Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Notes On The New Hampshire Primary

A couple of points:

1. It seems clear from the exit poll data that Howard Dean's consumption of news coverage following the "I Have A Scream" speech in Des Moines did in fact derail the momentum of John Edwards coming out of Iowa. I think a lot of people thought that the story would be Kerry and Edwards from Tuesday to Friday of last week, but it turned out to be Kerry and Dean. And so Edwards (who did gain in the last three days of the New Hampshire primary) didn't get the Iowa bounce he ordinarily would have. Which led to his disappointing fourth-place finish. The Rule of Two (the media can only handle a two-candidate context) is iron-clad.

2. It also seems clear that another iron-clad rule of politics -- that electability is not an argument -- no longer applies. Electability was clearly an issue in New Hampshire, as it was in Iowa. It damaged Dean in both states.

3. General Wesley Clark really is as crazy as a loon.

4. Back in 1995, a kid named Ken Robinson came to our offices in Boston looking for work. I was working then for a public strategies group. Ken wanted to get involved in politics. I introduced him to my friend Jack Corrigan, who was running for Norfolk County DA. Ken ended up running Jack's (unsuccessful) campaign. Ken went on to become a first-rate political organizer and this year, ran the Kerry operation in New Hamphire. Corrigan tells me that Ken built one of the best organizations he's ever seen in modern politics. So you see, Ellisblog helped Kerry! Stop e-mailing me.