Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

February 19, 2004

by J

Kerry on Dean

Kerry finally issued a statement on Howard Dean's announcement yesterday:
I want to congratulate Governor Dean and all of his supporters for everything they accomplished in this race. The Democratic Party truly owes Governor Dean a debt of gratitude for the tremendous new energy he has brought to our party. He has truly helped redefine ‘grassroots politics’ in the twenty-first century by harnessing the power of the Internet. I look forward to working with Governor Dean and his supporters as we work toward the common goal of defeating George W. Bush and bringing change to America.
The phrase "harnessing the power of the Internet" is either an attempt to be belittling, because Howard Dean's campaign was about much more than the 'Net, or it's ignorant. Overall, this statement is not as bad as it could have been, but it's still pretty lame. The Kerry "Blogmaster" Dick Bell has a post to Dean supporters that tries a little harder, but still emphasizes process and avoids any acknowledgement of the substantive issues that Dean brings to the table:
I have been impressed since last spring at the passion that you brought to this race, and at the stream of innovative uses of the Internet that emerged from your campaign. Our nominee will undoubtedly benefit from sharing what you have learned.
The Kerry campaign is very Kerry-centered. Maybe that's the fundamental thing that rubs me the wrong way. As in Kerry's speeches (which are all "I did" "I led" "I fought" "I" "I" "I"), the focus is just not quite right. I'm not urging the opposite extreme; obviously focus on the candidate is important. However, I would like to hear more along the lines of Carol's "we're all in this together" and Howard's exhortations to step up to the challenges of participatory democracy. John Kerry seems to be telling me he'll solve all my problems. I'm not so stupid as to believe him and I don't particularly want to be pandered to.

But, we already know there is no party for me in this country.

In any event, I've always found the Kerry blog to be a pretty hostile and nasty place, so I don't think I'll be spending much time there any time soon. Glad to see that he did finally deign to say something, though.
Posted by J at February 19, 2004 12:50 PM

J, I can certainly empathize with your sentiments about there being no party for you in this country. That heretic stuff gets under my skin too. I felt similarly in 2000 with the way that the GOP establishment treated McCain.

As for Kerry, I agree that his statement was kinda lame, but very much in-character for him. If he's hoping to inspire Deaniacs to support his candidacy, he's gonna have to do better than that.

Posted by: Kevin @ TIV at February 19, 2004 11:29 PM

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