The Voting Mango

All Presidential Politics from here till November

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


From the Department of St Jude, Patron Saint of Lost Causes

Howie, Wes, you lost. The American People do not want you to be their president. If they did, they would have voted for you. But they didn't. So drop out now, before you become pathetic. You're allowed to stay till Wisconsin, in fact, Howard, you should stay through Wisconsin. And then stop. If you do not win Wisconsin, you must stop. Please.

Incidentally, does it seem unethical to anyone else for candidates to continue raising money during the period between their doom and their withdrawl? Howard Dean has raised almost $1.4 million in the past week, from almost 20,000 people. Now, I know the Democrats generally think that money is better used by people other than those who earned it, but honestly -- if you're going to go on about making the finances of "ordinary Americans" (does anyone else find that insulting?) one way to do it would be to stop hosing them for money. It's like trying to sell deck chairs on the Titanic. I'm sure there are better ways to spend that money. Apparently the average contribution this time around is $77. Thats almost a month worth of tall lattes.

(UPDATE: Not long thereafter, Clark announced he was dropping out. Good -- now maybe we can get this man some proper psychiatric treatment.)
posted by mango  # 11:17 PM

From the Department of the Exceedingly Surreal

"It did not take Kaelynn Adams-Haack long to decide she wanted to support the re-election campaign of Representative Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin. The two met at a dinner party, talked for part of the evening and by the time Kaelynn left she had decided that she wanted to give the congresswoman a $1,000 contribution.

And she did — as soon as she checked with her parents. Then Kaelynn headed home to resume the life of a first grader: homework, chores and the usual fun and games.

"I knew not to give her too much and not to give her too little, so I gave her $1,000," said Kaelynn, who is now 8 and says she hopes to make more donations in the future."

-- From the New York Times

Excuse me? So a first-grader can just come hope and decide she wants to give $1000 to a campaign? What first-grader has any concept of how much money that is? And who in their right mind allows a child that young to make decisions about any amount of money over, say $10? I mean, it's nice that she decided to give it to something, not keep it, but still...
posted by mango  # 5:55 PM

From the Department of Tattered Documents

It seems that the White House has produced documents proving that in fact Bush did complete his required make-up National Guard service in Alabama, and did accrue 56 of the 50 service points required of him that year. Therefore, he was not AWOL, he did not desert, he was honorably discharged, and we can all go back to scratching ourselves.

Incidentally, kausfiles has some thoughts on this whole brouhaha, pointing out that by raising this contraversy now, it actually blunts the impact it could have in November, and really is just a ploy to make Kerry look better. He argues it much more convincingly than I just did. Go read it.

posted by mango  # 5:21 PM

From John Kerry's Department of Dirty Tricks

There are plenty of anecdotes, and I'll be posting more of them as I get around to it, but this one will suffice for now. From DailyKos:

"I just heard about the latest slimy maneuver, this time here in DC. Tonight was the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club Dinner. The group voted for their endorsement in the DC Caucus for this Saturday. While, yes, Dean supporters were the greatest collection (followed by Kusinich, as I understand), there was no clear majority, so the Club made no endorsement for the Caucus. Note, no one got it, so there was no one getting any gain out of this.

Then, after the dinner was over, the big whopping 20 Kerry supporters snuck back in after everyone left. Then a crony on the Board used an obscure by-law to reconviene and they voted the endorsement to Kerry."
posted by mango  # 5:15 PM

From the Department of We Don't Like Those Newfangled Blog Things

This article pretty much slams the Dean blog, and while I can't really blame it for that, it also knocks the whole blogosphere, which I take issue with. In a comment that reinforces my rantings this morning:

"The Dean campaign has one last Web gimmick up its sleeve before sliding beneath the waves. You can visit the website and "vote" for one of three unprepossessing ads it plans to run in Wisconsin. There is a larger theme here, best illustrated many years ago by a Russian newspaper's challenge to its readers to battle a chess grandmaster. The master moved, then the readers voted on the countermove. The majority was always wrong."


posted by mango  # 4:46 PM

From the Populism Police

John Kerry is hereby banned from pretending to be a populist. His rhetoric is all about redistributing wealth, except, of course his own. According to the New York Post, "In 1993, for instance, living on a senator's salary of about $100,000, he managed to give a total of $135 to charity. Yet that same year, he was somehow able to scrape together $8,600 for a brand-new, imported Italian motorcycle, a Ducati Paso 907 IE. "

Now, this is fine. It's his money to do with what he wants. That said, to then go around denouncing the millionaires, the corporations, the overprivileged... well, it sounds a little contrived coming from a man who's married two heiresses, is decended from the Forbes family, and once bought a $700,000ish yacht for cash.

