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Monday, August 23, 2004

Kerry Leading in 14 of 16 Zogby States

Posted by DavidNYC

My concerns below about his methodology nonwithstanding, Zogby's latest Interactive Poll has Kerry leading in 14 states. Only OH and WV are pro-Bush. California Dreamer has a helpful summary. However, Zogby has not yet apparently added the four new states he promised he would.

Posted at 11:12 PM in General | Technorati


Bush has Ohio outside the margin of error?

I don't like that one bit.

Posted by: anon at August 24, 2004 05:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush has Ohio outside the margin of error?

I don't like that one bit.

Actually, there's a lot I question about Zogby's results, including Ohio. I wouldn't get too excited about this one way or the other.

Posted by: Pepe at August 24, 2004 06:52 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

These results, while encouraging, are rather meaningless. We'll have to wait to see what happens after the RNC. If the results looks similiar next month, Kerry will be well on his way to winning.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 24, 2004 08:13 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If Zogby polls are legitimate I am a bit nervous about the Ohio and West Virginia results. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have aired their anti-Kerry commercials in these two states and Wisconsin. Bush's lead has widened in these two states after the commercials have aired - not a good sign. Any comments?

Posted by: Peter at August 24, 2004 09:37 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As I understand it the Zogby Interactive polls are weighted to reflect what Zogby (and everyone else) knows about each state: their NM results, for example, will get as close as possible to 50.1% Gore voters from 2000 and 49.9% W voters, even if their raw sample is 2-1 Gore fans. (Similarly, the % of Latinos in the sample they actually use will reflect the % of Latinos in the state, not the % of Latinos who take the poll.) With that method I'm not surprised that their track record doesn't differ much from other polls. The key questions become (a) can they get enough Internet users from each demographic in each state? and (b) are "wired" samples even close to representative of the subgroups (for example, Arab-American Gore 2000 voters making less than $50,000 a year) Zogby wants? For large states I imagine the answer is yes. For smaller, poorer, states, like WV, I wonder.

Posted by: accommodatingly at August 24, 2004 10:12 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

These results, along with another incident, are starting to bring a fear up in me I haven't felt since the 2000 election's first debate. Only at that moment, did I start to think Bush may have a shot to defeat Gore.

I was talking to a friend yesterday and she and her husband are voting for Bush. Now these people are 26 and have never voted Republican in an election. So I asked why. The answer "Because Kerry is too wishy washy and won't make a decision." Now I did bring up Bush's flip flop on issues. But their minds were made up when Kerry "switched" again his Iraq position; by saying he still would have authorized it. Now, I read articles and such and understand his intentions. The flip flop thing has never bothered me as I see all politicians doing this, just as I think all politicians lie to the public on certain issues which is why I never had an issue with Clinton. Lies only bother me when lives are at stake or it will cost jobs or money.

What I am trying to say is that if these two are flipping based on Kerry's position, others will too. I don't think he is flipping on the issue, I think his POV is just complex...like life. However, he is failing to articulate this and he has also not gone to great details on any of his plans, which I think well help greatly.

HELP, I need some ANTI-BUSH Kool-aid. I don't want to live through another 4 years of Bush.

Posted by: Michael at August 24, 2004 12:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree, Michael, that Kerry is not articulating himself very well at all, and I know people here in NC that hadn't made up their minds now leaning towards Bush. Also, my father in Ohio was undecided, and he's already decided he's voting for Bush. My father is a veteran, and the Swift boat ads did play a role in his decision. My mother will cancel out his vote by voting for Kerry. While that is good, she really doesn't like Kerry. I think this is something very troubling, in that it there seem to be few true Kerry supporters--more of them are like my mom, who just doesn't want to see four more years of Bush. I fear this means Kerry's support could be soft, and some voters may flip flop themselves and come Election Day, they may wind up casting their votes for George Bush.

