INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The System Worked

I note that in my blog post of January 16, written just before the Iowa primaries, I opined that only three people had a chance of beating Bush: Dean, Edwards, or Clark. So much for my prognosticating abilities. Having lived through other sudden shifts in political fortune over the years, I should have known that such predictions are foolhardy.

Anyway, I hope the young folks that Dean brought into political activism don't get too discouraged and abandon their involvement. My fear is that they're going to blame the system instead of the reality of politics.

The system actually worked the way it's supposed to. The presidential election process starts in the small states of Iowa and New Hampshire for a very good reason: it tests the candidates by putting them in a situation where they have to get up close to the voters--thus giving the voters their chance to take an informed measure of the candidate.

Dean may have had a brilliant internet campaign and raised millions of dollars, but when the true test came, i.e., getting up in front of actual voters, he didn't show them what they wanted to see--someone they could feel confident about--someone they could count on to withstand the Bush onslaught that we all know is going to be unleashed in terrifying force.

The Deaniacs are blaming the media for being too hard on their guy, but the media punching that Dean had to face in these contests was nothing compared to what's ahead. If he couldn't withstand the initial blast, how in the hell could we count on him to not get crushed in the real slugfest come this fall?

The voters of Iowa and New Hampshire were clearly asking themselves the same question. I trust these good folks. They are salt-of-the-earth types. They have spoken, and I have no reason whatsoever to question their judgment. Now, Let's get on with the job of getting our country back.

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