Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Presumptive Democratic Presidential Candidate

The John Kerry campaign is considering not accepting the party nomination for President at the Democratic National Convention on September 1st - opting to accept the nomination at a later date. It's a money issue really. Accepting the nomination would start an FEC spending cap of $75 million in public funds between September 1st and election day. This would occur before the same spending cap is applied to the Bush campaign at the Republican Convention 5 weeks later. It would also put a stop to the monumental fundraising success the Democrats have had during the 2004 capaign year.

To many voters, however, Kerry is presumptive in more ways than one. Some voters may find a level of arrogance in this strategy unacceptable to them. There have been rumblings of things like, "He can take our money, but not our nomination?" Also, not accepting the nomination may waste some valuable post-convention "feel good time" for a party which has not appeared to put forth a cohesive agenda (other than "We hate Bush") for the presidential election. In this case, voters have expressed that Kerry presumes to be the party candidate without having clearly expressed his position on any controversial issues.

Or maybe Kerry will accept the nomination anyway, and the fundraising will go underground to the Shadow Party 527 and 501c organizations. These groups raise enormous sums for the Democratic party - twice that of Republican non-profits.

It is assured the Kerry campaign will have a good answer prepared for whatever happens in Boston on September 1st. it will be a wonderful touchy - feely night! I foresee Ted Kennedy talking about how Kerry is the most important political figure since his brother was in office. I foresee a lot of Bush-bashing without one hint of how Kerry would do things differently - so more of the same. I don't foresee any vision for the future, except maybe how much longer John Kerry will be "presumptive".


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