Ah, the Democrats... scrambling puppies, nipping on issues that fall like scraps from Bush's dinner table. The Democratic candidates debated tonight in a taped format that I haven't had a chance to see yet (who knows when it will be broadcast), but here's a summary from WaPo. What's the only morsel they can dig their teeth into to use against Bush?
But the candidates, and moderator George Stephanopolous of ABC News, turned the focus mostly to the bread-and-butter domestic issues that Democrats hope will drive the 2004 campaign.Of course they want so-called "bread-and-butter" issues to take center stage (WaPo got the DNC memo on which catch-phrases to use, I see) because they know they'll lose if world events are allowed to remain in the public eye.
Lieberman is the most hawkish of the Dems (and actually seems like a pretty good guy) but he could never represent the US effectively to the rest of the world. Why? Well, I hate to say it, but it's because he's Jewish. In case you haven't noticed, there's been quite a resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world, particularly in Europe. Oh right, and Arabs hate Jews almost as much as Europeans do. Frankly, there's probably enough anti-Semitism in America to keep Lieberman from winning as well, particularly among black Americans who make up a large Democratic constituency. If Lieberman were even nominated the conspiracy theorists would have a field day. Which could be quite entertaining, actually.
Most of the candidates are jokes that stopped being funny back in the '80s; the newcomers just don't have the gravitas necessary to displace Bush. In the end, it will probably be Sen. Edwards or Sen. Kerry up against the Pres, and the polls don't make it look like it will even be close. Sure, the election is 18 months away, and a lot can happen, but the economic cycle is just now starting to turn around and by next November I expect that the Dems' only issue will have dissipated into the ether.