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| | | |-+  If you were John Kerry's campaign manager what would you have done different?
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Author Topic: If you were John Kerry's campaign manager what would you have done different?  (Read 29027 times)
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« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2005, 02:01:11 pm »
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The one thing that I would have done would be to get him a motivational speaker to coach him on bringing a crowd to their feet and not have tp rely so heavily on entertainers and ex presidents to fill the gap for his lackluster public speaking ability.
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2005, 10:49:28 pm »
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Bayh is not worth 20% as a VP, Defarge.
I can dream about 11 EV's Akno Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2005, 12:02:10 pm »
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Bayh is not worth 20% as a VP, Defarge.
I can dream about 11 EV's Akno Smiley
Kerry should have picked Lloyd Bentsen. 34 EV's right there. Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2005, 04:27:55 pm »
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What would your message have been?
Bush messed up, but here's my plan for getting us out of it.  And it's not on johnkerry.com

Who would you have pushed for as VP?
Gephardt probably was the best of the bunch here.

What would have been your platform?
Concentrate mainly on the economy (especially in states where it's a problem)--present a viable plan for getting the country out of the so-called recession--appeal to small-town values, small business, etc.
On Security and Iraq--Kerry did very little to dissuade the public of the popular opinion that Democrats are weak on Security.  You have to say that you supported going into Afghanistan and Iraq, but you feel that the implementation's been screwed up royally.
Domestically, you just can't point out stuff about port security and the like--you have to present your own comprehensive plan.
On Iraq, don't concentrate so much about internationalism and the UN--Francophilia doesn't appeal to anybody.  Instead, concentrate on things like the disbanding of the Iraqi army, the slow pace of reconstruction, etc--and then present a plan to deal with Iraq on our own.
Never talk about the deficit.

How would you have reacted to the Swift boat ad's?
If he hadn't gone on and on about his bloody Vietnam service so much, this wouldn't have been an issue.

Would you have written of the entire South?

Not MO or FL, of course (although you can surreptitiously slip out of FL if necessary)...but also make a couple of tentative stabs at AR/VA to test the waters (and get Bush to spend money there).  Other than that, of course, the South is a lost cause.

Would you have spent less time in Ohio and more in the midwest?
Kerry generally had a good focus--there wasn't much more he could have gotten with that level of PV support.   The real question is what to do about the West (NV/NM/CO)--if you write that off, you can concentrate exclusively on the MN-OH belt.
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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2005, 03:59:11 am »
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What would your message have been?
Bush messed up, but here's my plan for getting us out of it. And it's not on johnkerry.com

I certainly would not have had him refer to the website in the debate. It made him look like he didn't know his brief.
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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2005, 05:06:59 pm »
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I wouldn't have listened to the Clintons.
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2005, 09:53:28 pm »
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I would have had John Kerry tell America that he was not really a Massachusetts liberal.

Don't spend so much time and money in Florida. Did you learn nothing from the 2002 mid terms when the DNC spent a fortune trying to topple Jeb?

The choice of John Edwards was a total disaster. If Kerry and Edwards were competing in hair spray and tooth paste commercials, they would have won hands down.
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« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2005, 07:01:12 pm »
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I would have picked ONE position on Iraq.  Either one could have worked, but it needed to be ONE position.

Edwards will help in the South..?  NOT

"What would Jesus do..?" is not the punchline to a joke.  Fire any staffer who thought it was.

Less attacking Bush, more explaining what he would have done differently.  A laundry list of complaints is NOT the same thing as an actual plan.

He needed to publically repudiate the HateBush looney left Mikhail Moore types
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2005, 08:49:55 pm »
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On Iraq I would have explained that voting for presidential authority on Iraq doesn't mean you give up the right (RESPONSIBILITY) to criticize him when he screws it up.

I would have picked Clark as VP.

I would have had a positive message about renewing democracy- making the system work FOR the people. He did okay attacking Bush (except Swift Vets) but he really had no positive message to say "This is why you vote FOR me." I would have run more positive TV commercials airing that positive message.
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2005, 09:13:42 pm »
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Go after Rove - point out strongly the similarity between the swift vets campaign and the smear campaign against McCain in 2000.

Point out the large number of high ranking administration officials in PNAC, and the extremist positions they hold.

