July 26, 2004
IF ALL YOU HAVE TO OFFER IS HATE YOU'D BETTER AT LEAST SERVE IT UP:
Kerry's angry base (Robert Novak, July 26, 2004, Townhall)
What makes this Democratic National Convention look like the most unified such assemblage in the party's fractious history is a universal loathing for George W. Bush. That is the very emotion that John Kerry's high command recognizes it must avoid playing to as the presidential nominee is presented to the nation this week.
One of Sen. Kerry's closest and most influential advisers put it to me this way over the weekend: "We can turn this convention into a nonstop Bush-bashing rally, and everybody will be happy. But we already have those votes. If we do that, we end up with 42 percent of the vote and lose the election."
This situation points to needle-threading that will be necessary in Boston this week.
Given that the economy, incumbency, and other factors make the election unwinnable they run a terrible risk if they fail to massage the base--they could end up struggling just to hold that 42%. In that case they'll face a congressional meltdown. It's worth recalling that George H. W. Bush's high point in the polls in '92 came after Pat Buchanan's speech. Posted by Orrin Judd at July 26, 2004 3:51 PM