Monday, December 20, 2004

Monday evening update

First, have a happy first day of winter tomorrow. I've added a few things to my sidebar. Evan Bayh is starting to look like a presidential candidate in 2008. Hotmail is acting up so I cannot do much with regards to reading my emails.
Senator Joe Lieberman's former communications director, Dan Gerstein, wrote an interesting article criticizing the Kerry campaign. You can read the PDF version here. His article was in the Wall Street Journal on November 11, 2004 and it is titled "More Muscle, More G-d, Less Shrum. The criticisms are right on the money! I have added his consulting firm as a link.
Another article of interest that Greg covered the other day is It's time to pass torch, younger Dems say. Very interesting article and several Democrats are quoted.
Simmons, Powers and New York City-based consultant Dan Gerstein have been three of the bluntest commentators. "The party in certain respects is fossilized," says Gerstein, 37. "It's trapped in the last vestiges of the New Deal coalition. That coalition is no longer an electoral majority or even close to it."

A former aide to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Gerstein wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Democrats have "fallen right back into the elitist, weak-kneed, brain-dead trap" they thought they'd escaped with Bill Clinton.

He called for more muscle in foreign policy, more respect for religion and "banishing Bob Shrum and his tone-deaf Chardonnay populism" from future presidential campaigns. Shrum, 61, was nominee John Kerry's top adviser.

Gerstein is among the many concerned about the Democrats' image. "We've lost the mantle of reform we had for the whole 20th century after Franklin Roosevelt," says Matt Bennett, 39, a former Clark aide and co-founder of a new group called Third Way. "We are seen as defenders of an old system that no longer meets the needs of the 21st century world we live in."
Kristol Scotches Rumor on Rumsfeld Bashing. Evidently, Scott McClellan was asked if President Bush told Bill Kristol to write the editorial. Here's an excerpt:
Not so, said an amused Kristol, who said someone must have overheard him joking about what he would say when he had his photo taken with the president and first lady Laura Bush later in the party. Kristol said it is not true that there has been "any kind of White House encouragement or back-channel contact."

"I maybe said that if he pats me on the back and says, 'Good op-ed, Bill,' that would indicate something," Kristol said. The editor said he used his few seconds with Bush to thank him for awards he had given his parents, neoconservative writer Irving Kristol and historian Gertrude Himmelfarb. The Rumsfeld article did not come up.
I know someone in the Kristol family.

Schumer Shows Senate Democrats His Way to Re-Election. Took me a while to just get to the article with a hard to remember user name. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has some great ideas in what I like to call Schumer 101. I saw the Senator speak at a Jews for Kerry rally in October. Sadly, he left before I could get an autograph or a individual photo with him. I'll get it this summer most likely.
Charles E. Schumer, New York's press-savvy senior senator, has made a name in his state with weekly Sunday news conferences, where he chases headlines on a slow news day. Now, his Democratic colleague in Minnesota, Mark Dayton, is doing the same with his re-election in 2006 approaching.[...]

But Democrats say that anyone skeptical about Mr. Schumer's qualifications need only to look at his record in New York, where he has combined a talent for publicity with an eye for issues that have bipartisan appeal and a reputation for exhaustive constituent service. He won re-election with a record 71 percent of the vote in November, including one-third of the Republican vote, much of it in rural and old industrial regions that independent political experts say resemble Midwest swing states like Ohio and Michigan.

Even Republicans say that while it may be tempting to caricature the senator as the sort of Democrat that voters seemed to reject in November - a liberal-leaning Northeasterner - it would be dangerous to underestimate Mr. Schumer, a man so seemingly driven that he met a challenge from a magazine reporter to draw all 62 New York counties freehand.

"You can't outwork him," said Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of western New York, who is the chairman of the Republican Party's re-election committee in the House.[...]

In his mission to revive Democratic prospects in the Senate, he faces the immediate task of helping defend five Democratic senators in states that President Bush carried or did surprisingly well in, analysts say. They are Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Dayton of Minnesota, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Bill Nelson of Florida. One of them, Mr. Dayton, said Mr. Schumer gave him one valuable piece of advice over dinner: hold regular news conferences on Sunday, a ploy Mr. Schumer has long used to avoid competing with major news for the press's attention.[...]

Now Mr. Schumer has turned his attention to helping provide a similar financial edge to his Democratic colleagues, among them Mr. Nelson, a first-term senator in heavily Republican Nebraska.

Recently, for example, Mr. Schumer came up with the idea of getting a prominent Nebraskan now living in New York City to headline a fund-raiser for Mr. Nelson: Bob Kerrey, the New School University president and former senator, who spent months in the national spotlight as one of the more outspoken members of the commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I like the Bob Kerrey idea.

I've added a few more links to my "blogroll."

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