GEPHARDT STILL ALIVE?
Washington Whispers says,
Don’t count Dick Gephardt out of the Democratic presidential race is the message coming from top party officials. Long the favorite of many in Democratic Party HQ for his years in Washington as minority leader and chief congressional fundraiser, senior officials are now pitching him as the alternative to Howard Dean who has shunned Washington in his fast-moving campaign. What’s Geppy got? Insiders say he’s still labor’s choice and the union vote could push him over Dean in the early primary and caucus states. He’s also strong in Iowa, home to the first presidential caucus. Of course, fans of Sen. John Kerry say he’s the best alternative. Ditto for those of Wes Clark.
While the view of “top party officials” actually matters in the Democratic Party because, unlike the GOP, they actually have substantial voting power at the nominating convention, the fact of the matter is that Dick Gephardt, along with Joe Lieberman, has simply not gained any traction in this race. While both are able candidates–in my judgment, the ones with the best credentials in the current field–they are too politically moderate and personally bland to excite a nominating electorate that is passionately anti-Bush.