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I don't have much to say, but I wanted to voice my fear that things are actually not going so well for Kerry, at least these last few days. It do think that if the election were held this instant, we'd win, but the election won't be held for a few months. What I've seen recently is the gradual buildup of hostile attacks, all of them spurious, dishonest, and disgusting, all of them propagated (and propagandaed) by the Falangist Media, and all of them potentially damaging. It's impossible to rebut them all, and the more publicity that Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" gets, the worse off we are.

What I'm getting at is that Kerry is on the verged of being Deaned. Even at the cusp of his momentum, the Falange is close to taking him down with the fire hose of shit they're unleashing. No matter how much we indulge in happy talk about today's polls, I don't think we're going to like next month's.

(Let me just say that I think Kerry is running a pretty damn good campaign. I don't have any suggestions; I'm just worried.)

Originally posted to Marshall on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 08:59 AM PDT.


Is Kerry in trouble?

23%28 votes
76%91 votes

| 119 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  For wat it's worth (none)
    With the usual caveats, Rasmussen has Kerry 48, Bush 45.  3 Days with a 3 point lead.  all within the MOE, but hey, I'll take it.

    Cheer up!  We're winning the war on terror!  We have turned a corner!  and it's morning in America all over again!

  •  Kerry will be in trouble until November 2 (4.00)
    because these guys will go pretty damn low.  And remember, they have the power- in a sense, if they are unscrupulous enough, they can use that power to shape the environment in which the election is held- and that's a LOT of power.  I am optimistic about Kerry- but he needs to know that until he wins, his neck is about one inch from the block.  We won't win this unless we have that mindset, I think- optimism is not something I want to bet the farm on, especially this year.

    "The quality of mercy is not strained. It driveth as the gentle rain on the place beneath."- Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice"

    by tubalefty on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:05:34 PM PDT

    •  You're right. (none)
      But we already KNOW the Republicans, we KNOW they will stop at nothing, we KNOW they are endlessly creative, so, even BEFORE we begin our race shouldn't we calculate all that into our plans? A good example of this is Kerry's hiring of lawyers to monitor the voting. Smart. We should just have this sort of thing for other areas of Rp attack as well.

      To know is to predict, and to predict sometimes to control.

      After all, if you can't beat them how the fuck are you going to beat the Russians, or whoever? It's a chess game.

      We just seem to relish saying: Look at how awful they are, and what they're doing to us,  that's not fair."

      There was a time when the Democratic axiom was: Don't get mad; get even."  Not today's democrats./

      Bush and his Dad as playing Oedipal Loop-De-Loop. (M. Dowd)

      by Lords on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 04:15:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree (none)
        you have to fight for it- that's what I'm saying.  Be aware of how nasty they are and fight them for it.  YEAARRGH!

        "The quality of mercy is not strained. It driveth as the gentle rain on the place beneath."- Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice"

        by tubalefty on Fri Aug 13, 2004 at 02:15:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My take (none)
    Is that he's had a couple of low-profile days, and his statement on the Iraq War Resolution for whatever reason did not silence the issue for him, but only intensified discussion of it so that he will almost certainly have to say more about it soon.

    But that doesn't mean he's in any trouble at all, only that his recent momentum has slowed a bit. The basic fundamentals of the race remain the same.

    "you may say I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one" - Lennon

    by eugene on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:05:48 PM PDT

  •  Have Faith... (none)
    ...Keep Fighting & Everything WIll Be Ok.
  •  I feel the same way (none)
    I'm actually an optimist.  I think we'll win, but the brutality of the dishonest attacks has been startling.  I hope that people can see bullshit when its served to them.

    Though there have been some knocks on Kerry recently remember there is a potential avalanche of hits waiting for Bush.  It really looks like the Plame Affair is gearing up, the CIA confirmation should be a doozy, we are nearing 1,000 combat deaths in Iraq, the economy may or may not be recovering.

    We'll see- Kerry is no Dukakis.

    •  Not a bit of that affects Bush. (none)
      We need to stop thinking that outside events or scandals are going to hurt Bush. Plame is low-level and has never been attached to Bush directly by the media. The media continues to lie about the economy and hide Iraq, aside from proclaiming our "victory" in Najaf today. The Democrats are (wisely) not fighting Goss' nomination, so that will be a non-event and probably a success for Bush.

