View Full Version : Can Kerry do it?
01-28-04, 12:54 PM
TWO weeks ago John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, got barely a look from many of New Hampshire’s Democrats. He had trouble explaining why he supported the Iraq war, and his stump speeches lacked fire. The field of presidential hopefuls was instead led by Howard Dean, the straight-talking former governor of Vermont. But on Tuesday January 27th Mr Kerry soundly thrashed Mr Dean in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary, winning 39% of the vote against Mr Dean’s 26% in a record turnout. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina and Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, trailed well behind with 12% each. Joe Lieberman, a senator from Connecticut and Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, finished a miserable fifth. He has vowed to fight on but his campaign seems all but doomed.
Flush with victory, Mr Kerry has been prancing around proclaiming that he has “only just begun to fight”.
Nor can Mr Kerry rest on his laurels. Iowa and New Hampshire are small states, and not necessarily representative of the national mood. The campaign now swings south—home turf for Mr Edwards and Mr Clark (who is from Arkansas). The next Democratic primaries will be held on February 3rd in seven states—South Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Delaware. If Iowa is any indication, Mr Dean’s pugnacious style, and his anti-war stance, may go down badly in the heartland. Mr Edwards, on the other hand, might pick up speed, with his southern charm and emphasise-the-positive campaign. The race is now Mr Kerry’s to lose. After the seesawing in Iowa and New Hampshire, anything is possible.
Can Kerry make it south of the Washington line? Is Kerry what the south is looking for? I don't think so, to many southerners I would have to fathom they not only like Bush, but hate "liberals" and those who are "anti-war" (the south were exceptionalism still reigns supreme), but they have to respect a man who fought in uniform, and if Edwards joins the ticket with Kerry (which I suspect will eventually happen), the momentum for election 2004 has begun. I feel for Dean, he was such a promising candidate, but I never did think he was going to be either beat Bush or unite the country, to me he was as divisive as Bush is. I heard something last night on CNN from democratic pundits, that Bush has alienated the coasts. Could the Dems count on that? Also this election I personally predict to be one of the most contentious and I expect one of the highest turn outs, which is not good news for Bush. The Dems if they can get out the vote could beat Bush. But Bush has a secret up his sleeve:
However, this is even more true of Mr Bush, who lies in wait for the eventual Democratic nominee (and handily won New Hampshire’s Republican primary with around 90% of the vote). Mr Bush amassed some $130m in donations last year; Mr Kerry, by contrast, had to mortgage his Boston home for over $6m to keep his campaign afloat. On current trends, Mr Bush will be able to dominate the airwaves with self-aggrandising commercials—a Goliath to Mr Kerry’s David (should the senator get the Democratic nomination in July). Republicans are girding themselves for battle: the Republican National Committee website is already disparaging Mr Kerry’s record on health care and taxes.
The race is on, should be very interesting...
01-28-04, 01:19 PM
Kerry's voting record is typical of a liberal from Taxachussetts. That will fly like a lead balloon in the South and West. Kerry's going to have to learn to dance, and fast, to defend his voting record.
Is American ready for President Lurch? Doubtful.
01-28-04, 02:57 PM
I think The Democrats would be wise to focus on the North, West, and Midwest and maybe Florida. As a Southerner and a Democratic leaning independent I hate to say it but most of the South is Republican held territory for now. Al Gore was from the South and he did not win one Southern State. If he had won his own home State he would have won the election. He could not even do that. He did win the Popular vote and only loss the election by a few electoral votes in Florida. Bush is vunerable. The Democrats need to focus on those vunerabilities and not let the Republicans turn it into nothing more than flinging the word liberal around as a dirty word. They need to focus on the the big states like California and Michigan where they have a chance to win.
01-28-04, 03:00 PM
But the Dems have to steal states away from Bush this time around, at least one. Which state apart from Florida could the Dems bank on with enough electoral votes? It doesn't nessecarily have to be in the South, does it?
01-28-04, 03:40 PM
Well Say they win Florida , assuming Edwards would become Kerry's running mate they might have a shot at least in one other Southern State by getting a large African american voter turn out but I wouldn't count on it. Or they might win one of the other battle ground states that Bush won by a small margin last time. All they really need to do is win the same states as Gore did last time plus Florida. If they do that they will win. It will be another squeaker election but it will be a victory.
01-28-04, 04:02 PM
I heard that Louisana is the best chance in the South for the Dems, and Florida. If the Dems can get the vote out in Florida then Bush will lose that state. The state is split btwn a republican north and Dem South, it would be interesting to see if the Dems can get the south to vote. I think that the Cuban, and Haitian votes will be vital, sadly Bush is big with those Cuban ex-pats. I think let Edwards flood the south with his charm and Kerry the Pacific, and NE with his liberalism.
01-28-04, 04:34 PM
Bush will beat him.
01-28-04, 05:01 PM
it isnt unreasonanble to suspectthat the democrat can win louisana. they just elected the democrat female not too longer which most people didnt expect.
