Friday, January 30, 2004

Never Say Die, by Michael Kinsley

Washington Post

Kinsley conducts an interview with a fictional senator from a modest upbringing who just won't quit the race, despite poor showings in every primary.

This brings to mind an obvious question: Why isn't Joe Lieberman leaving the race? Gephardt was much stronger, and he quit two weeks ago. Does he really believe that he has a shot? Better yet, does he really believe he was in a "three-way tie for third place" in New Hampshire? That just made him look sad. Even Kucinich would be on better ground saying something like "I'm in a six-way tie for not last."

I guess nobody wants to be the guy who taps Lieberman on the shoulder and says "Look Joe, we're running at Kucinich/Sharpton numbers here, not Edwards/Clark, and even those numbers aren't good enough. Time to make a graceful exit. It's over." Even I don't want to be that guy. If you're reading this, Joe, forget what I just said.

I guess he feels he can win Arizona. He picked up an endorsement by the Arizona Republic today, after all. That's the only angle that makes sense to me. He's going to kick-in his last few pennies to make a showing in a moderate state the other candidates aren't focusing on, hoping to eke out a victory. That might give him some actual momentum, as opposed to Joementum, which, unlike The Surge, is some kind of negative momentum that causes you to severely underperform despite being a national figure with major endorsements.

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