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This'll be an interesting political year: David Limbaugh on Dean's strategy options ^ | Wednesday, January 7, 2004 | David Limbaugh

Posted on 01/07/2004 12:12:49 AM PST by JohnHuang2

This'll be an interesting political year

Posted: January 7, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

It's inevitable that 2004 will be a particularly interesting year in politics – on both sides of the political aisle, but mostly on the Democratic side.

As of now, it appears the three most interesting players will be President Bush, obviously, Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton. Once Dean sews up the nomination, will he immediately veer to the center? How much further left will President Bush go on domestic policy? What will Hillary do, and what will she say, as she calculatingly positions herself for the 2008 run?

Think about it: 9-11 caused a paradigm shift in presidential politics. For the foreseeable future the driving issue will likely not be the economy, but national security and foreign policy. This works to the substantial disadvantage of the Democrats.

As congenital doves who are soft on national defense, they don't inspire confidence in these areas. But Republicans, and specifically George Bush, do. The public feels more secure under their leadership.

Compounding the Democrats' problem is that presidents are more relevant during wartime – and the public knows it. Their policies and actions as commander in chief have a major and potentially immediate impact on military and foreign affairs. On the other hand, while a president's domestic policies can greatly affect the economy – such as with Bush's tax cuts – they are much less frequent, and their results are generally less immediate. (How often during a presidential term do you have a major tax bill?)

And by the way, these aren't just problems the Democratic Party has with the anti-war Howard Dean, though they are worse if he's their nominee. It's been almost comical to watch the other eight candidates criticizing Dean for his anti-war stances when they barely have more credibility on national defense.

Just think of them as Dean light. None of them holds a candle to Bush here. None of them is enthusiastic about prosecuting this war -- they reserve their excitement for such specious concerns as whether Bush is involving enough nations in his decisions and whether he exaggerated reports of WMD. It's as if the other Democratic presidential contenders are saying, "Don't vote for Dean because he is utterly irresponsible on national security issues. Vote for us -- we are just marginally irresponsible." (Do you think one single international terrorist is rooting for Bush in 2004?)

But it will be interesting to see how much more strident Dean's desperate opponents will become in trying to derail him. And things will get even more fascinating once the conventions are over and the general election campaigning begins.

It will then be time for Howard Dean to say, "Now what?" "What do I do with all my Bush-haters? How do I continue to string them along as I endeavor to slither back into the land of rationality to position myself for at least, say, 40 percent of the popular vote?"

Not to worry. Deaniacs have nowhere else to go. So Dean can proceed to prove he's the centrist that his loopy supporters have been claiming he is all along. But how is he going to prove that? And how much is it going to help him if he does, especially considering that President Bush – regrettably, in my view – has veered center-left himself on so many domestic issues: education, prescription drugs, campaign-finance reform, etc.?

Dean will probably ignore the substance of the domestic issues, too, and focus on the negative, trying to work on the hate angle here as well, through class warfare and portraying Bush as a blue blood, cozy with big corporate corruption. (Can you imagine how bonkers these Bush haters would be if a true, domestic-policy conservative were in office right now?) Nevertheless, such phony populism will satisfy Dean's carnivorous Bush-haters and may have some chance of capturing swing voters.

While I never take elections for granted and realize any number of things can happen between now and November, I truly think this will remain George Bush's election to lose.

And as this year unfolds we should keep a sharp eye on Hillary Clinton, who is focused on her 2008 presidential bid. She's savvy enough to know that war issues are going to dominate through 2004 and probably 2008. Consequently, she has already been positioning herself as more hawkish and less military-loathing.

But the shrewd Hillary will also have the advantage of observing and learning from Dean's (or whichever Democratic nominee's) campaign experiments to see what plays well.

Yes, this will be an intensely interesting year.

TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004; davidlimbaugh; howarddean
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Quote of the Day by Kevin Curry

1 posted on 01/07/2004 12:12:49 AM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
Hillary is running in 2004. Without enduring a single primary race. How? Simple: She'll get 11% or more write-ins during the primaries. But that's only 11% you say. Add the 40% of the total that belongs to the Superdelegates at the Rat convention, and there you have it - 51% of the delegates now belong to The Ankle. She wins it with nothing ventured, and installs Clark as her running mate.

Any bets?

2 posted on 01/07/2004 12:34:52 AM PST by 11B3 (Democratic Socialists of America: 78 members in Congress. Treason? YES.)
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To: JohnHuang2
Deaniacs have nowhere else to go.

Not true, for two reasons:

1. Dean has already flat out told his supporters that if he doesn't get the nomination, he doesn't expect them to vote for a business-as-usual politician. Never mind that he back-pedaled on that; I'm sure all the leftists got the message.

2. Ralph Nader is thinking about running again. If he runs as a Green or an Indy, that's exactly where Dean's angry leftists will go if Dean turns too far back towards the center.

3 posted on 01/07/2004 1:08:01 AM PST by Brandon
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To: 11B3
Hundreds of the superdelegates have already declared for Dean. Hundreds more are likely to do so.

4 posted on 01/07/2004 5:07:42 AM PST by samtheman
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To: Lando Lincoln; Ben Hecks; dix; tubebender; Don Carlos; oprahstheantichrist; nutmeg; cyborg; ...
      Rush Ping!

Freepmail me if you would like on/off the Rush Pinglist!

Search for the latest Rush Limbaugh news on Free Republic.

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Limbaugh wins more time! (NEW)

Limbaugh takes off the gloves!

Limbaugh medical records ordered resealed!

ACLU Offers Help to Limbaugh

Rush addresses illegal immigration issues.(NEW)

David Limbaugh talks about Howard Dean.(NEW)


5 posted on 01/07/2004 10:32:01 AM PST by ConservativeMan55 (You know how those liberals are. Two's Company but three is a fundraiser.)
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To: ConservativeMan55
Poor Rush... LOL He's getting the irate amnesty callers today. This pales in comparison to the pain killers, Dean and Hitlery's 'Ghandi kwiki mart'
6 posted on 01/07/2004 10:34:29 AM PST by cyborg
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To: cyborg
I know. I'm listening to it. This caller that Rush has on now is trying to explain it to Rush, LOL!

As if Rush doesn't already have a handle on it.
7 posted on 01/07/2004 10:38:34 AM PST by ConservativeMan55 (You know how those liberals are. Two's Company but three is a fundraiser.)
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To: ConservativeMan55
8 posted on 01/07/2004 10:47:12 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.
Bumpity Bump Bump!
9 posted on 01/07/2004 10:51:00 AM PST by ConservativeMan55 (You know how those liberals are. Two's Company but three is a fundraiser.)
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To: ConservativeMan55
The democrats are sad ~ very sad!
10 posted on 01/07/2004 4:29:40 PM PST by blackie
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To: JohnHuang2
11 posted on 01/07/2004 8:37:16 PM PST by tubebender (Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see...)
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