Saturday, July 05, 2003

Don't sweat it

A message from Joe Trippi, campaign manager for Howard Dean:
Do what we have learned to do in Burlington HQ when it comes to the press and the rest of the candidates -- we don't pay attention to them and remain focused on our plans and implement them. We just went through a 90 day period in which they ridiculed our strategy of putting our campaign in the hands of citizens organizing for themselves and for their country. Did any of that reporting or the other candidates jortling stop us from emerging into the top tier of candidates? Raise more money than any of the established candidates? Surge to a tie with Gephardt in the latest Iowa polling? Become the only candidate to be in contention with Kerry in New Hampshire? The key to a presidential campaign is to keep the focus and to not let the press or the other campaigns take you off path. It is amazing now to read the quotes of people who never saw this coming -- now being the people who are explaining what it all means. We have the power to show them exactly what it means -- it means people are getting involved in their democracy -- and understand that corporate soft money, special interest money and wealthy contributors who seek Washington's favors have power only because the people have not acted together to pool the power of each of us as individuals into an effort to reclaim government of the people. It will take a herculean effort of the people -- at least 1 million Americans dedicated to the effort of restoring our community and our place as a Idealistic moral force in the world, to right our nation's path. We are now 180,000 strong and growing. Patriots who care deeply enough about what is going on to do something about it. We need to swell our ranks again over the next 85 days. It does not matter what the Kerry campaign does or if they grow or not -- the other campaigns and the press have failed to grasp what this campaign is about -- our cause is America itself -- and even Karl Rove will find it hard to stop that cause when carried by millions of Americans. Millions? Yes Millions. You are among the first 180,000 in the great grassroots campaign of the modern era. We must use every tool on the Internet, and outreach via leafleting, fairs, community events, door-knocking and phone calling to call others to our effort. Consider sitting down and handwriting a few letters to everyone who is close to you regardless of where they live. Ask them to consider Howard Dean and ask them to join our campaign by signing up on our website. We have 85 days left -- 85 days to build a campaign of people, a campaign of participation, a campaign that changes our politics and our country for the better, a campaign that will win the nomination, and the White House -- even if the press and Washington never understand what we are about. Joe Trippi
Joe makes a very important point in this message: we must remain focused on our objectives and not allow ourselves to get distracted by irrelevancies. For example, there have been a recent flurry of conversation about Karl Rove publicly cheering Dean supporters and suggesting to reporters that they would just love it if the Dems were to nominate Dean. Some Dean supporters have argued that this proves that Rove is afraid of Dean otherwise why go out of your way to scare the Dems away from nominating him. Of course, it is also possible the Rove is performing a double-fake-out in order to get us to nominate the candidate he really does think he can beat. Your head can really start to spin when you start thinking about this kind of stuff to hard. Joe Trippi suggests the best solution: don't sweat it. Don't worry so much about the strategy of the opposing campaigns. Just do what needs to be done now in order to win. The rest will take care of itself. Rove would like nothing more then for us to get into spiral of paranoid confusion as we try to figure out what he is going to do next to defeat the Dems. Don't give him the satisfaction. Just reflect fondly on the idea of sending him copies of that story once Dean wins in 2004.

Friday, July 04, 2003

William F. Buckley on Howard Dean

We all know that many on the right are openly hoping that Dean will get the nomination because they believe Bush will trounce him. William F. Buckley suggets that maybe they are being over-confident:
Dr. Dean's people are saying that his collections show an intensity in his followers' loyalty. Sen. Kerry's people say that intensity is one thing, breadth of support quite another. What Democrats want, another commentator summarizes, is, pure and simple, the defeat of George Bush. And this will not be brought on by Howard Dean. Rush Limbaugh said on Wednesday that some Republicans are furtively raising money for Dean. They'd love to see just that, Bush vs. Dean. Well, best to wait on that kind of confidence.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

First ratf*ck against Dean?

I think we may have our first serious contender for a GOP dirty trick against the Dean campaign (with an added kick to the Kerry campaign as well). The American Spectator, a right-wing hit rag that financed "The Arkansas Project" (a multi-million dollar effort to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton) has published an article about an alleged opposition research effort being run out of the Kerry campaign that allegedly is trying to dig up dirt on Dean. (I won't quote the article here because I don't want to propagate the smears anymore than is necessary to get this story out). I've seen a couple of other bloggers post on this, including the Dean Defense Force, with the apparent belief that this story is legitimate. The story only quotes unnamed Kerry staffers and conveniently uses the vehicle of this story to plant a lot of stink bombs against Dean (raising questions about whether Dean ever performed an abortion and whether he got a draft deferment improperly) while placing the blame for these stories on the Kerry campaign. In other words, this story looks to me to be a plant designed to (1) smear Dean and (2) get the Dean and Kerry forces fighting with each other. I'm not buying it. You shouldn't buy it either. Be warned folks. We are going to see a lot of this kind of crap in the coming months. Let this be an object lesson.

