Skip to main content

Enough about Dean.

Kerry vs. Edwards. The "liberal" Northern candidate versus the "moderate" Southern candidate. It was the regional matchup everyone expected, even if the route and the names of the candidates didn't gibe with expectations.

The bottom line? It's a new contest. Kerry is about to find out what Dean realized was a difficult task -- running a 50-state race, running against Bush, facing attacks from Democrats, Republicans, and rumor mongers, and maintaining the "aura of inevitability" all at the same time. while Kerry has the clear upperhand at the moment, nothing is inevitable at the moment.

Edwards, on the other hand, can cherry pick his battles. He was able to move into Wisconsin and campaign hard for his well-earned strong second-place showing. Kerry was wasting time in Nevada and its beauty contest caucus. Yet the demands of that "50-state" race dictated Kerry spend time every place that votes. Or maybe that was just a really dumb decision (like Dean's Georgia visit on Iowa's eve).

But ultimately, Kerry's biggest weakness is that no one likes him, unlike the well-liked, charismatic Edwards. The exit polls have been clear -- people vote for Kerry not because they are inspired, agree with his policies, or otherwise find him an attractive candidate. They vote for him because they think he is "most electable". And that aura is fading. The attacks are taking a toll on him and that perceived "electability". And since his support is not deep, it's artificial and thin at best, he has nothing to fall back on.

On the other hand, Kerry has a big delegate lead. And given that states are no longer winner-take-all, Edwards would have to start winning with BIG margins to start making up that 400+ delegate difference.

But the mo' is on Edwards' side. It'll be interesting catching the next round of March 2 and national polling to see if Kerry is holding steady or suffering any erosion in his position. Edwards' ability to close is spectacular (and should be considered legendary if he can keep it up), so Kerry will need as much distance as he can muster. Because with Dean out of the race, Kerry doesn't compare too favorably with Edwards.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:02 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  A question about caucus states (none)
    I'm a Dean delegate in Iowa.  When I go to the county convention in March, I think I can cast my vote for anyone now.  So is it conceivable that Edwards could pick up enough of the delegates in caucus states that he would "win" them after the fact?
    •  vote Dean at the state convention (none)
      then have the Dean people in Boston go for Edwards. This gives the Dean movement more influence.

      Put your money where your mouth is: Give $100 to the Democratic presidential nominee (whoever that may be.)

      by aleand on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:14:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uninformed answer (none)
      I'm in the same position in WA. My understanding so far is that I have to stick with Dean on the first round of voting, and can then switch on subsequent rounds - the county convention works just like the caucus.

      I may be wrong, but we have a meeting tomorrow night with the local Dem chair, and should have the answers then. Don't know if they're uniform across states though either. Check with your precinct or other chair.

      •  I'ld like to know what you find out... (none)
        I'm an Edwards delegate in WA.  And yes, there's not that many of us. I'm hoping we can change a few votes and keep Edwards going and bring him up in delegates in County in April.  But to change we will need to make the 15% threshold.

        If anyone else know for sure how things work in WA, please let me know.

        •  Dean delegates (none)
          You are free to do whatever you want at the convention, but I am a Dean delegate in Washington state and will be staying with him all the way.  You can rest assured that most of us will stay with Dean unless instructed otherwise.  Although I can't vouch for every single delegate, we probably won't see a great deal of change in the final tally.

          To thine own self be true - Polonius to Laertes

          by tedward on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:58:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dean wants to keep his delegates (none)
            For what it's worth, I heard it from the Gov himself in a conference call this afternoon that he wants Dean supporters to send "as many progressive delegates as we can" to the convention, and for all Dean delegates to stay the course.
        •  Cut Deals (none)
          With the Dean people. Where one is not viable, have the other shift into that group. That way you maximize both sets of delegates, while prepping up the good will you need for the General. You may even be able to get partial shift where a few of one side or the other won't make a difference in delegate division percentage, but will make the other group viable.

          Donate to Dean! Annoy Al From! Click Here!

          by ElitistJohn on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:00:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  x (none)
        I'm a Dean delegate in WA -- what meeting are you talking about?
    •  Unless the rules have changed ... (2.66)
      if you are a pledged delegate for a specific candidate, you have to back that candidate, whether the candidate is still in the race or not. This is called being a "pledged" delegate - you are pledged to a certain candidate.

      If Dean releases his delegates - like some of the other candidates - then you can support who you want to. Dean hasn't done this yet. He is smartly holding onto his delegates in the hope that he can have some role beyond coronating Kerry.  

      At the convention, after the first round, you can then vote for whoever you want to but the whole thing will probably be settled before the convention so ...

      Politizine: Random musings about politics, music and modern times.

      by radiotony on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 10:56:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who to vote for... (none)
      Check with your state party, but I'm pretty sure you can vote for whoever you want. In fact, you can even stick with Dean.
      •  Dean has not withdrawn (none)

        He merely suspended his campaign.  This means that pledged delegates are still pledged.

      •  badger (none)
        My understanding is that delegates to the county convention elect the delegates to the Congressional Dist convention who then elect the delegates to the state convention who then nominate the delegates to the national convention.

        The only question is whether each election is by vote, in which case I can vote for anyone, or by caucus, in which case I have to start out committed to Dean (in my case), and can then switch as in the original caucus procedure.

        I've haven't heard anyone knowledgeable say I have to stick with Dean forever and ever, which I would do if Dean were still actively seeking the nomination.

        But the best advice is "check with your state party ..." which is what I'm doing tonight.

  •  A question about caucus states (none)
    I'm a Dean delegate in Iowa.  When I go to the county convention in March, I think I can cast my vote for anyone now.  So is it conceivable that Edwards could pick up enough of the Dean delegates in caucus states that he would "win" them after the fact?
  •  If... (none)
    Dean is smart, he'll endorse Edwards.  Even if Kerry wins, this will help whoever the nominee is.  We need as much free media as possible, as well as a battle-scarred (but not fiscally drained) candidate.

    I can't spell, now leave me alone!

    by Chris Dub on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:08:04 AM PST

    •  evolving strategies (none)
      Like all of you, I have been giving the rapidly changing situation a lot of thought.   I sincerely believe that although Kerry is technically qualified and has, on balance (ignoring the last 3 years!) a liberal voting record, he is not an inspiring choice for our party.

      I would very much like to see a TEAM run, right now.  Edwards, who currently has the momentum to pull this off, should be dealing with Dean, whether as VP (my personal choice) or a high cabinet position, and assemble a team of at least four committed people to campaign with.

      that team should represent charisma, honesty, fiscal prudence, social liberalism, a compassionate approach to rebuilding Iraq and solid ambassadorial/foreign policy skills.

      Edwards and Dean have almost everything on that list but by adding a military man of strong character (Clark?)  an impeccable Secretary of State, & possibly a hero Attorney General (too bad Spitzer has already sided with Kerry), the team would be unbeatable.

      If such a team could be credibly assembled before Super Tuesday, the results could be very strong.  People actually seem to be paying attention, and this is a particularly magical moment where the american media is on its VERY best behavior.  they are sorry about giving Shrub a pass, embarrassed about Plame, and seem somewhat contrite about destroying Dean.

    •  I agree but when? (none)
      ID  dean does  endorse  edwards  it will be  4 -5  daya  before March 2.... the meida buzz  will be worth  TENS of  Millions

      "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

      by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 12:42:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards & Iraq (none)
    If Edwards is elected what will he do about Iraq?

    I host an Internet radio show which now has a participatory blog. See Collective Interest.

    by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:11:50 AM PST

    •  Edwards on Iraq (none)
      He wants to take the American face off it.  I might be mistaken here, but I believe he wants to bring in UN forces in the border crossing areas.  Freeing up for forces there and allowing them to concentrate in the harder hit areas.  And bring some of them home.

      He wants to bring UN support in and get our people out when it is stable and he will see that it is rebuilt.  The damage that was done is fixed, but he will be very agressive about getting international aid in the area.

      However, Edwards is no Dennis K.  Some have even called him a Hawk.  If getting us out of Iraq as fast as we can is your main issue then Edwards is probablly not your candadate.

      •  Despite my snark below (none)
        I think that none of the major Dems have plans that differ tremendously from each other.  We're there, it's a mess, and I don't know that there is any way out.  I appreciate what Dennis is suggesting but there is a huge catastrophe waiting.  Unfortunately, the same goes for all the other plans.  My guess is the best we can do is hope for a calm, reasonable leader who is willing to work w/ the int'l community.  I don't see how we could go wrong w/ Dean, Edwards, or Kerry on that issue, since we are stuck w/ reality.  Now, Edwards' and Kerry's votes -- should be put down as demerits for both of them.  I'm more aware of Kerry's foreign policy votes (longer record) so am more inclined to think that his Iraq war vote was a cynical calculation.  Edwards' vote?  I don't know.  It could be a calculation or could be sincerely held.  I'm not sure which is worse.  More vetting!  More time to decide!    

        "First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill." - Shrub

        by kelly on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:47:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Calculation is worse.. (none)
          It means nothing is really important to him because he's willing to sell out his ideals at any time.  If Edwards voted for the war because he sincerely believed in it, that's better than the reasons for Kerry.  And before anyone starts, I'm sorry but Kerry voted against the first Gulf War, so there is no justification for his vote in the second.  

          Deaniacs- support Dean in spirit by voting for Edwards! Kerry is the ultimate Washington insider!

          by Asak on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:27:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He seems sincere (none)
          He has taken responsibility for the vote and now admits it was a mistake.  He hasn't waffled and danced around it like Kerry, which leds me to believe it was a sincere mistake rather than a calculated one. Not to mention the fact that he is a sincere, ethical guy in general (yes, even lawyers can be ethical). While a no vote on the resolution would have been better, I can accept Edwards's admitted mistake a lot easier that Kerry's opportunistic shifting and tortured reasoning or Joementum's refusal to admit the mistake.
          •  Link please (none)
            Tell me where he said his vote was a mistake. I've been waiting for this for a long time.

            If this were Dec 8, 1941, Bush would be invading Spain

            by Doug in SF on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 02:32:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I did not read it, (none)
              but I do recall seeing or hearing Edwards say that his Iraq vote was a mistake during either television news coverage or on NPR.  Sorry I can't be more specific, but I do recall hearing it.  I remember because I thought it very refreshing to hear someone simply admit it without equivocation.  Quite the contrast to BushCo and Kerry.

              The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Martin Luther King

              by Cracker on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:35:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't heard (none)
              him call iot a mistake myself, but at thelast debate (WI), when the questioner asked about what Dean had said previously about the Senators having responsibility for the soldiers who have been killed... Kerry was asked if he felt responsible, and he hemmed and hawed and danced around the subject.  Edwards was asked and he said "Yes."
      •  Bugging out (none)
        If Bugging out of Iraq as soon as possible without any thought to the consequences is your goal, then Bush is your guy.  Sadly, I think we have to pick a responsible candidate like Kerry or Edwards who will see it through even if getting out would be easier.
        •  Someone to really stay the course (none)
          I agree. Bush is probably the one who will pull out and leave Iraq in a civil war.  I want a candidate who recognizes our responsibility in the region.  We broke it.  We fix it. Running away would be criminal.  But we need someone with long term vision in Iraq. Kerry might be the guy but I need to hear a more comprehensive policy position.  I trust Edwards' judgment on this more.  He seems less interested in how his decision would play in the polls (like Bush) and more interested in the situation at hand.  But again, I'd like to hear a little more than putting an international face on it.  That's too much of a platitude at this stage, when even Bush is clamoring to give the UN more say.
          •  I disagree (and I explain why) (3.00)
            OIL.  It was the reason we went there in the first place (and to get Saddam), and we're not leaving without it, AND the reason Bush really doesn't want the UN involved (although he might suggest otherwise).  

            It doesn't matter one bit to Bush how many of our boys die to get the oil (because they volunteered, so they deserve what happens to them).  

            To just up and split would be to abandon 10% of the world's oil reserves (and the revenue that would generate) to God knows who.  So, we play the game, with governing councils, plans for elections (sometime next year), US-trained Iraqi police forces, and so on.  Bush isn't about to let go, no matter how some of us might like to think he'd be so irresponsible as to do so.

            What did we do to deserve George W. Bush?

            by republicans are idiots on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:01:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not only about the money.. (none)
              ..either.  There have long been plans on the boards to invade and control oil-producing countries because in the near future, after the peak in oil production has been passed, it's a "national security issue" to insure that we have access to oil when it becomes more scarce.. add to this the neocon dream of changing the equation in the Middle East, and the sheer profiteering suggested above, and the picture is more complete.

              All of this is disgusting, unethical, arrogant..

              History will not be kind.

          •  You broke it, but you can't fix it. (none)
            All the king's horses and all the king's men,
            Couldn't put Humpty together again.

            Some broken things can't be fixed, especially by the people who broke them. Peace is often one of those things. I honestly don't know what can be done by any Democratic president to fix the Bush-induced mess in Iraq, because any measures I can think of are going be too little, too late. But...

            Anyone who plans to try, should first be required to read every single word on Riverbend's blog, right back to the first day she posted. Not that she is the only voice that needs to be listened to, but she writes truth as she sees it, and it is a truth that isn't being taken account of.

            The daily-life headaches she writes about -- electricity shortages, abductions, massive unemployment, soaring gas prices, women not daring to move about the city alone -- and also the courage, humor, and resilience with which the Iraqis are coping with these problems -- these are things the president needs to understand before attempting to "fix Iraq".

            By next January Iraqis will have had almost two years to adapt to the lack of civil order. Some of them have already done so, in ways that make it in their interests for disorder to continue. How do you convince the unemployed men -- who may have begun abducting people as a desperate measure to keep their families from starving, but who are now doing quite well at it -- that there should now be laws, and police? Especially, how do you convince them if they still don't see any other way to obtain money? So a massive employment initiative for Iraqis might be a good start. (Americans become restless when unemployment hits 6-7%. Just imagine a 40% unemployment rate!)

            You can't make Iraq not be a Muslim nation. No government recognized as legitimate by a majority of the people at this point is going to be fully secular. The more Americans try to intervene to make it secular, the more they try to impose their own ideas of "democracy" and "fairness" (which in fact aren't nearly as democratic and fair as they like to think), the less legitimacy the government will have amongst the governed, and the greater the probability of insurrection and civil war.

            Even more worrying, I think any efforts by Americans to promote women's rights in Iraq will be counterproductive. Left to themselves, Iraqis might or might not decide to keep the relative freedom women enjoyed under Saddam, reinterpreting Islamic doctrine in more liberal ways to support this. But if women's rights become a foreign American-supported idea... mmph, struggle... can't resist... there's a real danger they will throw out the baby with the Baath-water. (Sorry, sorry, deepest apologies, I won't do that again.)

            These are a few of the things the Dem candidates need to be thinking about.

            Maybe it's politically unwise to start saying them in the midst of the campaign, though. Navigating the political maze in Iraq is going to be difficult enough. Confining oneself in advance to ideas that play well to an American electorate that mostly understands nothing whatsoever about the problem is going to make the job impossible.

            Neither Edwards nor Kerry is going to want to tie his own hands behind his back like that. So I predict that you are not going to hear a whole lot of specifics from either of them. "Getting the UN involved" is only a sop. It sounds good, it maybe helps with money and resources, but it's not going to solve anything in Iraq -- not at this late date, when already all foreigners are being seen in Iraq as mere proxies for American policy.

            Er, we'd really like you guys to go back to being a GOOD influence on us.

            by Canadian Reader on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 02:41:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bugging Out? (none)
          You folks seem to have forgotten Vietnam, which is what Iraq is looking more and more like every day.  What makes you think Iraq can be "fixed"?  And even if it's fixable, what makes you think the U.S. can fix it?  Why stay in Iraq?  Because we can't accept that there might be a civil war (that we started) and the guys who might win are not our friends? The same kind of myth sucked the U.S. deeper and deeper into Vietnam.  Iraq looks to me like it is going to shit fast.  Do we want the U.S. to be in the middle of it when all-out civil war starts? Can the U.S. afford to keep pumping $50 billion or more a year into Iraq for the foreseeable future?  Do you think any other country or the UN will really step in and stabalize Iraq?  Is hubris something people in the U.S. get from drinking the water?

          Revolution in our lifetime

          by kaleidescope on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:17:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Now, Carl (none)
      Is a presidential campaign really the time to be talking about issues?

      <man, i'm feeling snarky tonight>  

      "First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill." - Shrub

      by kelly on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:39:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's a one term Senator...!! (3.50)
      I like Edwards, though like Kerry I think he's more interested in himself than in the rest of us.  He's a smooth  trial lawyer, with well developed jury manipulation skills. (That's how he won all those contingency cases....)  But he's saying the right things about the economy.

      I just don't see America voting for a one-term Senator with absolutely NO military or foreign policy experience this time out.   (Going on junkets doesn't count.) Even George Bush has been tested, and while we loathe his policies he's a known quantity.  Edwards?  Sure, the domestic appeal is very strong right now, but wait until something new happens on the foreign front.  Bush would be positioned to address it, while Edwards would be talking about how quick a learner he is.  

      I would hesitate to put him at the top of the ticket, and I'm not even on the other side...

      •  I really don't understand (none)
        why Bush would be positioned to address it and Edwards (or Kerry for that matter) would not.  the issue is one of judgment.  The apparatus for addressing national security matters is in place; the question is how to do you use all the tools at your disposal.  As between Bush and Edwards, it's clear to me who has better judgment.

        All Hail the Haggard Knight

        by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 09:06:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Edwards has way more foreign policy experience (none)
        than Bush or Clinton did when elected. I know, 911 increased the importance, but I don't think it's the make or break issue that many make it out to be. Besides, what about all the people who like a relative outsider?
      •  But he's still polling 10 points ahead of Bush! (none)
        I started out being happy with Dean/Clark or Clark/Dean. Now I'd be happy with Kerry/Edwards or Edwards/Kerry. I'll probably vote Edwards in the primary (NY) to do my part to keep his candidacy alive. The latest poll showing each beating Bush among likely voters by 12 and 10 points, respectively, seals it.

        Bush is a "known quantity" alright, but what we know is that he's an unqualified disaster. Kerry has the foreign policy chops and can fight down and dirty. While I don't admire that, or like him particularly, he seems the strongest to take on the Repug smear machine. Edwards resonates on domestic issues; he's Clinton "feelin' your pain" without the baggage. Now if only they can avoid bloodying each other to the point of damage in the remaining primaries...

      •  actually (none)
        He's a smooth  trial lawyer, with well developed jury manipulation skills. (That's how he won all those contingency cases....)  

        -I'm willing to bet he won many of them because the facts and law dictacted the outcome.  Juries often react to common sense and punish a wrongdoer more often then we give them credit for.

        Agree with you that Edwards has an experience gap.
        But, couple him with Clark or a foreign policy heavyweight and who knows...

        •  FYI (none)
          You need to know that Edwards actually accepted very few of the cases that were brought to him.

          He specialized in cases where babys died at birth and he would only accept the cases the offered the highest verdict potential ($$$).

          In other words he was just in it for the money - not necessarily in it to JUST help people who had lost their child.

          No this does not make him a bad person but it does show a side of him that cuts accross that 'helpful/caring' image that he tries to project.

          Does this make him someone who should not be President? No.

          But it is something interesting to know.


          •  Damned if you do . . . (none)
            Surely you are not criticizing Edwards for limited the cases he took?  That is the biggest complaint against trial lawyers; that they will take anything that comes in the door and use it to extort money out of defendants, regardless of whether the cases have merit.

            Perhaps Edwards limited his case to those where someone was actually wronged.  It would seem to be a great strategy, since if you have someone who has been wronged you are likely to win.  At least you are today.  With a few more years of Republican control that might not be the case.

            I am a lawyer, but nobody's trial lawyer.  Clearly, some trial lawyers abuse the system, but I still think trial lawyers have been extraordinarily important to the safety of Americans.  Without the threat of suit, do you really think American corporations would pay any attention to the safety of their products, practices or workplaces.  Not a chance.

            I recall studying in law school torts class a line of lawn mower cases.  In short, lawn mower manufacturers were held liable for injuries caused when idiots stuck their hands under the lawnmowers (presumably to dislodge something).  So the companies began posting warnings on the mowers.  Still they were liable.  Then they tried to limit their damages, by having customers sign waivers that generally said the company would pay $X for an injury, but only $X dollars. Still the companies were fully liable.

            Today if you take your hands of the handle bar of a mower the mower shuts down, thereby making it impossible for you to stick your hand under running mower.  Do you think that little safety innovation would have come about if their weren't trial lawyers on the heals of the manufacturers?

            So, let's please not use "trial lawyer" like it necessarily a bad thing.

            The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Martin Luther King

            by Cracker on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:55:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Damned if you do . . . (none)
            Surely you are not criticizing Edwards for limited the cases he took?  That is the biggest complaint against trial lawyers: that they will take anything that comes in the door and use it to extort money out of defendants, regardless of whether the cases have merit.

            Perhaps Edwards limited his case to those where someone was actually wronged.  It would seem to be a great strategy, since if you have someone who has been wronged you are likely to win.  At least you are today.  With a few more years of Republican control that might not be the case.

            I am a lawyer, but nobody's trial lawyer.  Clearly, some trial lawyers abuse the system, but I still think trial lawyers have been extraordinarily important to the safety of Americans.  Without the threat of suit, do you really think American corporations would pay any attention to the safety of their products, practices or workplaces.  Not a chance.

            I recall studying in law school torts class a line of lawn mower cases.  In short, lawn mower manufacturers were held liable for injuries caused when idiots stuck their hands under running lawnmowers (presumably to dislodge something) and had all manner of digits and limbs removed.  So the companies began posting warnings on the mowers, the gist of which was "Hey idiot, don't stick you hand under here; it will chop off your hand.  Still they were liable.  Then they tried to limit their damages, by having customers sign waivers that generally said the company would pay $X for an injury, but only $X dollars. Still the companies were fully liable.

            Today if you take your hands off the handle bar of a mower the mower shuts down, thereby making it impossible for you to stick your hand under running mower.  Do you think that little safety innovation would have come about if their weren't trial lawyers on the heals of the manufacturers?

            So, let's please not use "trial lawyer" like it necessarily a bad thing.

            (Before anyone comments, I will easily acknowledge that there is a good Darwin argument for letting those stupid enough to stick their hands under a running mower do so; the need to shrink that particular gene pool and such.)

            The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Martin Luther King

            by Cracker on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:01:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I am certain (none)
        Edwards plans to address this in his Veep choice if it is him.  Look for Edwards/Richardson, Edwards/Nunn, or... Edwards, as a southerner, has the freedom to pick from any region.  I'm sure there are many good possibilities.
        •  Edwards/Levin (none)
          I was thinking yesterday it'd be nice to see Edwards run with Carl Levin (Sr. Senator from MI). Levin is the Sr. Dem on the Armed Services committee (also on Intelligence, Investigations, and Small Business), and has used that position to hassle the administration about shortchanging the troops, about not giving Blix all the intelligence he should have had, etc.  But he is mainstream enough to complement Edwards. He'd be a nice balance of gravitas for Edwards' youth. And he should seal MI for the D's, and raise our Midwest appeal overall.

          Plus, Granholm could name Jim Blanchard (former Gov) or John Conyers (recently gerrymandered out Representative) as Senator.

      •  Tested? (none)
        Bush has been tested. He's failed.  Why would the voters choose a known quantity of failure over the possibility of success?

        Over the past year, Edwards has spoken with more credibility than Bush on every relevant foreign policy position; come November, should he be the nominee, that won't change.  He won't be talking about "how quick a learner he is," he'll be talking about how Bush never learns.  And the voters will know its true.

        •  What you say (none)
          goes for Kerry as well. His judgment on foreign policy has been horrible. Well, perhaps not because he isn't able to judge, maybe more because he's been sticking his finger in the wind. Either way, Edwards makes the better foreign policy candidate, just like Dean did.

          If this were Dec 8, 1941, Bush would be invading Spain

          by Doug in SF on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 02:37:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You are kidding.... (none)
        Right?  If that were true then the U.S. wouldn't have voted for a 1.5 term governor who's only successful experience prior to entering politics was to be a figurehead board member involved in a stock scam and a figurehead of a professional baseball franchise that only got his position because he had the clout due to his father's name to get the city of Arlington TX to use its eminent domain powers fork over a bunch of free land to the Texas Rangers. Over a fully experience VP/Senator with years of public service.
      •  Edwards on foreign policy (none)
        I'm not going to use the Edwards has the same amount of Foreign policy experience that Bush had as a defense has because that is lame.

        My feeling is that having a military record isn't as important and having a true vision and new ideals.  You can get military experts to advise. You can get a seasoned and military background person as a VP, but you can't get vision.

        Part of Edwards 'cry' is Our time is Now.  Democrats say he should wait his turn.  Should have stayed in the Senate another term or more.  Get more experience.

        Do you know what got him to be involved in politics to begin with?  He talked about it but there was always tomorrow.  What changed him was the sudden death of his 16 year old son.  He doesn't talk about it.  You won't find much about it unless you really look.  At that time, he decided to not give up but to fight.  In their 40's the Edwards started to have childern again.  Then he made a grab for the Senate seat and won.

        If you see Edwards talking there is usually a small pin on his suit...that is a reminder of his dead son.

        Before Wade's death,he was probablly just a smooth trial lawyer.  But the death of his son changed his life brought a touch of humanity to Edwards.  He knows what it feels like to loose a son. To see all the possiablity and all the tomorrows of a young life snuffed out.

        That humanity is why I think Edwards is the better choice even in a time of war.


        •  Here here (none)
          You are exactly right, and the story of his son is just another big reason in the long list of reasons why I absolutely support John Edwards.

          I have found out bits and pieces of the Wade Edwards story here and there from reading up on Edwards and being a supporter... and it always is a bit of a tear jerker. The "What it Means to be an American Citizen and Support Democracy" that won Wade a trip to Washington DC weeks before he died... Their joint climb to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro (in which his son helped the Senator overcome his fear of heights).

          All this stuff is scattered here and there, and besides the pin to honor him, Edwards says nothing publically about it unless someone exhorts him to, and even then he is pretty tight lipped.

          Like I said, it is a tear jerker. If he were a lesser man he could easily use it in his stump speach or bring it up as a retorical/emotional devise. But he dosen't. It shows a clear human side, one that he is not trying to exploit or capitalize on, but that is personal and perhaps motivates him. Its there, but he won't point it out, he has confidence. Just like everything he has stood for, he hasn't made himself the issue, he has made his vision, his solutions to the problems that face regular Americans his central focus.

          And that same confidence and focus on the solutios, along with his clear intelect is what makes me sure he can find the right path for Americas forign policy.

      •   didnt they say thing about clinton (none)
         It seems to me they did

        "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

        by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 12:45:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards needs money (none) compete on Super Tuesday ( WaPo .

    I'd love for the kos community to jump on the Edwards' bandwagon.

    Let's give some love .

    At least it will keep the race interesting.  And, personally, I think Kerry is a terrible candidate.

    Can't have Dean. Let's at least avoid Lurch.

    Put your money where your mouth is: Give $100 to the Democratic presidential nominee (whoever that may be.)

    by aleand on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:12:01 AM PST

  •  Edwards mo yes... but it's a pretty big lead... (none)
    I agree that I think the campaign has a good chance of turning around now... especially since Kerry's support seems to lack any foundation.

    But, Kerry has a damn big lead.  I crunched the numbers in a diary entry tonight... and even with pretty favorable assumptions for Edwards (i.e. he wins every state by 15 points), Edwards still doesn't get enough delegates to avoid a brokered convention.

    It's hard to ignore the numbers -- without winner-take-all Edwards now has a HUUUUUGE hill to climb... and after doing the math I just don't see Edwards having the time or the money to get the huge margins of victory he needs to take it away from Kerry.  But we'll see.

    But I hope so, I think Edwards is the stronger candidate against Bush.

    Preznit iz a turkee but hes' no statstishun.

    by emjaycue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:12:07 AM PST

    •  It's worse than it looks (2.75)
      Edwards is apparently not going to contest California.  370 delegates and, unless Edwards has a national surge (or Truthandhope pulls off a miracle), Kerry will get them all.  That makes the math MUCH more daunting for Edwards.
      •  How does Kerry get them all? (none)
        Edwards will still get votes regardless.  The contest not being winner take all cuts both ways, not just one.  

        Besides in a brokered convention I bet Dean sides with Edwards.  Maybe Lieberman too or did he already endorse Kerry?

        Deaniacs- support Dean in spirit by voting for Edwards! Kerry is the ultimate Washington insider!

        by Asak on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:30:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Latest SurveyUSA poll (none)
          Shows Kerry 59, Edwards 14, (Dean 14) as of Feb. 14-16.  Poll is here.  That's why I said Edwards might not get anything barring a nationwide increase in support.
          •   oh come on! that poll is 3 days B4 WISCONSIN (none)
              get a  firggin clue.... that Poll was   taken  3 days  before   WISCONSIN...

              surely  all the free  Media makes tho e numbers   about as useful as ZOGBY's poll 48 hrs before  WI which had  Edwards in  3RD PLACE at  20 points  behind

            "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

            by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 12:53:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's not what I read this morning (none)
        San Jose Mercury News says otherwise:

        Be afraid. Be very afraid.

        by ebie on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 09:04:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Edwards is moving nationally... (none)
          Rasmussen has him cutting Kerry's nat'l lead from 33 to 18 in 3 days--before Wisconsin.  Edwards and his supporters are now looking for that gap to close and even reverse.  That's how he can win in Cali. There isn't enough time to retail the Super Tuesday states anyway.  For the first time, the national poll numbers are crucial.  They measure the bandwagon vote--the people who were with Dean pre-Iowa nad with Kerry since.  If he is to have a chance, Edwards needs them from here on out.  Given that Kerry's support is largely just the bandwagon people, if they leave he is in a world of hurt.  Yes, the delegate deficit is huge.  Edwards may ultimately need Dean's 200.  If it plays out how I'm suggesting--with Edwards winning better than half the Super Tuesday delegates and approximately 60% thereafter--it's hard to see Dean not endorsing given that he prefers Edwards and wants to support "the nominee".  With Dean's delegates, the gap is only about 200 rather than 400.
          •  Edwards needed to be more assertive... (none)
            much earlier.  If he had, he would have put a crimp in Kerry before this. I kept writing his campaign to kick it up - that no one would see him as being able to stand up for himself. It was his passivity that made people not consider him too strongly, particularly in light of his inexperience.  It may be too late even with all the chips falling his way - Kerry has a pretty big lead and Edwards just has no wiggle room here. We shall soon see if he has a killer instinct. You also have to assume that he is no longer interested in VP cause if he is going to make a serious run at Kerry, he is going to have to come at Kerry's weaknesses aggressively plus do his ususal sunny happy talk routine too. Should be great to watch.  I would love to see him "jump" and take apart Kerry with that cool, trial lawyer shtick...ouch! I dont underestimate Lurch though - he is a wicked in-fighter.  Can the "Breck Girl" do the deed on him?  We will see...
      •  Edwards IS going to California (none)
        Axelrod got really upset about this rumor on CBS today.  He said Edwards will be in California for 2 1/2 days next week.

        We're campaigning in California, plus we have Diane Keaton!

        "That's about the longest answer I've ever heard to a yes or no question." Edwards on Kerry.

        by DrFrankLives on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:18:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I heard the opposite (none)
        Heard reports that Edwards will do heavy campaigning here in California, especially in the Bay Area.

        Or maybe that was just wishful thinking for all the restaurants hoping to feed the media hordes...

        Incidentally, I thought California was still winner-take-all; I assume I missed something somewhere?

