Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 24, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE RUSH STARTS....A reliable source tells me that within minutes of John Kerry's announcement that he won't run for president again in 2008, the Barack Obama campaign was already trying to recruit at least one member of Kerry's "Boston Mafia" to work for them. No surprise there, and I imagine Kerry's entire team is going to be in high demand pretty shortly. It'll be interesting to who his people gravitate toward. Stay tuned.

Kevin Drum 2:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (90)

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Yeah, I can see why. Their hard work in 2004 is why Kerry's race for the White House was such a shimmering success.

Shrum should just auction himself off to the highest bidder

Posted by: Auto on January 24, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Kevin: It won't be Kerry's team in demand. It'll be Gov. Deval Patrick's team, the gang of outsiders whose volunteer army is now the dominant force in state politics.
Patrick is a fellow Chicagoan and fried of Obama's. He'd previously said he was honor bound to support home stater Kerry. That pledge is now inoperative.
Almost all of Massachusetts' 4 million or so residents live an hour's drive at most from the New Hampshire border.

Posted by: JMG on January 24, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

How could Kerry's "team" possibly be in demand? They flat out blew the 2004 election. He runs on his military service in the primaries and then runs away from it in the general. There are more idiots running around this world than any of us can possibly imagine.

Posted by: DoubleB on January 24, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Why would he want anyone from Kerry's campaign working for him, unless he plans on running an inept losing campaign. Get Donna Brazille and he'll be all set.

Posted by: klyde on January 24, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

So who is Gene Sperling and Roger Altman (key members of the DeLong deficit hawk coalition) going to work for? Forget the political pros. I want to see who the policy heros from the Clinton days gravitate towards.

Posted by: pgl on January 24, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sad to say the phrase about hiring the Boston Mafia to run a political campaign actually refers to the notion of professional servants who are actually members of the organizational cosa..

Posted by: be alive on January 24, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

John Sasso, Jack Corrigan, and Michael Whouley would count as members of the Boston mafia, I think. Although it's not clear they'd be a part of a newcKerry campaign. They seem like people you'd want on your campaign.

Posted by: David Weman on January 24, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry's team: a bunch of hyper-cautious inept losers, choosing whether to go to work for the hyper-cautious HRC or the hyper-cautious Barack Obama.

In the meantime, Chuck Hagel is finally waking up to the fact that he needs to stop being so damned cautious when it comes to opposing Bush and his war. And in the process Hagel is showing everyone what it's going to take to become the next President of the United States.

Forget about Rahm Emmanuel. Forget about Kerry's old team.

Posted by: nemo on January 24, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Shrum isn't from Boston, and Cahill wasn't really part of the Kerry loyalists.

Posted by: David Weman on January 24, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry had lots of teams unfortunately.

Anyway, his campaign was wildly uneven but overall sorta decent. Getting 49% was pretty good.

Even if you agree, how the fuck is Michael Whouley not a great catch? But uou probably don't even know who he is. You people are so tiresome.

Posted by: David Weman on January 24, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Political operatives get hired based on their contacts and reputations, not their won-lost records. Most of them get hired by other political operatives, not directly by candidates, and thus benefit from the convention that it is always the candidate, not his campaign staff, who loses elections.

The candidates themselves don't always accept this convention, which brings me to John Kerry. Would he have had a future in Presidential politics if on Election Night 2004 he had said: "I ran because I thought I could be a good President, and because the guy in the White House now is not doing a good job. I failed to persuade the American people. This is my fault and no one else's"?

The theory is that a damaging thought does less damage in the open than it can lurking around in the back of people's minds. Truth is, Kerry probably should have won in 2004; Al Gore definitely should have won, and won easily, in 2000. Their respective shortcomings as candidates were major reasons why neither did. Most people, even most Democrats, think that, and a lot of them think they know that. Why not address it openly and early -- you may not ever want to run for President again, but if you do you'll have preempted questions about your last campaign at least.

