GETTING KERRY’D AWAY: Paul Waldman explains in WaPo‘s Outlook section why he thinks it’s John Kerry’s nomination to lose. The short version: He’s been annointed the front-runner and front-runners always win unless they really shoot themselves in the foot (a’la Gary Hart in 1988). Why? Because the major media basically perform the function that the parties once did of winnowing the field. They decide who is really a viable candidate and thus deserving of time. Furthermore, they try to run the same story every four years, changing only the names. Well worth the read.

That said, I disagree that Kerry is the likely winner. Indeed, if I had to pick the winner right now, I’d say either Lieberman or Edwards, probably Edwards. Because of the truncated primary process that promises to get even more truncated as states vie to push their primaries earlier and earlier, what matters is fundraising and having a base. I’m not sure Kerry will do either particularly well at either. Who does he appeal to outside of the northeast corridor? Who is going to contribute the millions upon millions he’ll need. I can’t imagine he’ll do at all well in the South or the Midwest. Lieberman, meanwhile, has a national base as the party’s veep nominee last go-round plus he’s the favorite son of the party’s Jewish block (Kerry’s recent discovery that he’s actually Jewish, too, notwithstanding). Edwards is telegenic and energetic and will likely do quite well in the southern states, including the early South Carolina primary.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.