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

Monday | March 10, 2003

Cattle Call: 3/10

Last week was shakeup week. This one is the complete opposite, as most candidates sat on their laurels and the Iraqi debate dominated the airwaves.

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

1. Dick Gephardt
After a sustained two-week effort a let-up was inevitable. Gephardt was all but invisible, though Kerry's lethargy ensured Gephardt's continued spot at the top.

His pro-war stance is arsenic on the Dem primary electorate, so it's perhaps better he lay low as we countdown to war.

2. John Kerry
He's resting (or raising money, or being a Senator, or something), and now's as good a time as any. His schizophrenic war stance does him no good in these times. And while the gulf between #1 and #2 is slight, the rest of the field is far below. Both he and Gephardt have some breathing room.

3. Howard Dean
The press is still positive, and his colorful quotes and no-hold-barred demeanor are quickly making him a media darling (he's the kind of guy that makes news). He snagged the Streisand endorsement, which should help the bottom line (and make him an even bigger target for the VRWC).

4. John Edwards
Another guy who might be dialing for dollars, or simply loathe to share his pro-war sentiments at the wrong time.

5. Bob Graham
Graham snagged some of the Daschle team, which might be good. He didn't get Daschle's campaign manager -- the guy behind Johnson's and Landrieu's miraculous victories. But Daschle's organization appears deep with talent, and Graham got a chunk of that crew.

Then again, what was up with the Estrada vote? He cowardly missed the vote -- a chance to show primary voters that he could stand shoulder to shoulder with the Democratic Party. He's lucky no one noticed, but his opponents may be able to make some hay out of it.

6. Joe Lieberman
You know, Lieberman should be higher than this, but I don't know where to place him. He's got the money and name ID, but he's not generating ANY of the excitement of the other Top 5 candidates.

This list is supposed to gauge the current CW rankings of the candidates. I just think the CW forgot Lieberman even existed. But as Gephardt showed, that can change in a heartbeat. Lieberman should be higher, and I don't doubt he'll spike back up at some point before his inevitable demise.

7. Al Sharpton
He's becoming the funnest candidate of the pack, perpetually armed with biting anti-Bush one-liners. I'll be attending the California Democratic Party's annual convention in Sacramento next weekend, and I have to admit I look most forward to Sharpton's speech.

I say again, so long as Sharpton keeps his guns trained on Bush, he may defy all CW and end up being an asset to Dems in this campaign.

8. Kucinich
Is he still in the race?

9. Carol Moseley-Braun

Others: Biden, Clark, and Hart.

Posted March 10, 2003 02:17 PM | Comments (69)


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