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He Lied. Get over it...
...and spring 2002 odds for 2004 .
©02 the media desk
The pundits and talking heads are griping about how W has either gone soft or reversed his campaign promises on issues from campaign finance reform to protectionist tariffs and some nonsense about energy policy that Doesn't involve Alaskan oil.
Something people from Rush Limbaugh (who was absolutely fawning over W during the 2000 campaign) to guys on Fox News and some Internet Writers have forgotten is...
W is a POLITICIAN.
By definition, he is a liar.
Bill the Lecher was (being convicted of perjury qualifies), Bush 41 was ('read my lips'), even Ronnie was (Iran Contra for starters).
W may not be running the Reaganesque Continuing Campaign. He is most certainly spending political capital left and right trying to bring the country back out of its post September Attack coma. In fact, the White House is blaming the Attacks for its 'about face' on many issues. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. For starters, what do the Attacks have to do with Canadian Plywood?
With the 2002 primaries upon us and the 2004 campaign season begun... like it or not Campaign 2004 is already underway: AlGore has shaved and eaten lunch in New Hampshire. Elizabeth Dole is making the rounds. Jesse Jackson is chasing TV trucks like lawyers chase ambulances. McCain said something stupid the other day. Exploratory Committees are renting DC post office boxes and drool can be seen on the ties of some Senators and Governors. ...we would expect W to be doing something besides kissing illegal Mexican immigrant's backsides and scaring the bejesus out of the far right by saying things most recently spouted off by Ralph Nader.
So what gives?
Is GW already planning on being a One Term Wonder?
So it would seem. Perhaps he will be content sitting on his ranch playing the elder statesman like 41 is starting to do. A role perfected by Nixon in his later years and currently being played on TV by Jimmy the C.
Well, obviously, the job, indeed, the GOP nomination is his to loose. Period.
But the way W is going, if there is a credible canidate from just to the right of W, he could be in a battle that may hurt his chances against a strong (read: anybody but AlGore) Democratic candidate.
Why 'anybody but AlGore'? Well, the Desk has caught whiffs that even the most hard core liberal Democrats had a bad taste in their mouth after that month long debacle called Election 2000. IF, and that the letters that make up that 'if' should be about six inches tall in some sort of Martha Stewart day-glow color... IF Al is the nominee, they might vote for him. But they'd rather not. And unless the war is over, they really don't want him in the center seat calling the shots against Saddam and his nuclear/chemical/biological weapons (yes, he has them).
The Odds- Spring 2002 for 2004.
- President George W Bush. As was said above, it is still his to loose. He is making the far right of the GOP uncomfortable, and has lost some credibility with his core of support just to the right of center in the party. Something else to consider, it is unlikely that Mr. Cheney is going to be the VP nominee again, his health probably won't allow it. So that opens up another whole can of worms. But the nomination is still W's to loose. No odds on that. November, right now, in the middle of the war, yeah, he could beat even a clean-shaven AlGore. But unless there is some light at the end of the Tora Bora tunnels and he gets his domestic policy train back on track, two and a half years from now, that might be a different story. General Election 04 odds- 3 -2 for re-up against Gore. 4 - 1 for against all other comers.
- AlGore. Believe it or no the 'Sorest Looser' is still the leading Dem in the field. There just ain't a whole lot of serious contenders out there with national exposure and their bags packed for the campaign trail. And ol' Al is on the stump. Supporting Democrats for 2002, testing the waters for 04, and raising money. Nomination odds just on Al himself: 3 - 1 for. General Election against W. Depends. War still on. 3 - 1 against. Peacetime: Even.
- The Senate: Here we have everybody from Bob Graham who has made noise that way to Lieberman who's been there done that, to Hillary, McCain, and more. Only McCain has openly made noise like a serious candidate, and he's barely a Republican so W really doesn't have to worry about him. Hillary shouldn't even be thinking about it until 06 for the 08 season. John Kerry, or Edwards may come out and try the primaries, but they don't have heavy enough national credentials right now. They'd have to start now to get their name recognition up enough to raise the money they'd need. That's not to say they won't do it, but it'd be a tough row to hoe with W's popularity still this high.
Then there is the perennial 'he might' crowd: Daschle, Biden, Kennedy, Hollings, Lugar, Specter... list them all under long long longshots, even Tom Daschle who has the best name recognition of all of them except Kennedy.
