number of other states head to New Hampshire to help get the word out door to door.

Friday, November 14, 2003

surprised, shocked....not

In a stunning move that everyone and their mom, including me, predicted, John Kerry is opening up the Ketchup Bottle and refusing to abide by any spending limits in any oh say New Hampshire were he is down 15 points.

also, ultra-unshocking, Lieberman attacked a fellow candidate, trying to be Zell Miller-lite, by saying "Limiting the amount of money in campaigns is an important principle that I have spent years fighting for. It's unfortunate that John Kerry has joined Howard Dean in abandoning that important principle"

On the wierd side, Clark is having trouble rescheduling a fundraiser during an important NH TV debate, and has yet to say he will attend the debate (he is the only one, unfortunately who won't be attending so far--- please kick people off) ... all this while AP's Thiemer reports Wesley Clark announced 11/13 he will "give his campaign a cash infusion by accepting public financing for the primaries." Clark will "be limited" to spend $45M in the primary and will "face state-by-state spending caps." He will be eligible for $19M in govt funding. Clark spokeperson Kym Spell: "We're raising money at a significant clip, which was why we waited so long to make the decision." She also said Clark "ultimately decided" to use public finanacing "out of repect for the system." If Clark gets the Dem nod, "there is a risk he will be near the spending limit" while Pres. Bush has "millions left to spend next spring and summer, before the general election season starts" (11/14). The goal? $10M by New Year's. I think you can do it without missing a debate in NH in December General.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Yo, yo, what's the scenario

Time to theorize:

  1. Dean wins IA, NH: OUT Kerry and Gephardt IN Edwards or Clark WHO CARES Lieberman and the jokesters. SC determines who is going to be No. 2 to Dean and try to run the table with him in the south and Midwest, look for Clinton associated money to come pouring into the winner and Dean to be attacked.

  2. Gephardt wins IA, Dean wins NH: OUT Kerry IN E or C WHO CARES L, M-B, S, and K. Same as above in terms of SC but now Gephardt can try to stop him with an econ message in SC and many other states, possibly dragging down Dean lower in southern states. No. 2? G E or C

  3. Gephardt wins IA, with Edwards in 3rd, Dean wins NH with Edwards in strong 2nd: OUT Kerry in IA IN maybe C maybe, G WHO CARES (see above). Now, Edwards is in the driver's seat and is the clear No. 2, if not No. 1 in terms of raw delegates going into super Tuesday. Watch Clintonestas to coalesce behind Edwards and leave Clark for dead. A united push to destroy Dean.

  4. Gephardt wins IA, with Kerry in strong 3rd. Kerry slugs out Dean in NH Clark/Edwards in third. OUT Dean ! IN Kerry Edwards Clark....Even in this dream scenario for J. Forbes K., I don't know how he would win any 2/3 states, he will be all spent after killing Dean. Maybe some one give him a VP slot as a thank-you gift for killing Dean's candidacy. Or maybe it energizes him to do well in some other states, but never SC.

These are the probable scenarios, in my book. If you, dear Readers, can explain how anything else can happen (like Dean winning SC or Kerry winning more than NH if he is very lucky) in real plausible terms, I would be happy to add them to the list. Notice I am not explaining Clark's winning strategy is the most likely but possible, if SC becomes the stop Dean event that it is shaping up to be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Pass the Ketchup on the Titanic

OK, I got one more corny joke, John Kerry's campaign is like that movie about capital punishment "Dean Man Walking;" put the man out of his misery.

Kerry is going to have to announce soon whether or not he will take public financing (my guess is no) and still be able to "compete" with Dean in NH. Kerry, the richest man in the Senate at like $600 million, is going to tap the few million that he and his wife jointly own and dump it into NH in a last ditch effort to save his candidacy.

Good luck. Key staffers are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship (no offense guys, you are good, not rats). I used Titanic because I think the analogy is apt. Once thought the best and unsinkable ship, this baby is going down slow and steady as she pleases to be bottom of the North Atlantic.

Now, waaaay back when, in January, I liked Kerry. Not as much as the dream of Clark, perhaps, but I never thought we would be able to get him to run at that point. Then again, waaaay back in January Dean was this Kucinich-like candidate going around the country with press traveling with him to show that they were cool enough to know who he was. I think people know who he is now, or at least think they do.

