Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Two down and a bunch more to go. Kerry won Iowa and New Hampshire. Three weeks ago, we were hoping for a strong showing in IA and a strong second place showing in NH, even a strong third place and conventional wisdom was that Kerry would live to fight another day.

The events of the past three weeks in the primaries have been overwhelming. For those of us who have worked in some volunteer capacity with the campaign and have been fervent supporters for month, it is like the twilight zone.

In the summer, Chris Lahane, a political strategist, then on the Kerry team, now with Clark, quit because Kerry let Dean rise unopposed and refuse to engage Dean in his negative and dirty tactics. Then Dean took over in the NH polls and Kerry began to recede. We all said Dean was peaking way too early and that ignore the polls.

Those were tough days and December was bleak. We saw many jump ship to support other candidates. We knew we had the best candidate. The media could not get enough of Dean and was brutally unforgiving with Kerry. It turns out that we were right, that Dean peaked early and that Kerry's discipline and playbook were correct. However, there is a catch. If Kerry hadn't had personal money to get hm through the $2.5 million last quarter, which is a paltry sum, he may have had to drop out. So the play book was right, but I think we all learned a lesson and that is that perception is everything. A disciplined approach to the playbook is necessary but you have to control perceptions.

Many say that Kerry improved himself as a candidate. This is true. I think also, the we grassroots types finally figured out the personality of the campaign. For months we had practically begged the campaign to find ways for us to get involved. The Deaniacs were organizing all over the place, but it was impossible to get the same level of interest with Kerry folks. What made the Dean thing work was the campaign saw it as important to facilitate the grassroots, the Kerry campaign simply copied Dean, but did not have that grassroots spark and it still doesn't. However, we supporters began to find out how we could be proactive and work without and yet with the campaign and I think that really helped out.

This thing is far from over, however, I'd rather be where we are than where anyone else is. Kerry has gotten literally millions of dollars worth of free advertising by winning, he is now a national figure, a known quantity, and his free media tagline is "winner." No Howard Dean type money could have bought that kind of publicity.

The next challenge is scrutiny that will come as people examine Kerry's stand on issue in his 18 year Senate career. His voting record has been calculated by some metric to be more liberal than Kennedy, but the fact is that he has a renegade and conservative streak to him. He is a complicated man who understands a complicated world. He would be a breath of fresh air in contrast to Bush whose world is black and white and who is forcing the world and indeed history to contend with his lack of curiousity and appreciation of the mantle of leader of the free world.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

March for Life today. Weather is cold but not bitter cold. Still too cold for me to go out there, besides, I don't think my Catholics for Kerry T-Shirts would go over very well.

Kerry is still not getting any love from the party or activists. People think he'll lose in the South or if he eventually wins the party nomination that he'll lose to Bush. The never stop misunderestimating him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Kerry Wins!

John Kerry made the point yesterday that to get 40% of the vote in a six person field is remarkable. What was even more remarkable was the absolute failure of the Dean effort. Dean got less than half of Kerry'vote, even though he had twice the money, thousands more foot soldiers, better organization, and major endorsements.

I think people look at Kerry and see someone who can be president and who we can be proud of on the world stage. Imagine if Dean was president and lost his temper with Kim Jong Il: "Sit down you moron, you've had your say, now I'll have mine!!!" I think a potential moment like that scared people away from him.

We weren't surprised that Kerry won, those of us who work with the campaign, what surprised us was the margin and the collapse of the Dean and Gepahrdt network. BTW, watch the scramble begin for the Unions. If they are smart, they'll go to Kerry this time.

People are saying that all this bodes better for Edwards who didn't have to win and now has momentum goint to the South. But what must be realized now is that Kerry now has major momentum going into the South too and just as Edwards has stolen major thunder up north, Kerry can steal some thunder in the South. He can do well in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Arizona and New Mexico. Also, Kerry is the only candidate that has ever connected this way with Veterans. Thousands came out to support him in Iowa, from all over the nation. I think the veteran connection will bode well for him in South Carolina and Arizona.

Again, the media is missing the real story of NH. Kerry jump 9% last week, Clark is tapering off and Dean has plateaued. I hope Kerry can post a strong second and we'll be in good shape for the Feb 3 race.

Patriots in (Yuck)

Panthers in (Yuck, yuck)

I have to go Patriots because of the AFC East thing . . . Go Bills 2005

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Pastoral councils should offer advice, not orders, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Parish councils and diocesan pastoral councils are to offer advice, not orders, to the pastor and bishop, Pope John Paul II said. "A balanced relationship between the role of the laity and that which properly belongs to the diocesan ordinary or pastor must be safeguarded," the pope told members of the Congregation for Clergy. Meeting the congregation members Jan. 10, the pope said that lay people must "take an active part in the mission of the church," offering their input and expertise, but without confusing their role with the role of the bishop or pastor. "In exercising their office, legitimate pastors never are to be considered simply executors of decisions deriving from the majority opinions" of the parish or diocesan pastoral council, he said. The hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church was willed by Christ, the pope said. While all members of the church have an equal dignity and a role to play, the roles are not the same for everyone.

Bolded text interpretation--We want the power, we have the power and don't even think abou it. At least they are being more candid that the hierarchy is primarily about power.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Alright!!! I got a release date. My stunning and gripping, fast paced and intelligent science fiction drama is coming out on March 12, 2004.

I have received the book cover in PDF format. I'll re-format and put it up on the blog. The cover art is phenomenal.

Table of the Lord is a science fiction book about alien, gro-politics and the Catholic Church. The novel is about aliens who come upon the earth in their exploration of space adn make a startling discovery about humans. This discovering leads them into a downward spiral as the crew splits up in reaction to the discovery about human beings.

The story spans about 300 years as the alien factions use human institutions, including the Catholic Church, as pieces to achieve their aims and thwart each other.

I don't know yet, how what the cost of the novel will be but it will be worth your money. Signed copies are available, I will provide details later.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I finally opened up an ebay store. We'll see how that works out.

Playoffs were yesterday and saturday. I am rooting for the Colts and Titans and eventually the Colts and Eagles in the super bowl, with a Colts win. That would be sweet redemption for Tony Dungy.

I am teaching a 6-week course on scripture. I've done it before and I'll say that it ain't easy but I love every moment of it. I just completed a course on Christian morality and I have come to really like teaching it. It was a subject that I kept away from like the plague, but I've taught it so often, it is almost like second nature.

Democratic campaigns are heating up. Dean is moving like a juggernaut, but flat will derail him seriously. Yepsen of the Des Moines register notes that there are too many undecideds out there which means that this Dean magic thing is not as magical as it sounds. Kerry is coming on strong in IA, I think he needs to sharpen his message a little more. Forget everything else and focus on three or four things. He is already focusing on national security and middle class taxes; add a couple other things and he'll be all set.

Clark is the wild card. The man is freaky, he does not blink. He has appeal, I'm not sure why, but I may not see through my biases. His ads have been lame, but then again, it is about the impact and message and maybe it is getting through. Although he is trailing Dean, Kerry and Liebermann in a CNN national poll. He slipped 3 points, which is not good being that he was leading national polls when he stepped into the race. Clark has ruled out a Dean VP spot. This may affect Dean somewhat, but not likely.

The Sunday debate was okay. There's still too many of them. Carol Mosely Braun needs to step down, it is obvious that she is not going to win anything. It makes for a more substantive discussion, even though yesterday was the first time that I thought she made much sense.