by John Hawkins | January 3, 2005 12:02 am
Almost two months after election day, Democrat strategists continue to debate John Kerry’s loss to George Bush, wondering how Mr. Kerry failed to lose by a landslide.
“It’s baffling,” said Democrat National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe, “He had all the earmarks of a devastating, 10-million-vote, 49-state defeat. And yet he only lost by a few million in the popular vote and cut it pretty close in the Electoral College.”
The debate over how Mr. Kerry managed a mediocre performance rather than a crushing embarrassment threatens to tear the fabric of Democrat party unity.
On the one side, many strategists think President Bush should have beaten Mr. Kerry “like a steel drum” due to the latter’s lack of guiding principles, reasonable ideas, tolerable personality or track record of accomplishment.
On the other side, a raft of consultants continues to pore over precinct spreadsheets trying to calculate why more people don’t hate George Bush.
“If we can solve this riddle,” said Mr. McAuliffe, “Our 2008 candidate will be able to return us to the halcyon days of Mondale and Dukakis.”
Meanwhile, he said, pundits and pols ponder the central question: “How can a man who stands for so little still get the support of about 50 million voters?”
Mr. Kerry, who is also a U.S. Senator, still attributes his “virtual victory” showing to curiosity.
“I think many Americans were curious to see my plan,” he said. “My whole strategy was to tease them with it during the campaign, so they would be burning to get a glimpse of it by November. It worked. Without that plan, sculptors would be chiseling my face on the Democrat Mount Rushmore, right next to Walter and Michael.”
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