Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 19, 2003

by V

"Inside" "Politics"

There were actually a few interesting tidbits on Tuesday's Inside Politics on CNN. Contrary to the rumored private feelings of The Party, Terry McAuliffe actually managed to sound a bit enthusiastic about Howard Dean when parrying the negative quotes that Judy Woodruff dug up:

CNN.com: Inside Politics, 11-18-2003
WOODRUFF: The front-runner at this point seems to be Howard Dean... He's doing well in the polls. And yet, you have state party chairs, state officials around the country in your own party who are concerned.

Let me just quickly quote Kentucky's Democratic party chair, state Representative Susan Westrom. She says, "Unless his perception" -- meaning Dean -- "can go beyond the governor of Vermont who signed legislation supporting gay marriages, that is the death knell here in Kentucky." In other words, Democrats saying, if Howard Dean is our nominee, we've got problems.

MCAULIFFE: I couldn't disagree stronger. I love all nine equally. That's what the national party chairman does.

Howard Dean is running a great campaign. I don't know who our nominee will be, but I can tell you this, Judy, once the nomination is over, which I think will be in mid-March, we are all going to unify behind one candidate.

This is going to be about George Bush's failed policies leading this country domestically and the issues of foreign affairs. Our message is going to be, America will get this country moving again.

Howard Dean will be a great nominee of the Democratic Party, as [will] the other eight. I don't know who will win it today, but I can tell you this, if Howard Dean were the nominee, I'd be darn proud to have him as a nominee of the Democratic Party. And I speak for many state chairs around the country. But all the other eight would be great nominees.

WOODRUFF: Spoken like a neutral party chair...
McAuliffe also confirmed the obvious about his own future:
WOODRUFF: Terry McAuliffe, saying he's staying on the job, right?


WOODRUFF: Is that what you're saying?

MCAULIFFE: I'm here through February '05. And then we have a new Democratic president. Then who knows what will be next.
(Of course, since it was pretty obvious before this interview, one has to wonder why Woodruff wasted air time on it, but going through the motions of journalism is pretty much CNN's M.O. these days.)

And surprisingly, after a recent television appearance was panned by his own campaign's supporters, Chris 'The Squanderer' Lehane showed his face and, well, spoke somewhat oddly about his [new] candidate:
LEHANE: There's only one candidate in this field who has the experience and background to clean up the mess in Iraq and get us back home. General Clark did this in Kosovo, he did it in the Balkans, all without a loss of a single American life, ended a genocide, brought stability to a region. He's very, very different that other any other candidate in this race because he has actually done that before. And that's a unique space for us. And we're going to be talking about our leadership background, our skills, our commander-in-chief background.
Our? Yeah, yeah, it's a passing goof (actually, three in a row), but it does help to have your spokespeople be able to speak sensibly and differentiate their candidate from themselves, especially when this one's so recent an addition to the campaign staff. That kind of apprehension of reality generally inspires confidence.
Posted by V at November 19, 2003 01:40 AM

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