Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 28, 2003

by J

Beltway CW

TAPPED (Franke-Ruta, specifically) suggests that Beltway CW is coalescing around Howard Dean as the eventual nominee. Fascinating.
In the past week, I've been surprised to discover a consensus emerging among the journalists and political consultants with whom I speak regularly -- namely, that Howard Dean is very likely to win the Democratic nomination. I say surprised because two weekends ago I was up in Burlington, where Dean's team isn't yet acting like it's convinced of any such thing. While the journalists and consultants (and none of these folks are Deaniacs) said they were giving Dean anywhere from 70 to 85 percent odds of winning the nomination, the candidate's team in Burlington (made up of the Deaniest of Deaniacs) was busy trying to figure out how to respond to the growing chorus of attacks from Dick Gephardt on the Medicare issue; how to create a Democratic version of the GOP Team Leader organizing tools; and how to prepare its followers -- many of whom are political newbies -- for the increasingly nasty attacks they're anticipating as the campaign enters its next phase.In a field this big, overconfidence is an error no campaign -- even a top-tier one -- can afford.

Perhaps this discrepancy exists because Burlington is isolated from any and all conventional wisdoms and from the chattering classes, in general. Last summer, these folks ignored the negative talk about Dean after his painful Meet the Press performance, and this fall, despite loads of cash on hand, enthusiastic volunteers and positive polling data, they are not taking anything for granted.
Good that Beltway insiders are starting to adjust to their new reality and major kudos to HQ for not taking anything for granted. Ignore the chattering classes and keep your noses to the grindstone! (I wrote 7 letters this past week, so I'm trying to do my share.)
Posted by J at October 28, 2003 08:32 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