Thursday, April 22, 2004

Anti-Bush Sentiment Helping Bush?
From today's Political Diary (sorry, subscription-based email): "Memo to Democrats: Your boycott of Ralph Nader is not working. The perennial presidential candidate is off to a better start this year than he was four years ago. Running as an independent, Mr. Nader has raised $600,000 since declaring his candidacy two months ago. Yesterday he announced that he has qualified for federal matching funds. At this point in 2000, he'd only raised $198,000 and was still a few months away from meeting the federal requirements for matching funds (which entails $5,000 in at least 20 states in donations smaller than $250) [...]
Interestingly, Mr. Nader's success is coming from a Howard Dean-like strategy. Mr. Nader has started advertising himself as 'the only true anti-war candidate' and has raised oodles of money in small donations over the Internet."

Here's my theory: the same people that Dean tapped into are now paying Nader. Why? As one of my professors termed it, Bushitis. Now, it's related to the "anybody but Bush" syndrome that caused many Democrats to boycott Nader this go-around. The problem is, it's more severe. It's not "anybody but Bush," but rather "I need the anti-Bush," which seems to be Nader more than Kerry. When Dean exploded, they ran to Nader.

Effectively, I think Bush hatred is helping Bush.

UPDATE [4/22/2004 - 17:20]: Also from today's Political Diary: "This is just not a very fizzy candidacy.... Kerry's may be the most sclerotic presidential campaign since Bob Dole's. It is not uncommon to see audiences leaving his fund-raising events in droves while he is still speaking" -- Time magazine columnist Joe Klein in the April 26 issue

It seems to me that what I've been implying for a while may end up being truer than even I thought. I simply don't see how an "anti-Bush" candidate can beat Bush without defining himself. Yet, every time Kerry says he's going to define himself, all he says is either "I'm not Bush," or "I served in Vietnam."

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