If you thought Lieberman, Edwards, or Clark were in trouble, I've got news for you, Kerry's in worse shape. Which is odd considering he is 3rd in IA and 2nd in NH. But his gaps are huge and he used to be in 1st in NH for months. I can't see one state that Kerry has locked up or a good shot at after NH. SC is going to be either Clark or Edwards, Lieberman might get OK or some state. Gephardt gets MO and maybe more. AZ and MI are going to be momentum/front runner states (i.e. Dean or his beater) and then the next month, its all over.

Please, don't tell me Dean will be it, or that people like Lieberman and Kerry will still be dogging his tail. Lieberman is shaping up to be the DLC's Kucinich, a protest candidate of his own. Kerry, a sacrificial lamb of Washington-insiders (why not Gephardt? Because at least he takes stances, like what do so and say....Kerry seems so very, wishy-washy on everything) .

Who's to blame? Well, Bob Shum folks say.... But ultimately, the fault lies with the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, who, as he likes to say often enough, is running for President of the United States.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Gep takes a wobbly lead in IA

Although Dean's support is stronger than Gephardt's, Dick beats Howard 27-20 with Kerry at a distant third with 15 (the rest are in 5% or less land, sorry Edwards).

Geppy's support is broader however, and to me the most telling stat is "Dean has a significant lead among likely caucus participants with incomes topping $70,000 and those with college degrees, winning the support of 27 percent in each group. He also leads among those who are ages 18 to 44." So much for Dean's claim that he wasn't the candidate of the elite. As Jay Jaroch of Real Time with Bill Maher said "Dean went back to being the candidate for guys with 'Free Tibet' stickers on their Subarus."

Geps got the 'fogies, men, women, unions, and catholics. It will be interesting to see if Gephardt's old school GOTV or Dean's GOTV will be more sucessful in organization-centric Iowa. It is a good first test for the Dean Machine. If Dean clobbers Gephardt, Kerry better just take it like a man, because his ship is sinking faster than the Titanic. He fired his campaign director, maybe so he would have one more thing in common with Clark. Senator, that is not the thing you wanted in common. Oh well.

I now see the race as Dean, Gephardt if he wins, and Clark, because the rest are finished. If Clark can hold the South, and Gephardt can win the Midwest, then Dean will be left as the candidate of New England and other liberal bastions, which will make his case for nominating very tough. All of this is, of course, speculation until the real voters vote.
Conflicting about Clark

The New Yorker usually known as a trumpet of the liberal media (see their look into Richard Perle), had quite a critical piece on Clark today.

Posted under the "Fact" section, reporter Richard Boyer goes into great depth about why the military establishment hates Clark (or large portions of it), especially why Cohen and Shelton hate him and "fired" his ass.

Now I will admit that during the war in Kosovo, I too was not a pro-Clark man and was concerned about the course of events but I did think the US should have gone in to Kosovo (I'm a firm believer of the Clinton Doctrine-- that the US has a moral obligation to intervene in a Humanitarian Crisis, as a opposed to the Bush Doctrine-- preventive warfare [which in of itself is an oxymoron, going to war to prevent a war?]). Here's why, the mission took so long and was done with one hand tied behind out back.

But after I read Clark's first book, I saw why he did it that why and why I now agree with him and despise the old brass in the E ring of the Pentagon. I believe in the "Clark Doctrine": using coercive diplomacy ("we'd rather not bomb you into the stone age, but if you don't stop doing X, we will") and force as a last resort, WORK with allies, not a floating "coalition of the willing." Because with allies the US is even stronger and more protected against terrorist attacks, financial and military burdens and so on. It makes strategic sense and it is the nice thing to do. You never know when you might need your friends.

Clark may have overestimated the power of the first round of strikes (which were less than a US-only group would have been) in convincing "Slobo" to get out of Kosovo, but his heart was in the right place, and eventually, we did win the war without a single combat death. The Bush Administration's response to Clark's policy-- "No one will tell us where we can and cannot bomb" was, in retrospect, a omen of things to come. A tendency to act unilateralist and me-first without considering the wider implications of actions on alliances and later need for their assistance.

