Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XXXVIII: Autumn Of The Candidate Presumptive

Apparently working from the theory that the best use of scarce campaign resources is to let the nuclear bomb go off and then try to put out the fire, the Kerry campaign is still not addressing the lack of minority representation in his inner circle. The Washington Times reports the most recent wave of the obviously inevitable tsunami:

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile criticized Sen. John Kerry yesterday for failing to put black and Hispanic leaders into senior campaign positions, saying it raised serious questions about his commitment to racial diversity.

Ms. Brazile just keeps impressing with her hard nosed assessments of political realities. She had previously gone public to knock the Kerry campaign's failure to take immediate action and understand that it was being defined into its grave at this very moment - although as noted here at the time her comments then had obvious application to the racial aspect of the Senator's predicament.

Her new comments appear in Roll Call and are excerpted by the Times:

"If the past is indeed prologue, this message has been lost on Sen. John Kerry's campaign, which has failed to understand how to navigate one of the most important issues in American politics: race relations and diversity."

Her surprisingly sharp criticism of the party's presumptive presidential nominee was the second major broadside hurled at the Kerry campaign in the past week by a prominent minority leader.

In a letter to Mr. Kerry last week, Raul Yzaguirre, president of the National Council of La Raza, wrote that "relegating all of your minority staff to the important but limited role of outreach only reinforces perceptions that your campaign views Hispanics as a voting constituency to be mobilized, but not as experts to be consulted in shaping policy."

"Not a single one of your senior staff is Latino. Quite frankly, we find this deeply troubling," Mr. Yzaguirre wrote, adding that that raises "questions about the seriousness of your commitment to diversity."

Does John Kerry even begin to grasp how close he is to disaster here? Perhaps he does. He has withdrawn from the brink of extinction before, rising from his coffin to take Iowa and New Hampshire. Perhaps even now he is moving about one of the many palaces provided by the grace of his wife's vast inherited fortune, concocting some scheme to set things right, muttering, as Gabriel García Marquez's patriarch did so often before his final descent, "What a mess. What a mess."

But it's beginning to look more like over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential campaign.


From Boston Magazine:

So it was with considerable surprise bordering on shock that Payne watched over the next month as the Kerry corpse lurched out of its coffin and tromped all over the competition en route to the most miraculous political comeback in presidential primary history. "I thought he was dead meat," Payne recalls now. .... "He's a guy who doesn't really start to pay attention until he thinks he may be in danger of dying," says Payne, who identifies classic early Kerry campaign symptoms: "Delays, inattention to details, sloppy staff work, not having a tight message. He'll allow this to just go on and on until someone hands him a poll and says, 'You'd better get it together.'"

And then no doubt he starts muttering: What a mess, what a mess. Where have we seen this before?

Thanks to Mickey Kaus for the hard-to-find (for me) internet link to the Boston Magazine artcile alluded to above.

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