October 21, 2004,
Ed Kilgore is a friendly (however misguided) Democrat over the Democratic Leadership Council. NRO Editor Kathryn Jean Lopez checked in with him Wednesday night to take the "New Democrat" election temperature.
(Full disclosure: The italicized asides were added long after Kilgore went to sleep.)
See if any of his answers surprise you and do with them what you will. And check www.newdonkey.com, where Kilgore not-so-anonymously blogs.
And may the best man win!
NRO: What's the electoral mood over where you are?
Ed Kilgore: Guarded optimism. The optimism is from three sources:
Kilgore: Kerry's views on the connection between faith and politics are typically "nuanced," which sounds terrible until you reflect on the less-than-crystalline clarity of, say, the Nicene Creed or Paul's Epistle to the Romans. I think a full-fledged speech on this subject will help him.
Kilgore: As always, Bush's message discipline is awe-inspiring. Kerry argues with his consultants; Bush obeys his.
Kilgore: Surprises? I'd be surprised, but I've been surprised before.
Kilgore: Kerry may well be able to "win ugly" by just slugging it out with Bush along the he said/he said lines the campaign has followed recently, but it would be helpful if he works hard to frame the final push as a change/status quo choice. He should also do everything possible to rebut BC04's "big-government liberal" attack line, because (a) it's very weird coming from the absolute rulers of the biggest, most debt-ridden federal government in U.S. history, and (b) it's the last weapon in the incumbent's arsenal.
Kilgore:Since I am not personally acquainted with the thousand or so undecided voters in South Dakota, I cannot make an iron-clad prediction, but my gut is that Daschle wins, in part because he's led in most polls in a state where both candidates are universally known, and in part because S.D. is one of those places where tactical voting (give the White House to one party, give the Senate to another) is an old and familiar habit. The fact that Daschle's GOTV operation calls forth hosannas from the kind of people who pay attention to such things is the clincher.
Kilgore: Oh, I guess it will be "Kerry Claims Victory; GOP Demands Recounts in 3 States." Subhed: "Bush Says 'Every Vote Must Count'"
NRO: Cute, but dream on. [Fingers crossed.]