After all,, countries aren't lining around the block to kiss Bush's ring and give us money or troops or anything in Iraq. Hell, the Red Cross isn't even going to stick around, and the UN is scared shitless too.

The positives of working with allies far outweighs the annoyingness of dealing with those "cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys" and the rest of "Old Europe."

Friday, November 07, 2003

The coolest AA baseball team around

Of course the Salt Lake Stingers are the coolest AAA team and the Boston Red Sox are my favorite MLB team, but the best AA team is now the New Hampshire Primaries. But I really don't care about baseball, so why am I writing this?

On to my true sport, politics: Clark just nabbed a big endorsement, ex-SC Governor Jim Hodges. This is good news for his strategy of making SC the state he will win in and kill Edwards' campaign.

According to The State reporter Lee Bandy, "It could be an important endorsement, given Hodges’ popularity among black voters, who are expected to make up at least half of the turnout in the first primary state with a substantial black voting population."

Edwards, for his part, poo-pooed the move, by calling Clark an regional candidate without naming him by name, disagreeing "with those who have decided to skip Iowa and de-emphasize New Hampshire. ...If you want to run a national campaign..Then you have to be a candidate for everybody-which is why you can't select where you are going to run," he told The Boston Herald.

Hint to Edwards, if you want to run a national campaign, you have to win in some states, and you have to use your resources effectively. Having spent "roughly" $1.5M in IA and NH but the "investment" hasn't paid off "where it counts most"-- in state polls. His campaign bought $1M worth of commercials in IA and $500K in NH, "which has resulted in only a little movement in the polls." Polls of LVs [likely voters] in both states put Edwards under 10%, "the middle of the pack in both states." Edwards "started out strong in fundraising and popularity, but he has lost momentum" as others like Dean "took off." Edwards is second in overall ad spending behind Dean, who has also spent $1M in IA and $500K in NH but "has the front-runner status to show for his ad buys." '00 Gore manager Donna Brazile: "That's a bad sign to spend that amount of money and not get much traction." Brazile said Edwards' strategy relies on third-place finishes to "catapult" him to wins in SC and other 2/3 primary states, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Although Edwards' strategy with Clark's is about the same (minus IA), the difference is Edwards has been running for 10 months now, and has very little show for it. After all this fundraising, ad buys, trips, town hall meetings, and speachifying, he is still below double digits in NH in most polls. In IA he is in fourth place, ahead of two guys not participating and the Sharpton trio (funny how now Al Sharpton is now the most electable of all three of them). In NH, he is in either 3rd or 4th depending on which polls you look at.

The point is, Clark hasn't spent a 1/10th of that and he is in the same place Edwards is for the most part, if not better (if you believe those national polls or later state polls which have Clark in top 3-- usually 2nd-- in every poll) than Edwards. Isn't that a sign?

Don't get me wrong, I wish everyone would steal Edwards' message and ideas, he's got some of the best. And his debate performance was the best of any in Boston. But he is just not jazzing up Democrats to vote for him. His good looks make him look too Green and now is not the time for a rookie.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Strong willed, or just an Asshole?

Dean: "When people get in my face, I tend to get in theirs. Al Sharpton was in my face last night and I was not going to step one step, half a step, backwards, and I don't care who's in my face. I tend to be reflective rather later than sooner. Now, unfortunately, we know that nobody's personality is perfect. So the things that make me a strong candidate are also my Achilles heel." More Dean: "You can blame the media or blame my opponents, but the fact is, I've got to own my own words. And that's what I decided at about 3 o'clock this morning."

So, he apologized today, to squall the noise that this foot-in-mouth disease caused. The question is not whether he is racist or loves the confederate flag. The issue is whether Democrats, and Americans in general for that matter, want this man to represent the party and country.