There is of course the thought that never admitting specific failings or taking direct responsibility for disasters is a general principle now in American politics. President Bush certainly believes it is, and the media all think this means he is uniquely stubborn. More likely he just knows the way the game is played.

Posted by: Zathras on January 24, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Mary Beth Cahill shouldn't be hired by anyone.

Edwards was asked for one lesson he'd learned from the 2004 campaign. His answer: "Don't listen to Mary Beth Cahill." The response in the room was stunned silence, observers later recalled. "No one laughed when he said it, and Mary Beth grew bright red," said one attendee. "It was very awkward."

Afterwards people pretended it was a joke, but it wasn't. I'm pretty sure that Cahill had a lot to do both with Kerry's weak internet presence and his weak response to the Swiftboaters.

Kerry's internet guy, Peter Daou, was very sharp, but someone tied his hands (probably Cahill). He's now with Clinton and should be a big plus for her.

Posted by: John Emerson on January 24, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Link

Posted by: John Emerson on January 24, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Why would they want to hire a bunch of losers?

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 24, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Extradite Rumsfeld: Why would they want to hire a bunch of losers?

For their valuable advice. Whatever they recommend, just do the opposite.

Posted by: alex on January 24, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Al Gore definitely should have won, and won easily, in 2000.

What are you talkign about, Zathras? Gore did win easily in 2000 -- a clear majority of the opular vote, and losing Florida due to a combination of the poorly-designed "butterfly ballot" (which was hardly his fault) and a Supreme Court decision that stunk so bad the Republicans who installed Bush were too embarrassed to have it cited as a precedent.

Posted by: Gregory on January 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

The world of Washington is such an odd duck - what color is their sky? Kerry's campaign team in high demand? WTF? Oh well, all those Washington pundits who have been wrong about everything for the last 4 years are still taken seriously too. I gotta move to Washington - so even if I fail spectacularly at my career, I'll still be in demand. Sheesh.

Posted by: ckelly on January 24, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote: Gore did win easily in 2000 -- a clear majority of the opular vote, and losing Florida due to a combination of the poorly-designed "butterfly ballot" (which was hardly his fault) and a Supreme Court decision that stunk so bad the Republicans who installed Bush were too embarrassed to have it cited as a precedent.

The main reason that Al Gore "lost" Florida is that before the election, Jeb Bush and Katharine Harris deliberately purged tens of thousands of eligible African-American Democratic voters from the rolls by falsely identifying them as felons who were ineligible to vote. When these people arrived at the polls on election day, they were turned away. Had all of these deliberately disenfranchised eligible voters been able to vote, Gore would have won Florida by a margin of tens of thousands of votes.

As it was, even that criminal conspiracy to deliberately and fraudulently disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters was not enough to steal the election. The evidence from the recount proved beyond any question that if every legally cast ballot had been counted in accordance with established Florida election law, Gore still clearly won Florida by a margin of hundreds of votes.

That's why it was "necessary" for the Republican partisans on the Supreme Court to aid and abet the theft of a presidential election, by violating their oaths of office and unconstitutionally halting the Florida recount in order to install Bush as president.

The 2000 election was a bloodless coup by a gang of career criminals masquerading as "conservative" politicians, nothing more, nothing less.

George W. Bush was not then, and is not now, the legitimately elected president of the United States. Bush is what the US press commonly refers to when reporting on "third world" countries as a "strongman".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 24, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

It'll be interesting to who his people gravitate toward.

I know who: the eventual third-place finisher.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 24, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Geez, Kevin, have you ever been more wrong on a post than with this one?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 24, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Extradite Rumsfeld on January 24, 2007 at 3:50 PM:

Why would they want to hire a bunch of losers?

Y'all are missing the point: The Kerry campaign raised a shitload of money...Whatever weaknesses that campaign had, fundraising wasn't one of them.

John Emerson on January 24, 2007 at 3:39 PM:

(quoted) Edwards was asked for one lesson he'd learned..

Rumor has it that Kerry and Edwards didn't exactly part as friends after the '04 elections, possibly due to unspent campaign funds and underutilizing Edwards during the campaign.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 24, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Minimum wage hike hits the wall in Senate

GOP filibusters minimum wage hike, but CNN refuses to call it a filibuster.

