Over a month ago (when John Kerry was known as the front-runner), I predicted on the "McLaughlin Group" TV show that by September, Senator John Kerry's campaign would be in crisis. And here we are in the first week of September, and Sen. Kerry is in third place in Iowa (Dean-Gephardt-Kerry) and behind Howard Dean in almost home state New Hampshire by 21 points. Yesterday's CBS national poll of Democratic Party voters had Lieberman at 14, Dean at 11, Gephardt at 10, Kerry at 5, Sharpton at 5, Graham at 4, Edwards at 2, Mosley-Braun at 2 and Kucinich at 0. One of Kerry's Boston aides said that "We're in this no matter what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire." All but writing off New Hampshire by Kerry must be spooking his troops. After all, as recently as a month ago, New Hampshire was considered both safe and a must-win state for Kerry. Mr. Kerry explained Dean's lead in New Hampshire by claiming that Dean had "been out there, very visibly spending money on TV and elsewhere." But, according to pollster John Zogby, Kerry has visited New Hampshire 38 times, has eight regional offices there and flooded the state with TV ads during his recent Senate re-election campaign.
In any event, Kerry admitted on "Meet the Press" last Sunday that "I don't think I've kicked my campaign off sufficiently. We are coming out this week (in South Carolina.)" According to Mr. Kerry, the Massachusetts liberal, he picked the bastion of the old confederacy because "It's a great place to begin. I want to prove that my campaign is prepared to go all around the country." If his supporters were spooked by the bad numbers in New Hampshire, they must be jumping out of the windows at the Post-Modern Literary Deconstructionist Department at Harvard once they heard the South Carolina strategy.
I understood Nixon's and Reagan's southern strategies. I even understood Father and Son Bush's South Carolina firewall strategy. But John Kerry's South Carolina strategy is nuts. (And he accuses President Bush of not being a good strategist.) I've been to South Carolina. In fact, I was there just a few weeks ago at a barbecue stand. There was a young man waiting for an order, dressed in full confederate uniform. Inside, they were selling beautiful color T-shirts that portrayed General Robert E. Lee in battle uniform on his fierce white horse leading a magnificent confederate charge against the Yankee intruders.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.