“A Giant Sucking Sound” 2004 Edition

by on April 27th, 2004

The giant sucking sound made famous in the quixotic campaign of H. Ross Perot is back again in the 2004 presidential campaign. Except this year the sound isn’t being created by jobs leaving the U.S. for Mexico. This campaign season the Giant Sucking Sound seems to be caused by the rapid movement away from John Kerry in the Democratic Party.

Starting with the carefully timed release of Bill Clinton’s book barely a month before the democratic convention. A release that is guaranteed to dominate the media for at least a month. And now this from the Village Voice headlined “John Kerry Must Go: Note to Democrats: it’s not too late to draft someone—anyone—else.”

With the air gushing out of John Kerry’s balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders in Washington face the dread reality that the junior senator from Massachusetts doesn’t have what it takes to win and has got to go. As arrogant and out of it as the Democratic political establishment is, even these pols know the party’s got to have someone to run against George Bush.

The memoir of an impeached president who signed a plea deal to avoid prosecution for perjury is going to dominate the 24 hour news cycle to an extent that will dwarf the combined coverage of Hillary’s, Clarke’s and Woodward’s offerings. Every appearance Clinton makes to promote the book will be national news. The campaign will come in third behind the Clinton book and the war. Old controversies will be brought to the surface and debated endlessly again in the context of the what book does or does not say about them. The pundits will spin and try to un-spin every sentence. Late night talk show writers will have endless material for jokes and monologues.

None of this will hurt Kerry with the Democratic faithful any more than he is apparently already hurting himself. But this should hit him hard in the middle. With that great mass of voters who will look at the nominee of the Democratic party and think “The Clinton Party” and vote for Bush.

Stephen Macklin