Hmmmmmmmmm.

And I thought that the GOP didn't believe in filibusters.

And I thought that CNN was supposed to objectively report the activities of Congress.

Wrong on both counts.

I will adjust my beliefs accordingly.

Posted by: Google_This on January 24, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, freshman Virginia Senator Jim Webb's response to Bush's SOTU speech -- which Webb reportedly wrote himself, after discarding the speech that was given to him by the Democratic leadership -- was absolutely GREAT. It is a must read for everyone. Especially namby-pamby wishy-washy dead-skunk-in-the-middle-of-the-road Democratic presidential candidates like Obama and Clinton.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 24, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: Democratic presidential candidates like ... Clinton

Hillary is a Democrat?

Posted by: alex on January 24, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

The medium of exhange for election staff is money, not how well their candidate actually did at the polls (votes), or how well they communicated their candidate's message. These former Kerry staff members were good at obtaining money for hotel stays, meals at five star restaurants, and lots of other perks the political elites like to indulge in. That is why they are in such demand. That is why you should not contribute money to any of the Monolithic Party candidates.

Posted by: Brojo on January 24, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think that this is shaping up to be a very different kind of election from 2004.

In 2004, the focus -- rightly so, I believe -- was on electability. It was always going to be difficult for a Democrat to win against Bush, given the combined effects of his incumbency and the fact that we were "at war" (a war not yet unpopular).

But in 2008, I think that it's going to take some truly major baggage in a Democratic nominee to bring him/her down. From everything I can see at this point, this election is ours to lose. (Of course, things may change.)

What this means is that Democrats really should focus on who would make the best President.

That's a truly enviable position to be in.

A hat tip to Pres Bush for making it possible. By doing so much wrong, you've done something right.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 24, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Let's take up a collection and hire Shrum ourselves. We'll just pay him to sit on a beach somewhere far, far away from our candidate whoever s/he may be.

Posted by: cazart on January 24, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

What is really valuable is Kerry's email list -- it has to be the most complete list of democratic leaning donors and voters, as he was the last national nominee. That's the grand prize for anyone who sucks up to Kerry.

I still get a Kerry email every week.

Posted by: pj on January 24, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

The medium of exhange for election staff is money, not how well their candidate actually did at the polls (votes), or how well they communicated their candidate's message.

And that's a real problem. Certainly, fundraising is part of a campaign staff's job, but so is fund-using.

Raising all the money in the world does you no good if you do stupid, nonproductive, or even counterproductive things with it.

Sure, fundraising is easy to produce objective numbers that have the air of meaning to them—the campaign I ran for Candidate Y raised $X million dollars.

But then, if you can't turn those dollars into votes, who cares?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Zathras and Secular: the elections were lost due to combination of candidate weakness and electoral fraud on the other side. Slightly better campaign strategies would not have offered quite enough advantage to overcome those drawbacks—althogh both Gore and Kerry should have won on the plain numbers alone.

And now the wingnuts have the chutzpah to claim that the system is rigged against THEM.

Posted by: Kenji on January 24, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Groucho said any club that would have him for a member he wouldn't want to join. What about any campaign flak stupid enough to work for John Kerry? My opinion of Obama just went down 10 points.

Posted by: former minion on January 24, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 5:31 PM:

Raising all the money in the world does you no good if you do stupid, nonproductive, or even counterproductive things with it.

Conversely, possession of a bulletproof campaign strategy is useless if a candidate lacks the funds to implement it. Kind of a catch-22.

The reality is that people who donate large sums of money will want to dictate what is done with it...Or, in the context of a political campaign, people with access to people who donate large sums of money will want to dictate what's done with the funds.

