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January 26, 2005

RE: How and Where the Democrats Went Wrong [Dave at Garfield Ridge]

Zelda--

Excellent post, but I disagree a wee bit on one point of yours. Rather than comment to your post, I figure I'll use my Super Posting Power! to enlarge the scope of this discussion to involve all us guest bloggers.

Because, let's be honest, everybody has their opinion on why the Dems screwed this one up.

I don't think Senator Kerry moved any farther to the Left this year. At least not in the general election, where necessity demands all candidates move at least somewhat towards the Center. Granted, when compared to Clinton's campaigns (especially 1996), Kerry's was certainly further to the left, but when compared to most every other Democratic campaign in the past thirty years, Kerry's was no more Left than normal.

Then again, no Democrat other than Clinton has won recently, so perhaps that's the problem, eh?

I think what ultimately motivated many undecideds to vote against Senator Kerry was a conclusion that they couldn't tell which side of the spectrum Kerry would lead from: the campaign-spun Center, or more to the far Left.

If anything, Kerry's fault wasn't that he moved to far to the Left-- it was that he was already Left, but didn't move far enough (or effectively enough) to the Center.

Given the flip-flopping charges early on, Kerry already had a natural handicap working against him in trying to move towards the Center.

As a result, few believed Senator Kerry when he pushed his "new" nuanced Centrist positions-- not the skeptical undecideds, and not the diehard Left who fondly remembered, with a wink and a nudge, the unapologetically liberal Kerry. Overcoming this confusion ultimately turned out to be an impossible task for the Kerry Campaign.

Heck, given Kerry's flawed campaign, if it weren't for the "Anybody But Bush" vote, the election may not even have been close.

Then again, whadda I know? I voted Matt Hooker for President.

-- Dave at Garfield Ridge


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posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

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