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BLOG OFFICIALITY | blog.deanland.com



Speaking on the phone with a friend this afternoon, I made a
prediction. A political one.  Right here, right now, November of
2004, you heard it first.  From me.  Remember this.  That's what I said. 

Nope, he said in response, it isn't official yet.  Not until you blog it.

What's funny about this is that I reread some old blog entries this
evening.  They'd been pointed to by others, or discovered via
search engine queries.  It struck me that the voice in which I
write, or maybe better put, the voice of the blog, has been
changing.  I've felt it for a while now, but until I had a prompt
to see what others had clicked on, the specifics had eluded me.

Grok-o-rama!  I get it, it is clear.  Passions change, life
issues change, various  situations and realities change.  And
these manifest in the voice.  There are other things I write, a
few other blogs or blog-like entities, and professional writing. 
The voice is more consistent thereabouts.  But not so here, on my
more personal blog.

There is a consistent although recently erratic attempt to keep at some
fiction writing.  That may never see the light of day --or even
the light of the web page--  but it has been itching at me for
over two years, pretty steadily.  So it gets attention, albeit
erratic and haphazard.

Generally it occurs in the Winter, when every other weekend I have some
time all by my lonesome, and spend the day at the keyboard.

How interesting, though, even with the evolution (are we still allowed
to use that word, even though Ashcroft is stepping down?) of the voice,
that a friend perceives proclamations and pronouncements official upon
--and only when-- they appear in the blog.

Something tells me this was not discussed at the recent BloggerCon, the
one held over on the left coast, in California.  One session had
to do with just what does one write about, or recuse in their
writing.  Sooner or later I may just post a piece devoted to that
very subject.  Fact is, I have a very certain, specific set of
standards and practices when it comes to this. 

The good news about the web is that this set of blog parameters is just
for me.  No one else need follow them, or even necessarily even
know of them.  It is an internal thing, actually for my comfort as
much as anything else.

Thankfully --tis the season, eh?-- unless Ashcroft (or some other
reactionary bully) names himself planetary web regulator, bloggers get
to set their own set of what to, how to, when to, and so forth. 
So long as one's arrangement with their hosting service and/or blogging
agent provider is open and resolute as such, one can do as one
wishes.  This is a good thing.


So here was the gist of the discussion with my friend the other
afternoon:  there are two years to work the opposition's
collective butts off, to effect change.  Positive change, not just
change for the sake of change.  And to stimulate discussion and
conversation about national and state/municipal political issues.

Two years to build toward the mid-term elections.  And then,
immediately thereafter, starts the official two year countdown to the
battle for the Oval Office in 2008.

My friend noted that news reports indicated that Kerry is already letting it be known that he is considering another run.  My response to this was a comment noting that Kerry, a longtime politico, was still suffering from Campaignitosis
The symptoms are obvious: he was unable to correctly get the hell out
of the limelight, go defuse and relax.  The adjustment is
difficult.  He'll get there, and stop making embarrasing and inane
statements that drop the "I'll be back" hint.  He should know
better.  After all, it is comon knowledge that the governator from
California, Ahhhnold, owns that phrase.

Of course the handicapping for 2008 has begun.  It is good sport,
and just as sports fans come out with their "next year" outlook, so do
followers of the political game.  There is speculation,
brainstorming, and then there comes the doofus element.  It can
already be seen from those who come forth spouting  "definitive
annoucements of the candidates for 2008."  These are the same sort
of blowhards who had coronated Howard Dean with the Democratic
party  nomination about a year ago.

Candidates being spoken of on the Democratic side always include
mention of Hillary as though this is a foregone conclusion.  What
idiocy!  The woman has weighty baggage, she's perceived as a loony
left wing megaliberal, and people love to hate her.  Including,
one must hasten to add, a good many Democrats.

Hillary as a candidate makes less sense than Dennis Kucinich.  Now
he's one smart guy, a true progressive mistaken as a Liberal by those
not well read on his position on various matters.  But he's
considered a joke of a candidate, a guy with no support, no chance of
ever making it anywhere even near any sort of serious consideration for
the race. 

And yet he has less baggage and extant branding, or negative image or recognition problems the likes of Hillary.

Some speculators on the other side think that Rudy Giuiliani is the
likely next GOP standard bearer.  Oops, they forget a bunch of
salient facts.  He supoprted the right of choice, although came
out against it personally.  Wow, a true constitutionally fluent
position.  He gave the OK to civil unions --not gay mariage, mind
you, but a created legal status for same-sex couples-- in NYC.
And the guy's marriages!  He is anulled once, divorced once, and
now married to the woman he had an ongoing affair with while he was
mayor of NYC, and while he was married to a high profile media
personality, raising their kids together in Gracie Mansion.  Well,
when he was there, which was not often.  And his wife (the current
one) is Jewish.  Oh yeah, religion . . .Rudy is Catholic. 
That won't play so well in the same America that likes a guy from
Crawford who  claims to have divine guidance.  The Catholics
are not beloved to many of the so-called heartland values-voting bible
thumpers.  Some of those same thumpers hold the Catholics in very
low regard.

