Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, September 19, 2003

Before she left, EGA was mulling over whether to register to vote in New York or Massachusetts. She wanted to be able to maximize the impact her vote would have in the primaries, where timing is often crucial. From the looks of things, though, at least as far as timing goes it will be a wash: the Bay State and the Empire State both go to the polls on March 2, 2004. For once, both states will probably be right in the thick of things. It looks to me like the field will still be pretty commodious by then, although I wouldn't bet on Kerry still being a part of it. He's looking more and more like Edmund Muskie, and that is not a good thing. Clark's entry into the race cancels out the only strength Kerry really had-- it is a fine thing to be a decorated veteran, but Clark trumps him. Clark must be planning to to run a low budget campaign, hoping that decent early showings help him raise the money he'll need for Super Tuesday-- big veteran populations in some of those states should help him, hurt Edwards. Edwards has the dough to hang on, though, and Sharpton doesn't need money-- his notoriety is what keeps him going. Hard to know what will happen to Graham-- Florida votes March 9, and he might hang on until then. I'd say that EGA's registration decision should turn on which state will matter more in the general election, in which case, I'd say she will be voting absentee.

It seems to me that Clark's entry is getting a lot more hype than his realistic prospects warrant, perhaps because the journalists covering the race are looking for a story. Political journalism that approches its subject like a horserace is deplorable, but inevitable. As far as it goes though, I don't see Clark really hurting Dean-- Clark's argument is "I'm electable". Dean's argument is, "I stand for things that Bush opposes." It may or may not be true that Dean can't be elected-- he's banking on the ideas that he stands for being more popular than people think. I'd say that's a better way to win-- Gore failed to sufficently distinguish himself in the minds of too many, but there'll be no confusion between Dean and Bush, for sure.

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