January 25, 2004

THOSE LOVABLE DEMS

How will Howard Dean rebuild his campaign? "I can't give specifics yet," he told David Letterman, "but it involves Ted Danson."

Psych! Alerted to Dean’s plans, Wesley Clark quickly moved to secure that crucial Danson endorsement. The man most likely to be the next US president currently needs all the support he can get. In other important Democrat endorsement news, this is so sad it makes me want to cry:

Of the four main Democratic candidates, the one that has perhaps received the least celebrity support is North Carolina Senator John Edwards. His only noticeable star-support has come from the rock band Hootie and the Blowfish.

Poor John Edwards. And Dean should aim higher than old TV people for his endorsements; maybe he can get one from the President:

The time was 1998, when Republicans were on the verge of impeaching President Bill Clinton. Howard Dean, then governor of Vermont, was unhappy with Mr. Clinton and disgusted with the Republican leadership in Washington. But he did find a Republican to admire.

"George W. Bush did very well," Dr. Dean said of the Texas governor, who had just been elected to a second term. "Why? Because he is talking about his issues in a civil, thoughtful way in getting his point across."

When Dr. Dean was praising Mr. Bush in 1998, he added that the Texas governor and others he did not name were successful because "they govern from the center, they are respectful of their opponents."

Whatever happened to this sweet Dean of Reason? Meanwhile, Quebec’s Bruce Gottfred writes: "I know who I'm going to be reading in the future to get the real story of the race for the presidency." He’s talking about Dave Barry, who’s running hot in frozen New Hampshire:

Dean is trying desperately to soften his image by wearing suits, smiling, no longer ending speeches by breaking boards with his forehead, etc. But these measures may be too late, as almost all the experts now predict that Kerry will win in New Hampshire, which probably means he won't.

The candidates had their last debate here Thursday night at St. Anselm College. Outside, it was roughly 870 degrees below zero, but hundreds of campaign activists showed up to wave signs and shout at each other. This always strikes me as strange: I mean, what's the point of holding a Dean sign and shouting ''DEAN! DEAN! DEAN!'' for three straight hours in the bitter cold when the only person who can see or hear you is holding a Kerry sign and shouting ''KERRY! KERRY! KERRY!''? Does anybody's mind get changed? After a while, do these people become convinced by each other and swap signs?

What with the likes of Dean, Martian Rover Kucinich, General Confusion, Rev. Al ”Federal Reserve” Sharpton, and a rib-obsessed incumbent, this election year requires a whipsong humour writer like Barry to properly explain things. So-called serious pundits are out of their depth. For example, Maureen Dowd:

Howard Dean's bark was missing its bite. And his socks were missing their warp. Not to mention their woof.

As Jeff Jarvis asks:

Can any sane person tell me what the f this means?

UPDATE. Dave on Democrat hair:

From the front, the Rev. Sharpton looks as though he doesn't have much hair, but in fact he has enough for several people: He combs it all straight back to an area behind his head, where it forms this highly disciplined hair structure the size of a small dog. It's very impressive, although they never show it on TV. (No wonder the voters are apathetic!)

For the record, the other candidates with strong hair are John Kerry and John Edwards. They both have what I would describe as Ken hair, as in Barbie and Ken, although Kerry is more Lumberjack Ken, while Edwards is more Star Trek Ken.

The other contenders all have average hair, except Dennis Kucinich, who appears to be using some kind of tofu-based mousse.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 25, 2004 04:18 PM
Comments

I am a sane person, but my wife is very interested in knitting and weaving, and after you visit 400 or so spinneries you pick some things up. So here goes:

In weaving, the warp refers to the threads that run the length of the loom; the weft, sometimes called the "woof," refers to the threads that run across the warp. Apparently Dean's socks were slipping a little, so when Dowd writes that his socks were missing warp and woof, she probably really means that his ankles were.

What kills me is that this column appears on the same page where Krugman begged journalists to stop talking about candidates' clothes.

Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at January 25, 2004 at 04:50 PM

I know Hootie & his Blowfish are a Rock Critic's joke these days, but there are worse things than a candidate having the support of a local rootsy bar band-turned-megamillion CD sellers. They still command $30+ per seat playing big markets & fancy casinos ... and their demographic (upper middle class voters in their early 40s) is going to be pretty important in November.