I can imagine that a candidate is fortunate if he/she can find a consultant who is good at both fundraising and campaign strategy. If they are not that fortunate, then that would mean that they've probably hired Bob Shrum.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 24, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

"I agree with Zathras and Secular: the elections were lost due to combination of candidate weakness and electoral fraud on the other side."
--Kenji

Have you, or anyone else here, ever read The Daily Howler? I agree that the two points you mention above are valid, but I can't help feeling that you're ignoring the elephant in the room.

www.dailyhowler.com

Posted by: Bolo on January 24, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist, this is from the Common Dreams website you linked: Whether intended or not, Webb was offering a way for Democrats to win elections -- a script for any presidential candidate who wants to distinguish him or herself in the primaries, and then defeat the Republicans in Nov. 2008.

Let's not forget that Webb's opponent self-destructed. Do you have a link for Webb's whole address? He is an interesting choice for a rebuttal speaker, don't you think? Not only is he a freshman senator, but most of his policy preferences have little to do with the rest of the Democratic senators; he is very effectively speaking in opposition to the Iraq War.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK
Conversely, possession of a bulletproof campaign strategy is useless if a candidate lacks the funds to implement it. Kind of a catch-22.

Not at all a catch-22. The two skills aren't mutually exclusive or contradictory, and many tasks in life require more than one skill. The only problem is when an apparent track record in one of the necessary skills is focussed on as a selective criteria in choosing staff to the exclusion of the other.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think Webb should run for president. I'm underwhelmed by Obama - I don't even get why the meteoric rise. Press hype? White guilt? Not getting it. He's smart, and articulate, but lightweight. Hillary is Bill lite. Edwards is a possibility, but Webb's got what it takes to win. He's the Eisenhauer candidate.

Posted by: ExBrit on January 24, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Do you have a link for Webb's whole address?

I manage to get my pixels on everything.

Here is a link. Embedded is a link to the video, as well. (I engaged in minimal commentary.)

h/t Crooks & Liars.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 24, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

ExBrit: I think Webb should run for president.

Agreed.

I'm underwhelmed by Obama

But he talks pretty (albeit while saying little).

Hillary is Bill lite.

If only she were that good.

Webb's got what it takes to win. He's the Eisenhauer candidate

Eisenhower. Are you guys still pissed that a Yank got the SCAEF job?

Posted by: alex on January 24, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen): I manage to get my pixels on everything.

Jim Webb:

Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I am reminded of the situation President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening revolt.
Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other." And he did something about it.

Honest to God class warfare, ala Harry Truman - I like it! (and Webb smiles less than Edwards).

Posted by: alex on January 24, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Eisenhower. Are you guys still pissed that a Yank got the SCAEF job?

No clue. Sorry.

Webb's just got leadership stamped all over him in a way none of the others do. He's the alpha. Woof!

Posted by: ExBrit on January 24, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Tangently related topic: did anyone see Hagel on PBS tonight? I'm really starting to think he's positioning himself for a Dem VP slot, either by deserting the Repubs formally or by throwing enough stink bombs that he's seen to be "authentic."

Posted by: former minion on January 24, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK
Tangently related topic: did anyone see Hagel on PBS tonight? I'm really starting to think he's positioning himself for a Dem VP slot

I dunno, maybe he is actually authentic.

And maybe he's positioning himself for a run for the Republican nomination; there certainly seems to be a Republican constituency for positions farm from those of either Bush or those running as more war-happy than he is on Iraq (McCain) in the Republican Party, at least judging from the polls.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

ExBrit: No clue. Sorry.

Oops, sorry for being cryptic. SCAEF = supreme commander allied expeditionary force. Eisenhower's job in WWII.

Posted by: alex on January 24, 2007 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

thank you blue girl, red state (aka global citizen):

here is a line from Webb's speech: Further, this is the seventh time the President has mentioned energy independence in his state of the union message, but for the first time this exchange is taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic Party.

I liked Webb's speech, especially his reference to TR style progressivism instead of FDR style liberalism. He cited Eisenhower for ending the Korean War (as he put it), rather than the Democrat Truman for engaging it. He seemed uncertain which, if any, party to blame for the Viet Nam war.

