By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2004, 8:31pm PT  

Whaddaya know? Dean is not dead after all! Whodathunkit? I'd a thunk it. That's who.

Watch the Media subtly change their "Dean is Dead" message to "If Dean doesn't win soon he's gonna be dead anytime now...really...we swear!" message.

Also, watch them overplay the Kerry is King card between now and the next time a good idea occurs to them (or more accurately, is thrust upon them by actual voters).

I was pullin' for and predicting a slightly better show for Dean in New Hampshire, I'll admit. But he's anything but dead in the water right now. So - as Dean was in his speech tonight - I'll be a bit gracious for a change and say that the Media and I split the difference. Though even that was more gracious than I really feel like being. So much for gracious. Glad that's outta my system.

It's worth noting that Dean's speech was tremendous and should make a big difference in the coming weeks. It was fascinating watching him attempt to be Presidential. It didn't seem to come easy in the first few minutes, but after about 3 minutes (half an entire news cycle!) he settled in and got it just about right. Watch for more of that in the near future.

Out of the remaining candidates (the real candidates here, anyway - unfortunately Kusinich and Sharpton not included), I'm proud to say that none of them blow. For a change. That is, since Gephardt mercifully left the race anyway.

Sadly though, of the 4 or so viable right now, it's the least impressive amongst them who is currently at the top. Other than looking somewhat like a President of the United States (can't recall who said that John Kerry looks like he is actually from Mount Rushmore), I'm so far rather under-whelmed with him and can still only hope that the Democratic party impresses me this year and doesn't give him the nomination. That may be a lot to ask from the Democratic party.

None the less...with Kerry beginning to look like the front man - ruining Karl Roves previous ruined re-election strategy yet again, it's now back to the old-familiar sometimes-working sometimes-not GOP playbook. Here's what's left in their arsenal. The sum total of their re-election campaign. It goes something like this:

"Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!"


Having learned that it's gonna be a long time before they can really figure out exactly who they'll be running against, they can always fall back on the above all-purpose GOP fight song.

It may work. Better, at least, than last years now scrapped plan for '04, which went something like this:

"9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!"


With the failures in Iraq, I think even the shameless GOP will have trouble selling that message this year. Even from near the footprints of Ground Zero in NYC in early September where they plan to tread on the memories of some 3000 dead people to retain their cynical hold on power at this Fall's convention. It's too early to tell for certain, but I have a feeling that ain't gonna work for them either.