Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 17, 2003
POLITICS: Watch The Trailing Leg

Let's face it: there's really nothing the Democrats can do to defeat George W. Bush in 2004. Which is not to say he can't be beaten, just that what can do him in is mostly a combination of external circumstances (the economy, setbacks in the war) and missteps by the Administration. The only Democrat I'd feared in terms of his ability to create his own buzz independent of pre-existing anti-Bush sentiment was John Edwards, but Edwards increasingly looks like just a pretty face who's in over his head.

Rand Simberg notes the more interesting question, one that the Democrats have to think long and hard about: how will the presidential ticket affect the rest of the ticket, in terms of turning out the Democratic base without turning off the mainstream? Among other things, this is one reason I'm not excited about the idea that Al Sharpton could run an independent campaign: who do you think Sharpton's voters will support for Congress?

I suspect, contrary to Simberg's speculation, that a far-Left candidacy like Howard Dean's would be a bad thing for the Dems, since it could convince a lot of voters that the party has lost its mind, and put a lot of moderate candidates in the same bind that swallowed so many moderate Senators in 2002. I'll have more thoughts as we go about what the best answer is.

Of course, if you wanted to design a perfect candidate to challenge Bush, you'd want someone who could pose as a moderate; who had impeccable national-security credentials; who's got a long record as a spending hawk; and who is personally identified with opposing the cozy relationship of big money to power in Washington.

Then again, we've seen that perfect candidate already, and he lost to Bush in the primaries in 2000.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:16 AM | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)
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