Dean and the Democrats
November 28, 2003 12:51 AM   Subscribe

What will happen if Howard Dean loses the Democratic presidential nomination? Will he quietly disappear from the national stage or run as a third party candidate? Could he be popular enough to win without the Democratic Party, or just split the Democratic voting population?
posted by MrAnonymous (65 comments total)

 
re people just digging up their old articles and crossing out McCain and replacing it with Dean?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:55 AM on November 28, 2003


"or just split the Democratic voting population?"

it's a nice warblogger's wet dream, Dean running as an independent against whomever gets the nomination, Bush winning 50-0 in the process

too bad that Dean mentioned quite often that he'll support the Democrat who ends up getting the nomination, because he wants to beat Bush so bad (not to mention the "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" will somehow resonate, ahem, a little more, next year. Unless one of course thinks that President Gore would have chosen Ashcroft as AG, invaded Iraq, cut taxes that way, etc).

and anyway, it's important to remember that Dean is not arguing for immediate retreat from Vietnam, er, excuse, from Iraq I meant to say, there's hardly a 1968 or 1972 scenario going on -- talk radio closeted-junkie prophets and warblogger's rants notwithstanding.

in the very unlikely case that a Democrat gets elected in '04, he'll/she'll (I mean, the thousands of Moseley-Braun's very real flaws are not really enough, in my mind, not to dream of a liberal African American Woman President of the United States, heh), he'll/she'll have to deal with the Iraq mess and stay there until a viable (unelected, of course, unless you want the ayatollahs to run Iraq) government is actually in place

But since it looks increasingly likely that next year Bush will finally get elected for the first time, all this is kind of moot. At least, since he's the one who pushed America (and the world) in the Iraqi mess, it makes sense that he'll be the one to have to clean it all up.
Oh, and the deficit, too

;)
posted by matteo at 2:05 AM on November 28, 2003


It's too bad - I was going to switch my party registration to "Democrat" for Oregon's May primary simply to vote for Wes Clark. Yes, I would have temporarily given up my GOP card, passed up the right to vote for county commissioners and their ilk just to put a less incompetent fellow in the White House.

Dean will win nomination then lose to Bush. Duh. And this is regardless what George Will thinks (and his article makes some pretty stupid points - I can think of countless Repub/Dem primary races over the past 20 years with passionate candidates that eventually fall in line and back the primary's winner, regardless of their personal feelings.)

But Dean will lose in November. Anger = bad. Hey Space Coyote, you really think Dean is like McCain? Because I thought McCain's appeal was that of a non-crooked politician who could always be counted upon to listen to those people who voted for him. OK Dean's got a great Web presence, but crankiness and 'mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore' won't sustain him. Plus, people in Arizona have more experience smiling then those pissy Vermont'ers.
posted by Happydaz at 4:18 AM on November 28, 2003


What matteo said.

"Dean mentioned quite often that he'll support the Democrat who ends up getting the nomination"

Case closed.
posted by nofundy at 4:54 AM on November 28, 2003


Dean mentioned quite often that he'll support the Democrat who ends up getting the nomination

And its won't be that hard to support himself...it's over folks..Dean's gonna win the nomination. The only thing left for the political junkies to debate is who he will pick for Vice President....and that one is probably down to General Clark and John Edwards.
posted by Durwood at 5:08 AM on November 28, 2003


Who's the best candidate for 2008?
The 2004 election seems pretty much decided (going by Metafilter comments anyway)... Bush defeating Dean. So what will the 2008 election look like? Wes Clark versus Jeb Bush? Hilary Clinton versus Condoleeza Rice? Any thoughts?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:26 AM on November 28, 2003


There is no chance that a centrist governor from a small state is going to win the presidency.

Ahem.

3 of the last 4 presidents have been governors, with Bush Sr being the anomaly thanks to the success of Regan.

