Have you noticed that practically every time CNN's Carlos Watson opens his mouth he says something interesting? ... 3:33 A.M.
Who's the Kerry Thug? There have now been at least three instances of unidentified Kerry aides giving arrogant, thuggish blind quotes at reasonably crucial points in the nominating process:
1. "We can take Howard Dean out whenever we want to," said one Kerry adviser. "Why do it now?" (Newsweek, July 14 issue.)
2. "This is not the Dukakis campaign," the adviser said. "We're not going to take it. And if they're going to come at us with stuff, whatever that stuff may be, if it goes to a place where the '88 campaign did, then everything is on the table. Everything." (NYT, Feb 5, 2004)
3. "I don't see this as a two-person race because we're running against someone who has won one state," a senior Kerry adviser said. "This whole idea that you sort of cherry-pick the states you are going to compete in — that's a vanity game, it's not a real game." (NYT, today)
All three show-off quotes were arguably counterproductive: 1) Will Kerry be glad he annoyed Dean last year if Dean now endorses Edwards? 2) "Everything is on the table" was immediately used by the Bush camp to depict Democrats as ready to smear; and 3) Kerry has to debate Edwards at least one more time. Why anger him too? If Kerry was irritated by Edwards' tweaking at the last debate, he'll be apoplectic if Edwards now decides to really cut him up. ...
My question is: Are all the anonymous, macho Kerry advisers the same person? They can't all be such goons, can they? (Don't answer that.) If it's only one "adviser," who is it? It doesn't sound like the Shrum I know. And Lehane had left the Kerry campaign by quotes 2 and 3. That leaves ... well, nominees will be accepted. I suspect most working campaign reporters have a pretty good idea who it is. ... P.S.: Maybe it's the same Democratic aide who anonymously boasted that an incoming President Clinton would "roll" Senator Moynihan--a quote that badly damaged Clinton's chances of passing his health insurance plan. ... No, actually. I think I know who that was. ...2:02 A.M.
Rooftop Report has been delegate counting and concludes that "it looks like the possibility of [Edwards] winning isn't all that ridiculous." The key fact isn't the March 2, Super Tuesday calculations --even in the unlikely event that Edwards were to win 60/40 on March 2 he'd still be slightly behind Kerry in delegates--but March 9. The four big March 9 states are all in the "Saath," as Edwards would say. If Edwards hangs on March 2 he might clean up a week later. ... 12:45 A.M.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Bad Spin Alert: The pro-Kerry line is that he won Wisconsin convincingly among Democrats--it was the Independents and cross-over Republicans who went heavily for Edwards. The NYT's Adam Nagourney bites:
Mr. Kerry's advisers noted ... that in Wisconsin, any registered voter is permitted to vote in the Democratic primary; 10 percent of the electorate here on Tuesday said they were Republicans, and 40 percent of them voted for Mr. Edwards, suggesting that the results here should not be seen as an indication of any general dissatisfaction among Democrats with Mr. Kerry.
Doesn't Edwards' appeal to potential swing Republicans and Independents make him more, you know ... what's the word ... electable? Is it really good news for Kerry that he doesn't travel well beyond the base? Update: Will Saletan elaborates, with charts! ...10:13 P.M.
Conason defends himself and finally lets his readers know he did some "sheet sniffing and keyhole peeping" himself back in 1992. He also now admits that he lent his name to a cover charge of adultery against the first President Bush that was not quite supported by his reporting. He blames his editors, Kurt Andersen and Susan Morrison, and "Spy style:"