And he forcefully opposed a precipitate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, emphasizing only changing their roles so they can eventually be withdrawn. He called for neither a schedule nor a timeline. In as much as the "surge" is actually a change in the schedules of redeployment (some soldiers staying longer, others going to Iraq sooner), matched to some changes in tactics, and changes in the coordination of Iraqi and US forces, Congress will fund it in full. Should it prove effective, Webb can say that's what he was hoping for.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 24, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Granted, he has more chance in the Repub Party than Joementum has in the Dem, but just barely. And there are different ways of being authentic - some keep you in the fold (i.e., Warner's shots at Bush lately) and some are calculated to get you kudos from the left and a hand job from the MSM, and that's the "authentic" variety Hagel has been pursuing.

Posted by: minion the troll on January 24, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. My. God. I just got home and watched the news. I think I'm in love with Chuck Hagel. When I said that to the Major, he said "That's okay sweetie - I think I might be too."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 24, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

David Weman,

How is getting 49% good in a two candidate race? If he had gotten 1% the results would have been the same--Bush is President.

frankly0,

The last truly unwinnable election for the Democratic Party was 1984. Nobody was going to beat Reagan that year. 1988, 2000, and 2004 were all winnable.

Whoever said Gore should have won big is right--unfortunately he was the worst Presidential candidate in the history of modern politics. We can blame the media, Florida, the Supreme Court or whatever, but the fact remains he should have won by a large enough margin (and I'll use a sports analogy here) to take the refs out of the game. He didn't and the blame for that lies solely with him and his horseshit advisors.

Was anybody posting looking forward to Kerry running again? Did anybody like the Kerry candidacy? I voted for him and I certainly didn't. How could you possibly want anybody remotely associated with a campaign like that?

Posted by: DoubleB on January 24, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK
Granted, he has more chance in the Repub Party than Joementum has in the Dem, but just barely. And there are different ways of being authentic - some keep you in the fold (i.e., Warner's shots at Bush lately)

With what is shaping up to be a historically reviled outgoing President, and a Congressional minority after a whipping in the prior midterm, I'd think its at least possible that being "in the fold" of the present Republican Washington establishment won't be a positive in the next Republican primary season.

and some are calculated to get you kudos from the left and a hand job from the MSM

Ideas that get kudos from the left have only recently started getting even remotely fair treatment rather than outright hostile spin from the bulk of the MSM, and that's only because of the overwhelming supermajority anti-Bush consensus in the public, which means that pro-Bush spin doesn't sell well anymore.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 5:57 PM:

Not at all a catch-22. The two skills aren't mutually exclusive or contradictory..

Never said they were, 'tho I'll admit that 'kind of a catch-22' may have been the wrong phrase to use. Would you like 'kind of a chicken or the egg situation' instead?

Campaigns need funds and competent planning in order to be successful. An abundance of one aspect will make up for the lack of the other, but only to a point...Hence the final part of my earlier post.

..and many tasks in life require more than one skill.

Yes, duh, and bit patronizing all at the same time. But I still love ya, Dicely...Of course, not everyone possesses that spectrum of skills, or do, but not to the degree they think they do.

The only problem is when an apparent track record in one of the necessary skills is focused on as a selective criteria in choosing staff to the exclusion of the other.

I fully agree. But given that campaign fundraising is more definitively measurable than campaign strategy, it's easy to see why the same names keep popping up for political campaigns.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 24, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry's group would be an asset for any pol if just for the drugs alone.

Posted by: TruthProbe on January 24, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK
But given that campaign fundraising is more definitively measurable than campaign strategy

Is it though? Sure, the amount of dollars you receive is fairly easily measured, but so is the number and percentage of voters you actually get to turn out for your guy on election day, and whether or not you get him over the top.

Sure, the latter may be strongly influenced by factors other than your skill, but so can the former. Hiring a campaign manager with a track record of raising lots of money and losing is like hiring a CEO with a repeated history of doing a good job at selling corporate bonds before driving a company into the ground.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

former minion on January 24, 2007 at 6:56 PM:

Tangently related topic: did anyone see Hagel on PBS tonight?