Dean is the obvious choice for the nomination, based on stats alone.
posted by CrazyJub at 6:03 AM on November 28, 2003


CrazyJub: So Bush II and Reagan are centrist and from small states then?
posted by biffa at 6:29 AM on November 28, 2003


Dean, or rather, the size of his following, is an embarrassment. No president should win all 50 states, but it's probably going to happen. Ick.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:38 AM on November 28, 2003


It's another case of the U.S. political system and it's inherent weakness.

Nothing to see here, move along.
posted by spazzm at 6:56 AM on November 28, 2003


I agree with Happydaz that Dean will get the nomination then lose to Bush. But I think any Democrat at this point loses to Bush - the American people are still wigged out on the terrorism front and believe the Republicans are the ones to deliver us from this particular evil. If they paid a little closer attention to detail they might think differently, but that's why attack ads are so successful: Rarely does the populace as a whole pay that much attention to detail.

But I like the idea of Dean winning the nomination because I think he, above all other candidates, can wound Bush, cause his campaign to overreact. Everyone worries that nominating Dean will be akin to the nomination of McGovern.

But then, we all remember what happened to Nixon, right?
posted by kgasmart at 6:58 AM on November 28, 2003


George Will does not get paid to point out the obvious. He gets paid to make people feel that they're more informed than their next door neighbor by reading Will's "insightful inside-track" observations. If you tell people that Dean would run as a third-party candidate, readers will think that they've heard something interesting. Writing, "It looks like Dean will get nominated, but if he doesn't, he'll endorse the nominee," doesn't sound that sexy, even if it's true.

In reality, if Dean is not nominated, the downside for the Democrats will be that lots of Dean supporters will stay home and that many of Dean's campaign volunteers will be too tired and/or too disillusioned to go to bat for the Democratic nominee. Not a "nightmare," (as far as nightmares go) but not a happy outcome, either.

What's Dean's appeal to these volunteers? It's not the "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore" thing (Gephardt can pull it off too, when he tries). It's that people asked, "what can we do to help our country?" Bush said, "go shopping and fly airplanes." Other candidates said, "send me money." Dean said, "get involved." Now, of these three options, which would you rather do?
posted by deanc at 7:14 AM on November 28, 2003


Get involved with a candidate who has no chance of winning, and will help elect the opponent--GOOD MOVE!
posted by ParisParamus at 7:19 AM on November 28, 2003


Although I am currently an undecided voter from NH, I do want to say that I'm tired of people falling into line and saying "Dean will win the nomination," "Dean will lose to Bush," and "50-0."

Folks, you don't know anything, and I'd be more than willing to put money down that you'll be wrong because this race hasn't even begun. Dean, Gephardt, Edwards, Clark: these guys are all still very viable depending on their performance in several early primaries that are still up in the air. If Dean should win, he's got just under a year to beat Bush and you have no clue what will happen in that time. At this time, I think it's very presumptuous to declare Bush the winner.

Regardless, what do you guys say we all put together a website where people can go on the record predicting the winner and the spread before January 1st and putting down $1 USD. In November 2004 (or whenever the votes are counted) the winner(s) can split the pot. Also, because this may break some laws, the website should be hosted in North Korea. Any takers?
posted by crazy finger at 7:27 AM on November 28, 2003


Maybe a lot of you aren't old enough to remember, but if you are, you may recall the Nixon tapes where they discussed how they might be able to cancel the next election. Don't think that sort of discussion has gone away. If Bush wins in '04 there's gonna be a lo† of that kind of planning. Get rid of term limits? Hey, what a grea† idea. We've go† the states sewn up, so we can get †ha† †hru - No problema.
posted by donfactor at 7:55 AM on November 28, 2003


UK bookies William Hill are taking bets on the US presidential election.
Bush is at 4/7, Dean next at 4/1.
Place your bets now...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:56 AM on November 28, 2003


At least, since he's the one who pushed America (and the world) in the Iraqi mess, it makes sense that he'll be the one to have to clean it all up.

