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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003


requiem for Kerry

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, November 11, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The writing is on the wall for Kerry - the question is, will he recognize it and bow out with dignity or will he waste his own fortunes and undermine his pride in trying to hang on? Billmon lays out the grim facts:

All Kerry has left are his war hero resume and his wife's fortune. The former has little appeal to the upscale left, which has returned to its McGovernite roots. And Gen. Clark is a much more plausible choice for hawkish moderates -- as well as for pragmatic liberals who think only a candidate with strong national security credentials can beat Bush.

That leaves the fortune, which Kerry is considering tapping if he follows Dean's lead and exits the public campaign financing system. But for Dean, leaving the system was a show of political strength -- in that it will enable him to exploit more fully the fantastic grassroots fundraising system he's created. But for Kerry, it would be a sign of weakness, an admission that only his vast personal wealth makes it possible for him to remain competitive with Dean's money machine.

You have to wonder if the result wouldn't be a drastic tapering off in Kerry's outside fundraising (why throw good money after bad if the candidate is going to do it for you?) forcing him to rely more and more heavily on his own money. Not the best way to demonstrate your political vitality.

It's hard to see a way out for Kerry -- barring a sudden and complete implosion in the Dean campaign, which is going to take something much worse than a Confederate flag bumper sticker. If, like most Democratic nominations, this one boils down to a race between a "liberal" and a "moderate," then Kerry has already lost the primary within the primary. Now it's Dean versus the anti-Dean. And Kerry isn't even in the running for the latter position.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.