The International Writers Magazine: US Primaries with James
"REAL" SUPER TUESDAY HAMMERLOCK?
getting close to go-time. All that stands between George W. Bush
and a second term is John Forbes Kerry, another war-hero senator
from Massachusetts with the initials JFK.
Well see if any other (like victory) follows.
wins Maine, Virginia, Tenessee.
Has he got the whole thing wrapped up?
five of the seven states up for grabs on the "first" Super
Tuesday, including 128 delegates, as well as winning MIchigan, Maine
and Washington this weekend, (and now Virginia and Tenessee), Kerry
has cemented the complete support of the Democratic elite. This means
glowing endorsements, inside party dope, ever more press, an increasing
glut of ads, bloated national poll numbers, a gory slew of advisors,
and, most importantly, a shit load of money.
The wheels have already begun turning in the main offices of the DNC.
Nobody wants this thing to crawl on after a 2/17 Wisconsin primary,
the fractured Howard Dean camp is hanging its tattered hat on.
Certainly no one wants this hitting "actual" Super Tuesday
with ornery southern candidates, John Edwards and Wesley Clark (now
withdrawn from the race) mucking up the works claiming the 2/10 Tennessee/Virginia
voters will stem any tides. Indeed Kerry has now won 12 out of 14 state
Popular wisdom among prime politicos chipping away at a weakened incumbent
says a strong national candidate stomping freely through "either"
Super Tuesday with little opposition ammo is a recipe for success.
Wild talk of "we love the competition" is standard spin for
party management, but it is poison for November. Winning the White House
may eventually be a personality contest, but the machine that offers
up that personality prefers closure as quick as possible.
Heres what the Democratic Party biggies want to project asap:
"John Kerry is sweeping his way into your hearts, across the land,
in all conceivable geographical measures and dominating every demographic.
He is the clear choice to topple the evil and stupid George W. Bush
Problem with that is Edwards and Clark, each of whom gathered victories
in the other two states are not on board. But keeping a proverbial stiff
upper lip could merely get them a footrace to the vice presidency. As
far as the DNC is concerned, the grand plan is already in place.
Voters are window dressing for the rest of this charade.
But the other problem here is what I raucously refer to as the "Clinton
Back in 92, the Dems were gearing up to send a lamb to a George
Bush slaughter. Then comes Bill Clinton with little-to-no party power-base
support, left to twist in the wind as the press hammered away at every
leak and scandal. Clinton laughably thought he could actually unseat
a wildly popular president who had more or less just won a war against
Saddam Hussein. And somehow, someway, Clinton, (later citing a back
room deal with the Dark Lord), survived. He gained momentum, convinced
Ross Perot to stay in the race, and won the presidency by default.
More eerie coincidence?
The "Clinton Factor" beats hard in the hearts of Edwards and
Clark. Anyone who has been to this point in the fiasco can feel it.
Its a visceral beat, but a forceful thump-thump just the same.
Sadly, it used to beat for Howard Dean before he was forced to join
the netherworld of denial with Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich. Dean
is what the late great political seer, Carmella Martignetti used to
describe as "dead, but not knowing enough to lie down".
However, Edwards is a trial lawyer who has been in the politics business
for five minutes. What does he know about party solidarity and graceful
exits? Edwards has got a dump truck full of Clinton in him.
Hes good on the stump, an excellent orator with the ability to
connect in small groups and shine on television, and did I mention hes
a lawyer? Clinton was a lawyer. These guys take the art of the lie to
new and wonderful heights. Solid candidate material; but not so good
for backing down for the good of the cause.
Clark? Well hes a general. What does he know about politics? Politics
is the game of brutal subtleties wherein one knows when to take it on
the chin, dust it off, and politely bow for effect. This is a man who
never considered running for a school board until six months ago.
Hes army, boy. Green to the gills. Never surrender. A plant the
flag on terra banshee, and he wants to be president. He wants to fix
the world because Baby Bush has made mincemeat out of it. He aint
going quietly into that good night. Oh, and did I mention the generals
from Arkansas with solid backing from - yeah, you guessed it, the Clintons.
But thats just talk for the fun of speculation from columnists
forced to accept the truth: As long as the party is on board with a
powerhouse, the also-rans eat dust. Sad, but true. No eerie coincidences,
just miles of bad road.
Traditionalists like to cite the March 2 mass primary as the "real"
Super Tuesday. Of course, these are the same people who cling to the
idea that primaries should be run and finished in six weeks, not six
months, and the Democrats have already had enough face-time and money-spent
to capture the title of Czar.
If any of these other guys want a sliver of hope, its time to
whip out the nude photos or letters from hookers or betting slips or
the sworn testimony of drug-dealing Satanists. Unfortunately Kerry seems
clean. Hes not very controversial and he plays better from in
The question now is can Kerry defeat Captain Shoe-In this summer with
either a southern democrat or someone from the mid-west on the ticket.
The heavy money is coming in that the Dems will hit former Bush states,
Ohio, Tennessee, New Hampshire, try and not fuck up in Florida again,
and win a squeaker. This will all save the president from the growing
probability of the inevitable second-term disaster.
© James Campion Feb 8th 2004 (Feb 11th update)
Previously by James Campion on Hackwriters
Play - Mel Gibson's blockbuster
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