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January 16, 2004

Kerry Comeback?

Kerry is actually leading in Iowa in some polls.

This actually makes me happy, since I've always liked Kerry best as a person-- more than Dean in fact, since I greatly admire Kerry's history of leadership of the antiwar movement and his relentless pursuit of Reagan-CIA malfeasance in Central America in the 1980s.

Kerry's just run a lousy campaign, and there is truth that lousy judgement in picking campaign aides can also mean picking lousy administration officials. I'm still with Dean for the nomination, since I think his CAMPAIGN reflects both the best chance to defeat Bush and the better administration reflecting the grassroots of the party.

But if anyone is my choice to emerge as the "anti-Dean", it's definitely Kerry. I'm hoping a boost out of Iowa will deflate the New Hamphire Clark boomlet.

And despite the wisdom that Kerry's numbers can't hold up in Iowa, since organization will beat general popularity, in a heavily divided race, the odd caucus system means that votes will shift based on strategic decisions and second-choices.

And Kerry has always maintained a status as many peoples' second choice. So Kerry does have the potential for a surprise in Iowa. And if he somehow miraculously pulls off the nomination, he will be a much better candidate for being kicked off his complacent safe original "front-runner" strategy and being forced to desperately work for it.

I'd still put the money on Dean to pull it out in the end, but it is fun to have a nail-biter in Iowa.

Update: Kevin Drum is dreaming of a brokered convention. I would not bet my home on Dean clinching the nomination but I would on there being almost zero chance of a brokered convention. The momentum of the race invariably begins cutting down the race to a few candidates. Given the financial problems of running a race, once any major candidate loses hope of winning the nomination, they have to drop out and invariably begin cutting deals, both for influence and for help in paying off their debt.

Unless Gephardt's organization pulls off a big win, even a close victory by him means he's essentially out of the race given he has no money to move onwards without a major boost. I thought this was going to narrow quickly to Dean versus Clark, but a victory or close second by Kerry could allow Kerry to surge past Clark in New Hampshire, so that may create a bit of skirmishing over which one of them gets to be the "anti-Dean." But I'm still betting this race is over by March 2, if not before.

Posted by Nathan at January 16, 2004 07:59 AM