Thursday | June 05, 2003
Cattle Call 2004: 6/5
Last week's rankings: 1)Gephardt, 2)Kerry, 3) Dean, 4) Lieberman, 5) Graham, 6) Edwards, 7) Sharpton, 8) Moseley-Braun, and 9) Kucinich.
The tentative primary calendar:
Jan. 19: Iowa
This week's rankings
Jan. 27: New Hampshire
Feb. 3: South Carolina, Delaware, Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Feb. 7: Michigan, Washington (caucuses)
Feb. 8: Maine
Feb. 10: Virginia, District of Columbia, possibly Tennessee
Feb. 24: Idaho
Feb. 27: Utah
March 2: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, North Dakota, Washington (primary)
1. Dick Gephardt
While not his best week (probably off quietly raising $$$s), Gephardt faces a very favorable primary calendar, giving him a substantial advantage before the first attack has even aired. Of the first ten primaries or caucuses, all within a three week span, Gephardt has real chances of winning in Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and should be competitive in at least three or four of the others. His chances taper off a bit after that, assuming a crowded field. But with the right dropouts, Gephardt may find himself in solid footing for the nomination.
2. John Kerry
Seriously, what's his deal? Has gotten some decent press, but he's definitely lacking in the "fire in the belly" category. Hopefully he's still recuperating, or raising dollars or something. Because the Kerry I see today is not the Kerry I saw defeat Gov. Weld in one of the toughest races I've had the opportunity to witness up close.
He's hanging to the number two slot by a hangnail.
3. Howard Dean
His latest swipes at Kerry were ill-advised (especially after the ass-whooping they handed Chris Lehane last time the two camps went at it), but perhaps he thought he needed another dose of national publicity (which he got). While his numbers look great in the two earliest contested states, his national numbers are still weak. But he's got time to fix that, and hopefully he can come up with better ways to do it than to focus his rhetorical weapons against his fellow Democrats.
Still, he's the center of attention in this election. Hillary decides (again) not to run? Let's ask Dean about it! The press loves him, and he is eminently quotable. And remember, while the rest of the candidates have day jobs, Dean has no other responsibilities on his plate.
4. Bob Graham
His 9-11 and WMD criticism are finally being noticed. Right now it's a mere buzzing in the ears of the media, but if Blair continues to feel the heat, and if Bush continues to face questions about his LYING, Graham will be right there to provide the requisite soundbites to a hopefully eager media.
His increased visibility allows him to retake 4th from Lieberman.
5. Joe Lieberman
I'm accused of disliking Lieberman, which is true. But I also dislike Gephardt and look where I've ranked him. So quit complaining about my biases. The dude doesn't belong any higher than this.
That said, Lieberman is NOT a Republican. He's NOT even Republican-lite. Seriously, that line of thought has to end. Especially since there are so many good reasons to oppose his candidace: his moralizing, his amorous relationship with the accounting industry, his hawkishness, his betrayal of Gore in Florida. Screw him. He had his chance and pulled the rug out from under himself.
CW is that he'll do well in open primaries as he draws in conservative voters. I don't see it -- conservative voters already have their man, Bush. If anyone benefits from such primaries it will be Dean (who'll attract many of the same people who supported McCain).
I'll strongly support a Lieberman candidacy if he gets the nomination. But he won't.
6. John Edwards
Is he planning some sort of breakout event, or will he meander listlessly through the rest of the campaign? I've got to be honest -- seeing him in action, I would expect a far more favorable reaction from the public. What am I missing? he generates ZERO support.
7. Al Sharpton
As suggested in the message boards, give the man his own show.
Don't make fun of him because he's vegan. I'm vegan.
9. Carol Moseley-Braun
She's outlived her purpose, whatever that may have been. She should drop out while she still has some modicum of dignity.
Others: Clark (might join the race late)
Posted June 05, 2003 12:41 AM | Comments (163)