December 29, 2003


Pity the poor Howard Dean supporters. What will they do? Where will they go?

Howard Dean said Sunday that the hundreds of thousands of people drawn to politics by his campaign may stay home if he doesn't win the Democratic presidential nomination, dooming the Democratic Party in the fall campaign against President Bush.

"If I don't win the nomination, where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they're going to go?" he said during a meeting with reporters. "I don't know where they're going to go."

Back to work at the drive-thru, maybe. Meanwhile, John Kerry has his own problems:

That's one tightly-managed campaign Kerry is running. Here's a Dean Update, from the The LA Times:

When Howard Dean appeared on NBC's Meet the Press, the reviews were scathing, with most pundits calling the interview earlier this year a disaster. But others saw it differently. Traffic on Dean's Web site soared, and he collected more than $100,000 in the next 24 hours.

Stumbles, such as Dean's remark about Confederate flag-wavers, and factual misstatements, such as his assertion that no other candidate was discussing race before White audiences, have not only failed to slow his momentum but redoubled the commitment of Dean supporters.

Whenever he fumbles in the eyes of so-called experts, it makes him all the more attractive to disaffected Democrats scornful of institutions like the major media.

All of which spells certain doom. Nobody can win the Presidency on the power of the “disaffected Democrat” vote.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 29, 2003 04:53 PM

Wow, that's a fantastic photo! Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Robert at December 29, 2003 at 05:15 PM

It's hilarious how Dean now wants all political attacks against him to stop. This coming from an unknown who grew in popularity with the conspiracy hungry cobwebs for brains voters that love any red meat that attacks Bush. Turnabout is fair play.

Posted by: Brendan at December 29, 2003 at 05:26 PM

Incidentally, I just realized who Dean reminds me of (appearance wise). It had escaped me for months.

Lee Harvey Oswald.

I'm not suggesting anything; it's just something that occurred to me.

Posted by: RC at December 29, 2003 at 06:39 PM

For some reason, the comic strip "Doonesbury" has attached itself to Dean. He has been unequivocably endorsed by the adolescent character Alex.

Posted by: David at December 29, 2003 at 07:45 PM

Just Alex?
ALL the characters (except BD) once worked for for McGovern.

Posted by: maor at December 29, 2003 at 08:50 PM

I doubt if "Duke" ever worked for McGovern either.

Posted by: Lawrence at December 29, 2003 at 08:56 PM

The Howard Dean candidacy is causing all kinds of problems for the Democrats. The party leadership thinks he's unelectable but if they launch an all out campaign to derail him they risk alienating the Deanie babies. Or worse yet, he may take his supporters with him and run as a third-party candidate which would lead to an electoral landslide of epic proportions for Bush.

On the other hand, Dean has really pissed off a lot of people in the Clintonista wing of the Democratic Party so if he wins the nomination they may be inclined to let him go down in flames in order to pave the way for Hillary in 2008.

Either way, the prospects don't look good for the Dems in 2004.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at December 30, 2003 at 12:14 AM

Nobody can win the Presidency on the power of the “disaffected Democrat” vote.

No, but they can win Massachusetts and the District of Gun Crime. And winning these two bastions of enlightenment is so much more morally pure than grubbing votes from those horrid fundamentalist-infested flyover states, don't you think?

Posted by: Tongue Boy at December 30, 2003 at 12:50 AM

Leftoids "scornful of the major media"????

Man, the Big 'M ' ARE in serious, serious trouble. No foolin'.

Posted by: Andrew X at December 30, 2003 at 12:52 AM

I would have to interject that Bush can win on the power of the newly created disaffected (with the) Democrat(s) vote.

I'm pretty upset with my (former) party right now and not willing to vote for any of them. Leaves me with few options...

Posted by: Nathan at December 30, 2003 at 01:46 AM

I suspect that the uptick in funding that comes with each Dean gaffe is being organized by Karl Rove. I'd bet Rove is salivating at the prospect of running Bush against Dean. I dig W's efforts in the WoT, but I find it ironic that he is the "serious" one on international affairs in a matchup against Dean. He just seems like an affable goofball (I mean that in the best sense of the word).

