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Tip O'Neill was so right. Here's an example from jolly old U.K. re Tony Blair:

Exhibit A

Blair 'must admit war was mistake'

Tony Blair has faced a chorus of demands to admit he committed British forces to the Iraq war on the basis of a fundamentally flawed assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Doubts about Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction programmes were underlined by the resignation of David Kay, the US official who has spent eight months heading up the Iraq Survey Group's search for WMD. Mr Kay left his post saying that in his view, there was no large scale WMD production programme in Iraq during the 1990s, and there are no stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons to be found.

Exhibit B

Top-up fee rebels 'damaging party'

Labour backbenchers who vote against university top--up fees will damage the Government, the party's general election prospects and universities, Home Secretary David Blunkett has warned. With the clock ticking to Tuesday's critical Commons vote on variable tuition fees Mr Blunkett, a former Education Secretary, appealed to would-be rebels to think again. In a statement to PA News, Mr Blunkett said: "I hope those MPs and constituency parties who continue to have doubts will reflect on the damage that would be caused to the Government if we lost the vote on higher education funding.

Which one is more important? Which might bring Blair down? And if you answered A, think again.

Now apply this logic to NH, and every other state primary and general election.

see Tony Blair diaries over the last 24 hours, including here and here. The fees in and of themselves must be taken as a whole.

But coming back to the US, who woulda thunk a concession speech would have as much interplay and remixing as Star Wars Kid? Or better yet, four year old opinions about the Iowa caucuses?

Never underestimate what plays locally. If politics were truly national, we'd have some clue regarding what's going on in Kaleefornia.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 24, 2004 at 02:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No rules (none)
    It's not like there's some idea of what's important and what's not and we can agree or disagree in public. What's important is whatever helps Republicans and hurts Democrats. What's unimportant is what hurts Republicans. End of story. I wouldn't try to extrapolate from there, because that's the only pattern that I see to the American media.

    "So instead of getting to heaven, at last-- I'm going, all along."

    by Marshall on Sat Jan 24, 2004 at 02:44:20 PM PST

    •  What helped Kerry in Iowa... (none)
      ...was the connection with Vietnam vets in a state with more than its share of veterans. And the old guys came out on a cold winter night and voted when the kids didn't.

      According to previous Democratic surveys, NH is a hawkish state. Kerry should play well there. The same theme would not play so well in MA or CT.

      And then there's President George W DangerMouse: The President Makes Danger His Campaign Theme

      In short, Mr. Bush was holding himself out as the candidate who can best protect the nation from the evils of a post-9/11 world. Many Democrats call it the politics of fear; Republicans call it reality. Whatever the terminology, Mr. Bush has never before so bluntly told voters that the choice was between him and "the dangerous illusion" (read Democrats) that the threat had passed. Members of both parties say that running on national security may well guarantee Mr. Bush a second term. The White House is betting the election on it.

      How will that play in NH? And who is best suited to counter it?

      •  Running on national security (none)
        Well, Dean plans to run to the right of Bush on national security, saying that Bush hasn't done enough of the right things.
        •  hope so... (none)
          ...because those specifics will gain many more votes than the "yeagggh" speech will lose.

          it's the economy, still, but one has to have a "war on terror" comfort level with the American people to win. It's not just about Iraq. That makes Bush viulnerable, but only an alternative plan will win it in '04...

  •  Another local example... (none)
    ...from CT Political Watch:

    9:28 AM
    Connecticut would be the biggest loser under a highway funding bill the Senate plans to take up in early February, the Associated Press is reporting. While most states will see average funding increases of 30 percent to 40 percent over the previous transportation bill, Connecticut will get just 10 percent more: the lowest in the nation. The AP reports "A key member of the Senate public works panel is Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., who has been running for president for the past year while committee members were drafting the new plan."

    If he's still around by then, think his opponents won't play this up?

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