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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 28042 times)
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« on: January 11, 2005, 06:31:41 pm »
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Open conversation. 

What would your message have been? 

Who would you have pushed for as VP?

What would have been your platform?

How would you have reacted to the Swift boat ad's?

Would you have written of the entire South?

Would you have spent less time in Ohio and more in the midwest?

etc......
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A18
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2005, 06:38:38 pm »
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I would have sabotaged the campaign so that it'd be a Bush landslide, of course.
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nick
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2005, 06:40:50 pm »
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I would have sabotaged the campaign so that it'd be a Bush landslide, of course.

Thats for that insightful information Phillip.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2005, 08:02:23 pm »
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I would have stayed away from an internationalist foreign policy message, I would have debated abortion as an issue of poverty, and I would have put focus on various corruption issues.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2005, 08:38:32 pm »
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I would have chosen Gephardt for VP. I'd have written off everything except the Kerry states, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, and Ohio.
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2005, 04:48:25 am »
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1) Spent less on PA and more on OH.

2) Selected a different running mate (with preference going to Bill Richardson, Mark Warner, or Harry Reid).

3) Organized my campaign workers a heck of a lot sooner.  (Believe me, I was involved in the campaign on a local level and it was ridiculously disorganized ... especially in the early going.  The Dean people had A LOT more organization.)

4) Campaigned less in the South and more in the Southwest.

5) Would have put together a 30 second spot showing all of Bush's worst moments and run it endlessly.

6) Would have had Kerry work into one of the debates a line like "George, don't act like you know what combat is like.  You've never been there.  I have.  I know what it sounds like to hear bullets whizzing over your head.  I know how it feels when every nerve in body tenses about from the fear."
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2005, 06:09:20 am »
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What would your message have been? 

'Bush is a draft doger and sides with the Saudis against America'. In other words a coward and a traitor - but euphemisms would have to be used.

Who would you have pushed for as VP?

Bill Richardson.

What would have been your platform?

Pure class warfare.

How would you have reacted to the Swift boat ad's?

Created an ad calling Bush a coward and a draft doger. 

Would you have written of the entire South?

Of course. 

Would you have spent less time in Ohio and more in the midwest?

No, Ohio was the key. I think it might've been possible to turn New Mexico with Richardson, and Iowa, Ohio, and possibly Missouri with personal attacks on Bush.   

The whole thing would be a long shot, but at least Bush would've been smeared with his own filth, instead of getting away with lying about Kerry scott-free.

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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2005, 06:29:35 am »
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1. I would have focused on Small Town discontent
2. I would have gone after Geppy for VP. If I had to keep Edwards I would have used him better.
3. I wouldn't have ed up in West Virginia (the real life Kerry campaign in WV was a detailed guide of what not to do and how to throw away an early lead and some solid advantages. But I'm ranting again. Sorry)
4. I wouldn't have bothered with Florida. Seriously. It was always going to be tough, costs a hell of a lot of money (that could be spent in Arkansas, WV, Ohio...) and doesn't influence any other state.
5. I wouldn't have bothered with most of the South. I would have taken Arkansas very seriously though.
6. I would have gone on and on and on about economic issues (inc. Poverty)
7. I would not have even dreamed of campaigning on wedge issues... in fact I'd have critized the more radical elements of the pro-choice lobby. Repeatedly.
8. More soon...
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Akno21
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2005, 06:54:10 am »
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1) Spent less on PA and more on OH.


How much margin for error did he have in PA? It's not as if he won that comfortably.
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2005, 06:58:18 am »
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I would have picked a VP candidate from either the midwest or southwest.  Those were areas where Kerry was competitive, while the south was not.

In picking the Breck Girl as his VP candidate, Kerry gambled everything on at least cracking the south, and he lost.

In terms of substance, Edwards added absolutely nothing to the ticket, plus he was no help to Kerry in the south, not even his home state.  Picking Edwards was clearly a major mistake.

There were others of course, but many consisted of political baggage predating the campaign that made it harder for Kerry to take the positions he needed to win without be a flip-flopper.  His patrician Massachusetts background was also a liability about which nothing could be done.

I would not have wanted to be John Kerry's campaign manager.
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J. J.
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2005, 12:07:39 pm »
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1.  In the Spring, Kerry drifted to the left on the war in order to fight Howard Dean, and ultimately leading to "I voted for the $87 million befor I voted against it."

