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Dean closes in
June 4, 2003 10:00 AM   Subscribe

Howard Dean is closing in on the lead in New Hampshire, with 16% to Kerry's 17%. Dean is appealing to voters by being outspoken in an environment in which many of his fellow democrats are submissive to Bush's approval rating, and due to anticipation of his universal health care plan, which he is soon to unveil. Already established as the most net-savvy candidate, Dean has hundreds of real-life meetups planned for today.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (38 comments total)

 
if the economy turns around, it won't matter who faces Bush next year.
posted by krewson at 10:23 AM on June 4, 2003


Actually, I'm afraid the description of ARG poll mentioned above is a little misleading. The post says Dean is "closing in on the lead in New Hampshire," and pegs Kerry at 17% and Dean at 16%.

Those results respond to a poll with Al Gore in the race, which isn't going to happen.

Without considering Gore, Kerry is at 26% in New Hampshire and Dean is at 19%.

Not only is this a big difference, it also reflects that Kerry's lead over Dean in N.H. is getting larger, not smaller. (An April survey by the same pollster had Kerry's lead over Dean at 5%, now it's 7%)
posted by evening at 10:23 AM on June 4, 2003


In addition to this obvious hole, polls at this point are pretty much meaningless and often are a reflection of pure name recognition (both Dean and Kerry are in neighboring states to NH). These numbers in November, sans Gore, might be worth paying attention to.

Having said that, I'm rooting for Dean to win NH, thus further marginalizing the state (the last two presidents both lost their first New Hampshire primary before winning the nomination) and hopefully assuring that it permanently, finally receives the marginal status it so richly deserves in the presidential nomination process.
posted by Phaedrus at 10:35 AM on June 4, 2003


I'm voting for this guy. He's really not affiliated with any particular party. In fact, he has an opinion about the Democratic candidates:
Excuse me for laughing until I drool on your shoes, but have you seen the Democrats? There are something like 375 of them running, including somebody named ''Dennis.'' Like we would ever elect a president named ''Dennis.''
He's equally critical of the incumbent:
I am big on National Security. How big? This big: I am willing to invade any nation that I suspect might be hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction, real or imaginary, starting with Syria and then moving outward in a gradually expanding radius until we reach Bermuda. So I think we can all agree that, leadershipwise, I stack up pretty well against President Bush.
He's got my vote. Now I just need to buy the merchandise.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:35 AM on June 4, 2003


Marginalized? It just means that the rest of the country wasn't paying attention while the NH voters got to see who the better candidate really was.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:42 AM on June 4, 2003


I probably am more in alignment with Dean's politics. But I have great admiration for Kerry's (and his staff's) ability to fend off Republican smear tactics with powerfull, damaging counterpunches. He hits back quick and hard. And he actually DID serve in Vietnam.
posted by troutfishing at 10:50 AM on June 4, 2003


Actually, I'm afraid the description of ARG poll mentioned above is a little misleading. The post says Dean is "closing in on the lead in New Hampshire," and pegs Kerry at 17% and Dean at 16%.

You're right. My apologies. I don't get how this shows that Dean is losing ground. The old polls that I saw had him in distant third or fourth place.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:00 AM on June 4, 2003


If the economy turns around, if the sun of glory shines into a Syrian or North Korea melee, it won't matter. The 2004 election hangs upon a Democratic presidential candidate's ability to take on Bush, to show a distinction (unlike Gore), to demonstrate that Bush's policies have been disastrous for international relations, punitive towards the impoverished, favorable only to the rich and hostile towards civil liberties. The Demo who wins the primary must rebuff Bush's fictions in a public debate (really, not hard to do, given that there has yet to be a WMD smoking gun). If a contender can speak to the population with integrity, then pepole will listen. Because the last several candidates have been painfully "electable," rather than "presidential."

If the Left goes with Dean, and if Dean keeps up the furor, then if we lose, at least we can say that we didn't go down without a fight.
posted by ed at 11:04 AM on June 4, 2003


I know Kerry is a more viable candidate, but he supported the war in Iraq and Dean didn't. That, to me, is a deal-breaker.
posted by Hildago at 11:19 AM on June 4, 2003


Apparently Kucinich is going to announce his projected cabinet, more than a year in advance. Since the Bush administration is always playing on the strengths of his cabinet, I think this is a great idea. Dean and Kerry should do the same.
posted by homunculus at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2003


It really makes my blood boil when candidates like Dean (and other Democrats like Kerry) use such humanitarian goals for their own political gain, like "universal health care" and "health care for all," when none of their plans are truly universal or offer care to everyone. (Save Kucinich and possibly Mosely-Braun.)