Unfortunately, being good at making messes does not imply comparable skill at fixing them.
posted by rushmc at 8:02 AM on November 28, 2003


Anyone who wears a tie does not represent me. The electoral college be damned. I find our modern political system irrelevant, so long as the majority voices of the people are squelched.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:13 AM on November 28, 2003


"Get involved with a candidate who has no chance of winning, and will help elect the opponent--GOOD MOVE!"

I emphasise my previous statement.
posted by spazzm at 8:15 AM on November 28, 2003


In November 2004, will people be obsessed with the most recent attack on U.S. soil, over 3 years prior, or will they be worried about more recent events, like the loss of their own job, home, health insurance, financial stability?....nothing gets an electorate crankier than a bad economy.
posted by gimonca at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2003


over 3 years prior

or maybe less than that
posted by matteo at 8:50 AM on November 28, 2003


if Dean is not nominated, the downside for the Democrats will be that lots of Dean supporters will stay home

I agree. Either votes will go to a Green candidate or won't be cast.

I'm surprised people are so pessimistic about this. I think Dean would make a very formidable 3rd party candidate. Depending on the Democratic nominee.
posted by MrAnonymous at 8:51 AM on November 28, 2003


What deanc said. I'll take him with Clark on the ticket, but i'm still holding out for Edwards/Clark, or Edwards/Dean. (Clark on top might win, but worries me--he hasn't yet proven himself. I'd like to see Kucinich on the Cabinet in some form too.) None of the Dems running will ever split off and run as a third-party candidate--they all know that we remember Nader.

Kerry (who I don't like) and Gephardt (who had his chance in 88 and blew it) are not helping themselves by attacking him so much, btw.

gimonca is right, too--it'll be the economy first, then Iraq, as issues.
posted by amberglow at 9:01 AM on November 28, 2003


In November 2004, will people be obsessed with the most recent attack on U.S. soil, over 3 years prior, or will they be worried about more recent events, like the loss of their own job, home, health insurance, financial stability?....nothing gets an electorate crankier than a bad economy.

It's true that the electorate is "cranky" when the economy is bad, but everything I have seen in recent weeks suggests that the economy is not bad. Dean and the other democrats want us to think it is just terrible, but its hard to argue that the economy is that bad when (1) the economy has grown every quarter since 2001 and by over 8 percent in the last quarter, (2) interest rates are still low; (3) inflation is almost nonexistent; and (4) unemployment -- although not at the historical lows of the late 1990s -- is hovering around only six percent and the job market has shown more growth in recent months. True, the deficit is huge, but did that issue help Mondale (who won Minnesota) or Dukakis (who won about ten states)?

With respect to that "attack 3 years prior," characterizing America's war on terrorism as an "obsession" is kind of like telling the Jews that they shouldn't remember the holocaust, or Black Americans that they should forget about slavery. If Dean (or any other Democrat) is going to win, he is going to have to address the war on terrorism in way that goes beyond criticism of the Iraq war and the Patriot Act.
posted by Durwood at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2003


I too am surprised at all the pessimism. Considering Dean's stance on the the war and civil unions (looks good to the left) and his fiscal conservatism (looks good to the right). Bush is a little weak so far (everything about him looks bad to the left and having the high deficit and largest discretionary spending bills since 1985 will look bad to traditional conservatives).

What drives me crazy is the amount of people who know nothing about the issues and still love Bush because he seems like "such a nice guy". He has been the most divisive president in history.
posted by bas67 at 9:19 AM on November 28, 2003


He has been the most divisive president in history.
He really has been, but the polarizing started with Clinton I think (who I consider the best pres in my lifetime). From now on, all presidents, and every action they take, will be very divisive, I fear.
posted by amberglow at 9:29 AM on November 28, 2003


No, he has been the most divisive President on Metafilter. As for the larger, real world, I think Clinton would hold that title.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:51 AM on November 28, 2003


With respect to that "attack 3 years prior," characterizing America's war on terrorism as an "obsession" is kind of like telling the Jews that they shouldn't remember the holocaust, or Black Americans that they should forget about slavery.

