Saturday | January 04, 2003
And Then There Were Four-Gephardt Will Jump in Monday
Dan Balz of the Washington Post reports in Sunday’s edition that Dick Gephardt will be jumping officially into the 2004 Democratic campaign on Monday, a forgone conclusion since his departure in November from his Minority Leader post. His entry brings the number of Democratic candidates who have or will shortly be forming committees to four, including John Kerry, Howard Dean, and John Edwards. Joe Lieberman and Al Sharpton are also expected to form committees in January. Tom Daschle is also exploring his options, as is Bob Graham of Florida.
Those of you who have read this blog for the last several months already know my anti-Gephardt sentiments. To be fair to Gephardt, my displeasure towards him is as a result of his tenure as an opposition party leader during the last two years, and not a statement against his intelligence and commitment to the Democratic constituencies and the country. I do find it interesting however the manner in which Gephardt is announcing his entry, which is the exact opposite of how John Edwards just handled his. According to Balz, Gephardt is taking a low-key approach to the announcement, using press releases and limited appearances, whereas Edwards used a saturation bombing approach to announce his entry. Edwards can at least take credit for the lame and counterproductive response from the RNC that his entry produced, an accomplishment that none of his fellow entrants can claim.
If Gephardt spends the next twelve months articulating a credible set of alternate approaches to Bush’s policies, then he will at least undo some of the damage he himself caused as Minority Leader.