      The media want to destroy Kerry and all other Democrats. This is just the start. They are going to make sure that Kerry suffers a far worse fate than Dukakis ever did. And people say "Kerry doesn't fight back!", but nothing he ever says is reported by the media anyway, unless they can spin it around to make him look bad. That's why Bush is on the rebound.

  •  August is going to be his worst month (4.00)
    Because it started on a high note and thus a return to normal looks like a downward trend -- and because he has no money to spend, while Bush can spend whatever he wants.

    Don't fret too much, not yet.  But keep fighting like we're ten points down.

  •  You have a point (4.00)
    and we (and Kerry) ignore it at our peril.  Bill Clinton on the Daily Show the other night hinted as much when he said that everytime they hit him, he relished being thrown in the briar patch, because it was a chance to hit back, and to turn the tables on them.  Although Kerry is skilled, he is not THAT skilled and these attacks, and the coverage they gain will hurt him.  

    Having said that, George Bush is doing his best to award Kerry the presidency by making stupid statements, screwing up the war  and touting the economy as good while we all watch it sputter and cough.  

    I agree that if things keep their current trajectory, Kerry is in trouble.  Two things:  Kerry MUST fight back, and not with big detailed speeches, but 2-3 second answers that both dispel the negatives and turn the equation around (If Bush had asked me that  'yes or no' question about the war, I'd have said, "Yes i'd vote for the AUTHORIZATION, and NO I wouldn't have rushed to war - now let me ask the president a yes or no question, do you support the Swift Boat Veterans for truth ad, and none of this wishy-washy talk of limiting all soft you support the content of that particular ad, yes or no?") And secondly, unfortunately Kerry is at the mercy of events by and large.  Another bad jobs report in September or October and Bush is down again.  More deaths in Iraq (1000 coming up...) and Bush is in trouble again.  Oil prices hurt the economy, Bush takes a hit - all of those things appear to be happening...overall Kerry must stay on the attack, be positive, rebut these charges and hope for bad luck for Bush...(or at least no good luck).

    The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. - Hubert H. Humphrey

    by PBJ Diddy on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:10:36 PM PDT

    •  Great approach (none)
      If Kerry doesn't respond in the way you suggest, or something along those lines, he'll suffer death by a thousand paper cuts - which is of course the Bush strategy, to weigh him down with so many frivolous attacks that he is caught in their morass.

      "you may say I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one" - Lennon

      by eugene on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:28:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Read (none)
    RonK's promoted diary from yesterday. It should help cheer you up a bit.

    Our work is by no means over. But remember that people now know what Bush is and that was our problem in 2000. People projected what they wanted on Bush back then and have gotten a nasty surprise. They will continue the nasty attacks and people will claim to be disgusted by them but Bush is still Bush and that is what it comes down to in the end.

    •  "I'm running" (none)
      Couple days back I saw a clip of Bush gripping the podium at some event as if he couldn't stand without leaning on it and he was shouting "I'm running because,  blah blah blah"  It was all about where he was going and I swear it sounded as if he had never occupied the White House.  He sounded like a challenger, used reformer in the speech.  Sure sounded like he was running from his record, not on it.


  •  I'm a little worried but ... (none)
    the republicans are VERY worried.

    There is no way to escape the current reality: these people play dirty and will do whatever it takes to try to stay in power.  

    One thing that kills me:  I keep hearing the sound byte of Kerry and 4 months in Vietnam.


    He was a swift boat commander for four months.  Everyone of us has to write, over and over again, four years in the navy, four years in the navy.  

  •  Kerry should Decry the Media and the Republicans (none)
    I think Kerry needs to come out hard and defend himself.

    Call Bush a Liar straight up for distroting his quote the other day about "Voting for the War"... Say he "Voted for a Coalition with UN Approval, But Bush Created a War"...

    Call the Media Cowards for Running the SBVfT ads a million times without bothering to check the facts.

    He needs to unleash. We need to fight fire with Fire.