Not on PBS, but I saw a clip online where he was giving a good browbeating to his fellow Senators for acting like politicians first and Americans second. It was good to see...And necessary for someone in the Senate to say.

From Editor and Publisher:

When Wallace pointed out that many Republicans opposed the latest plan, Cheney said, "Chuck Hagel hasn't been with us for a long time."

Cheney criticizing Hagel? If that isn't a ringing endorsement for Hagel, I don't know what is...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 24, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Hagel is a Mensch and that is the highest compliment I can give anyone.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 24, 2007 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely on January 24, 2007 at 7:55 PM:

Is it though?

Yup. More variables involved in measuring the success of a campaign strategy than in measuring funds raised.

..but so is the number and percentage of voters you actually get..

Ah, but that number/percentage would be based upon more than just a candidate's campaign strategy, no?

Was Jim Webb's victory in '06 due to his campaign strategy, fundraising ability, Howard Dean's 50-state initiative, Rahm Emanuel's work, Macaca Allen's personal deficits, overall loathing of the GOP, dislike of Dubya, GOTV efforts, or Webb just being a strong candidate?...Or is it a particular combination of all of the above? If so, to what degree of each?

Yeah...I'd say that fundraising is more definitively measurable.

Hiring a campaign manager with a track record of raising lots of money and losing...

Finding a campaign manager with a track record of raising little money and winning at a national level may be problematic, Dicely...If that person exists, a candidate would have to pay through the nose to get him/her on their staff.

Which brings us back to...Money...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 24, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, goody. I can hardly wait to see whom the illustrious Bob Shrum will grace with his presence and .000 presidential batting average.

Out here in Hawaii, the Kerry campaign appointed a campaign manager a woman who didn't even know who Karl Rove was.

Yep -- hiring these "experts" sounds like a real winner to me ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 24, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

She only said she didn't know who Karl Rove was.... Bwahahaahahahaha.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 24, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist >"...George W. Bush was not then, and is not now, the legitimately elected president of the United States..."

Careful there, I doubt the real world is that ready for that much truth yet

If only...

"Stop quoting the laws to us. We carry swords." - Pompey

Posted by: daCascadian on January 24, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Dear. But some of us can handle the truth. And as soon as the heads of those who can't explode, we'll clean up the mess and get on with having a civilization.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 24, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck Hagel? Yeah, I can understand the admiration. But I would like him to clarify his connections to ES&S and Diebold before I jump on the bandwagon.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 24, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

ex-minion: "She only said she didn't know who Karl Rove was.... Bwahahaahahahaha."

She was the daughter of a Democratic national committeewoman.

Having been involved in progressive / liberal Democratic politics for a while now, I can assure you that this isn't the first time I've had to deal with the official representatives of a depleted gene pool spawned by D.C.'s political incestuousness.

True story:
In 1998, while working on a critical congressional re-election campaign in Honolulu, the DCCC sent us the son of Alabama's then-national committeeman, with the instructions that he was to be the campaign manager if we hoped to receive any further assistance from them.

While this guy was very good at playing DOOM on his computer, it became painfully obvious that he wasn't good for much else. What he knew about running congressional campaigns would fit in the receptacle end of a condom, with ample room left over.

So we quietly relieved him of any decision-making responsibility for the campaign, and being that he was content to play computer games while drawing a nice paycheck for his trouble, he didn't complain.

Well, we won that election convincingly, and this guy returned to D.C. where he was not at all shy about claiming all the credit for winning what was thought to be very tough race.

Wait, this gets even better.

In fact, the D.C. Democratic crowd thought so much of his self-proclaimed political prowess that two years later he was placed in charge of the Gore campaign's operations in the vice president's home state of Tennessee.

I think we all remember how that turned out.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 24, 2007 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Kerry's team was top flight, a real collection of winners.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 24, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. My. God. I just got home and watched the news. I think I'm in love with Chuck Hagel. When I said that to the Major, he said "That's okay sweetie - I think I might be too."