Posted by: Tibor at December 30, 2003 at 02:37 AM

I like the way Kerry is positioned in that photo to have what looks like a halo of holyness or maybe crazyness eminating from his head. Or maybe it's mind-control beams, if so I don't know who's mind it's working on.

Or maybe it's just rays of sincerity and concern. Or maybe he's standing in front of a light. Politics is hard!

Posted by: Amos at December 30, 2003 at 09:00 AM

poor dean

Posted by: godfather at December 30, 2003 at 09:52 AM

I would suggest that Bush supporters don't get complacent. The real stretch for Republicans in 2004 won't necessarily be a Bush v. Dean contest. The real battle will be whether a Bush victory will have enough legs to take the Senate Republican count to 60.

Right now, the next Congress is likely to have more Republican Senators but 60 is a major stretch. That's the real brass ring for Republicans. It means that party line votes on cloture for judicial nominees end up with Republicans winning.

Posted by: TM Lutas at December 30, 2003 at 03:53 PM

TM- the pendulum has been swinging since 1994. Unless the Reps booger-up on something big (and I mean REAL big- Watergate big, "Read my lips" big), they will continue trending upwards, picking up a few seats here and there until they hit the magic numbers. Only thing that concerns me- does anyone here remember what happened the LAST TIME it looked like the Democratic Party would lose its grip on power in D.C.?

Posted by: David Paglia at December 31, 2003 at 07:44 AM

RN: I'd say that's one of the more interesting theories I've heard recently.

Posted by: Sean at December 31, 2003 at 02:19 PM

RN? I'm sorry, I meant RC.

Posted by: Sean at December 31, 2003 at 02:21 PM

RC noted a resemblance between Dean and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Personally, I see Berkley Breathed cartoon character Opus the penguin.

Posted by: Rick at January 1, 2004 at 07:02 AM

Certainly not! Opus is capable of saying the same thing twice.

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at January 2, 2004 at 04:36 AM

Please continue to underestimate Dean and his supporters. Thanks.

Posted by: Spine at January 2, 2004 at 10:34 AM


Sorry, buddy, but you've got a bit of a problem.

Nobody is underestimating Dean -- he's proved time and time again that he'll say ANYTHING to gain the voters' favor (even if doing so contradicts what he said five minutes ago).

Also, nobody is underestimating Dean's supporters -- their disdain for Bush is the central unifying issue (Dean could reveal himself as Kodos the space alien and his supporters would still be on his side).

So long as the Dean camp continues to overestimate his ability to attract NEW supporters -- which, regardless of the fervor and fanaticism of his current groupies, is the only way he can WIN AN ELECTION -- the Republican party has nothing to worry about.

You can paint "Vote Howard Dean" on your chest and chant his name into a megaphone while you cast your ballot next year, but all the enthusiasm in the world won't increase the value of your vote.

So, come November, vote early and often, Spine. It's the only way your man will end up in the White House.

Posted by: dexter green at January 3, 2004 at 06:27 AM

_@_v - yeep! i'm one of those 'disaffected democrats' that will be voting bush this election

Posted by: She Snailie _@_v at January 3, 2004 at 11:32 AM

It's down to Dean v. Clark. Which it so happens is a Gore/Clinton split. Interestingly, if Dean is the nominee, Clinton remains a powerhouse but if Clark is nominated, Gore will be diminished.

It will be interesting to see what Kerry, Lieberman and Gephardt do when they drop out. Wisest course would be no endorsement but they will be tempted to endorse Clark (as much of an oddball as they think he is.)

The others, the minor players (Sharpton, Braun and Kucinich) should all be ok with Dean. Edwards, too. Watching Graham in the aftermath of his drop out is instructive. His daughter is a top Dean advisor and Graham has lots of nice things to say about Dean. Graham has been no fire breather in his career but seeing the way Bush manipulated and misplayed the war in Iraq has caused him to depart from the mainstream. Graham's conduct is extremely intriguing.

If Dean is the nominee (the most likely scenario) he will have to pick a southerner for VP. Will he be able to patch things up with Clark? Not likely when he can pick either Edwards or Graham.

No matter how you cut it - all very interesting. & even if the nominee is Dean, bush would be wise not to underestimate the dems.

Posted by: Brendan Molony at January 3, 2004 at 08:57 PM