INR’s Ford tells the truth to the LAT
=http://slate.msn.com/id/2090497Slate on NK’s Chalabi[/url]
Juan Cole links:
Dreyfuss blames Mossad for Niger documents
Fox people really do “get the memo”
Wilson interview part 2
Dana Priest chat
=http://slate.msn.com/id/2090498Slate on economy[/url]
The contest for the Democratic presidential nomination has reached an odd state, where no one seems to be making much progress. A month ago, I wrote this:
I think the race to challenge Dubya is on its way to being a three-person contest between Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and John Edwards.
The candidates from the Congressional sausage mill (Kerry, Gephardt, and Lieberman) are rapidly losing relevance — Kerry’s plan to run on his military record has been upstaged by Gen. Clark, Gephardt’s populist angle has been usurped by Dean, and Lieberman was a poor candidate to begin with . . .
But although I still think my general analysis was right, my three supposed contenders have done little to seize the spotlight in the weeks since that post. Dean is still the front-runner if only by default, but hasn’t followed through on the promise of a relentlessly aggressive campaign
after bursting to the forefront over the summer.
Similarly, Wesley Clark entered the race with a big splash, but has lost so much of that momentum already that even strong supporters are saying that his campaign is in total disarray and needs to essentially start over before it grinds itself to a halt.
And a couple of days ago, both the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post took swings at John Edwards, my own sentimental favorite (or so Green Boy would have you believe!) — pointing out that for all of his apparent effort and skill as a campaigner, he simply isn’t winning very many converts.
Each of the three seems to have a central flaw that is holding them back. Dean’s success has in a sense outrun his tactical skills, and have come so far so quickly, he doesn’t seem to know where to go from here. Clark’s rookie status as a politician is showing up in his ability to manage his own campaign staff. And while Edwards has a good sense of what themes and messages to deliver, he doesn’t project the authority to convince listeners that he’ll get the job done (whether the “job” is ordering military action as President or beating Bush as a candidate).
The race will change significantly if one of these candidates is smart enough to recognize their flaw, then figure out a plan to address it. If not, one of them will stumble to a win, but perhaps not be prepared for the onslaught of Dubya’s advertising dollars and spin machine once the nomination is won.