Edwards, better than every other candidate except possibly Bill Clinton, understands how to frame messages, and come up with themes. He was the class of the field this time around, and absent 9-11 he would have been the nominee and victor, IMO.
My admiration for his skills has nothing to do with his hair or his looks. Though he is formidable in person. Get in a room with him sometime.
Don't dismiss him so easily. Better yet, go ahead and dismiss him.
I cannot believe you think she would be a "good candidate." She is tone deaf, stuck in policy/intellectual/issues and small message thinking......like Gore and Kerry but worse. Despite her midwestern roots, she reads NE/DC to the core.
I'd easily go for Gore again over her, and certainly Kerry. And I don't want either of them, really, for the above reasons.
So who is the pro-Hillary base in these polls? I think it's minimally engaged voters, especially women. Kind of like how Gore was up in these same polls in '02 (wasn't he?).
I see her candidacy playing out a lot like Lieberman's. Money to start, little real grassroots support, some interest group support, but not wide. She will split the Washington vote with any other "insiders" that run.
I expect Edwards to smartly recast himself as an outsider next time. Advantage to him and governors.
I agree about message. Funny thing in my opinion is that Kerry was capable of running a "non-issues" personality campaign, because he has a tremendous biography and a real toughness.
But that's not who Kerry is; he is a strange combination of warrior and wonk, and it doesn't fit in with most of the country's ideas about itself. Dukakis and Gore had zero "warrior" in them, so it's not a fair comparison.
Abstractly, in terms of personality I want a Brian Shweitzer type (obviously too early for him) or a Vilsack type next time, providing that they were to have the requisite message skills. Steely, solid, middle of the road IS American. Edwards will have to clearly cast himself as a reformer and outsider, which he is capable of.
I won't write off anybody in '08 except for what's her name. I'm not inclined to back Kerry after having him be my choice this year. He would have to prove that he is better. Same with Dean. I'd give him a chance again, too. I do doubt either could raise their game enough, but you never know.
And you should be open. Don't worry, nobody will lay down for Kerry if he does run. He'd have to earn it.
The easiest test will be to see in the next year if they really 'get' that they have to improve their message.
Dean certainly had that quality, which is an unusual one. That's part of what excitement was about. Definitely intriguing.
But also maddening - unfortunately he was lacking in some other qualities, such as message discipline, an understanding of the press, and an ability to diagnose trouble in an organization and make changes (i.e. his campaign).
But he is a kind of tough archetype we can look out for.
Just from his picture, he looks dull. What is his story? Does his story inform his public personality? For the Presidency we need "big characters".
Like Brian Schweitzer, new gov of Montana. He fits the bill, though I've never seen or heard him. Western rancher, businessman, economic populist, reformer, family man. Just brought him up to mention the "casting" angle that is so important in the media environment we have.
I'm fairly sympathetic to him as DNC chair, though not as a Prez candidate.
But don't fret if he gets shut out of the DNC spot; it's essentially a hollow organization for 3 out of every 4 years anyway.
I think too much is being made of this. It seems like a symbolic blogosphere battle to me, and it's setting people up for a disappointment that is really not that important. The real reformation work will take place in a decentralized fashion, not through this historically campaign oriented fundraising organization.
Excellent points. The Republicans know they have to cast candidates as larger than life. Like when Bush bought his ranch in the late 90s so he could be pretend cowboy. It was very very effective.
Yes, Prez elections these days are mostly not about issues. A lot of newer activists have learned this the hard way. The New Repbublic's current piece on "undecided" voters is instructive, as is Digby's writing.
We have to cast Presidential candidates; it's literally as important as their substance. With the right casting (i.e. character) , message can be more easily heard. Of course we have message work to do as well; leave that aside for the moment.
If Kerry had the same personal history, minus the inherited wealth yet came from a Western state, think about how he could have been symbolically much more appealing to "alienated" middle of the road people who should otherwise be with us.
Truman is an interesting midwestern archetype and one that probably still fits. I don't think FDR fits us anymore as an archetype; Kerry proved that northeastern intellectual and (mostly) secular brahminism doesn't cut it anymore.
There are probably some new archetypes out there, too. I think we'll know it when we see it, for such a candidate will have the savvy to present it to us from the start.