Posted by: Pepe at August 24, 2004 04:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry does have some credibiliy problems. He's coming across as wishy washy to people. It's starting to make some undecideds decide in fabor of Bush.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 24, 2004 09:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think all of us Kerry supporters Bush-haters can stew over individual state poll numbers, but what encourages me most is that I am now seeing several polls that show upwards of 55% think Iraq has made us less safe and that undecideds viewpoints on Iraq, the economy and terror consistently jive more with Democratic viewpoints than Republican. I think it is not unreasonable to assume that Kerry will take 80% undecideds.

As far as Virginia, I think this shift is due to a slight decline in Bush support among the military, the Edwards effect and that some of the Maryland suburbs are now in Virginia. Warner took the governor's position in 2002 as a substanital underdog, if I remember.

Posted by: Chris at August 24, 2004 09:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Cross currents for sure. But, I know people also who have been influenced by the Republican propaganda about Kerry and his swift boat service. As if it really matters 35 years later. What matters is what's happening now, and Bush is the one who has serious credibility problems now, with the War on Iraq. But, a lot of people don't see it that way. They're focusing on Kerry's antics 35 years ago. Go figure? No wonder we don't actually solve any problems in this country.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 24, 2004 10:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think at this point, Kerry needs to pull a 2000 Bush...Pick 3-4 issues and HAMMER HARD on them. I hate that Iraq probably has to be one due to the importance to some voters; especially given Kerry's flip flopping. For the record again, I say all politicians are liars and flip floppers...call me a cynic, but I assume that about our elected officials. However, my viewpoint is obviously not the only one and the perceived flip flopping is an issue. He needs to do a hard outline of an Iraq policy and STAY WITH IT. COme up with a plan...Example: Appeal to the UN, and gather their support (leaving unmentioned that the way this is going to happen is by letting the other countries wet their beaks with some contracts), as UN troops come in, start to pull out the longest US troops in the region. Keep a US presence BUT not all US troops. Also, look at Bush's policies toward the Iraq army and then trump them with a greater inclusion. This is probably harder as Bush ROYALLY messed that up, but maybe something can be done. Try to get other ARAB countries to give troops, such as Saudis, Egypt etc.

Other policy points...Be very specific on the energy policy...not what but how. Yes this leaves you open to attacks, but at this point it is much better to have a part of the policy attacked rather than to be accused of being undecisive. Leave things open to compromise, maybe look at including a small bit for the GOP moderates. Also, come up with your Job plan. This is vital, maybe look at awarding contract work for governmental jobs that can be awarded, a mix of union and non union stuff, that can then help spur the job market. I like the tax advantages to companies not outsourcing, but then how do you pay for that...again be specific. Don't just say that you will cut middle tax classes and raise rich taxes...tell us WHAT you will cut. Lastly, run with the 9-11 intelligence restructuring as I don't think anything will get done before the election. Give a specific proposal...this is what we will do in my administration. Leave things open for compromise on this issue with the GOP. Hit hard that Bush said he would unite and instead the country is divided evenly. Similiar to the Clinton "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" No, you make less or are out of work. I want to fix that for you. That is one of my top priorities. I don't care about parties, I will work with democrats and republicans, conservatives and liberals to accomplish this. These are my ideas to bring about this change...etc.

Ultimately Bush is a smug person whose values differ sharply from 65% of Americans. If 9-11 hadn't happened, the Dems would have a substanial lead, if Iraq hadn't happened, it would be a repeat of 2002. While I doubt the intelligence of the man, ultimately I give him credit as someone smart enough to surround himself with smart people. I hate Cheney and Rove, but I do not question their intelligence. All the ambiguity has sunk MANY Bush opponents and I fear in a close election it may end up costing Kerry.

Pepe, like your mom, I am not a Kerry fan. I am a Bush despiser. I was a Clark supporter (until I realized that while he can lead, he does not have the political skills to win) and then ultimately shifted to Edwards. I have yet to cast a Kerry vote, although by time my Primary came around it was pretty much a forgone conclusion (Illinois). While my dislike for Bush keeps me from voting for him (If it came out Kerry was a child molester, I still wouldn't vote Bush; that is how much I despise him...Nader all the way int hat case.), I am afraid others are not as passionate and will choose him. I just am fearing a Dukakis like fall here. THis next week and the debates will be the telling signs.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but i wanted to get that off my chest. I am glad I am not the only one with these fears.

