Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The sharks are starting to feed on themselves:
For example, Peggy Noonan, the Reagan speechwriter, had this to say on Sunday in opinionjournal.com about Mr. Bush's "Meet the Press" interview: "The president seemed tired, unsure and often bumbling. His answers were repetitive, and when he tried to clarify them he tended to make them worse."

George Will, the conservative columnist, wrote in his syndicated column on Sunday, "It is surreal for a Republican president to submit a budget to a Republican-controlled Congress and have Republican legislators vow to remove the `waste' that he has included and that they have hitherto funded."

While most conservatives remain squarely behind Mr. Bush, the united front has not been quite as united.

Columnists like Robert Novak, conservative television hosts like Joe Scarborough of MSNBC and others on local radio and the Internet have raised questions about Mr. Bush.

"It's a critical departure," said J. David Hoeveler, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who said last week that he believed that his local conservative radio host, Charlie Sykes, had begun sounding less exuberant about Mr. Bush. "Generally it's been whole-heartedly Republican," Mr. Hoeveler said of the tenor of the conservative media. "It would suggest that those who would call themselves Republicans are quite possibly breaking ranks."

This dovetails with a lot of on-the-street evidence I've seen that even bedrock Republicans want Bush out of the White House.
Bush: we don't need your stinkin' jobs!
[No] Tennis, anyone?
I seem to have misunderstood the results from last week's primaries.
According to a CBS-supported campaign blog, Edwards beats Elvis in Memphis: "There was also an Elvis impersonator that was trying to attract a lot of attention, but much to his dismay, the focus this morning was on Edwards and not Elvis." It also reports that Edwards is in the best financial shape it's been in, and that he "will fight to the very end." Scroll down about 3/4 of the way to see the Edwards blog.
It looks like the races in Virginia and Tennessee are tightening, albeit probably too late for Edwards. CBS reports that
Kerry led an American Research Group poll of 600 Tennessee voters by 32 percent to Edwards 21 percent and Clark's 20 percent. Dean had 8 percent.

In Virginia, an ARG survey of 600 voters had 35 percent for Kerry, 22 percent for Edwards and 17 percent for Clark. Dean was at 9 percent.

Yesterday, it was 45-21 Kerry in Tennessee. What this shows is the unreliability of small sample polling, but even more dangerously, the tremendous effect the polls have on voter preferences/turnout. It's rainy here in Knoxville. Does that mean a light turnout, which probably doesn't help Edwards?
Edwards doesn't have to win in Tennessee and Virginia to carry on. This assertion was confirmed to me yesterday by an Edwards campaign worker, who advised that the Edwards campaign still had plenty of money.
OK, who's put up this anti-Kerry blog? I'm betting it's not a democrat....
Yep, it's true; I am related to Trevor Rabin. Also true that I am related, by marriage to the Kennedys [Rory married my cousin Mark Bailey; that was the wedding that didn't happen when JFK Jr. augered in]. Here's an interesting musical family tree for Trevor. I was hoping to find my name in there, as I play drums, but alas, it was not to be; I never played with T.R. [sigh]. Since leaving Yes about 10 years ago, Trevor has become one of the big movie music guys. For a graphic scroll of the movies he's scored, check this out [also, an annoying loop comes along with it]. Here's a refreshingly in-depth interview with Trevor from 2002, which details his movie work. Interestingly, his son, Ryan, is a working drummer in L.A.

Monday, February 09, 2004

I went to see John Edwards Friday night here in Knoxville. Overflow crowd. Standard stump speech, which is to say, awfully good. I tried to get Glenn Instapundit Reynolds to go with me, and even tried to get the candidate for an Instapundit bloggerview [I just made that up; pretty good, huh?], but we couldn't get it set up on short notice. Glenn then decided to veg out instead.

What I like about Edwards is (a) his message, which promotes hope for the future and the democratic concept of helping those that need a helping hand; (b) his positioning, which is as close to Clinton 1992 as any candidate in this race; and (c) his electibility, which is the strongest in the field. I also think it's cool that he plays Creedence Clearwater Revival/John Fogerty out of his tour bus.

Unfortunately, the tracking numbers don't look good for Edwards, who could really use a win here in Tennessee or in Virginia. On the other hand, Edwards has been endorsed by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees, 500,000 strong.

Interestingly, it's all perception. In terms of delegate count, Kerry has about 400, and Edwards has 116:

Going into Maine's caucuses, Kerry had captured 409 delegates, compared with 174 for Dean, 116 for Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, 82 for retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, 12 for New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton and two for Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. To win the nomination, a candidate needs 2,161 delegates

Not an insurmountable lead, especially with 75% of the delegates yet to be chosen. Question: why is the media portraying this as a done deal for Kerry? Don't they know that when they say it, that makes it true? And, it doesn't make sense; it's a much better story if the nomination continues to be contested. Example: "Each needs a primary victory in Virginia or in neighboring Tennessee to slow the Kerry juggernaut, reports CBS News Correspondent Joie Chen. " Since when is Joie Chen the last word on electoral politics?