This is a man who speaks first, asks questions later. A man who can't stand to be attacked, yet seems to think it isn't ok to attack him. A man whose first instinct is to deny he is wrong and to attack the questioner. A man who is loves to taut what he did as Governor of a puny small, rural and overwhelming white state in New England , yet won't let anyone actually read his records because they are sealed for decades. A man who spent Vietnam on a draft deferment for a "bad back" by skiing with buddies in Aspen while people like Kerry and Clark where getting their silver stars in combat. A man borne into a extremely wealthy family and named after his rich father, and went to Yale, and had a drinking problem. A man who is push polling his own supporters to avoid spending limits/matching funds now that he is awash with money (where before he was opposed to doing so when he was a nobody). If I changed a few minor details like about his state VT to TX, I think you would rightly conclude the man in question was Bush. So much for calling people "Bush-lite" huh Doctor Dean?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I know where you were last night

Ok, well at least I know where I was: Rocking the Vote in the freezing winds of Boston.

And ladies and gentlemen, we ABD folks (anybody but Dean) have found a chink in the armor: his blustering arrogance.

Flag shmag I say. We all know Dean doesn't mean that he likes the confederate flag or is a racist, but what he is is a guy who refuses to admit when he is wrong and when he changes his position. (Both of which happen often enough) It is a sign of leadership to say, hey I messed up, I am sorry or I think differently now because of X,Y, and Z and I was mistaken before.

The question that started it all was, in effect, how will you be sensitive to the needs of black people? Dean's response was, by working to help white people.

Al Sharpton jumps on Dean and says, "You are not a bigot, but you appear to be too arrogant to say 'I'm wrong,' and go on." (After the debate, Dean mistakenly attributes this comment to John Edwards.) Then, John Edwards stands up to confront Dean and delivers one of the best shots of the evening: "Because let me tell you the last thing we need in the South is somebody like you coming down and telling us what we need to do." And with that one truly heartfelt moment of anger by Edwards, his candidacy just showed some life, we have a pulse. Good work counselor.

These are the things that, Ironically, make Dean more like Bush than the other candidates. When was the last time you can recall Bush doing a 180 (lots), well how about admitting he had done a 180 (none)? How about admitting he was wrong when he does a 180 or says something stupid (none)? How about when has Bush arrogantly believed he was right and that it was his way or the highway (how about his whole damn life)? So before you start calling people Republican-lite/Bush-like Gov. Dean, take a good look in the mirror.

Because the same reason Bush is a misleader instead of a leader and, in my estimation, the worst president since those ones we forget about in the late 19th/early 20th century, is because he takes no responsibility for mistakes or changes and just tries to fix the blame on someone else, while fixing the credit on his shoulders.

The most important quote of the night, "He lost me." -- Sekou Dilday, the "Rock The Vote" Confederate Flag questioner on Dean's answer, Boston Herald, 11/5

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

How can Clark win?

Just read Ruy Teixeira's blog (Oct 31/Nov 1st posts) on how it could be done.

This guy is a co-author of the "Emerging Democratic Majority" this guy knows his demographics and offers a compelling view of how well democrats can be positioned in 2006/8 to sweep things up, if we have the right agenda.

Why am I in Boston?

[oh yeah, that's why.]

When it turns out that Salt Lake City is way more fun, according to cranium. SLC is number nine, ahead of such boring sites as Las Vegas, New York City, and Boston.

But the list must be a bit whacked since, Minneapolis is number one (and SLC is 9). But hey, I will most likely be in number nine in a few months time anyway at this place. You better believe it.

In the meantime I am going to Rock the Vote tonight. See ya'll there.

Monday, November 03, 2003

More bad news from Baghdad

The front line news in every paper and news website was the story that 16 more soldiers died in Iraq on Sunday. The saddest part for me, was that they all were off on 2 weeks leave starting right then. Alex Brensen of the Times writes that, "The Army's experimental furlough program was introduced in September as a means to give a 'sanity check' to soldiers whose tours of duty in Iraq have been extended to a full year. "

Richard Stevenson asks the bigger question: "As Casualties in Iraq Mount, Will Resolve Falter?" I really wonder when the administration will get off its high horse and stop just defending their strategy with Orwellian rhetoric but actually fixing the problem at hand.

How about getting more troops in there with language skills (AKA Arab troops) and getting more intelligence folks looking for the guys that killing our soldiers not those long gone WMDs? Oh wait, you have no more Arab friends thanks to the rush to war. Oh I forgot too that the WMDs are the purported reason to go to war not "They tried to kill my Daddy!" Many of our troops have been killed while looking for their translator. Their lack of language skills makes them highly vulnerable to attack and deception.

