Happy New Year!
And hopefully new President, new Congress, new economy.
Yep, we need lots of new. And to my new readers, thanks, I hope you're enjoying my new blog.
I'll probably see you between bowl games tomorrow. Till then, take care.
A Democrat - without prefix, without suffix, without apology.
And hopefully new President, new Congress, new economy.
...at Howard Dean this year, and I'll graciously step aside and let Scott Lehigh of the Boston Globe take it.
Just once, maybe HoHo could make that his mantra.
Anytime, anywhere, any subject. Anything.
...is to love him?
...how in the heck can I support Howard Dean if he's the Democratic nominee? That question was posed in the comments to an earlier post, and my answer was pretty much boiler-plate ABB. After all, I'm a Democrat, and I've come around after some pretty bloody primary battles in years past. If you think I'm tough on Dean, you should have heard some of the things I said about Bill Clinton, and kept saying until I cast my vote for Jerry Brown on the floor of the '92 Democratic National Convention.
Washington State Cougars
A timely email informs me that Iowa voters are hearing from an old friend of Al and Howie, Chris Peterson...
...why people are paying so much attention to Donna Brazile this year? Sure, she's in everyone's Rolodex since her last job, but that didn't work out so well, did it?
ARG has released a new tracking poll in New Hampshire, and Dean's down 8 points, to 37, compared to their December 17 survey. It's the only move that's outside the 4% +/- for the previous poll.
...that Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo is one of the most respected, and most valuable, spots in the blogosphere is that he's a first rate reporter. Another, I must admit, is that he tends to avoid the Presidential pissing match in which I take such perpetual glee, usually focusing on weightier material.
...by the eloquence of one of my on-line compatriots. This time it's Peter Dow, writing for the official Kerry blog.
earlier, distracted as I was by my (not so) fond remembrance of the Ron Brown era at the DNC. Happily, the New Republic made it for me (though the emphasis is all mine).
...is in order.
"If Ron Brown were the chairman, this wouldn't be happening."
The LA Times takes a look at the real unemployment numbers.
...if you believed Howard Dean's protestations that he was only kidding when he told Vermont Public Radio that his records were sealed to avoid future political embarassment.
Do you find yourself idly musing that "Hey, Wolfowitz has a point about those Koreans," or maybe "Rummy only seemed slightly delusional at that last press conference."?
WASHINGTON - "Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean has demanded release of secret deliberations of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force. But as Vermont governor, Dean had an energy task force that met in secret and angered state lawmakers.
This report (via Politus) raises some serious questions about a candidate who has pledged to support his party's nominee.
Hard on the heels of Wes Clark dashing the hopes many held for a Dean/Clark ticket, John Edwards deliverers hard news to the camp that had been thinking along Kerry/Edwards lines (yeah, that includes me...)
...some may just need a little adult supervision. Howard Dean's record doesn't provide much encouragement regarding his supervision skills, though.
...even national Presidential campaigns, at a certain level. That's why the local support of shoe leather activists is so important, and it's why the delegate selection process can be so unpredictable. Every state has its own ballot access rules, and every State Party writes it's own Delegate Selection Plan, within broad guidelines provided by the DNC.
...comes from the folks at The Moderate Independent, who seem to have a generally pro-Clark slant. They offer this assessment of the Dean campaign.
Used to be that the inability to pin a politician down on a position made him 'slippery,' and therefore suspect. These days, some folks talk about Teflon candidacies with a certain sense of admiration. The LA Times takes a look at this year's inheritor of the label passed down from Ronald Reagan (I'll let you judge the value of that heritage).
There may be a nine candidate field for awhile yet, but it's going to be Dean v. the Anti-Dean for the Democratic nomination, and John Kerry is staking his claim for the opposition role in New Hampshire this weekend.
Although Howard Dean has claimed to be the only candidate waging a national campaign, a note from Kerry Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill reminds us that "We are running in every state and in every corner of the country. We are now on the ballot in 31 states with campaign operations in 33 states run by staff and volunteers."
Howard Dean, champion of the separation of church and northern states, must have intended his Christmas greetings for Yankees only.
