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

Tuesday | February 25, 2003

Cattle Call: 2/25

Last week's rankings: 1) Kerry, 2) Lieberman, 3) Edwards, 4) Dean, 5) Graham, 6) Gephardt, 7) Kucinich, 8) Moseley-Braun, 9) Sharpton, and others.

1. John Kerry
Cancer operation forced him to miss DNC cattle call. While others surged, Kerry stayed still. But it's obviously early, and given the upcoming war, no one is paying attention anyway.

The bigger problem is Dean's rise, which could potentially knock him out of the running in New Hampshire. Kerry's campaign is feeling the heat, and went negative on Dean last weekend. Not a good sign.

2. Joe Lieberman
New poll shows he leads the name ID race. Big deal. His speech at the DNC was forgetable, if not downright annoying. He'll be passing up Iowa, but given the compressed primary schedule, that's probably a good move.

3. John Edwards
DNC speech was well received, and he finally has an effective retort to the "trial lawyer" attack.

4. Howard Dean
His best week yet -- one which saw him graduate to the Tier I of presidential candidates. His DNC speech stole the show, he snagged George Soros and Rob Reiner, he got glowing press in New York Magazine (which claimed him as a New York native son), Salon, Helen Thomas, and the AP. And he appropriated Paul Wellstone's famous line: "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party".

His $300,000+ raised in January is still minor league compared to the other top candidates, but that still doubled his campaign war chest, and things should start turning around in the department with Reiner et al.

5. Dick Gephardt
He announced his candidacy (again -- officially this time), and got a positive column in Time. He also stopped lowering expectations in Iowa, boldly proclaiming that it's his state to lose. Smart move -- lowering expectations simply gave him the aura of a loser. At least when he loses now, he'll go down swinging. On the other hand, he took heat at the DNC cattle call for his pro-Bush war stance.

Gephardt fans, enjoy this week's "up" arrow. I'm not inclined to cut the guy any breaks.

6. Bob Graham
Every week he waits to announce is another week "head start" his opponents get.

7. Kucinich
I'm already bored with him. Was he really at the DNC cattle call?

8. Carol Moseley-Braun
An A+ for effort, but what is she really trying to accomplish, really?

9. Al Sharpton
He hasn't been as divisive as many feared. We seem to be witnessing a new side of Sharpton -- is it maturity? A genuine effort to move the debate to the left without sundering the party?

Others: Biden, Clark, Dodd, and Hart.

Posted February 25, 2003 08:05 AM | Comments (66)


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