Past Rant III

“Who Really Causes the Campaigns to Lose”

On the March 2nd “Meet The Press” morning showing with Tim Russert I heard this from one of the guest panelists – “I still can’t believe we lost that campaign…and we didn’t lose that campaign…Perot beat us.” Republican Strategist, Mary Matalin, spoke this line of wisdom. She worked for George Bush Sr. when he was running against William Jefferson Clinton, whose campaign strategist was her husband James Carville. I think in that election I voted Perot, or maybe Billy C., but I know I didn’t vote for Poppy Bush.

That said, and I’ve said this before – THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES DONE LOSE ELECTIONS FOR THE OTHERS. If George Sr. lost it was because he couldn’t get enough votes to win. Bill Clinton got the votes he needed. If people didn’t vote for Perot how does anyone know they would have voted for George Sr.? If George Sr. couldn’t get them to vote for him then he lost them fair and square. Don’t blame Perot for taking votes away.

This issue was brought back to light in the 2000 election where Gore lost to Bush. That’s right, GORE LOST. Nader didn’t lose it. Gore couldn’t muster the balls to really stand up and say something dynamic. He played the political game and it did him in. Most of all he rejected the support of Bill Clinton, the lame duck, but still rather popular, president. Trying to distance himself from the Monica Lewinsky situation, Gore turned away the best card he had – the support of Slick Willy. That’s what lost the election for Gore, not people voting for Nader.

Now Ralph Nader is back. Although I think he is grandstanding a bit the Democrats should not worry about him. If they can’t moxy the balls to get voters on their side then they should just bow their heads and let them be sliced off. Nader will raise some issues and push some talking points. Let him to do that. More talk the better. More debate the better everyone looks, if you have the answers.

Something to remember, people don’t change their minds because a third party comes into the picture. People change their minds because only one voice is speaking dynamically enough to listen. If people hear enough of this voice they will move to it. If the Democrats can’t keep their base from swaying to someone else’s beat then what does that mean about the leadership of the Democrats. It’s time for the Dems to stand up and be heard so people can at least say – “That’s my party saying something. Listen!” If they focus on Nader and his anemic campaign things are going to end up like the last 8 years.

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