Much to the chagrin of his southern opponents, Sen.
John Kerry coasted easily to victory tonight in the southern states of Virginia and Tennessee, and closer to the Democratic nomination to run against
President Bush. His southern wins right on the heels of weekend victories in Washington, Michigan and Maine are putting to rest for many claims that
only a southerner can appeal to southern voters in the national election this November.
Struggling candidates Sen. John Edwards, who garnered a comfortable second place finish in Virginia, and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark both banked on
strong showings if not outright victories in what was once considered their last best shot for continued relevance. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean,
who was a distant second in the weekend's contests conceded today's elections banking instead on the Wisconsin primary coming February 17. Edwards
has already joined Dean in Wisconsin.
All remaining candidates now claim to be looking ahead to "Super Tuesday" with 11 state primaries on March 2, with the possible exception of Clark
that just cancelled a fundraiser previously scheduled for tomorrow in Houston.
Increasingly as Kerry chalks up win after win, even nationally, and the nominee becomes more apparent, one must wonder why Dean, Edwards and Clark
continue. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll among registered Democrats surveyed over the weekend showed Kerry was the choice of 52 percent, compared with 14
percent for Dean, 13 percent for Edwards and 10 percent for Clark. Despite only netting a handful of delegates and admittedly not being a likely
nominee, Rev. Al Sharpton may have best explained the rationale for continuance even in defeat considering that only a thorough vetting of
front-runner Kerry, and bringing all wings of the democratic party to the table will best prepare the nominee to challenge President Bush. If Clark
withdraws tonight, the logic behind such will certainly be based on funding, not desire.
Bush has been making the campaign circuit the past week defending himself from accusations levied by the Democratic candidates. The most recent
approval ratings show some improvement since David Kay's bomb that Saddam Hussein, in fact, had no WMD's. As of Sunday, when Bush played to Meet
, 52 percent approved of the President's job performance, compared to 49 percent the week earlier. The effect of today's National Guard
record release by the White House in response to charges of Bush not fulfilling his duties has not yet been measured.
Related ATSNN Links:
White House Releases Bush Service Records
Kerry Pulls Ahead with Weekend Wins
Related ATS Discussions:
O'Reilly Skeptical of Bush WMD Claims
[Edited on 10-2-2004 by RANT]