    •  A brokered convention (none)
      would be a success of sorts... as long as it didn't produce Kerry.  Which I think it wouldn't if he started losing.  And if he starts losing, the press will kill him!  My husband thinks a brokered convention will produce Al Gore.  : )
  •  I prefer Edwards to Kerry. (4.00)
    Kerry has tremendous advantages in the general election due to his unlimited funds and the experience/capabilities of his organization. His biggest drawback is that he's uninspiring (and slimy), and that might suppress voter turnout. Al Gore 2000 without the charisma. I also think he'd be a mediocre President. Clinton in the midst of Monica Lewinsky without the excuse. I just don't like him. If he wins the nomination, I'll support him, of course.

    Edwards is a very persuasive speaker. He can inspire passion among Democrats and has a lot of cross-over appeal (look at the exit polls). That's very important to getting the votes out in this close race. His lack of experience and voting record will be used against him as he gets outspent 4 to 1 by the Bush campaign. But half of Bush's money is expected to go toward grassroots GOTV operations, so that funding advantage could possibly be overcome by a volunteer army. Possibly.

    The best thing Edwards could probably do right now is reach out to Dean, get his support, and adopt some of his policies such as universal health coverage.

    In general, the Democrats' chances are good: Anti-Bush sentiment among Democrats and the involvement of organizations such as the Democratic Party,, ACT, and the left-leaning blogosphere (they helped the Dems win in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District) will get out the vote in unprecedented numbers. On the other side, Bush's record on spending offends fiscal conservatives and his unwillingness to out and out ban abortion and gays offends Christian conservatives (though doing so would alienate suburban votes). These Bush people won't vote for the Democrats, but they might stay home.

    Lastly, the Democratic Party and its opposition to Bush has benefited from the intense media coverage of the Democratic race. Witness Kerry and Edward's rising numbers and Bush's dropping numbers. Keeping Edwards in the race will be better for both candidates.

    And I guess I'll have to change my signature soon.

    Howard Dean in 2004.

    by glyphic on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:13:18 AM PST

    •  Edwards and Money... (none)
      That was an excellent post, but I just wanted to mention a couple of things.

      First Edwards will not be limited in funds in the General because he can reapply then and not accept matching funds.  He will be exactly the same as Kerry is now in the General.

      And second, I fear that Edwards will not go for Universal Healthcare.  As he would put it, we have to take baby steps at a time.  We can afford this small step.  Giving health care to all childern under the age of 18 and the most vulunerable adults and seniors.  He has figured the costs of this and combined with roll back of tax cuts for those making 200,000 and above it can be done.  In the long run, he wants to move towards Universal Health care, but with the huge deficit it can not be done at this time.

      •  Public funds in the primary (none)
        As I understand it, Edwards will only be able to spend up to $45m in the primary--first against Kerry, then against Bush. If he blows it all in beating Kerry, he'll go silent for the rest of the primary.

        The general election public funds won't be released until after the Republican convention in August. This in itself is kind of a problem since the Democratic primary is officially over after their convention in July, giving the Republicans another 4 weeks to run anti-Dem ads in their "primary." Yeah, it's all screwed up.

        Howard Dean in 2004.

        by glyphic on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:45:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The R Convention (none)
          is in September, I believe.  And yes, it makes no sense that Dems can't spend in the interim between the D convention in July and the R convention in September.  The rules should be equal, but there's an idea that the primary season is all intra-party and the general election doesn't start until after both conventions.  We already know who the R nominee is, so the general election period starts when we have a D nominee.
        •  Don't worry too much about money (none)
          Even if Edwards himself can't spend money, the Dems will be spending plenty of money attacking Bush through Dean and Kerry.

          All Edwards has to do is get exposure through positive press.

        •  It's HUGE problem (none)
          He'll have to sit back and be pounded for months without being able to fire back meaningfully. I like Sunny John but I fear his taking those matching funds has really handicapped him for the General election which will start the minute he wins. I agree with those that think he's a great campaigner compared to "Lurch" Kerry but, Kerry can carry the fight every day to Bush and that's going to be critical this yr.
          •  Campaign Finance (none)
            Edwards does not sacrifice sustainable reform for illusions of local advantage.

            He has the talent to neutralize zero-sum shouting matches. JRE got one sentence - one- against Kerry's entire victory speech, and came out way ahead.  Speech of his campaign, indeed.

            In this clip, he comments on Bush.   No candidate in the 2004 Election gets a higher return on airtime than Edwards.

          •  People watch debates (none)
            You're right that Edwards is at a disadvantage, but so's Kerry--given the size of the rumored war chest that will be dumped all over us in a few months.

            But there will be lots more free media, and people do watch the debates.  The debates are critical cause that, more than anything else, will undermine Bush's credibility.  Edwards is a remarkable litigator and debater.  He will be dogged in these debates in exposing Bush for the charlatan he is and holding him accountable for his lies and misdeeds.  Edwards also speaks in short, direct sentences.  He makes points people can understand and maybe even remember.  

            All things being equal, the value of Edwards as a skilled debater trumps the $ problem.  There will be $ enough for the nominee, whoever he is.

            All Hail the Haggard Knight

            by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:06:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  money for the nominee (none)
              yes, I don't think that we have to fear a lack of money, no matter who our team is.   From George Soros to a whole bunch of regular people in for $25, there is a willingness across the board to spend what it takes.   Even if it's done outside of the campaign, or even if the Repubs put up barriers to non-profits, the money will be spent, the ads will be run, and Bush will be exposed.
              money is really the least of our worries, although I know Bush is "richer than God".
    •  Don't change your signature. (none)
      Don't change your signature, please.

      To thine own self be true - Polonius to Laertes

      by tedward on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:01:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can Edwards win his own state? (none)
      Bush won with 56% in North Carolina in 2000.  It would be a tough state for any Democrat.  Edwards might not have been able to win reelection and has been criticized for running for President ever since he got to the Senate.  It wouldn't be too good to lose twice in a row with a candidate who couldn't take his own state.
      •  There's still a good chance (4.00)
        that Edwards can win his own state, and he would really help Erskine Bowles in the Senate race.  The growth of the very liberal research triangle area is changing NC.

        Edwards is less likely to cause big Republican turnout,too, than Kerry, who can be associated with Ted Kennedy.  Ted Kennedy is always a big Republican turnout booster.

        •  another angle (none)
          There's also another theory on nominating a (the) southerner, it forces GWB to spend money on southern states he wouldn't have to against a northern candidate.  Which, since in the general, both candidates are limited in money, frees up other swing states (OH, PA, WV)where Bush won't be able to spend the money.

          Even if Edwards doesn't win NC, he would force Bush to spend more money there than if he wasn't running.

          And you can't say that about Massachusetts.

  •  I keep trying and trying (3.60)
    to 'like' Kerry, but he makes it so damn hard.  The 1st and last time I liked him was on Chris Matthews Harvard College Tour -- and that was ages ago!

    Did you see his fucking speech last night?  Ugh.

    He doesn't fare well compared to Edwards, at all, and he knows it -- doesn't want to do a one-on-one debate.

    Let's see how smart Edwards really is -- so far, he's run a great campaign......

    I can't wait till March 2nd!!!!

    'I came to a fork in the road, and took it.' Yogi Berra

    by PhillyFilly on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:14:00 AM PST

    •  Speeches (none)
      Did you see his fucking speech last night?  Ugh.

      Reagan gave a lot of great "fucking" speeches. He also ran a "great campaign".

      Is this your litmus test?

      •  uh (none)
        Well, Reagan was also enormously popular and won two elections in landslides.  So, yeah, that's a pretty good litmus test.  

        pointing out the obvious

        •  "Pointing out the obvious" - lol (none)
          "Well, Reagan was also enormously popular and won two elections in landslides.  So, yeah, that's a pretty good litmus test."

          Thats why you vote for somebody?  Because a person is "enormously popular"?

          "Pointing out the obvious" - in which alternate universe is voting for the most popular candidate" the obvious thing to do?

          My litmus test is on the issues not popularity.

          •  An election IS a popularity contest. (none)
            Get used to it.

            My litmus test is on the issues not popularity.

            That puts you in the minority of voters.

            The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing.

            by Thumb on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 10:55:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not to ention (none)
              that there's not a whole lot of difference between them on this issues.
            •  Talking past one another (none)
              I think we're talking past one another. For me your comment about popularity contests goes without saying. Of course, to most voters it is, unfortunately, a popularity contest.

              If the original poster was commenting from a third person POV such as "Voters keep trying to like Kerry..." I could understand why you make your point, however the poster said, in the first person, that "I keep trying to like Kerry..." which for me makes this subthread about a personal choice not whom the majority likes.

    •  Gratuitous profanity (none)
      I love profanity when used in the right context (Bush f*ed up Iraq) to the right audience and when there is no better way to express the idea.  But dKos has been dipping in quality due to needless fing and sh*ting etc.

      I'm no Tipper Gore, but feel compelled to sprinkle "2" marginal ratings on posts like this as a slap on the wrist.  Hope others will join me and/or self-police.  Thanks.

  •  I don't see it (3.12)
    How is Edwards so far superior to Kerry head to head?

    Unlike Kerry vs. Dean, or Kerry vs. Clark, Kerry and Edwards are very similar candidates. Except that everything Edwards has, Kerry has more of.

    Short of persona that is, and a lot of people are voting without watching debates or seeing the candidates in person.

    Kerry has the money, Kerry has the endorsements, Kerry has the resume, and most importantly, he's still the one with the momentum.

    It's not as if Edwards won Wisconsin guys. This is a key thing to remember. Edwards did much better in Wisconsin than he was expected to, but lets not forget that Kerry still won the bloody thing.

    People are gonna see stuff like 15 of 17 states for Kerry, and it's just not gonna be close.

    Furthermore, Super Tuesday really doesn't favor Edwards very much, unless we expect that southern drawl to carry California and New York for him, which seems exceptionally dubious.

    Finally, we've gotta remember just how much of Edwards' support came from independents. They can't vote in a lot of primaries, like New York and California, which are like 720 of the 1100 delegates awarded on 3/2. When Kerry is beating Edwards down completely and totally among Democratic voters, who are gonna be the only ones voting in those states, he's gonna win in landslides.

    It's obviously not over yet for Edwards, especially if Democratic voters are more astute than I give them credit for(like if they realize that Edwards' support among independents makes him likely more electable than Kerry), but I really doubt too many folks are gonna be looking into the exit polls that closely.

    If the voters are indeed the same sheep that so many at Kos seem to believe however, then Edwards is truly doomed. Only if they manage to look a bit deeper does he have much of a shot at the ever so critical elecatablity vote.

    •  Not to be mean, (3.88)
      but all your arguments show the weakness of Kerry.

      Like everything Edwards has, Kerry has more of. Short of persona that is .  "Persona" is pretty huge. Sure, most people are not paying much attention now, but when they do, persona will matter. A lot.

      Or Kerry has the money, Kerry has the endorsements, Kerry has the resume, and most importantly, he's still the one with the momentum.  Two words: Howard Dean, circa Dec. 2003.

      Also, It's not as if Edwards won Wisconsin. True, but he would have easily with the support of the Kerry-hating Deaniacs. Sure, not all Deaniacs would vote Edwards, but my guts tell me that most would.

      And the straw that broke the camel's back, Finally, we've gotta remember just how much of Edwards' support came from independents.

      Precisely. As Bill Saletan in Slate already observed, Edwards' support among independents and conservatives is an excellent sign of Edwards' electability (man, I'm sick of that word). Which, as you point out, is the only reason why people support Lurch. If voters realize that the more likeable Edwards is also more electable...

      Put your money where your mouth is: Give $100 to the Democratic presidential nominee (whoever that may be.)

      by aleand on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the key phrase (none)
        That bit there:

        If voters realize that the more likeable Edwards is also more electable...

        If the voters realize? I just don't give them anywhere near that much credit. These people voted for Kerry because they saw he won states, not because of some rational analysis of the situation. They said to themselves "Kerry is winning states, therefore, he can win."

        I'd be shocked if it had much to do with Kerry's actual profile.

        Similarly, the kind of analysis required to see that attacting independent voters is good for the general election is exactly the kind of analysis the electorate has shown itself to be so very poor at.

        The percent of Edwards' support that comes from independents is instead a negative for him, rather than a positive, due the closed primaries in New York and California. Once again, everything in this election seems to be breaking Kerry's way.

        The one aspect I haven't figured out yet is how many of Dean's guys will now switch to Edwards, how many will vote for Dean anyways, and how many will just stay home. I really haven't a clue, but if I had to take a wild guess, I'm thinking it's not enough to overcome a 400 delegate lead.

        A couple other things:

        Or Kerry has the money, Kerry has the endorsements, Kerry has the resume, and most importantly, he's still the one with the momentum.  Two words: Howard Dean, circa Dec. 2003.

        This is actually a fairly good comp, but Kerry doesn't have the same monkey on his back that Dean did. The worst that Monkey(the media) has been able to do with Kerry is a nonstory from Drudge of all places.


        Like everything Edwards has, Kerry has more of. Short of persona that is .  "Persona" is pretty huge. Sure, most people are not paying much attention now, but when they do, persona will matter. A lot.

        So persona is why Kerry was able to overtake Dean or Edwards in the first place? My bet is that this late in the race, nobody is going back and watching old debates.

        I don't think Edwards' niceness is going to carry over and win him the two key closed primary states. Obviously it'll help, but I'd argue that 90% of the benefit from being likeable has already been reaped for Edwards. All that's left in this campaign to change voters minds will be dirt that someone digs up(hasn't happened yet for Kerry), or a serious shift in momentum. The shift in momentum I'd argue hasn't happened yet either, as the story remains about how Kerry won Wisconsin, and about Dean. There's a whole lot less about how close Edwards was.

        Really actually, the more I think about it, the worse this Dean thing is for Edwards. If Dean had waited a week or so to drop out, then the 2nd story from Wisconsin would be Edwards and his late pickup for 15 points. Instead, you're 2nd story is the rise and fall of Howard Dean.

        I don't particularly like Dean, he was always more or less my last choice among the real candidates, but I've gotta hand it to the guy, he's made this election what it is. I'm thrilled to see he's not retreating into the night. He'd make a great new head of the DNC.

        •  Actually (none)
          Even if someone does "dig up dirt" on Kerry, he'll still be the Democratic nominee, or so it seems.  The one story is pretty fishy and you'd think Democratic voters wouldn't want to get burned again, but he did win Wisconsin.  
        •  Some comments (none)
          On Kerry and the media: there is much, much worse to come. If you watch/listen to what's going on in the right-wing media you know the negatives on Kerry will pile up when the "real" media gets into a protracted discussion of Kerry the war protestor, Kerry the special-interest Senator, Kerry the squishy-on-national-defense Senator, Kerry the flaming-liberal Senator, Kerry the bad-to-workers Senator, and Kerry the supported-Bush Senator.

          The only real way that I can see Kerry maintaining high positives is by emphasizing Kerry the prosecutorially-investigative Senator, which can only be done if the Senate itself this year flexes its investigative muscle--then the news media will play up that side of Kerry.

          On Dean and running the news cycle: no matter what Dean does, he'll stay on top of the news cycle, because he's more interesting than the other candidates.

          Dean stays in the race? Main news story. Dean drops out? Main news story. Dean gets delegates after having dropped out? News story. Dean For America becomes a 527? News story.

          It's not fair to blame Dean for staying headline news. He can't help it.

          •  Dean (none)
            getting delegates will not be a significant news story unless it turns out to somehow effect the horse race.  He is out and the media isn't going to care about a delegate here or there.

            DFA becoming a 527 might be a news story, depending on how Dean spins it. But even then, my guess is it's buried on page two.

            Preznit iz a turkee but hes' no statstishun.

            by emjaycue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:57:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not to be Dean (oops, should be Mean) ... (none)
          but Kerry's "electability" mantra was tagged for his ability to beat Bush in comparison to Dean, NOT Edwards. Voters, which INCLUDE Democrats, Independents AND Republicans like Edwards just fine,  thank you very much. Kerry's problem is that only a portion of Democrats like him  and no where near enough Independents and Republicans.

          Don't confuse Edwards' "niceness" with his refusal to indulge in the back alley stab in the back corrupt false issue adds and push polling, funded in part through old pal bagman former Senator Torricelli. Kerry's comfortable early preference of gutter politics HAS caught the voters' attention.

          Edwards may be "nice" enough, but Kerry's  campaign tactics has opened a favorable CHARACTER GAP for Edwards.

          Edwards positive campaign, eschewing of negativity and dirty tricks,in front of a nation that IS watching, works in favor of him.

          As far as cash is concerned, because of matching funds, Kerry has to raise more than twice the  dough of Edwards to the convention.  So far, it hasn't happened. If Kerry slides a point or two, his wife's picallily empire won't save him.

      •  Persona (none)
        Persona is Bush's single greatest asset. Perhaps his only asset, but I'm biased. Oh, he's got incumbancy, too, but that might not help him much this time around.

        If Edwards can undercut that advantage, it could go a long way in November.

    •  CA Independents can vote (none)
      It was stated in a thread last night that independents/decline to states can vote in CA, they have to pick a party at the time they vote and they just can't vote for the party committee, like any of us know who those people are anyway, but something I intend to find out now that I am more engaged.  CA is a probably a little more of a wild card than people give it credit for and we have a habit of punishing insider candidates- think Gray Davis.  In my very progressive leaning neck of the woods, I haven't met a single Kerry supporter other than the tablers who were at the mall the other day.  Maybe someone else can enlighten us a bit more on the rules of the CA primary- I think someone called it modified closed or modified open.  
      •  Really? (none)
        That's fascinating. I hadn't heard this before, I was just told it was a closed primary.

        In this case, Edwards should be in California now. If there's a state that can even the odds, it's California. Even if Edwards only wins CA and GA, that's still the story from 3/2, not how Kerry won all the rest of the states.

        Isn't it disgusting how important it's become what the story will be?

      •  From the CA. Direct Primary Election Sample Ballot (none)
        It states:

        "In Primary Elections, Non-Partisan voters receive ballots that contain only non-partisan contests such as County Supervisor, city, school and special district candidates and state and local measures.  

        "However, in the March 2, 2004 Primary Election, three of California's seven qualified political parties will allow Non-Partisan voters to request a ballot containing some or all of the candidates for their primary election as follows...Democratic - All Democratic candidates except County Central Committee..."  (American Independent and Republican were the other 2 parties mentioned).

        •  Man... (none)
          ...glad I'm not working this election. It was confusing enough back in 1992 when I worked the primary; all those different ballots to keep track of. Now you have to ask who wants what??? And all that for the princely sum of $90 for a 13-hour day (not counting the time setting up, taking down, and dropping the stuff off).

          It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it...

          •  My dad (none)
            had a stroke just before the Special Election that brought us Davis vs. Schwarzenegger, and he still managed to work at a polling place in Marin County.  He died a few weeks later, having never lost a sense of real patriotism.

            Hats off to you for having done it before yourself.

      •  in the article linked above (none)
        from the San Jose Mercury News, Indies can vote in the Dem primary.  But unlike WI, where there were 1/3 Indies, and 10% Republicans - there are only 16% or so in CA.  Dem candidates went pretty strongly for Kerry, and CA is a pretty left leaning state.

        Plus, the environment is a pretty big issue in CA, and Kerry has the best record on the environment, hands down.

        I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. -- Will Rogers

        by Kathleen in CO on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 10:54:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in CA and my unstatistical sample says... (none)
        that all of my parents and their friends in this state (over 50 years-old) are pro-Kerry because of two reasons:
        1. "military/foreign policy/Vietnam hero" thing
        2. "electability"
        Everytime I told them about Dean and his record, they were impressed but they STILL wouldn't support him.  None of them liked Dean because they thought he looked and sounded "arrogant" on the tube.  The yawp in Iowa scared them to death. soon does DFA become a 527?

    •  Resume? (none)
      I keep hearing the "Kerry has the resume" thing, and I frankly just don't see it. His legislative record is pretty skimpy in terms of real accomplishments. Lots of "sense of the senate" resolutions. Great job honoring Jackie Robinson, but does it really count? What's he done for us lately, legislatively?

      Ok, then you come back with the war. Unfortunately, I think that for every person who sees him as a war hero, there's another who sees him as a traitor who came back and protested the war while others were still there fighting and dying. And these same people might now wonder why, after vehemently renouncing the war and going so far as to throw away his medals, he's now embracing his service record.

      So convince me. What's this guy got on his resume to back up this "electability" meme?
  •  Either one... (none)
    Can beat Bush.  And I'm not basing that on the recent polls.  It is based on the fact that Bush has lost his credibility.  He's in a death spiral.  Of course we all suspect what his trump card is.  But there are a whole host of bad things on the horizon.  There may be indictments in Cheney's shop related to the Plame affair.  The 9/11 commision is apparently looking at some pretty damning stuff.  The budget is a joke in academic circles.  Their predictions for job growth don't have a snowballs chance in hell of coming true.  

    And as the public becomes more and more cynical about these guys, the Osama ploy is going to look exactly like the cheap manipulation it would be.  So, I think that as long as we have a credible candidate who doesn't do or say anything particularly stupid, we should be able to win this thing.  Frankly this is why Kerry appeals to me.  Sort of like an old shoe.  Something with a strong personal narrative and lots of experience.  Safe really.  But Mr. Edwards doesn't seem likely to make any serious mistakes and perhaps his eloquence will make up for the lack of experience.  So, I like our chances with either one of these guys.  Maybe we'll end up with both of them.

    •  Either One? Look at this ... (none)
      •  What I meant to say (none)
        before hitting post instead of preview was that the link above for a Zogby state-by-state poll looks like 2000 all over again. As near as I can tell (hard to pick out all the states), it comes down to who wins FL or OH. The poll also claims Kerry leads by 1 point in the blue states, and Bush by a huge margin in the red - not good for electoral strategy.

        Kerry and Edwards might show a 10-12 point lead over Bush nationally, but if most of that lead is in populous blue states, it isn't the lead it looks like.

        •  Kerry v Edwards (none)
          Bush vs. Kerry/Edwards polls aren't very valuable at this point. The real question is how each would stand up to opposition attacks, and how they would do in debates.

          Edwards is a better debater, is more photogenic, and has a less troublesome voting record. I have no idea how Kerry could be considered a superior candidate. I also have no idea how Kerry can even be considered a passable candidate...

          •  You and me both (none)
            Edwards has charisma, and you can't buy that. His consistently positive tone also is a huge asset in the general election, because nasty, negative attacks on him will be perceived by many swing voters as mean-spirited, and will likely backfire.

            Leno made the point Friday night in front of his 10 million audience or whatever it is that Edwards has run such a positive campaign, and that was so refreshing.

            I believe Edwards is, quite intentionally, building up a form of armor against the smears by constantly reinforcing the message that he offers "an uplifting, positive vision for the country, built on hope." It might sound corny to some, but he can sell it to the masses.

            "Not so fast, John Kerry." -John Edwards

            by MeanBone on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:07:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Voting records (4.00)
            I don't know about you, but if I'm comparing voting records, Edwards' is far more troubling to me than Kerry's.  

            Edwards is actually a pretty conservative Democrat, despite the populist rhetoric.  

            The radical right uses populist rhetoric too, you know.  What do you think all that "elitist liberal" crap is?

            Bush is guaranteed to use populist rhetoric.  That's how he won the first time and while its unlikely that he can pull it off again, the bag of "positives" they have for him to draw on is rapidly diminishing, so they go for populism.  

            Have we ever had a presidential election where candidates weren't populists, at least for public consumption?

            "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

            by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:12:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Voting Records (none)
              Edwards has a Northern voting record... he's not far off from Hillary Clinton. In fact, its a liability for Edwards he's not more centrist, because then maybe it would be more obvious that he's a decent candidate.

              John Kerry's voting record is out of line with a large majority of Americans. There are politicians that could overcome that- Kerry isn't one of them. He doesn't have the charisma and doesn't even have integrity. That is why his Vietnam veteran status is overplayed.

              Sure, he demonstrated bravery a few decades ago (and rarely since). But he has never been one for honesty. If Democrats choose Kerry because he is further left, the most likely result is 4 more years of Bush. How that is benefitial, I do not know, especially since Kerry is an establishment guy as opposed to a movement-type (i.e. Dean).

              •  HRC (none)
                As a former constituent, I have to say that Hillary Clinton has a horrible voting record. I voted for her, but I don't necessarily support her and I've learned to give up on her except for the most generic of Democratic issues.

                For people who are comfortable with that kind of a voting record, that's fine, but don't get fooled by the "populism" of the election, is all I'm saying.  Its the same concern I had with Dean, what is the populism masking and can I live with, do I want that?  

                "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

                by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:21:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree with the basic premise of your post (none)
                that the bulk of Americans are where you say they are, the bulk of the political system and the instruments it uses to measure where people are is where you indicate, but peoples values and beliefs are actually farther toward the liberal history than we ever really acknowledge.

                BushCo's overreach has offered the opportunity to see that and to talk about the valuable parts of the liberal legacy as well as to introduce the increasingly necessary dimensions of the progressive vision.  Whether or not the Dems as a whole and the candidate can/will do that remains to be seen.

                I agree Kerry hasn't much charisma, but he does have smarts and can, I believe see this.  I don't know if he has the will or the interest tho.

                Hillary's about as centrist as you can get so if Edward's is in line with her voting record, then he's pretty much in the center.  There used to be a bit of a liberal veneer to Hillary in her early days as first lady, but that's long gone since she's become a Senator.

                "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

                by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:32:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  American ideology (none)
                  Whether or not you accept that most Americans disagree with Kerry is immaterial. They do. And, as much as everyone is spinning "voting record doesn't matter," I don't buy it.

                  In most campaigns, past votes are used as ammunition (so long as the candidate in question has been in office, of course). Yeah, Kerry is a flip-flopper, and that will be an important part of the attack against him.

                  The bottom line is that everyone wants services, and no one wants to pay for them. Bush is going to portray himself as middle-of-the-road... and portray Kerry as an extremist who would make our problems worse, not better.

                  Now, there's some geographic bias here. I'm from Virginia and go to school in the South. But I do not know a single person that likes Kerry, except for one friend who's clueless politically and isn't going to vote. In large parts of the country, John Kerry's brand of politics is not even on the table. Dean was a different story, and possibly Edwards if Bush really tanked.

                  Bush never had the loyalty of a large voting bloc. He had fear of the other side. And he's going to have that tenfold in 2004. But don't take my word for it. You'll have that sinking feeling, watching the returns on election night, as Kerry falls by the wayside.

            •  I like Edwards' voting record (none)
              but I guess I'm not really that liberal.  I would have, for instance, considered voting for McCain in 2000 if he had been the Republican.  I almost certainly would've voted for Gore, but I would have given McCain honest consideration.
          •  Two Words (none)
            Vietnam Veteran

            May not mean that much to you, but it means a huge amount to a lot of the older generation.

            "In the long term, it's not in anybody's interest to diminish whoever the Democratic nominee may be." -- Howard Dean, 2/16/04

            by Go Vegetarian on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:05:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Vietnam (none)
              A lot of people are really banking on Vietnam. I don't think they are going to get the expected return on election night.

              The next time I meet someone who likes Kerry solely because of his Vietnam service will be the first time. Heck, the next time I meet a non-Democrat veteran that likes Kerry will be the first time.

            •  True (none)
              Especially too all of us that ducked out of the war by going to college or joining the guard. I wouldn't discount his VET status like so many are doing.
                Look , it's hard to argue that Sunny John Edwards of the too is more telegenic but, I'm not so sure a smile and shoeshine is going to cut it in a bruising fight this fall. Gore tried doing to high road against Bush and had his head handed too him.
            •  Does it? (none)
              I narrowly missed Nam (because I'm the same age as Edwards), but I've got to say I have extraordinarily mixed feelings about it. It was an unjust and uncalled for war, and my feelings for the guys who fought it are much closer to pity than to any sort of admiration.

              I predict the Band of Brothers thing will have a short shelf life. Even us old folks -- maybe especially us old folks -- don't want to be reminded too much of that painful era.

            •  Clinton was a draft dodger... (none)
              and he beat the veterans Bush and Dole.  'Nam isn't that big an issue for most voters.  While being a veteran is certainly an asset for Kerry, it's not enough to compensate for the fact that he doesn't have an ounce of charisma.  
            •   meant a lot to Dole didnt it? (none)
                and  Bob Dole was  a   very  decorated  vet?  even bush 41  was...   and  BC  kicked both of thier  arses...

              "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

              by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:19:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That is a problem for a Democrat (none)
          Those 2000 Bush states are mostly very solid for Bush. Florida is probably gone.  Bush has been getting pounded in the media for the last month.  All of the Democrats except Dean have gotten near total favorable coverage.  
      •  That poll was conducted in Dec (none)
        to quote from the report detail link

        "Polling of 1,200 likely voters was conducted December 15-17, 2003 from Zogby's headquarters in Utica, NY. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Slight weights were added to more accurately reflect the voting population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups."

        That was ages ago.

        •  It says Feb 12-15 (none)
          "A new poll conducted by Zogby International for The O'Leary Report and Southern Methodist University's John Tower Center from February 12-15, 2004 of 1,209 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points found that if the election for president were held today, Democrat John Kerry would edge George W. Bush 46% to 45% in the "blue states" - or states won by Al Gore in the 2000 election.  In the "red states," or states won by George W. Bush in 2000, however, Bush wins handily by a 51% to 39% margin.
    •  Kerry = An Old Shoe (none)
      That's exactly the point I made in a recent diary entry.

      Kerry, though unexciting, is acceptable Presidential material to the huge majority of the population -- hence a good choice to be on the ballot, which is first and foremost a referendum on Bush.

      Subsidiary points:

      1. Edwards is more easily attacked on grounds of inexperience.  Imagine the Bush ads:  "we need a steady hand on the ship of state at a time of war and international crisis..."

      2. Kerry presents a better stylistic contrast to Bush:  nuanced not brash, statesmanlike not boyish.  Edwards, by contrast, is a little bit too much like Bush (at that very superficial level).  In a referendum on an incumbent, I think stylistic contrast is helpful.

      But I trust the Super Tuesday voters to settle this issue for us.

      One last point:  if Edwards does win a majority of contests from here on out, then the superdelegates will all break for him, and the nomination will be his even if Kerry appears to be on track for a numerical lead in delegates.

      •  Boyishness (none)
        I don't know, some of Kerry's stunts (Harley on the late show, "smoking dope" on film, hockey with the Bruins) seem a lot like Bush's: staged for maximum effect.
        •  With the exception ... (none)
          ... that no one thinks, oh for cute, when Kerry does them. It's hard for us Kossacks to accept, but lots of gullible, brain-dead Americans are charmed by the Kurrent Preznit.

          It's a disgusting thought, I know, but somebody's got to think it.

  •  Here we go again (3.44)
    Kos, how can you possibly say that "no one likes" the guy who's won 12 out of the first 14 Democratic contests? What you really mean is that a minority of dKos posters appreciate the guy, but that is in no way representative of the electorate.

    When the average Democratic voter looks at Kerry, they see a solid, well-spoken war vet who has a liberal voting record, a reputation as a tough moderate and a kick-ass campaign staff who haven't hit a false note since Iowa.

    Edwards is appealing, and great on the stump, but we're simply not going to beat a lightweight with a lightweight this year. I hope that John's on the ticket come November, I really do -- but Kerry is, and has always been, the Dem's best hope of exterminating Bush this year.

    •  Not trying to shoot down Kerry... (3.80)
      ...but I really do think it's fair to suggest that the majority of Kerry voters are voting electability, electability, electability.  Whatever it takes to get Bush out of office, you know?  In New Hampshire, Kerry jumped from 14% to 38% within the first week after Iowa.  Huh?  He was an old, dried-up hat there prior to that, and nothing except for momentum, based on this idea that he's the most 'electable' is responsible for that.  