Pick a VP with more gravitas.  Vilsack would have been an excelent pick, and could have flipped Iowa.
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« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2005, 01:58:46 am »
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Kerry ran the wrong campaign for 2004.  He ran a campaign emphasising Bush's faults rather than Kerry's virtues.  It would have worked had the economy or Iraq been worse in Noveber than it had been, but they weren't and there was no particular reason to expect that they would be.  The long time between when the nomination was fought over and when the general election was tripped up the Democrats in 2004.  Had the general election been in March 2004, Kerry would have won, but by November conditions had changed.
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« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2005, 05:56:24 am »
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It seems to me that the analysis of the poor organization, especially in Ohio came a little too quickly...why didn't they relize that problem BEFORE the election? Huh

Also, internal polling showed Kerry trailing quite badly throughout most of the campaign. I'll never get why they didn't act on the problems they faced earlier and more resolutely.
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« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2005, 07:30:36 pm »
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Nobody can hope to win without a positive message.  Kerry really didn't offer one.  His message was simply that he was not George W. Bush.

Kerry was severely handicapped by having to rely on a very dovish base in a time of war.  This caused him no end of problems, and I don't know how he could have gotten around it.
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« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2005, 07:34:23 pm »
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Nobody can hope to win without a positive message.  Kerry really didn't offer one.  His message was simply that he was not George W. Bush.

Kerry was severely handicapped by having to rely on a very dovish base in a time of war.  This caused him no end of problems, and I don't know how he could have gotten around it.

Umm, if you went to the Kerry website, you could learn all about Kerry. If you went to the Bush website, you could also learn all about Kerry. Suppose you wanted to know about the guy who had been President for the last 4 years? Tough luck. See a problem?
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dazzleman
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« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2005, 07:44:05 pm »
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Nobody can hope to win without a positive message. Kerry really didn't offer one. His message was simply that he was not George W. Bush.

Kerry was severely handicapped by having to rely on a very dovish base in a time of war. This caused him no end of problems, and I don't know how he could have gotten around it.

Umm, if you went to the Kerry website, you could learn all about Kerry. If you went to the Bush website, you could also learn all about Kerry. Suppose you wanted to know about the guy who had been President for the last 4 years? Tough luck. See a problem?

But very few voters go to the candidate's website.  He didn't articulate a positive message.  I'm not a big Kerry basher, so I'm not saying this to be disagreeable, but he seemed the think that not being Bush was enough.

Only under the most extraordinary circumstance can a person be elected president without a positive message that resonates with the public.
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« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2005, 02:19:11 pm »
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 One reason Kerry lost was his VP pick. I would have chosen someone more moderate like Gephart, Rendell or Bayh.   
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« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2005, 06:13:34 pm »
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This is one of the most inciteful threads I've ever read on this forum.

There have been many excellent suggestions here, but there is 1 fundamental think I can't quite agree with. At the time, Edwards looked like the best bet. Looking back, it would be easy to say that choosing him was a major mistake, but he looked like the strongest candidate during the nomination process except of course for Kerry himself. Many people forget that. I'm still a little split on Edwards. I can't entirely say he was the best choice, but just because he didn't shoot off his mouth and bash the other side doesn't mean he didn't or couldn't do some good campaigning. I think he has some potential, but was just aq little too inexperienced. It's almost a shame what happened to his political career(at least for now). I would have to disagree with the choice of Gephart. I don't think much of his speaking capability or inspiring nature. I think he would have been under the radar similar to Edwards, only he wouldn't have an excuse.

Nobody can hope to win without a positive message. Kerry really didn't offer one. His message was simply that he was not George W. Bush.

Heading into the campaign, I thought Kerry had a huge advantage in that he wasn't George W. Bush. I couldn't imagine how he 1. could have done worse than Gore or 2. how people who didn't vote for Bush would actually vote for him this time. I honestly thought the election could be a slam dunk for the Democrats, and that's not just because of the D-OH in my profile. I thought if the Democratic candidate were breathing, he could defeat Bush. I underestimated the value of what Dazzleman just pointed out. Kennedy had an objective: Go to the moon. FDR had an objective: End the Great Depression. Nixon had an objective: "I have a plan to end Viet Nam." Whether or not you agree with their solutions, that greatly helped them in their campaigns.

Still a little split on the Edwards thing, but a great thread otherwise. Especially that point about the organization of the Democratic Party and the campaign management.
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dazzleman
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« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2005, 07:10:29 pm »
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RJ, you also have to realize that not as many people hated Bush as you thought. Bush haters are very vocal, but much of their venom turned voters off, and pushed them into voting for Bush.

