The Corner

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Dean and Dukakis


An email about my post on George Will yesterday:

“I’m not sure Dean will be the nominee but it is to Republican advantage to posit a close race and few things motivate like fear so I understand all this ‘close race’ business. Still, Dukakis ran at a time of Democratic dominance in almost all states and in the Congress; institutional power now Gone with the Wind. Moreover, Dukakis got the votes of a lot of white ethnics (especially Greeks!) who loved the fact that a second or third generation guy was running for President. Jewish voters backed him overwhelmingly. That won’t happen for Dean. Most importantly, Dukakis had a conservative, old line Texas Democrat named Bentsen on the ticket. This staunched a lot of bleeding. Zell Miller won’t be on this ticket. No Southern Democrat has the cachet or Washington experience or conservatism Bentsen could bring to the ticket (‘I knew John Kennedy, John Kennedy was a fried of mine….’) and that alone was probably worth a couple of million votes. Neither Edwards, nor Bayh, nor even Graham carry that kind of clout anymore.

“Dean is relatively weak with industrial unionists, blacks, Hispanics and Jews. All those who grew up in the Reaganite 80’s can vote now. Many New-Fair Dealers who voted in 88 are dead. I’m not sure Dean will be the nominee but if he is I don’t think he’ll crack 44.7% and will win only 10 states;; NY, Vermont, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii, Maine and Washington. (maybe not even last two)(plus dc). His cultural disconnect will lose him Michigan and Pennsylvania which should be his. The Dems will lose every open Southern Senate seat except Louisiana and Dean may sink a good run in Alaska for them, even Daschle must fear Dean (he has a bad Indian record in Vermont!).

“I’m a big pessimist but I’m finding it hard to be morose as I watch the Democrats.”