As Iowa Nears

From the New York Times on Jan. 6, 2004:

Truth be told, for all this display of time, force and money on campaign commercials, not even the biggest boosters of Mr. Edwards or Mr. Kerry are saying the two have much of a chance of winning the caucuses here, given the overwhelming organizational strength of both Dr. Dean and Representative Richard A. Gephardt.

But for Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry, winning is not everything. Second or third will do. And the bankshot strategies they have adopted here to advance their campaigns somewhere down the road, assuming there is a down the road for Mr. Kerry or Mr. Edwards, have entangled an already complicated competition here. As a result, contests within contests are being created and a whole new debate is being set up over how to define what a victory is.

”It’s not just the sort of who-is-going-to-win campaign right now,” said Joe Trippi, Dr. Dean’s national campaign manager, reflecting the sentiment among all the campaigns. ”Now you’ve got these other dynamics starting to go on,” he said, adding, ”It’s become just way too fluid to figure out where it’s going to go.”

This intense drive by Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry to not win is the latest example of the convoluted strategies so many of these candidates have adopted with the goal of emerging in February as the second person in a two-way race with Dr. Dean. Gen. Wesley K. Clark has sought to accomplish the same thing by ignoring Iowa and campaigning heavily in New Hampshire, where he is seeking to race past Mr. Kerry and post a strong second-place showing to Dr. Dean. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut is also sitting out the Iowa caucuses.

Of course we all know that Dean rolled through Iowa and was the de facto winner by early February, vaulting him into the White House, which Republicans are trying to reclaim this year.

9 thoughts on “As Iowa Nears

  1. I recommend Joe Trippi’s book “The Revolution will not be Televised”. He points out that it was a last minute super negative pro-war ad by the Gephardt campaign that helped Kerry and Edwards in Iowa by raising both Dean’s and Gephardt’s negative ratings at the last minute.

    Also the timing of the Gore endorsement put the Dean campaign as the only major target in the 2003 debates. Currently both President Carter and Al Gore have yet to do any endorsements in the 08 campaign and President Clinton was the only living Democratic President to endorse anyone of the candidates. Also the Bushes have stayed out of any endorsements.

    Personally I’ve grown to loath the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary since they are not that important electorally and they put to much power in the hands of a few voters. The president should represent all the states and I don’t see anywhere in our constitution that crowns New Hampshire and Iowa the magical king makers. I agree with Governor Dean’s past remarks about the Iowa caucuses on Canadian TV in 2000 that ended up being used against him in 04.
    “Meanwhile, Dean was campaigning in New Hampshire and answering questions regarding an NBC news report on comments he made about the Iowa caucuses on a Canadian television program in 2000.
    On the public affairs program, called “The Editors,” Dean criticized the unique format of the caucuses, which requires voters to gather in small groups and debate before participating in a head-count vote.
    “If you look at the caucuses system, they are dominated by the special interests in both parties,” Dean said on the program, according to NBC. “[And] the special interests don’t represent the centrist tendencies of the American people. They represent the extremes. And then you get a president who is beholden to either one extreme or the other, and where the average person is in the middle.” Dean further said that a person with a job and kids “can’t stand there and listen to everyone else’s opinion for eight hours about how to fix the world.””

    If I was a DNC member (guess who runs the DNC now.. Howard Dean.) I would try to come up with a plan with the RNC to move the primary contest out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into the last three major swing states of the previous election. For about the last four elections those states have been Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Pretty much all presidential campaigns are won by who ever takes two of the three in the general election.

    Also having the focus on Iowa and New Hampshire leads to pandering on corn based ethanol, farm subsidies and it makes it almost impossible for a western candidate to compete in the presidential nomination.

    It almost seams that we might have a female or minority president long before we have someone from Washington state win a presidential primary. I mean Congresswoman Chisolm beat the presidential campaign of Senator Scoop Jackson in 72 and he was our best bet in getting a president from Washington state in the last fifty years.

    As a Deaniac I just want to say nuts to Iowa and their beloved caucus.

  2. So are you trying to say never trust the NYT? Or are you confusing the 1st of January with the 1st of April?

    In any case, Merriest of New Years. Don’t forget the Manchester Fireworks tonight…

  3. Happy New Year, 2008!
    … and a hope that whatever JM meant about the NYT, I hope he keeps up posts as reasoned as this one…a pleasure to read.
    Sharon O’Hara

  4. “Funny thing about rightwinger calling her a “Lib” is Senator Clinton is about the most far to the right of all the major Democratic candidates.”

    And that’s what’s so scary about the Democrats! That, combined with a group of weak Republicans and no conservatives, leaves nowhere for a normal middle-class family to turn.

    Oh well, as long as there are no Clintons or Bushes. Let’s hope for the best.

    I mean, they can’t tax us anymore….right? right???

  5. “Funny thing about rightwinger calling her a “Lib” is Senator Clinton is about the most far to the right of all the major Democratic candidates.”

    What we have here is a failire to communicate

  6. “That, combined with a group of weak Republicans and no conservatives, leaves nowhere for a normal middle-class family to turn.”

    Actually, we have wonderful candidates to which “normal middle class families” are turning. They include John Edwards and Barack Obama, my ticket of choice, regardless of who is president and vice.

    We need people of compassion. People who will speak and act toward unity. We need people like these men. They have stepped forward and we are lucky. Programs and magazines for women are picking up on how family friendly these two candidates are. I have seen numerous stories on Elizabeth Edwards for instance.

    So, we’ll see.

  7. John Edwards, who is suppose to be for poor people, but profits from mortgage CDO’s and foreclosures on the poor and donates his investment (not sure on his profits from the investments) only after he is found out. Please, we do not need a John Edwards. The best Dem is Bill Richardson.

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