A harbinger of things to come

I got the following in the email this morning:
Chris, Last night the manager of the Barnes & Noble asked our Howard Dean MeetUp to leave its coffee shop. This was at least the third MeetUp in that venue. I was at the last two. I believe the hosts of the event cleared it with the manager because that’s part of the MeetUp protocol and the hosts are sticklers for being nice compliant guys. We were told by the hosts that the manager had received complaints about us. The hosts were very clear that the manager was very nice about communicating his concern and they even said that they understood his point of view. I don’t. He (the manager) committed to our using that space last night. I think he should have let us at least use it last night. I found being asked to leave humiliating and it made me angry. I felt as if my right to free assembly was being denied. I realize that by the letter of the law that’s probably not true, but the spirit of the law was, in my opinion, violated. I tried to talk to the manager but he really wasn’t interested in listening. He wanted to tell me his story, offer his excuses and make his explanations. I reminded him (repeatedly before he let me speak) that I was the customer, I didn’t care what his rationale was, I wanted him to listen to me, and that my message was this: I think his behavior by not insisting that we have our scheduled MeetUp as planned was inappropriate. I felt resentful. I intended to tell my story to anyone who would listen. I was trying to rejoin my party so I really didn’t have time to listen to him. I’m sure he had some rationale for his behavior, but for me the rules of hospitality trump all outside objections. I wanted him to explain why the last two MeetUps were OK. What the complaints about us were. But as I said, I didn’t have time and his strong defensive behavior suggested to me that he was incapable of listening to me let alone answering specific questions—not that he was obliged to answer any of my questions. I just wanted to make my brief statement and get out, which is what I did. I’m telling you this because I suspect that the manager’s motive was political. Otherwise it made no sense. There were only eighteen of us. We were using about a third of the space. We all bought beverages. We probably all shop there. It seemed like bad business in a big way so I’m thinking his motive had to be political. Whether it was his idea or the owners’ idea, I don’t know. In either case that fact that an organization like B&N feels comfortable pushing out a reasonable gathering of people really disturbs me. Have any other Dean MeetUp’s had this experience? I’m not telling MeetUp about this because I wasn’t the host and they naturally would defend the owner of the venue and that makes sense to me. Just needed to share this. JD
I think, as time goes by and Dean becomes more successful, we will begin to hear more stories like this. As long as Dean was a "joke" candidate even right-wing venue owners could sit back and enjoy the prospect of making money off a bunch of loony-lefties. But, now that they are starting to take him seriously, some of them may start re-considering this option. (In a subsequent email JD told me this occured in Camp Hill, PA).

Google News Democratic Poll for 7/3/2003

This Week (7/3) Last Week (6/25)
1 Howard Dean 3160 18.2% +1.9 2 2590 16.3%
2 John Kerry 3100 17.9% +0.5 1 2760 17.4%
3 John Edwards 2290 13.2% -1.1 3 2270 14.3%
4 Bob Graham 2180 12.6% -1.2 4 2180 13.7%
5 Dick Gephardt 1700 9.8% +1.7 5 1830 11.5%
6 Joe Lieberman 1600 9.2% -0.4 6 1530 9.6%
7 Dennis Kucinich 1460 8.4% +0.5 7 1250 7.9%
8 Al Sharpton 1210 7.0% +0.6 8 1010 6.4%
9 Carol Moseley Braun 658 3.8% +1.0 9443 2.8%
The biggest winner this week is again Howard Dean who, for the first time in the history of this poll (6 weeks running now) has taken the #1 spot from John Kerry. It is no coincidence that Dean takes the top spot here in the same week that he moves into #1 in KOS's cattle call (KOS can read the news as well as I can). No doubt the Q2 numbers story was a big part of this changing of the guard. Kerry didn't suffer to bad though as his share went up as well, though only by half a percentage point. The other "serious" candidates all suffered oxygen deprivation as the Dean Machine sucked the air out of the room. Meanwhile, the also-rans had a good week. Though Braun jumping from 2.8 to 3.8 is not exactly something to write home about. (Methodology: All numbers are taken from the hit counts when searching on the Google News Service for news stories containing each candidate's name. Click on each name to rerun the search. You will likely get different results as the numbers are constantly changing. I make absolutely no claim that these numbers have any real meaning.)

