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.