The Therapy Sessions
Monday, July 21, 2003
It’s Gonna Be Kerry, Dammit.
Let’s end all the suspense about the name of the Democratic nominee for president. The media has an interest in prolonging these things, making it look like it’s an open field. And it never is. Despite all the rhetoric and all the noise about Howard Dean, the backroom boys still control things in the major parties using superdelegates, and they are not not as dumb as many of the left-wing nut jobs who make up the most noisy portion of the Democratic faithful.
Forget about Sharpton, Moseley-Braun, and Kucinich. Gephardt is too boring, and Edwards doesn’t even look like he can hold on to his Senate seat, much less win the presidency. Graham is paranoid and strange. I think Lieberman is a decent guy, who was tarred by his unsavory flip-flopping during the 2000 race with Al Gore (there is also the uncomfortable question of whether a Jew on the top of the ticket could win in the Bible Belt).
Assuming no else jumps in, it’s going to come down to Kerry against Dean, and Kerry will win because the Democrats are smarter than they get credit for. Dean is a foreign policy lightweight and in the post-911 world, that's never going to fly. If the Democrats really want win (and I think they do), they’ll pick Kerry. I predict that after this summer of Dean rapture, they will come to their senses and begin to get serious about Kerry.
He’s not without his warts. But he also has advantages.
First, he is a Massachusetts liberal: pro gun control, anti-death penalty (a hard sell in the South and West). But he is avid hunter and a decorated war veteran (he is credited with charging his boat, guns ablaze, toward a key defensive position and sending the VietCong into retreat).
Second, he comes off as haughty, but he has access to loads of money.
Third, he is passes for a hawk in Democratic circles. The Democrats idolize Kennedy, but they forget that Kennedy was a diehard cold warrior: he was more interventionist than Eisenhower, and he believed that this country had an important role upholding freedom.
Kerry voted for the Iraq war, though he has flip-flopped lately. This doesn’t impress people with brains who value consistency, but he is trying to impress the hippies, so the brain issue might not be a problem.
My money and my hopes are still with Bush. For whatever blemishes stain his domestic policy, his foreign policy has been logical and methodical. He has moved us into a good strategic position, against the wishes of much of the world.
But if the economy worsens, and if Americans do not understand our tremendous strategic leverage that we earned in Iraq , then Kerry might very well be president.
It could happen.