New Hampshire Primary

I still think, even more, that we are doomed if Kerry is the Democratic nominee. In his victory speech tonight, Kerry looked and acted like he had a stick up his ass (a common metaphor, but in this case it seemed almost literally apt). Not only did he obviously not believe any of the things he was saying, he didn’t even seem capable of pretending to believe them. He’s too lame even to be phony.
Dean, on the other hand, was emotionally involved, with his people, and also with the larger TV audience. Not that this will do him much good. I agree with Jacalyn that Dean is in trouble in large part because the media read things like his now infamous whoop as that he is “acting too ‘lower-class’/ too black/too much like white trash.”
It’s not that I am saying that any show of emotion is automatically good. After all, who was more emotional (and thereby more crassly manipulative) in his political speeches than Hitler? I am saying, rather, that it’s more on an affective level than an ideological one that elections are won and lost. And too few political commentators notice this, or are willing to admit that they are aware of it.
It may be that nobody the Democrats have can compete with what Jenny, who writes very well about the politics of affect, describes as Bush’s display of ” feeling that doesn’t slip over into ‘a’ feeling….Bush is the conservative/political cousin to the iPod commercials, insofar as they both tap into emotionless affect in order to ‘work.’ ”
Now, I think that Bush is able to appear this way, precisely because he is a sociopath, as Mark Crispin Miller cogently argues. But that doesn’t make the task of beating him any easier; and though I still think that the career military man, General Clark, is the one most likely to be able to do it, I remain uncertain as to whether he can pull it off. But I know that Kerry doesn’t stand a chance.
Most idiotic comment of the evening, by somebody on CNN: “Women like Kerry because they feel protected by him.”
Most outrageous claim by a candidate: Lieberman, claiming his 5th place showing as a victory, because he was almost in a tie for third place (Kerry and Dean, he said, don’t really count, because they come from states directly adjoining New Hampshire. It’s a good thing nobody reminded Lieberman that, even if Connecticut doesn’t border New Hampshire, it, too, is part of New England).
Sharpton brilliantly one-upped Lieberman when he said he was thrilled to get a few hundred votes in New Hampshire, when he didn’t even campaign there.

3 Responses to “New Hampshire Primary”

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