Give me a break. He’s not such an asshole that he can’t see the light about Iraq. But he didn’t see it as fast as Kerry, did he? He didn’t oppose it as fast as some of the Democrats whom we castigate for voting in favor of the “war resolution”. Does his current resolution have any real teeth in it, more than what Hillary Clinton is proposing?

I appreciate Hagel’s statements about Iraq. But what has been his position on health care over the past several years? Deficit spending? Minimum wage? Education? Korea? Iran? Israel/Palestine? Immigration? Educate me.

(And I'll see your answer in the morning. I don't stay up all night like some people!)

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 24, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

The Kerry team is as good for electoral success as polonium tea is for health. Having Kerry appear in the media as a rich playboy windsurfing in August and saying nothing in response to Rove's full court slime campaign was precisely the worst possible thing he could have done in the circumstances. Not only did it destroy the working man creds of his running mate it helped to promote the image of the elite rich man with no interest in the common man that the whole swift boat campaign was based on.

It was a campaign so perfectly bad that to this day I wonder whether his advisors were on Rove's payroll. Hiring anyone associated with that fiasco strikes me as abismally naive (or just plain stupid).

Posted by: joe on January 24, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

The people will take the power from the fatcats and brokers and give it to Gore.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 24, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK
… I think I'm in love with Chuck Hagel… Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) at 7:27 PM
La donna e mobile. How did he vote on the Minimum wage bill?

"Every Democrat in the chamber voted for the increase, while five Republicans broke ranks and voted with the Dems: Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA), and Warner (R-VA)."

Stopping a raise to the working poor is not what I call the work of a Mensch. One issue does not make a hero.

It's those members in Kerry's group that have good connections to donors and his donor list that are important. It was a sensible decision on his part because the rest of the group is so strong that he had little chance of winning.

Posted by: Mike on January 24, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

joe,

I'm a working man. Kerry's windsurfing didn't bother me. It was only considered elitist because the pundits told us so.

Posted by: Foundation of Mud on January 24, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth: "Yeah, Kerry's team was top flight, a real collection of winners."

You should know, since you're just as clue-free -- only their ignorance can be attributed to general laziness, while yours is clearly willful.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 25, 2007 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

"What is really valuable is Kerry's email list -- it has to be the most complete list of democratic leaning donors and voters, as he was the last national nominee. That's the grand prize for anyone who sucks up to Kerry.

I still get a Kerry email every week."

I probably do, too, on the other e-mail address I have but never use and probably can't even open any longer because it's overflowing. Even if a lot of people have blocked them out, it's still a pretty big list. The question, of course, is why this would be so valuable when the same sort of people would probably sign up on the site of whomever the eventual nominee is?

Posted by: Brian on January 25, 2007 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Windsurfing is not elitist...I'd do it if I could afford to...and get the time off from work...and get someone to take care of my kid...and...

..Aw, hell.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 25, 2007 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

oops, back to ethics problems:

http://www.metroactive.com/metro/01.24.07/dianne-feinstein-0704.html

Mollohan, Murtha and his brother, Jefferson, and now this.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 25, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

OT srry butI am really worried. Wisconsin was 12.5 over Michigan, up over 20 most of the second haalf. got closer and a sub gave up the ball in a way that I could have stolen it. The only tout I know(&I dont any, made WI a lock). Scary for a team I love.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 25, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Never Mind,lol

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 25, 2007 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK
…Mollohan, Murtha and his brother, Jefferson, and now this. MatthewRMarler
My, oh, my; a Republicontarian pointing a finger while three point back at his own culture of corruption with its no-bid contracts. Let's provide a more complete list. Posted by: Mike on January 25, 2007 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Karl will be needing a job soon.

Posted by: TAU on January 25, 2007 at 4:31 AM | PERMALINK

What I remember about Kerry's staff, having worked on a primary campaign in NM, is that they were all discourteous and failed to actually do much of anything other than gloat when they won.

