The 2004 Election

The race is over. John Kerry has made the call to the President.

Despite what many will say, I personally do not believe the loss of the presidency is the start of the end of the world. I believe that things will progress, more or less, like they have for the last four years, which is to say in a direction I don’t like. But left-leaning extremist talk of Bush enacting a civilian draft and taking over Iran, North Korea and France are just as dumb as talk from the right-leaning extremists about how a Kerry win would have led to a terrorist attack thereafter.

What the democrats need to do is what the republicans are doing right now, and that’s sitting down and looking at where they lost and immediately planning for the 2006 and 2008 elections based on that.

Slate.com has a new piece that says

If you’re a Democrat, here’s my advice. Do what the Republicans did in 1998. Get simple. Find a compelling salesman and get him ready to run for president in 2008. Put aside your quibbles about preparation, stature, expertise, nuance, and all that other hyper-sophisticated garbage that caused you to nominate Kerry. You already have legions of people with preparation, stature, expertise, and nuance ready to staff the executive branch of the federal government. You don’t need one of them to be president. You just need somebody to win the White House and appoint them to his administration. And that will require all the simplicity, salesmanship, and easygoing humanity they don’t have.

I agree with that. If you look at many of the polling numbers “not Bush” beat Bush pretty handily, but Kerry only managed to tie with him. The democrats really suffered when they went with the most “vanilla” and “most likely to win” candidate in their primaries, rather than the one who was the strongest on the issues they wanted to advance.

The republicans on the other hand need to be mindful that even though they won the election, they still don’t have a clear mandate from the people. In fact, while the percentages aren’t all that different from 2000, the number of voters increased significantly, implying that we as a country are just as equally divided as before, but the strength behind each side of the division has increased.

So now, in many ways, we’ll get to see how Bush would have fared politically had September 11th never happened. He’s still got many of the problems he walked into four years ago before the attacks, like a a weak economy and rising job losses, to face.

Four more years, indeed.

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