Posted by: Michael at August 24, 2004 11:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Michael, I share all of your fears, which you articulated quite well! Like you, I don't care about political parties, but rather I care about electing the best people to make the country a better place than they found it.

The polls right now are more for conversation than they are a real indication of what will happen in November. Telling us what would happen today does not guarantee anything for tomorrow and the day after. We still have the Republican Convention as the all-important debates.

Speaking of the debates, I'm worried about them, because I really do feel that Kerry has more to lose by them, and there will be numerous pitfalls. Why? Because he hasn't defined himself yet. The reason the Swift boat ads were so effective, is because at the Democratic Convention, Kerry made his war record in Vietnam a cornerstone of why he deserves to be president. That's the reason people are so preoccupied with what he did 35 years ago.

Regarding Iraq, Kerry's position seems to change almost daily--he's between a rock and a hard place, because he must not lose the pacifists who supported Dean, but at the same time, he has to show he's strong on defence and national security--thus he does agree that the president has the right to launch preventative strikes against other nations. One day he says he'll increase the number of troops in Iraq, the next week he says he will decrease them by next June. Kerry is shooting himself in the foot with such inconsistent statements. He needs to take a position, define it as clearly as he can, and then stick to it. I fear that Kerry perhaps pays too much attention to the polls, and is basing too many of his comments on which direction the wind appears to be blowing.

I also wish Kerry would explain to the American people why gays deserve the same rights as anyone else in this country. Instead of gay "marriage" he should explain that we could call them gay "unions," and that under such unions gays would have the same rights as any marriage between a man and a woman. He should explain why this is so important. For example, if my partner of 20 years was in the hospital for something serious, I could be denied visitation rights because I'm not "family." I honestly don't believe the majority of Americans would be opposed to gay unions if our political leaders would explain why America should not be a place where we want to take away peoples' rights.

I also think Kerry needs to tell us more specifically how he will improve the economy and create more (and better paying) jobs. After all, NAFTA could never have happened without the Democrats, and since its passage jobs started moving to Mexico and beyond. Now they are moving well beyond North America--how do we compete with people in countries like China and India where people work for 12 hours or longer per day for something like 75�� an hour?

As it stands, I'm voting for Kerry for the same reason my mother is--it's a vote against Bush. And all I can say is, regardless of what the polls say today, this is going to be a close election. It's Kerry's to lose, and lose it he very well could. Kerry will be sadly mistaken if he thinks that just being the alternative to George Bush will be enough to win this thing.

Posted by: Pepe at August 24, 2004 11:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Has Kerry really flip-flopped on Iraq? I haven't seen it, although the GOP has done a good job of trying to convince people otherwise.

It's a tough question, but the only answer that matters is that Kerry wouldn't have taken us into this war unilaterally. Knowing this, we would have never gone to Iraq with Kerry and we now know this would have been the right decision.

Posted by: rob at August 25, 2004 05:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Man, even you liberal guys have been drinking the cool aid from the Bush administration. If you guys can be foold what chance do we have?

"especially given Kerry's flip flopping."

Kerry's position on Iraq hasn't changed. He said he would have voted to authorize force because Sadam would only respond to force and it was the only way to get the inspectors in. He said he would never have dreamed we would pull the inspectors out over the objections of the world when they were going exactly where we wanted and were in perfect position to veryify whether or not our intillegence was correct. He position has been constant and hasn't changed. He's against the decision that the President made but the thinks that a President needs that type of authority to conduct effective forign policy. How far would we have gotten with Sadam is the congress had assured him BEFORE an inspector ever went in that there was no chance we would do anything to him regardless. Please people, wake up and stop believing the Bush administration.

Posted by: Jocko at August 25, 2004 10:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

KoolAid (it's a brand name)

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at August 25, 2004 11:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Exactly right. There does need to be a clearer articulation of exactly the point you made. Kerry said he would have voted for the authorization for the president to go to war as a last resort. This is nowhere near the spin of Bushco that, knowing what we know now, Kerry agrees with him and that we should have gone into Iraq.

