I thought this was a good general information article with some basic analysis as well. Kerry the Candidate http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/1/20/120430.shtml John LeBoutillier Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004 Less than twelve hours after John Kerry's smashing upset victory in last night's Iowa Caucuses, let's do a quick and dirty examination of Kerry the Candidate: 1) Thirty four years ago when I was a 16-year old boarding school student in North Andover, Mass., a tall, gangly fellow appeared frequently on our campus while he was campaigning for a seat in the US House of Representatives. It was John Kerry. He lost that race, then went to law school, became an assistant District Attorney, Lt. Governor to Mike "the Duke" Dukakis, and then in 1984 won a seat to the US Senate. The point here is: Kerry is a long-time, seasoned, professional candidate and campaigner. He is not to be underestimated. 2) Vietnam: Kerry is going to play his 'hero' card for all it is worth. He was particularly incensed - as was Wesley Clark - when George W. Bush dressed up like a Navy pilot and 'pranced,' as Clark calls it, around the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. That is why Kerry made his formal announcement with the USS Yorktown as the backdrop in Charleston, South Carolina. Both Kerry and Clark are going to go after Bush's Texas Air National Guard record - including the time he was allegedly AWOL in Alabama - as a contrast to their Vietnam wounds and medals. 3) Veterans: Kerry is making a big push for these crucial voters. His Achilles Heel may yet turn out to be his Chairmanship of the US Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAs. This was a disgraceful and shameless cover-up of the truth about our abandoned men - all to 'clear the decks' for normalization of relations with Hanoi. 4) McCain: Kerry and John McCain are best friends. And they both hate G.W. Bush. McCain remains bitter over Bush's campaign against him in the South Carolina primary four years ago. Do not rule out the possibility that Kerry will ask McCain to be his running mate. Why? To corner the all-important independent vote that McCain won in 2000. 5) Edwards: the other hot candidate coming out of Iowa, Edwards is perfectly positioned to be anyone's Veep candidate. Young, attractive and smart, this southerner is a Major Player from here on out. 6) Weaknesses: The Democratic Party convention this summer is in Boston - home of the Kennedy and Mike Dukakis. If John Kerry wins the nomination - and make no mistake about it: he is not in possession of the Big Mo in New Hampshire - can the Democrats win with yet another Northeastern Liberal? That image of the Kennedys and all the other lefties surrounding Kerry and his running mate will not play well in Bush's red states. 7) Candidate skills: Kerry is not that great a speaker. He is boring and looks like an undertaker. He does not have the smile or glibness or charm of Edwards. But he won't make a big blunder and he won't behave like Al Gore, either. He is hungry to win, will do anything to win and should not be underestimated. 8) Mainstream Media: the leftists who parade around as 'objective' media members all are for Kerry precisely because he is an inside-the-beltway 'establishment Democrat.' They were scared of the Dean insurgency because they were not a part of it. 9) Dean is on his way down and out. That awful concession speech last night should scare the pants off everyone. When he is gone a question remains: what of the 'us against them' insurgency that is very much alive in this country? If the race ends up as Kerry versus Bush, millions of voters may be against both. The split in America is clear: establishment elites versus everyone else. There is an underlying populism that is still searching for a better alternative. That is why Perot and McCain caught fire in the past elections. No one has yet harnessed those voters. Will someone new step forward? 10) Conclusion: Team Bush is reeling a little today. They were certain that Dean would be their opponent. In fact, they made that so clearly known that Dean's electability became a major issue in Iowa and New Hampshire. Voters who want to beat Bush began to ask, "If Bush and Karl Rove want to run against Dean so badly then maybe we ought to ask why?" Kerry is hot now. He will win New Hampshire next week. Then come some southern states. Will he play well down there? Or will Edwards start winning some primaries? We still have a long, long way to go.