      You cite his military experience and liberal voting as measures of why people like him.  Sorry, but I personally don't see it that way at all.  To you, it seems like a "liberal voting record;" to me, it seems like the wrong votes on a number of my most important issues since I started paying attention, for the wrong reasons.  (Note that Edwards' voting record is no better in this capacity, but I'm more willing to forgive him because he at least isn't painting himself as something he's not, using Howard Dean's stump material, nor is there reason to believe that he voted the way he did because he was scared of the political consequences, unlike Kerry.)

      The point is, I know a lot of people who find Kerry's veteran status attractive as well as his relative safety regarding everything else, but who, if they felt it was viable, feels that someone else better represents their true values when it comes down to it.  And I only actually know ONE Kerry supporter who's been around since back when the going had gotten rough.  I mean, I honestly know more KUCINICH supporters than I do people who've been around for Kerry.  And WAY more Edwards folks.

      John Edwards is hope-inspiring AND has the campaign to prove it--he's run a positive, up-beat campaign from square one, which is why I'll forever like the guy more than John Kerry, who ran a nasty smear campaign against Dean in New Hampshire.

      I am a proud Deaniac, but suddenly, Edwards is looking pretty good.  You know?

      "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:05:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate your reasoning (none)
        And would happily work for Edwards (as I would have for Dean), should he become the nominee. But I think two factors have already clinched this nomination for Kerry:

        The first is the AWOL scandal, which would have never been re-awakened if it wasn't for Kerry's Vietnam exploits. Most Democratic voters have watched this first, major chink in Bush's Commander-in-Chief armor develop with glee, and understand implicitly just how closely it's related to Kerry's "Band of Brothers" campaign.

        The second, oddly enough, is the exact thing that many Kossacks find despicable: his moderate voting record in the 107th congress. Although the idea of "positioning" for a head-to-head confrontation with BushCo. is anathema to much of the Kos community, Kerry's done a brilliant job of it. His ability to fight off the liberal label is going to be key this year, and his qualified support of the sitting (p)resident in a time of national crisis will work to his benefit in this regard.

        Ultimately, it comes down to this: the person in the oval office has to be trustworthy and strong, and George W. Bush has been neither. I think that Kerry can make the case that he will be both, and ultimately convince a majority of American voters of this fact.

        •  I guess you're right... (none)
          I think the last vestiges of idealism are taking their toll on me and my perspective as we move into what could very easily be the nomination for Kerry.  I think you're absolutely right to say that Kerry has been planning this for quite some time and has set himself up really well.  I guess it just bugs me that I couldn't have my cake and eat it too--someone who really stood by what he believed dammit, and then went on to become the unwavering president we all need.  I would love to believe that John Kerry has a soul in addition to his electability, and am open to that possiblility.  (Genuinely hopeful, rather!)  Thanks for your insights.

          "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:50:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's late, so I'll be honest (none)
            I would love to believe that John Kerry has a soul in addition to his electability

            Me too. Although "soul" is probably too loaded a term, I understand where you're coming from. I like Kerry, and have for quite some time, but it's impossible to know just how strong a candidate (and president) he will be until it comes to pass.

            Some men (and women) rise to the occasion, and some crumble. I truly believe that Kerry is one of the former -- but if not, I'm glad that we have a capable candidate in Edwards to grab the helm.

          •  It alos bothers me that (none)
            No one who keeps trumping Kerry notes that if he really voted as they say, then he sacrificed Us Soldierand innocent Iraqi civilians in the name of his ambition. As G'Kar said, "dead, dead, dead,...".

            That alone qualifies him for a one way bus ticket back to Boston.

            Donate to Dean! Annoy Al From! Click Here!

            by ElitistJohn on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:11:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  check me later in the thread (none)
            I made a comment directed to your statement not Rosie Nac's
      •  I also know one (none)
        Kerry supporter from the beginning.  And her reason was always that we needed a vet to counter Bush on foreign policy.  It was never the voting record or anything else about Kerry.  But Bush's foreign policy is beginning to be seen as very bad by Dems AND Indies now.  So you may just need someone who promises to CHANGE it!
      •  you give Edwards undeserved credit (none)
        What makes you think his votes are no more or less politically calculated than Kerry's.  And if that is so than I am not sure I want a candidate who isn't aware of political calculations.
        •  Remember... (none)
          ... that whether or not Edwards is calculating his votes for his run on the Presidency, he is not on record of flip-flopping in recent years on positions he's maintained for the past 20.  It may be unfair to criticize Kerry in this way, given that Edwards, by virtue of being a frosh senator, doesn't have a history we can pore over and analyze.  (Howard Dean does, however, and maintained a hell of a lot more consistency from what he did in twelve years and what his platform states he would do as president.  But some might call that sour grapes.)

          Frankly, Edwards has not misrepresented himself in any way that I can discern.  I don't believe I could say the same for Kerry.

          "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by obietom on Sun Feb 22, 2004 at 05:17:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah but... (none)
      In addition to Kerry's cool snottiness and incredible instinct for dirty tricks (ala the Torricelli sponsored ad) He is a street fighter which is good but he isnt good on the message/vision thing.  He is naked ambition - not necessarily all bad but it is what it is and the problem is that we currently have one of those already in there.  Also, that Bimbo scare has me very nervous that there is more to follow and I dont wanna be stuck with this guy and have a full Bimbo meltdown when its too late to chuck him.  I just dont trust him or the party regulars to assure us that there isnt a problem and we truly cannot afford THAT again this year particularly.  
    •  I agree !! (none)
      All the ex-Deaniacs in here are jumping to Edwards now not because he's particuliarly the best guy to Beat BUSH in the fall but because they hate Kerry. Edwards like Dean fires them up emotionally where Kerry is ugly and cool from their perspective. Kerry is also old looking and Edwards like many of them looks and acts much younger then he is. I like Sunny John but as you say we're not going to beat Bush this yr. with a lightweight.
      •  Lightweight? (none)
        Kerry is too scared to even debate Edwards one-on-one!  His spokespeople spent yesterday saying that Sharpton and Kucinich have won votes so they should be represented in debates.  Jerry Brown, (now Mayor of Oakland) said that Sharpton and Kucinich should withdraw from the debates (a) for the good of the country, and (b) for the good of the Democratic Party, because voters deserved a chance to directly compare the two leading candidates.

        Edward is much more hawkish and specific on security issues than Kerry.  Bush sees an aircraft carrier as a photo op.  Kerry sees an aircraft carrier as a mission assignment.  Edwards sees an aircraft carrier as a strategic resource that will be manned by trained professionals.

        See these links:

        1. Security Clips
        2. Homeland Security Speech (2002)
        3. Foreign Policy Speech (2002)
      •  I dislike Kerry (none)
        because he is completely self-interested, utterly hypocritical, and he lacks the courage of his convictions.  It has nothing to do with his age or demeanor.  I do think his demeanor makes him less electable.  if the American public voted on experience and issues, GWB would've won only a few states at best in 2000.

        BTW-  Dean supporters are not universally young.  There was only one under 25 in our Nashville leadership group (about 30 people).  The majority WERE under 50, but that's hardly the college kid persona people give Dean's supporters.

  •  Can Dean force Edwards to compromise? (3.50)
    I think Edwards would get a huge boost if he compromised on the war in exchange for Dean's endorsement.  I don't want to be "navel-gazing" here, but I do think that a couple hundred thousand supporters and the endorsement of a former front-runner (along with HIS endorsers Al Gore, Bill Bradley, and others) is valuable.

    And Edwards has already inched towards opposing the war.  Certainly opposing Bush's actions in prosecuting the war.  Why not take the last step and publicly state the war was wrong?  It would generate huge press, and I think that the times they have a'changed enough that it wouldn't hurt him too much politically.  It may even hurt Bush: "Formerly Pro-War Democrat Now Opposes It".

    The statement would be simple:  "When I voted for this war, I thought it was right and just.  Now I realize I made a mistake.  President Bush deceived me and, although Saddam Hussein was a threat, he was not such an imminent threat that we should have wasted 700 American lives on him."

    If he does that then suddenly Kerry's got a pretty formidable challenger, IMHO.

    Kerry sucks. Bush sucks more.

    by ChicagoDem on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:24:58 AM PST

    •  got to take risks (none)
      Kerry's ahead and got the money.

      Edwards has got to take a risk.

      Go negative on Kerry?

      Oppose the war?

      I host an Internet radio show which now has a participatory blog. See Collective Interest.

      by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think he has to compromise his views (none)
        - He just needs to connect the thread between his populist message and Dean's view of the need to bring us back to a community after having been divided by Bush.  Dean is pretty centrist, so there isnt a huge gulf.  Edwards is an effective speaker and excellent at the vision thing...the important distinction between him and Bush that Kerry doesnt have.  This campaign cannot be just about personal attack adds and negatism...that will defeat us.  Edwards has the antidote to that with Dean's absence and he should do well.  He needed to hit Kerry much sooner though cause I think his improved positon is a result of his more assertive style with Kerry in the last debate. He unfortunately has a lot of ground to make up.

        I dont think Howard should endorse Edwards.  Doesnt need to and cant given that he is formally still in the race.  Mostly, he doesnt need to. Deanies make their own decisions remember - WE have the power...

        •  A Deaniac Without A Dean is a Sad Thing (none)
          If Dean wants to remain relevant after November, he needs to throw his support behind somebody. And obviously that "somebody" won't be Kerry.

          He should also instruct his supporters to vote and donate to the Edwards campaign. Again, Dean is as ambitious as the rest of them, and if he helpds Edwards get elected via support, organization, money, etc., then he might be around for awhile, as opposed to just fading into the history books on November 3rd.

          What is this "Deaniacs make their own decisions" hogwash? EVERYONE makes their own decisions, even the Bushiacs. The key is that all these Dean folks are so wound up with him that if Dean hold a press conference and says, "If you were planning on voting for me, please instead vote for John Edwards" then all the Deaniacs would. OK, not ALL, but many, most, enough.

          "Everything tastes better when it's lassoed!" - Bart Simpson

          by elph8 on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:15:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •   Didnt Dean ALEADY endorse Edwards sort of (none)
            Its seems to me that when  Howard  says  
          "edwards woud make a better president  than  Kerry"...

           well  that sounds like a   partial endorsement to me

          "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

          by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:24:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Compromise? (none)
      I think Edwards would get a huge boost if he compromised on the war in exchange for Dean's endorsement.

      Im sorry but how can you think that if Edwards "compromised" on the war, to get Dean's endorsement, he would look any better than a pandering phony?

      If he apologizes, I, for one, would certainly admire him, but I don't know with certainty that it would be to his benefit in the primaries. It would definitely work against him in the general election.

    •  Edwards won't change (none)
      No...I don't see Edwards changing his position.  He has had chances to change and he has not.  He doesn't change his view when the win changes.  He will take responsiablity for those who lost thier lives though.

      If Dean supporters want to join with Edwards, he will welcome them, but he won't change his stance for a vote.

      Part of the reason we have so many McCain supporting Republicans saying how much they like Edwards and will vote for him if they have a chance come Nov.

    •  Edwards can't do that (3.50)
      He's said throughout that Saddam had to be removed.  His position on Iraq has always been very hawkish, Kerry's has equivocated -- which is bad in a very different way -- but even in his positions that are hard to believe (Bush fooled us)its because he knows that invading a country is a bad thing; Edwards doesn't seem to know that invading a country is a bad thing to do.  

      "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

      by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:20:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Iraq (none)
        Look at the 2nd clip: Iraq - from the Unofficial JRE Deaniac FAQ.
        •  sorry (none)
          I don't have the hardware here to support a media player, so I can't view any clips, but I would've if I could've.

          "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

          by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:23:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  transcript (none)
            of 2nd clip:
            "... We need to show the rest of the world, that this was not about the exertion of American power, that this was not, as a lot of critics and skeptics all over the world believe, about oil.  And the way to do that - the way to do that - is to be committed to reconstructing Iraq in a serious way, to give the people there a real chance for prosperity, to turn this government over as quickly as is reasonably possible, to the Iraqi people.  Not install our puppet, let them run and govern themselves.  They are entitled to that.  

            And we also, ought to make clear, that we're not there for these oilfields.  These oilfields don't belong to America, they belong to Iraq.  And the oil that comes from them, and the revenue that comes from them, belong to the Iraqi people.  And we need to make it absolutely clear that, that money will go to them, whatever money comes from selling oil, will go to them.  

            Now unfortunately, unfortunately, we've got a bad example next door in Afghanistan.  Where we went in, we got rid of the Taliban, we did very little, very little to help reconstruct the country, stabilize the country, but we have an opportunity here to do something important.  

            You know, the president is now talking about the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, I hope he's serious about that, we've been committed to it for a long time.  

            But we have - I have been in most of these places of the world, I have been in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Turkey, the Middle East and Europe over the last year and a half to two years - there is no question anywhere in the world that we are powerful.  Everyone knows we are powerful.  They know we can do anything we want, whenever we choose to.  Here is what they want to know: do we care about anybody besides ourselves? Do we care about the peace and prosperity of the rest of the world?

            And this is not some academic discussion now, that goes on in Washington or in universities around the country.  This goes straight into your lives, because your family is without doubt, safer and more secure in a world where America is looked up to and respected.  All of us, everyone in this room, remembers when America was this bright shining light on top of the hill, that everyone looked up to ..."

      •  Edwards and Iraq (none)
        Edwards doesn't seem to know that invading a country is a bad thing to do.

        People make a big deal about how Edwards takes responsibility for his vote on the war, whereas Kerry seems apologetic about it, as if this were in Edwards' favor. Anyone with a brain and an ounce of humanity would feel apologetic about it. A couple months ago Chris Mathews asked Edwards if, knowing what we now know that there were no WMD, he would still vote the way he did. Without missing a beat, his answer was yes! He did not explain this dedication to the irrational.

        Another thing: the incessant smile has been lauded over Kerry's apparent grimness. After four years of the Rove/Cheney cooperative (I won't use the word, president, because there really isn't any) and what it's done to this country, I don't see any reason for anyone to be smiling. These are grim times. I'll take the grim candidate.

        •  cynic (none)
          Edwards lost his 16 year old son in 1997 i belive it was, a year later he was running for Senate with a smile... Its not a smile of whats happening, but whats going to happen. Its times like this that we need most of all NOT to give up and fall to cynicism and pessimisim, but have a vision for change and hope... THATS why Edwards smiles.
  •  matching fund spending limits (none)
    Will the spending limits handicap Edwards in the general?

    I host an Internet radio show which now has a participatory blog. See Collective Interest.

    by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:25:14 AM PST

    •  No. (none)
      Both candidates (Bush and Kerry or Edwards) will run with matching funds and limits for the general election.  The primaries are a separate period that Bush and Kerry (but not Edwards) have opted out of matching funds.  Edwards should be getting a nice fat matching funds check circa March 2nd...
      •  It is the period between the (4.00)
        primaries and the convention when a DEM nominee who took matching funds will be unable to campaign.  That is going to be like two months?  Two months when GWB is spending like mad.  

        Dean may have made mistakes, but nothing so stupid as not recognizing the how deadly that imposed period of silence can be.

        •  Kerry probably doesn't have that much money (none)
          Kerry probably doesn't have that much money either, at least not compared to Bush.  Theres a negative story in the waiting:  He locks up the nomination and all he does is go to $2,000/plate fundraisers for 3 months.  
  •  Electablity... (4.00)
    That is the key.  That is why Kerry was winning.  People liked Edwards but believed that Kerry could beat Bush.  The media put the polls up to show that Kerry can beat Bush.  Those who wanted to Beat Bush voted Kerry.

    However, today the USA Gallup poll showed both Kerry and Edwards beating Bush by a 10 point spread.  That "electiablity' issue becomes split if it can be given press.

    The Experience factor is the other reason why people seem to go with Kerry.  They say that Edwards is too young...he's 50 but he looks like he could be 35..especially next to his younger kids...and he's a first term Senator.

    Personally, I want change and I'm not going to get that from someone who has been part of the system forever.  Most independates also don't want someone who is so fully part of the Democratic Machine.  They pull to Edwards.  But as pointed out by so many pundits the Independates will not vote in the closed primaries.  Will the Democratic core be smart enough to see how important the Independate vote is?  See that this key group will not vote for Kerry?

    Finally, and I just found this out today, there has been concern about Edwards and his agreeing to limits for matching funds in the primary and how if facing Bush in Nov he will be totally out spent by Bush.  I believe part of why the DNC machine is backing Kerry is because he did not accept limits and matching funds.

    However, Edwards can reapply in the General and reject matching funds then.  He will NOT be limited in the General.  The agruement that only Kerry will have the money and Edwards won't doesn't hold water.

    Still it will be an uphill road for Edwards...but he has faced uphill roads before and won.  I'm willing to put my money on him.

    •  Edwards and the general (none)
      You've got it backwards on the money.  Come the general election, if Edwards is the candidate he will accept the matching funds.  It's only a two month sprint then, so it won't hurt him.

      FYI, I am an Edwards alternate delegate to the Democrats Abroad convention in Edinburgh.

    •  electability roadblock (none)
      I think this is the worst issue out there. Electability?

      Break it down for me, what do you mean?

      What it says to me is Americans are stupid. We are cynical. This is a show. If we are really worried about this why don't we get a really good looking woman to run for President?

      I think the Party has lost focus. We've lost any message that may be appealing to anyone, even me, a life long Democrat. I'm not convinced either candidate is going to create jobs. Seems to me they both have no experience creating any thing except more lip service, and, a little campaign cash. The whole view that History and economic forces run in four year sets is ridiculous. Kerry says bring back the Clinton years, well I'm not so sure if that is going to be a solution or set up another boom and bust cycle with the peaks getting peakier. What I see is the power elites scrapping over the voter like a dogs fighting over an old shoe. I don't like it. It's turning me off to the whole process again. I don't see where I fit in except as a passive consumer of political fare waiting for my steak to be done just right. I'm all lost in the Super Power, Super Market. I can no longer shop happily.  

      We used to be the Party of the people now we are the party of McMillionaires, Gangsters like Hoffa Jr.  and Torricelli. We used to be the party that stood for something, other than the interests of big business. Give me big government and tax and spend again please ... anything but the nonsensical, blick I hear these candidates running on. NAFTA? Is that why we are losing jobs? Are we losing jobs because of Bush? or NAFTA? Wasn't NAFTA in effect before Bush? It wasn't Bush that deregulated the Telecom industry, it wasn't Bush that allowed Enron, Citibank, Arthur Anderson, Global Crossings, Worldcom and others to run roughshod over the law. I don't want to vote for Bush, but, if electability is all you got to come with, to most people, Bush is the most electable, Hell the guy's already been elected, kinda.

      The great advantage Kerry has is you can't really attack him on anything he stands for, because he doesn't stand for anything at all. Yeah I signed the Patriot Act, but I had no idea Ashcroft was going to enforce it. Who did he think the Attorney General was?

      Can I get a witness here?

      Will someone give me a reason to really care who gets it Kerry or Edwards. I want someone with a long term vision, and, a way we can all pitch in.

      It's starting to be the battle of the sound bites, the battle of the hair cuts.

      Tell me Bush was wrong. Not that he did the right thing for the wrong reason. A well meaning lunk head is way more electable than a smart slick guy with an agenda.

  •  What to expect? (none)
    the Kerry strategy for dealing with Edwards was beautifully illustrated by the move he made with regard to post-Wisconsin speeches.  As a Deaniac watching through my tears, I saw Kerry obviously time his victory speech to prevent Edwards from winding up his Two Americas on national TV before an enthusiastic audience.  

    Kerry will now try to do whatever he can to deny Edwards coverage.  Edwards mediagenic looks and personality make a brutal comparison for Kerry.  If the Edwardsians want to get a little snarky they could start making observations about Kerry looking tired and worn out already, how's he ever going to handle a whole year of battling Bush.

    OK, this Deaniac is going to buy some popcorn from the Edwards stand--$25.84 (8=H, 4=D)--and enjoy the action.  

    I don't belong to any organized political party, I'm a Democrat--Will Rogers

    by Dancing Larry on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:27:58 AM PST

    •  IT was (none)
      about time KErry figured that one out -- twice, or was it 3 times? wait, post-SC, post Iowa, so twice, that Edwards had the stage to himself, but not this time - he got all of 2 minutes in!

      My empathies to all Deaniacs; you've had a rough ride lately!

      My guy, Clark is until I push the ABB lever in November, I'll join you in popcorn, and enjoy the theater that is Politics!

      'I came to a fork in the road, and took it.' Yogi Berra

      by PhillyFilly on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:35:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Butter on that? (none)
        We're just in time for Act I, Scene 3. [Enter the Son of a Millworker, Stage Left]

        Thanks for the kind thoughts to Deaniacs.  At least we know our campaign got bodyslammed, it must be baffling to be a Clarkie, some political/media parlor trick made your campaign vanish just when it was gaining traction.  

        Here's a post I made a few minutes ago about what may lie ahead for Deaniacs and Clarkies, aka the Democratic Party Class of 2004:

        I don't belong to any organized political party, I'm a Democrat--Will Rogers

        by Dancing Larry on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:15:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kerry already figured it out (none)
        In NH, he knew the coverage would go to him first. But he stalled and stalled and stalled. Finally, Clark tried to pre-empt, and got most of his speech in. But Kerry interrupted THAT.

        Edwards was able to give his full speech, after Kerry.

        But all of this pushed Dean's speech past 10PM, past prime time on the East coast, and too late for evening news broadcasts.

        That was clearly by design.

  •  candidates who take matching funds cannot win (none)
    OK, this is interesting, but...
    1. I can tell you all the reasons why John Kerry will be the strongest nominee, but,    
    2. Regardless, I fundamentally believe that only a candidate who opts out of matching funds has any chance to beat George Bush. Edwards is limited to $45M in total spending prior to the convention. Kerry is unlimited. George Bush will have $200M. If Edwards is the nominee, he will be dark from April to July. By then, Bush will have him buried, just as he did to Gore in 2000. The system is broken when one candidate opts out and the other stays in. I wouldn't be surprised to see it change by 2008, but for now, it is the system. If Edwards really wanted to win the whole thing, he should have opted out on matching funds. Dean made the case in November, his internet followers agreed, and they were right. Dean forced Kerry to follow him and it will turn out to be very important.
    •  The answer (none)
      You're right, the mathcing funds cap is a killer for Edwards.  There is one sneaky way around it though if he does get the nomination.  Edwards could publicly choose his VP early, being either Kerry or Dean, and the money to respond to Bush from April to July is raised and spent through the VP's Presidential campaign without limits.  

      "The Return of the Bat", coming soon to a website near you?

      I don't belong to any organized political party, I'm a Democrat--Will Rogers

      by Dancing Larry on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:41:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmmm (none)
        that's very interesting! VP funds....

        There's always a way around any limits, and I believe in my heart and soul, that Dems are focused as never before, and we'll do just fine financially supporting the Dem nominee -- we know damn well know what's at stake!

        I'm just not worried about the money thing at all!

        'I came to a fork in the road, and took it.' Yogi Berra

        by PhillyFilly on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:48:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmmm (none)
      ""Dean made the case in November, his internet followers agreed, and they were right. Dean forced Kerry to follow him and it will turn out to be very important.""

      I see it differently; that was the exact moment Dean had Kerry in the crosshairs and blew it.
      By Dean opting out, it gave Kerry, who was running on empty at that point, the 'political cover' to do the same.  If Dean hadn't, Kerry would've been painted as borrowing from the rich wife and it would've been a PR disaster.

      AND if Dean hadn't opted out, he would've kept to a sane budget too!

      It's all spilled milk at this point, though.


      and I think Edwards can survive with less funds too, w/all the 527's etc., getting the anti-Bush message out for him.

      It's not ALL about money -- sorry to remind you, but Dean raised $50 million and, in the end?

      'I came to a fork in the road, and took it.' Yogi Berra

      by PhillyFilly on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:41:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Important... (none)
      For Kerry, not for Dean.  IMO, this was a significant mistake because it let Kerry borrow $6 million he would not have been able to under matching funds.

      This has always been an overblown not as if Kerry is going to magically be able to raise $100 million in the next couple of months...he's raised only about $5-6 mil in the last two months and probably already spent that.

      •  That loophole (none)
        That loophole in the campaign finance laws that allows a candidate to BORROW from himself --- why wasn't that eliminated in McCain Feingold?  You see something like that and you just know its all smoke and mirrors and McCain Feingold is a sham.  They couldn't stop a candidate from giving his campaign the money but they sure could have stopped him from lending himself the money.
        •  the answer is ... (none)
          The Supreme Court decision in Buckley v. Valeo is the reason you cannot limit personal money contributions from people like Perot and Bloomberg.  It was considered a direct violation of the First Amendment in that they said (wrongly and disastrously I maintain) that money is a form of speech so you can't limit legitimate political speech.  That decision destroyed one side of the Watergate reforms which put limits on both expeditures and contributions.   It said you can put limits on contributions but not expenditures except if it is personal money.
    •  Well said, (none)
      I think if more Edwards followers understood just how handicapped Edwards is going to be in those months they might downgrade his electability . He might be a great looking and a wonderful campaigner but that won't help him if he's broke and can't buy air time for months. In the mean time and it will be very very mean BushCo will be un-loading on him relentlessly day and night on Nat'l TV. I hear folks discount this but, if it wasn't a factor then as you said why did Dean and Kerry both opt out of the system? Precisely, because they saw what happened in 2000.
    •  absolutely (none)
      Opting out of the campaighn finance limits are crucial to keeping George Bush at bay from April to July in 2004.

      Edwards could be Superman but he'll hit the limit and go dark and silent and get buried in a mountain slag of s**t

  •  "Nobody likes John Kerry" (none)
    Not quite the case.  In last night's exit polls, over 80% said they'd have no problem supporting Kerry.  I remember MUCH more contentious nomination struggles in the DP.

    For me, it's important to have a candidate whose an identifiable adult, not another Southern hottie.  Going up against Bush-Rove is serious wartime.  It's ridiculous to think Bush is in serious trouble.  He's not yet begun to fight, and we're gonna need a VERY tough guy to stand up to him.  Does anybody really see that quality in Edwards?

    Anyway, if folks are interested in why people like John Kerry, they can go to:

    for some unsolicited testimontials.

    to see some examples.

  •  RE: (none)
    Perhaps if the mini-Super Tuesday (or Southern Super Tuesday) were before the mega-Super Tuesday, Edwards might be able to compete for a brokered convention.  But with the schedule the way it is, IMHO Edwards will not be able to catch Kerry. He isn't going to have the money or organization together for Super Tuesday to force Kerry into the wall, which is what he needs to do to win this sucker.  

    Reading some of the political news, I get a sense that the press is tiring of the primary and if so this certainly doesn't help Edwards.  

    Zero is for comments that are offensive, script-generated, or otherwise content-free and intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers.

    by jg on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:41:04 AM PST

  •  Edwards is without conviction (3.12)
    I actually despise Edwards. Why?
    Not because I love Kerry, I think Kerry is a real douchebag but because I think of all of the candidates that have come and gone (Dean, Clark, Gephardt, Lieberman) all of them had tons more conviction than Edwards.

    Edwards voted almost 100% with Bush, on top of that he used the NeoCon arguments for the war -> Imminent Threat, terrorism, WMD's. Even Lieberman's regime change argument is more defensible than Edwards.

    I am a Dean supporter and I see Edwards as the anti-Dean. If Dean is a conviction and passion politician who speaks his mind even when it unpopular, Edwards is your classic weather vein opportunist who stands on the right side of the issues when it's the right time to do so.

    Edwards has basicially laid low while the other candidates took each other out. Did he engage others or take a strong stand at the debates when it came to the Iraq War, "No Child Left Behind", Abortion, tax cuts, special interest etc.? No.

    At least Kerry defended his votes for G.W. Bush's agenda, Edwards has completely avoided it and has not taken a strong stance on anything. He did this during the last 3 1/2 years during the Bush administration and continues to do this in the primaries. He made some vague arguments about poverty and the "two America's". While his campaign his being funded by $2000 checks from lawyers.

    I think of all of the candidates that have run in this election Edwards is by far the weakest candidate and has shown the least amount of conviction. Dean, Gephardt, Clark even Lieberman (when compared to Edwards) deserve to be the last man standing next to Kerry.
    I really resent how Edwards has weasled his way into this position when others had the courage to stand up to the controversial issues.

    •  You mean like in the last debate... (4.00)
      When Kerry went round and round for several minutes in the pre-Wisconsin debate on his responsibility for the Iraq war vote and Edwards simply said...Yes, I take responsibility for my vote.

      I still haven't heard a concise answer why Kerry voted AGAINST the first Iraq war and FOR this one.

      Edwards also said point-blank he felt his vote on NCLB was a mistake.

      Also, is it popular to stand up and say, as Edwards does often, that having 35 million people living in poverty in this country is a moral outrage?

      Just wondering...

    •  Voting (4.00)
      Edwards voted almost 100% with Bush

      Neither have what I would call a stellar record, but they are both pretty close and not at 100%


      Roll Call Vote Analysis
      Year Voting Participation Party Support Presidential Support

      1. 100% 84% 76%
      2. 99% 91% 67%
      3. 100% 94% 92%
      4. 99% 92% 87%

      Roll Call Vote Analysis
      Year Voting Participation Party Support Presidential Support

      1. 96% 92% 72%
      2. 98% 98% 65%
      3. 95% 96% 97%
      4. 99% 95% 93%
    •  Do some homework (4.00)
      before you post misrepresentations.  If you don't like lawyers, say so.  But you're wrong about the voting record, you're wrong about the weasel stuff (he's not promising jobs for everybody or universal health coverage--he's been realistic and forthright in stating his policy positions and defending them when asked).  

      I know some folks think Edwards is smooth and slick and tricky--but my sense is that comes from projecting a stereotype, not an objective assessment of the guy.

      All Hail the Haggard Knight

      by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 09:17:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Edwards is a lawyer. (none)
        In Chicago, Ashcroft's boys are picking Moslems by the thousands and deporting them. Nuns are tagged no fly. The Quakers are infiltrated by spies.

        I want a lawyer. A good one!

        Why on earth would anyone  heap scorn on someone with the ability to help, defend and heal?

        John Adams was a lawyer.

        Robert F. Kennedy was a lawyer.

        And Abraham Lincoln.

    •  Edwards (none)
      Edwards is only in the race this long because he got a LOT of money and he's been the least forthcoming in disclosing how he got the money.  Even Bush is more transparent about his Pioneers and Rangers.  We don't know who is bundling money for Edwards, lots and lots of money.  Sure isn't the people in the America that Edwards says he "cares" so much about.  

      This is really the type of candidate that should be feared:  the Huey Long type, the type that will say ANYTHING to help himself, with utter shamelessness.  

      •  Please provide examples (none)
        of saying "ANYTHING to help himself with utter shamelessness."  Has he said something he should be ashamed of?

        All Hail the Haggard Knight

        by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:32:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh geez (2.50)
          How about all the "I care about you" stuff as though he and only he cares about the American people?  Only he has the background to care about people.  Thats shameless.
          •  I guess (none)
            that's a matter of interpretation.  Even if he had qualified it, I don't get the sense you'd believe it.  

            I suppose you have other examples of his willingsness to "say anything" but I get your drift.

            All Hail the Haggard Knight

            by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:38:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fact is (none)
              Fact is, he was impugning the other candidates' sincerity.  Thats shameless.  He was taking advantage of the fact that none of them are going to come back at him and say, "John Edwards, you are a thousand luxury suites removed from being the son of a millworker."  

              Thats the trick with shamelessness.  You say something that puts the other person on the spot to either come back at you very hard or let it go.  

              •  Compare to Kerry and Dean (none)
                Who've never been removed from a luxury suite.

                Were I Edwards, I'd respond as follows: "You never forget what it's like to be poor.  If you'd ever experienced that, then you'd understand why I talk about poverty.  It stays with you."  It'd be true and it'd crush whoever said it as hopelessly out of touch with most Americans.

