Thursday, January 22, 2004

Kerry Triple Crown:
While I saw the Phoenix endorsement this morning I missed the Boston Herald and Boston Globe endorsements.

"Unlike many of his Democratic Party rivals, Kerry also understands that hiking taxes on the already burdened middle class is no way to win votes or to run a country. He insists he'll keep the Bush tax cuts in place for middle income Americans, while rolling them back only for those earning more than $200,000 a year. John Kerry as a presidential candidate remains a work in progress ... But John Kerry as a solid, thoughtful political leader is a well-known commodity around these parts. It is that man, that leader, the Boston Herald is pleased to endorse for his party's presidential nomination."
"We think Kerry is best suited to help Iraq prepare for its future. His prescription to bring security and freedom to Iraq is undergirded with a broad, interdependent view of the world. Whether the focus is foreign relations, trade policy, or the eradication of AIDS, Kerry evinces a deeply felt desire for America 'to rejoin the community of nations.' We share John Kerry's values and vision for America as a confident, tolerant, enlightened nation. By his consistency, his resolve, and his experience, he has continued to demonstrate that he is best prepared to help the nation realize those ideals."
Kerry was also endorsed by retiring SC Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings today, a rabid fair trader.

Kerry reaching out:
The rumor mill is churning: Are the candidates jockeying for Dick Gephardt's support? Will he be a VP? Kerry acknowledged earlier today that he had been talking to Gephardt: ["Kerry reaching out beyond New Hampshire"]

"I don't have any idea what Dick will do. He's a pro, he's a man of great personal conviction and judgment about this process. He'll make up his own mind."
However, Kerry did pick up the endorsement of 42 prominent NH pols who had endorsed Gephardt [John Edwards got 17; Joe Lieberman picked up four], as well as the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445.

As are others - in South Carolina:
SC's Rep. Jim Clyburn being wooed: ["Clyburn coy on endorsing new candidate"]

"Not since the Great Depression has South Carolina suffered this kind of three-years-in-a-row job loss. Over 100,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last 10 years; 65,000 textile jobs lost since I've been in Congress. ... No state per capita has lost more jobs than South Carolina."
Again, this is why Gephardt was so important in this race. Thanks Dr. Dean for taking the scalpel to him. More from South Carolina: ["Gephardt's departure opens more doors in Missouri, S.C."]

Pollster John Zogby said the impact of Gephardt's departure is difficult to assess because this year's Democratic primary is "very much a sequential process." Gephardt was running strong in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio and had "potential in South Carolina" because of Clyburn's endorsement, Zogby said, adding that the biggest impact of Gephardt's departure is that his union endorsements now are up for grabs. In Michigan, the first large primary state with a strong manufacturing base, Gephardt and Dean were leading the polls, according to campaign and state party sources.
Actually, I believe Michigan is a caucus state.
However, other campaigns made some nice comments about Gephardt:

Kerry spokesman David Wade said: "The loyalty [Gephardt] engendered was extraordinary, and his supporters would be absolutely critical to any of the Democratic candidates but particularly hard to woo for a certain Vermont governor who scored points from the cheap seats calling Democrats in Congress 'cockroaches.'"
Then, check out the arrogance from the Dean campaign:

Dean spokesman Garrett Graff, meanwhile, said Gephardt's decision "doesn't really affect our strategy" - such as focusing more on certain states. The Dean camp has "always been aiming to win every state," Graff added.
God those people never learn. How many times do they have to be hit in the head before they learn? Some in the Dean campaign are so pathetic.

Other stuff:
Gephardt's cable ads are still running in NH. I have seen a bunch of them over the last three days.

Is Dean really melting down? Some think no: ["The Phony Dean 'Meltdown'"]

From Slate magazine ("Mean Dean Loses Steam") to The New York Post ("Dean's Ballot-Box Conspiracy Theory"), it's all about painting him as unseemly, unstable and irrationally angry, rather than focusing on his ideas. And yet, carefully scrutinized, virtually everything the man has said accords with the beliefs and understanding of a significant portion of the American populace, and, significantly, of what has been reported in the media.
But once something like this "meltdown" story gets started, the media go into a kind of inexorable black hole, and the pull is so great it becomes hard for thinking journalists and editors to resist. And not just journalists. It takes extraordinary mettle for anyone in the limelight to resist this. Once the howl of the pack gets loud enough, questioning the seriousness of Dean's so-called 'problems' becomes tantamount to downplaying allegations against Michael Jackson.
Sometimes it's hard to remember, but presidents aren't primarily dinner party hosts or recruiting posters for perfection. They're supposed to be smart people who can make intelligent choices, mostly in private, that serve our interests. And they're supposed to be human.
Franklin Foer of the New Republic has a mixed analysis of the John Edwards campaign: ["Sitting Pretty?"].
But Drudge says Edwards wanted to privatize Social Security: [""].
Kucinich takes on the trade deals: ["Kucinich raps free trade agreements"].
FAIR reveals problem with Dennis Miller's new show: [link]

The conflict-- brought to our attention by weblogger Roger Ailes (no relation apparently to the Fox News chief)-- began with the show's hiring of Mike Murphy as a consulting producer. The problem isn't that Murphy is a well-known Republican campaign consultant whose past clients have included John McCain, Jeb Bush and the 1992 Bush/Quayle campaign; the problem is that Mike Murphy already has a job. Murphy, who was a key political advisor in Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2003 campaign for governor of California, still works for Schwarzenegger. Currently Murphy is a leader of Gov. Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team and Californians for Schwarzenegger, two groups created by the governor to maintain his political image, raise money and promote his policies (AP, 1/2/04). Indeed, Murphy has become so identified with Schwarzenegger that a January 21 Los Angeles Times article referred to him as "Schwarzenegger's chief strategist." The website of Murphy's political consulting firm, DC Navigators, lists the California Recovery Team (which has been in operation for less than a month) as a client.