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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Graham Musings-Bob Graham is slated to officially become a presidential candidate today, finishing the four announcement sequence of the second-tier candidate (announce you're announcing a exploratory committee, announce your exploratory committee, announce you're announcing your candidacy and announce your candidacy). I don't think Bob Graham will get far; he's essentially running the Al Gore 1988 campaign, except as an elder statesmen rather than a young Turk. Like Gore in 1988, he's more liberal than he wants you to think and isn't the greatest speaker. However, the GOP seems to be nervous, wanting to counterspin the announcement with a bucket of negative quotes. Could Graham be the guy they don't want to run against? He'll have some extra help within the elite media, since he's the brother-in-law of the late Washington Post chief Katherine Graham. He'll be a bit less easy to paint as an out-of-touch liberal and Graham's day-on-the-job shtick will make it easier to point to Dubya's Yale preppy side. As a Republican, you'd rather run against Kerry, with his Massachusetts liberalism and lengthy love life, or Gephardt, with his quarter-century of labor-liberal House votes, or Edwards, the "lightweight" (but moving up to at least middleweight these days) trial lawyer. Howard Dean would be an attack ad gold-mine. Graham would be harder to spin, thus possibly prompting the GOP mud machine.

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