Dean for Antonica

I do not play online games. I have neither the time or the patience to deal with them. But I understand they are a very popular genre in computer gaming. One of the biggest is the fantasy gaming universe known as Everquest. Antonica is the name of one of the continents in that universe. Someone has started a thread to discuss Howard Dean in an Everquest context:
If Howard Dean were an EQ character, which would he be? A high elf, if his hair gets any grayer Hobbit Dean Gnome-powered Howard The Learned Dean, Erudite Sage Dean Bayle, the governor who balanced the budget of Highkeep Dos Inbal Lil-Z'ress, the dark-elven assassin who killed Bush's electoral chances Woody Dean the ranger, who tells the bow-control advocates how helpful the NBA (Norrathian Bow Association) was with conservation efforts back in Gfay -- but says each zone should be able to have its own archery nerfs Meen Deen, the troll at the Democratic debates Howard MacDean, the barbarian shaman with the alchemy skill to transmute disgruntlement into activism Docturizzin Dangnamefiltrspellings, dwarven cleric Howuh Deh, ogre, stealth candidate of Rallos Zek Apolitical Miller, iksar sibling-by-adoption of an ogre named "Tiny"
This is a small data point, but I think it is significant that people outside the insider politics circles are starting to talk about Dean.


I just got my 70,000 visitor thanks to Thanks to everyone who has been tuning in! I wonder if I should add a metered bat like they used on the Dean web site?

Bush Double-Dog Dares Militants to Hurt US Soldiers (courtesy Adam Felber)
The President himself downplayed the idea that his words might spur more violence. "No chance of that," he said, "because everyone knows that Iraqis are big fat chickens. Buck-buck-buck..."

Bush Asks Congress for $30 Billion To Help Fight War On Criticism (courtesy The Onion)

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Democrats are the pro-business party

At tonight's Dean meetup I got into a short conversation with Bill Bradbury, Oregon's Secretary of State and one of the co-chairs of the official Dean for Oregon committee. Several of us were talking with him about the DLC. Bradbury was a founding member of the DLC but left it in part because of its overwhelming support of the Iraq war. I told him that the DLC lost its way. Its original goal was a good one: fight the notion that the Democratic party was anti-business. But the current leadership of the DLC thinks that the only way to do that is for the Democrats to kow-tow to business interests like the Republicans do. I commented that there was nothing in the Democratic message that was anti-business but that it gets spun that way by those who want to destroy the regulatory system that is such a vital part of making our economy work. In fact, I said, the Republicans are the true anti-business party because their policies so often lead to economic chaos that leaves many businesses in ruin. After all, I continued, what is more pro-business than profit? Wouldn't that make a great campaign slogan?

Iraqis to Bush: Oh it's already bo-roughten!

And what do the candidates have to say about this? Well, Howard Dean has spoken up:
Dean Criticizes Bush for Reckless Rhetoric IOWA CITY, IA—“Today, President Bush provoked Iraqi militants targeting our soldiers in Iraq, saying ‘Bring them on.’ This was incredibly reckless rhetoric. “These men and women are risking their lives every day, and the President who sent them on this mission showed tremendous insensitivity to the dangers they face. This is the wrong message to send to our troops in the field and their families who wish them a safe return. President Bush should focus on encouraging the keeping of the peace, since that is now our mission.”
Wouldn't it be nice to have a President who doesn't reduce everything to playground-level tactics?

