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Saturday, September 27, 2003
In addition to a house party in Kirkwood hosted by the vivacious Karl Unsworth, there are mucho parties all over the state.
I'll be at Eric Thut's. He'll be hiding the silverware.
The CIA is investigating whether the WH blew Ambassador Joseph Wilson wife's identity out of pique, according to Newsweek.
Dean still leads by 10% in New Hampshire, with Clark in a distant third with 10%, according to Zogby.
And in the great behind the scene story of the day, the Washington Post's Mark Leibovich looks at the debate prep (quick aside: "a source in the men's room"?????? Is there no decency?):
Howard Dean is waiting outside. Sen. John Edwards was in before Graham, looking intently in the mirror and breathing deeply (according to a source in the men's room).
Here comes Sen. John Kerry, bounding around a corner. Dean eyes him thoughtfully. Things can get a little Darwinian, especially when a political debate is about to begin and there's a shortage of toilets in the backstage greenroom area.
"There's a line here," Dean informs Kerry, his archrival in the race to succeed George Bush in the White House and Bob Graham in the john. Both men laugh.
Kerry, who recently underwent prostate surgery, is in no position to wait. The hallway is congested. The debate will last two hours. He asks an NBC staffer to check out the women's room. All clear, she says.
Kerry walks in. An aide stands guard outside the door.
The candidates begin arriving after 2 p.m. Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, stands near a bank of elevators and asks each one if they're excited.
"Light 'em up, Al. Light 'em up," McAuliffe says, calling after Al Sharpton, who is rushing into his greenroom.
"What'd you say?" Sharpton says, looking back.
"I said, 'Light 'em up, Al. Like, light 'em up.' In the debate."
"Oh," Sharpton says. "I thought you said, 'White 'em up.' "
Lieberman is the last to leave the greenroom area, which is now being transformed into the campaigns' "rapid response" centers. The makeup room is empty except for three huge shopping bags on a table that say "Surya Henna -- A New Concept in Hair Coloring."
Friday, September 26, 2003
Hey, this Saturday in Kirkwood, we're all getting together at Karl's. Be there. Or you're a big stinky loser.
Fundraiser House Party in Kirkwood. This will be right near the end of the FEC Quarter...Obligatory Dean Action Link
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Click here to buy Ann Coulter's new book. (Via TBogg)
At this point, it is important to point out that this site is in no way affiliated with the official Dean campaign. If we were, we couldn't do this stuff.
The debate will be replayed at 8pm tonight on CNBC. As a result, I've decided to create a drinking game so you can play along at home:
Drink when Leiberman talks about the Democratic Party being more conservative in a national election, thereby forgetting what the Democratic Party is.
Drink when Edwards says he's the son of a millworker. Drink twice if he references Clinton.
Drink when Gephardt says "miserable failure." Drink twice if he overuses it. Drink three times if he uses it and someone points out his opposition to Bush was, itself, a "miserable failure".
Drink if Al Sharpton says something funny. Drink heavily if you think Al Sharpton might be President.
Drink if John Kerry mentions Vietnam. Drink twice if someone points out that he would have voted for the Gulf of Tonkin, too, if he was a Senator at the time.
Drink if someone says "blank check" in reference to the war resolution. Drink twice if the person who said it signed it.
Drink if Bob Graham tries to be credible.
Drink when you think Kucinich needs decaf.
Drink if Clark says the word "security". Drink twice if he says something specific. Drink three times if he mentions Kosovo. Drink four times if he mentions why he was fired.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
...about President Bush's UN speech:
"Baffingly impertinent!" Fred Kaplan, Slate.
"A Failed Address!" The Washington Post.
"He is trying to re-tread tires!" Leon Charney, Carter Aide for Camp David Accords.
"Another example of George Bush’s petulant foreign policy!" Howard Dean.
"The White House is A 1950s Robot!" - Josh Marshall, The Hill.
"Welcome to Vietnam, Sorry you didn't go when you had the chance!" - Former Sen. Max Cleland, GA. (Ok, that one technically isn't a reaction to the speech, but it's just a great quote I've wanted to throw in for about a week).
"Bush’s day at the United Nations could have been worse!" - Richard Wolffe, Newsweek.
PS: Bush's approval rating hit 47% in the latest American Research Group poll, w/48% disapproving.
Dick Morris gives advice to Karl Rove. God help us all. Somehow sucking the toes of a woman of the night didn't come up.
I haven't seen it, but I'd like to sum up what I think the interview transcript might look like:
Q: You are such a glorious leader. How do you account for that?
A: First off, terrorists are evil and I'm not. Also, my belief in Christ.
Q: Why would anyone question you?
A: Well, outside of France?
A: I think it is because they're soft on terror. And they don't understand America. The flag. God. Business.
Q: Mr. President, your leadership on the economy has made this the best recession ever. How do you account for this?
A: I know people are suffering, but if they just understand that rich people's purchases of off-shore resources stimulates the economy, everyone will be better off. Also, we're in a recession because the media had that drumbeat for war. Which, of course, I promoted and initiated, but they should have spent more time on tort reform as well as Iraq. Because I said so.
Q: Anything else, Mr. President?
A: Yes. 9-11. Terrorists are evil. Because of that, everyone should support me and are just aiding the terrorists with their talk about replacing me. Thank you and God bless the United States.
