Fight for the Right to be Their Party's Sacrificial Lamb
By Doug Patton
Saturday, all nine Democrat candidates – four senators,
a former senator, two congressmen, a former governor and
a charlatan from New York City – gathered in South Carolina
to fight over who will be their party's sacrificial lamb
in next year's presidential election.
Let us analyze
them one at a time.
1992, Carol Moseley Braun served one term in the United
States Senate. As the first black woman ever elected to
that body, she was a novelty, but she was also an embarrassment
to the people of Illinois, who chose not to send her back
for a second term. Now, she thinks she is qualified to be
president because, in her words, “we've never had a black
or a woman in that job before.”
When Ms. Braun
was asked about her major in college, she said, “Gee, it
was probably Political Science, but it might have been History...I
haven't really thought about it in a while.” Feel free to
draw your own conclusions about whether she is qualified
to be Commander-in-Chief.
believes in same-sex marriage and backed it up when he was
governor of Vermont by signing a law giving legal status
to the partnerships of homosexuals, thereby wreaking havoc
with state laws across the country on the recognition of
He also recently
said, “America will not always be superior in military power.”
Sen. John Edwards
is the most attractive of the nine. He is from North Carolina,
which takes the liberal edge off his candidacy. But because
Edwards is still in his first term in the Senate, he could
be perceived as too inexperienced. And the fact that he
made millions as a trial lawyer before being elected could
become serious baggage when the 30-second attack ads start
of Missouri ran for president in 1988. He did not do well.
He served as Majority Leader in the House of Representatives.
During his watch, the Democrats lost control of the House
for the first time in 40 years, thereby making him Minority
for that 1994 defeat was an attempt by Hillary Clinton to
create a draconian system of government-controlled health
care. Last Saturday, Gephardt proposed a similar plan. Of
course, he wants to raise our taxes to do it.
Sen. Bob Graham
of Florida is not dynamic or exciting, but Republicans have
underestimated him in the past. He is considered to be a
centrist who has served as both governor and senator from
a state crucial to the election of any modern president.
If the Democrats were smart, they would nominate him, but
Sen. John Kerry
of Massachusetts married the widow of another Senator, John
Heinz, of the food empire. If the Kerrys decide to “use
the ketchup money,” as Gephardt has dryly remarked, it could
literally buy the Senator the nomination. And even though
he is aloof and arrogant, he is also a Vietnam combat veteran
and appears statuesque on television.
is a little-known congressman from Ohio who will not raise
enough money to make it to the first primaries. He knows
it. The party knows it. Think of him as John Kasich without
the experience or the charisma.
some polls show Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut as
the frontrunner, simply because he was Al Gore’s running
mate. But Lieberman lost respect in the eyes of many voters
during that campaign. Long known as a moral, sensible, middle-of-the-road
Democrat, Lieberman seemed to jettison virtually all his
values to get his name on the 2000 ticket.
is Rev. Al Sharpton. A verbose buffoon who looks and sounds
like a stereotype straight out of an old episode of “Amos
and Andy,” he is an even greater embarrassment to black
voters than Carol Moseley Braun.
He is also
the Democrats’ worst nightmare, because he has the potential
to disrupt their primaries all over this country.
Personally, I can’t wait.
Patton is a freelance columnist who has served
as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at
the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for
Talon News Service. Readers can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.