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January 5, 2004
Has the Democratic Establishment Thrown In the Towel?

Further confirmation of Dean's inevitability will be forthcoming as early as tomorrow, as the AP reports that former Senator Bill Bradley, who vied with Al Gore for the nomination in 2000, will endorse Howard Dean:

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, who lost the Democratic nomination for president to Al Gore in 2000, is expected to endorse front-runner Howard Dean, party officials said Monday. ... Dean has changed his campaign schedule to appear Tuesday in New Hampshire for a surprise announcement, state campaign director Karen Hicks said Monday.

Dean can now claim endorsements from both major Democratic contenders from the last election, and even though Bradley represented the more liberal wing of the party -- until Al Gore decided to swing left over the past couple of years -- his endorsement has to be seen as an Establishment endorsement, perhaps even more than Gore's. Bradley commands respect across the political spectrum and if he gets involved in the campaigning, he will provide a steady and erudite image, something that the sometimes-frothing and always careless Dean could use.

In the contest for the swing voters in the center for the general election, this will have little to no impact. However, for the primaries, Bradley's endorsement will further energize the base for Dean and will probably demoralize the other Dems' campaigns. Look for a couple of candidates to drop out soon, likely Edwards and Mosely-Braun.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 5, 2004 9:48 AM

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