Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 22, 2004
POLITICS: Heading for New Hampshire

For the record:

1. Howard Dean's getting a lot of undeserved grief over that yell at the end of his Iowa not-really-a-concession-speech, but it sounded more like a yee-hah! to me. Still, the speech as a whole was a bit more animated than we'd expect from a guy trying to look presidential, and as often happens in presidential politics, it may be unfair based on one speech, but the general attack (that Dean is way too hot-headed and impulsive) is dead on the mark as far as his campaign goes.

2. Mickey Kaus quotes Chris Matthews saying that after the Iowa backlash against Dean and Gephardt, the candidates are gunshy about going negative. Bad timing! As I pointed out four years ago, New Hampshire voters love negative campaigns (remember McCain, Buchanan, Gene McCarthy).

3. New Hampshire is now critical for Dean, of course: he needs to win, and win convincingly, to avoid an implosion, and some recent polls show precisely that (Kerry's quick surge from 10% to 27% shows that some of his recent losses in the NH polls had been people who liked him but gave up on his campaign as being out of the race). It's also critical for Clark: if he finishes lower than second, he's going to South Carolina without having been a story in either of the first two primaries, and he's in trouble. A strong third place finish, at least, is probably needed to keep Lieberman on the ropes rather than the mat; if he polls less than 10% again, he just might give up after all, leaving Edwards as the most pro-war candidate left in the race. New Hampshire can help Kerry and Edwards, but can't really hurt them unless Kerry just gets crushed.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 06:48 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Dean's in some trouble, fairly or not. The last thing you want to be in politics is the butt of jokes when the average person knows little else about you (ask Dan Quayle). Dean has been widely mocked.

Either way, he needs to win New Hampshire or it could all end in hurry for him...

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at January 22, 2004 01:27 PM
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