**jaw hits floor**

Seriously, God forbid that anything holocaust-sized every actually does happen to the US.
posted by bifter at 9:57 AM on November 28, 2003


Yes, Paris. Clinton was much more divisive than, say, Lincoln.
posted by trondant at 10:01 AM on November 28, 2003


What drives me crazy is the amount of people who know nothing about the issues and still love Bush because he seems like "such a nice guy". He has been the most divisive president in history

What drives me crazy is the arrogance of people who "know" that other people are ignorant and wrong and support someone for the "wrong" reasons. Which, in turn makes me like Bush even more.

The only Bush policy with which I find fault is energy/environmental policy. He's done all the other major things extremely well--whether it be due to his own intellect or that of his entourage. Iraq: 100% justified and brilliantly executed. Afghanistan, the same, given the mess involved. Israel: superb. The economy: turned around, and, really, never that bad to begin with. Plus, he isn't an arrogant dick like his predecessor. Or most politicians. Genuine character, too.

As to why the environmental/energy deficit, who really knows.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2003


durwood: "With respect to that "attack 3 years prior," characterizing America's war on terrorism as an "obsession" is kind of like telling the Jews that they shouldn't remember the holocaust, or Black Americans that they should forget about slavery."

I've heard this a few times before and it's something I just don't understand.

They are not remotely similar events. In the case of 9/11 you have an aberration -- a criminal act committed by a few dozen lunatic sociopaths. That isn't quite the same as an institutionalised policy of genocide or societal spanning ownership of other people.

To compare a terrorist act, no matter how horrific, with the holocaust is disingenuous and lends this absurd us/them dichotomy far more credibility that it deserves. Remove the initial provocation from the equation and this 'war on terror' is a rather one-sided affair and really doesn't seem to be doing much to diminish the frequency of terrorist attacks. The case could be made that while the Iraqi people are better off the world has become a much more dangerous place for the rest of us.

/derail
posted by cedar at 10:19 AM on November 28, 2003


Get involved with a candidate who has no chance of winning, and will help elect the opponent--GOOD MOVE!

We'll see, Paris. As much as it must pain W lovers to see people getting involved at all, you may want to hold your tongue. Dean has done essentially zero national campaigning and is only like 10 points behind Bush in a theoretical election.

In all honesty, Paris, I couldn't be happier that people like you are overlooking Dean.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:27 AM on November 28, 2003


Iraq: 100% justified and brilliantly executed. Afghanistan, the same, given the mess involved. Israel: superb. The economy: turned around, and, really, never that bad to begin with. Plus, he isn't an arrogant dick like his predecessor.

You amaze me.
posted by majcher at 10:36 AM on November 28, 2003


I really don't get this whole "Dean will win the nomination and lose to Bush" thing. Where on earth are people getting that kind of certainty? The election is a year away. The campaign right now is all about building name recognition among the party and raising funds for the real campaign, which will start in another few months. Of course Dean has been trying to appeal to Democrats; he has to earn the Democratic nomination. Once he has to appeal to the country as a whole, you'll see a different set of campaign messages.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:38 AM on November 28, 2003


Yeah, sure. As soon as the spotlight focuses on Dean. you'll all be wishing Gore was running again. Dean will make McGovern look good by comparison (and honestly, this comes from someone who really wishes there was a sane alternative to a Republican President!)
posted by ParisParamus at 10:39 AM on November 28, 2003


I appreciate that I amaze you. Do know that I spent fall-winter 2000-2001 fearing how horrid a leader the President would be. But given the alternatives, I'm very happy. Still, it will be very difficult to vote for a Repubican next November....I'm just not wired to do so...
posted by ParisParamus at 10:41 AM on November 28, 2003


Yeah, sure. As soon as the spotlight focuses on Dean. you'll all be wishing Gore was running again.
Well, Gore got more votes than Bush in 2000, so that's not too shabby. People are also much more energized nowadays--lost jobs, massive deficits, and unnecessary wars tend to do that.
posted by amberglow at 10:43 AM on November 28, 2003


Paris:
Why are you so sure that Dean will lose more states than McGovern? I think that polls show any unnamed Democrat winning in many traditonal democratic states. Seeing as how the Democrat candidate actually won the election last time, you seem to be coming out of left field. I mean, what if they let black people vote in every state next time?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:45 AM on November 28, 2003


Paris, that's to accept that this particular Republican president is sane, and lots of people would beg to differ with that statement.