If you're skeptical, try this FamiliesUSA factsheet or this report from the Commonwealth Fund, both about tax credits, which are the basis for most of the Dem's plans.
posted by gramcracker at 11:33 AM on June 4, 2003


Dean came across like a champ last night on Charlie Rose.
posted by emptyage at 11:47 AM on June 4, 2003


I saw Dean on CSPAN a few weeks ago, talking in Iowa, (sort of a pre-caucus caucus I think), and I was very impressed. I think he is the kind of candidate that can revitalize the left, (far more than Kerry can), and definately distinguishes himself from Republicans.

The first two things he talked about that I heard were:

How much more efficient it is to spend $100 per child on health, mental health, and the like than to have to pay for a jail cell for that same child that is under-educated, abused, and mistreated.

When talking about energy issues: Wind Power and distributed generation.

Now there's a Democrat for the 21st century.
posted by Windopaene at 12:17 PM on June 4, 2003


gramcracker, the links you provide are quite misleading. They have nothing to do with Dean or Kerry. In fact, they criticize President Bush's tax credit plan. Dean's health care stance lists tax credits last in a list of four measures, most of which involve increasing money to Medicare and state CHIP programs. What is this, Kucinich agitprop?
posted by vraxoin at 12:32 PM on June 4, 2003


I hope I get to vote Dean in '04....

But, um, yeah. Don't blame me, I voted for myself.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:56 PM on June 4, 2003


I know Dean's the guy that claimed he's running for president "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" but what does that mean exactly? Is that what Lieberman was referring to when he said The Democrats need to move away from old ideas of the past? [confused]
posted by ZupanGOD at 1:25 PM on June 4, 2003


If the Left goes with Dean, and if Dean keeps up the furor, then if we lose, at least we can say that we didn't go down without a fight.


"If the Left goes with Muskie, and if Muskie keeps up the furor, then if we lose, at least we can say that we didn't go down without a fight."

Reminds me of the '72 campaign against Nixon. Everybody hated Nixon but the DNC couldn't get their heads out of their asses enough to get behind anyone up against him and thus he slaughtered McGovern, the final, begrudging compromise. There's a whole lot of other parallels, but I won't open that whole can of worms right now, thanks.

Anyway, who cares about New Hampshire anymore, its not even the first primary any longer and the Iowa caucus is the real ticket!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:32 PM on June 4, 2003


vraxoin, Both Kerry's and Dean's plans use tax credits as a major means to insure Americans. (Gephardt's too, but the credit goes to the employer, not the employee.) Tax. Credits. Won't. Work. That was the point of my two links.

Dean's plan mentions nothing about expanding Medicare; it mentions expanding Medicaid, which is a much more poorly-funded program, with social stigma out the wazoo. And CHIP has significant problems with disenrollment, premiums, and co-pays. Kerry's gets a little more specific about fixing some of CHIP's problems, but still relies on tax credits to individuals and small businesses, and does a bunch of cost-shifting. Both also talk about FEHBP, which has insurance options that range in quality from rich to poor, with similar yearly costs.
posted by gramcracker at 1:37 PM on June 4, 2003


Please keep Metafilter free of electoral propaganda! Do not get me wrong, I would also like to see a change, any kind of change, in the White House. I do accept posts related to politics when they bring something new, but not this kind of posts.

If this continues as we get closer to the 2004 election, I claim my right to illuminate you about the next meeting of the Italian Communist Party, recent working visit of Dear Leader and the importance of the five-year plan in Cuba. Oh, yeah, and the result of the Niue election, too.
posted by MzB at 1:39 PM on June 4, 2003


Charlie Rose? Public Television? Election victories?

I think I'm missing the connection.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:41 PM on June 4, 2003


MzB,

Dean-related threads are probably going to up, not down, as primary season approaches. Many MeFi members politics seem to be pretty close to Dean's, so I think DeanFilter is going to stay with us, at least until Dean is running.