Maybe the military should train its folks to learn some major languages they might need in a future war, like Arabic. No need to learn Korean, because they will all be wiped off the face of the planet if war breaks out. But Chinese for down the road (like 10-20 years) might be good for a fight over Taiwan. French and native African languages in case we have to do some peace keeping in Africa, that disaster of a continent (thanks Brits!)...You get the idea. Don't get me wrong, I think our troops are the best trained most highly skilled guys/gals out there.

But America lacks the desire/requirements that people learn a foreign language, and it hurts us internationally. Of course most people in the world might know or understand English, but that is not the point. It is a bit arrogant to expect them to, unlike the rest of the word who goes out and learns English and another foreign language in addition to their native tongue. Get with the program USA.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Iowa and South Carolina: More of the same, and Clark pulls ahead

A Research 2000 poll; conducted 10/26-28 for KCCI-TV; surveyed 600 likely voters; margin of error +/- 4%. Dem sample: 400 likely Dem caucus voters; margin of error +/- 5% (release, 10/31).

Dem Caucus Matchup ---Now--- --8/27---
All Men Wom 8/27 6/4 Fav/Unfav Fav/Unfav
Dean 26% 29% 23% 25% 11% 72%/ 18% 62%/ 13%
Gephardt 26 30 22 21 27 69 / 28 64 / 24
Kerry 15 13 17 16 14 65 / 23 62 / 19
Edwards 8 5 11 6 4 53 / 25 37 / 18
Lieberman 3 5 1 12 10 52 / 40 61 / 30
Clark 3 4 2 3 n/a 36 / 27 17 / 3
Kucinich 1 1 1 1 1 20 / 18 15 / 8
Braun - - - - 2 14 / 20 18 / 15
Sharpton - - - - 1 10 / 55 11 / 57
Undec. 18 13 23 15 29

General Election Matchups
Now 8/27 Now 8/27 Now 8/27
Bush 48% 51% Bush 46% 48% Bush 47% 49%
Dean 43 38 Gephardt 43 39 Kerry 42 40
Undec. 9 11 Undec. 11 13 Undec. 11 11

Now 8/27 Now 8/27 Now 8/27
Bush 49% 52% Bush 49% 52% Bush 49% 49%
Edwards 41 35 Clark 40 35 Lieberman 41 39
Undec. 10 13 Undec. 11 13 Undec. 10 12

Pollster Del Ali, on the Dem primary: In August, Dean "held a 25%-21% lead over" Gephardt; "today, both Dean and Gephardt are tied among likely caucus voters ... Dean and Gephardt continue to run well among men where Gephardt has 30% of all men voters and Dean 29%. Kerry runs better among women voters (17%) than he does men (13%). It should be pointed out that only 13% of men voters remain undecided while 23% of the women voters are undecided."

Ali, looking to the the general: "President Bush's Democratic challengers have improved their standing in Iowa over the past two months. ... Even" Clark and Lieberman, who "opted to pass over" the '04 caucus, "improved" their standing against Bush. However, Ali notes: "Although each of the Democratic challengers trail President Bush in head to head matchups, the President fails to garnish fifty percent of Iowa's electorate in any of his matchups against his potential rivals" (release, 10/31).

An American Research Group poll; conducted 10/26-30; surveyed 600 regis. voters; margin of error +/- 4% (release, 10/31).

WH '04 Dem Primary Matchup
Now 9/03 8/03 4/03 Fav/Unfav ID
Clark 17% 7% -% -% 23%/ 9% 62%
Edwards 10 16 10 7 31 / 22 79
Lieberman 8 7 14 19 33 / 22 88
Dean 7 6 5 2 20 / 22 70
Gephardt 7 5 8 9 27 / 25 80
Braun 5 4 1 1 17 / 14 45
Sharpton 5 5 4 3 13 / 43 71
Kerry 4 5 6 8 19 / 17 52
Kucinich 1 1 1 - 6 / 17 30
Undec. 36 42 48 47

Is there anything new here? The results from IA mean that Gephardt is going to have a damned tough time getting rid of Dean. Look to Kerry to tag team with Gephardt to weaken Dean in IA and for each to lay off each other. Whether Geppy returns the favor in NH remains unknown, or if it will even matter (since some polls have Dean walking away with it in the Granite State).