Look, I like Dean, and I will vote for him. But the Republicans are going to paint him as an extremist, and though his image fits that molde moreso than the reality, this nation is only now beginning to uncurl from the fetal position that 9/11 prompted us into. People want to believe Bush, they want to feel safe, and they are going to feel that the current commander in chief will keep them safe unless Dean/the other side attacks from the angle that the Iraq debacle has actually made us less safe from terrorism - see Thomas Friedman from yesterday.

And by the way, given his recent run of excellent speeches, I do wish Gore was running again.
posted by kgasmart at 10:45 AM on November 28, 2003


PP: "As soon as the spotlight focuses on Dean. you'll all be wishing Gore was running again."

I can only hope the Dean (if nominated) does as well as Gore did... considering he may have won the election and all.
posted by cedar at 10:47 AM on November 28, 2003


As for the larger, real world, I think Clinton would hold that title.

And yet, Clinton managed to get elected. Twice. Bush has yet to accomplish it once.

Iraq: 100% justified and brilliantly executed. Afghanistan, the same, given the mess involved.

That is probably the single most out-of-touch-with-reality statement I've ever seen posted on Metafilter. Come on, fess up, you've never actually heard of Afghanistan, have you?
posted by rushmc at 10:55 AM on November 28, 2003


What drives me crazy is the amount of people who know nothing about the issues and still love Bush because he seems like "such a nice guy". He has been the most divisive president in history

What drives me crazy is the arrogance of people who "know" that other people are ignorant and wrong and support someone for the "wrong" reasons. Which, in turn makes me like Bush even more.
-Paris Paramus

Oh, well, that's a good reason to love Bush, you're right.... Oh, no, wait....hmmm.... I think you just proved his point.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:01 AM on November 28, 2003


"People are also much more energized nowadays--lost jobs, massive deficits, and unnecessary wars tend to do that."

What they're energized about is making sure we aren't nuked or suffer another World Trade Center (and I don't mean architecturally...). Given that the Bush tax cuts seem to be vindicated (and, I stress, I haven't a clue if those tax cuts really did anything), I'm not sure what's left to defeat Bush on. Civil liberties? I still don't see the loss, and in any case, the vast majority of people don't see it either.

Face it: the progressive forces in this country, for better or worse (hey, I want more bike lanes; less pollution, fewer SUVs, and better schools, too), are out of touch with the average American. Perhaps it's inevitable: the progressive agenda, as it existed in 1960 or '70 is largely successful, and what's left to yell about are a bunch of silly and/or fringe issues. The one exception: healthcare, but, apparently not enough people care. Moreover, given a choice between more affordable healthcare, and the need for a radiation report at the top of the news, I'd chose the former.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:01 AM on November 28, 2003


What they're energized about is making sure we aren't nuked or suffer another World Trade Center (and I don't mean architecturally...)
Sorry paris--fear doesn't last (although I'll hand it to Bush--he's made the world a far more dangerous place for us with this little Iraqi thing)--unless it's fear of being out of work, or losing the house, or joining the record number of bankruptcies, or not being able to pay for college for the kids, etc...
posted by amberglow at 11:06 AM on November 28, 2003


he economy: turned around, and, really, never that bad to begin with.

I can only assume that you are trolling for attention or that you and every one you know works for Halliburton, or else you own a development shop in Bangalore, India.

