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.