If anything, Edwards is *lucky* not to have a bunch of celebrity baggage. What's Drudge or Fox gonna complain about? How Edwards is supported by a good-time effortlessly multiracial southern pub-rock group known for its love of golf?

Edwards has plenty of time to screw it up, but as of today he is pretty impressive because he seems smart, sane and polite. This is how sad the American Presidential Race has become ... if you aren't obviously crazy, angry, fake or very stupid, you're seen as a rare ray of light.

(Did anyone see the jackass Kerry playing hockey yesterday? What is it about Northeastern Democrats doing stupid things resulting in photographs of them wearing stupid helmets?)

As Dave Barry wrote in his "Hits Below the Beltway" book -- excellent campaign season reading, by the way -- we will pretty much elect the tallest guy who seems halfway decent. The rest is trivial.

Posted by: Ken Layne at January 25, 2004 at 05:02 PM

Edwards is a trial lawyer. On those grounds alone he should be rejected out-of-hand. But there is still a small matter I suspect will be revived if needed, about the Saudi Arabian lobbyist offering to buy Edward's house in Maryland. Edward's committee seats, Saudi efforts to "buy" US politicians/bureaucrats, and a SA lobbyist bidding on his house? Hmmmmmmm.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at January 25, 2004 at 06:21 PM

I'll also say that a lack of celebrity endorsement is a plus for Edwards... but Theo pretty much summed up everything wrong with Edwards at "trial lawyer"

Posted by: Sortelli at January 25, 2004 at 08:46 PM

In weaving, the warp refers to the threads that run the length of the loom; the weft, sometimes called the "woof," refers to the threads that run across the warp. Apparently Dean's socks were slipping a little, so when Dowd writes that his socks were missing warp and woof, she probably really means that his ankles were.

So Dowd is aiming this at the large knitters/weavers demographic in her readership. This would be an obscure reference even by Dennis Miller standards.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at January 26, 2004 at 12:21 AM

'f' means "fuck".Ask Kerry.

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at January 26, 2004 at 02:15 AM

Ah, but Edward's Hootie endorsement is more desperate than it seems. Hootie's a South Carolina band -- Edwards couldn't find a native outfit to root for him.

All the Democrat Tarheels I know hate Edwards, and assume he ran for President b/c he realized he couldn't get reelected to the Senate.

Posted by: Twn at January 26, 2004 at 03:01 AM

The transcript of Bush's appalling photo-op at the rib joint doesn't do it justice. Even George realized how badly he had blown his chance to counter the feel good footage of Kerry hugging the Viet vet. He was blushing at the end.

I don't know what Rove was thinking. His guy has been insulated from the public at large for over three years and he thinks he can dress him up in denim and throw him into a room full of the 'little people' and have him come off as folksy?

On the off chance that anyone here actually wants to hear about the real story, here's a link to my description of the video. I notice they didn't the nerve to post the actual footage on their site and they santized the transcript of the exchange as well. It was much longer.

Posted by: Last One Speaks at January 26, 2004 at 05:18 AM

I bet he ate evil genetically modified ribs, too.

Posted by: Sortelli at January 26, 2004 at 05:55 AM

Oh Sortelli, how sweet, you remembered my love for GM food.

XX Libby

Posted by: Last One Speaks at January 26, 2004 at 10:35 AM

Oh Sortelli, how sweet, you remembered my love for GM food.

XX Libby

Hey Last One Speaks, what happened to that annoying signature you used to shove at the end of your posts?

Posted by: Quentin George at January 26, 2004 at 10:56 AM

Hey Last One Speaks, what happened to that annoying signature you used to shove at the end of your posts?

Gone by popular demand - or was that Andrea shouting at me to stop fooling around?

Posted by: Last One Speaks at January 26, 2004 at 02:16 PM

Gone by popular demand

If only we could say the same about the posts that precede it.

*Sigh*

Posted by: Quentin George at January 26, 2004 at 02:57 PM

Shameless plug: check out this candid picture of Moore endorsing Clark ...

http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/000008.html

Posted by: Bill at January 26, 2004 at 03:23 PM

Oh Sortelli, how sweet, you remembered my love for GM food.

...Like corn? :)

Posted by: Sortelli at January 26, 2004 at 09:26 PM

Anyone but Bush.

Except Liebermann for obvious reasons.

Posted by: Andjam at January 26, 2004 at 09:28 PM