Like we would ever elect a president named ''Dennis.''
Well, I'd sure love to see this Dennis elected President
posted by matteo at 1:50 PM on June 4, 2003


Damn, Pollomacho, you wrote my comment for me before I could finish it.

Just like Nixon did, Bush has played the anti-war movement for suckers all year. Everytime I try to wade through another "Bush is an evil idiot" thread here, I think of 1972.
posted by fuzz at 1:51 PM on June 4, 2003


The keys to Election 2004
posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on June 4, 2003


Please keep Metafilter free of electoral propaganda!

Just like we kept it free of electoral propaganda back in 2000, right? That was great - everywhere else it was nothing but Bush vs Gore, Gore vs Bush, Nader Nader Nader, but here on Metafilter, we had blissful silence.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:20 PM on June 4, 2003


The 2004 election is over. Now. Unless the economy collapses or Baghdad falls into horrific, bloody chaos or some other unforeseen event casts a shadow on GWB, he gets re-elected. Consider what the Republicans have:

1) a candidate most people like;
2) a very simple, clear message based on two popular rallying points (Get the Bad Guys and Cut Taxes); and
3) tons of money.

The Democrats have none of the above. And that's not the worst: More than anything else, the Republicans believe they can set the terms of the debate and the Democrats will not challenge them on this point.

And the Republicans have a passionate core voting group that believes itself both under seige and on the ascendent. And they have 24-hour-a-day propoganda stations in every radio market in the nation. And did I mention they have tons of money?

It's over before it's started. It grieves me not just as a Democrat -- I like to think that if I were a Republican I'd still not welcome a one-party system, as Texas has. But really, the only issue of the upcoming election is whether the landslide buries the Democrats for good or just for a few election cycles.
posted by argybarg at 2:43 PM on June 4, 2003


Stop using Nixon as a comparison, he was President when it was not common place to question the honesty of the government. It was Nixon who started the mass distrust and questioning of authority.

Bush has NO such help. Well, not entirely.
posted by CrazyJub at 2:49 PM on June 4, 2003


Pollomacho: Agreed, but that was before Watergate, in which the corruptions of government were laid bare before the people. For 2004, we still have the lingering aftermath of Dade County, should the Demos (or anyone else) wish to dig up dirt. We've had Enron. We've had an administration that has yet to dig up the Iraq-WMD smoking gun.

Also, I didn't see anyone getting laid left and right in communes, nor placing flowers in guns, nor daring to stage a cultural revolution, in the late 1990s. I didn't see anyone levitate the Pentagon. I didn't see a Kent State or a Chicago. I saw a lot of relatively apolitical twentysomethings seizing the economic opportunities presented to them, let go in droves (even when employed outside the dot com circuit in legitimate business venues) and then hung out to dry during the first years of the 21st Century while we invaded Iraq. I suspect that if Dean plays this crowd, then there will be a lot of people who will vote with him.

If the Demos screw this up, then I suspect it will be more of the same internecine struggling that you refer to.

Concerning Bush's $200 million campaign coffers, what Bush does not have is the Internet, even with the telecommunications merger bill. The antiwar activists, love them or hate them, managed to mobilize using cell phones and the Internet. Completely outside any corporate control, they were able to inform, participate and protest. If the same principles can get people to vote and boost up the 50% or so voting turnout rate, then we might be able to get somewhere, should Dean make it all the way.

And, as emptyage noted, Dean does know how to work television.
posted by ed at 3:05 PM on June 4, 2003


The antiwar activists, love them or hate them, managed to mobilize using cell phones and the Internet.

Give them an "E" for effort, but they were totally unsuccessful in their attempts to keep Congress (including Democrats such as John Kerry, Tom Daschle and Hillary Clinton) from authorizing the president to use force in Iraq, and in their attempts to influence public opinion against war between the authorization vote and the first attacks.
posted by Durwood at 3:41 PM on June 4, 2003


MetaTalk, if you're interested in discussing the DeanFilter/electoral propaganda subject.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:26 PM on June 4, 2003


MzB, I think it would be great to hear about those things.

For a site with large numbers of international readers and contributors, MeFi is strangely Americocentric. Even the non-Americans seem to want to talk about American issues to the exclusion of those of their their own countries.

