Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

January 26, 2004

by V

A Hello from Planet Bush

White House Letter: This Time in New Hampshire, Bush Can Sit Back and Watch (NYTimes)
...Mr. Bush chose to swipe at Mr. Kerry in some off-the-record jokes in a speech on Saturday night at the Alfalfa Club dinner, an annual banquet for Washington's political upper class. The official position of Mr. Bush's advisers is that he is too busy running the country to pay attention to the campaign, but someone must have forgotten to tell the president.

"I think Kerry's position on the war in Iraq is politically brilliant," Mr. Bush told the Alfalfa Club guests at the Capitol Hilton, according to a guest who heard the remarks. "In New Hampshire yesterday, he stated he had voted for the war, adding that he was strongly opposed to it."

The line got a big laugh, the guest said, as did this one about Howard Dean's "I Have a Scream" postcaucus speech in Iowa: "Boy, that speech in Iowa was something else," the guest reported Mr. Bush as saying. "Talk about shock and awe. Saddam Hussein felt so bad for Governor Dean that he offered him his hole."
(So much for off-the-record. And so much for Bush being above all that small-minded partisan politics stuff.)

You know what? I'd like to see more scrutiny of Bush's supporters. We hear all the time about how Dean's tapping into Democrats' anger, or Kerry and Lieberman are tapping into all those Democrats who think the minority in the Senate is doing a great job by only voting for Bush's agenda half of the time.

Why isn't the question being asked of the other side?

What motivates Bush supporters? Love of the status quo? Fear of caricatured liberals? "Gore Hate"? Nostalgia for government-crippling deficits? NASCAR dads?

Why is Bush-support assumed to be the default by the media, and aberrance from it must be explained?

I think Bush supporters should be asked to justify themselves much more often, and I hope some of that will happen in the General. I certainly plan to do my part.

One last clip from the article, which gives me warm fuzzies:
For now, Bush campaign officials are playing down the Newsweek poll, and asserting that they had predicted it all along. "We've said for months that we expected this to be a close race and that at a certain point, polls would show us down by a few points," said Terry Holt, the campaign press secretary.

In fact, Bush officials said in November that they expected the race to be neck and neck in the spring, when the Democrats were likely to settle on a nominee. No one predicted it would happen this early.
They keep saying "it'll be close" because that's the best they can hope for. More likely, they'll lose big if the votes all get counted correctly.
Posted by V at January 26, 2004 09:22 AM

The Reliable Source (gossip column) in the Washington Post reported on some recent W jokes. His nickname thing is so insulting. Here's the text and a link:


He's a Regular Cutup, That Guy

"It sounded like open-mike night at the Improv on Saturday night as President Bush cracked up the crowd of panjandrums at the Alfalfa Club dinner.

On former secretary of state Jim Baker: "Jimbo's been going around getting countries to forgive Iraq's debt. Next, I'm going to send him out and see what he can do about ours."

"But what a stellar crowd," Bush continued. "It looks like the index of Paul O'Neill's book. Let me say something about that book. Paul said I was disengaged because he talked to me for 45 minutes and I didn't say a word. I wasn't disengaged. I was bored as hell and my mother told me never to interrupt. . . .

"I feel especially good tonight. The economy is coming back. We're creating new businesses. Just the other day, I read that Pete Rose and Bill Bennett are opening a casino."

Ba-dum-bum. Who knew the prez was such a stand-up guy?

Posted by: jill at January 27, 2004 07:16 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

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