Incidentally, John Edwards is almost as bad, except that he did, in fact, earn his money, even if it was through some huge lawsuits. It's fun to listen to him talk about his "two americas," one of the wealthy and one of the working. One of the privileged and one of the people. Which are you, John?

posted by mango  # 11:04 AM

From the Peanut Gallery

A comment on Dean's Blog for America:
"1st Timers,
Donate $5 or $10. Let's get the number of contributors up!
Howard is the most electable Democrat running. Karl Rove knows this, why don't other Democrats."

Okay, let's deconstruct this. First line, fine. Plea for money, normal. Exhortation to boost number of contributors, dumb. While it's nice to say you have lots of little saintly donors instead of a few big evil ones, in real practical terms, it means nothing. Final line, trouble. Now, I could be wrong here, but I've always felt that 'electable' referred to the ability to be elected, presumably in elections. As far as I can tell, based on the elections that have happened over the past few weeks, Dean is less electable than Kerry and Edwards, and I think Clark (I know he's got more delegates if you count superdelegates, but I don't for this analysis because they weren't determined by people electing) because less people have voted for him. Now, I don't know what this guy thinks Karl Rove's been smoking, but I'm fairly sure that Karl Rove is currently snickering as Dean implodes. Or weeping, because he thinks Bush could beat the pants of Dean if he ever had to try and spanking Dean seems more fun than, say, Lieberman. (Incidentally, "Spanking Al Sharpton" would be a good book title. And if he were ever to become a professional wrestler, he could be 'Spankin' Al Sharpton.')
(Originally posted on The Resplendent Mango)

posted by mango  # 10:47 AM

Dean, by the Numbers

"Organization on the ground is critical to winning Wisconsin, and every contribution helps:

$162 contribution pays for 1000 reminder calls to Wisconsin voters
$133 contribution pays for 1021 door-knockers to get Badger students out to vote
$73 contribution pays for food and lodging for a volunteer
$42 contribution rents a van to take volunteers and supporters to their primary location
Please contribute today.

The past five days have been extraordinary. Grassroots organizations drove second-place finishes in Maine, Michigan and Washington. Governor Dean picked up delegates in all three caucus states. He is second in the overall delegate count, and the only candidate besides Kerry to gain delegates this weekend."

I'm a little tired of grassroots-this and grassroots-that. Also "We represent the people, not the corporations." Who do they think make up the corporations? Who employs the people? And really, given that most of the people who run corporations have a) some training in economics b) experience in administration and leadership and c) a vested interest in having the economy strong, shouldn't their opinions count for something? I think I want a president who was endorsed by the Fortune 500 and the League of Small Businesses. Anyway, I digress. My point is, many of the campaigns, and especially Dean brag about being "people-powered" and outside of the circle of the Washington establishment. It's insane to me that Americans purportedly want someone who has very little experience with Washington, and no contact with the business world? Why is it somehow better for Howard Dean's "special interest" to be sign-waving yuppies? If we picked our surgeons the same way we picked our Presidents, we'd probably go for the taxidermists, on the grounds that they have related experience, but aren't tainted by actually having operated on people. And taxidermists who knew nurses, anesthesiologists, etc, would be highly suspect, because they might be tainted. Personally, I'd rather have a small number of informed, competent people making the decisions, and if they're powerful or rich, I won't hold it against them, than put things in the hands of the emotional masses. Socrates would be proud. Actually, I suppose the Framers agreed with me, hence Congress. It was a good theory.

posted by mango  # 10:44 AM

From the Department of Ain't That Sweet

It seems to me that of all of the campaigns going on at the moment, the most family-oriented or family-centered one is John Edwards. Aside from the aforementioned giveaway of his mom's peanutbutter pie recipe to donors, one nice feature they have is the Family Blog. Both Edwards and his wife Elizabeth write on it, and it's quite homey. John writes about his campaign stops and mentions his awful handwriting, Elizabeth polls the readers for Christmas ideas for John. It's sweet.

I know I shouldn't like Edwards. I don't agree with him. I know it's a bad idea. But as a candidate, he's very attractive. Like a guy you like who's a jerk and you know it but gosh he's cute...

posted by mango  # 12:16 AM


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