Ask and ye shall receive

Yesterday I put up a post asking whether Dean should get specific on foreign policy. This was specifically in response to a post by the Tough Democrat in which TD suggest that Dean should call for sending troops to Liberia to demonstrate that he is not a pacifist. Look what we have out from the Governor today!
STATEMENT FROM HOWARD DEAN ON WORSENING CRISIS IN LIBERIA Wednesday July 2, 2003 Dubuque, IA - "Today, the world community looks to the United States for leadership in addressing the worsening crisis in Liberia. One week ago, I called for a foreign policy under which our nation reclaimed its role as the inspirational leader of the world and the beacon of hope and justice in the interests of humankind. I said that American military force should be committed only when American security interests are imminently threatened or in the face of imminent humanitarian catastrophe. And I argued that, in such cases, we must always strive to act multilaterally not unilaterally. "Currently, we face a challenge to our long-term security interests in West Africa, and the world faces an emerging humanitarian crisis. The situation in Liberia is unfolding in the context of increasing instability throughout West Africa - Sierra Leone is still going through a difficult transition, and more recently Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) collapsed into conflict. We can ill afford a swath of instability stretching across that region. There are also credible reports that terrorist networks, including Al Qaeda, have begun to exploit that instability by, for example, trading in illegal "conflict diamonds" to finance their operations. "As a member of the international community, and the world's leading power, we share responsibility for helping to resolve such conflicts throughout the world. Our British allies stepped up to the plate when they intervened in Sierra Leone three years ago to stabilize that situation. The French have gone into Cote d'Ivoire; and French and British troops are now doing duty in the eastern Congo. African governments have sent peacekeepers into Burundi, and West African leaders have pledged to again send thousands of peacekeepers to Liberia. Now, the British, French, UN Secretary General and our West African partners are all calling on the U.S. to assist Liberia. I believe that the US must do its share. "We must do this not only to defend our interests, but to act as force for good in a country that has been an ally to the US for decades. The Bush administration claims to prize "moral clarity" in their conduct of foreign policy. I can think of no better way for the Administration to demonstrate this quality than to step in to assist the people of Liberia, which have long been oppressed by vicious dictators, most recently Charles Taylor. We have the power to help the people of Liberia put themselves on a path to security and eventual democracy by helping resolve a crisis. We must never again stand idly by as we did in Rwanda in the face of humanitarian crisis. That inaction remains a terrible stain on our record. "For all of these reasons, I urge the President to act by sending U.S. troops to be a part of a multinational peacekeeping force under U.S. command to enforce a cease-fire and ensure the safety of the civilian population. ...
How's that for responsiveness!

Dean surging in Iowa?

Planned Parenthood Iowa Poll of January 2000 Democratic Caucus-Goers Finds Virtual Three-Way Dead Heat WASHINGTON, July 2 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A Planned Parenthood poll of January 2000 Iowa Democratic Caucus attendees released today found that the contest among Democratic presidential candidates is extremely close and could be influenced significantly by a few key issues. U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and U.S. Senator John Kerry lead the pack of nine candidates, but two-thirds of those polled say they could change their minds. ... Among the January 2000 Democratic caucus-goers (328) surveyed, the top choices included Gephardt at 21 percent, Dean at 20 percent and Kerry at 18 percent. The full survey was conducted of 611 random telephone interviews of registered Democrats and Independents who participated in any Iowa Democratic caucus between 1984 and 2000. In those surveyed, the top choices were Gephardt at 25 percent, Dean at 15 percent, Kerry at 15 percent and Lieberman at 11 percent.

Update: Here's an AP report on this poll. Looks like it is time for Gephardt to start getting the Dean sweats.

Taking over the world

Comments posted over on Table Talk:
Davis X. Machina - 11:50 am Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2003 Ya know what it is? It's the political version of Eric Raymonds' "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"! Dean's outfit is running the first open source presidential campaign.....
Linus Torvalds always did like to make jokes about taking over the world.

Bring Them On

'Bring Them On,' Bush Says of Iraq Attacks WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) on Wednesday challenged militants who have been killing and injuring U.S. forces in Iraq (news - web sites), saying "bring them on" because American forces were tough enough to deal with their attacks. "There are some who feel like that conditions are such that they can attack us there," Bush told reporters at the White House. "My answer is 'bring them on'. We have the force necessary to deal with the situation."
It's easy to be brave when you have 1.4 million young soldiers standing between you and the "evil doers" isn't it George? Update: Well, what do you know? Even some of freepers are uncomfortable with Bush's comment.

Media Whores Tremble!

The horse is back!

John Kerry: Get over it

I've said before that I will vote for whoever is nominated to run against Bush. I have said that I can support John Kerry despite his Iraq vote, even though I think that will ultimately prove to be a big liability for him going into the general election. But, when he says things like this, I really have to wonder if Kerry is fit to be the nominee:
Kerry was tiptoeing on Sunday, but did go into how liberals shoot themselves in the foot. Exhibit A, he said, was the enormous amount of effort and money Democrats had to spend in the Northwest in 2000 "to pull people back from the (Ralph) Nader precipice." Invested elsewhere, it might have won the day for Al Gore. He is impatient with Democratic oratory about the "stolen" election. "Stop crying in your teacups," he told one audience. "It isn't going to change. Get over it."
How can ANY Democratic candidate hope to be taken seriously by the base when he demonstrates the kind of cluelessness evident in a remark like this? Is he really so out of it that he doesn't know that the phrase, "Get over it", is about the worst thing you can say to a Democrat today? I will still vote for Kerry if I have to. But the noseplug factor just went up an order of magnitude.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Another media myth

