Tuesday, November 15, 2005

23 + 5 = Dean or Kerry

Tagged by Truffles on the latest blogger meme, enjoyable if only for its abject randomness...

The instructions:
1) Go into your archive.
2) Find your 23rd post.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5) Tag five people to do the same.

Considering that Ahab's true blogging started at the dream site as an online continuation of Hofbrau-inspired conversation on the state of the '04 American Presidential race, this one's eerily appropriate. I actually posted #23 a day after arriving at Oxford, "Imagining a Dean Candidacy", in response to an article written by Peter Beinhart.

The 5th sentence hones in directly on the core of the debate: "Would Dean have made a better candidate than Kerry?"

Some context: Back in November 2002, Cooper and I met up for a holiday in Europe - two weekends in England bookending a magical three day visit to Gaudi's Barcelona. At that time, Kerry was the presumptive nominee and we both considered him extremely flawed. It was on that first weekend that Tim mentioned the intriguing potential candidacy of the Vermont Governor. You could say we were especially early on that bandwagon.

We followed Dean's rise from his extraordinary March 15, 2003 speech to California Democrats ("What I Want to Know") to his emergence as the favorite. I discovered the blogging phenomenon via that campaign and actually took a week off to campaign for him out of Concord in the New Hampshire primary. The greatest political experience thus far, without doubt. What stories - from listening to Martin Sheen speak in Bartlett, NH, to dropping DVDs and Videotapes door-to-door for undecideds two days before the vote. The emergence of the uninspiring Kerry was disheartening back then, even as a Dean victory post-Scream was almost unimaginable.

So, in retrospect, would Dean have made a better candidate than Kerry? I think my analysis back in September '04 (when a Bush re-election was far from certain) holds up fairly well, as does Cooper's the following day. Though It certainly would have been a more enjoyable head-to-head matchup. Alas. I still wear my Dean for America shirt with pride. At least the 2006 midterms present a very real opportunity for the Democrats (and their Chairman) to reverse the tide.

Whew. That took longer than expected. On to the tagging process - Who hasn't been hit? Who even reads this thing? Who knows? Let's start with these three:

(1) Liam O'Brien at Responsible Government League

(2) Mike Lindsay at The View from Spires (partly since he has an alternative explanation for the rise of Dean that I don't accept - the Governor's rise from an asterix to frontrunner was simply not media driven, but attributable to a legion of Democratic primary voters who wanted someone to stand up to Bush. He filled a void left vacant by Lieberman, Kerry, Edwards, and Gephardt)

(3) Shari at Lefthanded Catastrophe


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