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Monday, December 29, 2003

Lucky 7

The New York Times ran its seventh Demo prez candidate profile, on Howard Dean, at the top of page 1, and on a Sunday no less, in recognition of his front-runner status. Dean is pictured with a bunch of youthful supporters, furthering his stereotype as a McGovern-type candidate who won't get enough gray-haired votes to win a general election.

"[H]e has great political instincts, good at sizing up people and situations," crows one friend and supporter who was interviewed for the story. "Howard was always two or three moves ahead on the chessboard."

Guess that means he'll have his concession speech ready by mid-October.

Don't get me wrong. In my heart, I know he's right. (Just as in my guts, I know Bush is nuts.) And if Dr. Dean gets the nomination, I'll vote for him. But he can't beat Bush, whereas somebody like Edwards, Clark, Lieberman or even Gephardt could, if their party would just give them the chance.

Later in the day, Dean had the cojones to claim that he's the only candidate who can beat Bush:

"If I don't win the nomination, where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they're going to go?'' he said during a meeting with reporters. "I don't know where they're going to go. They're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician.''
It's exactly this kind of arrogance that makes the man unelectable.

Dean could be the last Democratic presidential candidate I vote for in a while, because I would rather sit the election out than vote for Hillary, the likely nominee next time.

Comments (5)

Just out of curiosity, what's so much worse about Hillary?

1. Everyone is saying they're the only candidate who can beat Bush--it's pretty much the card you play in the primaries. Everyone's also saying Dean's the one guy who can't beat Bush. Candidates say a lot of stuff.

2. The oldster vote ain't what will win Dean the election. Since they already turn out in huge numbers and will turn out for a Dem, they're not as much an issue as the vast untapped, unvoting youth. (And that McGovern comparison is getting a little tired. What exactly is analogous in 2004 to 1972? How is Dean similar in any way? Well, I spose he's the first Dem since McGovern to appeal to Democrats--which is fairly revolutionary.)

3. There are five long years between now and 2008. The half life of politics makes fearing a Hillary candidacy something akin to fearing a tornado five years hence. Who do you think saw a Dubya presidency in 1995? Or Clinton, Reagan, or Carter? Things change quickly in the world of politics. Besides, Dean will already be president and will be a wildly popular and successful one.


Dean in the debate: "We shouldn't have spent billions in Iraq to get Saddam." As much as I might agree with that, it's political suicide. Like it or not, most voting Americans support the war. Then there's Dean the Confederate Flag Guy, Dean the Born-Again Bible Quoter. You know how many votes that kind of cr*p picks up against a true redneck believer like W.? None.

Dean talks too fast. He's a hothead. He's already hiding things. Middle America will not trust him. He'll lose the popular vote by 6-10 percentage points, and get creamed in the Electoral College.

The analogy to McGovern is that he's got all you idealistic kids thinking that the revolution is just around the corner. This time, it's not the Jefferson Airplane that's going to save the world, it's the internet. Dream on!

We could have had a great country under somebody like Hubert Humphrey. Instead we kids effectively gave the country Nixon. And now instead of a capable, sensible Democrat, you kids are going to give us four more years of Bush. Which I think you are going to find truly hideous.

You like the right to choose? You want progressive taxation? You want peace? Well, my children, you had better start shopping among some of the candidates other than Dr. Dean. If he's nominated, I'll vote for him, but he'll never be President.

Hillary I'll leave for another rant.

As a clarifier, I should point out that I'm two weeks from my 36th birthday. As such, I regard you as a very nice man for referring to me as a "kid" and will therefore overlook the condescention you dripped all over my new shirt.

Sorry, Emma.

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