Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

July 7, 2003

by J

Lots of Mainstream Coverage

Dean gets coverage in Newsweek, Time, and the New York Times today (and probably some others that I missed), and not all of it is completely biased, echo-chamber spin (although some of it is.)

New York Times:
"Look, every insurgent campaign has gone exactly through this," said Dr. Dean, who is making his first bid for national office. "The outsider is always given the back of the hand. Then these insider candidates, which is just about all of them, spin like crazy trying to get you to write unflattering stories about how we couldn't possibly win."
When Kerry finally does unload, for example, the theme will be that Dean is a phony because he really isn’t the progressive—or liberal—he claims to be. The Kerry team will focus on the fact that Dean has supported a balanced-budget amendment, opposes gun control, now supports the death penalty in some cases and has talked about raising the retirement age for Social Security. The Kerry team will use these issues to attack Dean’s character. But, ironically, those issues could undercut the other point Kerry’s advisers want him to make: that Dean isn’t mainstream enough to win the general election. “This race isn’t about left and right in any case,” says Simon Rosenberg, an independent Democratic strategist and head of the New Democrat Network.
The questions now are whether Dean can broaden his support and whether the Internet is just a boutique fund-raising tool or one that can generate actual votes. Whatever the ultimate verdict, Dean has already shown there is more than one way to reach supporters. The power of the Internet in political campaigning is "going to take away television's total dominance," says Trippi. So stay tuned. Or, rather, log on.
My current hypothesis is that if there are free and fair elections and if there is a free and fair press, doing its job properly, Dean wins. I understand that this is an unfalsifiable hypothesis, but there it is, nonetheless.
Posted by J at July 7, 2003 10:45 AM

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