Kerry pulls it off, and it’s miraculous

It wasn’t possible. We all knew Kerry’s campaign had fizzled and failed. We all knew Dean had it wrapped up. We all knew, especially, that, Edwards’ campaign was a joke and he would have saved himself a lot of money, time and embarrassment if he’d pulled out graciously two months ago.

Except everything we knew was wrong. As the most incisive liberal blog-pundit says, “Stunning. Actually, stunning doesn’t really do it justice.”

I feel some hope for American politics for the first time in months — no, in years. I know Dean was being misrepresented in the media, I know the “angry leftist doctor” label was nonsense. But I still felt he simply couldn’t stand up to Bush, especially with his perceived lack of ideas and constant focus on the negative.

Kerry is a whole different story. He can really win. Dean cannot, even with Jimmy Carter’s and Al Gore’s endorsement (said with some irony).

But the biggest surprise is Edwards. He was all but ignored and presumed to be dead.

I confess, I hadn’t even heard of him until about two months ago when a friend called from the US and told me he’d just seen a “town hall” debate between the Democratic candidates. “I didn’t know who Edwards was, but he was the only candidate who really seemed to have original ideas. He was the only one who looked like a real presidential candidate.”

I still don’tn know enough about him, but I like what I’ve seen so far, at least in terms of coming across like a real person, as a gentleman and as a leader.

The Iowa caucuses have proven at times in the past to be pretty meaningless. So I am hoping this is more than a fluke, and that the new momentum behind the supposed underdogs turns out to be more than fleeting. Kerry really could win against Bush (even if the right-wing pundits love to make jokes about his hair). There may really be hope after all.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

Pundits are always wrong, you should know that. And, for this being surprising, it’s only surprising to the Dean mafia.

Edwards is not that surprising, as he’s articulate, young, good looking. It’s almost like a second coming of Clinton.

You should look up his New Yorker profile from about a half a year ago. It was then that I made my prediction that he’d make a strong run at president. Don’t forget, Clinton had a slow start as well.

Kerry has always run a well-run and smooth campaign – he should, as he has enough practice from his umpteen other attempts at the nomination.

January 21, 2004 @ 12:39 am | Comment

A typical miscalculations that has been so common when talking about the internet. Howard Dean has done a great thing in getting his online nationwide constituency on the road.
But not everywhere in the US (or in China) the internet is already part of everday life, nor would every internet user be a Dean supportor.
The establishment is still very firm in place.

January 21, 2004 @ 5:12 am | Comment

Jeremy, it wasn’t just the pundits, but the huge victories Dean was scoring by winning the big endorsements. And nationwide he has been way at the top of the polls. So this was a surprise to everyone; even Edwards said he was surprised. Living here in Asia, I can say that Edwards is a complete unknown; until last night I had never seen him interviewed on the news here. So from here, yesterday’s upset is surprisng and amazing at every level.

January 21, 2004 @ 11:00 am | Comment

Edwards is class act, although I would never vote for him, because he is absolutely beholden to the most harmful interest group in the Democratic coalition — the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

I think that it will be very difficult for Edwards to beat Bush, given his total lack of experience (one term in the senate) exacerbated by the fact he looks so damned young.

Edwards may be the Democratic candidate of the future (after Hillary is trounced in ’04) but I think its too early for him now.

January 21, 2004 @ 12:44 pm | Comment

Didn’t know about the connection to the plaintiff’s lawyers — in fact, i don’t know a thing about Edwards except that he’s infinitely more photogenic and charismatic than any of the others, and seems to have his head on his shoulders. Maybe too inexperienced for the presidency, but how about as Kerry’s VP? That would sure help in the South. He’s certainly smarter than that other young senator who became our vice president, Dan “potatoe” Quayle.

January 21, 2004 @ 1:34 pm | Comment

Edwards on the ballot as VP to a liberal, patrician, Massachusettes senator will not carry a single Southern state, including Florida and Edward’s home state of North Carolina.

Barring something extraordinary, Bush wins, the Republicans pick up Senate and House seats and, God only knows how high the national debt will be in 08.

January 21, 2004 @ 3:13 pm | Comment

Oh yeah, and obviously I meant to type ’08 and not ’04 in respect of Hillary. Oops.

January 21, 2004 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

It is perfectly possible for the Democrats to win the Presidency without winning a single electoral vote in the former Confederacy.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Yankee whose ancestors fought and died for the Union in the Civil War, I’m frankly fed up with the Southern stranglehold on the federal government.

The North shall rise again!!

(and I’ll apologize for this blatant example of hateful regional bigotry, just as soon as the “Club for Growth” apologizes for those incredibly hateful anti-Dean ads. Why should it OK to slam Vermont but not, say, Alabama?)

January 21, 2004 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

Conrad, are you reading our friend Andrew Sullivan? He thinks a Kerry-Edwards (or visa versa) ticket is not only viable but is by far the best choice out there. Not that I always believe whatever Sullivan says….

As to Edwards being beholden to the trial lawyers — I can live with it. Bush/Cheney are beholden to the big energy companies. They all sleep with the devil to some extent, as dictated by our campaign-finance-based political system. I suspect, however, tha Edwards would be more subtle and discreet and use better judgement than Bush Cheney did. Their flaunting with an eerie pride their marriage to the energy companies, as personified in Cheney’s crazed refusal to reveal who gave him the inputs on his energy plan, was one of the most dispiritng aspects of the Bush reign.

January 22, 2004 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

Yes, Bush and Co. are less than subtle, aren’t they?

January 27, 2004 @ 3:35 am | Comment

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