April 30, 2004


Guns and Butter (Daily MoJo, April 29, 2004)

John Kerry wrapped up a three-day tour of industrial communities through the Rust Belt--West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, crucial swing states all--promising policies to revitalize the hard-hit manufacturing sector. Kerry’s strategists warn that he needs to keep the focus on the economy, not Iraq, because Kerry, for all his military credentials, has yet to pass a threshold of credibility on national security. As one put it, "No matter how bad Bush does on the war and 9/11, just having voters think about it kills us."

One has to be especially out of touch to think that having them focus on a booming economy is more helpful. What Mr. Kerry needs is for voters to focus on a hypnotist who will dissuade them of reality.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 30, 2004 4:19 PM

Lots of those available on the left.

Posted by: genecis at April 30, 2004 5:18 PM

And with the latest figures out - a solid 4.2% GDP growth figure for the first quarter of 2004, according to this morning's WaPo - Kerry isn't even going to have the economy to talk about for much longer. One blogger actually suggested this morning that the Democrats should simply sit out the 2004 election instead of depending on this broken reed any longer.

Posted by: Joe at April 30, 2004 6:46 PM

Kerry himself should declare that wartime isn't the time to change Commanders-in-Chief. But it is time to keep Bush and the GOP honest, and that requires a Congress run by the Dems. Then run a token campaign whose real purpose is to hype Dem candidates. If they make any progress, he can claim credit, as well as the '006 pickups.

He'd avoid the fate of Dukakis, Dole and Mondale, and have blocked any attempt by St.Hillary to become the Party's Saviour, because that role would already be taken.

But this would require strategic thinking, a tactical retreat, some self-sacrifice and defered gratification and in general behaving like an intellegent adult, none of which will get you anywhere in today's Democratic Party.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 30, 2004 9:19 PM

He doesn't have the overall economy to talk about, but he has the economy in a number of states with decaying industries. If Bush loses Ohio, he's done. Bush may well win the popular vote, but Kerry is applying Bush's own electoral college strategy of 2000 against him. And quite succesfully, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Peter at May 1, 2004 4:13 AM

What you describe, is pretty much what the 1996 campaign was. I'm sure Bob Dole would not feel that way though.

Posted by: h-man at May 1, 2004 7:38 AM


Kerry won't even bother to visit Ohio after about July.

Posted by: oj at May 1, 2004 7:55 AM

Where do you think he will spend his time? Maine? Miami Beach? Malibu?

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 1, 2004 9:51 AM


The Pacific Coast, IL, NV, NY, MD, MA, ME--they need to try and make sure they don't get beaten so badly that the whole party goes down with him. That means trying to hold some senate seats--Boxer, Murray, Inouye, Lincoln, Reid, Daschle, Feingold, Dorgan, Leahy, Mikulski....

Posted by: oj at May 1, 2004 10:00 AM

Somehow, I don't think Reid, Dorgan, Daschle, Lincoln, Murray, and even Mikulski will want Kerry to campaign for them, considering the first question they will be asked in any debate is "Are you voting for John F. Kerry?"

Bill Clinton is a much more likely booster; in fact, he may be Kerry's surrogate for much of the country. Plus, he can peg his book at the same time.

I wonder why some enterprising reporter doesn't go around asking Democratic candidates why they almost never want the national candidate to appear with them (and except for Clinton in '92 and partially in '96, that has been true for my entire adult life).

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 2, 2004 9:59 AM


Turnout, turnout, turnout....

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 10:46 AM
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