McCain: Nomination. Against W, war- no odds, peace- 4-1 against. General- vs AlGore- Even. All others 2 - 1.
Hillary: Nomination. Against AlGore, Even. Open field- 3-1 for. General. Versus W. 3 - 1 Against war or no. Anybody else, 3 - 2 for.
Everybody else: Nomination, the primaries can surprise you, but with this bunch, it's not real likely. The Pack. Nomination- 4 - 1 Against. General- 5 - 1 against.
- The House: Hey! Now we get to talk about Gephardt and Armey and Watts, oh my. Gephardt has made no bones about it, one of these days, he is going to try it. And, 2004 may be as good as any. In 2008 he might be facing Hillary and he knows there's no future there. So if he doesn't at least explore his options now, he may miss the bus since he's not getting any younger (he's 61 now). Dick Armey is looking for a new job (he's retiring from the House this year) and the Desk doesn't think he'll go back to teaching for long. But if he doesn't run this time around, he probably won't since he is a year older than Gephardt. Watch Convention for Dick for VP talk. JC Watts, mercy, Mr. Watts made quite the stir in 2000 as a Black Conservative Republican. Something that gives Jesse Jackson's crowd hives. He is well spoken and almost too intelligent for a politician. And he is young enough to make a couple more runs, and the Desk suspects he will be somebody's VP nominee in 2008 if not in 04.
Gephardt: Nomination. Versus AlGore 2 - 1 against, but just barely. General, vs W 4 - 1 against.
Armey: Uphill fight. Nomination for GOP against W, 5 - 1 against. VP Nomination, 3- 1 for.
Watts: GOP nomination: 5 - 1 Against. Odds of being VP Nominee to replace Cheney, 4 - 1 for.
The Pack: A lot of them may look, and a few may run in the Early Primaries just for the practice. But all they'll do is spend money and go home. Nomination, Either Party, 10 - 1 against and up.
- The Governors: This bunch includes Jesse Ventura and even Governor Ruthie. Gray Davis of California thinks he's on the same path as Reagan. None of them are a Reagan. Heck, none of this bunch is even a Clinton or a Carter. A couple of Governors may make a shot at it, including George Pataki, but the Republicans would be hesitant to run against W and the Democrats may not want to come out against AlGore. Is that a great loss to the Nation? ... hhhmmm.... Nope. Odds: Very Long against all of them.
- The Wanna-Be's and Has-Beens: Dan Quayle, Jackson, Al Sharpton, Colin Powell, Bill Bradley, Rudy Giuliani, Nader, and whoever else is out there. Call them the wild cards. Even Pat Buchannan may raise a stink again, it's about all he's got left. Quayle is still out there, and a Dan Quayle-AlGore race is the stuff dreams are made of to a political junkie like the Desk. Even just thinking about it makes the Desk break out in a sweat. But it is almost out of the picture on the odds chart. Jesse is a joke now, such a bad joke Al Sharpton has thrown his checkbook into the ring. All that will do is succeed in further fragmenting the black vote. Powell won't run against his boss, even if his almost crackpot concept of foreign policy gets him fired. Bradley is done, although his name still comes up on lists like this. Rudy has a lot of baggage to jettison before he gets back into politics, and two years may not be long enough to do it. Ralph Nader is still dangerous to your pocketbook, but that's about it. He's a kook who's time has passed.
Odds on the whole lot of them: Slim to none for 2004. Rudy in 08, Nomination: 5-3 against, he's a hero, but not a bankable national candidate.
- Bottom Line The 2004 is STILL W's to loose. And what he does between now and the General this fall (2002) will have a lot to say about how the next Congress looks and how the campaigns beginning in 2003 go. If W continues down this weirdo path and ends up looking like a Texas version of John McCain and being a Populist Republican, the Democrats could easily end up in firm control of both houses and W will be hurting come the spring of '04 to control the tone of the campaign.
Also, if the WAR and the Economy are still dragging on, this year's elections and most certainly the next Presidential Election could be a mess of recriminations and finger pointing. Face it, nobody does that kind of thing better than a Democrat. W may come up short in that contest.
We Shall See... we shall see.
[note- the media desk has never voted for a winning presidential candidate although it votes in every election. also the desk is registered as a 'independent conservative libertarian']
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