150f19 i think kerry's voting record is pretty exceptional actually. it seems to me that he has very often voted on principle instead of special interests. that is rare this day, especially in the current administration.
01-29-04, 03:34 PM
Bush will beat him.
it isnt unreasonanble to suspectthat the democrat can win louisana. they just elected the democrat female not too longer which most people didnt expect.
If Kerry could win Louisana could he win the presidentcy? I don't know how many electorial votes each state has?
01-31-04, 11:10 AM
The media frenzy surrounding the rise and tear-down of Howard Dean has been a huge boon to Senator Kerry. It has allowed him to come up unmolested on the outside, appearing to be a problem-free alternative to Big Howard. But, make no mistake, after the initial build-up focusing on his war record and the fact that he got under Nixon's skin is over, the tear-down of John Kerry will proceed in earnest. Unfortunately for the Democrats, the Kerry tear-down is likely to take place largely after he has secured the nomination.
What are Kerry’s weaknesses? Twenty years in the senate, and nothing to show for it: 351 bills introduced, none passed; nine health-care bills introduced, none passed. This man says that he will be a better president than Bush because Bush failed to build a coalition to defeat Saddam. But if Kerry is not tough enough to bring in the senators from Indiana, how is he tough enough to bring in the prime minister of India? If he can't convince Sarbanes of Maryland, what makes him think he can convince Schroeder of Germany? What makes him think that what failed in the United States Congress will succeed at the United Nations?
Jack Kennedy and John Edwards had an excuse for mediocre senate records: they were new. But Kerry is in his fourth term. He is burdened by a lengthy voting record that can and will be picked apart, and he has no counterbalance of legislative accomplishment or impressive leadership position.
He's a Mondale or a Dole without the record and without the deep respect of his senate peers.
News flash from CNN: Kerry Leads Bush in New Poll (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/02/02/elec04.poll.prez/). 53% to 46%! I hope that continues, although I think Bush’s $200 million will swamp Kerry and his $5 million.
Having no bills passed out of 351 introduced is not much concern considering that the senate was Republican-controlled much of that time. He has more D.C. experience than either Clinton or Bush had when they got elected. Presidential elections are mainly popularity contests anyway. Most of the public doesn't put the record as high priority. As long as they were in congress or governor or famous actor, that's good enough. If Kerry got elected and only didn't kill a bunch of people and reinstated environmental regulations, he'd be more successful than Bush has been.
02-03-04, 03:45 PM
02-04-04, 07:54 PM
I m voting republican, go bush go!.
from brooklyn, ny
Although it's about John Edwards, today's article from MSNBC's Tom Curry (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4184645/) considers the North Carolina Democrat in terms of John Kerry.
By winning primaries in the next two weeks, Edwards might be able to undermine the assumption that Kerry’s trajectory is taking him to this summer’s Democratic convention as the presumptive nominee.
For Edwards, finishing second in this Saturday’s Michigan party-run primary and in the Wisconsin primary on Feb. 17 may not be enough to change the psychology of the race.
The last time there was a multi-candidate Democratic primary contest, in 1992, Bill Clinton built on convincing wins in Southern states in the first two weeks of March to vault to victories in Illinois and Michigan on March 17.
Edwards may need to do something similar this time in order to win.
• Curry, Tom. "Edwards may need quick trifecta to catch Kerry." MSNBC.com, February 5, 2004. See http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4184645/
02-10-04, 08:29 AM
my thoughts: imagine if bush got california... its unlikely but it could happen.
also lets not forget that the campaign didn't start yet... Just the primaries.
And the only limelight is shining on the democrats at this point. This could be
the thing thats skewing the results slightly.
I m personally gonna vote for Bush simply because I support his ecconomic stance
deficits are exagurated. Three years of inflation over 3% will reduce deficits thats simply the case. They underwrote debt at about 2-4.5% if inflation goes to 3 then
it would be basicly the people who own debt ergo foreign gov'ts be loozing money.
A 1000 dollars at 2% with 3 percent inflation is -1% is my view. And inflation is created by spending therefore in effect they(for gov'ts) financing US ecconomy.
Inflation now is like 1.5-2% I figure in 2-3 years it ll be like 3% its not a stretch of my imagination i think. This is without even taking into account the GDP growth stimulated by the debt.
The reason I spoke about california is because its probably the most disinfranchised democratic state. They have absolutely noone to blame but the democratic party which ran the states finances into the ground. And most white liberals and democrats in that state turned to republicans in the governors election. If bush could somehow tap into that sentiment it would be very interesting. If he gets california they would need to get florida + 2 southern states like georgia/virginia to beat it.