Posted by: timeforchange at August 25, 2004 01:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rob - Well that unfortunately is not the point of this election. Most people know Bush screwed Iraq up. You can see that in opinion polls. However, I believe most people aren't concerned with whether Kerry will enter a war unilaterally or not. Yes it is a concern, but not the greater question at hand. The question that needs to be asked and answered is not "Would I have invaded Iraq?" It is in the past and there isn't mush that can be done about. Sure, you need to say I would have worked longer to develop a coalition and make sure that things were justified. but the question that needs to be answered is "Where do we go from here in Iraq?" THAT is the pertinent question. We are in Iraq and a Kerry win won't change that fact. So we need to know 1) How will you bolster troops and remove American troops? (OBvious answer, mend ties with our EU allies. What's done is done, now we need to clean up the mess, etc. Europeans (in my experience) tend to express more humanatarian views than Americans (although those views are not always backed up in action) so appealing to that sense of the mission will help. 2) How will you deal with the rebuilding process? 3) How will you improve relations with America and the residents of Iraq?

At this point the Pacifists in the party need to realize that Kerry can't pull out of Iraq. That would be disasterous. Yes, it was the wrong decision, but it was made so now we have to clean up the mess. They need to realize that even though this will piss them off, if they don't vote for Kerry, the alternative is much worse. Someone who will invade other countries, especially if it will get his friends richer, and make oil prices cheaper. (IRAN IS NEXT...2006 will be the year) That is why they won't bring the fight to Korea. Too much to lose and nothing to gain. As long as they can prevent Korea from selling weapons to terrorist groups, the civil rights violating leaders can stay.

On the reverse, the Kerry campaign should target messages talking about how he will fight terrorism but will not premptively strike against someone's government. If the embassy bombings or the USS Cole happened and they get a lock on the culprit (not saying Osama just for you Ed), he will ask for help to catch them by allowing our troops to help search. If they refuse, he goes after them anyway. I hate this policy, but this is what most people want, and it is the only way to show you are really tough on terrorism.

Ultimately, I agree with PEPE. This is Kerry's to lose. 2000 was Gore's to lose. Everyone of us is still pissed about Florida. Everyone of us also knows, it should have never came down to the Florida re-count. Gore led the race the entire way and was passed on turn 2 of the final lap, by a well funded Redneck. That is the number one reason we have a Bush presidency; never forget that as if we do, history will repeat itself.

Jocko - Call it flip flopping or not. As I said, I cynically believe all politicians lie and flip flop so that is fine.

Parts of his stance have stayed the same. But he does contradict himself frequently on the issue. Many consider that flip flopping. He said he will bolster troops, but he will bring many home. Yes, he goes on to explain some of what he meant (although not enough IMO) but again that isn't the point. WE ARE A NATION OF HEADLINE READERS. The average voter in our short attention span theatre of a country doesn't read the entire thing. The media, more than anyone else, is showing Kerry as flip flopper. The quotes and soundbites they show are not the whole truth, but for many American's they become the truth. And the Bushies pounce on this. Kerry doesn't seem to realize this at times and shoots himself in the foot with it. Pieces of Kerry's Iraq stance have changed since that fateful vote. While the core message has been the same and is out there, it ISN'T being articulated; especially by Kerry himself. If you break down what he says, you understand the message. If you read the speech, you understand message. GUESS WHAT MOST AMERICANS DON'T DO??? Read past the headlines. We know this, The Bushies know this, and Kerry's people better convey this to him or learn it fast before we get a headline or soundbite that will dog him for the rest of the election...(Anyone remember "I invented the Internet." or Mondale's "pledge" to raise taxes. Read the entire story and you see that what was the perception of people was not the true story or meaning of the speech. Republicans turned one Former VP into a tax raising pariah that was going to take all their money... and turned a boy scout with no real questionable past and turned him into the biggest liar east of the Mississippi. Was this the truth? No. Is truth more important in politics than perception? Hell, no.

Posted by: Michael at August 25, 2004 02:04 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bravo, Michael! Nothing more to add to your very well-articulated post, which hits the nail on the head. I only wish Kerry could read this thread!!!