    Dean was Deaned because he kept going forward. He tried to ignore it all. Then he slipped, just a bit, but by that point it was too late.  The FlipFlop thing is all they have any more. It's Dean's Anger Streak.

    When the pundits talk, and a Repuke is on the other side, and they say "Changes Positions Daily" they should shout over the Republican and spout off How We've Turned the Corner, Oh Wait, No We Havent!!!

    The Pundits are Weak. They were Weak for Dean. I hate to say it, but all the media does is talk any more. They make up our minds for us. And if our guys aren't going to serious stop with the Nice Smile soft spoken bullshit, then we're fucked.

    And I'm feeling the same way you are about being "deaned."

    $7 Trillion in Debt, 2.6 Million out of work, and they're worried about a few thousand gay marriage Licenses?

    by Steven R on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:13:15 PM PDT

  •  It's good to be a little worried (none)
    Complacency is the last thing we can afford.  Kerry should win handily, but I do not underestimate the Bush attack dogs' ability to undermine an election.  Kerry is doing solidly, but he just needs to stay in front of these attacks.  Make sure the public is aware of what is going on.

    It's sort of like watching a magician.  The magic is cool when you don't know the tricks, but as soon as you see how they do it the illusion falls apart.  We need to make sure people see the "tricks" the Bushies are using.  I wish McCain would speak up about how he was broadsided by Bush in 2000.

  •  Only (3.50)
    Only Howard Dean could be Deaned.

    The Brennan Center Report: Because New York State deserves democracy too!

    by NYCO on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:19:08 PM PDT

  •  If Bush does to Kerry what Kerry did to Dean... (none)
    He's in trouble.  But Bush would need a Gephardt to attack, too... and maybe a Sharpton and a Lieberman thrown in for good measure.

    No, Kerry should weather this just fine.  Remember how dead he was three weeks before Iowa.

  •  Johnny Sunshine? (none)
    Where is Edwards????
    •  They need to increase their visibility (none)
      I think they've taken a day or two off after the grueling train trip, which is a part of why we feel worried. If they come back refreshed and take the down time to see some new things about the campaign (like the need to respond to and overcome the Bush attacks) then we'll be on the right path.

      "you may say I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one" - Lennon

      by eugene on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:30:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh that fellow, he's at home til (none)
      Friday.  He went home Tuesday, late int he day.  They had brought him out of the south to re join the whistle stop tour for a few days, then he went home.  I gather Elizabeth went with him, but am not sure.

      I say again, split up campaign harder.  I assume they plan to post whistle stop PR

      It's a cartoon world run by people scarcely able to parse a grocery list. It's a pity...

      by Marisacat on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:36:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Johnny Sunshine (none)
        Is down at his house near Wilmington NC resting up for several days, getting ready for the craziest and nastiest final two months of a presidential campaign that any of us have ever seen.

        Remember the words of Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

        Another Hunter Thompson Deanocrat

        by Ed in Montana on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:45:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  August is the *beginning* of the (4.00)
    hard nasty push back, it will roll out day by day, the Repubs may be (and are) wretched fuck ups, but they know soft tissue and that bone muscle sinew arteries, etc lies behind it.  
    September will be bloody, October will be maniacal.  And it will not stop.  For three weeks there has been the low buzz (even before the convention) that the Dems "will win", they are beginning to believe it.  Bad news rising, that is when Democrats traditionally get lazy.
    One to watch.  The problem always was the long many months to election, if only election had been early summer.

    Nothing has changed about the Repubs and the Democrats should not hve been the least bit  surprised by the ferocity of the attacks, but they were.  Oh and craft a way to discuss that vote, it was 22 months ago.  Or hey, talk about the present war, in a way that the American people will listen.  Roll the war issues into the economy, they are linked, we can't tackle neglected (and who neglected them?) domestic issues and wage massive cost prohibitive matter who runs the country.

    Also split up more to campaign (I assume they will), I doubt they can cover enough ground post whistle train PR stops if they stay as two couples or as a foursome on many days.

    Good luck god speed.

    It's a cartoon world run by people scarcely able to parse a grocery list. It's a pity...

    by Marisacat on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:31:17 PM PDT

  •  Relax, breathe and (none)
    volunteer at to walk precincts in swing states.

