Go Dean!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Annie, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Only problem is, it's not the Democrats saying that:

    Uneasy Democrats


    By Donald Lambro
    THE WASHINGTON TIMES



    Democratic leaders increasingly worry about the prospect of antiwar candidate Howard Dean becoming their party's presidential nominee next year.
    For the most part, their deepest fears about Mr. Dean's weaknesses on national security issues have been expressed privately. But lately these party leaders are going public, questioning Mr. Dean's pacifist agenda on national defense and his opposition to the war in Iraq to topple one of the world's worst terrorist dictators.
    One of Mr. Dean's emerging critics is former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta who talked with me recently about the coming election. What he said is big news in and of itself, but it took on added significance because he talks frequently with former President Clinton and much of what he had to say reflects Mr. Clinton's views.
    In a nutshell, Mr. Panetta says there is growing anxiety Mr. Dean's fierce opposition to the war in Iraq — despite strong public belief that going into Iraq was the right policy — will make their party look weak on national security and the war on terrorism in next year's election.
    "There clearly are concerns about Dean's ability to appeal to the entire country, particularly on national security issues," Mr. Panetta told me.
    "There is concern about how does this [Dean´s antiwar campaign] play out a year from now? How can you compete with President Bush on the national security front? There is some concern about whether Dean can rise to the occasion on this issue," he said.
    "This country wants to know that whoever is elected president understands the importance of protecting our national security. While there may be one path to winning the nomination, it's a very different path to winning the presidency," he said.
    Translation: You can run and win the Democratic nomination, just as South Dakota Sen. George McGovern did in his insurgent presidential campaign against the Vietnam War. But Mr. Dean is not going to win back the White House by running as the "peace candidate" in an age of terrorism that challenges U.S. security as never before.
    Mr. Panetta's carefully chosen words echo similar fears among Democratic activists elsewhere in the country, especially in the South and the West.
    However, it's not just Mr. Dean's far-left agenda on Iraq and raising taxes that many centrist-leaning Democrats fear but also his ultraliberal views on strict new government regulations on businssses, free trade and favoring civil unions for same-sex marriages.
    Mr. Dean has pushed himself into front-runner position in the Democratic primaries by appealing to the party's large, antiwar activist base. Yet the party's liberal wing represents no more than one-third of all self-identified Democratic voters. If he becomes the nominee, he faces a landslide defeat if he cannot reach out to moderates and conservatives who now shun his candidacy.
    Recent election match-up polls against Mr. Bush among the Democratic field of candidates shows Mr. Dean polls near the bottom of the list.
    He now seems to be recognizing his weakness on national security. Last week, he was attacking the president on defense issues in Merrimack, N.H., charging that Mr. Bush has "no understanding of defense" and that he "has made us weaker."
    "He doesn't understand that you better keep troop morale high rather than just flying over for Thanksgiving," a charge that was clearly out of step in his party. Every other Democratic rival praised Mr. Bush's trip to Baghdad, as did U.S. troops there. Public support for the visit was off the charts.
    He also said Mr. Bush's "bullheadedness" was to blame for the war in Iraq and that the president was "incapable" of winning broad international support from our allies, meaning France and Germany. How would Mr. Dean win them over? He doesn't say.
    As for the war, blaming the president for it, instead of mass-murderer Saddam Hussein and the al Qaeda terrorists who want to put him back into power, appeals only to the "blame America first" crowd in the peace movement, not to mainstream voters.
    On other defense issues, Mr. Dean charged that "the president is about to let North Korea become a nuclear power" even though communist dictator Kim Jong-il began developing such weapons in the Clinton years. In fact, this is an area of diplomacy where Mr. Bush has had a lot of success, persuading North Korea this year to enter into multilateral talks with the U.S., Japan, China and South Korea on ending its nuclear program.
    Can the former Vermont governor — who has politically embraced the antiwar protest movement's agenda and would have left Saddam's regime in power — persuade a majority of Americans he can better protect U.S. national security? It seems doubtful at best.
    Leon Panetta's growing concern "about whether Dean can rise to the occasion on this issue" sends a chilling message to his party — one that Democrats had better heed before it's too late.
    http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20031203-091004-7868r.htm
     
  2. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    I don't think Dean will be the nominee, Kathianne. But even if he is I don't think it will matter. Short of Joe Lieberman, Dean is the most "conservative", if you will, of all the Democratic candidates. I think the American people are ready for a real change and Dean isn't cutting the mustard on that ideology. But that's just the opinion of a jerk that calls himself "Psychoblues".
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Well other than semi-personal attacks, I don't think you're a jerk.

