January 28, 2004
Just Two Short Months Ago
Sigh. I sort of miss the days when we could just daydream possibilities, entirely unperturbed by things like “primaries” or “votes” or any other little reverie-ruining nasties like that. Reality has this uncanny way of biting you on the ass.
William Safire is playing fairy godpundit to conservatives, complete with random Hillary Clinton reference.
Honestly, I don’t understand all the excitement among Dems about the prospect of a brokered convention. Yes, it’s nice for the candidates to have an exciting three-way (possibly four-way, but I can’t see Clark going too much further) political race going on, but after March, it would get real old, real fast. The more these three candidates are mired in the need to beat each other, the more they polarize their supporters among each other. Already, bitter-but-defeated Dean supporters have decided they just can’t support John Kerry, so they’ll probably be sitting this one out. I imagine a good number of Kerry’s supporters feel the same way, or will, by the end of an even rougher nomination battle. Whoever emerges from such a bloody fight can’t be in good shape to take on the incumbent President. Can they?
I mean, I know our national attention span is short, but are the months between July and November long enough for Dean/Kerry/Edwards/Clark supporters to forgive and forget their grievances, and rally behind the nominee?
At any rate, Robin was right that the expectations game cuts like a knife. A week ago, Dean was absolutely finished. Then on Thursday, things began turning around, and he had to take second in order to hang on. Anything less than second, and he was done. By Monday, his poll numbers were trending up, and he had to take a solid second to remain competitive, not just edge out a Mo-powered Edwards or Clark. Now, the story is apparently that although his second placing was solid, it wasn’t close enough to Kerry to count as a victory of any sort. Remarkable.