                Kinda like some of the posters here.

                •  Drew (none)
                  My point was that of course Kerry and Dean WOULD NOT say to John Edwards that he was a thousand luxury suites removed from how he grew up.

                  Its like if you're with someone and that person tells a lie.  Do you always jump down their throat?  Of course not.  Mostly you let it go rather than be so harsh.  Kerry and Dean certainly would not want to get into tit-for-tat on that level and that allows someone who is shameless to make a point.  

                  •  It's also possible (none)
                    That they simply don't see it as "shameless," which I suspect is more likely the case.  After all, Kerry has been playing up his Vietnam service recently, and Dean didn't mind mentioning his medical degree, despite the fact that neither is a particularly good reason to support either.  Are they any less "shameless" than Edwards?  I don't think so.
                    •  Theres a difference (none)
                      I really see a difference and I saw Edwards making it as a comparison that impugns the other men as less caring and compassionate than himself on the basis of his not growing up wealthy.  Thats my honest opinion.  
                      •  Kerry follows (none)
                        talk about his military service by saying that he understands what it mweans to keep your promises to veterans. Does that mean that Edwards can't keep priomises to veterans?  No.  These are fair campaign tactics and are different than complaints upthread, I think.
                  •  Their hatchet man did (none)
                    play clip (1.5m RealVideo, South Carolina, 30 Jan 2004):
                    Moderator: You made millions of dollars as a trial lawyer. According to public reports, you and your wife recently purchased two multi-million dollar homes in the Washington area. You talk about Two Americas. Is it reasonable to think that you can relate to those who are less fortunate, to those who don't have insurance or a roof over their heads?

                    APPLAUSE (begins)

                    Edwards:  Yes, it is.     

                    APPLAUSE (continued, then ends)

                    Edwards: The answer is ... the answer is, the life that I have lived is the dream that's being shut off for so many Americans every single day.


                    I was brought home ... I was brought home to a mill village in Seneca, South Carolina, to a little two-room house.  My father had to borrow the money to get me out of the hospital.  I grew up, from the time I was very young, the same way that most people grow up in this country. Working hard, working hard trying to build a better life for myself, for my own family. And you're right, I've done very well - but the problem is, the problem is - most Americans, including all these folks up here, and most of these folks in the audience - they are not doing fine.  George Bush is taking very good care of people who are doing well.  The problem is he's shutting off opportunity from all those people who are struggling every single day.  I'll tell you, I'll say this to every, single, person in the audience. I grew up the way you grew up, I come from the same ...

                    Moderator: You need to wrap up.

                    Edwards:  You have to let me finish, you asked me the question.


                    Edwards: I grew up the way you grew up, I come from the same place, I spent twenty years in courtrooms fighting for you, against big Corporate America, against big insurance companies.


                    Edwards: I will never forget where I come from and you can take that to the bank.


                    You want shame-deprived? Try Kerry and his multitudinous proxies.

                  •  But it's okay (none)
                    for Kerry to govon and on about his 4 months on a boat on the Mekong?  They all have their life experiences that they offer to us as examples of what formed them and their beliefs.  Edwards knows what its like to be working class.  Kerry knows what its like to be in combat.  Both are fair to mention.
              •  Okay (none)
                So you grow up poor and now you're rich.  That somehow disqualifies you from saying you care about poor people?

                And if you say you care, how does that imply that others don't?  Every guy up there in these debates says they care about people, that's why they're running!  

                I don't begrudge a man or woman his wealth if gotten honestly.  I don't question Teddy Kennedy's sincerity when he says he cares about people, even though the guy is fabulously rich.  I admire him.  I've never understood the cynicism that belittles people just because they're rich.

                What you do with you've got--that's the measure of the man.  

                But you say there's other stuff (after all, he'll say ANYTHING).  What else?

                All Hail the Haggard Knight

                by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:19:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Lets not move on (none)
                  Lets nail down this point first.

                  If you say that the thing that sets you apart from some of the other candidates is that you care about the American people because of your background, surely, surely, you are impugning the sincerity those other candidates.  

                  Would Kerry and Dean ever say that they DIDN'T care about the American people?  Of course not.  

                  •  Agree to Disagree (none)
                    I guess it's a matter of interpretation.  Edwards says he'll never forget what it was like growing up and seeing his dad lose his job.  He says it's a very personal thing for him.  That gives him the advantage of that experience. Just like Vietnam gives Kerry a wartime experience that Edwards can never share.  Just like Dean's gubernatorial experience and the death of his brother in Vietnam are experiences not shared by others. Kerry points out his experience at every turn, as did Dean.

                    But I don't think that it impugns, nor was it intended to impugn, the sincerity of the other candidates.  That's your interpretation.  Edwards has said both Kerry and Dean are fine men, and I believe him.  He doesn't think he's better than they are.  I suppose he beats the son-of-a-mill worker theme to death because it connects him to people who've had similar experiences.  

                    If you really believe he'll say anything because he said that, I won't argue with you anymore.  We're just at different places.


                    All Hail the Haggard Knight

                    by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:58:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Two wrongs don't make a right (none)
                      Actually, I don't think I ever heard Dean say anything about his brother and I watched most of the debates.  

                      I think Kerry with his Vietnam experience might be comparable and I'd say he overdoes it but Edwards "I care about you" overdoes it more.  

                  •  He says "understand" (none)
                    Not "care".

                    There may be occasions when the word care gets into the mix, but in general, his message is that he understands their experiences because he has lived those experiences.

                    That is all.  

                    Anyone who wishes to ascribe ulterior motives to Edwards' clear self-description may wish to visit the nearest mirror.

                    The world does not revolve around Kerry.   Not everything Edwards says about Edwards has something to do with Kerry.

    •  Strong stand? (4.00)
      Did he engage others or take a strong stand at the debates when it came to the Iraq War, "No Child Left Behind", Abortion, tax cuts, special interest etc.? No.

      Okay, this is bullshit.  Every last goddamn word.  

      On war: Unlike Kerry, who either cuddled up to or shied away from his war vote depending on the mood of the electorate, Edwards has always taken responsibility for his.  Perhaps you missed the last debate?  When asked "do you feel any degree, any degree of responsibility," John Kerry responded with a 500 word waffle; the moderator even had to prompt him to answer the original question.  John Edwards didn't need the prompt.  His response?  "The answer to your question is of course. We all accept responsibility for what we did. I did what I believed was right."

      On abortion: Edwards has consistently opposed the ban on partial birth abortion.  He voted against it the first time around, and while he didn't vote against it this time (it would have passed regardless), he clearly stated his opposition.  Furthemore, he's led the fight against Bush's judicial nominees, who would have had a lot of say on this issue, none of which you'd like to hear, had Edwards not kept them from the bench.

      On taxes: Edwards has consistently opposed both the first and second Bush tax cuts because they were fiscally irresponsible and because they disproportionately favored the wealthy over the people.  He has consistently supported restoring the Clinton-era rates on the wealthy and raising other taxes disproportionately paid by the wealthy.

      On special interests: Edwards is the only candidate who has never taken a dime from either political action committees or Washington lobbyists.  Howard Dean can't say that.  John Kerry can't say that.  John Edwards can.  Unlike Howard Dean and John Kerry, who opposed them when it was convenient and took from them when it wasn't, John Edwards has consistently refused this money, even when it wasn't to his benefit.

      (As far as $2,000 checks from lawyers go - how do you think those lawyers earned those $2,000 checks?  The same way that John Edwards did - by holding corporations accountable for the harm they did consumers.  You want to call them "special interests?"  You've got a fucked definition of the term.)

      Fact is, of Kerry and Edwards, Edwards has been the more principled candidate in the race.  That's why your post relies on vague and baseless accusations - because you can't find any real instance where he's been the man you accuse him of being.

      •  Amen (none)
        Amen amen amen. Triple amen!

        So easy to say Edwards is a "snarky ambulance chaser" without being more objective about the business.

        Too may cynics floating through here. Isn't it  possible, just POSSIBLE, that Edwards is a moral, principled, honest man?

        Anyway, thanks thanks thanks for this post.

        "Everything tastes better when it's lassoed!" - Bart Simpson

        by elph8 on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:27:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  i agree (none)
      Except I don't see where Kerry has stood for anything controversial except relying on Torricelli to fundraise for him. He never challenged Dean he just parrotted his message, and, said look I use a titanium comb I look Presidential, I won't balance the budget, I won't admit any fault in sending the country to war, I won't risk my hide for a bunch of queers, and, I'm not going to back down on it.


      If all I'm supposed to be riled about with Edwards is he takes money from lawyers, hell, I'd take money from lawyers too ... Everyone has a beef with Lawyers until you need one! I got smashed into by a van on my way to work last year. It knocked one of discs loose. I tried to call the Insurance company and deal with it myself. Big mistake. I got me a lawyer and I hope she takes these clowns for every penny they got!

      The fact is we lost when we let the GOP define this election for us. National security, so we had to have a vet. Electability, so we get a battle of the hair cuts. We got nothing. Nada. and no one to blame but ourselves.

      not even fdr would recognize these democrats


    •   sorry you are clown (none)
      The facts show  you to be  without  a  good grip on reality.

      "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

      by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:33:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry's 50-state strategy is smart (3.50)
    wasting time in Nevada presumes that all that matters is the nom. The nom is nothing; the campaign is about the fall. And just like Dean sought to create not only an aura of invincibility but to use the primaries to organize in the GE, Kerry is taking the same (smart) approach. In 12 hours here in NV, Kerry not only raised money, he made 2 public appearances before nearly every Dem office-holder and activist in the state, whose organized support will be crucial to winning this swing state in the fall.

    Sure it was a beauty pageant with no impact on delegates for the nom, but it was precisely the right moment to begin his GE campaign here.

    Notice that his first stop after WI was not NY or CA but OH.

    BTW, as much as I wish it were not so, there really is no race with Edwards.

  •  Kerry (none)
    As much as I dislike Kerry - and I do dislike him intensely - And as much as I believe that he is taking the party backwards rather than forwards -

    I think he'd make a better president than Edwards - and in fact, I think he'd be a "less dangerous" president than Edwards.

    So before you all get too carried away and too pissed at Kerry, I hope you think on that, especially if you're an "activist" and are organizing (if you're just posting on this blog, than I suppose it doesn't matter too much - sorry Kos)

  •  What really Happened in WIS (3.66)
    Again, I don't mean to demean you guys, but i was physically on the ground for Kerry in Iowa, so I know a lot about his team and his strategies.

    Wis was the biggest fuck-up of this election,akin to Dean's fuck-up in Iowa and this very well may eventually make Edwards the nominee.

    What Kerry's team failed to recongnize is that yes the "Iron Triangle" (Strasma,Whouley, & Norris) won Iowa, techically.

    But they're plan could not have been carried out without the crack field team that was assembled, mostly relying on the JulyAugust crew, trained by the Citizen-Solider slush fund. ( Which makes me crack up when idiots think its some super secret PAC designed to rig elections. It trained activists, thats all it ever is and was)

    Instead of moving this crack team into New Hampshire, and then to WIS, they may have ended their campaign. Instead, the word is that most of that field team has been laid off!

    The guys and gals who won iowa for you, and you lay them off and then wonder why you lose WIS?  

    Instead they relied on the Buerocratic idiocy to carry the day and it just plan didn't Norris was frickin in WIS and they STILL Lose, why?  because he lacked a good ground team to carry out his plans. Volunteers don't cut it!

    They disaptched these poor souls to NM,AZ, SC,TN,VA,Del,ID,UT , then are in the process of laying them off and now they are stuck in a bind.  

    In all honestly, serves em right!

    If once again, john Kerry cannot recognize the idiots from the real talent, then he deserves to lose!  I was never paid staff for Kerry, but god damn i put in almost 2 months for him and I saw quite a lot... so take it what it is.


    John kerry's poor choice in leadership has once again put him behind, while he goes off on ramlbing speeches again, instead of the crisp, to the point ones in Iowa. He canned his "best" opperatives for his high paid ones that don't know their ass from their elbow. Just because one has worked in D.C for 5 years does NOT Make an EXPERT one does!!!

    •  Interesting (3.50)
      Your grammar and typing skills are atrocious, but your words have the ring of truth.

      Still, Kerry won Wisconsin by a fairly healthy margin, so in the end his impulse to restrain spending for the GE might have been the wisest path.

      But the return of "Ramblin' John" is indeed a matter of some concern. If he does indeed find himself in a dogfight on Super Tuesday, he'll have no one to blame but himself. We'll just have to wait and see, eh?

    •  Its probably because of money, right? (none)
      It doesn't seem as though Kerry has a tremendous amount of money on hand and he has to pay himself back that loan first, doesn't he?  I mean, is he legally even allowed to pay himself back that money after the convention?
  •  Nobody likes Kerry? Wrong. (none)
    I, for one, like Kerry.  And I like Edwards.  And I have been watching on the side without the personal investment in one or the other.  So, it isn't as if the emotional stuff is a problem.

    I think both men are good people.  I think they both understand that leaving money in the hands of people who have no need for it is a bad, bad idea.  Kerry understands the problems of war and the death that comes with it.  Edwards understands that the poor--and middle class--have no defense against big institutions that would take advantage of them for profit without the ability to fight back through the courts.  They both would be good in their own way, and it is not as if they would be alone.  They would have to produce cabinets, filled with experts who hopefully have better listening skills than the people Bush has put in place.

    (By the way, have you ever seen a corporate video where the importance of listening to others is emphasized?  Do Republicans just produce the things or do they actually believe it is a good idea?  It sure doesn't seem like they follow the program very well.)

    In any case, the Bush administration has so many scandals in progress or upcoming that it is going to be fresh meat for whoever wins the nomination.  This does not guarantee victory, but it does mean that whoever is nominated has a tremendous chance to unseat Bush, simply by playing to his own strengths.

    Just my $0.02.

    •  You really think that? (none)
      I think they both understand that leaving money in the hands of people who have no need for it is a bad, bad idea.

      So, you really believe John Kerry is going to take his money away from himself?  He's one of those in the 1st America, who also has way more money than he ever needs.  

      Deaniacs- support Dean in spirit by voting for Edwards! Kerry is the ultimate Washington insider!

      by Asak on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:02:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you serious? (3.00)
      "I think they both understand that leaving money in the hands of people who have no need for it is a bad, bad idea."  - JP

      Are you serious?  Does Teresa Heinz NEED that $600 million and 5 fabulous homes?  Does John Edwards need his $60 million and 3 fabulous homes?  

      This is the thinking the American people have come to distrust about Democrats, that they'd tell a family making $100,000 or $200,000/yr that they ought to be do-gooders, that they have a moral obligation to be do-gooders, all the while enjoying fabulous luxury themselves that they have no intention of giving up.  But you need to have an extra $5,000/yr taken in taxes, Mr. and Mrs. America.  Until and unless Democrats figure out a way to make a better case for universal healthcare, etc. than do-gooderism, none of it will happen.  Just a fact.  The hypocrisy will kill it.

  •  Respectfully disagree (3.00)
    This just strikes me as all wrong.  The War on Terror will be prongs one, two, and three in Bush's (re-)election campaign.  Our guy HAS to have some credibility in the national security arena.  Kerry has it bigtime.  Don't underestimate Kerry's war record.  This "Band of Brothers" theme he's got going is pure genius.  I don't think there's any way the AWOL thing takes off like it did if not for the extreme contrast between Bush and the presumed frontrunner Kerry.  Just check out that Newsweek cover.

    I get that some resentment exists between Dean supporters and Kerry as there was only room for one after February and these were the two campaigns waging the most direct attacks at each other.  However, doesn't Kerry deserve any credit for two decades of solid liberal votes in the Senate?  Or his leadership of the peace movement after he got home from Nam? Or fighting to expose the Iran-Contra mess in the 1980's?  Sure he lacks charisma but so have a lot of presidents.  

    Edwards gives a better stump speech and he's prettier.  He's got a nice populist economic message.  That might not be enough to get it done.  Being a southerner is meaningless; that region's probably not going to be in play anyway.  We need somebody who looks like a serious candidate against a "war president" (ugh!).  Kerry does.    

    •  on Kerry's "liberal votes in the Senate" (none)
      Ok, so for me, there's this interesting duality about John Kerry.  I don't like his post-9/11 voting record at all (which, unfortunately for him, is about when I started paying attention).  I don't like the smear campaign he ran against Dean and Dean's supporters in New Hampshire (I was there, so my view is personal, albeit one-sided), and I especially don't like how he was so successful at co-opting Dean's message verbatim, without having the record of results to back it up.

      Having said all that, the more I learn about his history, from his work with Vietnam Veterans Against the War to exposing the Iran-Contra stuff, the more I dig it.  Which is precisely why I'm nervous now:

      His vote FOR the Iraq war seems TOTALLY out of context with his record of opposition, especially having opposed Gulf War I (which, by the way, was a hell of a lot more justifiable, both with our own laws and within the international community).  His vote for No Child Left Behind sucks, as does his insistance on maintaining a large part of what he voted for with the Bush tax cuts.  

      Unlike Edwards, it really seems like John Kerry has recently decided to vote in such a way as to make him appear "electable", rather than in a way that is consistent with the values that he has demonstrated over the years, particularly over the war isue.  I can see why he may have made the decision to go after what seemed more politically viable under the circumstances, but I don't like it at all--and it doesn't reassure me that this is a guy who'll always stand up for his convictions and mine.

      So what do you think about all this?  I'm definitely open to discussion, as I would love to be able to fully, without reservation, support whoever the nominee ends up being, Kerry or otherwise.

      "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:33:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah... (4.00)
        That, in a nutshell, is my basic problem with Kerry.  It's just to easy to see his votes in many situations as the most politically expedient.  My fear is not that Bush is going to run against Kerry the liberal; I worry that Bush is going to run against Kerry the flip-flopper who doesn't believe in anything.  Liberal is easy to defend against...unprincipaled politician is a lot tougher (especially considering Bush's "straighshooter meme).
        •  It's hard to defend against when it's true... (none)
          It's obvious from Kerry's record what he's decided to do.  I don't know how you defend against the truth.  Well, I guess Bush has managed pretty decently.  So, lucky us, this time we get two liars running.  

          Deaniacs- support Dean in spirit by voting for Edwards! Kerry is the ultimate Washington insider!

          by Asak on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:05:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  damn... (none)
          Liberal is easy to defend against...unprincipaled politician is a lot tougher (especially considering Bush's "straighshooter meme).

          ...that's a GREAT point.


          "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:34:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  re: tax cut homework (none)
        say what you will about his voting record, but you shoudl at least get it straight. Kerry oposed and voted against the Bush tax cuts.
        •  wow... (none)
          ...i totally stand corrected.  sorry about that.  it's much easier to espouse any random opinion than actually do my own research, you know?  :)

          "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by obietom on Tue Mar 02, 2004 at 05:07:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think you've found the right dividing pt. (4.00)
        There IS a stark difference in the post 911 Kerry, and its a difference I don't find particularly encouraging.  

        What I don't know (and I'm not saying this in support of Kerry, per se, but because its a question that has been nagging at me since 911)is what went on in the Senate after 911: is the cw true that the Senate Dems had no backbone and just dissolved into jello because they were afraid to confront the very popular war-time Bush?  I'm sure that's part of it, but I also know that most of the politics of the Senate is not visible to the public and therefore waht appears to be one thing to the populace is actually the product of something very different.  

        The recent Atlantic article that someone posted in a diary presents one example of what I'm trying to process: about the Biden-Lugar resolution and the attempt to slow Bush down.  What I want is a Senate that stands up 75-25 and says to Bush: "No, enough is enough, the US does not engage in pre-emptive war, this weakened, though vile dictator does not post a threat and threat he poses is not the kind we take our nation to war over."

        Frankly the only people who are saying that are the long-term peace activists, so the best I can get is that the people in the Senate (the ONLY place where it is going to happen)will try to stop Bush or slow him down because if he's slowed then the chances there's no war increase.  I don't like Biden at all and I wish we had leaders who were willing to encourage a self-reflection in the nation about US foreign policy when it is imperialistic. But he had a way to slow Bush down and at the moment that may have been the best anyone could have done.  That has made me realize how much of Senatorial politics can be counterintuitive.  Not all of it, but some of it.  

        I think that's the reason Kerry's speeches and positions are so long-winded and "nuanced" as he calls them.  Because politics in the Senate is that way.  Think about it, the Senators who are "straight-forward" are the black and white thinkers, and then tend to be really conservative.  

        I'm not happy/pleased with most of Kerry's voting record post 911, but I am looking at it in a different light.  

        Frankly, after 3.5 dangerous years of "you're either with us or against us" black and white thinking, I actually welcome a little nuace and a leader who can demonstrate the ability to think through not only both sides, but several sides of a situation at once.  That's a quality we are going to need to restore in DC, if anything is going to be turned around.  

        I don't like DC insiders and I believe that form of governance is on the way out (or if it isn't it will be the end of us) but I also recognize that the immediate post-Bush period may actually need an insider to bring us back from the abyss.  I don't know.  I do believe that unlike some of the diehard DLCers, Kerry is smart enough to see when a direction is wrong/ultimately a defeat for the Dems.  That gives me hope that he will not continue the follow the right path and will take the dissension into account.  What he will do with that, is the test for me.  That's why I'm waiting to see what happens in the primaries and especially what direction he chooses when he chooses a VP.

        He's not great, but he may well be exactly the kind of President we need right now, provided we keep up the dissension and the pressure on the left.  Better to have someone in power who knows you are there and knows its important to listen than someone who will dismiss us as "failed electoral strategy".

        So I wait and watch.

        "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

        by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:10:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Karma (4.00)
    This is when Kerry's viscious tactics against Dean will come back to bite him in the ass.  I don't know a single Dean supporter who will now go into the Kerry camp.  While there may be a few who were not very strong supporters of Dean who might float over to Kerry, the core of Dean support despises Kerry.  

    What does this mean?  While the 15% that Dean was getting might not be nearly enough on its own, it'll truly bolster Edwards' numbers and launch him above Kerry.

    My bet is that Edwards will surge and Kerry will crash and burn out of apparently nowhere.  Once Edwards wins a couple more states, the pundits will smell blood and tear Kerry apart like they did Dean.

    •  Dean votes to Edwards? Not so fast. (none)
      While the 15% that Dean was getting might not be nearly enough on its own, it'll truly bolster Edwards' numbers and launch him above Kerry.

      The idea, echoed by Beltway pundits, that Dean's votes will go to Edwards is quite presumptive. Its certainly not true of the NY'ers I know.

      Edwards, who IMO is not an anti-christ, nonetheless strikes me as perhaps not sincere as opposed to Dean.

      I, who supported Dean with $ and by working on his rapid response network would support Kerry before Edwards.

      •  perhaps, but... (none)
        ...I don't know a single other Deaniac that is actually more excited about Kerry than Edwards.  Especially not the people who worked on his campaign with me in New Hampshire.  I think what it comes down to for a lot of us is that Edwards is at least sincere.  He has run a clean campaign from day one, whereas Kerry has smeared us for at least that long (BADLY in New Hampshire), while at the same time stealing Dean's message, almost perfectly verbatim.

        Plus, someone above pointed out (rightly, in my opinion) that anyone who was considering Kerry from within the Dean camp has probably already switched prior to today.  Food for thought...

        "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:40:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Deniacs supporting Kerry or still supporting Dean (none)
          How about you former National Chairman?  Go over to the Kerry blog and you'll see some (though, admittedly not as many as on Edwards blog).  Blogforamerica indicates that most will vote for Dean in the primary.  Helps Edwards a little, I think, but you can't just add Dean vote to Edwards vote.

          Another point: Kerry actually beat the combined Edwards - Dean vote among self-identified Democrats in Wisconsin.  Lots of closed primaries coming up.

          •  well, right. (none)
            I meant, I don't know any Deaniac personally who would vote for  Kerry over Edwards at this point.  (In addition to Steve G, there appear to be more than one on this blog alone.)  I'm just saying, I think I can pretty well speak the sentiments of the Dean campaign workers in New Hampshire when I say that, given a choice between the guy who smeared Dean the worst while stealing his message verses the guy who ran a positive, up-lifting campaign from day one, we're gonna go with the guy we had the toughest time arguing against.

            And personally, I love Howard Dean.  But I'm voting for the guy who can beat Kerry in a week from Tuesday, and then I'm voting for whoever can beat Bush in November.  I don't see the value in continuing to vote for Dean from this point.

            "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

            by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:03:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kerry, Edwards, Dean (none)
              Obietom, I understand your point of view and respect your commitment to, I think, the most qualified candidate, Dean.  I dont know if I would have described myslf as a Deaniac but I certainly was pulling for him to win with rapid response support and $ because I thought that he would be the best President.  Pragmatic, progressive and smart.

              But I feel this election should be decided on more than who was the dirtiest campaigner - its a serious time for this country of ours and I vote issues, not to get back at someone or make a statement.  (Some Clark supporters were a little upset with elements of Dean's campaign in snowy NH). I like Kerry on the issues more than Edwards.  I like Kucinich better than all remaining.

              •  You're absolutely right. (none)
                It definitely comes down to issues with me as well--that's what drew me to Dean in the first place.  But if someone were to vote based on who did the least dirty campaigning, you would have only voted for Edwards.  Or maybe Braun, Sharpton, and Kucinich. I was just trying to get at one of the reasons I feel there will be a lot of anti-Kerry turnover from the Dean camp.

                Ok, but here's me on the issues:  Kerry seemed to suspend his traditional voting ideals in the past couple years, opting instead for that which seems more politically viable.  The Iraq war vote alone is totally perplexing, given his opposition to the first Gulf War.  One of the best things about Dean in my opinion was his willingness to stand up for unpopular things he believed in.  To a certain extent, I really respect Lieberman for that as well--though I'd never vote for him because we are diametrically opposed on the issues.  Good ol' Joe.

                "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

                by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:44:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What to do after Dean (none)
                  As someone who always liked Kerry I was also disappointed with his vote on the war and just as disappointed with his comments after Dean said "Saddam's capture has made us no safer". (one of Dean's best in terms of raw truth)

                  My personal Dem faves in order are:

                  1. -Dean
                  2. -Kucinich
                  3. -Kerry
                  4. -Gephardt
                  5. -Edwards
                  I am leaning towards Kerry because of his votes on the environment throughout the last 10 plus years.  The Sierra Club agrees. John Edwards reminds me a bit of Bill Clinton in '92, not my fave in the primary but easily got my vote in the general.

                  As for Joe - yeah, I respect his consistancy but dont like what he is consistantly for - this bogus war.

                  I am leadiing towards pulling the lever for Kucunich in the NY primary for his Dept. of Peace alone.

                  •  Voting for Kucinich (none)
                    at this point can only be a good thing (if you are relatively ambivalent on the Kerry/Edwards distinction) because it let's people see how committed to the progressive ideals of the Dean campaign (rather than the Howard-love, the standing up to Bush or the non anti-gun control stance).  It signals that it was those ideals that drew you to Dean and the party knows who is there and how important those values are.

                    My pitch for a DK vote.

                    "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

                    by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:24:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Kucinich's anti-choice record in Congress (none)
                      doesn't bother you? Based on his voting record up until this last term, Dennis would've been right at home with those white-guy GOP anti-abortionists standing behind Bush -- beaming -- when he signed the partial-birth abortion ban.

                      Kucinich's vote for Bush's gag order preventing foreign aid agencies from even mentioning the word "abortion" is particularly troublesome to me. (such gag order is literally killing women in Africa according to reports from foreign aid workers.)

                      "Progressive ideals" had nothing to do with why I started supporting Dean -- honesty, decency, electability (a moderate record with bipartisan support back home, and a rural states rights attitude toward gun control), intelligence and the bravery to be among the very first mainstream voices to say "The Emperor Has No Clothes" -- that's a good start on explaining why this progressive supports Dean.

                      •  Yes. That issue tells (none)
                        me who Kucinich is.  Rigid in his world views and unable to even understand a matter of equal rights, much less frame a debate on it.  Kennedy is also a Catholic and decades ago framed the abortion debate argument that DK has only recently allowed has merit.

                        His stunt in Iowa throwing support to Edwards (the pro-Iraq invasion vote Edwards) confirmed for me who DK is, and I want no part of such an individual to be in a position of authority at the top of our national government.

                      •  Yes it bothers me... (none)
                        ...but Dean's changed position on the death penalty bothered me too, but didn't prevent me from supporting him.
                      •  Anti-choice history bothers me too (none)
                        And I say this as someone who has basically only voted Dem because of choice issues.  That said, the fact that its a "history" rather than a "present" is a step ahead.

                        I can't have everything I want in a candidate, and Kucinich is not my candidate, actually, but the positions he advocates and that part of the political universe (which is a normal part of any other industrial nations political system, those viewpoints are part of the discussion and not treated as something that landed from another planet)he represents IS what I support, so as someone who's been on the left for a long time and is well-versed in the art of voting in a completely inadequate and unacceptable field, a vote for DK is still a vote for the larger struggle and I can't ignore that.

                        If you're not a progressive but simply a supporter Howard Dean, then my arguements and positions will be meaningless to you; they are directed toward people who support the Dr. because they support the doctor.

                        "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

                        by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:59:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  My Honest Opinion (none)
                    You can vote for someone that makes YOU feel good, or you can vote for somebody who (is much better and progressive than you think -- see The Nation article) who can ACTUALLY BECOME PRESIDENT and institute policies that help Americans.
                    Edwards is like Clinton ... yep, he'll WIN (and be much more progressive than Clinton).
                    Kerry's like Dukakis (actually Tsongas, since he was the presumptive nominee until American wisened up).

                    Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

                    by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:45:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Dean Supporter here too (none)
        I too supported Dean with money...regularly.  But reality brings to light that either Kerry or Edwards will be the nominee of the Democratic Party at this point.

        Deaniacs must make a decision whether to vote for Dean as a protest vote / reason to send delegates to the Convention / principled stance OR try to have some effect on the remaining contest.

        I admit its a difficult decision for me to make.  I'd like to send Dean delegates to the convention, but I also think it will be a big mistake to choose Kerry as the candidate.

        So I have choosen to vote for Edwards in the primaries.

        Of course there is one other option and that is to vote for Kerry in the primaries.  The point of my post was that the likely percentage of Deaniacs who will choose to do that is less than 1%... a big advantage to Edwards since he's really on Kerry's heals now.

        •  another (very) recent Edwards convert from CA (none)
          Yeah, I too will be voting for John Edwards in California as of this afternoon.  Look at that...100% of identified California Dean supporters on this blog are going to Edwards.  Amazing.

          "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:30:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  uhhh (none)
      pundits will smell blood and tear Kerry apart like they did Dean.

      You're talking like the pundits did this to Dean in a vacuum.  Dean gave them plenty to work with: we're not safer with Saddam in jail, Osama needs a fair trial, Sit Down, you've had your say, the caucuses suck, etc.

      Kerry is a professional - he doesn't do these things.

      The press has tried a number of times to attack Kerry.  But his responses are tempered and he doesn't add to the feeding frenzy around those things by adding fuel to the fire.

      I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. -- Will Rogers

      by Kathleen in CO on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:28:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dean's comments (4.00)
        The simple fact is, what Dean said is true.
        We aren't safer with Saddam captured--read the latest body counts.
        Due process is one of the foundations of U.S. law; if Bin Laden was taken alive, should we just lynch the guy?   [furthermore, I believe there are orders in place since the Clinton administration to kill Bin Laden on sight].
        And just how long should a Repub be allowed to speak at a Dem rally--news reports indicate the man spoke for 3 minutes.  Maybe the guy should have been allowed to conduct the rest of the rally.
        I also agree with Dean and his caucus statements-I worked in Iowa and, while it was fun to watch the caucuses, it is just plain stupid to expect people to gather together at 1 place and time to vote.  Just give me a ballot and be done with it.  When I was calling/canvassing, numerous people indicated that they could not attend the caucus and felt they had no voice in the process; furthermore, one person said she refuses to attend caucuses because of the pressure placed on the attendees.
        •  My point (none)
          was not whether the comments were valid.  That is debatable.  My point was that they were silly to make.