8% GDP growth in a single quarter means nothing. Let's see some consistent 4-6% quarter over quarter GDP and corporate payroll growth for at least a few years, like what we saw under Gee W's "arrogant" predecessor, before we make such proclamations.
posted by psmealey at 11:13 AM on November 28, 2003


No, he has been the most divisive President on Metafilter. As for the larger, real world, I think Clinton would hold that title.

yeah, we all remember the 2000 Bush landslide, right? only on MetaFilter people are under the impression that Bush is a pretty divisive politician. I mean, it's not that after losing the popular vote Bush split even the Supreme Court -- 5-4, remember?

and we all see how crowds everywhere happily cheer Bush when he's visiting. on the other hand, the divisive Clinton...

heh. I'm glad you're back, FreedomParamus.
we kinda missed the fish-in-a-barrel thing that happens after you comment

Israel: superb
yeah, the situation in Israel is much better now than when Clinton was in the White House, right?...

by any chance, do you own a funeral service operation in Israel? Because that's about the only people who are actually better off now than 4 years ago, in Israel, FreedomParamus.

btw: Bush's strategy has been: ignore I/P. ignore the problem again. then try to endorse a half-assed road map. leave said road map die a painful death. try to cut off Arafat completely because Sharon said it's a good idea, then painfully learn that he's still somebody you need to talk to if you want to discuss peace. feebly protest when Sharon builds more settlements, outposts, and the separation wall. then resume doing nothing, and try to look statesmanlike in the process

superb indeed
posted by matteo at 11:20 AM on November 28, 2003


Face it: the progressive forces in this country, for better or worse (hey, I want more bike lanes; less pollution, fewer SUVs, and better schools, too), are out of touch with the average American.

please define for me "the average American."
posted by mcsweetie at 11:41 AM on November 28, 2003


Israel: superb
yeah, the situation in Israel is much better now than when Clinton was in the White House, right?...


yes, in the sense that the appeasement of the terrorists has gone from an "8" to a "2," and Israel no longer feels affraid to defend itself.

Average American: The American who elected a Republican Congress (probably while you fiddled, as you are doing now, with unelectable, Left-of-Center candidates); the American who cheered when partial birth abortion was done away with; the American who, a few years ago, cheered over welfare reform; and the American, the vast majority of which, agree with the President that liberating Iraq was a good idea, and remains so.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:57 AM on November 28, 2003


Arafat doesn't need to be talked to. He, and his sewer entourage need a 500 pound bomb dropped on their heads.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:58 AM on November 28, 2003


and the American, the vast majority of which, agree with the President that liberating Iraq was a good idea, and remains so.

The vast majority, Paris? Really? Maybe you could point out which poll you're talking about, because I just don't see it.
posted by Silune at 12:12 PM on November 28, 2003


I don't need a poll to know how the electorate will vote. Particularly since things will quite down in Iraq over the next few months.

Look. It's one thing to have minority views. It's another to be dellusional and believe your views aren't minority ones. That's why Dean's campaign is utterly doomed to failure.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:26 PM on November 28, 2003


yes, in the sense that the appeasement of the terrorists has gone from an "8" to a "2,"

it's nice to know that Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu and Barak were appeasers, in your mind
with the exception of Yigal Amir and his fans, you're in the minority there. but nevermind

in Sharon's Israel the standard of living, and all economic indicators are down.

terrorism is at an all-time high

we all saw how well Sharon's idea of going to Lebanon and dismantle the OLP in 1982 worked. we're all seeing how his policies are helping Israel now. it's funny that you defend the PM who damaged Israel the most

the American who, a few years ago, cheered over welfare reform;

yeah, the reform implemented by President Clinton


the American who cheered when partial birth abortion was done away with
we won't flog again the dead-horse that there is no such thing as "partial birth abortion", it's an inflammatory name of a basically non-existent practice that was made up by anti-Roe zealots who miss the good old days of home-made abortions and women with punctured wombs.
fact is that in America (the actual country, not the country of your Arab-hating fantasies) people seem to be pretty pro-choice. and pretty wary of anti-Roe religious rabble-rousers. but nevermind. we'll see what happens when the Bush-engineered Scalia Supreme Court overturns Roe in the next few years. maybe you're right and "Real America" wants abortion laws similar to Ireland's.