It also shows that SC is totally up for grabs, much to Edwards dismay. If Clark can leap up and have spend 2 days there and almost no money (except for rental cars and a few staffers), then what does it say about Edwards' ad buys and Kerry's re-announce in SC? It says Kerry and Edwards suck, that's what.

For Kerry: 3rd or gone in IA. I just don't see how he can get 4th in IA and expect to gain enough mo' to take out Dean in NH or even continue on.

For Edwards: ditto. Although he can hang around until SC to see if he can bet it all on smashing Clark, I think if he can't muster 4th he is DOA 3rd he pretty much kills Kerry.

For Clark: 4th in IA would be a miricle and destroy Kerry or Edwards. 3rd in NH is a must, as is 1st in several February 3rd contests (like SC hint hint).

For Lieberman: 3rd in NH would destory Clark and or Edwards and Gephardt, especially if Gephardt wins Iowa. But that won't happen. Lieberman is doing some token stuff in NH and counting on OK and AZ to bail him out, as we all know, SC will never go for him. (Jewish thing will get him in trouble, sad fact)

For Gephardt: IA is a must win, as is MI. If Dean nabs the SEUI endorsement, which seems likely to happen next week, look for other unions to hold off on endorsing the Gepster. Another tip for Gep: every other serious candidate has a blog, even Bush, get with the program.

For Dean: again, lose both IA and NH and even though you have money, no one will care. Your metoric rise will be seen as an aberation and eventually people will notice all the fliping and flopping and double standards. Watch out for the oppo men of Kerry and Gephardt, you can't just cry "Washington," you have to explain why you've "seen the light" on oh-so many things.

For the Rest: please let us know when you drop out

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Unsurprising quote of the day

Sen. Zell Miller ("D"-GA): "I'm not saying that I'm going to become a Republican, but in 2004 this, this Democrat is going to vote for George W. Bush for president" ("Hannity & Colmes").

This is the man who is eerily like the factious Idaho Democratic Senator who switched parties at the end of last night's The West Wing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Quote of the Day

"I like Wyclef Jean and everybody thinks I'm very hip, but I am really a square, , as my kids will tell you. I don't even get to watch television. I've heard the term (metrosexual), but I don't know what it means" -- Dean, "after professing his metrosexuality" to a Boulder audience, according to the Denver Post.

Here's another good one:
"Now that I'm running for president, I've seen the light."

-- Howard Dean on Yucca Mountain, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/29 On Yucca Mountain.

Runner up:

Graham, on life expectancy, according to The St. Petersburg [FL] Times: "For the average American male, you have about 15 years (to live) after you reach 65." Graham is 66.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

General Election Sources

Remember how last Thursday I had talked about African-American voter suppression attempts in Kentucky by the state GOP and how they had claimed that poll watcher placements were random? And how I doubted it? Josh Marshall once again finds a way to prove me right and good contradicting info, such as this flyer. If you are reading it and wondering what the ABC offices are, they are not the network but are the offices of the Associated Builders and Contractors, AKA a corporate trade group of the construction industry.

"A spokesman for the Fletcher campaign, Wes Irvin, tells me that Congressman Fletcher did attend a board meeting of the Executive Board of the ABC on the morning in question. But this, said Irvin, was a normal campaign outreach meeting to a group of political supporters and was unrelated to any issues about voting or ballot integrity. " yeah right....

"The flyer is signed by Mike Czerwonka, a Republican activist from Louisville. In the flyer he says he has been 'asked by the Fletcher Campaign for Governor to serve in the capacity of insuring the integrity of the election process' in portions of Louisville, and that Fletcher, the Republican candidate for governor, would himself be attending the meeting, " said Marshall. Of course, Flechter said, "who?" and pretended that he didn't talk to them. Either way, their tactics are shameful if not illegal.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Primary Sources

Here is a copy of that Rumsfeld memo that ended up in the hands of the venerable, hard-hitting news paper known as USA TODAY.

