Saturday, September 27, 2003

Sunday Morning Talkshows--Dems and the CIA/WH Fight

I don't know what the topics of debate are for tomorrow morning's talkshows, but I have at least two guesses.

Expect to hear Condi Rice grilled on Face the Nation and (maybe) Fox News Sunday about the CIA-requested Justice Dept. inquiry into senior Team W players leaking the name of a CIA field op. Colin Powell is sure to be hit with the same line of questioning on ABC's This Week and CNN's Late Edition.

The Democratic contenders for the White House will certainly be talking about the inquiry as well. And expect to hear them step up their attacks on new candidate (and new Democrat?) Wesley Clark. Dean's on Face the Nation, Edwards is on Fox News Sunday, and Gephardt will be appearing on Meet the Press.

Here's some suggested reading on the White House sellout of a possible CIA agent:
Josh Marshall
The Washington Post

If true--and it seems like it probably is--this story should be the beginning of the end for Team W. Karl Rove certainly understands politics better than most. Perhaps a bit too well, if he's indeed grafted his theories of political loyalty onto the world of national security as it seems he has.

posted by Scott | 9/27/2003 | |

Friday, September 26, 2003

Debate Wrap-Up

Why is it every time the Democrats get together to debate, I happen to be in transit, nowhere near a television? Ah, enough whining from me.

I finally got a chance to see the debate and I was impressed. The big draw for me, as with many political junkies, was to see General Clark take part in his first debate. Clark surprised me with his mastery of domestic policy. Not that it was a huge mastery, but it was more than I expected.

Edwards' impressive showing in South Carolina seems to have sent him a mental-memo: I'm still in this! His rhetoric is right, his message is right... he just needs to catch some momentum and hold on to it.

Kerry looked and sounded very good. Another case of renewed confidence courtesy of the firefighters' endorsement?

Gephardt looked and sounded a bit desperate. Possibly a case of injured confidence courtesy of the firefighters' endorsement of Kerry? The AFL-CIO's support is no longer a sure thing.

Dean does well when he blows off criticism. When he mouthed the words "that's false" after Gephardt accused him of standing with Newt Gingrich in '93, he looked silly. I mean, Gephardt looked silly as well, but Dean came off as, well, nerdy. He pulled it together by saying that no Democrat should be compared to Gingrich, but still...

I want to hug Dennis Kucinich. He's a true believer and I love him for it. He can not and will not win, but I'd love to see just a bit of his heartfelt liberalism rub off on the other candidates' policies.

I also want to hug Carol Moseley Braun, but that's just because she seems like such a nice person.

Bob Graham. Go back to Florida. Keep your Senate seat. Your state and party need you.

Joe Lieberman. You've been working on the jokes. We appreciate your honesty and stick-to-your-guns centrism. But you're faltering. Go back to Connecticut. (See Bob Graham above.)

Al Sharpton should get a job with the DNC. The party really needs Sharpton's spark and wit and ties with inner-city voters. However, beyond the energy and wit, Sharpton does not really bring much to the table.


For some other (maybe even better) analysis of this evening's events, here are some of my picks.

Will Saletan at Slate
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo
Jim VandeHei at The Washington Post
Dan Balz, also at The Washington Post
And last, but certainly not least, Adam Nagourney at The New York Times

posted by Scott | 9/26/2003 | |

Monday, September 22, 2003

Clark Surges in CNN Poll

Scroll down two articles and you will find a story headlined "Clark Takes the Lead." Newsweek found that Wes Clark is the first choice among Democrats with 14% support.

It was a big development for the very young Clark campaign, but I cautioned readers not to make too much of it. After all, Clark only led Dean and Lieberman by 2%, Kerry by 4%, and Gephardt by 6%.

A new poll commissioned by CNN shows that Clark is solidifying and broadening his lead in the Democratic primary race. It's so new that I can't post a link, but Clark holds on to the lead with 22%, beating second place finisher Howard Dean by 9%.

This news comes 24 hours after the Clark campaign announced that, in its first three days of operation, they raised $750,000 which does not include $1.9 million pledged to the Draft Clark movement before he announced his candidacy.

Again, Clark's got the lead, but it seemingly just became a little easier to protect.

posted by Scott | 9/22/2003 | |

Moseley Braun Makes It Official

Former Illinois Senator and Ambassador to New Zealand Carol Moseley Braun has made official her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President.

Moseley Braun seems to be basing her campaign rhetoric--if not her entire candidacy--largely on the fact that she is a woman. "A woman," she said, "can fix the mess they have created, because we are practical, we are not afraid of partnerships and we are committed to making the world better for our children."

Like her fellow candidate Howard Dean, she opposed the war in Iraq, but does not believe America should pull out early. "Americans don't cut and run, we have to see this misadventure through."

Many have criticized Carol Moseley Braun and her supporters--namely NOW--for taking part in an unrealistic campaign that cannot possibly succeed, but this seems a little harsh. She has certainly held her own in the debates and helps to remind voters that the Democratic Party is still the party committed to diversity and discourse in America.

posted by Scott | 9/22/2003 | |
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