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

Friday | January 31, 2003

GOP rates our candidates

This is lots of fun. Check out the GOP's early spin on the current crop of Dem presidential contenders:

  • Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is an "ultraliberal" who supports civil unions of gay couples and wants to roll back Bush administration tax cuts to support "budget-busting" universal health care.

  • North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is a lightweight who has accomplished little and is "a captive of the trial lawyers," since he made his fortune in that profession.

  • Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt is "a keeper of the liberal flame" whose appeal with voters fell short in four attempts to win control of the House of Representatives and in a 1988 presidential run.

  • Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is a direct descendant of 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, a governor of the same state.

  • Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is failing to stick with his centrist, moderate policies as a senator, reverting to the adjustments he made in 2000 to fit in with Al Gore's liberal, populist presidential campaign.

  • The Rev. Al Sharpton is a welcome addition to the field because his attacks from the left will pull all the Democratic candidates toward the left opening the door to a backlash from centrist Democrats and swing voters in the general election.
The only criticisms in this list worthy of any merit are those against Gephardt and Sharpton (though I think the Sharpton thing is grossly over the top). Dean an "ultra-liberal"? Right, with his 100 percent NRA rating and unbroken string of balanced budgets. Edwards a lightweight? That's been the early spin, but heck, wasn't that the knock on Bush? Kind of ironic that his people are now trying to turn the slur against a Democrat candidate. It's obvious people don't care too much about intellectual heft, otherwise Gore would be president.

Kerry's criticism is probably the weakest. "direct descendent" of Dukakis? That's pathetic. I'm surprised there's no stupid talk about his haircuts. And Lieberman? They're just making shit up. He's not sticking to his moderate centrist policies? Of course he is. That's why he's not a viable candidate.

Expect the GOP to develop these themes over the year, trying out different attacks to see what sticks to what candidate. They'll be ready to unload on our nominee as soon as the nomination is sewn up (and before he can start his fundraising for the general election).

Posted January 31, 2003 08:21 AM | Comments (60)


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