TITLE

Southern Exposure

AUTHOR(S)
Lizza, Ryan
PUB. DATE
May 2003
SOURCE
New Republic;5/19/2003, Vol. 228 Issue 19, p21
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article presents a 2004 presidential campaign diary while describing the activities of democratic candidates in Charleston, South Carolina. The temptation for candidates to reinvent themselves is everywhere here in South Carolina. Liberal Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, for instance, tells an inquiring voter he "would love to" come speak at hyper-conservative Bob Jones University, the anti-Catholic college that until recently banned interracial dating. Antiwar firebrand Howard Dean shows up as the only candidate to speak before a luncheon held by the devoutly centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) on the Saturday of the debate. The idea behind moving the South Carolina primary to February 3, 2004, just a week after the New Hampshire primary, is to force the Democratic candidates to appeal to more moderate constituencies than those traditionally experienced in Iowa and New Hampshire. And the idea behind the nationally televised Democratic debate in Columbia is to make sure that this moderating effect begins sooner rather than later. It seems to be working. Kerry's mangling of a quote from former President Bill Clinton was not exactly a high note for his campaign. Nor was his performance in Saturday's debate, in which he was widely seen as spending too much time sniping back and forth with Dean. But, without a rapt audience to feed off of, Dean has a tendency to come across as, well, mean. The extent to which the Senator John Edwards campaign believes that his likeability, personal charm, and talent for retail politics will carry him to victory can't be overstated. If Edwards is the candidate of Personality, Congressman Richard Gephardt is trying to make himself the candidate of Ideas--and his health care plan is the biggest idea he has to offer.
ACCESSION #
9720963

 

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