Interesting thread over at the Daily Kos discussing the fallout from Daschle deciding not to run in 2004. Some on the list have noted in Kos’s comments section that perhaps this is good for Dick Gephardt in the Iowa primary.
I do not think I could disagree more. IMHO, there is simply no chance in hell that Dick Gephardt will be the Democrat’s nominee. Why?
1.) Gephardt was utterly humiliated in every election in which he was the leader. He never regained the House, despite an exceptionally strong Dem. Presidential candidate (who won the popular vote- which would lead me to think that the Dems would have a decent chance of recapturing the House).
2.) The base hates him. He is a sell-out, he is too conservative, and he voted for the Iraq resolution. The people who decide who the Democrat candidate is will not forget that vote, nor his working with the Republicans and the Bush administration (which is seen as utter capitulation to the people who count in the Democrat primaries).
3.) Many refer to his power with labor. Folks, this is not 1960 anymore. Labor simply is not that important of a voting group as it once was. Perhaps CFR may impact that, but union membership has been declining for years. Furthermore, Unions achieved many of their goals that wed them to the Democrat party. For the most part- they do have decent wages, decent health care, decent retirement. Now, many union members feel comfortable voting on socially conservative issues, such as guns. Also, I think the importance of the friction between the environmental movement and unions should not be downplayed. Bush attempted to drive a wedge in between these groups with ANWR and other issues.
Most importantly, unless you have been visiting the Daily Kos, Eschaton, Ted Barlow, or other lefty sites frequently and for a while, you just have no idea how much the base hates Gephardt. He has no chance in hell.