Sunday, February 15, 2004
A Large Woman Warms Up In The Wings
From The AP , via Yahoo! News.
Well, it looks like Howard Dean has run out of people power. His more fickle supporters have jumped onto the Kerry bandwagon, high ranking Democrats are pretending they've never heard of him, the media has been pounding him since Day One and have written their obituary articles. And it seems that there is nothing to stop Kerry Edwards from taking the nomination.
Of course, I'm still voting for Bush, but I'm really disappointed. Of course, the dirty trickery of the Republicans -- remember Drudge's breathless reporting of the Kerry "affair"? -- will probably bring every progressive voice behind Kerry, the ultimate man without distinction.
Dean bloggers state that this is one more example of the media twisting the knife -- floating a rumor in order to make voters in Wisconsin believe that voting for Dean is an endeavor in folly. Kerry supporters are hoping to borrow the structure of the Dean campaign -- the meet-ups, the "bat" -- now that it looks like Dean is out.
Frankly, Kerry gets my vote. (He hasn't shown me that he deserves anything else, though.) The question is whether or not Dean will "support" Kerry, and exactly what the definition of "support" is going to be.
Rumor has it that Dean will NOT endorse Kerry per se. He will "suspend" his campaign, meaning that he can still pretend that he is a viable active candidate without having to do any of the work or fund raising. He will furthermore refrain from criticising Kerry. He will work to use his supporters to help Kerry win in November. But I wouldn't expect any joint campaign appearances any time soon.
Why? Because Dean on the stage with Kerry would be the Kiss of Death to some of his hard core. Like it or not, joint appearances after one has dropped out of the campaign involve a little bit of ass-kissing and making up, talking about how the guy you've slagged for three months is suddenly a great and noble decent guy who everyone should vote for for the Presidency. Clark and Gephardt, they are close enough to Kerry without that reflecting poorly on either of them. Dean, however, is sort of the anti-Kerry, the only non "New Democrat" in the race, save for Sharpton or Lieberman. For Dean to suddenly gush about John Kerry and raise Kerry's hand in simulated victory would give life to the belief that Dean and Kerry were close enough in position that the difference between them didn't really matter. Which would be anathema to Dean's hardcore supporters.
Pay close attention to the language Dean uses in his endorsement. If he does a joint campaign thing and raise Kerry's hand in victory, you'll probably never see Dean in a national campaign again, which would be a shame.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/15/2004 02:49:00 PM