Seriously, for really good analysis of the interview with Fox, click here and here.
Monday, September 22, 2003
The Wesley flip-flops are getting pretty wild.
First, this nugget from Newsweek:
"After Al Qaeda attacked America, retired Gen. Wes Clark thought the Bush administration would invite him to join its team. After all, he’d been NATO commander, he knew how to build military coalitions and the investment firm he now worked for had strong Bush ties. But when GOP friends inquired, they were told: forget it.
WORD WAS THAT Karl Rove, the president’s political mastermind, had blocked the idea. Clark was furious. Last January, at a conference in Switzerland, he happened to chat with two prominent Republicans, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and Marc Holtzman, now president of the University of Denver. “I would have been a Republican,” Clark told them, “if Karl Rove had returned my phone calls.” Soon thereafter, in fact, Clark quit his day job and began seriously planning to enter the presidential race—as a Democrat. Messaging NEWSWEEK by BlackBerry, Clark late last week insisted the remark was a “humorous tweak.” The two others said it was anything but. “He went into detail about his grievances,” Holtzman said. “Clark wasn’t joking. We were really shocked.”
Then, this October news article, via ABC's The Note:
"It turns out that when you were campaigning for Katrina Swett in New Hampshire last October, you were pretty clear (well, clear for you on this stuff!) about your views of how to vote:
"Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Wednesday he supports a congressional resolution that would give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq, although he has reservations about the country's move toward war."
"Clark, who led the allied NATO forces in the Kosovo conflict, endorsed Democrat Katrina Swett in the 2nd District race."
"He said if she were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for the resolution, but only after vigorous debate."
Many feel that this man is the shining knight of the Democratic party. We don't know if he really would be a Democrat if he was offered a job by Bush/Rove and we don't know where he really stands on the most important issue of the day: the war resolution.
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Thousands of Dean supporters -- many of whom profess never to have been active before -- have taken to the streets on their own initiative to pass out Dean fliers at urban fairs and farmer's markets, donate blood and clean up beaches in his name, and raise millions of dollars for the former Vermont governor at house parties.
Political strategists say that what began in January as a quirky, long-shot Internet strategy to attract online supporters to the dark-horse candidate could revolutionize presidential politics by minimizing the importance of television media and empowering grass-roots organizers.
Ok, old news, but the ink is unequivocally good. Plus Dick Morris chips in:
"It's part of a new era -- back to basics. Howard Dean is using the Internet in an entirely guerrilla marketing approach. By this process, he's developed a massive grass-roots list. It's active and participatory, and people feel engaged. . . . You're brought in by friends and family. It's bottom-up, and people love that; they feel empowered."
Has he cashed the last check from that Republican PAC or what? For those who haven’t heard of him, Dick Morris is the political version of a migrating goose. He always flocks to where the weather is warmest and consulting fees are greenest. First Morris worked for Clinton, then Morris dumped on Clinton, then Morris advised Republicans on strategy… it must be that time of the political season when Dick Morris sheds his old colors. The statement indicates that Morris smells a winner. The winds are blowing our way.
Here's the link.
From the NY Times:
"Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts today sharply criticized one of the other leading Democrats running for president, Howard Dean, asserting that some of his recent pronouncements show that his "bubble's bursting a bit."
Are you kidding me?!? Kerry fires some of his staff, is complaining openly about the rest of his staff, is behind by double-digits IN A NEIGHBORING STATE, is way, WAY behind in fundraising and Dean's imploding?
Check the left hand corner. You'll see a number of alterations, including a link to the Missouri Get Local page, which lists every event that takes place within 200 miles of Columbia.
Oh, great. Newt Gingrich is now defending Dean.
Newsweek Poll came out yesterday. First, the good news:
"Meanwhile, as Americans focus on the fiscal realities of creating a stable Iraq, President George W. Bush’s approval ratings continue to slide, the poll shows. The president’s approval rating now stands at 51 percent, down 1 point from last week’s poll and from 65 percent on May 1, when major hostilities in Iraq ended."
Second, the seemingly bad news for Dean supporters:
"Retired Gen. Wesley Clark may have only entered the presidential race on Thursday, but he is already the Democratic frontrunner, according to a new NEWSWEEK poll."
"CLARK WON SUPPORT from 14 percent registered Democrats and democratic leaners, outpacing former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (12 percent), Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (12 percent), Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (10 percent) and Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt (8 percent). "
Why do I think this is only seemingly bad news for Dean? First, this is a national name recognition poll (these are registered Dems, not necc. those who bother to actually vote in a Dem primary or caucus) taken right after a week of Wesley Clark coverage. The only things that matter are: 1) 3Q fundraising, which Dean will dominate, 2) Iowa polls, 3) NH polls. Second, Dean's support isn't affected one whit (stays at exactly 12%), while his main competitor in Iowa, Gephardt, has his support halved. Third, we've gone through a three week phase of "let's get Howard" coverage from the media. The scrutiny will now fall on Clark. Given that he's has no record in politics, his positions will draw a great deal of criticism and scrutiny.
From what I saw from the first day of his campaign, in which he artlessl y flip-flopped on several critical issues and generally offered banalities rather than actual substance, I'm not so sure whether the next two weeks will be all that pleasant for the Clark campaign. He has two weeks until the 3Q fundraising totals are announced and the focus is back on Dean. He better make the most of it.
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