Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Democrats See Shadows, Predict Six More Weeks of Campaigning

Some random notes on media coverage and the Feb. 3rd results:
  • CNN featured a Republican loser (Bob Dole) telling a Democratic loser (Howard Dean) how to win, yet again; and a Republican (Tucker Carlson) and a Republican (David Gergen) doing electoral analysis of the democratic primaries. Oh, and a losing democratic campaign manager (Donna Brazile) to match Fox' losing democratic campaign manager (Susan Estrich). CNN, to raise the tone later, brought in the now-unfunny Mo Rocca to say utterly nothing.
  • The early coverage was all about the dominant win by Edwards, but the networks didn't give enough attention to Edwards doing well in Oklahoma, which had nearly as many delegates and more voters turning out than South Carolina, and scant attention to Wes Clark, who won Oklahoma and finished a respectable second in Arizona and New Mexico. Kerry was clearly the big winner, but with Edwards and Clark showing well and out of their "areas", it's not clear why the networks didn't give more play to the broader appeal.
  • Edwards seems like the kind of guy who might do well in Michigan, given enough campaigning time.
  • Dean's trash talk of Kerry's record of do-nothingness is right on, but can't possibly be a winning strategy. But to Dr. Dean's credit, he's going about it far more nicely than the jackals who went after him.
  • Of all the calculating stances taken by the Kerry campaign, the use of his long association with firefighters -- anybody who's campaigned in Southie won't have a hard time understanding why Kerry started cultivating them 25 years ago -- is probably the most clever. It's a subtle way of out-9/11-ing Bush.
  • How weird is the delegate selection system: Sharpton won 10% of the vote in South Carolina and over 25,000 votes but got no delegate because of the 15% cut-off in that state; he got just over 1500 votes in Delaware and a mere 4% of the vote, finishing sixth, yet he managed to win a delegate because of the apportionment system (finishing second to Kerry, who had 14 delegates).

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