Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Clark steps on more landmines ...
Wesley Clark admitted yesterday that he "probably" voted for Republican Richard Nixon in 1972 and also supported Ronald Reagan and John Kerry whacked him on it: ["Senator decries Clark's votes for GOP"]. Of course, as Ralph Nader stated so well in 2000, Nixon was a liberal compared to the Clinton/Gore administration, so Clark can get a pass on that. But backing Reagan? Yikes. That is not going to go over well with the liberals who vote in the Democratic primary.
Clark also unveiled a $100 billion economic plan ["Democrat Clark Lays Out $100 Billion Economic Plan"] which - smartly - would rescind the Bush tax cuts on people making more than $200k and send $40 billion back to the states. Another $40 billion would go to Homeland Security and $20 billion to business tax breaks. Of course, the Devil is in the details and just saying you are going to spend this kind of money doesn't mean anything. If the money is given to the states, and they throw it in their reserve funds, the spending won't do any good. If the money for Homeland Security is going to fund a Democratic version of John Ashcroft cataloging what Americans take out at the library, forget about it. And, if the business tax breaks are going to do nothing about jobs fleeing to countries with cheaper labor, then this plan won't accomplish much at all.

Dean leads in NH; tied in Iowa

American Research Group reported yesterday that Dean has a 10 point lead in NH with Kerry [21 percent] and Gephardt [8 percent] trailing. In Iowa, Survey USA reports Dean and Gephardt tied with 23 percent, Kerry at 17 percent and Edwards at 11 percent. Gephardt, who was thought to be a shoo-in in Iowa, has been trading off the lead position with Dean for about two months. Although, since the Iowa contest is a caucus, polling data doesn't mean very much. It will all be about who shows up in the middle of what will be a very cold January and is willing to hang around until the end. However, this is a surge for Edwards who has been at 6 percent for the last month.

'Beantown is Deantown'

Thousands turned out to hear Dean speak in historic Copley Square in Boston on Monday: ["Dean stumps in Kerry's stronghold"]. 2,500 during the lunch hour isn't a bad turnout at all. I like this line:
"A true Patriot Act is not born out of fear, but out of trust; it is not born out of division, but out of community; it is not born out of suspicion, but out of faith in each of us."
Can Shaheen save Kerry?
Former N.H. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen has agreed to be the national chairman of John Kerry's campaign: ["Shaheen to lead Kerry campaign"]. One pundit on TV noted that Shaheen saved Al Gore's primary campaign when Bill Bradley was nippin' at his heels. The article also reminds everyone that Shaheen was Gary Hart's organizer in 1984 when he beat former Vice President Walter Mondale. The endorsement isn't a surprise since her husband Bill has been trying to build up support for Kerry around the state for months.

Gallup says Bush could lose ...
While national polls between two candidates are meaningless - since the presidential campaign is about 51 different battle grounds - it is interesting to note that the latest Gallup numbers have both Clark and Kerry beating Bush [Clark 49%, Bush 46%; Kerry 48%, Bush 47%] with Lieberman, Dean and Gephardt very close [Bush 48%, Lieberman 47%; Bush 49%, Dean 46%; Bush 48%, Gephardt 46%]. Again, as I have said before, it is anyone's game but the key is winning the individual states.