Posted by: Pepe at August 25, 2004 05:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hi Michael,

I'll try to offer a different outlook. As you noted, most people think that Bush screwed up in Iraq. This means that Bush starts out with a strike against him on handling Iraq.

You also noted that Kerry needs to make his case better for handling Iraq. Unfortunately, this is a difficult thing to do now, because there is no clear solution (I should also mention here that this was the argument of many anti-war proponents before the war began, although it's not relevant now.) Any position that Kerry takes now will be met with resistance, because there isn't a plan that will be widely agreed upon.

So, it's likely better for Kerry to focus on the problems with Bush's failures, rather than on a controversial debate of Kerry's plan. Should there be a controversial debate on Kerry's plan, then it gives the Bush Campaign something to work with to campaign against Kerry, which would be particularly bad since national defense is believed to be Bush's strong point (Thus he gains points for being the "war President." And, this might also open up the debate of whether we should switch Presidents in the middle of a war.) As it stands now, Bush doesn't have much to attack Kerry with on the issues, so he's turning to negative attack ads and negative attack ads have a short shelf life; not to mention that they also progressively reflect badly on the character of the purveyor.

We all would like to know more of Kerry's plan, but I think we'd also agree that it will be better than Bush's plan, regardless of what it may be. Thus, an unknown is better than a known disaster (excuse my Rumsfeldian phraseology.) As Pepe said, this is Kerry's to lose, so why give Bush any ammo?

But the reason why I was responding to this threat was because of the accusations that Kerry has flip-flopped. I don't believe he has flip-flopped on Iraq, but perhaps I've missed something. I do believe he could be more concise and do a better job to not appear as a flip-flopper, but it's easy for him to point out the positions on which Bush has flip-flopped as well (these may be saved for the debates.) Regardless, I think Kerry will be a good commander-in-chief and that it would be difficult for him to be worse than Bush.

Posted by: rob at August 25, 2004 10:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


There were a couple of other things from your comment that I wanted to respond to.

You said that we can't pull out of Iraq. While this is the conventional wisdom, it's not always true. Although Vietnam is still debateable, most would agree that it was a lost war and that pulling out (if you can call it that) was the right thing to do -- and many lives would have been saved if we had pulled out sooner. As an invader, there is a time for cutting your loses and going home. I'm not suggesting that this is the best option now (and I don't believe that it is), but it should remain an option.

The second thing has to do with your comment that Bush would attack Iran in 2006. I'm curious how you came up with that date? It seems logical to me, but I'm just wondering if you have some information you could share?

I think William Kristol released an article this week saying that we shouldn't attack Iran. I haven't read it yet and I don't really trust him anyway (afterall, perhaps his intention is to alleviate fears that Bush would attack Iran.) But I think many of us aren't sure what Bush would do (which country we'd attack next) if he were to win re-election and it would be interesting to hear what you have to say.

Posted by: rob at August 25, 2004 10:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Iran is 2006 is a guess, just a gut reaction. I actually think it will be end of 2K5-beginning of 2K6. I have no proof obviously, but it is the little small things that lead me to my belief.

1) Over the last year the rhetoric toward Iran has SLOWLY started to enter speeches etc. While it has been absent over the last 4-6 months, it was out there in 2003 and early 2004. It has never been as prominent as the Iraq rhetoric close to the war's start, but it reminds me of the Iraq rhetoric toward the end of Afghanistan. Subtle mentions that ramped up over time.

2) Over the last 3 years, the greatest threat in my mind has come from N Korea. We KNOW they have the ability to create weapons. We know they don't have a lot of money. They have been openly defiant of the administration. Yet, Iraq was deemed the bigger threat by the administration. Why? Well, North Korea has no real value to the US. China helps keep it in check, mainly because their emerging economy is stronger with the US in the picture, than with the US out of the picture. Unless they decide to try to take us over, I believe the Chinese leaders would rather take our money. They learned from the cold war that while they may not like the values of the western world, they see the benefits in dealing with us.
Now look at Iran and Iraq. They are large oil producing states that used to be friendly with us. By helping to make them friendly again, I believe they feel that oil prices will be lower. Since they are jacked up now, even if the wholesale price drops, they can slowly the gas prices to a level less than today, but higher than before the war...I think maybe in the 1.60 range. More profit, etc. In the meantime, investments in oil futures at low prices lead to high profits as they let the oil prices lower and then watch the market increase due to fear of a drop in supply.

