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Old 01-15-2004, 06:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So who is actually ahead in Dem. Party?

As all of you know I'm a Republican about 90% of the time. With this in mind it makes it very puzzling for me in trying to figure out what is happening in Iowa and other places. Dean appeared to have the thing sewed up and in the bag. Now, it appears that the field has leveled out and we're almost back to square one. In my mind, Dean is by far the least acceptable of those still in the race for the Democratic Party nomination. I'm not really sure what he stands for, and I'm not sure he even knows - he seems to sway back and forth depending on geography - as an example, religion. He is supposedly going to Georgia to meet with the Peanut and in Georgia, he is gonna' have religion. It seems that he stands for whatever is locally acceptable depending on where he is at the moment. The issues he does seem to be consistant on are far to liberal for me.

General Clark appears to be counting on his military past to gain acceptance. He seems to come off as being in Clinton's pocket and I've definitely had enough of Clinton Inc. It really makes one question the sanity of those who claim to be Democrats when you hear talk of Hillary as being the most acceptable to them of those running and those claiming they aren't.

Gephardt comes off as being a middle of the road candidate who is fairly consistant in his expressed beliefs - while I disagree with him on some things, he would probably be OK.

Kerry comes off as an arrogant professional politician, cut from the same ilk as his fellow senator from Massachusetts, a pompous ass.

Lieberman is a man I admire and is probably the most desirable of those who are running at the moment. He appears to be honest and sincere in his beliefs. The biggest drawback to me is his past alliance with Gore. Leiberman's religion, in my opinion, would make it all but impossible for him to be an effective president in today's world. I do not think he would ever be able to deal with the Middle-East with any hope for success.

I am not attempting to start a debate with what I've said, there are no sources for any of the above statements - they are my opinion. Would I vote for any of the current Democrats running for office? Yes, I could support Gephardt or Lieberman but cannot see myself ever being able to vote for Dean or Kerry.

Your turn.
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Over a year ago I heard the theory that the Clinton's would do their best to make sure Bush was re-elected in 2004 so Hilary could run in 2008. So far I've seen nothing to contradict that. So currently the big winners are the Clintons and their court in the DNC. Ironically this may backfire as Hilary has a VERY good chance of losing in 2006 especially if Giulliani runs.

And of course if this happens the real winners are the American people
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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All I can say is it looks like this is going to be a "lesser of two evils" election for me. Looking at the official stuff on his website, I agree on a lot of the issues. On teh other hand I look at what I see of him as shown by both liberal and conservative news sources, and he comes across as a jackass who keeps changing what he "thinks" to ltry to appeal to whoever he's talking to next.
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I can't make up my mind. I've contributed to both Kerry and Dean, and I'm thinking about supporting Clark. Clark is maturing as a candidate, and he isn't getting into the negative attacks that Dean has been forced into because of his front runner status. Not to mention the fact that he's an honest-to-god war hero...

I also think Ustwo's post goes better in Tilted Paranoia
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Liquor Dealer, I suspect you're being coy with this post. Information on each of these candidates is readily available to anyone with access to the internet, television, or a newspaper. You've also forgotten three candidates: Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Carol Mosely Braun (dropped from race). Clark is not running in Iowa which means he loses the chance to gain delegates to the national convention from Iowa.

Howard Dean has emerged thus far as the front runner because he has been able to tap into widespread anger over the lies and misrepresentations used to justify the war in Iraq. Dean has been very successful turning his popular support into the kind of support that pundits, news editors, and politicos pay attention to: namely $$$. Although I think its wrong that he's gained front-runner status solely based on his ablity to generate $$$ (every time this is a slide away from democracy towards oligarchy), it's exciting to me that his donations have been averaging about $100 per (sliding our oligarchy back towards democracy). This means as president he won't be as beholden to special interests and corporations the way that pretty much every other politician is. Dean is often straight-forward and plain-spoken in a way that makes him feel like an outsider to the political world. Today this is actually a big plus, outsider candidates and the sense of freshness they bring is exactly what voters are looking for. Dean's second biggest issue so far has been universal healthcare, which he supports. I don't know what his actual plan is, but he does have crediblity in this area due to his experience as a medical doctor.

