There's another very pervasive piece of conventional wisdom that I'm sceptical of, namely that the greater number of conservatives v. liberals tells us something important about the makeup of the US electorate.
The reason I doubt this is that I once came across a poll where they asked if you considered yourself leftwing or rightwing and suddenly there was parity.
Left-right parity seems to gel with what you can see from polls on people's opinions on issues, and more sophisticated attempts at political typology, as well as voting results obviously.
So maybe people just don't like the word "liberal"?
Also, it would seem that quite significant numbers of people don't know what conservative and liberal means (see that New Yorker article everyone blogged about last year.) Since liberal and conservative has many different meanings other than the convention pundit/pollster use of the word, it would make sense if it was less confusion about left or right.
Why would Kerry have any particular interest in Iowa being first in the nation? It's great for come-from behind candidates as we saw this year and in '76. A national primary, if that's the alternative, would be better for early frontrunners and people with name recognition.
While it gave him the nomination this year, Iowa, as opposed to NH, wouldn't necessarily be favorable ground for Kerry, depending on the competition. It's rural and midwestern. It might give him an edge against southern candidates, tho not necessarily Edwards.
I never heard anyone else describe Vilsack as Kerry's candidate.
Kerry probably have a more favorable opinion of Dean than the more dlc-ish Clinton, Richardson, Edwards, Bredesen. They allegedly like each other nowadays. He might prefer Vilsack to Rosenberrg I suppose. I'd guess he's ABI - anyone but Ickes.
That's a whole lot of disagreements. I realize Jerome probably has forgotten more about US politics than I know. :) I agree Vilsack would likely be a poor choice.