3) Bush is systematically getting rid of those in the middle east who would oppose him or his possible Republican sucessors. Again, I don't think the plan is his, I think it is one of the Kingmakers in the background. If we are so worried about countries attacking us and if we are worried about dictators and tyrants, why won't he go after the Saudis? Most of the 9-11 attackers are Saudi. They have a worse human rights record than Hussein (Not by much but they do). Yet since they have friendly ties with the US and especially the Bush Family, we won't attack. But by Bush's doctorine and justification, we should be. On the other hand, Iran, while having made an effort, is still not friendly with the US. They are a bigger country in the region. They produce a lot of oil. A common rule of battle is to use a stronger opponent until he is no longer useful and then get rid of him. Iran has been used as a counterpoint to Iraq for years...this is one of the reasons, BUSH I didn't take out Hussein in 1992, for fear of an Iran takeover.
Well, Bush the sequel took out Hussein. This leaves a strong Iran still in the region, something Bush and the Saudi's don't want. This will make them target #2.

I think it will be late 2005 or early 2006 for a few reasons. 1) This gives Iraq time to settle and prepare for an attack on Iran. The best part for Bush is that troops are in the region.
2) This creates the possibility of a similiar situation as 2002, which might help elect more Republicans to the senate and house. Notice how bush is starting to say that some of the issues such as high gas prices and taxes are because the Dems are blocking him in the senate and he needs his people to fix these things. Same as 2002 and it will be the same in 2006. His handlers may figure another war is the way to do it.
3) If Iraq stabilizes, this gives time for the gas prices to lower.

Again, I have no proof, just some hunches. Let me know your thoughts.

As far as your other statements...

Normally, I would say not giving specifics is the best way to go...this is the CV of most politicians...However, in Kerry's case, I disagree. While I think both have changed positions on issues, the Bushies have sucessfully gotten the message to voters that Kerry is a flip flopper. Our opinion and hard Bush supporters really doesn't matter as much as Undecideds. In order to help deflect this attack a little more, I think he needs to go into specifics. This will show the voters he can make a decision, something many question.

And I do agree with you that pulling out can remain an option. But, I am saying that pulling out of Iraq now would cause more harm than good. The country does not have the infrastructure in place to support itself or protect itself from it's neighbors. Pulling out now, would be similiar to the US leaving Afghanistan in the 1980's after the Russians pulled out. Instead of helping to rebuild a country we supported in their war with Russia, we left them to fend for themselves. As most of us know, we trained Bin Laden and many of his senior people. Our pulling out left a void and resentment that was filled by a hardline government who supported the terrorist breeding grounds. Pulling out of Iraq will, I feel, do the same thing. Yes Iraq is complicated, and Kerry doesn't need to spell out every part of the plan, but I feel he needs to put out there enough to convince undecideds he can make a decision and stick with it (right or wrong this is the perception and perception is more important than truth in politics...unfortunately). Right now, most polls show a majority saying Bush is more decisive and Bush is better to protect us from Terror. To me this is ludicrous, since Bush has flipped on many issues and more importantly, what has he done to keep us safe. At this point, I think he has made us more of a target. Yet, poll after poll have him ahead. I think this is happening because Kerry is not giving them a reason to change their mind. Many people assume he doesn't know what he is doing...again this is BS but unfortunately perception is what wins elections.

Kerry needs to pounce on the misfortunes of Bush right now and keep on the offensive. He has gone back to playing a prevent defense, and that only prevents a victory. I am afraid that while this is his election to lose, if he doesn't take a bit of a gamble and go on the offensive, he is going to blow it. After all, Gore played it way too safe and look at the results. The response to the SBVFT is a good start, but that was made from a position of weakness, strength. As soon as Bush outlines his plans at the convention, Kerry needs to pounce on them. Again, I am afraid if he doesn't make a move, Bush will pass him by. It may be time to get Billy boy back on the trail, although a refusal could lend credence to the assumption Bill and Hillary want a Bush win to set the table for a Hillary run in 2008.

