Tactics and Substance in U.S. Elections GoogleNews: congressional.election

January 20, 2004

by V

First impressions post-Iowa

OK, I'm back. Did I miss anything important? :/
  • To me, last night's result shows the danger of being the 'front-runner' too early - you're everyone's target, including the media's. Kerry apparently peaked at just the right time to avoid too many direct attacks (though it's stil unclear what drove his rise in particular). Maybe now The Note can start moaning about the lack of Kerry scrutiny by the media.

  • Is it unusual for two candidates to surge at the end and displace the two front-runners in a state? I don't recall having seen that before.

  • The easiest remaining path to a Dean win is obviously by winning New Hampshire, which would let him claim the 'Comeback' mantle. Now to figure out how...

  • I would like the Dean Campaign to learn from this, and adjust and broaden their message accordingly. The danger is in choosing to just try and whip the same population to ever-greater heights of devotion. We need many votes now, not just committed troops.

  • And, a note to Howard D. and Joe T.:

    Last night I was hoping for rather more of the Determined, Plain-Speaking Statesman (a la the Announcement and Common Sense speeches) and rather less of the Pumped-Up Wrestling Coach. In fact, if the Coach never shows up again, you've got a better chance. I'm a committed supporter of yours and I was taken aback.

    Remember when you were running as though you weren't expecting to win? That worked better.

    At some point, I think you need to start running as a Whole-Party, Democratic-Unity guy and not an anti-Those-Democrats-Over-There guy. If you want a majority to get behind you, that is.

    But of course, I've never run a campaign, so I'm just speculating.
On to New Hampshire...
Posted by V at January 20, 2004 8:12 AM

Have to agree with all your points there, V. While I like a passionate speech as much as the next guy, and while I also liked how Dean didn't sound like a third-place finisher (the crowd certainly didn't sound defeated), it does get old quickly.

And, yes, Dean's gotten off-topic recently, while Kerry got on the topic. This election isn't about being against Washington insiders--it's about defeating George Bush. Kerry's finally gotten that message, and he's making it a standard stump speech, forgoing attacks (aside for the snide one against Edwards that you linked earlier, which he quickly tried to downplay) against the other Democrats. Let's hope the Dean campaign learns from this.

Posted by: Glen Engel-Cox at January 20, 2004 10:23 AM

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

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