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

Thursday | September 18, 2003

Cattle Call: 9/18

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

1. Howard Dean
Dean came really close to having a "down" arrow this week, what with the multiple attacks from several candidates. For the first time, his campaign was on the defensive.

Then Clark got in, and all the pressure was taken off Dean. He now has a free pass for the next couple weeks, until he can dominate the news coverage of the Q3 fundraising numbers.

2. Dick Gephardt
Gep is least affected by the Clark entry. In fact, he may be the most helped. If Clark can bleed some of Dean's support in IA -- even a few percentage points -- it may be enough to hand Iowa to Gephardt and ensure his mid-term survival in the race.

3. Wesley Clark
Announcing his candidacy the day after Edwards was a solid political move. Clark has to take out Edwards and Lieberman to set himself up as the anti-Dean. However, mother nature conspired to ruin that announcement. Bad karma. And skipping the debate next week isn't playing well.

The latest polls have Clark in the thick of things. Now he will have to build momentum. Still, his staffing decisions are raising eyebrows, and rumors abound about a serious split in the Draft Movement. How and if this affects Clark's initial rollout remains to be seen.

Still, Clark's presence is a good thing for the Democratic Party -- a good way to dispel the notion that the Democratic Party and the military are somehow mutually exclusive.

4. John Edwards
Pity Edwards, whose big rollout announcement was upstaged by a hurricane and Clark's announcement. And all the journalists covering Edward's big day kept asking the same question: "what do you think about Clark joining the race?"

5. Joe Lieberman
Jeez, Lieb has taken twin hits -- falling poll numbers as the public is apparently turned off by his nasty anti-Dean campaign, and the entrance of Clark as a more potent anti-Dean possibility.

6. John Kerry
Clark takes away the "I'm the only war hero" line. His offer to debate Dean one-on-one was a slap in the face of the other candidates and a bit presumptious. Still
stagnant in the polls.

On the other hand, losing Chris Lehane is a definite plus.

7. Graham
Isn't there a Senate seat or something in Florida that needs defending?

8. Carol Moseley-Braun
Her poll numbers are rising to the mid-middle digits. That earns her a measure of respect.

9. Al Sharpton
Too bad there are no candidate forums this week. Damn he's entertaining!

10. Dennis Kucinich
I don't know what to write.

Posted September 18, 2003 10:03 AM | Comments (260)


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