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Thursday, July 15, 2004

(Almost) Learning the lessons of '92

The Democratic Party showed it still has a few brain cells in operation by not including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to the speaker's list during the Convention in Boston. Sen. Clinton herself is not disappointed about this (at least not outwardly). But a major Dem. fund-raiser, Judith Hope, is livid.


She has called the decision "a total outrage...very stupid". She also went on to say:


It's a slap in the face, not personally for Hillary Clinton, but for every woman in the Democratic Party and every woman in America

Wow! Someone's been feeding at the red meat table with Al.


What Ms. Hope is failing to understand is that the Convention serves a dual purpose. First and foremost, it's a party for the faithful where they select their candidate.


But it is also an opportunity for undecided voters to see what a candidate, and their party, is all about.


Love her or hate her, Sen. Clinton is one of the most polarizing figures in American politics today. To give her a prime-time speaking slot would be suicide for the DNC. And they know it. Heck, she probably knows it.


This is the lesson learned from 1992, when Pat Buchanan submarined George Bush Sr.'s campaign with a prime-time, red-meat speech that energized the conservative base and scared the crap out of moderates and undecided voters.


Conventions are showcases where you try to suck in the undecided voter. Why do you think the GOP is pushing Giuliani and McCain? Because people like them. Give Rick Santorum some prime-time slot and every undecided voter would run screaming for the hills.


Liekwise, the DNC won't give Hillary a prime slot because she causes too much controversy. But what possessed them to let Gore speak? Yes, I know he was the last candidate (who lost, who couldn't carry his home state), but have they listened to him lately? Look at this quote from a recent speech:


The administration works closely with a network of rapid-response digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for undermining support for our troops

Now, I don't have a problem with dissent and honest debate. This is the United States. It's a cornerstone of what we are all about; the right to question our leaders.


But calling people "Brown Shirts?" If you don't know, this is a direct comparison to Hitler's S.A., who basically intimidated and killed people for Hitler until the S.S. came into being and Hitler dissolved the S.A. in the "Night of the Long Knives."


So Gore is basically calling these people Nazi thugs. Which is so over-the-top and offensive I am shocked he is getting time to talk. Will this talk energize the Dem. base? Undoubtedly. But will it attact moderate and undecided voters? I wouldn't bet on it.

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