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Jewish World Review Jan. 30, 2004 / 7 Shevat, 5764

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald
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Dem Dems


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The exciting race to see which upper-class New England liberal Democrat gets to be electorally clobbered by George W. Bush this fall is finally picking up steam.


Or is it running out of gas?


Howard Dean, whose hysterical runaway rant in Iowa has provided the only memorable primary moment so far, has finally made it onto the only major cover he's missed — Rolling Stone — just as his campaign has begun to fizzle.


Dr. Dean, whose chances of surviving until November are even worse than Dennis Miller's deadly new CNBC talk show, tells Rolling Stone that Republicans are much meaner than the Democrats who've been ganging up on him because "they do not care what happens to the country as long as they stay in power, and they're willing to do anything they can to stay in power."


Meanwhile, craggy John Kerry, the new leader of the dwindling troupe of Democratic hopefuls, is getting his turn on all the big covers.


There he is on Newsweek, where Howard Fineman says — even before Kerry's crushing of Dean in New Hampshire — that Kerry has emerged as the answer to the Democrats' now all-important question: "Who can beat Bush?"


Kerry also stands tall on the cover of the New Republic, where writer Michael Grunwald looks back at Kerry's 1996 Senate race for hints about how the Bush administration might attack him this fall.


His opponent in '96, then Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, painted Kerry as a "soft-on-crime, soft-on-welfare, crazed-on-taxes paleoliberal" who "sided with murderers and junkies over victims and taxpayers," but it didn't work.

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As we head for South Carolina for Tuesday's primary, it's apparently "beat up John Edwards Week" in the conservative Weekly Standard. William Tucker reminds us that Edwards, a populist multimillionaire trial lawyer, possesses the "two useful ingredients" that the best trial lawyers have — "a personal fortune and good instincts for reading voters' minds."


And in "The Man From Seneca," the Weekly's Andrew Ferguson makes much fun of the dashing Edwards for being too pretty (think Timmy on "Lassie") and maybe a little too crafty (think slick, as in Clinton).


Ferguson gleans some good stuff from talking with the colorful, savvy townsfolk in Edwards' hometown of Seneca, S.C.


It seems Edwards, who might end up as Kerry's VP, has already shot a born-in-a-log-cabin-type campaign commercial at what's left of his small, rundown childhood home — the one his family lived in for only a year before moving to what a local called "a nice house up by the hospital."

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JWR contributor Bill Steigerwald is an associate editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2002, Bill Steigerwald