First, sorry to have been "away" so long, but the holidays put me into a self-imposed state of media blackout and I found it so enjoyable I just let it roll. Alas, recent events have started to pique my interest (dammit!) and I can't help but take a sip from the cup of internet info. So, I'm back, if you'll have me (you're not, as an Eagles fan, lying in wait to ambush a Charlottean, are you Razor? Whew!)
So the primary game is on, and there are predictions galore. I watched Kerry's CSPAN-televised rally yesterday and was really impressed with how many times he was able to work in the "crony capitalism" theme. Everything comes back to Bush/Enron, Cheney/Halliburton, Republicans/drug companies. The crowd, of course, ate it up. Their questions reminded me of the old "Da Bears" skits on Saturday Night Live. Chris Farley would ask George Wendt, "If God played Ditka in the Super Bowl, who would win?" Wendt would reply, "That'd be a close one, but Ditka would squeak it out, 247-3. God can probably kick a long one at the end, when Ditka goes into the prevent defense." To Kerry it was: "Since Satan and his evil minions have personally seen to it that everyone but the religious right is living on minimum wage and eating cat food, would your first act as president be to turn over national defense to Santa Claus, or to issue an executive order creating mandatory coffee breaks?" One guy even asked him if he could help with getting his veteran's benefits reinstated. Kerry wouldn't make the promise, but that's okay. The guy's congressman is probably up for reelection soon. In short it was softball questioning from a group of people already sold on their candidate, which is what you'd expect at a campaign rally.
It will be interesting to see how things progress after New Hampshire, where it seems Kerry will probably win, but Dean and Edwards have a chance to show they're still in the fight. When they get to South Carolina, things can shift considerably. There seems to be a buzz about Edwards now, since he surprised everyone in Iowa and the media loves his "youth and optimism." I also think he'll play well in places like Florida and Arizona where he'll remind every retiree of their grandson.
I'll be trying to dig in and catch up for a while, but I'll be following things closely again. Look forward to trading insights with everyone.