Wow, you sound like a bean counter. Doesn’t what the money paid for have any bearing on your vote? So say my son will pay 35% of every tax dollar on debt interest whereas I pay 29%, the increase to pay for Bush Oil’s acquisition of resources for the elite. Do you think my son will get a higher salary because of Bush’s actions to compensate for the higher tax bill required to fund the same services? Do you buy things because they’re on sale without regard for whether you need them? If your inflation theory is correct my son would still have better federal services for his dollar had Bush not run up the debt for things that don’t help him. Regardless of what inflation will be, you still spend your money wisely. Don’t you?
When the quadrupling of logging granted by Bush starts in California, I’m going to make a trip there to document unequivocally for my son that when a Republican says the trees will be thinned to prevent fires, it means that the trees will be clear-cut for profit.
02-11-04, 09:34 AM
Several things, the bulk of the money went to the tax cuts.
They were fair about 1.5-2.5% across the board I personally
think its fair.
Forest fires are caused by tree density and underbrush density
and the area becoming so saturated that any fire stimulus would
cause a wide spread burnout. Wouldn't you rather have those
thousands of acres contribute to the ecconomy, peoples wages/profits
rather then go up in smoke?
P.S. I hope you u comment on my thoughts that relate
to my california hypothesis as well.
Doesn’t what the money paid for have any bearing on your vote? If you borrow money and then spend it in a way that increases long-term average wages to more than compensate for the debt interest (inflation--your argument--doesn’t cut it), that’s good. If you borrow money and then piss it away, that’s bad; you’re better off not borrowing. Tax cuts are not fair to future generations who will have to pay off the debt for no benefit. Bush is supposed to be improving the country. He’s done the opposite in a big way and 9/11 is no excuse.
Your forest argument is close to that of a land commissioner candidate we had who said she liked clear-cuts because you can better see the animals. Forest fires are not bad per se. If you didn’t start fires and let those that nature started burn you’d have as many trees on average as there were before humans came around, which is a lot of trees. The only problem with fires is its affect on property & lives.
The general taxpayer subsidizes people who live in floodplains, by providing them with low interest loans and grants when floods inevitably occur. The huge cost of the Mississippi flood of 1993 showed that taxpayers are better off moving the people out of the floodplains and preventing their return. The same should be done with the forests. You don’t solve a man-made problem by destroying forests that take 300 years to restore at the benefit of a tiny minority and the expense of the rest.
Since a lot of people do live in forested areas it would take time to move them (or getting them to accept the risk, which is probably harder), decades at least. In the meantime forest thinning is an option. When it’s a public forest then the taxpayer should benefit. But that’s not what will happen. Instead Bush will pay off his corporate sponsors by letting them clear-cut and keep a disproportionate amount of the proceeds. Forests will be lost where few lives & properties were threatened. Logging towns and the general taxpayer will get a small fraction of the lost value and be left high & dry when the land is bare. We have “heavily managed” forests around here and they are no-man’s lands fifty years later. It’s a shame that entire generations will not be able to enjoy them just so a few people could build their mansions.
The Democrats did a bad job in California. They wasted a golden opportunity with the Internet boom. I think that’s atypical; for example my state is well-managed by Democrats. I think Schwarzeneggar might as well be a Democrat. He sure acts like Clinton, even including sexual escapades. Time will tell. I don’t know about Bush’s chances of winning there, I’d have to look at the polls. Surely his $200 million will have a huge effect on his odds. At this point I think he will win. There’s just too many ignorant Americans who are swayed by advertising.
02-12-04, 01:48 PM
This is going to be the hardest issue for Kerry to overcome. Probably insurmountable.
He will soon be labeled Hanoi John.
Doubtful. Clinton was against the Vietnam War and it didn’t hold him back. It’s patriotic to not fight in an unjust war, especially when millions of civilians are being killed.
From here (http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=352185):
One time Kerry was ordered to destroy a Viet Cong village but disobeyed orders and suggested that the Navy Command simply send in a Psychological Warfare team to be friend the villagers with food, hospital supplies, and better educational facilities.
I suppose he should’ve instead done his duty and killed a bunch of toddlers?
02-12-04, 05:24 PM
It's not the fact that he was a legitimate war hero. It's not even the fact that he protested the war afterwards. It is the fact that he now is trying to drape himself in the former and ignore the latter. Wrapping himself in his "band of brothers". Well the vast majority of his "band of brothers" will vote against him. Very telling.
It will be only one of the many things that will prevent him from winning the presidency.
The more I read and hear about Kerry, the less worried I am about Dubya's re-election.
The public is fickle and illogical. Yesterday they cared about marijuana use, today they don’t, for instance. A candidate has to adapt to that, especially a Democrat. A Republican can simply vow to kill all enemies and they’re in with 50% of the population, the ignorant half. If a Democrat says that, potential voters ask who the enemy is, why we need to kill them and a lot of other questions. I’m sure Kerry got his forehead botoxed. He says he didn’t. Who cares? All it says about his character is that he’s willing to stoop to white lies to save the country from the hands of Bush Co. He will have to be careful though, because Bush’s team is going to be all over his missteps. The Republicans are experts at creating full-blown scandals out of trivial issues.