    Unless something weird happens, he'll be the nominee. Now, if Hillary does decide to enter either before or at the convention, THAT might be interesting. Question is, will the dems actually vote for her in that back door way and/or would that candidacy ensure massive anti-Hillary voting? It would be something though.

    Liberman is the most threatening to Bush, substance wise, but dems are not liking him. Kerry appears to be out and no one else is even close. The 'Clinton' candidate Clark, can't even garner media anymore.
     
  4. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Agreed Kathianne, Dean is the man to beat right now.
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I'm sure this article by Howard Fineman has Bush's advisors ready to give some advice:

    Dean Stumbles Over Sealed Records
    Newsweek Web Exclusive


    Is Howard Dean ready for prime time? I'm not so sure after watching him handle--if that is the word--the issue that has taken possession of his campaign this week: the 10-year seal he placed on the records of his 12-year tenure as governor of Vermont.

    IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, especially presidential ones, the revealing moments--the defining moments--are the unscripted ones. The candidate doesn't pick them; chance and circumstance do. The key is how the candidate responds. How does he (and the campaign team he's assembled) handle the crisis? What does his behavior say about the kind of president he would be? The media (and, through us, the voters) will make their judgments.
    The contretemps over Dean's Vermont records hardly qualifies as a "crisis." Still, Dean is the front-runner, and at this point in the campaign season, every detail of his life, career and actions is fair game, magnified and studied for clues to the kind of leader he might be. So far, the episode shows that Dean is a feisty guy (voters like that) with a tendency to shoot his mouth off (voters don't mind that) who, when backed into a corner, dithers over telling the full story (voters don't like that), doesn't seem to know all of the latest facts (voters don't generally notice that) and then tries to blame the staff (voters hate that). He's managed to turn a one-day story into a week-long story, at least in Campaignland, and managed to generate curiosity and suspicion about exactly what the sealed papers contain.

    I've covered Dean, on and off, for a year now, and interviewed him a few times. Watching him joust with Chris Matthews on "Hardball" for an hour at Harvard the other day, I can say (again) that Dean is the real deal--proud, smart, committed. But his tough-guy stance will backfire if he's too arrogant or sloppy to prepare for the big league combat to come.

    RECORDS COVER MANY TOPICS
    My friend and Newsweek colleague Mike Isikoff ignited the issue. (The Isikoff byline alone is enough to make sure the story got attention.) It wasn't news that Dean had had his records sealed, but Mike added new details: that Dean had sought and won an unusually long stay in the deep freeze for them; that the governor's lawyers had demanded that any item with his name on it be removed from "live" files; and that the records covered a wide swath of topics, including Dean's handling of the explosive issue of civil unions.


    Dean is no babe in the woods: Everyone knew what he was up to. He was burying what he could of his papers to keep them from the prying eyes and hands of the "oppo men"--opposition researchers for other Democratic contenders and, of course, the Republican National Committee. The proudly combative Dean admitted as much last January, telling Vermont Public Radio in teasing fashion, "Well, there are political considerations. We didn't want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a crucial time in any future endeavor."

    A FLIP RESPONSE
    Wink, wink.

    Timing is everything in politics. Mike's Periscope item in Newsweek hit the wires on Sunday. On Monday morning, Dean was asked about it on ABC's "Good Morning America." He gave a flippant--and, as it turned out, ill-informed--reply, arguing that he was doing nothing more than what George W. Bush had done at the end of his term in Texas. That's hardly a strong argument to begin with, but the point is, it was factually wrong. Bush had tried to seal his records, but had ultimately failed, when the Texas attorney general ruled that they had to be placed in a public repository.

    After the TV show, Dean hit the road for Cambridge, Mass., where he was scheduled to do an hour-long interview on MSNBC with Matthews on "Hardball." But rather than prepare for that interview, he was forced to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon behind closed doors on the phone fielding calls from reporters about the records matter. Rival campaigns, eager to slow Dean's momentum, had seized on the issue, demanding he unseal his history.

