John Kerry Takes Control

Aquarian Weekly 2/11/04 REALITY CHECK


John Edwards Fights OnIt’s getting close to go-time.

All that stands between George W. Bush and a second term is John Forbes Kerry, another war-hero senator from Massachusetts with the initials JFK.

Eerie coincidence?

We’ll see if any other (like victory) follows.

After capturing five of the seven states up for grabs on the “first” Super Tuesday, including 128 delegates, with sunny prospects for Michigan and Washington on 2/7, Kerry has cemented the complete support of the Democratic elite. This means glowing endorsements, inside party dope, ever more press, an increasing glut of ads, bloated national poll numbers, a gory slew of advisors, and, most importantly, a shit load of money.

The wheels have already begun turning in the main offices of the DNC. Nobody wants this thing to crawl on after a 2/17 Wisconsin primary the fractured Howard Dean camp is hanging its tattered hat on. Certainly no one wants this hitting “actual” Super Tuesday with ornery southern candidates, John Edwards and Wesley Clark mucking up the works claiming the 2/10 Tennessee/Virginia voters will stem any tides.

Popular wisdom among prime politicos chipping away at a weakened incumbent says a strong national candidate stomping freely through “either” Super Tuesday with little opposition ammo is a recipe for success. Wild talk of “we love the competition” is standard spin for party management, but it is poison for November. Winning the White House may eventually be a personality contest, but the machine that offers up that personality prefers closure as quick as possible.

Here’s what the Democratic Party biggies want to project asap: “John Kerry is sweeping his way into your hearts, across the land, in all conceivable geographical measures and dominating every demographic. He is the clear choice to topple the evil and stupid George W. Bush regime.”

Winning the White House may eventually be a personality contest, but the machine that offers up that personality prefers closure as quick as possible.

Problem with that is Edwards and Clark, each of whom gathered victories in the other two states are not on board. But keeping a proverbial stiff upper lip could merely get them a footrace to the vice presidency. As far as the DNC is concerned, the grand plan is already in place. Voters are window dressing for the rest of this charade.

But the other problem here is what I raucously refer to as the “Clinton Factor”.

Back in ’92, the Dems were gearing up to send a lamb to a George Bush slaughter. Then comes Bill Clinton with little-to-no party power-base support, left to twist in the wind as the press hammered away at every leak and scandal. Clinton laughably thought he could actually unseat a wildly popular president who had more or less just won a war against Saddam Hussein. And somehow, someway, Clinton, (later citing a back room deal with the Dark Lord), survived. He gained momentum, convinced Ross Perot to stay in the race, and won the presidency by default.

More eerie coincidence?

The “Clinton Factor” beats hard in the hearts of Edwards and Clark. Anyone who has been to this point in the fiasco can feel it. It’s a visceral beat, but a forceful thump-thump just the same. Sadly, it used to beat for Howard Dean before he was forced to join the netherworld of denial with Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich. Dean is what the late great political seer, Carmella Martignetti used to describe as “dead, but not knowing enough to lie down”.

However, Edwards is a trial lawyer who has been in the politics business for five minutes. What does he know about party solidarity and graceful exits? Edwards has got a dump truck full of Clinton in him. He’s good on the stump, an excellent orator with the ability to connect in small groups and shine on television, and did I mention he’s a lawyer? Clinton was a lawyer. These guys take the art of the lie to new and wonderful heights. Solid candidate material; but not so good for backing down for the good of the cause.

Clark? Well he’s a general. What does he know about politics? Politics is the game of brutal subtleties wherein one knows when to take it on the chin, dust it off, and politely bow for effect. This is a man who never considered running for a school board until six months ago. He’s army, boy. Green to the gills. Never surrender. A plant the flag on terra banshee, and he wants to be president. He wants to fix the world because Baby Bush has made mincemeat out of it. He ain’t going quietly into that good night. Oh, and did I mention the general’s from Arkansas with solid backing from – yeah, you guessed it, the Clintons.

But that’s just talk for the fun of speculation from columnists forced to accept the truth: As long as the party is on board with a powerhouse, the also-rans eat dust. Sad, but true. No eerie coincidences, just miles of bad road.

Traditionalists like to cite the March 2 mass primary as the “real” Super Tuesday. Of course, these are the same people who cling to the idea that primaries should be run and finished in six weeks, not six months, and the Democrats have already had enough face-time and money-spent to capture the title of Czar.

If any of these other guys want a sliver of hope, it’s time to whip out the nude photos or letters from hookers or betting slips or the sworn testimony of drug-dealing Satanists. Unfortunately Kerry seems clean. He’s not very controversial and he plays better from in front.

The question now is can Kerry defeat Captain Shoo-In this summer with either a southern democrat or someone from the mid-west on the ticket. The heavy money is coming in that the Dems will hit former Bush states, Ohio, Tennessee, New Hampshire, try and not fuck up in Florida again, and win a squeaker. This will all save the president from the growing probability of the inevitable second-term disaster.

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