I would have advised him on a "This is war badly made," strategy (ten points for who said it first).  Kerry should have suggested that the war was a good thing and Hussein was bad, but we needed more troops and a "smarter" management of the aftermath.

2.  Gephardt should have been the VP nominee.

3.  The DNC presented him to retrospectively.  After he saluted, his speech should have been something along the lines, "That was then, this is now."  It should have focused of "solving" the Iraq war.

4.  There should have been a stonger response to the "Swift Boat" ads.  Kerry should have released his records, prior to the DNC. 

5.  Forget FL in specific and the South in general.  The target of the campaign should have been the upper midwest, OH, PA, and MO.

6.  When asked about why some people are homosexual, he should have answered the question honestly and not suggested that the VP's daughter "who is a Lesbian" would the question would answer one way.  Here is the answer:

"I'm a candidate for president, not for a doctorate in genetics, behavioral sciences, or early childhood development.  I don't know the answer to why some people are Gay and some people are straight. 

I do know that some people are Gay and I believe that they should have the ability to to legally form unions with each other, as heterosexual couples do.  They are families and they should have at least some protection.

I also hope that the families, parents and siblings, will help and be supportive of Gay members.  I disagree with the politics Vice President Cheney, but I admire how supportive he, and his family, is of one of his daughter, who is a Lesbian, and openly so.  I know that for many it is troubling, but I hope that more American families will follow his example in supporting members who happen to be Gay.


Now, with that, we might have been going to the Kerry Inagural.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2005, 12:17:22 pm by J. J. »Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2005, 12:12:33 pm »
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Maybe we shouldn't criticize Kerry's electoral strategy too much.  He came close to winning the EV even though he lost the PV badly.  That proves that his allocation of resources was not that bad.

Example:  I thought from early on that Kerry spent way too much time and effort in PA.  As it turned out, Kerry only won PA by a slim margin and therefore he only spent enough resources their to barely win, which is the best strategy.

Now, I have plenty of criticism for the actions of Kerry and the DNC that caused Bush to win the PV so easily, but these actions were the result of core defects in message and philosophy, rather than problems with strategy.

Main problem:
Kerry pretty much supported the Iraq war in 2002.  He then drifted towards pretty much opposing the war in 2003.  By primary season'04, he was opposed to the war.  After nomination, he tempered his criticism so as not to be an "anti-war candidate" (a sure loser).  Kerry's chosen rebutal to the "anti-war" label was his medals, and to hope that no one brought up his protest days.

This plan was doomed.  The inconsistancies in Kerry's positions and actions were glaringly obvious.  There is nothing Kerry's team could have down to counter the Swifties that would have changed this basic fact.  The damage done by the Swifties was a direct result of Kerry's actions before SBVFT had run a single ad.
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2005, 01:36:02 pm »
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Maybe we shouldn't criticize Kerry's electoral strategy too much.  He came close to winning the EV even though he lost the PV badly.  

This plan was doomed.  The inconsistancies in Kerry's positions and actions were glaringly obvious.  There is nothing Kerry's team could have down to counter the Swifties that would have changed this basic fact.  The damage done by the Swifties was a direct result of Kerry's actions before SBVFT had run a single ad.

Kerry did not loose the popular vote 'badly' - the margin was very narrow 50.73% to 48.27%.  In fact the electoral vote was lost by a much larger percentage - 53.16% to 46.65%.  It would be more accurate to say that Kerry barely lost the popular vote, and that the electoral college, as usual, favored the Republican.

As for the Swiftboat propaganda - this sort of falsehood always works well when used by the candidate of false, jingoistic patriotism against a relatively reasonable opponent.  Of course the irony in this case due to Bush's draft dogding was lost on the target audience, for obvious reasons.  In any case, none of the damage done by the Swiftboat fabrications had anything to do with Kerry's inconsistency about Iraq.  The subject at hand was kneejerk patriotism vs. reason, and we all know which appeals to more voters.
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2005, 01:41:56 pm »
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Actually the Electoral College didn't favor the Republicans this time. Kerry would have won the election if he had won Ohio, which he lost by 2.11% He lost the national popular vote by 2.46%, so it would have been easier for him to win Ohio than the national popular vote. So looking at it that way, the Electoral College actually biased towards the Democrats this time.