          As Carville has said about Dean: "He doesn't appear to appreciate the glory of the unspoken thought."

          An example of saying something that is true, but political suicide:  there is economic sense that the outsourcing/offshoring of jobs is ultimately good for the economy.  But was it wise to say?

          I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. -- Will Rogers

          by Kathleen in CO on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:31:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bitter? (none)
      Just a little bitter about Dean?

      "Because something is happening here/ But you don't know what it is/ Do you, Mister Jones?"

      by Pope on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:10:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2 weeks (none)
    The press wants an extended race, Dean supporters dig Edwards over Kerry, Edwards has the charisma and energy to claim the mantle of 'comeback kid', etc... all the ingredients are in place for a 2-person race.

    Except a direct Dean endorsement of Edwards.  It needs to happen now if Edwards hopes to win any states on March 2.

  •  I Like Edwards, But I Like Kerry A Little More... (3.50)
    I like both men that have a chance of leading our party into November.

    Unlike say, a FEW of the supporters of a candidate whos name rhymes with JEAN and MEAN, I don't believe that other DEMOCRATS are the enemy.  I think the sons of bitches that have screwed this country and have a R next to their name are the people we should be ripping and clawing to pieces, not John Kerry.

    I just think Kerry will have a better chance in the General Election with his foreign policy experience and War Record.  I hope it will be KERRY/EDWARDS, that way they compliment what the other lacks  

    The Dean people on KOS have been flocking to John Edwards all day as their savior from Kerry, but if Kerry's vote on the war is at the center of their problem with Kerry, How do they explain Edwards vote for the War?

    •  Kerry And Edwards Are Both Good. (none)
      I agree with Rimjob's post.
      I actually liked each of the Top 4 candidates pretty equally.
      But, to follow up on a point made-- if Kerry's 2002 Iraq vote is at the center of their problem, how do they explain both Edwards's vote AND ESPECIALLY Dean's support for the '91 Gulf War.

      Really, please explain Dean's support for the '91 War, because I haven't heard his rationale, and because the war was just as unnecessary and awful as this current one.

      The '91 War has gotten great press over the past 13 years, and I guess everyone has forgotten how sleazy the thing was (unnecessary; countries bribed to take part; GHW Bush ignored any possibility of a peaceful settlement, etc.,).

      And let's be sure to keep our eyes on November, no matter who the nominee is!
      Very Sincerely,

      •  '91 War was justified (none)
        How can you call the '91 war just as unnecessary and awful as the first war?

        Hussein invaded another sovereign country in the hopes of conquering it and annexing the land.  Hussein made a hostile act towards a helpless country.  

        We stepped in and defended them.  It was the moral thing to do.

        This time there was no reason to go into Iraq.  There was not justification.  There was no provocation.

        There's a huge difference between '91 and '03 and its an important distiction to make.

        •  '91 War. (4.00)
          In Jan of '91, much of the thinking was that continuing sanctions against Iraq, and coming to a reasonable peaceful settlement, was a sensible idea.

          Saving the lives of 348 Americans, and tens of thousands of Iraqis would have resulted; hostility in the Arab world against the US wouldn't have occurred on anywhere near the scale we've seen or maybe not at all if done properly; the continued devastation of Iraq during the 90's due to sanctions, which led to 5,000 Iraqi children dying a month wouldn't have occurred (and the resulting Arab hostility).

          As it was, Iraq was devastated and broke from eight years of war with Iran. And as it ended up, why did we re-install a King as ruler of Kuwait, with no discussion of setting up a republic of any kind?

          [the late July '90 indifference from GHW Bush through Ambassador April Glaspie (after Iraq specifically asked her about it), regarding the 2-year old Iraqi-Kuwaiti war reparations dispute, surely eliminated (incorrectly of course) Iraq's nervousness about an American retaliation.]

          So, it was an unnecessary war to fight, ultimately. It's been trumpeted for 13 years as a great event, and people have such short memories-- so now it's incorrectly accepted as inevitable and necessary. It would be similar, in the year 2016, to having the whole country, without debate, describe this 2003 Iraq War as wonderful.

          If anything, the '03 War was just a continuation of the '91 War in many ways. The arguments against both Wars were the same-- allow sanctions to work; don't lose hundreds/thousands of lives if it's not completely necessary. The argument for both Wars were the same too-- Saddam is Hitler; Saddam is a madman; Saddam gassed his own people.

          Additionally, the '91 War was a landmark war, in that the US Gov't from Vietnam til January '91 had to use force either in quick actions (Panama, Grenada, etc.), or not at all. The use of the military on an enormous scale (as we've seen since) became acceptable again after that vote and war. The '91 War has allowed use of the military to be a "first resort".

          And while I liked Dean as much as Kerry, Clark and Edwards, etc., I've just found it weird that much of his support comes from being anti-war, though he's said often that he supported the '91 War. While at the same time, Kerry is lambasted on this site for voting for the '03 War, even though he was sensible enough to oppose the original '91 War... not to mention that he stopped other awful Republican wars in Central America in the 80's.

        •  Absolutely not (none)
          The 91 war was NOT justified (there was a diplomatic solution in the works when the US invaded and bombed the s*** out of Iraq.).  Read Kevin Phillips book about the Bush family for a very informed and mostly untold history of the first Gulf War.

          That vote was a good one that Kerry made, it showed he could stand against manufactured pressure.

          It does make it hard to understand the 2002 vote, I'd agree. But a simple juxtaposition of those two votes does not begin to capture how ugly the US-Iraq policy has been since 1985.

          "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

          by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:38:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  great post (none)
          well said

          "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

          by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:40:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Dean's pro-Gulf War I stance (none)
        Though he has been painted as the 'anti-war' candidate, it's really not the case--Dean was in favor of Gulf War I as well as the war in Afghanistan.  Most people were in favor of the war in Afghanistan.  But Dean's support for the other might seem odd.  His own rationale is actually pretty basic:

        -There was a clear and present danger to one of our allies that was under attack.
        -We had the support of the rest of the world, including our allies.

        He opposed the war in Iraq because:

        -There was no clear and present danger to our security or one of our allies, and there was definitely insufficient evidence.
        -We had effectively NO world support.

        You see, I think that Kerry's record on these two wars is actually far more contradictory than Dean's:  Kerry opposed Gulf War I, which is fine as a matter of principle, but where the hell was this principle on the much less defensible recent war?

        I think that it's because he wanted to vote in such a way as to seem politically viable for his presidential campaign.  At least Edwards isn't on record as having flip-flopped his values like this, and for the time being, that's the reason I prefer Edwards to Kerry.

        "The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who've sat idly by." --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by obietom on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:17:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ..not the war (4.00)
      Dean supporters realize that we are left with two choices that supported the war so its a wash between Kerry and Edwards on that issue.  The big issue for me is Kerry's dirty tricks and the tear down job his regular Democratic Orks did on Dean and Dean's message.  I am trying to figure out if I will ever get over their slimmy duplicity and what it means for our party's future that rather than letting the contest play out and the best man win, that they needed to force the outcome.  When I see Kerry, I see Terry Mac, Ted Kennedy, Begala and all the rest of the Dem slimers...I hear their snide asides and self satisfied smug negativity...and I can barely think about supporting Kerry. I will vote as I said for whoever the nominee is whether its Kerry or not but right now I am hoping that it will not be him and I am willing to work for it....Also, I dont trust that woman thing with Kerry...I just believe that there is more there to come and I dont want us strapped to a sinking ship
    •  No choice (none)
      Why do you think we held onto Dean as long as he was a candidate?

      Speaking for myself, I can't explain Edwards' vote for the war.  It was a bad decision.

      So I must now choose between two candidates who voted for the war.  Essentially that vote is moot in that decision because it doesn't distinguish one from another.  So I look at everything else.

      Edwards is at least geniune and good natured.  He has given one explaination to his vote and one only.  He believed at the time based on what he was given that it was the right thing to do.  He doesn't apologize for his vote, he takes responsibility for it.  Kerry is a completely different story.  He has tried to explain his way out of his vote for the last year.

      Kerry is not geniune.  He changes his opinion with the wind and has given endless long-winded explainations to his vote for the war.  His endless attacks on Dean leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    •  it's about demonstrated accomplishment (none)
      i'm not thinking about ideology or where either of them fit on the political spectrum. what's important to me as i choose between the two: a record.

      neither kerry or edwards have any executive accomplishments to speak of. neither has implemented policy. neither has been held accountable - to voters - on the results of implementing policy. it's the same knowck i had against clark.

      whoever wins the nom has my vote. and i will defend - as best i can - the nominee at every opportunity. but there's nothing to defend or promote for either or these two. that isn't to say they're bad guys, but they have no record or accomplishment to present.

      every arguement i can make will, necessarily, be an arguement against bush.

      we all know that policy proposals will fill out over the course of the campaign and all that stuff... but for me it will always come down to a choice between a candidate with no record but good rhetoric and a candidate with a horrible record and even worse rhetoric. the choice is pretty damned clear - i vote dem (always have and always will). but it won't be a vote for kerry or a vote for edwards. it will be a vote against bush.

      so it simply doesn't matter from my perspective. all of my energy and money go to the senate race here is wisconsin, and the 4th CD race (safe dem - but we need the right dem)...

  •  Some things to look for in the next week or so (none)
    Where do the endorsements go?  Do DP bigwigs back away from Kerry or at least stop endorsing?  Does Edwards get significant big endorsements in Super Tuesday states?  What happens to Dean's superdelegates?

    How selective is Edwards' cherry picking?

    Does the media give Edwards a closer look? (for example when DID he first speak out agaist NAFTA?) or does the lovefest continue?

    Does Kerry bounce back?  Do we finally get a new stump speech with some fire in the belly?

  •  Half Full / Half Empty (4.00)
    It's a very interesting situation.  Two imperfect candidates with very different strengths and weaknesses.

    I love Edwards charisma, I love the language that he uses.  He's a very good communicator.  I gave him some money last night just to pitch in to his post-Wis momentum.  But I'm concerned that the guy is mile-wide but only an inch deep.  He doesn't have much real experience and it's not clear how that thin resume (or thin campaign experience) will stand up in the general.

    Kerry, of course, is the opposite.  No charisma.  Can't talk his way of a paper bag.  But he's got solid credentials.  Sure, he's compromised, but at least we know the compromises he makes and more often than not he's been on the right side of the issue.

    Remembering back to previous years, previous elections, I think we're lucky to have two glasses that are half full. The pickings have been much slimmer in the past.

    And for all those who think there's no Kerry fan club out there, I highly recommend the recent interview of Paul Hawken by Grist Magazine.  This is one of the true Greats in the environmental movement.  He came out for Dean a month ago and now he's firmly in the ABB camp.  But he has this to say about Kerry:

    Yes, the media are painting Kerry as more moderate, but of course if you compare their records, Kerry is more liberal and Dean is the moderate...
    John Kerry is a good man, not to mention being miles ahead of everyone else when it comes to understanding and acting on environmental issues. There's no question in my mind that John would make a good president....
    Kerry talks about the environment every time he opens his mouth. And [his wife] Teresa Heinz Kerry has been funding initiatives in the environment for a very long time. And Kerry's stepson Andrew Heinz is very literate and intelligent when it comes to the environment. So you have a great start there, in a way that we've never really seen before in the history of the American presidency.

    Those are a few snippets, but I highly recommend the whole thing.  He has some nice things to say about Dean and Kucinich as well.  It's here.
  •  Kerry also gets "experience" votes... (none)
    according to the exit polls.  His margin of victory hasn't just been coming from electability voters; it's also been coming from voters who feel that Kerry's experience makes him better suited to be President than the other candidates.  (Will Saletan conceded this as a possible explanation in one of the articles he wrote about how Kerry was only tying, not winning, among voters who voted primarily based on who agreed with them on the issues.)

    We aren't voting for a laundry list of policy positions (though I happen to agree with a lot of Kerry's positions on the issues), or voting for a stump speech.  We're voting for a President.  I would argue that Kerry's life experience and experience in government makes him more qualified to be that President.  And I think a lot of primary voters have agreed, and will continue to agree.

  •  As Darkamber pointed out... (none)
    ...above (but perhaps it was read right over by many), Kerry's "electability" cloak -- which doesn't jibe with exit polls -- is fading fast because...

    CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows BOTH Edwards and Kerry with double-digit leads on Bush.

    And that was BEFORE Edwards made Zogby look like a chump in Wisconsin on Tuesday.

    Know how many people read USA Today and watch CNN? Neither do I, but let's just say it's MILLIONS AND MILLIONS (I feel like Carl Sagan:)). And of course other major media is also reporting this poll. Two weeks is enough time for MANY voters to determine that BOTH of these guys are quite "electable" (according to the poll, of course, which is worthless since it's February but the masses don't know that).

    As a capper, even though Kerry played dirty pool by stomping on Edwards' speech (and don't think that goes unnoticed, either), there was PLENTY of discussion, both on cable and in print, about the fact that Edwards surged because independents and moderate Republicans clearly preferred him.

    Edwards made sure to point that out on each and every cable network, as well, and on the major networks when he did the morning shows. He's still in this race because he makes absolutely 100% out of EVERY opportunity, and gives every impression that he will continue to do so.

    And now he has the support of many, many Deaniacs... I was on the Edwards Blog much of today, and Deaniacs were coming over in DROVES, and each was being warmly welcomed by two or three or four of Johnny Sunshine's supporters :)

    "Not so fast, John Kerry." -John Edwards

    by MeanBone on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:52:23 AM PST

    •  Here's an interesting read... (none)
      ...when I saw that more affluent voters were going for Edwards, I thought the same thing as Noam Scheiber: They're more educated and better able to judge electability.

      From John Kerry is Right to be Scared:

      It's a phenomenon that's actually very similar to what goes on in the stock market. Less sophisticated investors just pick the stocks whose prices they've heard are going up. More sophisticated investors actually do some research about the companies they plan to invest in. Up until yesterday, Kerry was that tech stock that the girlfriend of the cousin of the guy down the street said was a can't-miss opportunity, while Edwards was the unheralded stock of a company with a little-known but solid product.

      "Not so fast, John Kerry." -John Edwards

      by MeanBone on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 07:05:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards v Kerry (none)
    Edwards does not just campaign positively; he acts positive. Sometimes its even inappropriate (when he should be more somber as opposed to excited).

    I think Bush will have much more trouble driving up Edward's negatives than his crew will with Kerry. Both would have a tough fight, but I can see a lot more scenarios where Edwards wins than where Kerry wins.

  •  I DON'T CARE (4.00)
    It's always over before I get to vote in a primary - just like every year since I can remember.  And a good reason not to tune in to these event too early because why get disappointed when a good candidate gets knocked out.  Simon in 1988, Harkin in 1992?  

    But I watched this time because for once I saw someone really special.  Someone who knew how to frame a different debate.  Someone decent.  Someone tough.  Someone with more charisma in his big toe than Kerry has in his entire body.  Someone who has given more thought to issues and more energy to implementing new social policies i the past six years than Edwards has done in his entire life.  Someone who had cracked through the DEM fundraising barrier and had $9 million (net) at 12/31/03 to Edwards' nothing and Kerry's big debt.  Someone who was beholden to no special interest made up of wealthy individuals.

    But Kerry and Edwards are the "winners" and I don't care.  It's tweedle dum and tweedle dee.  Neither challenge the MIC and that is one of the major corrosive influences on this country.  Neither will have enough power of political capital to even roll back much of the GWB agenda.  Both ran for POTUS not for what they hoped to accomplish for America but simply for the glory of being POTUS.  Neither has a signature issue (Two Americas?  Give me a break --he didn't even find this until a year after he started running for POTUS.)  Neither can frame the debate and this is one thing they share with Clinton -- the will be all defense/triangulation all the time.  At best they will merely be boring.

    GWB was so incredibly dangerous and destructive in his first three years, that I shuddered at the thought of what an elected GWB would look like.  OTOH, GWB had no opposition for the first two and half years.  Clinton counseled DEMs to "be nice," hug GWB, let him have his war.  In short don't worry because his economic policies are so destructive that he won't last long.  But now GWB is unraveling and it's not his economic policies that are doing him in, at least not yet.  It was Dean who "screamed" stand up to this bully.  Only DEMs thought the bully was Dean.  But at least they are doing a bit of screaming.  When they watch helplessly as their nominee is eviscerated by the same tactics that they applauded when they were used against Dean, they will go into shock. And should GWB get elected (maybe they already have the 2000 red states hard wired), it will not be the DEMs with Dean transplants out there screaming it will be Dean and his supporters, and a whole lot of DEMs who will be real pissed that "electability" they bought into was supposed to mean beat GWB.  

    All the GWB scandals simmering right under the surface will bubble up and boil over if he is elected.  He will not complete a second term but if DEMs do not rip the face off the GOP this time, THEY'LL BE Back.

    •  Great post, Marie (none)
      Only place I'd disagree with you is that GWB is getting his knocks handed to him early and 3 months from now, Democrats will already be ripping their hair out that the SCLM tricked them into a hopeless nominee.  Really, the media has to start shining the white hot arc light on probably BOTH Kerry and Edwards.  They've both gotten near 100% favorable coverage and obviously that can't last.
    •  Wow, you liked Simon and Harkin? (none)
      You definitely get a "4"
  •  Carville, Begala (none)
    "Enough about Dean."

    Well, off topic-ally, one last comment about the good Doc:

    Having lived in NYC for 20 years I can appreciate and laugh with the Rev. Al during the debates, but there will always be something in the back of my mind which is suspicious towards him, because of the Brawley case, where an innocent and honest prosecuter's name and rep was unfairly smeared.

    Same goes towards much of the Dem establishment in the media over the last two months - specifically Carville and Begala.  I was laughing at some diatribe the other day that the ragin' Cajun was tossing towards Bush but immediately thought - oh yeah, this guy is at best simply an operative for the DLC, who smeared Dean when he needed the establishment's support the most.  The DLC, of course, described on their website in May 03, anti-war protesters as "radicals"

    I dont hate him and Begala but respect them a notch or two less now.

    •  Hi! (none)
      I'm a former NYer and remember the Brawley case well.  EVERYONE in authority knew from the start that that girl was lying.  The bad word was written backwards (a la mirror image) on her forehead.  What a travesty.  I blame Cuomo and Abrams, too.

      I could never respect Al Sharpton.  I don't know what he was doing at those debates.  LaRouche is on the Democratic ballots, too, and raised more money than Sharpton, but he didn't get invited to the debates.  So, McAuliffe didn't HAVE to invite Sharpton.  Its more lunacy from the Democratic National Committee that they don't understand how it discredits them to have Sharpton on the stage.

       Then, seeing Sharpton attack Dean at the one debate and reading that Sharpton has ties to Republican consultant Roger Stone . . . you wonder.  It all looks set up.  

      One thing I disagree with you:  I DO hate Carville and Begala.  They make me cringe, always have.  I don't understand the Democratic Party putting them on the stage, either.  They are extremely antipathetic and why would you want to be represented by such antipathetic types?  

      •  Sharpton, Carville (none)

        Yeah, the Stone connection is kinda suspicious. It certainly would have been fun to hear Dean bring up the Stone issue in the debate as a retort to Sharpton's attack!

        Sharpton always came to my mind when one of the Dems, during a debate, would say "any of these candidates is better than GWB.."

        I can certainly understand why the Carville/Begala team always made you cringe. I base my previously enjoying them on my own personality defects :)

  •  I'm not for Kerry, but Edwards bugs me (none)
    I can't stand Kerry, plain and simple. I was (and still am, to a degree that I can be) a Dean supporter. I still think he was the best candidate. His donor base, average Americans that gave small amounts, was how we could have competed with Bush.

    The attacks that Kerry engaged in, push polling and the like, really really pissed me off. He comes across as only being in it for himself and for a power trip, not for the desire to change things for hte better for the average American. If he cared about the average American he wouldn't have been so servile to GOP legislation during the Democratic Wimp Years. And I can see him selling out aafter the nomination and going back into GOP Lite Wimp Mode.

    On the other hand, Edwards is a one term senator trial lawyer (the GOP would jump ALL OVER that) that gets 90+% of his money in $2000 chunks from big donors.  How can we expect him to not give favorable treatment to his big donors? Plus, he's big time DLC. That's JUST what we (don't) need again.

    Ugh. What a poor excuse for a choice. The faux-liberal northern Kerry who will sell the Dem base out at a moments notice, or the very moderate southern Edwards with little experience more than looking pretty and talking nice.

    But hey, a trained monkey would be a better president than Bush. If I have to choose, I'd say Edwards because he sounds like he truly cares more than Kerry does, I suppose.

    •  Push polling... (none)
      Most of us here are fairly sophisticated politically, and recognize push-polling as a loathsome, smarmy tactic against which there is little defense. If the victim screams, "Foul! Your operatives are using unfair push-polling," most voters will just shrug in bewilderment. The damage is done.

      So while I hate that Kerry resorted to push-polls against opponents in his own party, the fact that he's ready to do what it takes is encouraging. The Rethugs will pull out every dirty trick in the book. They'll be push-polling every day. To think that honor and adherence to some political Marquess of Queensbury rules will win the day is hopelessly naive.

      This election will be street-fighting time, hit below the belt, seize every opportunity and every advantage. Does this coarsen us? Yes. Does this make us more like our unworthy opponents? Yes. Does this compromise us? Yes. But this is an election for our survival as a democracy. If we're not willing to get ourselves dirty to beat back the rising tide of right wing neofascism, we can all become martyrs and relics to a lost cause.

      •  okay so how about we... (none)
        have our candidate pretend to be moderate while pandering to the extremes of the party so we can solify the base AND get swing voters. We can run false and misleading attack ads against Bush. We can act JUST LIKE THEM to try and win.

        Then the charges of us being no different than the GOP will be closer to the truth. Good idea. I personally don't want my candidate resorting to the bottom of the barrel tricks that Karl Rove & co. use. Two wrongs don't make a right.

        •  You said it! (none)
          The ends always justify the means, and your generation don't, mean a thing to me!

          Just thought I'd relive my youth for a second!

          I wish the no call list would extend to political calls too!

          Where do we draw the line, dead people voting, walking money, stuffing ballot boxes, scrubbing the voter lists.

          We can't beat Bush by being Bush lite! and, if we do, what have we won!

          You are so right, what we are seeeing now is just the pigs of war fighting over the scraps. The power elite's political play, a tradgedy of errors ... Orwell was only 20 years off!

    •  Truth on Edwards (none)
      Allow me to try to put your mind at ease about John Edwards.
      1.  Edwards is NOT DLC.  Doesn't belong, never has.  Listen to him on renegotiating NAFTA and a "moral demand to help poor Americans."  That's not DLC.
      2.  Don't know where you got the 90% number.  Edwards does not take special interest money -- so no stories will leak out about corruption as they are with K.  Edwards is lviing up to his principles by staying within the campaign finance reforms.
      3.  Edwards beat a sitting Republican in North Carolina.  He can fight and beat Republicans (Kerry won in Mass, woopdeedoo).  The gop ran against him as a trail lawyer and FAILED.  His clients were kids with cerebral paulsy and who got their intestines pulled out by faulty pool equipment.  Everyone hates lawyers till they hear the whole story or need one.  He was a defender of the people -- more like an Erin Brockovich type.
      Check out more info at

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:57:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you know how the GOP and media will spin it (none)
        Not a member of the DLC you say? then how come I can go to DLC.ORG, go to "New Dem Directory" and search for "John Edwards" and he comes up just fine?

        They won't care about who his clients were.  We're dealign with Rove here. He'll stop at NOTHING. They'll spin this data until the cows come home.
        "JOHN EDWARDS (D)
        Top Industries

        1. Lawyers/Law Firms $8,072,511
        2. Retired $530,871
        20 Accountants $48,600"
        And the media won't care about the charge of hypocrite that would inevitably and rightly be applied to Bush by us. They won't care that he represented orphans and sick children (as incredibly admirable as that is). It won't matter to them.

        As for the 90% number, I got my mind switched around and meant to phrase it as 10% comes under $200 and I just all it all turned around. Sorry about that. But the real numbers aren't that kind Here's the numbers on Edwards from Open Secrets as of the Dec. 8th filings:
        % from Donors of $2,000+: 65%
        % from Donors of $200 or less: 3%
        I hate to say it but that 3% is even worse than Kerry and Bush both at 12%. And 65% from $2000+ is only 8% behind Bush who is at 73%.

        And no stories about corruption? what about this one from last summer? You gonna say Rove isn't gonna hype this like crazy no matter what base of reality it has? (this story probably has it blown out of proportion, but when has that ever stopped the GOP?)
        "Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign finance documents show a pattern of giving by low-level employees at law firms, a number of whom appear to have limited financial resources and no prior record of political donations.

        Records submitted to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show these individuals have often given $2,000 to the North Carolina Democrat, the maximum permitted by law.

        In many instances, all the checks from a given firm arrived on the same day -- from partners, attorneys, and other support staff."

        I'll still prefer Edwards over Kerry and ANYONE including a wild badger is better than Bush, but don't say he doesnt' have any campaign finance skeletons or that his funding isn't VERY LARGELY from big lawyer donors. He's just as open to charges of being skewed to his 'big donors' as Kerry and Bush. The only candidates who were immune from that were the ones that relied, by a heavy margin, on the $200 and under donors: Dean and Kucinich. By eliminating Dean, we have now weakened that argument in the general election.

        •  Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (none)
          DLC?  Kerry's name ALSO comes up in that search, I'm not sure what that means.  Lieberman was the DLC candidate.  I'll look into it more, but my understanding was he wasn't.  Still, check NAFTA and "morality of helping poor Americans" and that aint DLC talk.
          Those numbers are all 2003 right?  Things have changed a lot since then to say the least.
          Yes, John takes money from lawyers.  Shocking, he's a lawyer.  Did that get him to change a single vote?  Nope.  I disagree that the American people won't care that they were injured children (the juries agreed afterall).
          I'm sorry to hear about those poor associate lawyers -- that's an EXTREMELY SMALL anthill.
          Edwards does not take special interest money from lobbyists.  He's as pure as Dean was and he lived up to campaign finance raising limits.
          Come on over to the Edwards Blog, you'll see how many ex-Deaniacs are there.  JRE collected 1/2 million from around 4000 doners since the Wisconsin voting ended and something like 4 million online since Iowa.  So, I suspect those numbers and percentages you gave are already WAY out of date.
          PS: The "lies" part is just a saying.  I'm not in any way calling you a liar.  I think your post was very well researched and argued.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:34:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the equally well reasoned response. :) (none)
            yeah those are 2003 numbers.  Couldn't find any 2004 numbers yet. I HOPE they have changed, but the fact that he relied so heavily for so long on large donations makes me a bit uneasy. we'll see.

            And I didn't mean to imply that the American people won't care that he was representing sick children, etc. I meant that the media and Karl Rove won't care, they'll spin it however it pleases them. The AMerican People might not get to hear (or at least might not hear very often or loudly) about the kids. For the most part Bush/ROve/Media will just say "lawyers". An unfortuante effect of how the conservative media will spin it.

            LIke I said, I still like Edwards better than Kerry (I don't trust Kerry as far as I can throw him) but either of them will have to EARN my support.

            Thanks for the replies. It's helpign to clear up my view of Edwards a bit.

            •  I believe (none)
              Mr. Edwards' past clients are willing to speak for him in public.  That's why Helms/Faircloth could not use this line of attack in NC.

              The judge that oversaw one of JRE's most famous cases was so impressed that he went to Iowa to campaign for Edwards.

              A panel of doctors and nurses reviewed Edwards' cases for legitimacy - all passed with flying colours.

              •  Great to hear that (none)
                But my worry isn't about people being willing to speak out. It's about the corporate conservative media not spreading the message of thepeople willing to speak out on his behalf.

                I don't doubt the sincerity and greatness of the cases he has tried. I doubt the willingness of the media to let people know how good they are.

                •  The point is that (none)
                  the people he represented are people the conservative media do not want on television or in ads.  The decision not to attack JRE on that basis is based on their desire to keep his clients off the television.  Yes, the conservative media would shut them down.  But if JRE's clients are sufficiently telegenic, someone will run with it.  Since we know JRE's clients would appear with JRE, who is very telegenic, you can bet he would make it a media spectacle worthy of coverage.
                  •  Just gonna say I *hope* you're right... (none)
                    ...if Edwards gets the nod, but I won't hold out hope. There's lots of things that theoretically should have happened in 2000 and 2002 with the media but didn't because the media is so thoroughly conservative.
        •  so what? (none)
           Edwards  IS a trial lawyer.... why  shouldn't he have  support from trial lawyers?

          "Obviously we are dealing with limited mentalities" -- Daffy Duck

          by wxdave on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:53:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Once again, it's not about it bugging me (none)
            it's about how the MEDIA will spin it and not let any opposing, positive viewpoint out. Rove will spin spin spin how bad his 'trial lawyer' connection is and Dems won't have a shot to respond. Just look at the 2000 election. Rove spun and slung mud on Gore, Gore would respond but his responses would be buried 5 pages deep or only get a 10 second spot on the news. Or look at how when Dean was attacked, the attacks were front page enverywhere. But responses to attacks or exposing of lies told about him rarely had the same publicity that the original attacks/lies had. It ain't fair, but it's what we're going to have to deal with all the way through November.
  •  It could be a lie to say no one likes Kerry (none)
    Kos writes, "But ultimately, Kerry's biggest weakness is that no one likes him."

    Kerry is liked.  If you believe Kerry is not liked, you are deluded.  If you know there are people who like him but repeat the false statement anyway, you are lying.  So please take notice.  There are those that actually found him the most likable of the candidates, if you can believe that.  And the reason for that is mostly because of his stands on the issues.

    Besides this whole "No one likes Kerry" argument is so unbelievably trite and sophomoric.  It's not like we're voting for Prom King.  I mean, hasn't Bush locked that title up for life?

    At this point, Kerry has expressed more opposition to involvement in Iraq than Edwards.  Sure, now that you know how the WMD search is going to turn out, you can say they were both "wrong" initially, but it is Kerry that has come around to the truth more quickly than Edwards, who for all intents and purposes, still supports the war.  I guess that was what the Joe Wilson endorsement was all about.

    John Kerry is a better liberal advocate on a wider range of issues than John Edwards.  His liberal positions on Gay and Civil Rights, Separation of Church and State and Gun Control are superior to Edwards.  Kerry supports the extreme liberal position on Gun Control of requiring safety training and a license before a gun can be purchased, which Edwards opposes.  Interestingly, trial lawyer Edwards is generally more opposed to imposing liability on gun manufacturers than Kerry.

    Both John Kerry and John Edwards are free traders when it comes to NAFTA, Kerry probably slightly more so than Edwards, but both much less so than Bush.  Both are advocates of labor and environmental standards in trade agreements, completely unlike Bush.  For all intents and purposes, their positions on NAFTA are virtually identical and far superior to Bush's.  The same could be said on their positions to tax cuts.

    The clearest difference between the candidates on any one issue is their stated positions on a social security cap to the wealthy.  Edwards strongly opposes it, but Kerry strongly favors.  Maybe that's one explanation as to why Edwards is doing better with the Republicans voting in Democratic primaries.

    •  Stop the Untruths (none)
      Edwards and Kerry are not at all alike on Trade issues.
      Here's the facts:
      Here are four Senate votes on trade where Kerry and Edwards had different opinions:

      Fast-Track Authority for Bush: (Kerry Yea, Edwards Nay)
      H.R.3009 []
      This is a KEY vote on expanding NAFTA.  Kerry is/was/will be/isn't/justifies/whatever in the end he is for expanding NAFTA to South America.  Edwards is against expanding NAFTA.