There are also a good number of people who like Bush. I learned a long time ago, if you want to predict the outcome of an election, you must go well outside your zone of comfort in asking people with many different opinions. For example, I thought Bloomberg would win the NYC mayor election because a staunch Democrat who worked with me told me he was voting for Bloomberg. To me that was an indicator that Bloomberg was connecting with a certain demographic that he needed to win, and that his opponent was turning off that demographic.  If I only talked to my friends and the people I associate with on a regular basis about the election, I would have expected Bush to win about 75% of the vote.

Hollywood was especially effective in bringing about the outcome it wanted least -- a Bush re-election. Many Americans hold Hollywood in contempt to begin with, and when they all started dumping on Bush in a vicious way, many people, some of whom were probably not crazy about Bush, said, "if THOSE people really hate Bush, he must be OK," or alternatively, "if those people are so vociferously for Kerry, maybe we should reconsider."

Only under the most extraordinary circumstances can a candidate, especially a challenger to an incumbent president, win without a positive message. A popular incumbent like Reagan can win with a "morning in America, four more years" type theme, but a challenger has to give voters a solid reason to turn out the incumbent, unless he is just so hated that a majority just want him out. In some circles, Bush was hated like that, but clearly those people weren't a majority.

I think of the 1988 election as an exception. George H.W. Bush ran an almost completely negative campaign and won. Of course, he was a quasi-incumbent, understudy to a very popular incumbent who couldn't run. And Dukakis was a numbskull. But even so, I always thought that Bush's failure to lay out a goal or a program hobbled his presidency from the start, and led to a lot of the problems that he had during his term, culminating in his defeat for re-election.
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« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2005, 08:24:09 pm »
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Have him back off of abortion entirely.

P.S.: Kerry won PA by 2.5% exactly.
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dazzleman
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« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2005, 08:28:18 pm »
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Have him back off of abortion entirely.

P.S.: Kerry won PA by 2.5% exactly.

Or maybe he should have refrained from gratuitously mentioning Mary Cheney's lesbianism during the debate.  He was trying to send a signal to vociferous gay rights groups who hate Mary Cheney because she hasn't condemned her father's politics, but I think it backfired.
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« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2005, 07:26:08 am »
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Then, I would have made the environment an issue since Bush is hughly bad there

That's a joke right?

I think Kerry should have identified, through polling, the issues where Bush had support from swing voters and not attack that.
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« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2005, 01:11:06 pm »
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Then, I would have made the environment an issue since Bush is hughly bad there

That's a joke right?

I think Kerry should have identified, through polling, the issues where Bush had support from swing voters and not attack that.

No.
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« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2005, 09:24:19 am »
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Then, I would have made the environment an issue since Bush is hughly bad there

That's a joke right?

I think Kerry should have identified, through polling, the issues where Bush had support from swing voters and not attack that.

No.

No to what? To it being a joke? I think he can answer for himself there, I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt until he does. Or are you refuting my idea?

Focusing the environment is one of the worse strategies I can think of. Not as bad as making gay marriage an issue, but not all that far behind.
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« Reply #48 on: November 15, 2005, 12:29:41 am »
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1.Decided where we stood on gay marriage. Either support local bans on gay marriage (as Bill Clinton advised Kerry to do) or gone after Bush for trying to write discrimination into the constitution. Either would have been fine, but you can't have it both ways.

2. Focused on iraq, but on what's going on in Iraq NOW, not what went on before we went in there. The thought of Saddam Hussein still being in power does not sit well with a lot of people.

3. Don't even try to go after Florida. As many people have remarked, Kerry came  close to winning the EV, and would have had he put a little bit more effort into Ohio. Also take the money saved by not going after Florida and invested it in CO, NV, AR, and IA, which together have as many votes as Florida, and all of which Kerry lost narrowly IIRC.

4. As others have suggested, put together an ad of Bush's worst moments and aired it nonstop

5. Don't make the campaign about Vietnam. IT'S NOT 1968 ANYMORE!!! Actually the whole Democratic party would do well to learn this.

6. Paint Bush as a spoiled rich frat boy who never had to do an honest day's work in his life

7. Run against the Saudis and emphasize Bush's close ties with them

8. Along the lines of No. 7, take the goal of energy independence seriously. It's an idea whose time has come.

9. The VP pick: Edwards was a very poor choice. Gephardt or Vilsack would have helped Kerry do better in the midwest. Wesley Clark would have been a good choice too, as he has military cred. If you want to disregard my 3rd piece of advice, pick Bob Graham. Or maybe Bill Richardson to help bring in the Latino Vote. So many good options, but he just had to go with Edwards
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« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2006, 04:24:02 pm »
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Bob Shrum is a total loser, so it's safe to say we all would've done quite a bit differently.
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