I mean, I'm not completely unwilling to hang a positive spin on a Dean story. Here, for instance, is the lede I was planning to use for this post.
On top of the near million dollar TV buy promoting his energy indepence program, the Kerry campaign is splitting almost another half million on separate ads for Iowa and New Hampshire.
that can make a big difference in a political campaign, and as I've said before, I think some of the most critical endorsements are the ones that have relatively little marquee value. Maybe it's because I'm from a caucus state myself, where on person in a precinct hustling up a dozen friends on caucus night can have a big impact on the process.
Another piece in the New York Times cites Democratic fundraiser Joe McClean on the George Bush money machine.
Well, kind of. Kerry's energy independence plan, a centerpiece of his platform and one of the strongest arguements for his candidacy, finally got some mention in the New York Times.
I went out looking for a positive story about a Democrat, and found the good news about Kucinich. Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead, but I kept scrolling down the page, and there it was.
I really can be nice to candidates I don't support. In this case it's Dennis Kucinich, who has qualified for FEC matching funds. With his first wave of television spots breaking, this is an important milestone for Kucinich, and though I'm not a supporter, I do appreciate his role as a prod from the 'Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.'
...but I just can't seem to keep the spirit of holiday charity going. Once again, I'm compelled to tell the truth about Dr. Dean.
...part of the habit isn't posting kind words about Republican politicians.
...to posting here. I mean, there are both a menorrah and a Christmas tree in our front window, so I have twice as many excuses for taking a day off as most folks. Just the same, there are a couple things I feel compelled to share today, not the least of which are my warmest holiday greetings to all of you, regardless of which holiday applies.
It must be a nice thing to pop a quick 7 mill or so into your campaign treasury over the course of a week, but for heaven's sake, why?
Clark supporter Amy Isikoff Newell of the Isikoff Report imagines life as a Deaner with a measure of envy.
I've already pointed out that despite the apparently big lead that Dean holds in the latest WaPo/ABC poll, it's not unqualified good news for the Governor.
The Kerry campaign has released additions to their list of Party, community and labor leaders that have signed on as endorsers in Iowa. Notable among the names are four who had been counted in the Dean column.
...about a candidate by the questions they evade than the questions they answer. It seemed pretty straightforward to me. The ABC reporter asked the Doctor "Which Democrats out there do you admire the most?"
Not at all.
...but I love the story.
Now we know how commited John Kerry is to his campaign.
I finally got a look at the whole David Rogers piece from yesterday's Wall Street Journal (thanks DiAnne!), and realized that I'd missed one of the best parts.
...of sorts occured at 10:53 PST, when a visitor from optonline.net logged in and moved the hit counter to 2000. That's twice where I hoped to be by the new year! Thanks!
...to the Howard Dean problem is a better nominee. John Kerry, with a track record as a slow starter in previous campaigns, is showing signs of becoming a better candidate for the nomination, and is the only guy on the horizon that I think can stop Dean and beat Bush.
...with Howard Dean, anyway.
HoHo's whining again.
...is to silence the listeners. CBS News reports that "Back in November, Dean proudly announced on board a charter flight from New Hampshire to Maine that everything said on the plane was on the record unless otherwise indicated. Now, campaign staff is careful to point out that everything said aboard the governor’s plane in flight is off the record unless otherwise indicated."
MSNBC offers The Top 10 jokes from the campaign trail. Sharpton's the big winner, but my favorite comes (naturally) from John Kerry, who took the #3 spot with this quip from an audience Q&A at the Hispanic Caucus debate.
...he might have caught Joel Connelly's examination of the 'imperial Vice-Presidency' in the P-I. (I don't know if the Veep is as news-averse as his putative boss, but articles like this could make it happen.)
Might as well face the new Washington Post/ABC poll head on. The headline, of course, is Dean's big lead. He's polling 31% of D's, with the rest of the field in single digits (for the record, Gep and Lieberman are tied at 9, Kerry's at 8, Clark's at 7 and no one else breaks 5).
What a difference a link makes.
...with words for First Read this morning.
In an interview with William Rivers Pitt, John Kerry provides an answer that should have been in his stump speech from day one, and should be from now on.