      Trade with Singapore: (Edwards Nay, Kerry was campaigning)
      H.R.2739 []

      Trade with Chile: (Edwards Nay, Kerry was campaigning)
      H.R.2738 []
      This is another key vote on expanding NAFTA since Chile is supposed to be the first one in.

      Trade with Africa and Caribbean: (Kerry Yea, Edwards Nay)
      H.R.434 []
      Those side agreements are fake.  They were put in there to make DLCers look good.  Their NOT part of NAFTA, they are unenforceable SIDE agreements.  Wisc debate was just more untruths from Kerry.
      In the end, Kerry is FOR expanding NAFTA and FOR useless side agreements that are for show only.
      Edwards is FOR a wholesale renegotiation for an Agreement that will INCLUDE labor, health and environmental standards WITHIN the agreement so American workers can compete on a near-level playing ground.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:43:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry Dukaka-Tsonga-Kerry (none)
      Do you really want to run a GENERAL ELECTION on gun control (oops, there goes NASCAR dads, 1/2 of Union voters, rural areas, and the South), Gays (though look again, Edwards is for letting the states decide, K is on both sides of fense)?
      That's a recipe for disaster and defeat.
      No thank you, let's win in November, not just carry RI and Mass.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:49:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry Dukaka-Tsonga-Kerry (none)
      Do you really want to run a GENERAL ELECTION on gun control (oops, there goes NASCAR dads, 1/2 of Union voters, rural areas, and the South), Gays (though look again, Edwards is for letting the states decide, K is on both sides of fense)?
      That's a recipe for disaster and defeat.
      No thank you, let's win in November, not just carry RI and Mass.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:49:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Supreme Court nominee (none)
      Edwards, unlike Kerry, has not made an explicit commitment to only appoint pro choice judges to the Supreme Court.  He doesn't like litmus tests for judicial nominations.  That is cowed and scared thinking.. But it should be a signifiant litmus test for those supporting him.
  •  Also ran (4.00)
    I'm no fan of John Kerry--not in the slightest--but how many states does Edwards have to finish in second place (and just as usually below) for everyone to realize that with the exception of S. Carolina, he still hasn't finished first?

    Objects in the rearview mirror may well be closer than they appear, but they're still in the rear, and he has no reasonable expectation of doing well anywhere on Super Tuesday, other than in Georgia.  When you run a campaign as Edwards is now, still trying to bestter expectation, two things happen; either you run out of time or you keep bettering expectations (without winning) and the expectations keep rising.  

    Sooner rather than later, John Edwards is going to have to win, win big, and keep on winning.  Just where and when can he reasonable be able to accomplish that?

    Don't the sun look angry through the trees . . .
    Don't you feel like desperados under the eaves
    Heaven help the one who leaves


    by GOTV on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 10:59:46 AM PST

    •  You're right (none)
      The Edwards strateg--for better or worse--has been to get to a 2-man race.  Oklahoma was a bigger deal than they realized.  Another 1700 votes and Clark probably would have dropped a week earlier which might have meant the difference in VA and TN which in turn could have had repercussions in WI.  Lots of ifs.  

      Now with the race essentially where they wanted it but probably a couple of weeks later than they needed it, they've said they have to start winning which is an obvious reality.  

      They've always needed Free Media badly and WI finally gave it to them.  But coverage in the next few weeks will be decisive.  If Kerry's support is really about electability and if the idea that Edwards has the best chance of getting indies and moderate Repubs gains traction, he might get through 3/2 with a few wins and build some momentum.  

      All Hail the Haggard Knight

      by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:48:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Passing Gear (none)
      Folks, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.  Kerry's bounce from his native New England is OVER.  Generally at least 3//4 of the Kerry vote came from the following:
      1.  Bandwagoners: I'm voting for the guy getting all the votes (though note he's only gotten about 42% of the vote so far).  Wisconsin put an end to that, it's now a real race.
      2.  ABBs and Electability: Somehow because of New Hampshire and one CNN poll people got it in their heads that Kerry can beat Bush.  Now it's become clear that Edwards has the best chance.  Edwards gets EVERY vote Kerry does and ADDS independents and even moderate Republicans.  Edwards wins EVERY state that Kerry does, plus he has a much better chance to get Ohio, NC, Tenn, LA, Ark, Florida, Missouri (and keep Penn).  Edwards gets people enthusiastic, he has the charisma to win in November (ala Clinton), whereas people will quickly tire of Kerry (as they did Gore).  
      Since 1964, Southern Democrats are 4-1-1 running for the White House, and Northern Democrats are 0-4.  I LOVE the Midwest and the East (and have lived in both, as well as the South), but historical facts are facts, and we can learn from them or repeat them.  We already tried blue-blood patricians (Gore), poor campaigners (Gore and Mondale), liberals from Massachusetts (Dukakis), and dull statesmen people (Mondale).  And these three people, despite their nobility and support within the Party, have one thing in common - they LOST.  [K can mention FDR and the real JFK, but that was before the rise of the South, the civil rights acts, and Evangelicalism -- a whole different political era].  
      We should run a candidate who can get people enthusiastic, win over independence and moderate Republicans, put Bush on the defensive in the South, contrast with Bush on social background, on caring about regular people, on special interest financing, trade, and outsider status (Kerry cannot do that).
      Edwards has by far a better chance to defeat Bush.  His one real downside is in national security, but a VP can fill in that resume and K's "bring it on" stuff on national security won't work since he voted against Gulf War I (with Saddam in Kuwait!), against the F-14 and F-15 (what would are air force have if K was in charge?), and voted against CIA budgets.  You should run against an incombents weaknesses, not his stregnths (even if their just perceived).  Thanks.  

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:34:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry/Edwards (none)
    Dean and his supporters have provided a valuable service to the Dem. party. I hope that their current disappointment doesn't make them stay on the sidelines in Nov. The older supporters who have been for other unsuccessful candidates will definitely be ABB come Nov. For those of you Deaniacs who are new to the political process consider staying inside the Dem party to change it. This is exactly what the far right did in the Repub party and we are living with their "success."
    Bush can be beaten. Has anyone on this board run across someone who was a Gore supporter in 2000 who is supporting Bush now? I dare say hardly any.
    Any Dem candidate has a strong base from 2000 to work with. Screw the South, let Bush/Cheney have it. As is said - "The South shall rise again because shit floats." Concentrate on Ohio, WV,NV,NH,MO and AZ. I'm far from being Kerry's Water Boy but I think he is the only one who can beat Bush.His military record totally neutralizes any attack on his defense credentials I even think Edwards would be too much of a lightweight for VP. Gephardt would be much stronger and perhaps help the Dems carry Missouri.
    •  Bowling Over Kerryites (none)
      Man, this is EASY.  Is that all you Kerryites have got.  Bring it on!

      "Screw the South."  Great idea, ask Gore how that went over.  If you write off the South, Bush can spend all his money in Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Without some Southern states, the nominee has too small a margin of error.  No Democrat has won office without carrying 5 Southern states.
      Being a Lt. in Vietnam does not give Kerry defense credentials.  He's voted against Gulf War I (who believes that was a good idea NOW?), and most military weapons programs.  He's vulnerable on national security and you DON'T run against an incumbents strengths.
      On "Lightweight," see my above posts.

      Y'all supporting the dullboy must be pretty scared, the bandwagon is in the ditch.  Dems will FINALLY pick someone who can really beat Bush -- John Edwards.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:49:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That 5 Southern states factoid... (none)
        is highly misleading.

        Until fairly recently, the South was a big part of the base of the Democratic party.  So naturally, when the Democrats won they carried large chunks of the South.  Republicans, on the other hand - who were regionally based outside the South - often won without carrying Southern states.

        Recently, however, the parties' regional bases have "flipped".  Republicans are based in the South (and Mountain West), Democrats are based in the Northeast and West Coast.  The Midwest (with exceptions like Democratic Illinois and Republican Indiana), Southwest and Florida (most of which isn't culturally "Southern") are up for grabs.  It's no more implausible for the Democrats to win quite a convincing victory without the "real" South than it is for the Republicans to win without the Northeast.  Do you hear Republicans worrying about how they're going to win without New York and New Jersey and how they have to run Northeastern candidates?

        The small-margin-of-error claim is completely untrue, for basically this reason.  Kerry could plausibly beat Bush by more than 100 electoral votes without carrying a single Southern state by winning the Gore states plus Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and West Virginia.  (Even if you don't agree that Colorado is in play, Kerry could still win 315-223 without it.)  And that's if you count Florida as Southern-- with Florida, Kerry could trounce Bush 351-187 (or 342-196 if Bush took Colorado) without winning a single truly culturally Southern state.  These are optimistic scenarios, I admit, but they show how large Kerry's margin for error really is.  Adding any two of the eight states I listed, other than New Hampshire, to the states that Gore (officially) won will be sufficient to make Kerry President.

        And Bush won't be able to concentrate his monetary fire to any signioficantly greater degree than Kerry will.  In addition to Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Florida, Bush has to defend Arizona, Nevada, West Virginia, and possibly Colorado.  Besides Iowa, New Mexico, and maybe Wisconsin or Minnesota or Oregon, none of which contain famously expensive media markets, where else do you contend Kerry will have any need to spend money?  He'd have New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Washington, California, Hawaii, and all of New England except for New Hampshire locked up as tightly as Bush does the deep South.  Maybe Bush can make him spend a little in Michigan - though with a Democratic governor and the Arab-American population having abandoned Bush I actually don't think Mich. will be that close - but other than that?

        •  Fact (none)
          not factoid.
          "Until fairly recently"  -- do you mean like 1996, 1992 and 1976?  Yep, that's ancient history all right.  Um, those would be our only wins since LBJ.  All Southern .. umm, any lessons ... any at all?  Remember, the South and Southwest gained 8 EC votes during the census.
          The battleground areas are the outskirts of the South and the Midwest.
          It's a mighty tall order for K to win "Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and West Virginia."  I don't see any of those happening.  K doesn't appeal to independents and moderates.  In fact, I'd guess he only would get Gore states, minus Penn, NJ & Iowa.  Gore was running for Clinton's third term and had the economy at his back.
          Edwards gets EVERY vote Kerry gets, plus independents, moderates and McCain & moderate Republicans.  Kerry does very poorly there ALREADY.  Plus, Edwards ALREADY does better among white males and in the suburbs.  Edwards is more likely (and its been proven in the primaries, see NYTimes) to win soccer moms and NASCAR dads.
          Thus, Edwards is much more likely to win WVA, Missouri, Tenn, Louisiana, Ark than K.  Edwards puts Georgia and NC in play (K writes them off).
          We already tried blue-blood patricians (Gore), poor campaigners (Gore and Mondale), pols from Massachusetts (Dukakis; and Kerry's a limo-lib from Mass), and dull statesmen (Mondale).  They all lost.  LEARN OR LOSE.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:13:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The fact that you think Bush could win NJ... (none)
            and that you in fact go so far as to predict that Bush will win NJ over Kerry, shows how outdated your political worldview is, and should seriously damage the credibility of your other predictions in the eyes of anyone reading this discussion.

            In 2000, Gore beat Bush in New Jersey 56%-40%, with Nader getting 3%.  That 16% margin, even with Nader draining away votes on the left, was larger than Bush's percentage margin of victory in Alabama!  New Jersey, which currently has a Democratic governor, two Democratic senators, and a Democrat-controlled state legislature, is perhaps the paradigmatic example of a state that used to be a swing state but isn't anymore.  It's not even going far enough to say that Bush will beat Kerry in NJ when hell freezes over; Bush would need the temperature in hell to hit absolute zero.

            A similar disregard for evidence infects your claim that Kerry does poorly among "moderates".  Unless the political composition of the United States changed dramatically while I wasn't looking, one does not get to 55% in a nationwide Gallup Poll without attracting votes from moderates.  The most anti-Kerry exit poll analyses I've seen didn't say that he trailed Edwards among moderates, but that he tied or had a narrow lead among independents and trailed among crossover Republicans.  I don't think Edwards can count on getting votes in the general election from all the people who crossed-over into a Democratic primary because no Republican one was being held; independent swing voters are more important, and among them Kerry holds his own perfectly well.

            •  Reply (none)
              David, fine on NJ.  My thought was it's near NYC and could be in play when Bush pushes the "war president idea."  Should note that Dukakis lost NJ (and plenty of other states that had Dem govs and senators).  As to my other predictions, we'll I predicted Edwards would win the nomination BEFORE Iowa -- so I'm doing ok.
              Also, honestly, you might want to know a little bit about my world view before you attack it.
              You don't honestly by those polls 8 months out do you?  I guess you loved President Gore and President Dukakis, they were great! Both the Edwards and Kerry beating Bush polls basically just mean "un-named Democrat" at this point.
              Those exit poll numbers I'm looking at are Wisconsin in today's NYTImes and my memory of a week old article (in TNR or The Nation or in Slate).  In Wisconsin 33% of Indes went Edwards, 32% Dean, and 20% Kerry.  With positive media coverage, I'd look for those numbers to only get better for Edwards.
              Come over to our Blog (or listen to by Republican mother) and you'll see that Edwards can pull non-partisan and McCainian GOPers.

              Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

              by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 07:40:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All I meant by "political worldview"... (none)
                was these ideas you have that the South should be one of the main Democratic targets in this year's Presidential race, that if Democrats can't compete in the deep South it will free up Bush to spend money on FL/PA/OH/MO, and that NJ is a swing state.  All of these contentions of yours, it seems to me, are based on the same outdated view of American political geography.  (I wasn't trying to make some broader point about your political philosophy, which I realize I know little about, or anything like that; no offense meant.)

                Since 1988, a significant political realignment has taken place in the U.S.-- or rather, a significant phase of a greater realignment that began with Nixon's "Southern Strategy" has taken place.  Two of the main things that have happened are the South's shift further towards complete Republican control on a national-politics level (remember all the Southern Democrats who were defeated or switched parties after the 1994 elections?) and the consolidation of Democratic control over culturally liberal former swing states like New Jersey and California.  Neither trend has gone all the way to completion yet-- there are still some Southern Democratic and "gypsy moth" northeastern Republican members of Congress out there-- but both trends have been big deals.

                It seemed to me that by calling NJ as a probable Bush pickup, and by suggesting that Kerry would be stretched thinner than Bush if he couldn't force Bush to fight in the non-Florida South, you were ignoring this realignment-- that is to say, you were exhibiting a view of the American political world that seemed to me to be out of date.  Kerry is not going to have to pour money into NJ, or NY, or IL, or CA, or any of New England except NH, in the general election, just as Bush is not going to have to pour money into the non-Florida South.  And the fact that Bush won't have to advertise in the Atlanta media market against Kerry is not more important than the fact that Kerry won't have to advertise in the New York media market against Bush.

                As for "polls 8 months out" vis-a-vis non-Presidents Gore and Dukakis, check out fladem's diary.  Dukakis wasn't ahead by this kind of margin, or for that matter by any margin, before his convention-- the lead everyone remembers is from after his convention bounce.  I don't think Gore had a 10-point lead in February of his election year either.

                •  Reply (none)
                  I'll again say that this is a Clinton strategy, so I wouldn't call that "outdated," I'd call it the last one that worked.
                  I'm not suggesting a battle in the deep South (I would write off Miss, Bama, SC and probably Georgia -- though Clinton won it and it did have a Dem gov, and Nunn and Cleland -- yes he lost, but he won before that).  I'm suggesting the states I mentioned: Tenn, Ark, LA, WVA, Missouri -- yea, that's an expansive notion of the South.  Not the Confederacy (honestly, rebels -- I'm from Michigan afterall), but cultural South.  Also, NC is in play, they'll support a native son.  
                  Bush would have to spend money and time against Edwards in all those states mentioned (but not against Kerry).  Plus, we've got 6 Dems from the South leaving -- with NO presidential campaign we could go 0-6 and that means a likely fillabuster proof Senate -- YIKES!
                  But more than geography is FEEL.  Edwards, like Clinton, is much more likely to do better in the VITAL Midwest suburbs.  He'll do better with NASCAR dads and soccer moms (if for no other reason than the smile and perceived moderateness).  Exit polls, history, and common sense show JRE will do better among swing independent voters.
                  Mondale got 11 EC votes, Dukakis 111 -- that's not very long ago.
                  My point is polls before both conventions are worth all that much.

                  Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

                  by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 09:37:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Role of the South (none)
          Do you hear Republicans worrying about how they're going to win without New York and New Jersey and how they have to run Northeastern candidates?

          The problem with this very well-written analysis is that over the past twenty years, the entire country, except the Northeast, has become more like the South.  The Northeast is now the political outlier, not the South.  Thus, Republicans don't need to worry about winning it.  Where Republicans need to worry is the West.

          Uncoincidentally, this change coincided with more and more Northerners moving to the South (e.g., Florida, Raleigh-Durham) and the withering of Jim Crow laws.  (A poll I read about last week said that very few people in the South now describe themselves as "proud Southerners.)

        •  Role of the South (none)
          Do you hear Republicans worrying about how they're going to win without New York and New Jersey and how they have to run Northeastern candidates?

          The problem with this very well-written analysis is that over the past twenty years, the entire country, except the Northeast, has become more like the South.  The Northeast is now the political outlier, not the South.  Thus, Republicans don't need to worry about winning the Northeast.  (Where Republicans need to worry is the West.)

          Uncoincidentally, this change coincided with more and more Northerners moving to the South (e.g., Florida, Raleigh-Durham) and the withering of Jim Crow laws.  A poll I read about last week said that very few people in the South now describe themselves as "proud Southerners.

  •  More Blinkered Nonsense from DailyKos (3.37)
    No one likes John Kerry? Take a look at the exit polls you claim to have studied, Kos. Kerry's approval ratings are superb and match up very nicely with Edwards.

    What you really meant was: Nobody here at DailyKos likes John Kerry. And even that isn't true. This is just another example of the "I hate Kerry so much my brain is on fire" echo chamber reinforcing each other's biases. Didn't you learn anything from the Dean experience? I would have thought that could humble even the people at this website. Let me restate it for you:

    The people at this website are indicative of the people at this website. That's it.

    The analysis about cherry-picking states is just as flawed. This little corner of cyberspace aside, the vast majority of Democrats are going to want their candidates to run national campaigns. Kerry is doing that and doing it rather well, thank you very much. He's won 16 out of 18 contests. Explain that away with a straight face. Kerry is going to win a minimum of seven contests on Super Tuesday simply because Edwards will not contest them. All Kerry needs to do to fatally wound Edwards' candidacy is to win Ohio and New York, in addition to the seven states he is guaranteed to win.

    All the momentum is going to Edwards? Are you at all aware of the differences between your fondest hopes and the facts as they are? This place is rapidly becoming a parody of itself.

    All hail Kerry the Conqueror

    by Beltway Bandit on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:28:31 AM PST

    •  Welcome Back! (none)
      Where've you been?

      All Hail the Haggard Knight

      by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, but I was not gone that long. (1.50)
        If you are referring to the fact that I did not show up here on Tuesday evening, I can tell you that was most intentional. I came to the conclusion that my presence in the primary threads the night of a primary is considered most provocative by quite a few Kos members. If you have observed these threads you know exactly what I mean. I thought it wiser to give the Deaniacs time to grieve and rage amongst themselves.

        I don't know if I missed witnessing a mass migration of Dean fans to the Edwards camp, but if so, I'm quite certain I shall have ample opportunity to regard this phenomenon in the very near future. It should be most...amusing.

        All hail Kerry the Conqueror

        by Beltway Bandit on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Guess you're right (none)
          Hasn't really been that long, just lots happening.  Next 12 days should be very interesting.  

          Things are hopping over at the Edwards blog.  Deaniacs may revamp the place and spend some pent up energy raising mullah.

          Will he snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?

          All Hail the Haggard Knight

          by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:28:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  A matter of degree (none)
      It's not that people don't like Kerry; it's that they don't like him much.

      Don't the sun look angry through the trees . . .
      Don't you feel like desperados under the eaves
      Heaven help the one who leaves


      by GOTV on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:58:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Says who? (2.50)
        I like Kerry very much. I know plenty of people who like John Kerry very much. Of course, I live in a liberal suburb of Washington, D.C. and work in the city and around educated professionals, so I would not pretend that my circle of personal and professional acquaintances is a valid cross-section of American society, but it does tell me that you and Kos are both wrong. Some people do like John Kerry very much.

        How many? I don't know. And unlike you, I don't pretend to know.

        All hail Kerry the Conqueror

        by Beltway Bandit on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:01:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (none)
        There's not much to like, never really has been, but he generally towed the line for the hometown crowd.  You just don't want to get too close; it ain't pretty.

        Oh well.  Presidents have been elected with shortcomings more significant than an off-putting demeanor.  

        Don't blame me; I'm from Massachusetts.

        by lightiris on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:14:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kerry's Q factor (none)
          I'd trust someone from the Commonwealth before some beltway bandit any old day.

          Don't the sun look angry through the trees . . .
          Don't you feel like desperados under the eaves
          Heaven help the one who leaves


          by GOTV on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:50:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, Welcome Back! (none)
      Where've you been?

      All Hail the Haggard Knight

      by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:25:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not so fast (none)
      Edwards is going national. I think that's what Kos meant. I don't concede Kerry seven contests; I concede him one for sure--Massachusetts--and probably the other three New England states.  Kerry's lead is based on his national perception as 1) the frontrunner and 2) the most electable.  Edwards has cut into the perception of #2 and is moving up the national surveys at an amazing pace--from 33 pts down to 18 in half a week.  He is looking to close that gap.  If he does, he beats Kerry all over the place, not just the states he shows up personally in.
  •  Enough about Dean?! (4.00)
    ENOUGH ABOUT DEAN?!  He is the reason we are looking to actually remove Bush from office this fall.  There can never be enough said about Dean.

    Let's start with this 2002 Guardian article to refresh our memories about what spinless turds Democrats were before Dean came along...,12271,781145,00.html

    "The American system does not provide for a leader of the opposition. But it is still eerie to watch most aspirant leaders of the Democrats, preparing for an election contest with Bush in 2004, taking their tone from him rather than posing a frontal challenge to it. They gripe about the huge Republican tax cut for the rich and middle rich, and rail against corporate corruption. But they throttle back. They have to be careful. Many Democrats as well as Republicans took poisoned money from Enron and WorldCom.

    Al Gore jockeys for position. Amazingly, he is the frontrunner, despite the fiasco of a campaign he ran in 2000 that let Bush in. He is hardly ever heard from, sidling away from confrontation and weighing up whether the polls will let him run. A handful of senatorial possibles - John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards - circle around, daring to say almost nothing, propelled, it seems, by terror of the Bush hard right more than the fury these incumbents deserve from any Democrat.

    To find a fiercer rigour, one needs to travel north. Vermont is a small state, and its governor, Howard Dean, not yet a national figure."

    I intend to post this one more time in the coming days so that our collective memories do not forget what brought us here and where we must continue going into the future.  
    Never again should we be ashamed to voice our opinions in the face of ultra-right radicals.

  •  Is Edwards more "moderate"? (none)
    I'm still not sure which of them I prefer, but I don't understand the view that Edwards is the more moderate of these candidates.  

    Edwards, not Kerry, is the candidate who talks about poverty as a moral issue.  Edwards, not Kerry, is the one who talks about modifying NAFTA to put labor standards and environmental agreements into the main body of the agreement.  And the roster of Edwards' domestic policy advisors is more labor-friendly than Kennedy.  Go down the list of policies and it's awfully hard to see where Edwards is to the right of Kerry on economics.

    On gay marriage, Kerry came out immediately and called the decision wrong; Edwards said it should be up to each state to decide what it wants.

    What's the difference, then?  I confess I don't know their views on other divisive social issues that well.  Or is it some difference in foreign policy?  Kerry did take the liberal position on some highly divisive foreign policy votes back in the 1980s, re Central America and weapons systems.  That was rather a long time ago, but perhaps that's what people have their eyes on.

    On the whole, though, I don't see what makes Edwards more moderate, other than the Southern accent.  And I'm wondering whether the perception doesn't persist solely because there's noone to attack Edwards from the right -- which of course the Bushies will do once the general election starts.  

    So, wherein is Edwards the more moderate candidate?  Is it his Southern accent alone?  Are there policy positions?  I don't get it.

    •  moderation (none)
      I think you're right--looking at the issues, Edwards is pretty liberal. What people are responding to in calling him a moderate is his rhetorical strategy, I think. He's able to alter the discourse to make issues about trade, poverty, etc. eminently sensible. Which they are. But Republicans have so corroded the language ("tax relief," "death tax," etc etc) that it takes someone like Edwards who can reinvigorate the Democratic rhetoric.

      That's what's fascinating about him as a candidate--his vision ties together these disparate strands in a cohesive package, which not only has the liberal goods, but also appeals to independents and moderate republicans. While Kerry feels more like Old Patrician Buffet.

      Navigating through this basement that masquerades as a nation... --Atmosphere

      by AlanD on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:04:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some comments. (none)
      Kerry has talked about changing NAFTA and other agreements, and he talks about jobs in every speech.  It just doesn't fit the media's shorthand version of him.

      And you can bet if he was in office at the time, Edwards would have supported NAFTA, like some many other democrats and Clinton.  

      On gay marriage, Edwards worries me.  In one debate he showed that he had no idea what DOMA actually did.  I sure hope someone has explained it to him since then.

      by Dissento on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:07:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Their voting records... (none)
      are significantly different.

      Edwards has an average rating of 88% from Americans for Democratic Action over the course of his Senate career; Kerry has a lifetime average of 92%.  Edwards's lifetime League of Conservation Voters rating is only 76%; Kerry's lifetime LCV rating is 96%, 20% higher, which is a big reason why LCV gave Kerry the earliest endorsement they've ever given in a Presidential race.

      The numbers don't lie.  Though he may be more moderate on trade (which I appreciate), Kerry has a more solidly liberal record overall, and especially a better record on the environment.

      •  Dramatically Different? (none)
        Strange, because according to my analysis of every vote between 1998 and now, Kerry's record was among the most similar to Edwards in the 106th Congress, Second Session, the 107th Congress, Second Session, and 108th Congress, First Session.

        I'm sure that Kerry's record on the environment is better, but not substantially; consider the LCV's assessment of Edwards:

        Senator Edwards has amassed a solid record on environmental issues in his brief tenure in office - opposing drilling in the Arctic refuge, and supporting drinking water protection, public lands protection, and funding for federal land purchases. Recently, he has spearheaded the Senate battle against some of the Bush administration 's proposed rollbacks of the Clean Air Act. North Carolina environmentalists have praised his assistance in acquiring key land parcels within the state. They also note that while environmental issues were not a priority for Edwards in his first years in office, he has grown as a leader in recent years, particularly on clean air issues.

        It's not an endorsement, but it does sound good.

        •  I'd say 20% is a pretty dramatic difference... (none)
          in environmental voting records.  Kerry has a 96% lifetime rating from the LCV; Edwards's lifetime rating is only 76%.

          Certainly LCV would see Edwards's record as "solid" compared to the Republican alternative.  Bush got an F from them; someone who effectively got a C would be a lot better than someone who got an F, and in the process of earning his C Edwards did do some praiseworthy things.  But given the choice between someone who got a C and someone who got a solid A, wouldn't you rather have the one who got the A?

  •  Edwards is too soft (none)
    I'm not a fan of Kerry per se but at least I'm confident the guy can kick ass.  He's not afraid to play dirty and define a "politician" in all the good and bad ways we know it.  

    Edwards, on the other hand, seems too sugary sweet.  Yeah, he's got good ideas and is charming as hell, but put him up against the forces of Bush??  I can't see it.  I can't see Edwards holding any weight at all.

    Not only that, if we put Edwards out there we're even MORE behind the pack in "finding all the dirt on him" and therefore all the reasons the American public will find to hate him.  The media has already started on Kerry.  We've already heard about the affair rumors and such.  So I think we'd be best suited to keep Kerry holding the torch.

    I'm not crazy about Kerry but I'm confident he can kick ass.  Yeah, I may vote for Edwards in my home state of Georgia in order to keep Kerry on the defensive, but that's what he needs.  Let him fight.  Let him get dirty.  Let him show us what he's made of, 'cause Kerry v. Edwards is going to pale in comparison to Kerry v. Bush.  And I want to get him warmed up.

    •  Yeah boy Kyle (none)
      You just went yard on that "Kerry is like Dukakis" softball.  

      Your post suggests why Kerry will do better with "Nascar Nation" than expected. And your rationale for voting for Edwards is the only one that really makes any sense at this time.

      Your viewpoint is greatly appreciated and welcome.  Post early and often.


    •  Edwards will Fight (none)
      Don't underestimate Edwards, those that have have all been defeated.
      Keep in mind, Edwards defeated the Jesse Helms machine, so he can fight against tough, dirty Republicans.
      You assume there is equal dirt on Kerry and Edwards.  I don't think that assumption holds.  Edwards has been happily married to the same woman for about 25 years and has a wonderful family.  Gore fully vetted him when he was on the final two list for VP and found him totally CLEAN.  Edwards doesn't take corporate special interest money, Kerry does.  That's why we will get a stream of accurate and inaccurate stories about Kerry's corruption.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:40:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  About that sig, phil (none)
        Southern Democrats since 1960 are 0-1 in General Elections against Southern Republicans. Let's learn from history.

        "The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth. When starting and waging a war it is not right that matters, but victory." Adolf Hitler, 22 August 1939

        by Thomas Kalinowski on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 02:52:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My cousin, my Bonesman (none)
    No kidding, CNN reported this morning that geneologists have determined that John Kerry and George Bush are 16th cousins, thrice removed.

    Personally, I'd settle for them being once removed.

    Don't the sun look angry through the trees . . .
    Don't you feel like desperados under the eaves
    Heaven help the one who leaves


    by GOTV on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:01:53 PM PST

  •  Be Constructive, PLEASE! (none)
    I can't stand the fact that so many of us are beating each other up about these primaries.  The idea here, yes, is to select a candidate, but this year is different than most in that we have to oust a tyrant.

    Either candidate will be better than Bush.  Either candidate will be closer to your progressive point of view than Bush.  Either candidate can defeat Bush if we stop beating each other up.

    Constructive debate is exactly that.  Name calling, finger-pointing, and all those school yard bullying tactics will only DIVIDE and DISTRACT.  This is what the GOP wants!

    Be healthy, courteous and fair in discussions of the candidates, please!

  •  bang, bang, John Kerry shot me down (3.75)
    I agree with those above who have a hard time seeing how anyone (any Democrat, anyway) likes Edwards' voting record better than Kerry's.  If you like Edwards better personally, fine, but acknowledge that it's just a personality thing (or a "Kerry was mean to Dean" thing, which he was, but that's how you win elections).

    Kerry's post-September 11th votes are, indeed, completely out of line with his earlier record.  But I don't think that's political opportunism, I think that's a reaction to an event that changed a lot of thinking in America.  I don't like it, I don't agree with it, but I do understand it.  The magnitude of the event can't be understated, and a lot of rational, liberal-minded people reacted with their gut.  The Patriot Act got passed because of this reaction.  To an extent, so did the resolution favoring war in Iraq.  It doesn't excuse Edwards' and Kerry's votes on the issue (and it's worth noting that Kerry, at least, clearly made those votes with some very public reservations), but it does provide an important context.

    Nobody talks about this.  I wish a candidate would actually acknowledge it, but if wishes were horses, street-sweepers' jobs would be a lot less pleasant.