Yeah, JFK ( the one who was President, not the latest one) was, and his
brothers held office and they were Catholic, too.  But name one
Catholic other than John F. Kennedy under consideration.  The
latest JKF, also a Catholic, was denounced as a stem-cell
proponent/baby-killing/gay marriage supporting pro choice pariah. 
Rudy may not be as vulnerable to those attacks, but he is not likely to
be the choice come 2008. 

But yes, i will admit it:  the Rudy versus Hillary game is fun to
play.  Kind of like when kids play pretend.  Except as adults
we know that pretend is, well, just that, and not to be confused with
reality.  Forget Rudy as a top-of-the ticket type.

Senator Evan Bayh from Indiana is mentioned as a possible up and comer
from the Democrat wing.  So is Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, and
there are other governors also in the early handicapping:  Mark
Warner, of Virginia; Phil Bredesen, of Tennessee; David Freudenthal, of
Wyoming;  and some bandy about Janet Napolitano, of Arizona. 
I discount Napolitano as too far off the center stage, and that's just
the beginning.

I still like Al Gore, and a two year limelight run might be a good
method of testing the early waters.  Does he have it in him, and
will the party unite for him again?  I doubt it on both
counts.  The Democrats need to recreate themselves, and get the
definition and message out to the reds and the blues. Sadly, Gore may
be permanently  tarred and feathered by both the Clinton
connection (Bill, not Hillary) and the debacle of the 2000
campaign.  He may be branded a loser, and that's a bad match for a
party in rebuild mode.

Howard Dean is too much the outsider to be taken seriously at this
point.  He'd need a two year grass roots campaign of getting out
there as an on-message standard bearer just to re-establish a grass
roots following among the party faithful and to begin to facilitate
communications with the masses of Democrats with whom his recent
candidacy never even came close to touching, much less communicating on
any serious level.  It is not an insurmountable task, but it is
certainly a long uphill climb, lacking certainty or guarantees. My
guess is that he's had his moment, and will not go for it again.

Edwards is an interesting possibility.  He's a better campaigner
than Kerry. Then again, so is the kid who became class president in
your local elementary school.  Edwards was away from the national
media spotlight as the second banana.  But anyone who has seen him
do the stump speech, or read (visited) his website when he was going
for the top ticket position, will recall a thorough and prepared

Can he hold the attention and consideration of the public while he is
out of office and associated with a losing ticket?  Time will
tell. Don't count him out, but don't count him in, either.  The
Democrats need  a more Centrist message for an agenda to the left
of the GOP, but not one that can be so susceptible to attacks as a Left
Wing Liberal platform.

My early money is on Bill Richardson,
theGovernor of New Mexico.  His is not a name often heard, but I
like him.   He was the Energy Secretary in the Clinton
Administration, giving him a Cheny-esque CV.  He has foreign
policy experience from his UN Ambassador stint, also during the Clinton
years.  He maintains a world-stage personna, and it was Richardson and New Mexico that the North Koreans chose to visit
in early 2003 -- not Bush or Powell, in either D.C. or New York. 
This firmly established him as a statesman on the world stage, and had
Bush and Powell working with Richardson to pave the way for a fruitful visit.  But who was the host and facilitator of all activity and discussion with the visting North Koreans?  It was Bill Richardson.  Not a Republican, not a member of Dubya's regime.

Richardson is Hispanic, though totally Anlgicized.  This is both
good and bad, given the xenophobia displayed in the 2004 vote. He is
also a Catholic, which may not be as much of an issue, since he is far
from the "Eastern Establishment" mold.

I still like Wesley Clark.  He needs to use the next two years to boost his Q score
His Q rating needs to come up.  CNN, MSNBC, Meet The Press, all
those other Sunday talking heads news shows . . . this is where he
needs to hone his skills.  I continue to tout Clark as a Veep, the
ideal running mate.

As I began to say at the top of this piece: what I told my friend was
that come 2006 it will be like this: Hillary rumors (supporters as well
as detractors) will be at a fever pitch.  Bill Frist from
Tennessee will be thumping bibles and giving out pictures of himself
standing with Bush, and talking up the "stay the course" rhetoric.

Egad, if he gets the nod, will the Republican goal be to get the country "Fristed?"  Imagine the fun Howard Stern, et al, could have with that!

A dark horse Democrat may emerge, and the one I'd like to see is Bill
Ruchardson.  And Wesley Clark right there with him, in the Veep
spot on the Democratic ticket.

Mark my words:  Hillary will not be the candidate.  If she is, it means the Democrats have already taken a 2008 loss as a foregone conclusion.

And Jeb is not a likely 2008 player, either.  Should be an interesting two years as the dance play out.