Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 20, 2003

by J

What One Might Call Projection

John Kerry should probably tend to his own campaign instead of worrying about Howard Dean's. The NY Times reports that John Kerry claims that Howard Dean is "imploding."
"I guess we're just on his mind a lot," Mr. Trippi said, pointing to another episode, the recent debate in Baltimore, when a microphone picked up Mr. Kerry muttering, "Dean. Dean. Dean. Dean. Dean."

In the WCBS interview, Mr. Kerry implied that many of Dr. Dean's views would cost him his standing in the polls. "Dean's been imploding," he said.

Asked what he meant, Mr. Kerry said Dr. Dean had asserted that the United States should not take sides in the Middle East conflict and that suicide bombers from Hamas were "soldiers."

Mr. Kerry called those positions "dead wrong."
Well, yeah, if you create a completely false strawman out of what Dean actually said, then I suppose you could truthfully call it "dead wrong." But, in fact, Nancy Pelosi now agrees with Dean as does Jimmy Carter on the Middle East question. And the "soldiers" comment was completely taken out of context and twisted by Fox News and then used by the Kerry campaign to imply that Dean was asserting something that he wasn't. During the same time frame, Kerry's communications guy, Chris Lehane, was fired, er, resigned, and one of his press people quit to go work for Wes Clark. In addition, Kerry's million dollar 'hammer' fundraiser had only raised $60,000 after being up for almost three days. Joe Trippi would just have to sneeze a couple of times over on the Dean blog to raise that much. (I've no doubt, by the way, that the Kerry campaign will come up with a million dollars, somehow, by the end of the month.)

In the meantime, Dean's sending 500 Texans to Iowa and New Hampshire to go door-to-door for him, hundreds of Dean Visibility Day events are scheduled around the country today and on Monday he'll be delivering a major address titled "Democracy. Freedom. Action" in Boston, the nominal heart of Kerry country. And we still don't know what the 3Q fundraising numbers will be. Has Kerry even publicly stated a goal?

All this and more suggests that perhaps John Kerry should think a little bit more reflectively about which campaign is imploding.
Posted by J at September 20, 2003 11:03 AM

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