Anyway, ROB, just my thoughts. Sorry for the long post, but sometimes you just keep rolling.

Posted by: Michael at August 25, 2004 11:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I'm really not sure what the next move will be. Iraq was pretty obvious, but the next move is more complicated. What I do believe is that Iraq is only the beginning (some say the second step) and that the infamous PNAC document concerning Israel seems to be a vague outline of the future to come.

William Kristol is saying that Iran should be pressured with force, but not attacked. I don't know if he's honest, but I tend to think they want to avoid going after Iran, even though I'm not sure they should. There remains a possibility that the secular Government could regain control of Iran and I'm not sure if the Shiites in Iraq would accept the US overthrowing the Iranian Government and this could dig a deeper hole for us in Iraq.

I don't think Iran has much oil left, so I'm skeptical that Iran would be a target for this reason. But I don't really know. Iran definitely has ties to terrorism; it's now a threat that must be dealt with because of it's potential for nukes; and it's located between Afghanistan and Iraq (how convenient!)

I don't expect Saudi Arabia to be the target, for the reasons you cite, but also because many suspect that they'll soon be a revolt there that will change the dynamics. Also, I sort of suspect that one of the reasons for going into Iraq was to wean ourselves from the need for Saudi oil.

If I had to pick, I'd probably pick Sudan, because of it's close location to Israel and ties to terrorism. However, like I said earlier, I just don't know. I think the idea is to rebuild the Middle-East into a peaceful, Israel-respecting region, while securing the future of Middle-Eastern oil reserves for the US. Unfortunately, I don't know how this would be best accomplished, so I'm at a lost for a prediction. As for pulling out of Iraq, I completely agree.

You mention that Kerry needs to pounce on Bush's plan after the convention. Well, did you notice that Kerry didn't leave Bush with anything to pounce on after the Democratic convention? It would be better for Kerry to spend his time attacking Bush's plans, rather than defending his own.

Republicans do this all the time by giving vague outlines to their plans. Kerry does need to present more of his plans before the election, but I think he'll do it at a time when Bush won't have much time to respond. I'm sure he's aware of the criticizm for his lack of plans and will address this at some point. But right now I think he's holding his cards close to his chest and calling the Bush Campaign to see what they've got.

I don't buy into the talk of Hillary Clinton hoping that Bush will win. And I think you'll see Bill Clinton stumping for Kerry hard in Arkansas close to the election and then entertain an outgoing President Bush to the grand opening of his new library. Although Bill has said otherwise, I'm skeptical that Hillary will ever run for President, but talking about the possibility makes her a figure to be respected inside the beltway.

Posted by: rob at August 26, 2004 12:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I can definately live with him going into specifics later. I just think he will need to eventually, probably before the debates. But I agree, he should hold the cards close to his chest and lets the Bushies make the first bet at the convention. He can then determine whether to Raise the stakes and attack or fold and present a new piece of his platform. As long as he does something and doesn't become complacent like Dukakis and Gore, I will feel better. I don't really think that Hillary and Bill would want him to win, and I truly think Hillary would be better served if she was a VP candidate or a Presidential candidate in 2012.
I hope I am wrong on this notion, but even given the strides made in woman's rights and the acceptance of women in positions of power such as CEO's and Military officers etc., I think the chances of a Woman winning the Presidency in the next 15 years slim. I would vote for Hillary (if Edwards didn't run or was just a complete screw up), but many other males have such large egos, they wouldn't support here. Plus you couldn't assume that all women would go for her just to make a historical moment (although I think she would grab about a 2/3 majority of Indie women voters, a 90% majority of women Dem voters and about 10-15% of republican women voters.) If the Republicans put up a moderate candidate, like a McCain, I think she would be trounced, Of course if Kerry wins and we have a good 8 years of Kerry/Edwards, I think Hillary would be not be able to beat Edwards in a primary, although an Edwards/Clinton ticket would have a lot of appeal to me (or even better an Edwards/Obama ticket. Hey I'm from Illinois and love the guy).

