Sunday, May 04, 2003
The Democrats Debate: I recorded (for posterity) a re-airing on C-SPAN of Saturday night's Democratic presidential candidate debate. Just a couple of quick thoughts about the debate.
The first is a comment made by Sen. John Edwards that "anyone sitting at this table would be a better president than Bush." I suspect that the vast majority of the American people would disagree strongly with that claim. Also sitting at the table was former Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun, who lost her bid for re-election to her Illinois Senate seat because of questions regarding corruption; Rev. Al Sharpton, a libelous hatemonger; and Rep. Dennis Kucinich -- a man who sees running the city of Cleveland into bankruptcy as a badge of honor. Edwards' comment was greeted with applause from the audience. That sort of claim will probably fly in the primaries, but, if Edwards ends up being the Democratic nominee, it might come back to haunt him. After all, we want a president who has good judgment -- that sort of statement demonstrates a lack thereof.
Sen. Joe Lieberman was right about one thing, no Democrat has a prayer of beating President Bush in 2004 if he's perceived by the American people as soft on defense. This immediately excludes Sharpton, Mosely-Braun, Kucinich and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. This is also Lieberman's greatest strength. While I'm very likely going to vote for Bush in the next election -- I think I could live with a Joseph Lieberman.
That being said, I think that Lieberman unveiled a line in the debate that may help him in the primaries, but that he's going to have to can for the general election. Lieberman said that he was the man to defeat George W. Bush in the next election, because he and Al Gore "had already beat them once." The "stealing of the 2000 election by five Supreme Court justices" will play with the Democratic base, but it will turn off many independents. Four-year-old sour grapes just don't taste good.