September 14, 2004
POLITICS: Charlie Cook Unplugged
Wonkette, breaking with her usual practice, carries some actual political analysis from Charlie Cook of the National Journal (note that this is analysis someone else paid to get and then leaked to Wonkette):
Cook feels that the Kerry campaign has been overconfident. The Democrats should have attacked Bush on his weak points: the economy, health care and the deficit. Instead, they focused on Kerry's military past. Barack Obama's speech was terrific but didn't move ball forward at all for Kerry and was a waste of airtime. The Swift Boat attacks have been devastating for Kerry and he took too long to respond. As Cook put it, Kerry lost three pints of blood and you can only lose five before death. Kerry's campaign also looks a bit like Noah's ark, with everything in pairs: two consultants, two experts, etc. In contrast, Karl Rove can make a decision while shaving in the morning and have it executed before he pulls out of the driveway.
In response to a question about Kerry's ability as a "closer," with the '96 campaign against William Weld typically cited as evidence, Cook was quite skeptical. He felt that Kerry does not have a history of running good campaigns. Bill Weld was a moderate running in a liberal state, during a time when Newt Gingrich and his crowd were running amok in Washington. Cook feels it was the worst environment for a Republican to run in. Rather than Kerry winning, Cook feels that Newt lost it for Weld. In addition, Kerry didn't win the Democratic nomination; rather, Dean and Gephardt killed each other, destroying each other like scorpions.
A savvy poiunt about Obama, who gave a speech that left us all feeling very good . . . about Barack Obama. (See here for my critique of the Democtrats' convention strategy, although I hadn't pointed the finger at Obama). I also liked the plug for Real Clear Politics and its averaged polls. The Kerry Spot (a daily must-read these days) has more free-premium-content gloom for Democrats with a link to this FreeRepublic post reprinting an analysis of congressional races by Roll Call's Stuart Rothenberg.
I think my counterpart (namewise) works for Karl Rove and George W. He is another cog in the wheel for the Bushite power machine.