Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Tea Leaves

As of today:

  • John Kerry wins Wisconsin, but it’s not a landslide (beating Edwards by six points), and all of a sudden it’s a “real race,” according to the breathless punditry and Larry King.
  • William Safire, in his fevered imagination, sees a brokered convention (and probably still has a johnson for Hillary to jump into the race).
  • Dean goes back to Vermont, vowing to keep going and promising an “event” on Wednesday.
  • Ben Chandler wins in Kentucky, beating the White House money machine.
  • What does it all mean? John Edwards shows that he appeals to independents in a Midwestern state, which should polish up his veep credentials, and Kerry learns a valuable lesson about chicken-counting. Dr. Dean will probably “suspend” his campaign, which is like when a network puts a show on “hiatus” – not really cancelled, but the cast and crew had better call their agents. If Dean does suspend his campaign, who will he support? Probably Edwards; it’s no secret that there’s little affection between Kerry and Dean, and at this stage of the game it’s getting personal. I just hope it’s all done with class, which I know Dr. Dean has shown throughout his race.

    Safire sees conspiracy and back-room dealing everywhere. Not surprising for someone who made his breakthrough writing speeches for Nixon and Agnew.

    As for the Chandler win in Kentucky, it could either be a harbinger of things to come…the turning tide, etc. Or it could be that he was a well-liked and admired candidate who ran not on large national issues but on looking out for the people of his district. Tip O’Neill was right.