More from MSNBC's interview with Dean.
The most common understanding definition of 'straight talk," I suppose, would be saying what you believe no matter who, where or when.
HoHo said it again.
That's the way Susan at Suburban Guerrilla described a recent Eric Alterman entry, but she's a Deaner, so I imagine I'll have to wait for this primary business to be over before I get similar notice from her. Still, it's a dandy description, and it's important to have goals, so maybe someday I'll earn that tag.
Dick Cheney rolls into Bellevue (Seattle's generally Republican suburb, for the out of towners in the audience) to try to help George Nethercutt narrow the $3 million gap between the fundraising totals for his Senate campaign and Senator Patty Murray's re-election war chest. Good luck.
...and we just stand for what we stand for.
The footer on Dick Morris' column in The Hill notes that he's "...is the author of Off With Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks, and Obstructionists in American Politics, Media, and Business.
An AP report from Saturday quoted Howard Dean saying "It's not necessary to tear down the other opponents," as he plead for relief from the questions his opponents have been raising about his consistency, veracity and positions. Of course, it's hard to take him very seriously when, during the same appearance, he levels a charge like this.
Hardly a day goes by without finding a post on some site that leaves me in awe of the ability and insight of some of my fellow bloggers, and today the honors go to Steve Soto at The Left Coaster. I take some grief for 'Dean bashing,' and so does he, but as he says,
Up here in the upper left, Boeing's decision to build it's new commercial jet, the 7E7, in Everett, WA, is a big deal. We lost the corporate headquarters to Chicago, but the real concern has been the fate of the assembly lines, and while this development won't replace all the Boeing jobs lost in recent times, it's importance is reflected in the extraordinary lengths that Gov. Gary Locke went to, and drove the Legislature to, in order to create a tax and financing package that would keep the Everett line moving.
There's been a lot of buzz about who, if anybody, is safer with the capture of Saddam Hussein. I tend to agree that the American people aren't tangibly safer than they were when he was hiding in his hole, but I think a lot of folks feel safer, so telling them they aren't probably reflects a lack of political wisdom. The increased safety, for Americans and the world in general, came when Saddam was deposed, not when he was captured.
That there's a reason other than Howard Dean's various positions on various issues (or his various positions on the same issue, for that matter) or his sparkling personality for his dramatic rise in the national polls? After all, just a short while ago, Joe Lieberman held the top spot in all the national surveys, and everyone dismissed it as a simple case of name familiarity.
While it's hard to gloat about a 25 point deficit against Dean in the new American Research Group poll of New Hampshire, there's some significant good news in the numbers.
If you enjoy Upper Left, you might consider clicking over to Wampum where they're inviting readers to "...nominate your favorite Lefty in the 2003 Koufax Awards."
...not by design, anyway. It's just that bad new for Dr. Dean seems to be dominating the news cycle lately. I offered a full dose yesterday, and I could do the same thing again with detailed quotes and commentary about stories from the New York Times, the LA Times, TAPPED and/or MSNBC, all of which offer less than flattering coverage of the Governor's consistency, credibility and/or prospects.
...seem to be concentrated in the Howard Dean campaign. Joel Connelly offers a corrective history lesson in the Seattle P-I.
A little northwest content today, although I encourage Upper Left readers from far and wide to offer whatever support they can (money works just fine) to these Washington Congressional candidates.
John Kerry's gaining ground in Iowa, and it's getting noticed. David Yepsen takes a good look at Kerry's journey from front-runner to has-been to potential 'Comeback Kid' in the Des Moines Register, pointing out that "There's another political story developing in Iowa: the improving position of John Kerry. The Massachusetts senator has been quietly doing things here that are improving his caucus prospects."
...for Dennis Kucinich to stay in the Presidential race. No, it's not because I think he can accumulate enough delegates to win the nomination. I know that the "unelectable" tag infuriates the Kucinich true-believers, but it is, in fact, the hard truth.
Endorsement or no endorsement, if Al Gore really helped Howard Dean write that 'major foreign policy address,' the Doc has to cut the Veep loose.