Monday, September 22, 2003
( 10:25 AM )
Much Ado About ...
There was a huge deal made this weekend about the latest Newsweek poll which showed Clark in the lead amongst Dem voters. However, what the reports failed to discuss were the changes from the last poll, which are more indicative about what's happening than anything else. The July results are in parenthesis:
Clark 14 (*)
Dean 12 (12)
Lieberman 12 (13)
Kerry 10 (10)
Gephardt 8 (14)
Sharpton 7 (6)
Edwards 6 (6)
Graham 4 (7)
Braun 2 (3)
Kucinich 2 (2)
Undecided 19 (23)
Clark seems to have taken a few of the undecides, but has taken none of Dean's or Kerry's bases. The poll also has a +/- of 3, making the three top numbers virtually equal. This poll also shows Lieberman still ahead of Kerry and Gephardt, which doesn't reflect the responses of the democratic base in more narrow polls or at the forum/debates.
The main point of the poll may have not been about the dems, but rather about Bush:
For the first time in a year, Bush’s approval for
his handling of the situation in Iraq has dropped
below 50 percent to 46 percent, a 5-point drop
from last week. Fifty-six percent of Americans say
they think the amount of money being spent in
Iraq is too high. And 57 percent of Americans now
disapprove of how Bush is handling the economy,
an increase of 6 points from only one week ago.
Considering that most voting Dems have committed to getting Bush out of office no matter who the Dem candidate turns out to be, this does not bode well for the GOP. Further, it looks like the White House and its foot soldiers are getting nervous. The entire weekend was plastered with news about a possible Hillary entrance again, this time with the added spice of Bill Clinton making some statement about how New Yorkers would forgive her for going back on her promise to stay in the Senate. This is the Hillary Red Herring again. It seems like the press, no matter who is ahead for the Dems, is unhappy because none of them create the scandalous ratings the media loves so much, so they continue to drag out the Hillary non-story every few weeks. (Besides the fact that Fox knows its viewers just froth at the mouth at the sound of her name).
They report on Dean only because they have to...but they try to ignore him because he's running an unprecedented campaign and the press doesn't know what to do with it. The press doesn't know how to handle a candidate that treats voters like they have brains and trusts them to use those brains on their own. It's easier for the press to deal with a president who considers us all to be nincompoops and treats us that way. And we are nincompoops if we let him get away with it. And the press continues to prove its nincompoop-ness.
An article in the Washington Post today proves the point:
Political strategists say that what began in
January as a quirky, long-shot Internet
strategy to attract online supporters to the
dark-horse candidate could revolutionize
presidential politics by minimizing the importance
of television media and empowering grass-roots
For the first time, there is a candidate whose campaign is made up of thousands of new activists, people who have never mobilized before, and voters who are actually excited and feel they can make a difference (the campaign, in a bid to raise $5 million in ten days has already raised 1/2 a million in the first day from over 5,000 people.) What I would most hate is not if Dean doesn't get the candidacy, but if this kind of campaign is not successful - it's this campaign that is important to the American people. It's our comeback, our way of taking the steering wheel back from the corporate interests that have so completely taken over our laws, our leaders and the way we live. It's personal now. We have to prove that We The People are the power in this country - and this campaign is our vehicle to do that.