Posted by: KathyF on January 25, 2007 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

John Kerry's 2004 campaign team was about as successful as the navigator on the Titanic. I don't see why Obama would hire them to do anything for him except to run to Starbucks to get him a latte.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 25, 2007 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

From what I have been reading Hillary is trying to suck all the money out of the system. If she is successful (and it looks like she might be) there could be field of one by the first primary.

Folks we have a bunch of damn good candidates this primary season. I would hate to see them crushed before anybody gets a chance to vote.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 25, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

...Gore did win easily in 2000...Posted by: Gregory on January 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM

Yes, sir.
I often wonder what Mr. Gore would have done in the aftermath of 9/11?
Pointless speculation aside, I think he gives life-threatening issues greater impetus right where he is, heading the charge on changing global perspectives on pollution.
Bush said we don't need Kyoto, we need some other solution. Why can't we just go with Kyoto?
Because it doesn't have Cheney's oily finger in it?

Love you Al, and thanks. Yours will be a real Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: Miss Bill, Love AL on January 25, 2007 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Folks we have a bunch of damn good candidates this primary season.
--Ron Byers

Oh come on, Ron. Look at the stellar cast of candidates that the GOP is offering - Willard the Mormon Romney, the leperous old coot John McCain and Sam the Preacherman Brownback. Oh yeah, I forgot Newton Leroy Gingrich, the chubby, badger-like, visionary philanderer. How can we possibly compete with the likes of those rock stars?

Maybe Kindasleezy Rice will throw her pillbox hat into the ring and we'll have a real battle joined!

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 25, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Que faut-il faire ?

Posted by: Atome&Crochu on January 25, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

When I observe the candidates, all I see is personal ambition to become president. There is no vision, no policy and no skill that drives them to seek the presidency.

Posted by: Brojo on January 25, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

My point is I would like to see a real primary season not a coronation.

Not that I am blaming Hillary. Where I in her shoes I would want to run everybody out of the race before it begins.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 25, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

It's tiresome, really, to read so many comments as to how Kerry's campaign was inept, and the election "blown." No Democrat would have won the election. (Who would have done better?) Kerry's reaction to the various smears was far stonger, and quicker, than most seem to remember. And Kerry absolutely clobbered Bush in the debates (especially 1 and 3)--and the polls moved not an inch. The result was decided by structural factors; the campaigns were, in essence, details.

Posted by: Matt on January 25, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Structural factors, Matt?

What in the world are you talking about?

Posted by: Auto on January 25, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

"Chuck Hagel hasn't been with us for a long time."

Chuck Hagel refuses to see the power of the dark side.

-Darth Cheney

Posted by: ckelly on January 25, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Oh. My. God. I just got home and watched the news. I think I'm in love with Chuck Hagel. When I said that to the Major, he said "That's okay sweetie - I think I might be too."


Don't ask, don't tell?

Posted by: ckelly on January 25, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

The "Boston mafia," still trying to keep hold of national Democratic presidential politics after the disasters that were Dukakis and Kerry. Please. (Although as an Edwards backer, I think perhaps these folks should latch on with Hillary and blow up her campaign, too.)

Posted by: Vincent on January 25, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Matt,

Edwards and Clark win the 2004 election. I think Dean wins it as well, but I acknowledge that he was a wildcard (he could have completely imploded).

What part of Kerry's campaign impressed you? "Reporting for duty, sir", his rapid response to the Swift Boat crap, his wishy-washy stands (in particular the war), his advisors? How many people cast their votes against Bush rather than for Kerry? Most people reading this blog I'm sure. That isn't nearly good enough.

Posted by: Double B on January 25, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK
Look at the stellar cast of candidates that the GOP is offering - Willard the Mormon Romney, the leperous old coot John McCain and Sam the Preacherman Brownback. Oh yeah, I forgot Newton Leroy Gingrich, the chubby, badger-like, visionary philanderer.

You also forgot Duncan Hunter, though I won't try to step on your toes by doing the characterization, here.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 25, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Matt except that I too am unsure what he means by structural problems.

Kerry was not a bad candidate, but that's not to say Edwards, H. Clinton, etc., will not be stronger candidates.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 25, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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