A while back, I was worried about this sort of outcome: lots of Democratic contenders still in the field, sniping at each other’s heels and generally causing a ruckus. With Kerry’s victory in Iowa it now looks likely that a clear winner won’t emerge for several weeks — one commentator on NPR today even predicted that the fight for the nomination could go right up to the convention.
I _was_ worried, but it actually strikes me now as an advantage. Karl Rove can’t unleash the hounds on the winner until there _is_ a winner, and each week the race is still on is another week where there’s not just one person to attack. A close race also keeps the Democrats above the fold no matter what new attention-grabbing policy initiatives Bush unveils. Whoever finally emerges from the pack will have the aura of a victor, too.
So who do I want that to be? Back when I “decided to support Dean”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/000080.html, I had already written off Kerry, which was clearly a mistake. One thing I’d love to know is whether his surge represents (at least in part) the fact that he actually does have a viable campaign, or whether he was just scoring off last-minute doubts about Dean. Kerry’s politics are actually a little closer to mine than Dean’s, but I’m concerned that he doesn’t have a campaign organization that can go toe to toe with Bush. As for that Dean-doubt issue . . . it bugs me. I find myself thinking “perhaps he’s too irate and brash to get elected,” but then must remind myself that this is just the media meme du jour, and may or may not have any grounding in reality. I wish I knew somebody closer to him who has a clearer idea of what he’s really like.
Ultimately either one of them is going to have a hard time beating Bush, but I wouldn’t be unhappy with either of them as President. So for now, _viva la campaña_!
UPDATE: Alert reader Ana has very kindly corrected my Spanish.