Anyway, good shooting thoughts and ideas off you Rob. Give me yours.

Posted by: Michael at August 26, 2004 10:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Iran is next on the NeoCons hit list. They have been put on notice. You see, domination of a region can not tollerate any dissent whatsoever, or it's not domination. Therefore, Iran will have to pay the price for developing nukes.

Two things Bush is likely to do if reelected:

1. Reinstate the DRAFT.
2. Either overtly or covertly attack Iran.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 26, 2004 11:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Iran will definitely be pressured and threatened, but I'm just not sure if it will be attacked. What I'm really saying is that I'm not sure if Iran fits into the grand plan that the neo-cons have laid out, but they may be forced to deal with Iran next, regardless. However, I'm no expert here.

I just realized I made a mistake earlier by citing Sudan as the next target. I meant to say Syria. All the talk of the atrocities in Sudan got me sidetracked.

Michael, I don't know about the future. It's too early for me to make any prediction on 2008. Edwards will likely be in the picture, but I don't about anyone else. I'd love to see Obama, but his lack of experience will keep him from winning the nomination, just as it did with Edwards this year. He's a very bright beacon of hope for the future of the Democrat Party though and may make a great candidate for President some day.

The Republicans are likely to have some good nominees in 2008, so I hope that someone rises above the cream of the crop in the Democrat Party. The Democrats would likely fare better to lose this year and let the Republican controlled Government destroy the image of the GOP, which is what will happen, unless they can turn things around (and I find this highly unlikely.) The Democrats would likely pick up a lot of seats in Congress in 2006 and then win the Presidency over any Republican who runs in 2008.

Unfortunately, removing Bush from office should be the number one priority right now to prevent our nation from falling further down the "rabbit hole" in which it's currently falling.

I enjoyed it as well Michael. Thanks for the input!

Posted by: rob at August 26, 2004 02:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm sorry, but the idea that even if Bush is elected there will be any support (popular or within Congress *or* the military) for going after Iran is ludicrous. I have no doubt that doing so was part of the grand neo-con plan pre-Iraq, but that predicated on Iraq being a cakewalk, which just plain didn't happen.

Just from a standpoint of capability, the whole idea will be laughed off, and with no public support, the entire concept is a complete non-starter.

Ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at August 26, 2004 05:43 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Great thread, folks! Thanks especially to Michael and Rob for all their well-thought comments and observations. I'm really worried about November--the thought of four MORE years of Bush is unbearable, but nevertheless a possibility that I cannot deny. I don't see how anyone can truly believe that Kerry has this one all sewed up.

Posted by: Pepe at August 26, 2004 06:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I'm thinking along the same line as you. Where I differ is that a war with Iran might be possible if Iran were to start testing nuclear weapons. I have a difficult time imagining that we would allow Iran to upset the "balance" in the Middle-East by obtaining nukes. It's unfortunate that you may be right, even though an attack on Iran might be justified in this situation.

I also have no doubt that Iran is a part of the neo-con plan, but I'm just not certain it is the next step in the plan (I certainly don't know for sure...just a guess here.) And even though I agree that the Bush Admin is going to have a difficult time gaining support for another war, that doesn't mean they won't try or do it underground. I don't believe their hands will be completely tied as long as Bush is President, which is one of the reasons he must go now.

Vietnam didn't begin as a full-scale war, but it did grow into one. And a future war in the Middle-East could begin without the public's knowledge just as well.

Posted by: rob at August 27, 2004 10:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Okay. I don't know if anyone is still following this thread, but I'm here to admit that I was wrong. The information released today by JMM, LR, JC, and others prove that Iran is, indeed, the next goal for neo-cons.

Posted by: rob at August 29, 2004 08:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The information released today by JMM, LR, JC, and others prove that Iran is, indeed, the next goal for neo-cons.

Oh where will this madness end? :~(

Posted by: Pepe at August 29, 2004 08:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment