Friday, January 23, 2004

Could the old Dean teflon be making a come back?

I've noticed in the last 24 hours a marked increase in comments, both online and offline, along the lines of "on subsequent viewing of Dean's Iowa speech it really doesn't look as bad as I first thought." It may be that the media's overkill on this story may actually garner Dean some sympathy. Their continuous playing of it has given more people the opportunity to notice things about it that they didn't notice the first time and that may account for the softening of opinion on it.

Combine that with Dean's apparently good performance in both the debates and the Sawyer interview (I didn't see either unfortunately) and we may be seeing the re-appearance of the same teflon that previously turned negative Dean stories into positive Dean stories.

At this point I think the Dean campaign should do two things:

1) Build expectations for a 2nd place finish in NH. With many people speculating about possible 3rd and 4th place finishes, a strong 2nd against the resurgent Kerry would do wonders to launch Dean's own "comeback kid" storyline (and short-circuit Kerry's in the process). A 2nd place finish would put Dean in good position to beat the rest of the field in subsequent weeks if nothing else by the process of attrition.

2) Bring out Judy Dean more often (a Larry King interview might be good). I understand she was dynamite on Sawyer last night and added a real human touch to Dean's persona. I hate the fact that so many people base their political decisions on factors like this, but if that's the world we live in then Dean may just have to work with it.


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