From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
The message is simple and clear: No More Bush

January 16, 2004 2:21 PM

Paul Krugman's latest column challenges the conventional wisdom by laying out why the Democratic nominee cannot win with a strictly positive campaign:


One is that the Democratic candidate, no matter how business-friendly, will not be able to get lots of corporate contributions, as Clinton did. In the Clinton era, a Democrat could still raise a lot of money from business, partly because there really are liberal businessmen, partly because donors wanted to hedge their bets. But these days the Republicans control all three branches of government and exercise that control ruthlessly. Even corporate types who have grave misgivings about the Bush administration — a much larger group than you might think — are afraid to give money to Democrats.

Another is that the Bush people really are Nixonian. The bogus security investigation over Ron Suskind's "The Price of Loyalty," like the outing of Valerie Plame, shows the lengths they're willing to go to in intimidating their critics. (In the case of Paul O'Neill, alas, the intimidation seems to be working.) A mild-mannered, upbeat candidate would get eaten alive.

Finally, any Democrat has to expect not just severely slanted coverage from the fair and balanced Republican media, but asymmetric treatment even from the mainstream media. For example, some have said that the intense scrutiny of Mr. Dean's Vermont record is what every governor who runs for president faces. No, it isn't. I've looked at press coverage of questions surrounding Mr. Bush's tenure in Austin, like the investment of state university funds with Republican donors; he got a free pass during the 2000 campaign.


So how do we win?

A Democratic candidate will have a chance of winning only if he has an energized base, willing to contribute money in many small donations, willing to contribute their own time, willing to stand up for the candidate in the face of smear tactics and unfair coverage.

The only way the Democrats will win is if they fully capitalize on the anger and passion out there to get rid of Bush. It's boiling over. This is the most motivated base of supporters the Democrats have ever had, and for the first time in decades we have a message that is simple and clear: No More Bush.

More from the archive in Elections, Howard Dean.

The message is simple and clear: No More Bush (01.16.2004)

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Jim Gilliam
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