The Meaning Of Last Night’s Iowa Caucus.

Because I spent so much time supporting Bush since 9/11, you might think it strange that I am supporting these Democrats. Don't.

Howard Dean didn’t fare too well in Iowa last night, but neither did President George W Bush.

A few months ago, I thought that Bush was somewhat vulnerable, but still enjoyed a significant edge on his Democratic rivals. But not anymore.

I have never seen a leadership campaign anywhere, where so many of the candidates were of such enormous quality.

I wouldn’t vote for Dean because he is too far to the left for my taste. He almost seems to be anti-American. But he does have a message that resonates loud and clear with a great many voters.

Dean is the real deal. He is legitimately angry and not contrived by spin doctors. This is refreshing. It is his passion for social issues such as medicare and education that rings loud and true in the richest and most powerful country in the world. Yet, a country that is light years behind other Western style democracies such as Canada, when it comes to universally accessible FREE healthcare.

I don’t think Lieberman will win, but he too has a message worth hearing. And unlike Dean, I would vote for him. He has experience, integrity, a good track record and competence. He could run against Bush and possibly score an upset.

Senator Kerry has just confounded everyone with his enormous comeback in Iowa, and it was no fluke. Like Lieberman, Kerry has all the qualities needed to occupy the White House. But unlike Lieberman, Kerry could go ballot for ballot with Bush and beat him fair and square. It wouldn’t be an upset.

General Clark, a bonafide American war hero (like Kerry) and proven Supreme Commander of NATO troops in the Balkans has everything it takes to run a successful campaign against George W Bush. He is bright, articulate, well organized, good looking in front of the cameras and focussed. He is also the ultimate political outsider. He is one to watch. I would vote for him.

Senator Edwards. Here comes a nobody with seemingly no chance in hell to keep up with the pack, least of all win, and all of a sudden everyone knows his name. He is a great looking guy, young, positive, full of energy, and he has a clear message for the Democratic party members and the voting public. He could really do it. I would vote for Edwards as well.

Now that Dick Gephardt has stepped down after his unexpected disappointing finish in the Iowa Caucus, all the dynamics change. I heard Gephardt deliver his concession speech live. He was brilliant.

It’s almost unimaginable to me that a person with Gephardt’s experience, great record, great ability to communicate, and great platform couldn’t do better against the field of candidates he was facing.

But this doesn’t say anything negative about Gephardt. It screams volumes about the Democratic field. Had Gephardt won the nomination, and if I was an American with the right to vote. I would have voted for him.

What does that say about what George W Bush will have to face in the upcoming election?

The Democrats have at least 5½ candidates who are Presidential material, and one already had to step down.

This brutal Democratic campaign is a no holds barred street fight. And whoever survives this torturous ordeal will be so well prepared and battle hardened, nothing the Bush team can throw at him will make a dent. But that will not be the same for the President.

Because I spent so much time supporting Bush since 9/11, you might think it strange that I am supporting these Democrats. Don’t.

Before 9/11, I was not a fan of George W. Just check my ARCHIVES. After 9/11, I was a fan. I liked the fact that George W Bush kept the American people and the world together during America’s worst homeland crisis since the Civil War. And I also like the fact that he told the UN where to get off. But that’s it.

Bush doesn’t make speeches. He doesn’t talk off the cuff. And he doesn’t give unscripted interviews. This is not leadership.

I like the fact that Bush has some very competent people around him. But none of them are the President, yet, they individually seem to make Presidential decisions. I really don’t like Dick Cheney. And most of all, I don’t like that he is the invisible force.

Leaders of Democratic countries, including Vice Presidents must be visible.

Then there’s the war. What war?

The USA fought and won their wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq respectfully. What America is up to now is occupation, not war. I think the American people are getting sick and tired of hearing about the war. And by the time November rolls around the war is going to be an enormous political liability.

There is indeed a war on TERRORISM. But this isn’t anything new. TERRORISTS have been at war against modernity for a very long time. And unlike a conventional war, this one does not need conventional troops.

I support what the President did in whacking Iraq, but I don’t support the occupation. The USA is not going to bring democracy to the Middle East. And they are not going to convince the Arabs (Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds) to live in peace with one another.

All the Americans will achieve in occupying the Middle East will be nothing. Americans will continue to die and bleed in Iraq virtually everyday. And one day, perhaps soon, the Iraqi Shiites with a little help from their Iranian cousins will declare a Holy war on the American Infidels. When this happens, the USA will either have to fight like never before, or cut and run.

Neither prospect is good.

Everyday that American troops die in Iraq is another bad day for President Bush. And bad days become accumulative.

Then there’s the economy. Wall Street’s made it back. But the people haven’t. Americans are in debt up to their ears. There will be record corporate and personal bankruptcies between now and the November election. And Bush will be holding the bag.

When the Democrats finally choose who will be going toe to toe against Bush, it will be a mano a mano battle. Bush won’t have Carl Rowe whispering in his ear. And if he does, it will not be a good thing.

The American people want to communicate with their President. Ronald Reagan: love him or hate, knew how to speak and connect with the people. Bill Clinton was the people. While at the same time, George Herbert Walker Bush came off a plus 90% approval rating after the first Gulf War, and then promptly got his ass kicked by Clinton.

I am quite confident the same might be true in November of 2004.

George W Bush just can’t connect. He doesn’t seem to have a platform that will resonate with the people, while all of the Democratic candidates do.

What Bush should be doing right now, is getting out there. He should be giving non scripted interviews and speeches that he wrote; and not someone else. But, I don’t think that’s in him.

Regrettably, I am of the opinion that President George W Bush is only as good as his spin doctors make him out to be.

The good news for America though, gets better. If a Democrat wins the White House in 2004 as I predict, it will mean Hillary won’t run in 2008, and probably never. Now that’s worth something.

My pick for the successful Democratic Candidate to face-off with Bush is Senator John Kerry. Don’t laugh. I picked an Arkansas governor a few years back before anyone even knew his name.

1 Comment

  • Howard: It’s very apparent that you have thoroughly and carefully weighed out your decision to NOT run for Office in that you have set your PRIORITIES. Your decision was FAR from being a “SELFISH ONE”…….it was a COMMON SENSE decision! In my opinion, your #2 reason is the one which made the most sense to me. You’ve had the “freedom” to “reach out” to the people and have been quite successful in “delivering your message” through your other activities. You must be so relieved! Good Luck!

    PAULINE M DEMERS, Woonsocket, RI - USA

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