Dean's lead in the race for the Democratic nomination has shrunk in the past few weeks for several reasons. Primary voting is about to begin so many people are just now paying attention to the candidates and where they stand. Criticism of the Iraq war has been Dean's strong point up until now, but this issue is somewhat divisive within the Democratic party (Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt and Clark supported the war, Kucinich and Sharpton did not). There has been a steady stream of anti-Dean articles (not editorials mind you, anyone see the cover of Time last week?, media bias runs wha?...Wait a minute!) portraying him as being hot-headed (I don't think he is) and as having changed his postion on issues historically (there is some truth here but, shit, remember 4 years ago when GWB campaigned against nation building and a large federal budget? I do).

Kerry is second behind Dean in terms of the money he has available to him, but his money comes largely from his wife's family, heirs to the Heinz ketchup fortune (just imagine all the pro-condiment legislation we'd have to suffer through under his presidency). Aside from John McCain, Kerry has the most politically-valuable military experience of any major politician. In Vietnam Kerry was in the shit. He has admitted to and asked public forgiveness for participating in the slaughtering of Vietnamese civilians. This means he's dealt with the kind of moral conflict and decisions that every president must be able to take on. To me this makes him a person of character and attractive as a candidate. What I dislike about Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman is that they come across as politicians, unable or unwilling to make strong statements of belief or platform. They're too well versed in the kind of political rhetoric that simply turns me off as a voter. Kerry has done better on this front since he dropped Gore's former advisors and handlers, but it seems too late.

Lieberman is a de facto Republican. He supported the Iraq war AND Bush's tax cut for the wealthy. While his positions may attract centrist voters, they ultimately spell death for the Democratic party. If the party is indecipherable from the opposition it ceases to have a purpose.

I haven't decided who I will vote for yet. The decision should already be made by the time my state votes but this didn't keep me from voting for Bradley over Gore in 2000.

Last edited by Locobot; 01-17-2004 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you are just asking about popularity, there is a short answer.

At least here... there are more Dean bumper stickers than anyone else.

There you have it.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you really look at things closely, Dean is to the RIGHT of Kucinich, M-B, Sharpton, Kerry, Clark, Gephardt, and Edwards.

He's strongly pro-gun, fiscally conservative, and on the whole, socially moderate. In my mind, the two big issues that give him a bad rap are his opposition to the war and his intent to repeal the entire Bush tax cut.

Although he supported civil unions, his position on the issue meant that he took flak from both the left and the right in Vermont. Leftys over there wanted the whole taco: marriage, full rights, etc. All gay couples got was essentially an extension of some common law rights (like inheritance, medical visits) that straight couples take for granted.

When the budgets of other states were making gruesome budget cuts, Vermont was spending the surplus that Dean built up during his years as governor.

Dean was a pro-business governor. He governed from the center, and often drew flak from liberal activist groups for his positions.

What are his weaknesses? He comes from a different political tradition than people in the south do. That's where this whole religion thing comes in. In the Northeast, religious rhetoric isn't mixed with politics as much. Less "God bless America," more secular (but not anti-religious) populism. Naturally, a politician who hasn't had to worry about politics outside of his own state for quite some time might not know too much about giving stump speeches in south Mississippi. Speaking differently in different parts of the country isn't an indicator of insincerity, but of a politician who is at least somewhat competent.

Dean has been successful not only because he taps into some kind of abstract anger. He's successful because he has the most money, the best campaign staff, the best ground operation, the best internet operation, and possibly the best media operation. He's also a pretty decent candidate.

========

Aside: Personally, I prefer Edwards of Clark. Edwards is a huge policy nerd, and he has some really great and well developed ideas. I'm also from Arkansas, so I also have a soft spot for Clark. Either one (or any of the others!) would be just fine with me.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ah, but who's ahead? I clicked back and saw the title.

If I were a bettin man, I'd give it about a 70% chance of a Dean victory at this point. It's likely that he'll win the caucuses (no matter what the polls say; caucuses work rather differently). Then, he'll go into NH and win there as well.

Clark has had a free ride in NH because the other candidates have been hitting Iowa so hard. His lead in the tracking polls might soften when Iowa is over and they renew their focus up North. This is particularly true if the Iowa outcome is good for Kerry and Dean (which is pretty likely at this point).
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Kerry and Edwards made the best showing. Even before the cuacus shuffling the Dean supporters were few (atleast in my precinct, and it appears so throughout the state).

I think Gephardt is done. I saw him speak on Saturday and he was horrible. I was disappointed even though I was leaning towards another candidate.
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