September 2, 2004

Post-Mortem Effects: The Kerry Campaign is Over

"Say goodnight, Gracie."
"Goodnight Gracie."

"Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me

I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
I was looking kind of dumb
With my finger and my thumb
In the shape of an "L" on my forehead "
-- SmashMouth, All Star

In the last few days there have been a lot of cycles wasted by people on the left, right, and center noting how badly the Kerry campaign is doing. To my mind, this is like suddenly discovering gravity.

The Kerry Campaign is doing badly because it has always done badly. Snagging the nomination from eight or nine less-electable clowns doesn't mean you're doing well, it just means you're not doing as poorly as the rest of the pack.

Still, I will admit that the campaign itself has, over the last fortnight, begun to do poorly in a more visible fashion than the performance of the previous year. Usually, they were able to keep the lid on somehow keep the right face on things, but of late this mask has begun to slip and that's a sign of deep existential distress on the inside.

The big question that keeps the keyboards humming at this point is : "Why?" This meditation is usually answered by some pundit or another hauling out the quick fix, the sure tactic, and the smooth move that will set things right and put John Kerry back on the path to the big chair in the oval office. Some have even gone so far as to propose Joe Trippi be brought in from the fields of clover he is currently cavorting in to right the good ship Kerry and send it smoothly into the harbor.

All these answers and suggestions are rank nonsense.

The single and only internal reason that things are now seen to be going badly inside the Kerry campaign is that deep inside the Kerry campaign, in the very core of the candidate himself, the have seen the fiery finger of fate write in glowing and deeply etched letters the single word: LOSER.

That's right -- down in the center where the Kerryites are sifting their statistics and spreadsheets and seeding their spin they already know what most of us are just beginning to sense-- THEY'VE LOST AND THERE IS NOTHING, BUT NOTHING THEY CAN DO ABOUT IT.

Keen noses can smell the defeat starting to sweat off in the campaign corridors.

If this were a boxing match, the guys in the corner would already be wetting down the towel and slipping the ringside doctor a C-Note to try and get Kerry out of there with his Senate seat intact.

But it is not a boxing match and they have to go through the motions for months with the taste of the butt end of Inauguration Day in their mouths. No, they have to fight on as if it matters and at the same time keep all barbiturates out of the candidate's reach. (On second thought, maybe a few diehard Democrats are refilling their Seconal scripts in the hopes that Edwards can score enough of a mercy vote to pull them through.)

There's probably more free-floating stress and anxiety in the Kerry Campaign today than in all of Florida's jammed evacuation routes because, in the Kerry Campaign, there is now no escape.

There are several dozen reasons that can be dug out to buttress the assertion that Kerry has lost. Running down the posts and pointers at Instapundit over the last week would be a start. Instead let's look at just one element -- swiftboats, the Dukakis Tank moment of the Kerry campaign.

If the Swiftboat story has started the take-down, just wait until people really get moving on Wintersoldier and the Kerry's little jaunts to Paris and his meetings with the Vietnamese. Think it won't come out? Think again. The Bush Campaign doesn't even start until tomorrow. And, hey, it doesn't even have to come out. It just has to be there. Is it there? Why, yes, Virginia it is. "It" is always there. In this case, "it" is the difference between losing the election and losing your previously safe seat in the Senate. And an ex-candidate and ex-Senator does not exactly fit into Teresa Heinz Kerry's internal fantasies about her future, so even that previously secure position is in play.

You can add in a lot of other things -- the voting record in the Senate for starters and the dubious health of the candidate for closers. Would all this happen? We're at 60 days and third down. John Kerry, first and foremost of anyone, should know by this time that politics is a full-contact winner-take-all sport. One you don't play without a helmet. Just ask Mike Dukakis.

What's that? Mike isn't speaking to you. Guess you should have let him do more at your convention than play tour guide, John.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 2, 2004 5:29 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Good analysis but the media will faithfully serve up the Kerry talking points and spin while speaking anything negative about their "war hero." The Dems will call forth their usual slime slingers. The worst prospect about a defeat of Kerry is that Hillary's prospects will be insured. The chance of the Dems recognizing that Leftist extremism is a loser just would take hold, except to the extent that they will re double their efforts to hide their socialist agenda and attempt to portray themselves as Joe Six pack good guys.

After seeing Zell, Arnold and Bush I predict a 4-6% victory margin.

Posted by: Thomas J. Jackson at September 2, 2004 11:35 PM

10 percent

Posted by: Scott Wilson at September 3, 2004 4:19 AM

% victory is nice it helps shut down the 'but he didn't win the popular vote' loonies, but it's the states and electoral college votes that really matter. I say 40 states minimum go to Bush...dare we predict Califonia?

And since everyone is on to the MSM game of prematurely, falsely calling the election, people will ignore that and the pounding will continue until the last poll closes.

If it ain't close I don't think VDH's prediction will come to pass, and I have a hunch it ain't goin' to be close.

Posted by: phil gilbert at September 3, 2004 2:28 PM

No to sound too cocky, but I have been predicting a landslide for over 6 months.

Bush will win with 60% of the vote.

Why? Well there are about 100 reasons but it boils down to voter motivation and the state of economic and national security.

Dean made them turn a sharp left and that group of anti-Bush hatred must be fed. That motivation will only work for about 30% of the democrats. But when polls show Bush winning by more than 8 points with one week to go, many of those people will stay home out of sheer disgust and exhaustion. One can only hate intensely for so long knowing it will lead to failure.

Now on our side we are motivated by the love and respect we have for this man given the circumstances this country has been in. We are motivated by positive and optimistic view we have for this country and the economy. We are motivated by the fact that we recognize we are at war and the commander in chief is taking good care of us. No major attacks since Sept 11.

Kerry's campaign has been in trouble from day one. He is such a weak candidate, A 10 year old can run Bush's campaign and beat him. Bush has not even started to fight.

Posted by: ovi at September 3, 2004 11:59 PM

Wouldn't you love to see someone ask Terry McAuliffe on national TV why the Democrats didn't run Zell Miller? It is, of course, impossible, given the current party's predeliction for warmed over '60s radicals, but perhaps they should ponder it.

Posted by: Tom Lytle at September 4, 2004 9:52 AM