Arafat doesn't need to be talked to. He, and his sewer entourage need a 500 pound bomb dropped on their heads.

nice peace plan.
you have a lot of killing to do then, you'd better go volunteer now, FreedomParamus
and good luck "relocating" all the Palestinians from the (admittedly every day smaller) West Bank to Jordan
;)
posted by matteo at 12:38 PM on November 28, 2003


I don't need a poll to know how the electorate will vote.

Uh, yes, you do. Unless you have psychic powers. Or a crystal ball. Maybe you think you're just more "in tune" with what America thinks than the rest of us. Well, guess what: you aren't. You don't have psychic powers. You don't have a crystal ball. There's no TV station you can tune in to to find out what America really thinks, not even Fox News. So please, get over yourself, and try to pay attention to what's happening. I think it might surprise you.
posted by Silune at 12:50 PM on November 28, 2003


Funny, ParisParamus, I see an average American who is utterly getting fucked by his conservative government.

Over health care, for example. We could debate at length whether the recent Medicare legislation was a good or bad thing, but is there any doubt whatsoever that average Americans such as you and me will pay through the nose for this?

Oh, and how about the Republicans' refusal to permit the federal government using its bulk-purchasing power to demand low prices from pharmaceutical manufacturers? Right, right, the need for R&D. Think that's holding water with the average American who just got back from the drugstore?

Or how about our foreign policy, which pretty much mandates the invasion of Syria and Iran after Iraq is finally mopped up, whenever that might be. Think the average American is up for a war with Iran? I doubt it, but if Bush remains in office I've little doubt that's where we're headed.

The average American is in debt up past his eyebrows, tired from working long hours and sitting in traffic, worrying about keeping the kids off drugs and on the straight and narrow, about the aging parents who might have to go into a nursing home. The Democratic candidate that can speak directly to these personal economic concerns and make a compelling case that Bush has made the world more dangerous, not less so, for Americans could do to Bush what the Dolphins did to the Cowboys yesterday.
posted by kgasmart at 12:59 PM on November 28, 2003


psmealey: Let's see some consistent 4-6% quarter over quarter GDP and corporate payroll growth for at least a few years, like what we saw under Gee W's "arrogant" predecessor, before we make such proclamations.

During Clinton's presidency, only once were there 4 consecutive quarters over 4 percent GDP growth. And quarterly figures are pretty worthless, anyway. Maybe we should look at year over year figures. Never a calendar year of 5 percent GDP growth. So that whole "consistent 4-6%" thing was a bit of an exaggeration, no?

Furthermore, I think you are guilty of the Economic Attribution Error.
posted by trharlan at 2:11 PM on November 28, 2003


Maybe a bit of an exaggeration (lies, damn lies and statistics after all), but not false. Anecdotally, you would be hard pressed to find anyone that they are doing better now than they were four or six or eight years ago. Not that 1992-2000 was all peaches and cream, but I thought the claim that the economy has turned around, when corporate payroll growth is still anemic and "that it wasn't that bad to begin with" were two ridiculous assertions.
posted by psmealey at 3:56 PM on November 28, 2003


A few variables to consider:

How will the corporate media treat Bush next year? Only since Iraq has the Bush media lovefesh been mildly tainted. I don't know how "everyone" thinks, without a decent poll of course, but I do know TV will be the main influence for millions upon millions of voters who have not made a strong decision regarding next year's election.

How will socal issues be framed and fought? Gay marraige, partial- birth nonsense, etc? The right obviously has the "its wrong, plain and simple" plan and the dems better not take the opposite approach. They need a middle of the road answer to these questions like Dean's already famous stance on gun control: "Let the states decide." As far as "partial birth abortion" goes, no politico is going to challenge this. It'll be turned over at SCOTUS when Ashcroft arrests the first doctor who tries to save a woman's life because her pregnancy is literally killing her.

Economy? Not as big a point as one might think. Everyone can give a convicing and truthfull "Well, the economy is complex and not at the whim of the president" argument when cornered. Taxes and government spending are a wholly different issue of course.