Given that there will always be a NewsFilter element in MeFi, I'd like to see it look a little more like the Economist, and less like Time.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:59 PM on June 4, 2003


But I have great admiration for Kerry's (and his staff's) ability to fend off Republican smear tactics with powerfull, damaging counterpunches

If Dean becomes the front-runner, he'll have attacks to fend off as well.

Dean has a lot more in common with McGovern than Muskie, I think (intial dark horse, potential strong showing/upset in New Hampshire.) McGovern was hardly a compromise candidate either; the DNC tried like hell not to nominate him (that, of course, was back when conventions still meant something.) And ultimately, it was their machinery that doomed him. His strong grassroots organization (again, like Deans) was allowed to take a back seat to the DNC machine, and it killed him.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:51 AM on June 5, 2003


Incidentally, I'd like to hear about Italian elections too (as long as the articles are in English.) A while back, someone posted some Swedish election results; good thread, but I can't seem to dig it up now.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:53 AM on June 5, 2003


[off topic]
It is not the "Americo-centrism" of MeFi that I question, I'm OK with that. I'm also OK with posts about politics and elections. It is the agenda / propaganda post that I do not like.

"We are for uniting into one party of the working class of the Lenin type. There is no other road. The main and urgent task today is to solidify the belief of the working class towards Communists. This can only be done by a strong and united party, unifying in its ranks the best representatives of the working class."
(at least the second link shows the difference between Russian Communist Party and Russian Communist Workers Party)
[/off topic]
posted by MzB at 4:58 AM on June 5, 2003


WTF is a Howard Dean?
posted by quonsar at 8:54 AM on June 5, 2003


Sometimes I wish the Ross Perot of early 1992 would run again. This partisan bullshit has already gotten old.
posted by mkelley at 9:56 AM on June 5, 2003


Yes, we need a cranky old rich guy to spice things up for our amusement.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:44 AM on June 5, 2003


Ross wasn't too crazy, it's when he reentered is when he lost something. Before he dropped out, he had enough support to beat Bush I and Clinton. When he dropped out, a majority of those votes went to Clinton, never to return when Perot reentered the race.

Dean (like Perot) is on the outside, but he's getting enough face time among bloggers, that it's going to lead to something more grassroots than the initial Perot or even Brown's campaign of 92'. It might not be as big as needed, but it will probably reform the Democrats for the 08' campaign.
posted by mkelley at 11:20 AM on June 5, 2003


I'm just a little confused how can these two sentences be in the same paragraph:

The antiwar activists, love them or hate them, managed to mobilize using cell phones and the Internet.

Completely outside any corporate control, they were able to inform, participate and protest.


Did they also have a Firm full of honest lawyers and a brothel's worth of virginal hookers assisting them? I don't know what kind of magical cell phones and internet they were using, I mean even MeFi's got ads!

It was Nixon who started the mass distrust and questioning of authority.

Yeah, back in the 50's, anybody who trusted Dick Nixon before Watergate was either a complete moron or fooling themselves, even die hard Republicans felt uncomfortable around that weasel (just look back at how much Ike wanted to dump the bastard), but he could win elections and that helped them keep their mouths shut. 9/11 and congress's impotence to stop Clinton or Regan/Bush's Iran/Contra scandals have given the office of the President a whole new shot in the arm. I don't buy the whole "scandals laid bare since Nixon" line that the JV Football Coach/US History Teacher tried to foist on us, the historical record just doesn't show that to be true. What it does show to be true is a former Presidential ticket hawk (Humphries aka Lieberman) a southern right of most Democrats (Wallace aka Edwards), a hard lefty (Muskie aka Dean) and a begrudging compromise candidate (McGovern - Kerry/Gephardt) managed to split the party enough to further let the lying sleaze wagon have another 4 years (Nixon - Bush). You can even throw in extremists and radicals for fun (Black Panthers - Sharpton) anti establishment leftovers (Hippies - Nader) despite their lack of solid showings in the '72 polls.

I didn't see anyone getting laid left and right in communes, nor placing flowers in guns, nor daring to stage a cultural revolution

Maybe you should have been reading the international section of the paper in stead of the domestic news, there was one hell of a counter-revolution in the former communist world, even China's opened up now! Besides, sounds like you missed out on a lot of fun in the 90's! Shit, man, even the President was getting laid, where were you?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:23 PM on June 5, 2003


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