. . . Friday April 9, 2004

John Doe

If a politician runs for office and no one is there to hear it, then does it really matter? More to the point, in these anyone but Bush days of the Democratic party, does John Kerry matter enough? I mean aside from the fact that he defuses some of the issues that have been used in the past to discredit Dems (he is a war hero, he is tough, he is presidential), is he at the core of the emotions being felt by Democrats and their newly revitalized and more hopeful run to oust W from the Oval Office?

I’m not one of those who have argued that Kerry should have skipped the ski vacation and kept on keeping on the campaign trail. I also think he has played the 9-11 hearings the right way. Stay quiet. Let things play out. Don’t pile on. What I’m talking about here has nothing to do with any mistakes Kerry has made nor any actions he has failed to take. My concern is that when Democrats think about this election, they think of George W Bush. Not just first. But first, second and third.

The pundits will remind us that every presidential election featuring an incumbent will ultimately be an up or down vote on that incumbent. And there is little doubt that this election hinges on issues such as Iraq, the perception of W as a wartime president, and the state of economy. But to accept that these incumbent-headlined races are all about the guy in office seems to ignore recent history. Was the Bush 41 loss to Clinton really all about Bush? Clinton had a massive personality. He was a rockstar. Dems wanted to climb aboard that tour bus and take a ride from a place called Hope to a place call D.C. (OK, so we made an occasional stop along the way at a place called Hooters…).

This time around the only bus the Dems want to board is one that will run over George W Bush.

Concentration is important!