Friday, November 14, 2003

Wrapped Up or Not?

According to two recent stories,Boston Globe Democratic Insiders, it would seem as though Howard Dean has pretty nearly wrapped up the nomination before a vote has even been cast. In fact Stu Rothenberg has already made such a claim (I'd post the link, but it's subscriber only). Does that mean it is time for everyone else to go home?

Probably not. In fact, keeping a robust debate alive is critical to the success of the eventual Democratic nominee. However, that does not mean that the current charade of nine on a stage ought to continue. Though it would be difficult to achieve, a debate among only those with a chance (Dean, Gephardt, Kerry, Clark, Lieberman and maybe Edwards) would better serve the interests of the Party. If we had a DNC with any credibility, with any muscle, Sharpton, Kucinich and Braun would have been shown the door at least two months ago.

The potential danger in limiting the field is turning off potential Democratic voters who support the more fringe candidates. Conversely, what damage is done to the Party among the vast swath of moderate Americans by having people so far outside of the mainstream carrying the Party's message.


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