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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Democrats’ Primary Strategy

Mar 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Whether the Democratic National Committee’s decision to schedule frequent debates over the long run-up to a front-loaded primary calendar, leaving lots of time for fund-raising for a single Dem candidate, proves a winner will not be known until November. But “the caucuses created an electable front-runner” in Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. And the process that feels like a marathon to some is being called by other observers “the best thing for the Democratic Party” because “ever since the Democrats have been at the center stage, Bush’s poll numbers have gone down.” Among the key factors: the chief Deaniac (“To Howard Dean’s credit, he defined this campaign. He did give those guys a backbone. He was the first one to detect the raw hate” among voters), the never-ending debates (“They became so rote. The DNC has probably lived to regret that”), former Vice President Al Gore’s premature backing of Gov. Dean (“Put Gore down as a disaster,” he “has no clout”) and the dim light appearing at the end of the primaries tunnel (“We won’t have a race to cover for a period of time,” so “the party is over soon and we’re going to be scraping by”). And dollars to donuts, Gov. Dean will be remembered for proving that big money can be made in small amounts (“Next time around, everyone is going to have a sophisticated Internet campaign. In some ways it replaces direct mail”).