The most fun about this now infamous memo is that is exactly the opposite of what Rumsfeld has said publically and the same as what Democrats running for President have said, that War on Terrorism isn't working out like how Bush promised.

Some gems. "We are having mixed results with Al Qaida, although we have put considerable pressure on them — nonetheless, a great many remain at large." On a plan to get the terrorists: "The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan."
Irony Alert

It seems one of the biggest fans of the War in Iraq, a guy who had claimed it was connected to the War on Terrorism, that Iraqis would welcome us with open arms, that we would be in and out rapidly, was nearly killed when a large bomb went off near his Al Rashid Hotel.

Paul Wolfowitz was not harmed, thankfully, but senior military officials were, and today there was another attack in Iraq. This time, 30-40 people were killed because some terrorist struck a Red Cross building. Pretty sick stuff. It just goes to show that Iraq is probably the most dangerous place to live in these days (or at least in the area between Trikrit and Baghdad) and it is now a hot bed of terrorism.

I had wanted to talk about the presidential Debate in Detroit last night, but our national security and global insecurity is vastly more important than how many pot shots Lieberman got in or how many cute phrases Gephardt has (10 and 3).

This war and its aftermath have DISASTER written all over it. How could so many people be mistaken about the weapons of mass destruction? How could the Bush administration be so brazen as to lie about evidence to rush to a optional war? How they be in such a hurry that they failed to do realistic planning or let experts do their jobs, instead of giving the entire gig to the Pentagon? How could Congress bend over in the shower with Bush and reach for the proverbial oap and then say thank you afterwards?

Friday, October 24, 2003

Another poll, big difference

A Zogby Int'l poll; conducted 10/21-23; surveyed 500 likely Dem primary voters; margin of error +/- 4.5% (release, 10/24).

WH '04 Dem Primary Matchup
All Dem Ind Men Wom NH01 NH02 9/25 8/26 6/7 Fav/Unfav
Dean 40% 43% 35% 33% 46% 38% 42% 30% 38% 22% 77%/ 11%
Kerry 17 20 11 17 16 15 17 20 17 25 66 / 26
Edwards 6 5 7 8 4 4 7 2 4 2 50 / 14
Gephardt 4 4 4 5 3 5 3 6 6 7 49 / 32
Lieberman 3 1 7 4 3 3 4 5 6 10 44 / 43
Sharpton 1 - 1 1 - - 1 1 - - 13 / 57
Kucinich - 1 - - 1 - 1 1 1 2 16 / 23
Braun - - - - - - - - - - 21 / 27
Clark 6 8 4 12 2 8 5 10 2 n/a 38 / 23
Oth/Undec. 23 18 31 22 25 27 20 25 24 32

I really don't get this poll, if three other polls have Dean between 35% and 25% and Kerry at or around 18% with Clark in third, why does this one have Clark tied for 3rd/4th with Edwards (who hasn't been on the map really) and Dean at 40?

Seems to be either way off, or the other polls aren't smelling the Dean rout. Wasn't Zogby the guy that did polling for Jeanene Shaheen's ill-fated senate race in 2002, with polls that suggested it was close when in reality it was called at the close of the polls (like over 10 points)? Or was Zogby behind some other terrible numbers for 2002 polling...Maybe it was that "close" Colorado Senate race? All I can say is, I really doubt Dean is up by that much.
More nastiness in Kentucky

The driver "of a campaign bus rented" by KY GOP GOV nominee/Rep. Ernie Fletcher "deflated a tire on a van owned" by the KY Democrat Party "at a Fletcher appearance in Shelbyville"

John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader writes "Democrats use the van to carry The Job Terminator, a large, Fletcher-like head with sunglasses that party workers puckishly parade around at Fletcher events. The caricature is intended to tie the GOP candidate to job losses and the weak national economy."

Refusing to lose more jobs, the Fletcher camp won't fire the idiot that was caught by no less than two eye-witnesses. "It's the first time anything like this has happened," said Jeff Derouen, the Democratic spokesman. "It's not a good development." No indeed, but just watch it get worse. Republicans have no trouble getting their hands messy to get the job done.