I've been thinking over the last two days that the establishment media, while it is finally acknowledging that Dean is here to stay, still doesn't get it. Many of the stories about the campaigns extraordinary fundraising success this past week have focused on the gee-whiz technological aspects, with the underlying suggestion that Dean has done as well as he has because he was the first to figure out how to use the internet for campaigning. In other words, many of the establishment media seem to be under the impression that any of the Dem candidates could have had similar success if they had just gotten there before Dean. This is yet another media myth. It is a myth that refuses to acknowledge that the main reason Dean is successful is the man himself. The punditerati are casting around for some explanation for the Dean phenomena and the only they can settle on is, "Gee, he's got a really good internet operation." The idea that Dean might be appealing in and of himself and that the internet stuff is just the foot-in-the-door for this campaign just doesn't seem to occur to them. With exceptions. One notable one being Garance Franke-Ruta, a writer for the American Prospect who did the unusual thing of actually reading the comments that people posted yesterday at the Dean blog as the meter rose throughout the day. Doing so allowed Mr. Franke-Ruta to realize that it really was the message that was selling this campaign, not the technology.
But reading the threads on the message boards at -- the official Web log of the Dean campaign, where donors discuss their reasons for giving and for backing Dean -- it quickly becomes obvious that the single most important factor in Dean's stunning fundraising numbers is the most old-fashioned weapon in any campaign's arsenal: message. Dean has been able to build a following and raise the bar on per-quarter fundraising not by working his friendships with wealthy trial lawyers, relying on decades of contacts with the rich and powerful, or building the best Internet-based campaign American politics has yet seen. He's done it by steadfastly promoting a pugnacious, optimistic, forward-looking message and by coupling it with a campaign organization smart enough to let his supporters help him. In the post-McCain-Feingold world, the Democratic Party has struggled to figure out how to attract small-sum donors: In the last election cycle, 64 percent of donations less than $200 went to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, while Democrats grew fat and sick on big money from those who gave more than $1 million. Dean has cracked the nut and done what six months ago looked to be impossible: He has figured out how to compete based on donations the size of the fat cats' monthly Starbucks expenditures. Welcome to Dean's world. We all will live in it.

Rebates For Dean

Just a reminder, now that it looks like the new Bush tax cut is starting to take effect, that you can still put your rebate (if you get one) to good use.

Time to suck up?

Eric Alterman raises an interesting question: should Dean be sucking up to the mainstream media? Eric says yes, I'm not so sure.
Howard Dean is, alas, making a big mistake in not sucking up to the media. Lord knows, they don't deserve it and it's got to be painful as hell for a proud man, but any candidate, particularly any liberal candidate will die a death of a thousand cuts without all that childish ego-feeding this particular beast demands. As The Note notes, ask Bill Bradley. Ask John McCain. One of Dean's rival campaigns told a reporter, "The people who are supporting Dean and showing up for his events are the ones that would otherwise be out protesting the WTO in their turtle outfits." This exactly mirrors the attitude of high-powered political reporters and I promise you, Dean will pay for it. Tim Russert was just a shot across the bow. Learn early, Mr. Dean; musings turn to cliche's quicker than you can say "liar vs. dope."
The thing about this is that I'm not sure that ANY Democrat who hopes to run an insurgency style campaign can ever really get in the favors of the establishment media. The problem is that the establishment isn't just the media but the leadership of both political parties. It would be a tough sell to be able to go after the leadership of both parties without pissing off the establishment pundits who have so much riding on the continued success of that establishment. When Dean goes after Bush or Democratic leaders he is going after Russert, Mathews, Blitzer and Kurtz as well. I don't believe in purposely antagonizing the press. But Democrats have been getting no where in the last few years by trying to play to media prejudices. They did it in 2000 when they bought the conventional wisdom that they had to run away from Clinton to have any success. They did it in 2002 when they bought the conventional wisdom that they had to give Bush everything he wanted on foreign policy if they wanted to turn the campaign around to a discussion of economic issues. The establishment candidates have done what the establishment has said they should do and yet they have gotten nothing for it. Those candidates may not mind being in perpetual 2nd place (Minority Leader is still a pretty cushy job), but the rank and file are sick of it. If the only way to break this log jam is to stop playing the game of suck-up with Russert, Mathews, Blitzer and Kurtz then we have to stop wasting our time worrying about offending the sensibilities of the press. I think I understand Eric's concern. He's thinking back to the 2000 race and the outrageous levels of hostility the press directed at Gore. But Gore's problem wasn't just a hostile press: it was his failure to fight back against that hostile press. When he just sat back and took it, in the hope of appeasing their sensibilities, he came off as weak. The American people made the judgment that a man who won't defend himself can't be trusted to defend the country. It is interesting that Eric brings up the MTP episode. Far from being a damaging episode for Dean, his appearance on Russert's show appears to have been a net-positive for him ($4 million dollars in one week!). If you read the open comments thread that was up on the Dean blog yesterday you would have seen several testimonials from people who said that Russert's attacks on Dean pissed them off enough to solidly throw their support behind the man. George W. Bush is very good when it comes to playing to the vanity of the press. But doing so requires a certain mind-set that enjoys playing with people's emotions instead of just addressing their concerns directly. Bush is such a manipulator. Dean is not. To ask Dean to suck-up to the media would be to ask him to act in a way that is contrary to his way of being. Yet that way of being has been very successful for him so far. Why risk destroying it just for the hope of a few bon-mots from the punditarti?

