Sunday, January 18, 2004

Words of Wisdom from David Yepsen:

On Dean -

"History teaches that Americans generally elect optimists to the White House, not angry people. History also teaches that winning Democratic presidential candidates have tended to be those seen as strong on defense and national security issues, not anti-war candidates."

On Kerry -

"Kerry's the hottest candidate right now. On the stump, he's sharper, more focused and more relaxed than ever. He's picking up some support from fellow military veterans. Some Democrats seem to like his Washington experience over Dean's lack of the same. They also like a guy who has a combat record, a fact that would make him harder for Republicans to demonize.

Kerry seems to understand the first rule of Iowa caucus politics, as first articulated by former Congressman David Nagle of Waterloo. The "Nagle Rule" holds that you: "Organize, organize, organize. Then get hot at the end." Dean's organized, but got hot too early. Gephardt's organized, but "hot" has never been used as an adjective with "Gephardt." Edwards' caffeine intake is apparent in the candidate and his poll ratings, yet he lacks the organizational infrastructure built by the others.

Kerry's talented staff has built him a respectable organization, they've poured everything they have into Iowa and Kerry himself has never been sharper or more energized. If he were a baseball pitcher, they'd be calling Kerry a good closer."


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