Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Some random thoughts 

1. Oh, damn it, damn it, damn it.
2. When you look at the experience of democracies around the world, it is not uncommon for political parties to spend years and years in the wilderness before coming back to power -- look at Labour in Britain, look at the NDP here. It ebbs and flows. The 2000 and 2004 election were both so close that democrats know their message resonates with millions and millions of northern and west coast Americans -- the dems just haven't been able to close the deal by winning a southern state. Edwards should have carried North Carolina but he didn't; Gore should have carried Tennessee but he didn't. The democratic candidate in 2007 and/or his running mate will win the northern states again but MUST also be strong enough and well-enough connected in the south to win a southern state.

3. One lesson learned: a northeastern senator or any perceived Washington insider CANNOT win the presidency anymore, not with the population shifts and the southern evangelical vote, and not dragging a senate record behind him. Next time, look for a southern governor. And be ready for rapid response on personal attacks.
4. Get serious early, for heavens sake -- exercise enough party discipline that you do NOT have four or five absolutely hopeless candidates running month after month for the nomination -- Al Sharpton? Carol Mosely-Braun? Give me a break. Nice people, yes, but with such a lengthy primary season, its irresponsible for people who have no chance of winning nationally to use the democrats just as a stepping stone toward their own national reputation. It made the democrats look confused and trivial, and made it more difficult for Kerry to establish a national profile. Let two or three credible winners fight it out in 2007 and show the country that the dems know how to lead.
5. Yes, Obama is impressive, but in 2007 he would suffer from the same problems Edwards had - a great speaking ability but only three years senate experience, and no experience running a government. Against Jeb Bush or Arnie, Obama would be toast. The dems cannot afford to lose Obama the way they have now lost Edwards.
6. And finally, well, at least the anti-war movement can come back now. Showing commendable discipline, anti-war people shut up about it for the last six months, not wanting to cause any rifts in the Kerry campaign and also believing that perhaps Kerry, once elected, could actually achieve some success in Iraq -- but that's all in the past now. We KNOW that Bush cannot succeed in Iraq, so we are free to blog against the war once again.
UPDATE - 7. Read Digby

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