The candidate who wins the popular vote almost always does better in the electoral vote than in the popular vote (yes, 2000 was an exception), and ends up magnifying the margin of victory to make it look larger than it really was.
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2005, 10:13:39 pm »
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Had him go negative on Bush.
Had him talk more about the economy.
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2005, 10:34:16 pm »
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1.Relentless negative attacks on Bush.

2.Gephardt.

3.Focused on economic issues.

4.Instant and visceral response; turn the tables with "National Guard Veterans for Truth".

5.Would have written off the South except for Arkansas.

6.Focused heavily on Ohio, along with Iowa, Missouri, and West Virginia.

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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2005, 11:20:33 pm »
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I would have told him to get strait with  disgruntled Vietnam Vets.  It was a horrible strategy to run on Vietnam because he felt insulated by Bush's  TANG serevice.  Running on his service in Vietnam was folly. Wasn't the talking point from the DNV that it didn't matter in 1992 and 1996 when Clinton was running against war vets?
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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2005, 11:24:53 pm »
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I would have told him to get strait with  disgruntled Vietnam Vets.  It was a horrible strategy to run on Vietnam because he felt insulated by Bush's  TANG serevice.  Running on his service in Vietnam was folly. Wasn't the talking point from the DNV that it didn't matter in 1992 and 1996 when Clinton was running against war vets?

Welcome to the forum.

You are right, running on Vietnam was foolish, but no one could convince him otherwise.  In past elections (including the primaries) Vietnam was this wondrous thing he could bring up and watch his poll numbers improve.  He continued to believe, right through the end, that mentioning Vietnam would help him even when it was hurting him from teh Swift Boat Vets and his refusal to release his military records.

Also, the campaign should have gone negative, but not Kerry.  The top of the ticket should look to be above that.
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2005, 06:00:15 am »
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What would your message have been?

Bush is doing a good job abroad, but not so much at home. We must do better. More positivity, less negativity

Who would you have pushed for as VP?
Gephardt or Vilsack.

What would have been your platform?
I don't know. Probably more supportive of Iraq, less so of tax cuts
How would you have reacted to the Swift boat ads?

Would you have written of the entire South?
No.

Would you have spent less time in Ohio and more in the midwest?
Yes
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2005, 07:00:44 am »
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He should have taken another approach towards Iraq than "I would have done the same thing but better" to win the 2% of the PV he needed from those who weren't satisfied with "anybody but Bush."
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2005, 10:57:01 am »
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I would have done what James Carvelle did in 1992, and set up a 24 hour "war room" at campaign headquarters to IMMEDIATLEY respond to any Republican attacks/rumors/accusations.

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  Kerry seems to have been looking toward Dukakis (1988), not Clinton (1992).
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J. J.

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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2005, 09:42:55 pm »
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One of the biggest failures was the horrible campaign ads. Bush's ads were soooooooo much better. What an embarassment.
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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2005, 03:36:49 am »
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I remember in August it was reported that Bush missed the deadline for signing up in South Dakota and Alabama, and that the deadline was extended so that his campaign workers could file in those states. State Democrats could have stopped that, but they didn't. It would have been hilarious if Bush loses two states he was sure to win because he had missed the deadline.

Anyway, I would have picked Richardson, or Clark, or Gephardt.

Then, I would have made the environment an issue since Bush is hughly bad there, and of course Iraq and the economy and high oil prices.

As for the swiftboat thingy, I would have reminded voters what Bush did back then.

I would have written off the south except MO and FL and campaigned in the southwest.

So there you have it. I send Bush steaming by making SD and AL Dems not let Bush on the ballot on those states, and I would have been more proactive.
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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2005, 07:59:37 am »
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For VP I would have pushed Gephardt, Bayh and Clark, in that order.  Gephardt and Bayh would have helped us in the Midwest, Bayh especially, opening up Indiana as a possibility.  Clark could potentially have helped in the South, but as time passes I'm beginning to doubt it. 

I would have responded to the swiftboat affair immediately, and nipped it in the bud. 

Meanwhile, in terms of electoral strategy, with Bayh or Gephardt I'd focus primarily on every state from MN to PA, minus Indiana if it's Gephardt.  Feint attacks on Florida, Arkansas and NM. 
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« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2005, 08:51:15 am »
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Bayh is not worth 20% as a VP, Defarge.
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