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."