Schmoozing New Hampshire

A mostly political Weblog.
Jan. 26 2004 5:49 AM

Kf Schmoozes for You!

Plus--Dean's fast, fast, fast relief?

More kf-ellisblog synergy: Ellis summarizes a dynamic that was definitely going on yesterday, but that I failed to comprehend cleanly--much less articulate cleanly--when I was attempting a brief TV pundit gig today:

Might [Dean] capture second place? The veteran scribes would be very cross if he did, since they have already written (in their heads) the Dean obit and the South Carolina set-ups (either Kerry vs. Edwards or Kerry vs. Clark).  Alas, the [polls] are now showing a bit of bounce-back for Dean. He might just get second, if these polls are accurate.

The Rule of Two would thus require the scribes to frame the race as Kerry vs. Dean. But they've long since decided that Dean is a goner. Cognitive dissonance crisis grips the Sheraton Wayfarer.

Ellis is so totally wrong, however, to mention the Wayfarer. The Wayfarer scene is dead this year. Instead, the media people and campaign aides seem to be going to the bar at the Manchester Holiday Inn. ... There's the sort of on-the-spot detail that only Microsoft's expense account can deliver!... (As Walter Shapiro joked in a stand-up comedy show Sunday night, in what other city would people brag that they were staying at the Holiday Inn?) ... 2:07 A.M.

More investigative schmoozing at a bar* in Manchester: 1) Gephardt is expected to endorse Kerry, but when? 2) Assuming Kerry wins N.H., will he even contest South Carolina--where a Kerry win would knock out Edwards--or will he concede it and concentrate on winning in Missouri and other states on Feb. 3?  3) Does it help Kerry if the negative stories about him dribble out over the next two days--which would spread out their impact and effectively cauterize the wounds with a big election victory? Wouldn't it be more damaging if anti-Kerry hit men held their fire in N.H. and then all the negative press came down on Kerry between Jan 27 and Feb. 3--the way all the anti-Dean criticism fell on him at once? 4) Who are the people in Hollywood who can still raise big hard money in $2,000 increments? Answer: Studio heads! Why? Because they can apply ... subtle pressure to those who work for them. .... Confession: One of these was only overheard at the bar because I was listening to myself. Guess it's obvious which one. ...[*the prestigious Holiday Inn bar?--ed I must protect my sources.]  12:57 A.M.

Sunday, January 25, 2004 

Example of a way-too-right-wing anti-Kerry site. Anyone motivated by a mention of "Hanoi Jane" isn't going to consider voting for Kerry anyway. Some good photos, though. ... I say stick with the "he-threw-some-other-guys'-medals-over-the-wall" character attack. Of course, Kerry sympathizers have a plausible rationalization for that behavior, news of which comes as a shock to anyone who followed Kerry's anti-war protest at the time. Kerry sympathizers have a plausible rationalization for his discordant Iraq war votes too. And the affirmative action cave. And the we-thought-he-was-Irish thing. They have many, many plausible rationalizations. Rationalizing Kerry's opportunistic behavior--crafting the tortured paragraph, smoothing it out, road testing it, indoctrinating sympathetic reporters--is the new Democratic growth industry. ... At least supporting Clinton only required one major suspension of common sense (on sex). ...11:53 P.M.

Feiler himself emails to note that almost 50% of New Hampshire voters told the CNN/Gallup poll they'd seen the Dean Scream tape 6 or more times. This confirms the basic mechanism of Feiler's Faster Thesis--the swift saturation of the voters with each moment's information. The Thesis will be further confirmed if (as some polls suggest) Dean can bounce back before Tuesday--i.e. if voters show they can process this damning information in a couple of days, recover quickly and move on to the next twist in the story in record time. ... If only the FFT had been around when Ed Muskie cried. ... P.S.: Turns out Jeff Greenfield already make this point on CNN ... 11:43 P.M.

The ugly truth about John Kerry and hockey! ... 3:32 P.M.

Someone hire this kid: Hardcore Chris' daily secret forbidden ARG number has a Dean bounce-back to second place. (But see PolySigh's critique.) ... Zogby's daily crack for Saturday has Dean only three points behind Kerry. ... Weekend polling is always iffy, however, quite apart from the dangers of taking daily small-sample results too seriously. ... 1:07 A.M.

Kerryphobia Korner: He's on His Side! Many emailers have told me I should lay out more rigorously my reasons for opposing John Kerry. I'll try to do that during the coming post-New Hampshire "Turkey Shoot." For those who can't wait, here's a) a link to John Ellis' item on Kerry's "pathetic" '90s attempted rethinking of affirmative action, and b) Todd's Treasure Trove of Kerry Kontradictions, in today's New York Times, and c) a link to a medium-sized kf rant  about the senator, from a year ago. Actually, here's most of it: