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

Thursday | September 25, 2003

Debate dynamics

I won't try to predict what'll transpire in today's debate (4 p.m. EST). But here are some of the things to look for:

Gephardt v. Dean
Gephardt is slipping in Iowa, while Dean needs to build on his growing lead. Dean can afford to play defense, so Gephardt (who has been attacking Dean for the past few weeks) may launch an offensive.

Gephardt v. Clark
A great deal of Clark's new support has come at the expense of Gephardt. It's in his interest to see Clark brought down a notch. However, he may let others more directly threatened (Edwards, Lieberman) do the dirty work while he focuses on saving Iowa.

Dean v. Clark
Clark has actually taken some of the heat off Dean by giving the other candidadtes a new target to attack. I don't expect them to go after each other. Clark needs Dean to take out Gephardt and Kerry, while Dean needs Clark to take out Edwards and Lieberman.

Edwards v. Clark
Clark is Edwards' biggest immediate threat. He can't afford to lose his momentum in SC to the upstart candidate. Clark targeted Edwards with his announcement date, and Edwards must fire back.

Lieberman v. Dean
Lieberman still seems to be seeking traction with his "soul of the party" and "wilderness" spiels. It hasn't worked in the past, so it bears watching to see if he sticks with it.

Lieberman v. Clark
Clark threatens Lieberman's third place finish in Iowa, as well as the mantle of the "anti-Dean". Not that Clark has tried to position himself as the Dean antidote (he hasn't), but the press seems eager to pit the two against each other. Lieberman desperately wants that role.

Kerry v. Dean
This is the oldie but goodie. The battle for NH, where only a single man can remain standing (according to CW).

Kerry v. Clark
Kerry has been usurped by Clark -- his rhetoric, his military credentials, his "establishment" support. Kerry needs to push himself back into relevance.

Kerry v. Edwards
Kerry's campaign has been looking at SC as a bullwark against a potential NH loss. However, SC is Edwards' by geography, and it's his state to lose.

Posted September 25, 2003 09:27 AM | Comments (90)


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