Iraq? If November-like stats are going to be the norm then Bush will seriously be wounded to the point of being kicked out just for his PNAC fantasies. A dead soldier everyday for a war that has not brought the goodies (WMD, AlQaeda, Hussien, etc)? Ouch.
posted by skallas at 1:59 AM on November 29, 2003


How will the corporate media treat Bush next year?

So long as he continues to support their consolidationist imperialism, Bush has a big advantage here.
posted by rushmc at 6:18 AM on November 29, 2003


Reasons Dean can win in 2004 (and why Karl Rove wants $200 million to beat him):
1. The Dems got more votes than Bush in 2000, and that's after splitting the vote with Nader. If Nader stays out, the margin may be that much better. (And even if he runs, third parties have a tendency to flop on second tries.)
2. The economy will be neutral at worst, relative to 2000. It will either be worse, or just pulling even. And it's unlikely that many of the 3 million who lost manufacturing jobs since 2000 (plus their families) will fail to hold this against Bush.
3. Candidates with a background as governor historically do better than candidates out of the Senate or House. Perhaps they do better at projecting a managerial style.
4. Dean has a legitimate record to point to as a fiscal conservative and will be hard to attack in that department.
5. Dean's organization has figured out how to raise money and won't have a problem continuing to do so.
posted by beagle at 7:58 AM on November 29, 2003


1 - True, but you're talking of 2000. History began on 9-11-2001 for many, many people

2 - But maybe those 3 million people belong to the majority of Americans who don't bother to vote, and their possible disillusionment with Bush would be irrelevant for the election's outcome. or maybe they'll be too scared of terrorists and will vote for Bush (not for the "pacifist appeaser Democrats" depicted by Republican ads anyway)

3 - Who was the last New England Governor to run for President?
Two words: Michael Dukakis

4 - It won't matter if they manage to paint him as a pinko pacifist appeaser who "attacks the President because he attacked the terrorists", and I'm quoting an actual GOP ad

5 - True, but what will happen if he's nominated and the polls put him very far behind Bush? Will people give him money if the numbers paint him as a sure-thing loser?
posted by matteo at 12:56 PM on November 29, 2003


Candidates with a background as governor historically do better than candidates out of the Senate or House.

I haven't actually looked, but I'm pretty sure that candidates with a background as President of the United States do even better in elections than governors.
posted by kindall at 2:29 PM on November 29, 2003


In that case, there's really only one way to go.
posted by Silune at 5:15 PM on November 29, 2003


Carter's a wonderful ex-president...why mess that up? I'll take a Clinton, any Clinton.
posted by amberglow at 5:41 PM on November 29, 2003


Let's see : terrorist suitcase nuke on the White House lawn, imposition of martial law, suspension of constitution, anarchy as massive underclass and militias and well-armed populace go bugshit, intervention for stabilization by coalition led by EU as world economy tanks, the back of the American corporate oligarchy is broken as democracy is imposed from without.

Ten years from now, we live a new world.

This is what my crystal ball shows, even if it's not quite as likely as any of the other scenarios upthread.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:18 PM on November 29, 2003


I think Dean getting the nomination is a given at this point, and I'm pretty sure Clark is in the bag for VP already. Notice how they are much more polite to each other during the debates than anyone else is. They poke a bit, but it seems generally pretty gentle in compaison. I think Edwards' overblown hissy fit a couple weeks ago over the confederate flag fiasco was pretty much all we needed to see to know he'd gotten the message that he was out of the running. And I would like to encourage all on the Republican side to just keep on gloating that it'll be a 49-1 landslide reelection. It is precisely that sort of arrogant, out of touch attitude that is the fatal flaw of both W and his poppy, and increasingly of his blind-faith followers. Really now, if you believe it is that far in the bag, why even campaign? Why even vote? You're right -- it will be a landslide, so you may as well just stay home and count your gold coins. On the other hand, I predict that over the next year people will finally start to realize that this emperor wears no clothes, and I'm quite confident he'll be packing his bags and heading back to the Lazy W ranch.
posted by spilon at 8:27 PM on November 30, 2003


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