    I like Kerry--I think he's interesting, intelligent, and no less upstanding than any ambitious politician--and his overall record is fairly admirable.  And I also have the feeling that Edwards has all the gravitas of a Hallmark card. For all his undeniable charm and likabililty, I don't think he can coast on that through the general election.  Also, everyone talks about what the right-wing smear brigade can and will do to Kerry--doesn't anyone realize they'll be able to do the same to any Democratic candidate on one pretext or another?  Nobody gets out of here without singing the blues.

    Ultimately, I'd be happy to vote for either of them, much happier than I would have been to vote for Gephardt or Lieberman.  And I don't begrudge anyone their personal preference, but I'm very curious about the basis behind it.

    It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

    by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 12:28:54 PM PST

    •  Agree completely (none)
      Excellent post LunaC.  The original post said "nobody likes Kerry." Well, I do.  I like that he takes nuanced views on issues.  I like that he takes the time to think things through.  What seems like political opportunism to others seems like enlightened reasoning to me.

      I like the guy, so there.

    •  Hallmark (none)
      Kerry has all the sincerity of a Hallmark card -- he's on all sides of the issue and there isn't a single vote he can't justify.

      Don't confuse gravitas with being dull.

      Gravitas can be defined as serious and effective statesmanship in times of crisis.  The posting just doesn't prove Kerry has it (indeed the posting uses no facts what-so-ever).  Nowhere in the 19-year history of Kerry in Washington is there a single case of a portrait of courage or an effective legislative career.  He's led investigations of Oliver North (that didn't go well - immunity, North became the hero, Reagan got away with no punches landed), Manuel Noreiega (I have no idea what this is about but why would someone spend time on this and not education and health care) and BCCI (yea that investigation really put Repubs on the defensive, yea right) but those were not effective.  Not a single piece of major legislation has Kerry's name on it.  
      On the contrary, when the Senate Democrats needed someone to lead the defense against a guilty vote on the impeachment of President Clinton, they didn't turn to trial lawyer Kerry, they turned to John Edwards.  In this time of crisis for our country, John Edwards successfully lead the floor defense of the President.  John McCain (whose vote was critical) stated that he voted against a guilty verdict in large part because of Edwards' eloquent and persuasive defense during closing statements.   Edwards also was the lead proponent (along with Kennedy - much more effective senator from Mass - and McCain) of the Patients' Bill of Rights through the senate (Bush veto).

      On the war, at least Edwards took RESPONSIBILITY for his vote (Wisc debate) that has lead to the deaths of Americans.  Kerry fliped and flopped and droned on and on.  Why won't he accept responsibility for his votes?  Probably because he grew up a blue-blood with everything and never has had to accept responsibility for his actions.
      And let's be honest, the war vote was VERY complicated.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:20:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Elvis was a hero to most... (none)
        Oliver North is a hero? To whom?

        I'm not confusing gravitas with being dull; I don't find Kerry dull in the way that many people say they do.  Pompous, occasionally; monotonous, sometimes, but overall I find him fascinating in a cerebral way.

        I do not think the impeachment of Clinton qualifies as "a time of crisis for our country" in anyone's mind but Ken Starr's.  At least, it shouldn't have been one in the first place.  And John McCain has also said a lot of flattering things about Kerry.  I would say his work in normalizing relations with Vietnam was a thankless task he did damn well.

        I love how one minute people are saying "Kerry doesn't have his name on any major legislation," and the next, "his record is what hurts him."  If we're focusing on his voting record, look, there's a reason he gets consistent ratings equal to or better than Edwards' from almost every left-wing group there is.  Those are the facts.  I'm not an expert, but the experts seem to rate them equal or give Kerry the edge.  The votes from Wisconsin indicate that working-class demographics went largely for Kerry--it's the upper middle class that appears to be voting for Edwards.  Explain that to me.

        I'd also like to mention: being lower-middle-class and Southern doesn't make you a better person than someone who's from New England and from a rich family.  Being born south of the Mason-Dixon doesn't make you a better person.  I realize that some people do vote on this geographic basis and I think it's regrettable.  If their regional affiliations were switched, would you be voting for the less-experienced, charming Bostonian or the "dull," career Senator from North Carolina?

        Finally, I don't think that Kerry hasn't taken responsibility for his Iraq vote.  He's said, repeatedly, and quite loud and clear, "I voted how I did because I wanted to enforce the diplomatic process laid out in the resolution, and the President didn't do that."  Well, lots of Democrats voted that way, for that reason, and that's what happened.  Take a look at Kerry's floor speech before that vote.  It's totally consistent with the position he's taking now.

        How is Edwards' (limited) record any better than Kerry's?  What "leadership in times of crisis" has he displayed?  What calculus are you using here?

        It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

        by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 02:07:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Edwards (none)
          1.  North became a hero to many in the center and right (the Center being the important part).
          2.  You're in a distinct minority of those who hold the view that K is "fascinating."  There may be other reasons to vote for him, charisma is not one of them.
          3.  It's impossible to discuss this issue with someone who doesn't think that the impeachment of the elected President and his trial in the Senate was not a time of crisis.  I'll assume that 99.5% of readers will find that comment laughable.
          4.  No piece of legislation shows that, as McCain would put it, he's a "show pony" not a "work horse."  The votes hurt him since he's always flipping and flopping.  Gross exageration on the voters, no need to reply.
          5.  Does it make you a better person?  Maybe, but it DOES make you a better President and candidate.  It's easy to relate with Americans and know the issues for real (not hypathetical or from a briefing paper when you went to public school and sent your kids there (not Swiss prep schools), when you had your first wedding anniversary at Wendy's, when you're dad was laid off, when you were the first in your family to go to college.
          On the South, it might be "regrettable," but it's reality.  Live in it.
          5.  See Wisconsin debate on K not taking responsibility for his vote after being asked directly TWICE.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:32:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  we always need to hear both sides of the story (none)
            I honestly don't know any centrists who think Oliver North is a hero, but then, I've never inquired into the matter.

            I do know that I'm in the minority on being interested in Kerry, but you also can't deny that his ability to put the 'war hero' thing on the table has, so far, made a difference.

            Let me clarify one point: a time of crisis, to me, is a time of war, or terrorist attack, or diplomatic struggle, or economic collapse.  The Depression was a time of crisis.  The uproar inside the Beltway and in the media over the President's sex life and his dishonesty about it--that's comparatively just a kerfluffle.  Yes, it was an uproar, and yes, it was a big deal, for some legitimate reasons, but it was hardly a time of national crisis in which true leadership comes to the fore.

            You say flip-flopping, I say taking each situation for what it is and reasoning out a response.  Rigidity is not always a virtue.

            FDR and Kennedy were among the ultra-privileged all their lives.  Thomas Jefferson was a wealthy landholder.  Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon were poor kids. Status at birth is no indicator of presidential ability or of sympathy for working- and middle-class Americans.  You have a fair point on the 'electability' issue--it's fair to say that many working- and middle-class people will find it easier to relate to Edwards because of his upbringing, but it doesn't mean that Kerry is any less sympathetic to their concerns and causes.

            It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

            by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:35:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reply (none)
              War Hero has helped, though I doubt the protester will play well outside of the Party.
              Yes, sometimes it is reasoning, but other times it is blowing with the wind and sometimes the justifications just sound weak to real voters (I can see lots of Kerry's reasoning, but it doesn't come off well to the non wonks).  I agree that we should be able to learn and change, but Kerry comes off as a man without core principles that he sticks to.
              I'm all for nobles oblige (sp?) and limo-liberals (I'd love to be one), but it's VERY had to play "man of the people" if you aren't one.   Americans don't mind it in gops, but for us, it seems a bit hypocritical.
              Let me give one example where it hurts Kerry.  In the Wisc debate he was asked by an audience member about diversity.  His reply was basically: a friend once drove me down to Harlem and we helped some gang-bangers get an education.  That's great, but he's turned African-Americans into an Other and linked them with crime and stated that liberal programs are just another crime reduction plan.  He's out of touch, and Americans are pretty good at smelling a phony.

              Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

              by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:17:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree (none)
            It's impossible to discuss this issue with someone who doesn't think that the impeachment of the elected President and his trial in the Senate was not a time of crisis.  I'll assume that 99.5% of readers will find that comment laughable.

            Well, I don't find it laughable.  I don't think it was a crisis at all - it was a farce.  It would have been a crisis only if the Rupubs had the power to remove Clinton from office.  Since they couldn't do it, and everyone knew they couldn't do, it was just a huge ugly spectacle that we unfortunately had to watch play out to its predictable anti-climax.

             North became a hero to many in the center and right (the Center being the important part).

            Nonsense. North was a hero to the wingnuts and centrists dismissed him as a dishonest fool.  

            Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

            by johnny rotten on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:28:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK (none)
              We can disagree on the definition of a crisis.  I doubt you were so sure of the outcome at the time.  Remember when Lieberman hinted he would vote Guilty?
              Still, it did sap the entire second term of the Clinton Presidency.
              Whatever about North, it's not that important of a point.  The point was that Kerry has very little to show for his 19 years in Washington.  His major investigations did not help regular people and did not land significant partisan blows.
              Sex Pistols or PIL fan?

              Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

              by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:07:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Switched? (none)
          If their regional affiliations were switched, would you be voting for the less-experienced, charming Bostonian or the "dull," career Senator from North Carolina?

          Well, if you switch them, there would be a difference - the Senator from North Carolina would have proven that he can win an election in a red state, while the one from Massachusetts has not.

          It's not about region - it's about red and blue.  If Kerry were from New Hampshire, rather than Massachusetts, it might be better for him.

          I'd also like to mention: being lower-middle-class and Southern doesn't make you a better person than someone who's from New England and from a rich family.

          Neither does serving in Vietnam.  Thankfully, neither Kerry nor Edwards are arguing that either is morally superior to the other as a result of their backgrounds.  They are, however, arguing that their backgrounds provide a unique understanding of certain issues - and I think that's as legitimate for Edwards as it is for Kerry.

          Although apparently, some people would like to argue otherwise.

          •  ah, logic! (none)
            Both your points make a lot of sense here.  Thank you for making them.  I don't think they should be deciding factors, in either case, but you've definitely gotten to the heart of the matter.

            It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

            by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:37:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Issues (none)
        On the war, at least Edwards took RESPONSIBILITY for his vote ...

        Yes, let's keep voting for the FORM we like and not the substance.

        THAT is why GWB is in the WH!  He's so tough, resolute, and BOLD!  The fact that only a minority in this country ever agrees with anything that comes out of us mouth isn't the issue.  Same with McCain -- even DEMs like McCain because he's so straight-talking -- got to love that moderated Goldwater straight talk coming out of that one, now don't we?  Clinton left so many Americans so hungry for simple declarative statements after eight years of waffling that it seems we don't even care what the statements are.

        We could have had DEAN, and now we only have an argument about whether you like someone lots of time in DC and boring, or not so much time in DC and attractive.  Their recent voting records are so similar that there is not much daylight between them.  Neither was smart enough to either try to protect the Constitution or see through the WH Iraq crap.  So, both fail as patriots, statesmen, and men with common sense.  (We could have had DEAN.)

        •  Horror. (4.00)
          It will be years from now (or perhaps not so long) that your mantra "We could have had Dean" will haunt everyone.  It won't be clear to more moderate Democrats what a colossal mistake has been made until well after November and our return to business as way or another.

          This probably sounds like histrionics to some of you, but I feel we've lost our only real chance to reform the Democratic Party from within.  I don't see it happening without a galvanizing candidate, and I don't expect another person like Howard Dean to come along in my lifetime.

          Let's just drop the whole Iraq vote thing.  I've read Kerry's statement from the time, and all his comments since, and I see it as another example of him shifting with the winds.  But even if you think he was consistent, it's consistently stupid.  To think that a) there was any factual basis for invading Iraq at that time, and b) that many "unsaid" aspects of the actual resolution were actually a gentleman's agreement between GWB and Congress to "be nice" is just asinine.  It's like giving your 16-year-old son keys to the Porsche but telling him "only drive it if you really need to," then professing shock when he's caught joyriding.  It insults my intelligence, and it ought to insult yours.  Neither Kerry nor Edwards deserve a pass on this one.

          •  Just think, (none)
            we could have had Dean.

            Yes, most people are very slow to see what is so obvious to many early on.  

            Horror was watching this country so easily accept that counting the damn votes in FL was undemocratic.  Horror was watching this country swallow such an obvious and monumental deception that Saddam had any weapons that were a threat to this country.  Horror was watching this country grabbing $300 tax rebates while charging hundreds of billions to the credit cards of their children.  Horror was watching this country take a decent, honorable and passionate POTUS candidate and turn him into a madman.  Guess in comparison with all that, a GWB vs Kerry race will only be boring.

        •  The War (none)
          I think the war is a more complicated issue than you think.  How does one vote against a resolution that gives the President authority to go to war against Saddam Hussein, but strongly encourages him to go through the UN, form a coalition with NATO and regional allies, and do so only after UN inspectors?  Remember, Saddam had tried to build atomic weapons -- that was only discovered AFTER Gulf War I (and international agencies have done a TERRIBLE job and finding WMD programs, see Pakistan, Iran, Libya, etc).  Remember, we didn't even now Saddam had a functioning biological weapons program until his sons-in-law defected.  So, it did make some sense to believe that Saddam wasn't telling the truth about other WMD.  Would you have been against the war had it been OKed by UN, included NATO and Arab countries, and been after inspectors said "not sure."   Saddam WANTED weapons and had invaded 2 countries and been a murderous thug in office.  
          Yes, Bush lied, but there were scenerios where the war would have made sense.  Senators could not have known MONTHS before what Bush would do.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:37:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not complicated at all (none)
            Would you have been against the war had it been OKed by UN, included NATO and Arab countries, and been after inspectors said "not sure."  

            I prefer to make my decisions based on current  information and not "what ifs."  All the best information available in 2002 said that Saddam was "contained."  The world and the UN knew that which is why nobody else saw any need to take any action either before or after GWB began angling for his little adventure.  Of course he has always been more or less "contained" and invading Kuwait in 1991 was about as difficult as the US invasion of Grenada.  Saddam fought our proxy war against Iran for eight years -- he really thought he was owed something for that effort.  We didn't pay; so he decided that Kuwait would be satisfactory recompense.

            It is deeply troubling to me that so many in this country so willing changed the "rules of engagement" that have served this country if not well as least well enough since we left Vietnam.  Without this "rule change" any case for invading Iraq simply falls apart.  Or demands that we invade almost every country on the face of this globe.  The UN members knew that too and asked us not to take this irrational step.  

            •  it's just a shot away (none)
              As I pointed out above, I don't think the case for war in Iraq was an entirely logical one.  A lot of it was the continuation of a knee-jerk reaction to September 11th.  And not having been privy to the intelligence reports that the White House was pushing (and British intelligence, as well), I can't comment on how legitimate that may have seemed at the time.

              I do know the message that the Bush administration was putting out through the press: Saddam has ties to terrorism.  Saddam has weapons of mass destruction (and they had material to back this up--and the well-respected Colin Powell was the one selling it).  Saddam is a threat to America, and look what happened to us when we were standing idly by.  Scare tactics, certainly, and certainly there  were many of us, myself included, who did not respond to them favorably.  But for members of Congress, I can only imagine that the pressure was twice as intense, and that there were tacit assurances that the diplomatic avenues would be pursued.

              I abhor both Senators' vote on the war, but if I put myself in their shoes, I don't think it was stupid.  It was a wrong decision, but I can't say I have no comprehension of the reasoning behind it.

              It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

              by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:40:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once sat on a jury (none)
                and a cop was the star prosecution witness.  I sketched out the dimensions of location as he described it and based on that knew they it was physically impossible for him to have seen what he said he saw and that explained all of his subsequent acts that led to the arrest of the defendent.  Since he was not speaking the truth about what prompted his initial engagement, his testimony was too tainted to rely on any of it.

                Not one of the other jurors was convinced by my argument.  For almost all of the others, the cop's story fell apart at different points.  So, seven of us did conclude that he had not told the truth.  One juror went home and had a sleepless night before realizing that her job was not to decide which story (prosecution vs defense) was more believable, but first if the prosecution had presented a convincing case.  When she said no, then her decision had been made.  Then one juror took it upon herself to visit the "scene of the crime" and discovered that it was physically impossible for the cop to have seen what he reported.  Nine to three, but eight of us now understood we had a mistrial but to protect the woman who in her struggle to find the truth and had violated the duty of a juror out of ignorance and not deviousness, we reported a hung jury to the judge.

                My point is that there was not a single point by which Senators could have reached the "right decision."  While the most correct interpretation, "Saddam didn't have stockpiles of WMD" or "it was physically impossible for the cop to have seen," makes the decision more obvious, there were many other avenues to reach the decision that a unilateral invasion is unwarranted.  Seven other jurors "got there" by a slightly different route than I used, but getting the correct decision was far more important to me than whether they were convinced by the "correct interpretation."  Those jurors also took their assignment seriously enough to struggle with the decision and not give the prosecution the benefit of the doubt simply because the defendent was pathetic at best.  If ordinary citizens can do this well, why should we expect less from Senators on a matter of war?

                •  the runaway jury (none)
                  Excellent, excellent point, and if I had, um, figured out how to rate posts, I'd rate it tops.

                  It does lead me to wonder how different that verdict would have been if everyone seated on it considered him/herself a victim of violent crime.  Considering that the anthrax attacks on the Senate offices--unsolved, and widely if incorrectly believed to be the work of foreign terrorists--immediately affected several Senators who were pressed a year later to cast a vote on the Iraq resolution.  

                  Not to mention that many of them were probably responding to the feelings of their constituents.  A little Googling turned up a CBS/NY Times poll: support for military action in Iraq was close to 70 percent in early October 2002, about the time that the resolution was passed.  True, a significant majority believed that UN inspections and negotiations should be given more time--but those things were supposed to happen, according to the resolution that was passed.  And again, about 70 percent of people believed that war with Iraq was inevitable, regardless of what Congress did.

                  None of this justifies voting for the war.  None of this excuses a failure to question the quality of the intelligence provided, to question the legitimacy of the Bush administration's claims that Saddam was tied to terrorism or that he posed an imminent threat to the United States, to question the motives of those pushing for war without giving any and all diplomatic/international strategies their full time and support first.  None of this excuses anything, and it boggles my mind that such a high number of Congressional Democrats acted the way they did.

                  But factors affected them beyond those that affect those of us who are not serving in a legislative capacity.  This is not a simple issue.  It is, however, with Kerry and Edwards facing off, fast becoming a moot point.

                  It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

                  by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:40:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If threatened with a hot poker to my (none)
                    eyes to select either Kerry or Edwards (that is how disinterested I am in a choice between those two), I would likely choose Kerry for no reason other than we've already seen how well two "moderate" southern politicians managed as POTUS and we haven't seen a MA "liberal" like for a long time.  Neither rises to an acceptable level on a variety of factors.  The only reason to focus on the Iraq vote is that in real time we all saw this develop and based on almost of the same set of information made better or worse inferences and used better or worse reasoning skills to draw a conclusion and make a decision.  

                    I don't blame 70% of the people in this country for "getting it wrong" when there was so little support for "thinking it through" and saw so few political "leaders" questioning anything and doing anything other than grant GWB his wish.  The only thing that is truly encouraging is that 30% "got it right" when all the pressure was on them to get it wrong.  And I ask once again, why are 30% in this country better critical thinkers than Kerry and Edwards?  Why are Kerry and Edwards even Senators at all given their defiency in this area?  We can do better.    

                    •  checking dailykos 4 times an hour is unhealthy... (none)
                      Again, I agree with the overall thrust of your post--but I would caution against the attitude that people who disagreed with the Iraq war are "poorer thinkers" than those who supported it.  Differences in reasoning and opinion don't always mean one side is smarter than the other--I'm guilty of this assumption sometimes, myself, but I'm trying to be more aware of it.

                      The more I think about it, the more I'm bothered by their votes on the Patriot Act even more than the Iraq vote.

                      It all seems like harmless fun and games until suddenly you're in the middle of the Spanish-American War.

                      by LunaC on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:39:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Re: checking - (none)
                        Not sure about unhealthy but definitely an obsession - Ah, and all my friends thought I didn't have an addictive enough personality to ever succumb to the charms of any drug.  (How soon before we'll need Twelve Step for Blog addicts?)  

                        I have no trouble saying that those who supported the war were "poor thinkers" or "non-thinkers."  Doesn't mean that all those who opposed it were the opposite - some needed not go further than War is never the solution on this one.  What we hire Senators to do is calmly and rationally think things through with less public pressure than what House members are supposed to have.  That's why Senators get six year terms and Reps get two years.  

                        The Patriot Act is a piece of garbage and on that one they didn't even bother to pretend that they had thought about it!  Homeland Security, not much better.  The pattern we see is that DEM Senators only make stands on small and easily isolated matters like a totally unqualified judicial nomination.  Or even ANWR.  Otherwise they are derelict in their duties.  If an old man like Byrd can work hard enough to study carefully what is put before him, what's young with all the younger ones?  

    •  it's about accountability... (none)
      I think that's a reaction to an event that changed a lot of thinking in America. I don't like it, I don't agree with it, but I do understand it.

      fair enough. i agree with you.

      the problem i have with kerry's view is that he has never held himself accountable for his role in the foreign policy mess we're in now. his answer during the wisconsin debate was instructive:
      GILBERT: Do you have any degree of responsibility having voted to give him [the President] the authority to go to war?

      KERRY: ...My regret is not the vote. It was appropriate to stand up to Saddam Hussein. There was a right way to do it, a wrong way to do it.

      My regret is this president chose the wrong way, rushed to war, is now spending billions of American taxpayers' dollars that we didn't need to spend this way had he built a legitimate coalition, and has put our troops at greater risk.

      this is a pretty simple question in my view. you either take responsibility for your actions/votes, or you run from it. kerry still refuses to accept that his vote was used to legitimize the preseident's actions. he is responsible - not entirely by any stretch - for where we are today... just like every other person who voted for and supported the war.

      edwards, at least, said:
      "The answer to your question is of course.

      We all accept responsibility for what we did. I did what I believed was right. I took it very, very seriously."

      i have never heard kerry say anything like that. to me, that is not leadership. it's unpresidential, if you will. that goes way beyond a single controversial vote on a sigle controversial - but very important - issue. it's a basic quality in a president that i don't see evidence of in kerry. that's a big problem for me.
    •  My reasons (none)
      1. Personality--Edwards connects with me; Kerry does not. The evidence is that I'm not alone. Why is this important?  It means he is more likely get the votes of the millions of Americans who vote primarily on personality.  It means that as President, he will be more able to rally public support from the bully pulpit and win over wavering members of Congress. I've actually met both briefly. Edwards seems like a genuine, nice guy, while it's harder to tell with Kerry.
      2. Electability (the dreaded "e" word)--To me, Kerry's claim that he is more electable is a joke.  He's wooden, unlikable, a flip-flopper, generally liberal, and from Massachusetts.  He has experience in the Senate and is a war hero.  If those were enough, we'd have learned about Presidents Dole, McGovern, Goldwater, and McCain in elementary school.  Edwards is likable, Southern, and a dynamic speaker.  He also doesn't have 20 years of recorded votes for the Republican attack machine to grind him into pulp with.  The votes cast thus far bear this out; Edwards does overwhelmingly better than the front-runner Kerry among moderates and independents despite very few overall policy differences.
      •  Personality (none)
        (all your other "reasons" are just variations on a theme)

        Never met someone with just oodles of "personality" that you wouldn't want to marry?  Never worked for someone who didn't do much to entertain the staff but was so competent at keeping the work flowing and the employees taken care of?

        I go to the movies or turn on the TV if I want to see likeable personalities.  Mostly because I know just enough about acting and impression management to recognize that "personality" is a superficial construct that tells us little about others and is easy to manipulate.  So, easy in fact that this country put a senile old man and a lazy idiot in the WH in the past twenty years and never bothered to notice that the ones directing the show for both of them are the same.    

        •  Change the word (none)
          Try "inspiring" instead of "personality"

          Dean was inspiring!  Edwards, to many, is inspiring!  "Inspiring" gets people off their fat behinds and out the door to do something useful.  Inspiring gives people hope that the process can change.  Inspiring makes people think that as between a candidate who inspires and a candidate who lies and prevaricates, inspiring will win!

          All Hail the Haggard Knight

          by Pontifex Minimus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:39:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry - I find Edwards (none)
            attractive but not in the least bit inspiring.  That's my normal response to either okay acting or someone who is using rhetoric and not personal truths.

            (Now a great actor or integrated person speaking truths can knock my socks off.)

  •  Delegate Selection Rules (none)
    A lot has been made of the proportional system used by the Democrats this year.

    Here's the thing... this isn't new. The Democratic Party has been using a proportional system since 1992, complete with the 15 percent viability rule.

    Maybe it's been modified since then, but this really isn't anything new.

  •  Can I ask a question to Deniacs? (none)
    I too was an early and strong Dean backer.  And then I felt the knife in my back when Until he called Washington Democrats "cockroaches".  

    I worked for a very senior and very progressive Congressman for years. He voted against the war and leads the budget battles in the House against the GOP, and rails hard against tax cuts.  I also worked closely with Wellstone's office.

    And these epitomes of public service are "cockroaches"?  Puh-leaze.

    In addition to my personal revulsion at such an uniformed and overly simplistic statement, how did he think he was going to work with "Washington Democrats" in Congress after a comment like that?

    Please someone set me straight - did Dean really say something different an what was reported?

    •  Setting straight. (4.00)
      Correction: he actually called semi-literate trolls "cockroaches."
      •  Ask an honest question and get pilloried... (none)
        Semi literate trolls?  I don't get it.

        I am asking a sincere question to a board I know is populated by a large number of Deniacs who are more knowledgeable of his record than I am.  I was a huge supporter of the man, that comment let me down as I felt it was directed at me and people I work with and respect, and now I am trying to reconcile those two feelings to see whether I will continue to support him.

        How in the world is that "trolling"?

        •  Second try. (none)
          My apologies if you're sincere--it's a bit hard to tell, and misspelling "Dean" and other details gave your post the hallmarks of several notable trolls we've seen.

          I have only heard the "cockroaches" quote re-quoted.  So I can't vouch for the original, but it doesn't sound unlike something Dr. Dean would say.

          Having worked for what sounds like a truly progressive and hard-working Democrat, I can see you were offended.  However, with that background, I would assume you were aware your man is in the distinct minority of Democrats with backbones, so I would argue painting the Democratic Party with a broad brush as part of the real problem is only a slight over-generalization.

          If you're truly considering continuing your support for Dean, that's great.  Welcome to the club!  Mr. Kerry and Edwards are not going to be doing anything to change the complexion of the corporate Democratic Party, so shouting your support for Dr. Dean and what his movement still represents seems to me a smart way to influence from within.

          •  Ah, didn't run the title through the spell check (none)
            on Word, where I typed it.  I live in DC and already voted for Dean.

            The cockroach comment is actually what turned my old boss off to Dean.  He felt like "here I am busting my kiester in the minority" and this guy calls me a cockroach.  I guess he felt unappreciated and unfairly maligned.

            That said, if in fact Dean did say this, or even just given his railing against "Washington Democrats", don't you think that would make it difficult to work with them once he got to the WH?  And kind of tough to help elect and re-elect Democrats downticket after trashing them?

            Hold your fire -- this is another sincere question.

            •  My understanding .. (none)
              in paying attention to Dean's overall message over time (as most Dean supporters have been), is that Dean's aim was to shake-up a dysfunctional party & enforce a re-invigoration of the core traditional beliefs that win for Democrats. In abandoning those beliefs in favor of playing-field compromise, the party as a whole has been marginalized. Therefore: in essence, his candidacy was a warning that this would no longer be tolerated should he gain office. Which many found very disturbing.
              IMO, the term 'Washington Democrats' was short-hand for those public servants now in Washington who have abandoned the party's core values in subservience to the GOP .. in order to stay safely in place.
              Shamefully, interest in understanding his statements was undermined by attempts to simplify & then spin the simplification to death.

              Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. -- Shaw

              by wilderness wench on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 03:12:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Of course he did -- what's new? (none)
      Dean's statement -- as reported by his good friend Jodi Wilgoren in October -- was that 'if he won, members of Congress were "going to be scurrying for shelter, just like a giant flashlight on a bunch of cockroaches." ' Not 'Congress' but 'members of Congress'. Some, not all.
      Yesterday, he stated quite clearly that some members of Congress are honorably serving their nation in support of fair and  progressive values -- and that these public servants deserve our continual support.
      So, once again (as with the idea that Dean called Kerry a Republican in referring to GOP-style behavior), there seems to be a general problem in identifying figurative speech. Comparison, not definition.
      If I say a certain middle-aged man is running around after young girls like a teenager, I'm not telling you he's a teenager .. unless, of course, you're a very young child with poor hearing :)

      Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. -- Shaw

      by wilderness wench on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 02:49:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absentee ballot, for sure (none)
    I just received my absentee ballots from VT in the mail and there is no indication of the sort of writing implement I should use to fill it out. (the ballots are different than the last election.  So I called the town hall, and guess what - THEY DON'T KNOW EITHER!!!???

    The clerk who will be able to tell me, perhaps, is ABSENT for several days - which is prescious postal system time - and I was told that no one else there can help.

    I will likely turn to the state offices to see if they can help.

    As Leonard Cohen said, "Democracy is coming... to the U - S - A.

  •  Kerry & Vietnam (none)
    One issue to remember - with Kerry we get the Vietnam issue as a campaign point, which takes away a lot of Bush's strength. A large part of why the National Guard issue has become such a big deal lately is Kerry's emergence. With Edwards, we lose it.

    That being said, I still don't understand the hate for Kerry. Kerry was never my first choice (when there were nine candidates, I think I had him at least fourth, behind Clark, Dean, and Braun) but he does have thirty years of genuinely working for the Democrats.

    Edwards still worries me a bit; I'm not convinced that he won't pull a hard right if he gets elected, and then there's the whole pod person thing, which I'll be the first to admit isn't entirely fair. I plan on voting for Kerry March 9 (I'm in Fla.), and I feel much more comfortable with him as the nominee.

    •  Kerrybot. (none)
      > [Kerry] does have thirty years of genuinely
      > working for the Democrats...

      But that's the problem.  He's been part of the system for far too long to recognize its real issues.  He'll never engage in true finance reform because he wouldn't have any idea how to campaign without the standard sources of money.  He has had years of public exposure that show us clearly how adept he is at shifting with the breeze.  And his life in office has been most notable for his lack of introducing legislation, sponsoring bills, fighting particularly hard for anything progressive rather than mainstream, and indeed even showing up to vote.

      Edwards wins this comparison mostly because he didn't stay in the Senate long enough to become quite as obviously tainted.  Although his ambulance-chaser years are surely rife with fun facts for Rove & Co.  I liked his book, though.

      Do you want to elect someone who will say "No drilling in ANWAR--that's just wrong."  Or someone who will say "We should take a look at mitigation and perhaps slowing the pace of new oil development in ANWAR."  For example.  Kerry will meet the Republicans halfway, and I'm not sure that's something we can afford any more.

      •  Kerry is solidly against ANWR drilling. (none)
        In fact, he led the most recent filibuster against it.  (There's a Hoffa interview floating around that suggests Kerry may be open to the idea of drilling in less environmentally sensitive areas of Alaska, but even Hoffa couldn't delude himself into thinking Kerry's ANWR position was malleable.)

        It's strong stands on environmental issues like this that earned Kerry the earliest endorsement the League of Conservation Voters has ever given in a Presidential race.  Kerry's lifetime LCV rating of 96% is 20% higher than Edwards's lifetime rating (76%).  (I posted the links upthread; I don't have time to post them again this minute, but I can do so later if anyone doesn't believe me.)  On environmental issues, at least, the evidence shows that Edwards and not Kerry has been the one compromising with the GOP.

    •  Kerry as a Veteran (none)
      Long ago, pre-Dean, I thought Kerry would be a great candidate.  Of course, being a Minnesotan, I did not have to listen to him much.  Once I heard Howard Dean, Kerry seemed just awful.

