Tuesday, January 28, 2003
The Reason? The New Republic's "&c" blog asks why Gov. Gary Locke will respond to the State of the Union speech for the Dems. They have the sources to back up their assertion that it's because the governors were the only Dems that fared reasonably well in '02. But I think that's spin. I think that too many high profile Dems are gearing up to run for president. First, this is a touchy time for a politician to speak, officially, for the Democrats. They still don't have a formulated message (other than "Bush has a credibility gap," which message telegraphs the notion that they learned nothing from 2002). Second, any prominent Dem who harbors presidential aspirations and gives the rebuttal speech will be subject to a large dose of the hairy eyeball by the other likely candidates. Why give Kerry, Daschle, Lieberman, Gephardt, etc. free face time just as several candidates are jumping in or set to announce? You might as well call up Gary Hart and ask if he'd like to do it. I think they all agreed (to their mutual relief) to let an outsider take a swing at it while they watch the dial group numbers.