The Voting Mango
All Presidential Politics from here till November
Friday, March 05, 2004
From the Department of ITD
Interestingly, my spam-blocker treats Kucinich mailings as spam. All the other candidates get through fine (except for Sharpton, who has never bothered to email me anything, despite my presence on his list of stalwart supporters. Granted, that list can't be long enough to count as spam -- any self-respecting spammer would spam at least a dozen people at a time...) but Kucinich gets blocked. Poor man, can't get votes, can't get delegates, has trouble getting time to speak in debates and now even the computers are out to get him. Then again, if he couldn't run as the underdog/media-conspiracy-out-to-get-me candidate, I don't know what he'd do.
From the Department of Requests
Abigail has requested that I blog on Howard Dean's Vermont victory, so here goes.
I feel, for the most part, that there's not too much to say about it. Dean merely suspended his campaign; he did not drop out of the race per se. The goal behind this is to retain his delegates, and therefore maintain some sense of power over the party at the convention. This would, in theory, guarantee him a prime speaking slot at the convention, and give him some say in the party's platform. That said, the number of delegates Dean has under his control are so negligible it won't really matter -- Kerry's not gonna have to suck up to Dean to get his delegates to get the nomination.
At this point, the one type of real power Dean has is also the one type that he can't use -- while he doesn't have many delegates, what he does have is a network of about 500,000 enthusiastic supporters, many of whom live in swing states, and who would very gladly vote for Nader just to punish the Dems. In fact, many of them would vote for Bush to punish the Dems, who they see as having knee-capped their man. If Dean really wants to blackmail the convention, he can threaten to withhold the Deaniacs, and if it's close, that could matter. That said, a stunt like that would virtually guarantee him persona non grata status. That's a Sharpton tactic, and I think Dean has enough shame and instinct towards self-preservation to resist that. He could, of course, go for the damning-with-faint-praise strategy, never enthusiastically (or at all) endorsing the nominee, and leaving the Deaniacs to put two and two together.
In any case, why did Dean win Vermont? Well, he was their governor for a good chunk of time, he was popular and sucessful, his views are fairly representative of Vermont, a good number of the Deaniacs still believe, and when it comes down to it, any qualms Vermonters may have had with him disappeared under the need to provide a solid, unified front of support of probably the most famous Vermonter since the VonTrapps. Its too bad he's stopped campaigning. Somebody needs to keep snarking at Kerry, and he was definately interesting. He wouldn't be a good president, but for entertainment value, he was definately the best candidate.
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