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February 3, 2004
Carl Cameron: Ted Kennedy Fighting to Stop Dean

Carl Cameron reports on Fox that Ted Kennedy, John Kerry's fellow Senator from Massachussets, intends to rally the Democratic mainstream to force Howard Dean out of the race so that he doesn't "sap enthusiasm" away from the front-runner. Kennedy and others -- probably the Clintonistas -- are concerned that Dean may be gathering his resources for one last two-week blast at John Kerry (and perhaps John Edwards) that will damage his/their chances in November.

Pardon me, but if this is true, this has to be the stupidest campaign strategy so far in a year that has seen some very strange campaigning. Kennedy proposes to do what the first round of primaries could not: energize Dean's base and reverse his flagging momentum. Tonight's results have delivered a body blow to Dean's campaign -- he didn't win a single delegate so far, although he looks like he'll get some in New Mexico -- and left alone, Dean's campaign may have died from starvation. But a "smoke-filled room" decision to torpedo what's left of his run at the nomination will enrage his base, shrunken but still significant, who may revolt against the Democrats, perhaps even convincing the egotistical Dean to run as an independent. If not, they may go Green in November. This is the very thing they have always accused the party leadership of trying to do, and now it looks like they may not have been paranoid after all.

Far be it from me to give helpful advice to the Democrats, but they should ask themselves this question: is there any way in hell Dean can get the nomination? Not at this point, not realistically. If so, then why bother pulling out the bag of tricks now? Let him fade out on his own accord, and then welcome his base into the convention. The Democrats cannot afford to drive them off.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 3, 2004 9:02 PM

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