    Dean's public reaction to the mini-furor was revealing. When Matthews asked about the records, Dean--with a straight face--came up with this defiant howler: He had had the records sealed not to protect himself, God forbid, but to protect the privacy of HIV-AIDS patients. I think Chris was too stunned to laugh. As it turns out, the identity of such patients is automatically shielded; and, of course, Dean had long since gone on record with the refreshingly candid admission that the advent of the presidential campaign was the real reason.

    SERIOUS OR 'SMARTY REMARK'?
    Politicians never seem to get the concept of irony: Here is a guy who is running on the notion that he is a fearless, truth-telling outsider, and he's covering up the reason for covering up. What about the interview last January, in which he talked about "future political considerations?" Said Dean: "That was sort of a smarty remark. I mean I wasn't really being very serious about that." Memo to the governor: When you speak to us from now on, please tell us when you are being serious and when you are merely making another "smarty remark."

    Seeing an opening, the GOP jumped on the story, of course--this from an administration that views disclosure of even the most mundane facts as a crime akin to treason. When GOP Party chairman Ed Gillespie announced that he was on his way to Vermont, Dean's entourage let it be known that their man would fire back. But then they changed their mind. Rather than hit back, Dean said, he would try to be "accommodating." Generally speaking, candidates shouldn't discuss the mechanics of what they are going to do, or not do, but Dean couldn't help it. "We were going to take a whack at him (Gillespie)," he said. "But we're not going to take a whack at him." To whack or not to whack? Is that the question?

    As for the original terms of the agreement to sequester his records, "I didn't have anything to do with those negotiations," Dean explained. Hardly a tough-guy answer, and an ironic moment. Just the night before, on "Hardball," Dean had called President Harry Truman--the guy with "The buck stops here" sign on his desk--one of his heroes. It's hard to imagine "Give 'em Hell Harry" saying "I didn't have anything to do with those negotiations."




    © 2003 Newsweek, Inc.

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/1000747.asp
     
  6. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    Due to the confusion of the numbers, the Dems aren't liking anyone in this race so far. I still believe that Dean will fail in his bid as will Lieberman. It's a toss-up in my opinion between Gephardt and Clark and I don't think either of them can possibly beat Bush. As much as I oppose the policies and demonstrated ideologies of GWB I would prefer him over either of the forementioned. But, I am a jerk, just ask my wife, and I am seriously opinionated and according to some seriously impaired in my views. :mad: :)
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Well Ok, if you insist, I'll take your word for it.

    Well then, I guess 'the people' aren't so ready for change afterall.
     
  8. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Yep, that's the beauty of reading all the Bush bashing, knowing they will be dealing with him and the republicans till '08! :D
     
  9. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    So your thing is not national politics at all? Heck, I would've prefered that it were. I guess Dem bashing is what you're all about? Just kidding you, jimnyc. The Dems have a mess on their hands. A nominee field too large to comprehend and ideologies to vast to focus. Well, that's American, IMHO.

    It sure beats the hell out of the prevailing "my way or the highway" thing. I've found that philosphy in the past. It usually comes from incompetents or otherwise idiots. It's a diggin' thang, don't 'cha know?
     
  10. dijetlo
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    Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy....'08? We'll see.
    GWB and the republican party in general has a weak flank, Iraq. If they don't get a reversal on the unemployment figures, they can also be attacked on the class warfare argument. ("George Bush and his fellow travellors, have sent your job to China. They'd like to thank you for your contribution.")
    As a president, GWB has quite a few skeletons ratteling in his closet as well. Failure of the SEC and the administration to prosecute his good buddy Ken Lay, the Senate Intelligence Investigation, the Justice Department Investigation into the Wilson/Niger leak and I'm just touching on a few of the more glaring ones.
    The Dems are manuvering to bring all the heat in the election stretch and who knows how well/poorly GWB will be doing at that point. He will have to take direct, unscripted questions from reporters and he will probably have to debate the democratic candidate as well. He's not a very good extemporanious speaker so watch for the republicans to minimize his exposure, which is also going to minimize the impact of his message.
    Its' a long way to the finish line, the Dems are sitting on thier ammo right now, none of them are running against GWB yet, so things like publicly challenging Bush to account for some of these screw ups will wait until after the Dem convention.
    Dem challengers have to take some comfort from the steady erosion of Bush's polling numbers since the Iraqi invasion. It's 11 months to election day, I wouldn't be picking out my tux for the innauguration just yet.
     

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