Wednesday, January 21, 2004

TAPPED Misreads Dean's New Tactics

From "DOES ANYONE STILL CARE ABOUT THE WAR?"If, as Josh Marshall seems to suggest, last night's defeat leads Dean to de-emphasize the war and self-referential talk about his own campaign in favor of a discussion of his domestic policy agenda, that would be a good thing for his campaign and the country. The fact is that Dean's always had a pretty compelling set of ideas -- progressive social values, a balanced budget, and steady expansion of health care coverage -- in this area, along with a proven track-record of delivering on these fronts that his opponents largely lack.

Refocusing on Domestic Policy doesn't really sound like a good plan for Dean. His "compelling set of ideas" is virtually indistinguishable from those on any other mainstream Democrat. yes, its true that he has some experience implenting them as Governor, but all his main rivals (except Clark) have at least some experience doing the same thing. His opponents can also claim that they are (probably rightly) more electable than Dean is. Dean's complete opposistion (which included his anti-war posisistion) to Bush's agenda, was what won him the support of so many people in the first place, but if he moves attention away from this, his appeal will probably be weakened.


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