Getting specific on foreign policy

The Tough Democrat brings up a good point about Howard Dean: he needs to craft a military intervention policy that is based on something other than his opposition to the Iraq War:
Dean could change his image in a second if he came out with a foreign policy that supported military intervention in Liberia, for example. He could steal the issue from the President, who is now considering sending in peacekeepers. And it would demolish the peacenik image that allows centrists to cartoon Dean as a McGovernite.
Dean has been trying to do this already to a certain extent with his recent speech to the CFR. But no amount of theory will overcome the peacenik image that some have attached to Dean. TD is right that he needs to come out with a specific proposal on some foreign policy dilemma that will prove his willingness to use the military if necessary. Clinton did much the same thing in the '92 campaign when he urged U.S. intervention in the Balkans. TD suggests that Dean could do the same by coming out in favor of sending U.S. forces to Liberia. I would hope, however, that Dean would NOT make a decision like this based purely on political calculation. If he were to come out in support of military intervention in Africa I would hope he would do so primarily because he actually believes it is the right thing to do. The political benefit from supporting such a proposal should always be secondary. Can anyone think of any other concrete proposal's Dean could make?

Media myths

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was out of town for a couple of days and just not that inspired to write anything yesterday (yes, even considering the $7 million Dean story). One thing I would like to talk about though is media myths. The establishment media likes to push certain story lines despite the fact that the evidence doesn't really support the myth. For example, there is the myth about the disparity in fundraising abilities between Republicans and Democrats. Now, historically speaking, Republicans have almost always raised more money than Democrats. Sometimes 2-3 times as much. Yet, despite that disparity, the Democrats still manage to beat Republicans as often as not. This is the first part of the myth: that raising more money translates to greater electoral success. The second part of the myth has to do specifically with George W. Bush. There have been a lot of news stories in recent days talking about the "juggernaut" that is Bush's fundraising apparatus. You hear story after story about him raising $2 million in a single day. How he will raise $30 for the 2nd quarter and is on track to have a $200 million dollar war chest ready to go for the 2004 campaign. These stories then talk about the "pathetic" performance of Democratic contenders: $5 million for Kerry, $7 million for Dean. Message: Democrats simply can't compete with Republicans when it comes to raising money. Don't buy the bullshit. If you add up the fundraising totals for the Democrats for the 2nd quarters, based purely on the estimates we have heard in the last couple of days, you get results like this:
Dean$7 million
Kerry$5 million
Edwards$5 million
Gephardt$5 million
Lieberman$3 million
Graham$3 million
And the rest...$2 million
Total$31 million
In other words, Democrats are, so far, VERY competitive with the Republicans when it comes to raising money for the Presidential race. It's just divided amongst a greater number of candidates so it is easy for gullible establishment media types to misinterpret the numbers. Admittedly I would rather have the $30 million that Bush has than the $7 million that Dean has. But this particular myth does nothing but feed into a message that says to Democrats that they should be demoralized and should just surrender to the inevitable. Again I say this is bullshit. Election 2004 is a VERY competitive. It is far from a sure thing for Bush, no matter what the pundits try to say.