April 26, 2004


Iraq could be Kerry's quagmire, not Bush's (G. Pascal Zachary, April 25, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle)

The conventional wisdom would have you think Iraq is turning into George Bush's quagmire, his Vietnam.

Well, as the war gets worse, Bush's popularity remains steady and even nudges up a bit, and at least his bedrock supporters seem prepared to stick with him no matter what happens in Iraq.

Democrats and independents may not be as understanding of John Kerry. And so the war threatens to become his albatross, not George Bush's.

The perils for Kerry were revealed last week when Ralph Nader, who may have cost Al Gore the 2000 presidential election, described Kerry as "stuck in the Iraq quagmire the way Bush is."

Nader is no saint. His run for president this year destroys for many nearly all his well-earned credibility as a conscience of America.

But Nader now has a rationale for his campaign. While the antiwar wing is small, it is large enough, if it goes for Nader, to tip the vote Bush's way in a few swing states.

If by "swing" you mean CA...

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 26, 2004 1:01 PM


For what its worth, the current polling in CA is not lookin' good for Bush. It may be close enough, however, to scare the Dems into spending some money here.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at April 26, 2004 2:15 PM

Bush could not be expected to win California on more than 20% of the days on any year, and less frequently if all you are doing is meaningless polling of likes-dislike. However, a combination of national economic momentum (W's strongest point in socially liberal/libertarian), the proper use (not abuse) of Arnold, and the fact that an election is about alternatives not wishes could swing it his way. (A Kerry running mate aimed at winning white, unionized Mid-Westeners would make the outcome even more possible. Kerry-Gephardt would have a much harder time than one would think.)

Posted by: MG at April 26, 2004 5:26 PM

From my p.o.v. in San Francisco, the economy seems to be picking up, but we have extreme burdens in the state that make the situation worse than in most. For example, the Chronicle reported today that SF's retiree health care costs have tripled in the last three years, and may come close to doubling again in the next three. Part of the reason: if you work for the city for just five years, after age 50 the city will pay half your medical insurance costs for the rest of your life. And don't ask about Gray Davis' incredibly generous deal with the prison guards' union. That sort of payoff by free-spending Democrats will haunt the state for years, and no doubt they, and many voters, will blame Bush for our state's current non-booming economic situation.

Posted by: PapayaSF at April 26, 2004 8:38 PM