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December 26, 2003


Krugman's New Year Resolutions +

Actually, they're not so much Paul Krugman's resolutions as they are a wish list of guidelines he hopes journalists will adhere to when covering the 2004 Presidential campaign. Among them are: don't talk about the candidates' clothes, actually analyze their policy proposals, and stop covering all the hissyfits and sulking, for example, Lieberman's hurt feelings over the Gore endorsement of Dean. He writes, "Folks, we're talking about war, peace and the future of U.S. democracy -- not about who takes whom to the prom."

Meanwhile, Bush's strategists are talking about framing the election as a "referendum" on the state of the country, rather than as a re-election campaign for Bush. They also plan to cast Dean, if he wins the nomination, as hot-headed, pissy and angry, qualities they predict Americans do not want in a President. Probably a good strategy, but it seems that the quality many voters value the most in a candidate is that they are not Bush. But either way, Dean might want to cut out some of the venom, and start cultivating a more approachable image. He already started by sending my parents a lovely Christmas card. -amy

Well, Christmas cards or not, if my trip home for the holidays is any indication, the Democrats have a very uphill battle ahead of them. Conversation around the table at big family get togethers suggested Dean has a long way to go before he can even claim the support of some average New Englanders. Not so much because people don't like him, but because they actually think Bush is doing a good job, that the war in Iraq was justified, and that the country is safer now than it was either before 9/11 or before the war. I heard these opinions not from die-hard conservatives, but from middle-of-the-road people who may have even voted for Gore. The scare tactics are working, and triggering an emotional response in people that is going to make it very difficult for Dean, or any Democrat, to effectively attack Bush. ("I go to the store and see things from France, but I just don't have the heart to buy it.") I'll do my part around the dinner table, Howard, but you've got to do the rest. -adm

categories: Media
posted by amy at 4:59 PM | #


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