      Except for one small item, which you mentioned, and I believe is/was signifcant is kerry's lead -- veterans.  All sorts of veterans, even conservative ones.  You know, the ones riding around with confederate flags on their pickups with shotguns racks in their cab -- those  veterans.  

      I beleive they will vote kerry in spite of his voting record, just because they truly want to get rid of Bush.  this AWOL story was really effective not because is legally could be proved one way or the other, but it sent a very loud message to veteran groups.  And they were listening.

      the question is, will his being a veteran outpace his awful campaigning.  Question?

      As a Dean people, it pains me to say this and it shouldn't be so, but Iowa, New Hampshire, and all those veterans surrounding Kerry, really meant something to those people.

      •  Take A Look (none)
        Kerry flies and buses those same veterans everywhere.  I didn't see any vets at any Michigan caucus sites.  I hate to say it, but most will vote for Bush and they aren't a huge part of the general voting population.

        Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

        by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:58:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Q: How many John Kerrys does it take to screw... (none)
        Q: How many John Kerrys does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        A: Are there any veteran light bulbs in the audience?  But seriously folks, I take light bulbs and the plight of light bulbs very seriously.  In my career, I have fought for light bulbs, I have always fought on behalf of light bulbs, and I will continue to fight for light bulbs.  I voted for light bulbs, but not the kind of light bulbs that George Bush blah blah blah...

  •  Kerry and Edwards (none)
    I would vote for Senator Kerry or Senator Edwards for President over George Bush.  I also would vote for Governor Dean over George Bush.    

    That said, if the race for the Democratic nomination is between Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards, my vote goes to Senator Kerry.  What are my reasons?

    First, Senator Kerry is much more cynical about the use of American military power than Senator Edwards and is more supportive of the role of the United Nations.  I think this traces back to Vietnam.  Senator Kerry also has shown more skepticism about defense spending.  

    Senator Edwards, writing about Iraq in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post (September 19, 2002), although calling for an effort to rally the international community, said:  "At the same time, we must not tie our own hands by requiring Security Council action.  Congress should authorize the United States to act with whatever allies will join us if the Security Council is prevented from supporting action to enforce the more than 16 resolutions against Iraq."  

    Second, Senator Kerry has an exceptionally strong record on a host of liberal issues, including the environment and civil liberties.  Senator Edwards has a pretty good record, but he suppports the death penalty and is a lot more pro-gun.  

    Third, on trade, I know Senator Edwards is making a big point of his opposition to NAFTA, but I don't believe that protectionism is the answer.  Corporations that are intent on making big profits will push for cheaper labor wherever they can find it.

    Finally, some of it is personal.  Senator Edwards just seems like a pretty package to me.  While he talks about his father as a mill worker, the Raleigh News and Observer reports that while Senator Edwards' dad did work on the floor of the Milliken mill for a few years, his father became a plant production manager and later a consultant to the textile industry.  The Raleigh News and Observer also reports that Senator Edwards avoided paying $290,000 in Medicare taxes by having his law corporation pay him dividends rather than a salary or bonuses.


  •  positive about Edwards (none)
    I met John Edwards in 1974 (I was 3rd year in law school and he and Elizabeth were 1st year) I think because Elizabeth introduced me to him. (Elizabeth Anania Edwards was in my undergraduate class and lived in the same dorm as me in 1969).  John Edwards is very popular here in NC. (full disclosure, I have been for Howard Dean for a year and still will vote for Dean in the NC caucus April 17. My wife has maxed out for Edwards at $2k). My wife's mother (a life long Republican CHANGED PARTIES in 1998 to vote for Edwards in the Democratic primary, and not because of anything we said to her mother, her mother talked us into being for Edwards in 1998). John and Elizabeth are genuine, honest people. (oh, and by the way, a little kicker, Howard Dean's brother Charlie also lived in the same dorm in 1969 and was involved in a lot of the same activities as Elizabeth and I.)
  •  Trackback: Moving Beyond Electability (none)
    Trackback from Brutal Hugs:

    Gallup tells us either Edwards or Kerry could beat Bush if the election were held today. I already explained why it's bad to use electability is your main criterion for choosing a candidate, and now that they're both electable, we should really move on to finding positive, substantive reasons to back a candidate with a message and a reason for his run. As I've said before, that sounds more like Edwards than Kerry to me.

    Poll via TalkLeft.

    BTW, DKos agrees.

    Read the rest...
  •  Experience (none)
    The other day, David Brooks was on NPR to talk about the Wisconsin results. He started attacking Edwards because (paraphrasing here), "The American people want someone with leadership experience."

    I'm guessing he was trying to compare Edwards with C+ Agustus, but COME ON.

    I keep thinking that pundits can't say anything dumber, but they keep surprising me...

  •  Kerry to win (none)
    I think there are two reasons to support Kerry at this point.  First and most important is electability.  Second is who will be a better President conditional on winning.  I think Kerry is considerably more electable.  I think they'd both be infinitely better than Bush, but Kerry would be better.

    Electability: A large number of swing voters are moderates who hate Bush on domestic policy but are scared of terrorism and hence lean Bush because of his military aura.  This aura has been tarnished, but will be burnished with hundreds of millions in ads and especially by the likely capture of Osama.  With some successes in hand, Bush will have an easy time tarring Edwards as not tough enough to take on our enemies.  This attack will have less probability of success among swing voters on Kerry.  I expect we're talking about up to 15-20% of the electorate meeting this description.

    Better President conditional on winning.  The only substantive differences I see are that Kerry has been a committed environmentalist forever and that Edwards is pandering on trade.  Obviously a good President will work to overcome manipulative labor practices and environmental abuse in overseas production.  But fighting trade with underdeveloped countries fundamentally denies life prospects to poor people while raising prices at home.  Edwards will be under a lot of pressure to be isolationist on trade from unions who already appear to be suspicious of him.

    A third issue on governance is who is going to be better at forging international alliances to wage a smart war on terror with some focus on the sources.  Kerry's success in normalizing relations with Viet Nam is a point here.  Edwards is charming and I suspect would be fine.

    A final governance consideration is the budget.  If social security, medicare and medicaid are to be there for the elderly on an ongoing basis, and if privatization of social security is to be fought off, approaching budget balance while we still have a low dependency ratio is critical.  Kerry has made it clear that he plans to be tough on deficits, Edwards has not.

    •  Tsonga-Kerry to Lose (none)
      That all makes perfect sense, except Terrorism is way down people list as a leading issue (somewhere aroudn 6-7).  Jobs and Economy are 1 and 2.  Run against a rival WEAKNESSES.  Edwards makes up for National Security downside with General Zinni as VP.

      Honestly, I'm for a President who thinks about American CITIZENS being employed LONG BEFORE he considers the theory that trade helps overseas poor (and so do about 98% of Americans).

      Yep, Edwards is a Keynesian (remember, when we fought Trickle Down and Out economics before ex-libs bought into it?) and K is for austerity (that's always a winning electoral strategy and a terrible way to govern).
      Still, we can argue to we're blue in the face about K as President.  Only one problem, he'll never win.  I suspect you thought Dukakis would win too, and so would Mondale, and McGovern.  How often do y'all need to be wrong until you learn a lesson?

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:54:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reign of Terror (none)
        Terror is low on everyone's list now because most media focus has been on the Democrats, who are not talking much about terror and who are talking a lot about the economy.  Will it be after the New York 9/11 fest the GOP will produce and perhaps after Osama is caught and Saddam tried?

        If the economy is very strong, the Democrat will lose.  If the economy is weak, voters will replace Bush if they trust the credentials of the replacement.  Maybe filling in via VP will work on defense gravitas, maybe not.  With Kerry, there's much less risk.

        Many Northern Democrats have been elected president, picking the most recent four failures strikes me as not a great statistical exercise.  Southern Democrats are 2 for 4 since 1979, which is not such a great record, either.  Non-Arkansan Southerners are 0 for 2 as opposed to 0 for 2 from the North.

        •  Why 1960? (none)
          I picked 1960 for a simple reason.  Since then America has changed fundamentally.
          1.  Demographic transfer to the west after the invention of air conditioning.
          2.  Post Civil and Voting Rights acts that changed American politics and politics in the South.
          3.  Growth of the suburbs after the post-war economic boom.
          4.  Rise of Evangelicalism and transformation of Republican Party.
          Sorry, but you can't really try to erase history (Clinton) you've got to make reasonable claims for periodization (1979 doesn't cut it) and look at everything.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 07:25:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  1964, then (none)
            You don't get to claim LBJ for the South, then, because the Southern strategy wasn't in high gear until Nixon in 1968.  But Gore doesn't bode well for Democratic wins in the South this time around.  Nor does Cleland.  If Gore couldn't win TN as an almost incumbent in good times, why will Edwards win NC or anywhere else in the South?  The problem with small samples is that it is difficult to extrapolate to different circumstances.  When was the last election where people cared a lot about foreign policy?  I will agree that conditional on foreign policy not mattering in the general, Edwards small chance of carrying some Southern states might outweigh Kerry's foreign experience.  But I think that the relative advantage to Kerry times the probability that foreign policy is a salient issue is a bigger number than the Edwards Southern edge.
            •  Whatever (none)
              Fine, have it your way if you want.  Then it's Southerners: 3-1-1. And Northerner 0-4.  Same basic point (although the Southern tilt to gops predates Nixon).  Whatever, 40 years is not a small sample.  It's the one we've got.
              OK, this will sound bad ..., but how old are you?  History did begin before Gore.  The problem with Kerry is that he's going to try Gore's strategy again.  Write off the south and try to win most everything else.  It didn't work last time, Clinton did work twice, so let's try the Clinton strategy.  Clinton won all over the South (Georgia, Ark, Tenn, KY, Louisiana, WVA, etc).  Plus, Southerners do better in the Midwest suburbs where we also have to win.
              I grew up under Reagan, Bush in college, then Clinton.  I can tell you how depressing it is to go vote for someone knowing they will lose (Dukakis) -- it's a drag.
              Have you seen the polls that put foreign policy far down the list.  Plus, it's risky -- what if they get bin Laden?  Plus, Kerry isn't all that big of a help.  McGovern was a war hero too -- and that didn't help.
              Again, Edwards gets every Kerry vote plus lots more.

              Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

              by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 09:09:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Closer objects (none)
    I like Edwards' chances of winning over disaffected GOP and creating the category "Edwards Republicans." But Clark's entry hurt John-Boy early, and his probably most realistic hope is a lot of momentum going into a brokered convention. Maybe Dean could swing the difference for Edwards there.

    I actually think Kerry's a solid candidate...except for his speechifying problems. See, the success of Bill Clinton should've raised the bar for Dem PR competence -- but instead we get dullards like Gore '00 and Kerry '04. (Gore, to his credit, has become more animated and eloquent in his recent speeches about Bush.)
  •  Chinese food (none)
    I refer you to what Josh Marshall said about his observation of Edwards while covering New Hampshire.  That he was quite swept along while watching him perform.  But very shortly after he could not remember what it was that got him..

    The old joke about Chinese food - eat a lot and an hour later you're hungry.

    As a Kerry supporter I am reassured by Kos's past record as a Delphic Oracle.

    Cherry picking may not get you enough for a full pie.

    •  "Cherry-picking" (none)
      Remember, WHY Edwards WAS having problems jetting off to each state.  He's lived up to his principles and stayed within campaign spending limits.   Remember when we'all ripped Bush for doing that 4 years ago?  Integrity?  Consistency?

      To go with your analogy.  Edwards is like the Chinese resturant you keep going to over and over again.  K is like the 5-star resturant you go to where the waiting is arrogant, the menu doesn't make any sense, the sauces are dull, and you decide never to go back again.

      PS: Delphic Oracle always made incomprehensible pronouncements -- sorta like K when asked to discuss his past votes.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:47:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  gosh you're a sycophant (none)
        Edwards has no compunction taking money from special interests (that is, if you count the trial lawyers who bundle funds to him).

        He is no better than Kerry and no worse.  So we might as well quit the ad hominem attacks on a decent member of the Senate who has been on the correct side of so many progressive issues in his career.

        I can't believe how carried away people are here in the Kerry-bashing.  But I can understand why people would be dazzled by Edwards' charm.  And if Kerry can't really do the same, then that's his fault not ours.  But we should be a bit more careful in eating one of our own and toning down our self-righteousness just a tad please.

        If you want to change the party or how politics is done in Washington -- neither of these guys is really going to do anything that much differently.

        •  Facts (none)
          John Edwards does not take money from Special Interest Lobbyists.  Check his website.
          "Dazzled?"  Nope, used my reason (putting those three degrees to work).  See all my logical posts below.
          "Self-righteous"?  Maybe, but isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?
          "ad hominem"? did you really type that two minutes after you typed "sycophant"?
          Not trying to eat anyone, trying to get the best nominee for the Party.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 07:20:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yup (none)
            i'm ad hominem to you being ad hominem to Kerry.  I have no problem with either of them and I'm sick of the meaningless Kerry-bashing from folks like you.

            No offense, but Edwards is running for VP.  But no matter, because this debate is about as useful as hearing from Deaniacs a few weeks about how Dean was poised to kick Kerry's butt in the next round, I guess I'm not surprised to now hear it from Edwards supporters.

            I just can't wait untill we pick a nominee so all that self-righteousness can be directed to where it truly belongs -- at GWB and his cronies.

          •  check his website? (none)
            that's funny.  check the center for public integrity's website if you want to see from whom Edwards gets his cash.  The man is no Dean -- his funding is not coming from the little old lady down the street.
        •  They're the same, that's why I like Edwards. (none)
          They both take "special interest" money.  Yes, they do, no matter how Edwards wants to spin it.

          They're both more centrist than I wanted in a Democrat.

          They both have shown signs of voting in order to maintain popularity, rather than from any serious conviction on issues.

          Um...they're both named John?

          So given that they both suck...really, really, suck, and that the few candidates with any progressive principle or conviction have bowed out, I feel I must eventually vote for one of them.  So it's Edwards.  Because:

          1. I assume they're both liars, and I like the lies I'm hearing from Edwards more.
          2. Edwards appears to me more viable in the general election.  Kerry is flat, equivocating, monotonous, light on content, and too easily stereotyped by the GOP as a Ted Kennedy-alike.  (I like TK, but I'm thinking as a stupid swing voter here.)  Edwards is lively, exciting, and besides his trial lawyering seems to have fewer liabilities.
          So...they both suck, but Edwards can keep GWB from winning again.  I'll vote for Kerry if he goes, but I'll have to wash my hands afterwards.  Twice.  Only one washing necessary for Edwards.
      •  gosh i do work and blogging breaks loose (none)
        Kerry is not arrogant. I know him personally.  

        Your motto?  about Northern presidents is precisely one of the reasons I don't want Edwards.  It's a slightly long logic.  But in '76 I refused to vote for Carter because he was too conservative.  Whoever the leftish third party candidate there was in '76 I voted for him.  I don't like how this party's philosophy has moved rightward since then both by the positive pressure of the hard assault by the Republican right  and the negative pressure of catering to the conservative Southern and southern influenced voters  both in terms of legislation , regulation and candidates.  I have a friend, who with an ironic sense of seriousness, says  that Lincoln was wrong about keeping the South.

        I just think that as a more traditional liberal and progressive candidate will be able to 1. frame the debate for the campaign and afterward, especially with the weight of Howard Dean and his newly emerging organization 2. tht Kerry can win the election running on some of the same issues as JFK  1960, strong on the traditional Dem domestic issues but also strong on national security.

        Think of the laft -right continuum as a string and in the last @30 years the right of the Republican party has pulled the center so far right that that things that Ricard Nixon!!! signed like Medicaid and the EPA, (but he did veto McGovern's universal childare bill) are now  at the leftish fringe of the Democratic party.  I personally think that a Northern progressive (Howard Dean was always the one I would have gone to if Kerry didn't make it) is just the shot in the arm that this party needs.

        I wrote at length in my last diary that Edwards is a DLC Democrat not an ADA Democrat.  If the CW is that Kerry has been untested, well there has been nothing slung at Edwards and believe me the Republicans are readying a mountainful..

        Last let me say that if I can give credence to the Deaniac that I sat next to returning from Iowa then Elizabeth Edwards is the one who wields the sharp scalpel in that family. Her comments about Dean infuriated him.  


        •  Reply (none)
          OK, but I've heard from lots of other folks that he is arrogant.  He certainly comes off that way.  See Kraus at Slate.
          Edwards is more progressive than you think.  Name some issues and I'll reply.  Also see Rogers in The Nation (I'm a subsriber):
          Edwards frames the poverty debate and race debate around morality -- that's impressive.  Virtue!  Not for expanding NAFTA (Kerry voted for expanding to Chile and Fast Track for Bush).
          Can't disprove a hunch, but Gore found Edwards to be totally CLEAN in his VP vetting.
          I'm not sure he is easily labeled.
          And Carter, come on, the guy introduced Human Rights into foreign policy -- and that brought about the end of the cold war.

          Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

          by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 09:22:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  New here and somewhat blog illiterate.... (none)
    would someone be kind enough to tell me what the "Rate All" box is for?
  •  Still hoping for an Edwards miracle (none)
    You know, as youthful as Edwards looks for 50, I've rarely if ever seen him not have gravitas. He is aware of the issues, he is confident that he can marshall the resources for a solution. He can make the sale, and he generally has the right policy.

    In the film Osmosis Jones, Ron Howard played an animated character who was running for president of a live-action character's body. (The outside body of this "slothful dad" is played by Bill Murray.) Opie Cunningham's character had the jacket over his shoulder, and he youthfully projected moral and intellectual clarity. Bobby Kennedyesque...John Edwardsesque.
  •  Too funny (none)
    The AFL-CIO says it's time to call off the race but check out the Live Vote down the page, with well over 200,000 votes cast.

    Kerry now has Joe-mentum (that's the inverse of momentum, by the way).

    "Not so fast, John Kerry." -John Edwards

    by MeanBone on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:38:12 PM PST

  •  Whom will Chandler support at the convention? (none)
    The total number of delegates just went up one tick, the newest super-delegate is Chandler, US rep of KY CD number 6. Yay!

    Does anyone have any idea about whom he will support at the convention?

  •  KOS YOU WERE WRONG!!!! (1.25)
    Remember me! Well All along I told everyone that it was not going to be a Dean/Clark race. I did say that Lieberman was going to be in it and I was wrong. But I wanted to point out that YOU WERE wrong. I only say this because your PRO DEAN - ANTI LIEBERMAN Slant made me SICK! I am laughing now because BOTH Dean and Clark have DROPPED OUT! Please....YOU are not a political strategist! Stick to discussing the issues - you do a good job of that. You have no idea about what you are talking about when it comes to strategy. Shut up and leave that discussion to the pros.
    Oh yeah and by the way. I like Edwards but come on, he is NOT going to beat Kerry. He has only won a single state. Might I remind you the one he was born in! GET REAL!!!!!!!

    "The decision before you is as direct as this: Are we going bring this country together and move it forward? Or are we going to keep it divided and take it back

    by NickinNH on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:47:06 PM PST

    •  NH (none)
      Only people in New England (what about 35% of them) would honestly think Kerry was electable.  Well, I've been for Edwards since 2002, so listen up to the master.  Edwards will knock Kerry out by March 10th.  Can't you see the meteor falling?  It is ALREADY over.
      PS: On South Carolina.  A neighboring state to North Carolina (but I'm in Michigan and I can tell you 95% of Michiganders don't know the two senators from Ohio or Indiana).  It's a win.
      Why was Kerry's win in NH such a big deal since it was JUST a neighboring state?
      You're mean, ill-tempered, and wrong.

      Northern Democrats since 1960 are 0-4 in General Elections. Please, try to learn from history.

      by philgoblue on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 07:12:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i question your competence as a living being (none)
        i truly hope you are joking, lets look at everything so far. john kerry has won 15/17 contests, in all regions of the country. he has a commanding delegate lead, and super tuesday plays more into his hands than edwards. kerry will do well in NY, MA, and CA, along with Vermont, RI, and conn. Minnesota i cant predict, and edwards may take georgia and ohio. so kerry comes off a huge win on 3/2. Now look at edwards. he has won 1/17 contests, and the one he won WAS HIS FRIGGIN HOME STATE. he will be so far behind after super tuesday, he wont be able to mount any meaningful comeback on southern tuesday. kerry just picked up the endorsement of the afl-cio, thats 13 million people, many of whom will be volunteering for him. combine that with the fact that most democrats want a nominee sooner than later, so that we can go after bush, and you still have a kerry nomination. yes edwards did better than expected in wisconsin, but if losing by six points is considered a victory large enough to stop a candidate who has won 15/17 contests, then i have to question that. kerry will still be the nominee, only an act of God can change that.
      •  Media spin; people came back ... (none)
        Three things to take from New Hampshire:
        • Kerry was in the the lead there for almost a year before the invasion vote when he plummeted.
        • Dean came in a strong second place - behind Kerry - but stronger than the others.
        • Polls - especially national preference polls - don't mean jackshit.
        If Dean had never meteorically rose to 30-point leads during the summer and fall - which were false in the first place since the support was always soft [leadership vacuum] - coming in such a strong second would have been huge, even after coming in third in Iowa.

        Here are the New Hampshire results again:

        John Kerry - 84,377 - 39 percent
        Howard Dean - 57,761 - 26 percent
        Wesley Clark - 27,314 - 13 percent
        John Edwards - 26,487 - 12 percent
        Joe Lieberman - 18,911 - 9 percent
        Dennis Kucinich - 3,114 - 2 percent

        Like Dean said during both Iowa and New Hampshire, 'If I knew last year that we would come in [blank] ...' He was near the bottom of all polls a year ago. Then he surged. Then, the media spun and scared people away. Also, 60,000 more people - a majority of which were new voters - voted in the Democratic primary in 2004 than voted in the 2000 Democratic primary. Many of these people were new residents from Massachusetts who have moved up to New Hampshire [about 110,000 in the last decade].

        Now, compare these results to 1992:

        Paul Tsongas - 55,663 - 33.2 percent
        Bill Clinton - 41,540 - 24.8 percent
        Bob Kerrey - 18,584 - 11.1 percent
        Tom Harkin - 17,063 - 10.2 percent
        Jerry Brown - 13,659 - 8.2 percent

        Dean's results in 1992 would have been a solid win. Go back a little further - to 1988:

        Michael Dukakis - 44,112 - 35.9 percent
        Dick Gephart - 24,513 - 19.9 percent
        Paul Simon - 21,094 - 17.2 percent
        Jesse Jackson - 9,615 - 7.8 percent
        Al Gore - 8,400 - 6.8 percent
        Bruce Babbitt - 5,644 - 4.6 percent
        Gary Hart - 4,888 - 4 percent

        Dean's results in 1988 would have been a slaughter. So ...

        Politizine: Random musings about politics, music and modern times.

        by radiotony on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:21:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  ridiculous kos, simply ridiculous (none)
    "But ultimately, Kerry's biggest weakness is that no one likes him"
    well let it be none far and wide that at least one person likes him, ME! This is just an ignorant statement. i usually have a lot of respect for the things you say Kos, but this is just BS. Just because some pissed off Deaniacs in blogland dont like him, doesnt mean the electorate doesnt. truly ridiculous. this bias is simply getting out of control. chances are you dont care, but because of that ignorant comment ive lost a lot of respect for you and this we bsite.
    •  In Mass. ... (none)
      I know scads of people who don't like Kerry. He is aloof and out of touch and barely won his first three campaigns for senate.
      One time, he was campaigning around Brockton and he kept referring to the mayor as a state rep., with a different name than his own.
      A reporter asked the mayor why wasn't he correcting Kerry and the mayor joked that Kerry didn't know who he was, why tell him now? Plus, he said, it was funny watching Kerry make an ass of himself.

      Politizine: Random musings about politics, music and modern times.

      by radiotony on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 10:57:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh ya everyone hates him..... (none)
        thats why he got over 80% in the last senatorial election! Give me a break. Gues what buddy, IM FROM MASSACHUSETTS!! and no offense i think i can claim to know peoples opinion of kerry. people are thrilled once again THRILLED to have a massachutten running for prez.
        •  He didn't have a major party opponent! (none)
          In 2002, Kerry had a Libertarian opponent who he refused to debate and got 79 percent of the vote. Michael Cloud, got over 360,000 votes, about 19 percent. Another woman from Cambridge who ran a two week write-in campaign just before Election Day got over 30,000 votes.

          I know TONS of people who think Kerry is an ass and before six months ago, I lived in Massachusetts for 16 years - working in and around politics and the media all during that time. I still work in the media in Mass.

          No offense, but I know a hell of a lot more than you do about Massachusetts politics.

          Politizine: Random musings about politics, music and modern times.

          by radiotony on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:29:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards is Proof the South Resists Joining 21st Ce (1.00)
    Okay,Deaniacs -- here's the thing.  You gave much better than you can take.

    Do you really think 40% + nationally would have voted for Kerry if they found him unlikeable?

    You are all in a vacuum.  get real.

    Oh, yea -- and let's really round the protectionist southerner to save us from the progressive Democratic Party.

    Look at the WIS exit polls.  Only the fascists voted for Edwards.

    •  Vote for <name here> (4.00)
      >> Do you really think 40% + nationally would have
      >> voted for Kerry if they found him unlikeable?

      Certainly.  I think 40% would vote for that German cannibal guy if the corporate media told them he was the front-runner.

      People are sheep, and nearly no one has the level of interest nor information that we here do.  I firmly believe a large number of New Hampshire voters decided they like Kerry simply because a picture of him playing hockey was widely circulated.  An informed

      You are correct that voting for Edwards--arguably the most conservative of the whole original gang save for Lieberman--is a bizarre turn from supporting Dean.  Take it as a testament to how antithetical Kerry's candidacy is to what Dean's has been, and also to how pissed off you can make a lot of people by calling up folks at midnight and telling them not to vote for Dean because his wife's a Jew.

  •  one more round of sour grapes (none)
    But ultimately, Kerry's biggest weakness is that no one likes him, unlike the well-liked, charismatic Edwards. The exit polls have been clear -- people vote for Kerry not because they are inspired, agree with his policies, or otherwise find him an attractive candidate. They vote for him because they think he is "most electable". And that aura is fading. The attacks are taking a toll on him and that perceived "electability". And since his support is not deep, it's artificial and thin at best, he has nothing to fall back on.

    Well guess what kos?  I like Kerry, I am inspired by him, and I find him an attractive candidate.  And I vote, and I think my views vis-a-vis Kerry reflect a broad majority of the democratic electorate.  Yes, we want to win, and do find the electability argument compelling.  But have you ever stopped to ask why people think Kerry is electable?  Your peculiar logic seems to go like this: no one likes Kerry, no one agrees with his policy positions, no one is inspired by him, and no one is otherwise attracted to him... BUT, almost everyone thinks he's electable???  Come on.

    no one likes Kerry?    This is the very kind of gross overstatement I have come to expect from kos whenever he talks about Kerry.  It really just boils down to continued sour grapes over the perception that it is Kerry's (and the DNC's, and the media's) fault that Dean isn't the nominee (Dean of course had nothing to do with his own demise).

    You just have to look at the very latest polling from USA Today done over done Feb 16,17.  Despite all of the intense focus and smears in recent weeks, Kerry's unfavorability numbers remain very low, and his favorable/unfavorable ratio is better than 2:1 -

    Favorable: 60
    Unfavorable: 26

    His favorability rating is up from 30% in Dec.

    Among likely democratic and democratic-leaning voters, when asked if they would be satisfied or dissatisfied if Kerry wins the nomination:

    Satisfied: 89
    Dissatisfied: 8

    Nationally, among likely democratic and democratic-leaning voters, Kerry is preferred by 64%, compared to 18% for Edwards.  So much for all the gleeful postings here claiming that in a two-man race, Edwards will accrue all of the votes of the former candidates.  Nope - Kerry wins more than his share of support from folks were following candidates that have dropped out.  In almost all polls, Kerry was not only the first preference, but by far the leading second preference of those leaning to other candidates.  Not bad for someone condemned by kos as totally unlikable.

    I understand the disappointment of the Dean followers.  Many of their criticisms of Kerry have merit (and many of those same criticisms can be applied to Edwards just as much as to Kerry).  But I don't understand the outright, and most often unfounded, bashing leveled here over and over against him.  With friends like these, who needs Matt Drudge?

    In fact, so many of the Kerry bashes that get posted here orginated on Drudge.  I just don't get it.

    I think kos has abdicated all sense of objectivity and journalistic responsibility when it comes to John Kerry.  This reflects more poorly on kos than it does on Kerry, and does nothing to promote the fortunes of Dean or Edwards. And in constantly promoting the "Kerry is disliked" meme, you are merely doing the work of the RNC.

  •  short addendum (none)
    I found this article, and what it says is that even before Iowa Dean faced a tougher opponent, one who pretends to not be a player. Can anyone tell me why? It doesn't make sense to me. Sincerely, does not.
    who picks our candidates?

    Also this is interesting in conjunction:
    Pssst... The Press is a Player

  •  Edwards vs Kerry (none)
    1.  Person.  Deaniac FAQ with video.

    2.  Platform.  Edwards has a more detailed policy platform, including dates of his policy statements.  Kerry has borrowed from JRE so much that you can't tell much difference between them. But only one web site has dates associated with the policy statements: .  Even the line "Bring It On" was taken from an Edwards speech in March 2003.

    3.  Swing Voters. Edwards wins Ind/Rep votes without alienating Dem voters.   Kerry does not have comparable crossover appeal.

    4.  Values.  Edwards' positive campaign neutralizes the Rove smear machine.  Kerry only became positive in Iowa after people noticed Edwards.   Kerry's rhetoric and campaign are more eager to race to the mud-covered bottom.

    5.  Consistency.  JRE was elected Senator to represent a divided Dem/Rep constituency, which reflects the general electorate.  He has a track record of consistently advocating for his positions.   Kerry's experience is limited to a safely Dem constituency and his track record is neither consistent nor decisive.

    6.  Communication.  JRE could be the Democrats' Reagan, the "Great Communicator".  Jay Leno joked - someone who can convince his wife to go to Wendy's for their anniversary - imagine how he could convince world leaders. U.S. News and World Report said Edwards has "... an array of hand gestures unmatched in modern politics ...".  Kerry: no comment.

    7.  Message. Not conjured by political consultants, but based on JRE's life, legal career, Senate career and now his presidential candidacy.   His message has since been tweaked by professionals, but the core comes from Edwards' life.   The quintessential American Dream, it legitimizes JRE's platform to address divisions in U.S. society, a.k.a. Two Americas.

    8.  Judicial Selection.   Edwards has been very active in this area.  A key obligation of the next President will be selection of Supreme Court Justices.  JRE's Senate competition was Launch Faircloth, who was alleged to have recommended Kenneth Starr for Independent Counsel.  JRE deposed Vernon Jordan and Monica Lewinsky in the trial of President Clinton.  He gave influential Senate testimony in defence of President Clinton.  A key plum in a Republican victory in November will be Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Starr, who will serve for at least 20 years, 16 years longer than a 2nd Bush administration.  The camps of Edwards and Starr are old adversaries.  Read about JRE's merciless questioning of Judge Pickering and Brett Kavanaugh (a Starr aide).  Not to mention John Ashcroft.

    9.  National Security. Edwards is advised in foreign policy by Richard Holbrooke and in military affairs by Gen. Hugh Shelton (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).  His substantive speeches on foreign policy and homeland security are worth reading carefully.   Bush sees an aircraft carrier as a photo op.  Kerry sees it as a mission assignment.  Edwards sees it as a strategic military resource to be deployed as one component of a comprehensive national security policy.

    10. Family. The relationship between John and Elizabeth Edwards and the Edwards' policies that are supportive of working families.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site