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The Longest Now

Presidential Candidates
Sunday August 17th 2003, 3:51 pm
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Kucinich (“koo-syn-itch“):  Young, honest, populist; a hero.  Well-loved mayor of Cleveland, then an Ohio senator to this day.  A good and original writer; he can write passionately every day about new subjects.  Apparently not interested in short-term gain; well-considered 100-year vision; excellent understanding of community, patriotism.  Intense advocate for peace; unwilling to express anger at anyone (cf. the remarkable Q&A 54:00 minutes into this CSPAN video stream).  May not know how to deal with our violent world.  Is this his time?  Details to come.

Dean (“deen”):  Energetic, populist. Well-loved governor of Vermont for many years.  Riding a wave of public interest and support, fueled in part by his outspoken attacks against Bush, which made him seem the Democratic favorite in August even though he was not yet tops in the polls.  Extensive grassroots support, through young, hip staff, and their embracing of inexpensive online networking.  Has been discussing international policy with Clark.

Bush (“bhush”):  Clear monetary front-runner, slight popular front-runner as of August.  Has fewer campaign workers with their own blogs, but a fancy ‘grassroots action’ site. Copycat Bush sites abound.

Kerry (“keh-ree”):  Experienced, institutional.  Decorated Vietnam vet and veteran campaigner.  Popular Massachusetts senator.  Early favorite; seemed at first to be the best-positioned candidate to attack Bush’s position on war in Iraq, due to his combat experience.  Famously afraid of appearing on ninedwarfs.  Some complaints and defection from campaign staffers.  Directly competing (grassroots, young staff, focus on Bush’s war stance, personal inter-campaign attacks) with Dean from the get-go, but slipping on all fronts by 8/03.

Gephardt (“gep-hart”):  Famous elder statesman.  Respected Missouri Representative, party leader in the House.  Long admired as a leader within the Democratic Party.  Leading in initial Iowa polls.

Edwards (“ed-wurdz”):  Young, handsome.  Some critical acclaim among political insiders.  Recent national statesman, as a popular North Carolina senator (1st term).  Raised quite a bit in contributions in ’03, not so respected in the polls in August.

Lieberman (“lee-b’r-mun”):  Famously conservative.  Widely respected Connecticut senator, known nationally as the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2000.  Still the best-known name in the current race, but hadn’t raised too much in contributions by August. 

Gore/Clinton/Clark (“gohr-klihn-tun-klark”):  Famous public figures, and mutual friends, each with a body of supporters encouraging them to enter the race.  None had declared candidacy by August 15. 

  • Gore is best known for winning the popular vote for president in 2000, after two terms as vice-president and two terms as Tennessee senator; he retains a devoted following who hope to strongarm him into running with write-ins.  Positioned to be the firebrand of the party.
  • Clinton is best known as former first lady, and currrently a popular New York senator.  She has massive support within her party and from women across the country, and would apparently be wicked popular if she were to enter the race.
  • Clark is best known for his political commentary, and for his book on overseeing Kosovo as SACEUR.  The “Draft Clark” movement has bipartisan support.  Recently spotted chatting with Dean.  To announce plans for running by Sept 4.  Details.

Graham/Sharpton/MoseleyBraun (“gra-yum-shahrp-tun-mho-zlee-broun”):  Minority candidates, all long-term politicians, two of them minorities. Graham is Florida’s senior Senator.  Some members of this trio outpoll more sincerely hopeful candidates such as Kucinich and Edwards.


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