    California Uber Alles

    by joeesha on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 01:31:34 PM PDT

  •  relax and watch CSPAN (none)
    I agree that you can clearly tell the level of Repub. worry by the recent negative assaults.  Seeds are planted, the media loves controversy and stories are given legs.  The expectations bar is so much higher for a Democratic candidate.  I just think the Kerry camp should use the Clinton '92 playbook and respond quickly and intelligently with truth and optimism.  Anyone remember how pathetic it was to see Bush Sr.'s last days on the campaign trail?  My suggestion is to turn off the cable news blather, which is preaching to the choir in most instances, switch on CSPAN and let the campaign run its course.  It's going to be close but it's a Democratic year and over 1,000 U.S. war dead is going to trump any other issue. (imo)
  •  asdf (none)
    I divide my circle this way:

    1.  People who have had their minds made up for the last four years.
    2.  People who have had their minds made up for the last year.
    3.  People--the smallest group--who are in the process of changing their minds.

    I personally don't know any undecideds.  I only know "persuadables" and most of them are having their heads smacked by the economy and the erosion of civil liberties into looking in Kerry's direction.  Kerry has just so much sound-bite time---what should he be talking about?  Vietnam? Iraq? Character?  Values?

    In the meantime, all my energy is going into just getting people to vote.  Just vote.

  •  Marshall (none)
    I agree with you & I share your concerns.

    I find it amazing just how many people are "relaxed." These attacks on Kerry are focused like a laser on one thing: showing that he is weak, wishy-washy and cannot be trusted to protect and derfent the US. In about a month they will begin to bear fruit.

    We hear about the attack, but we never hear of Kerry's response. That should never happen, they should be hitting right back . . . HARDER. I thought that the only Dem toi win two terms since FDR taught us how to fight the republicans with quick response teams. God knows why Kerry has opted not to employ this tactic.

    After he locked up the nomination and before the convention, we were all asking: WHERE ARE THE SURROGATES?  Well, the convention's over, this should be a perfectly oiled machine now, and we are still asking: WHERE ARE THE FUCKING SURROGATES?

    Does he not realize that he is representing us all? Does he think this is for him and his family? We have vested our faith, our hopes in him, so who gives him the right to fuck around with our dreams?  We expect him to fight for us, and he ain't fighting.

    Now, over the past few days a lot has been said here about the crowds he has attracted on his tour west. Maybe, he and his handlers may look out at the cheering crowds and think all is well, it's locked up.  Wrong.

    They feel the danger is past because it is not yet upon them.

    Bush and his Dad as playing Oedipal Loop-De-Loop. (M. Dowd)

    by Lords on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 04:00:05 PM PDT

    •  Surrogates (none)
      Thanks for agreeing with me (my ego is now one cubic cm more inflated). But I'd like to disagree a little with one thing in your post. It's not that Kerry isn't fighting back (well, maybe not enough). The problem is that the media is Falangist. They are a tool in the hands of the Republican party, pure and simple. They report the attacks, maybe they mention that Democrats counter-attack, but they act as if both are equally valid, that the truth is somewhere in between. That, and not the campaign's lack of activity, is Kerry's problem. And it's partially why I'm so worried: it's not like there's a clear strategy for us to follow to deal with the problem.

      As for surrogates, Howard Dean did well with the terror threat. The Republicans called him crazy, then the next day it came out that the terror threat information was years old. But I guess they don't want someone like Dean to attack the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth". Where's Max Cleland?

      "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality."

      by Marshall on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 04:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The media. (none)
        We all know what the media did to Gore. We also know, as you say, the media is  -- how did you put it? - Falangist. Should we be prepared then to lose another election because of the media?
        Hell no.  It's just one more obstacle to be overcome, and overcome it we must.

        They're not going to change, neither are they going to be fair, so it is up to Kerry to use his guile and native cunning, whatever it takes to overcome them.  
        No matter what, we must prevail. That's much better don't you think than being "righteously indignant" for another four years.

        Bush and his Dad as playing Oedipal Loop-De-Loop. (M. Dowd)

        by Lords on Thu Aug 12, 2004 at 05:00:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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