Monday | December 16, 2002
Cattle Call 2004: 11/16
Well, well. Things sure did change in a hurry. Now that Gore is out of the picture (hopefully off to head the DNC), things are about to get a hell of a lot messier. His absence is sure to embolden more Democrats to jump into the fray, creating that much more chaos. That is, until the first fundraising reports are released sometime next year.
Last week's rankings: 1. Gore; 2. Kerry; 3. Daschle; 4. Dean; 5. Edwards; misc. others.
1. John Kerry
On the other hand, Kerry was a huge beneficiary of the Gore withdrawl. He won't compete in Iowa, but that's no big deal. His big moment will come in NH, where he is now the prohibitive favorite (despite Dean's candidacy). Of course, the stakes are now much higher for Kerry -- if he falters in NH, he is finished.
2. John Edwards
I'm not one of those who believes the Dem ticket needs a southerner to win. If the dems win all the states Gore won, they only need one more state to win the election. That state can come from AZ, NH, the mountain West, OH or MO. A southerner probably won't help the Dems take any of those states.
But that's not relevant to this discussion. Edwards' challenge is to move beyond the "empty suit" image he has somehow cultivated. He has shown repeatedly that he is green, prone to gaffes, and could use some additional seasoning before vying for the top spot (a bruising reelection fight, a la Landrieu, would do the trick).
3. Howard Dean
To have a prayer of winning, Dean will have to pull off a NH victory or a strong 2nd place showing in Iowa. At this point, it doesn't look like either is likely. But as the field's only governor, I still think he has a chance to make a splash -- if he can raise the cash.
5. Joe Lieberman
There's no way Lieberman can compete. He is to the right of many Republicans, and presidential primaries belong to the party's left-leaning activist base. Still, we'll have to listen to more of his tiresome moralizing. And can we forget that Lieberman single-handedly gave the GOP political cover during the Enron, WorldCom and other fiascos? And Lieberman is still providing cover to his accountant friends that brought us those fiascos.
6. Tom Daschle
Still, it looked horrible to the world and the party base. And I kept asking myself -- after Lott's efforts to demonize Daschle post-Jeffords switch, why didn't Daschle use the scandal to exact some payback? The short answer is because he probably is too classy. A great trait to have as minority leader, but as a presidential contender? It's a no-go.
Still, he does have the best campaign strategists, and don't understimate them. They are the best in the nation, Republican or Democrat. And Iowa is in his backyard -- he could expect some "home field" advantage in the state.
Others to watch: Biden, Clark, Durbin, Gore, Graham, Hart, McCain, Sharpton, and Vilsack. (Yeah, I'm keeping Gore on that list for a while.)
Hey, this chart is great fun (from Uggabugga).Posted December 16, 2002 06:21 PM | Comments (56)