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

Wednesday | June 25, 2003

Cattle Call 2004: 6/25

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

1. John Kerry
Latest ARG poll out of NH shows Kerry holding steady against Dean, despite the governor's gains elsewhere. He seems to be exhibiting a little more fire, which makes him a dangerous contender in the field. He's finally elevating his game.

2. Howard Dean
Announcement speech received rave reviews. MTP appearance received mixed-to-negative reviews (though there's a backlash against Tim Russert's hostile interviewing style). Not the governor's best week, perhaps, but can any other candidate boast an announcement audience numbering 30,000, ever? Love him or hate him, you are talking about Dean. He's become the center of this presidential campaign.

Incidentally, notice how the Right stayed away from the "burglar son" story? Making hay of the issue would simply invite comparisons with the Bush twins. It won't be an issue.

3. Dick Gephardt
Did nothing wrong this week. Did nothing noteworthy this week. The top three slots are volatile, and treading water can cost you a few slots. Nothing terminal, however. There is very little separating the top three spots, and subtle shifts in momentum can easily shake up the rankings again.

4. John Edwards
Speech this week was easily the best received all election season. This is what's so infuriating and perplexing about Edwards -- he shows flashes of brilliance, but is incapable of building upon that momentum. We'll see if he'll revert to form this time.

5. Joe Lieberman
Lieberman cut all public appearances and Senate appearances and any types of appearances except those known, in the political biz, as "fundraisers". Even missed Medicare votes in his desperate bid for cash. If Lieberman trails the pack with his Q2 numbers he's toast. No one has more riding on those numbers than Liberman.

6. Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich is gathering steam around an army of grassroot volunteers, a la Dean. His solid anti-abortion stance (at least until he announced his candidacy) is seemingly forgotten for the moment. It's clear that he's starting to make his presence felt amongst many party activists.

For those of you clamoring for a Kucinich edition of "how they can win", ain't gonna happen unless Kucinich can show the ability to raise large amounts of money. I hate to say it, but I can't see a single scenario where a pennyless candidate can win the nomination. If he clocks in next week at over $2 million I'll reassess his chances.

7. Graham
I saw nothing from Graham this week. Given that he needs all the buzz and momentum to catapult him to "contender" status, any quiet week is a bad week.

8. Al Sharpton
Sharpton has settled into "background noise" mode. The novelty of his candidacy is fading, and people seem ready to look through him to get to the "serious" candidates. Republican activists, hoping to hype the Sharpton candidacy to tar the Democratic Party by association are waging a losing battle. No one seems to care.

9. Carol Moseley-Braun
Does she really need a job this bad?

Others: Biden and Clark. While both are making noise about running, only a Clark candidacy would mean anything. I still don't think Clark runs, however.

Posted June 25, 2003 12:44 PM | Comments (199)


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