Memo to Terry McAwful

Discussion in 'Politics' started by wonderwench, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. wonderwench
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    wonderwench Guest

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    Zell Miller has a great piece in today's opinion journal about the current crop of Democratic candidates.

    After reading this, my prediction is that Dean will be the candidate, and receive no more than 35% of the popular vote.

    Anger is great for rallying the fringes, but it doesn't motivate the broad, moderate middle.


    Here are some recent headlines as I see them from the Democratic demolition derby: (1) Sharpton "feels good," could feel better; (2) Kerry cusses; (3) Dean gets "help" from Gore; (4) Democrats ask: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the angriest one of all?"

    (1) First, the Reverend "Ready for Prime Time." Conventional wisdom says native Southerners John Edwards and Wesley Clark and moderate Joe Lieberman will have the edge when the primaries move South. Don't count on it. I'd be willing to bet a steak dinner (mad cow or no mad cow) that Al Sharpton will get almost as many votes as Messrs. Edwards, Clark or Lieberman in this supposedly more friendly territory. (If they're still around, that is.) The last time there was an African-American in the primaries, Jesse Jackson blew everyone away, getting 96% of the African-American vote in the South, carrying Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana, and placing second in North Carolina, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee. It would be a tall order to match that. But Rev. Sharpton could do well because he's even more appealing than Rev. Jackson. While Jesse is sullen, Al is engaging. Can you imagine Rev. Jackson poking fun at himself? Can you imagine him on "Saturday Night Live" belting out James Brown's "I Feel Good" with a few cool moves?

    Al Sharpton did a pretty good impression of the "Godfather of Soul." Of course, the rotund reverend has long been the "Godfather of Con." He's slick as a peeled onion. In just one short primary season, his timid fellow candidates and the even more timid media have erased the criminal Tawana Brawley shakedown. They've given this trickster who has never been elected dogcatcher a legitimacy he does not deserve: their Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval as a bona fide presidential candidate. So, get ready to start counting Rev. Sharpton's delegates. They will be impossible to ignore on national TV when the Democrats take center stage in Boston. Memo to Democratic Chairman Terry McAwful: It's called "reaping what you sow."

    If you think this could not possibly happen, consider that not-too-distant history. Take the Georgia primary in 1988. Georgia's senior U.S. senator, governor, House speaker and largest newspaper endorsed Al Gore. Mr. Gore was running right of center, warning that a vote for Michael Dukakis would spell defeat for the Democrats. But Jesse Jackson won Georgia with 40%. Al Gore got 32% and Mr. Dukakis, who later would carry 10 states as the nominee, got 16%.

    (2) Now to "Cussing Kerry." Like Alice, this campaign gets "curiouser and curiouser." What will those former Gore consultants try next? The electric blue spandex surfing bodysuit didn't work. The jeans and Harley Davidson didn't work. Chet Atkins turned in his grave at the senator's guitar picking. And now comes the F-word in Rolling Stone. My mouth ain't no prayer book, but John Kerry could have asked his pal Tom Harkin of Iowa how cussing went over with voters in 1992. Like a lead balloon. It's as if Mr. Kerry will do anything to appear the "coolest" in the Our Gang crowd. What's next? John Kerry wearing a baseball cap sideways?

    (3) Howard Dean is a hard man to feel sorry for, he's just so cocky. But I'm feeling bad for him. He's worked hard to get where he is, including finding an honorable way to raise a lot of money. But there hasn't been a leader since Julius Caesar who's had more conspirators pretending to be his friend--but really wanting him dead--than suddenly Howard Dean has today. They want his Internet contributor list. They want his energy and spontaneity. They want his secret for tapping the young antiwar crowd. So they'll endorse him, pat him on the back with a few "atta boys," and secretly hope he loses.

    I'm not sure what Al Gore will contribute. Is he going to advise Mr. Dean to roll down his shirtsleeves and put on a coat, preferably in earth tones? Will he teach him to speak in that stilted highfalutin way? Maybe he'll teach him how to win a Southern state. Like Tennessee.

    (4) Now, about that anger. Most Democratic presidential primaries lean liberal, even in the South, and African-Americans play a huge role. In 2004, Democratic voters are going to be angrier than I've seen them since 1972. Like George McGovern in '72, Howard Dean has tapped into that anger. I think regrettably so, not only for the country but also for the party.

    As this Park Avenue-born Vermont governor makes his maiden voyage South, with Southern strategist Al Gore beside him, I don't think he has to worry about pickup trucks or "God, guns and glory," as he puts it. Not in the primary, not this trip. But he should be forewarned. These folks are called "Value Voters." They go to church to seek salvation, not argue about bike paths. And they are just waiting to be heard from later. And they will be, loud and clear. And that's when you might hear certain folks really start cussin'.



    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110004508
     
  2. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    I like that part mostly, Zel gets it but I don't know if Dean does?
     
  3. wonderwench
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    Dean most definitely does not get it.

    His entire schtick is to be The Angry Dem.

    That may win him the nomination - but it will not win him the election.
     

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