Tuesday, May 27, 2003

P2004 Thoughts
I am not sure if anything has changed over the past week or so for me. My gut instinct is that at some point the Dean buzz will fizzle. And, let us be honest- the Dean buzz is largely an internet thing that has not shown up in ANY national polls. Sure, Dean is looking decent in NH, but he was the governor of a neighboring state, so he should poll well there. Yet, he is still below 5% on the national polls. I am still not quite sure what to make of the former VT governor. He compiled a decidedly moderate record, complete with fiscal conservative bonafides, yet he comes out blazing with the whole "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" schtick. It sounds a bit like an Al Gore-ish attempt to recreate himself, after all there were already multiple candidates with national New Democrat credentials in the race. Maybe Dean realized he could not compete on New Dem turf with heavyweights like Lieberman, Graham and Edwards (and sometime DLCer Gephardt). At what point, though, do the liberal clothes come off the Vermont Emperor?
I continue to think that Dean's arrogance will cost him support. He likes to portray himself as a straight talker, but he has had to apologize to two rival campaigns already for uttering baldly untrue comments. Maybe the good doctor is simply out of his league?

To me, John Kerry is becoming more and more appealing. A couple of months ago, I would have said that my allegiance would go to either Lieberman or Graham. But Lieberman continues to annoy me with his holier than thou rhetoric. I am not sure I trust him with my individual liberties, especially the 1st Amendment. And Graham is starting to sound like the candidate of the grassy knoll. Gephardt is too close to big union bosses and Edwards is way over his head, despite his fundraising success.

That leaves me with my homestate junior Senator, a man whom I have never been crazy about. I supported him in 1996 during his re-election battle with Bill Weld (someone whom I had been an ardent supporter of in 1990 and 1994). But something about Kerry has rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe he is too aloof or seems too plastic. But I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, having never met the man. I think he has good ideas, a sterling resume and a compelling personal story. Kerry has the national security and defense credentials necessary to take out the Shrub. I suppose his only downside is the stereotype of Massachusetts liberalism, but Kerry is not a lockstep, knee jerk liberal.

Sounds almost like I've made up my mind.


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