Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | December 05, 2002

Cattle Call 2004: 12/5

These Cattle Call updates are supposed to run on Mondays, but I run things a bit loose here at dKos HQ.

Last week's rankings: 1. Gore; 2. Kerry; 3. Edwards; 4. Dean; misc. others.

1. Al Gore
From the NY Post:

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but the December buzz among Dems is starting to be that maybe, just maybe, Al Gore will bow out of the 2004 presidential race and deprive Republicans of their dream race - a Bush-Gore rematch.
Now I'm not convinced that a Bush-Gore rematch would be trouble for Democrats. Just like I'm not about to choose my party's candidate based on GOP statements. They laugh off everyone but Edwards -- who appears to be the most inexperienced, weakest potential candidate of the bunch. Mighty suspicious...

But truth is, the Democratic Party establishment is running hard against Gore, vocally and visibly urging Gore to stay out of the race. And, Gore's recent practice of giving a major policy speech and then dissappearing for weeks is growing tiresome. Perhaps it's designed to keep him from peaking too soon, but it appears haphazard and disorganized. And his book still isn't selling.

I wouldn't mind a Gore candidacy. And, it's his race to lose if he wants it. But all in all, not an impressive week for Gore.

2. John Kerry
Drudge claims Kerry spends $150 on his haircuts, when the truth is a more reasonable $75. But the press can't seem to stop talking about it (a fact lampooned by none other than the Washington Times' editorial page editor).

And what of his Sunday morning appearance on Meet the Press? Supporters saw a man willing to strike back against critics, someone who was articulate and came off intelligently (even if he needs to polish up on his death penalty answers). Critics counted the number of times he smiled (once) and laughed (once). It's a sad state of affairs when a candidate is judged by his laughlines, but then again, Bush is president.

3. Howard Dean
Dean has been hanging out in Israel, also burnishing his foreign policy credentials. However, what to make of this statement:

"'I do not think that as long as Yasser Arafat is president there will be peace,' said Dean in a telephone interview from Tel Aviv.

"'I am convinced there are Palestinians who want to do the right thing, who believe peace can be achieved, who believe in the Palestinian state, as I do,' he said. 'My assessment also is that terrorism is an enormous problem here and no peace is going to be made as long as the terrorism is going on.'

"Dean met in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as well as with a representative of the Palestinians and with Martin Indyk, who was a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, and Dennis Ross, who was President Clinton's top Mideast envoy."

The ousting Arafat part will play well with Jewish voters and financiers, but then again, he does support a Palestinian state. Hmmm. He was able to both anger and appease both sides, which is almost presidential. The trick is to appease both sides without any hint of anger. Then again, he's running for president, not secretary of state...

But he opposes terrorism, which is good, because it's highly doubtful a supporter of terrorism will get far in the next elections.

If I had designed one of those left-right arrows, I would give Dean one of those. But I've been to busy (lazy) to do so. So, I'll stick with the up arrow.

4. John Edwards
His hometown newspaper reports that by Edwards' own account, he's got what it takes to represent the nation overseas:

U.S. Sen. John Edwards demonstrated Wednesday another characteristic of a man ready to be president: the ability to hobnob with world leaders. (This based on Edwards' own account.)

During a conference call with reporters, the North Carolina Democrat reported that he had "hit it off" with British Prime Minister Tony Blair during an impromptu meeting at 10 Downing St. in London.
Yawn. This is a trip designed to polish the senator's foreign policy credentials, and at best it was anemic stuff. Blair likes him. Big deal. Blair likes Bush, and will like just about any presidential aspirant that pays him a visit. It's called diplomacy.

And when Democrats.com's highly unscientific straw poll has you behind such party stalwarths as Gray Davis and Warren Beatty, you've got plenty of work to do.

Others to watch: Biden, Blagogevich (though it's probably a six-year plan), Clark, Daschle, Durbin, Gephardt, Lieberman, McCain, Sharpton, and Vilsack.

Posted December 05, 2002 09:05 AM | Comments (79)


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