Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

August 23, 2003

by V

Kerry heading South

I was going to write something about John Kerry's odd decision to stage his formal announcement of his candidacy in South Carolina...

For His Announcement, Sen. Kerry Heads South
To political junkies, Kerry's revised itinerary speaks volumes... A Southern strategy, illustrated by an announcement in Charleston, shows some guts, even if it is fueled by a certain desperation about potential outcomes in Iowa and New Hampshire.
And the more recent very odd decision to use an aircraft carrier as a backdrop despite Kerry's [entirely appropriate] smacking of Bush about his aircraft carrier photo-op, thus inviting headlines like:

Kerry using ship in campaign kickoff; Democratic contender had criticized Bush landing on Lincoln
A spokesman for a rival Democratic presidential campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "I don’t think anyone can say with a straight face that this is anything but gimmickry."

He added that it was significant that Kerry was beginning his tour in South Carolina. "This indicates an adjustment in strategy. He is not able to count on a win in New Hampshire," the spokesman said. "At the start of the year, Kerry was well above the rest of the field in New Hampshire. Since then he has seen his lead in the polls completely disappear."
...but then I saw there was a Kos post with a nice long thread digging into it already, where everything I could have wanted to say is covered, except for this:

Given the poor planning and too-careful finessing that I see going on in the Kerry campaign, and given the rightful assumptions of close watchers early on that Kerry would be one of the dominant players, it's becoming clear to me that Chris Lehane, who Kerry got from the Gore campaign, should be henceforth known as "The Squanderer". The ineptitude of the Kerry strategists is showing, and it stinks of Gore2000's needless loss.

Postscript: from the Kos thread, a great distillation of the last couple of weeks by Bruce Webb, responding to someone claiming this had created buzz for Kerry on the site:
Well if you substitute "about JK" for "for JK" you have a point.. But you could retitle this thread "Dean supporters abandon their back-up candidate" and be more on point.

He lost me with the inventing the Internet comment. I am a Yellow Dog Democrat ... and I will pull the lever for the Kerry Dog if I have to but I will be holding my nose.

And I went into this cycle as a Kerry guy.
...all of which describes me pretty well too, except for the Democrat part.
Posted by V at August 23, 2003 10:36 AM

Hey, great site folks!

I think Kerry is irrelevant at this point. Ever since he teamed up with Lieberman to trash fellow Democrats using Rove's talking points, I've felt nothing but contempt for his campaign. Sure, he is a good Senator and I'm glad to have him (for now), but I think his presidential campaign is a detriment to the party at this point.

For some potentially relevant news check this out.

Posted by: Adam in MA at August 23, 2003 12:53 PM

kerry's speech on the carrier is just another example of me-too-ism that absolutely killed us during the midterms. dems cannot win by aping bush. jesus, when are the "pros" going to get that?

before the midterms, jim jordon was one of the strategists running around urging dems not to challenge bush on the war because of his post 9-11 poll numbers. how is it they don't recognize those poll numbers are that high because of lack of any opposition?

i hope when kerry loses the nomination, lehane and jordon lose all credibility as strategists and are reduced to selling life insurance.

Posted by: niner at August 23, 2003 09:08 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

In Association with Amazon.com