December 12, 2003

Toast-O-Meter (12/12 Edition)

The Toast-o-meter: A Weekly News Round-Up and

Handicapping of the Race for the Democratic Nomination.

-Toast: It's not Just for Breakfast Anymore!-

This week's Toast-O-Meter comes to you Fortified with more linkage and Enhanced with increased bloggage!

The scale:

  • Wonder Bread (The nomination is in reach)
  • Just Plain Ol’ White Bread (Still in the race; has a shot)
  • Toast (Pretty much done—a little scraping might make you look like bread, but you're done)
  • Burnt Toast (Really, really done)
  • Burnt all the Way Through (Why are you still in the race?)
  • Crumbs in the Bottom of the Toaster (Why did you ever get in the race in the first place?)

    Potential Movements each Week:

  • Dough is on the Rise
  • Heat’s Off This Week
  • The heat is on.
  • Got Scraped a Bit
  • Getting Darker

    The Whole Loaf: Can any of the Nine make Bush into Texas Toast?

    (Bush is fresh, the Loaf is stale)

  • James of OTB has the latest Quinnipiac University poll nuimbers, which shows Bush beating all comers, in some cases quite handily.
  • Much polling shows Bush doing well nationally and in Florida (you remember Florida, right?) against all comers.
  • The Dow: closed at 10k on Thursday--and is over 10k as I finalize the 'Meter. As I have argued, and as has Professor Bainbridge, this is an important symbol--and one that aids the Slice-in-Chief.
  • The economy continues to look up: 2004 Will Be the U.S.'s Best Year Economically in Last 20 Years, The Conference Board Reports in a Revised Forecast
  • Like the bill or not, advantage->Bush: Bush Signs Medicare Changes Into Law.
  • Look out Howard Dean: NASCAR Stars Meet With President Bush. With the NASCAR vote wrapped up, can Bush lose the South?
  • Taegan Goddard does warn against assuming a Bush landslide in '04.

    Slicing up the loaf:


    Dean: Wonder Bread fortified with vitamins With Yummy Vermont Syrup on top (Dough on the Rise)

  • The Gore endorsement, while not as big a deal as some seem to think, is still an important piece of the front-runner puzzle for the good Doctor.
  • Of course, as James Taranto noted, the value of a Gore endorsement is questionable.
  • Still, Taegan Goddard links to a story that show Dean got a bounce from the Gore announcement.
  • The PatioPundit sees Dean as the top slice as well (Hat tip: Dr. Lawrence)
  • More good Iowa numbers. They continue to be great on NH as well.
  • Polls in South Carolina show Dean neck-and-neck with several of the other Eight. If he wins SC, it's over for Edwards and Lieberman. Others show Dean quite a bit behind Edwards.
  • Kevin of Wizbang! thinks that "Dean's free wheeling style an shoot from the lips quotes are going to get him in real trouble."--I think Kevin is correct, but it will be trouble he will face in the general election campaign, not his run for the nomination.


    Gephardt: Slighty Toasted White Bread (the heat continues).

  • Matthew Yglesias doesn't like Gephardt. Indeed, he wants anyone but Gephardt. He needn't worry too much: as I reckon that Gephardt will start getting toasty shorlty.
  • He received the endorsement of South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, a key member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  • More bad Iowa numbers.


    Clark: Toast (got scraped a little)

  • He received an endorsement from Rep. Charlie Rangel.
  • Said the General to the NYT: "I'm like a fish out of water," he said. "They've never run across anything like me. I mean, a guy like me running for the presidency? I've never run for anything." Well, two problems: fish sans water = death, and we have seen candidates for nominations who have run for anything before (remember Gary Bauer?), and we have a name for them: losers.

    Kerry: Burned French Toast (the heat continues--soon to be in the Crumb Pile)--Indeed, sans money he would be crumbs already.

  • Kerry campaign aims to tap donors of some of his rivals, or so says the Boston Globe. Hmm, that doesn't sound like the kind of thing a guy who is doing well tends to do...
  • Jonah Goldberg concurs: "Kerry's got no chance of becoming president of the United States".
  • He cussed out President Bush by dropping F-bombs in a Rolling Stone interview, according to the New York Post. We are desperate or anything, are we?
  • This can't be good: The Boston Globe notes: Kerry camp lowers N.H. expectations. I wonder why he is taking that stance? Hmm.
  • Kevin of CalPundit discusses his views on "The Problem with Kerry" and makes some worthwhile observations, including that "He just seems too calculated"--which is what I was trying to get at back in early September when I compared Kerry to Gore.
  • WaPo's Dana Milibank details some of Kerry's, er, exaggerations vis-a-vis poll numbers. (Hat Tip: The Hedgehog Report)

    Edwards: Burnt all the way through (getting darker--only a SC win can save him from the Crumb Pile (in the short term, anyway))

  • Has critcized Bush for Diebold contributions.
  • Robert Garcia of Priorities and Frivolities has endorsed him (although for perhaps impure motives). Sadly, this may be Edwards' best news of the week.
  • He came to my state: Demos' Edwards to arrive in city [Birmingham], but I didn't notice.


    Lieberman: Crumbling Burnt Toast (he's done)

  • Of course, the big news of the week: the big dis from former running mate Al Gore. According to press accounts, Joe found out about the Dean endorsement from the media. Ouch.
  • James of OTB feels sory for Liberman, and has some links to other folks commenting on his "dead ender" and Eyor-like demeanor. On a similar note, Kristopher (of The World Around You) thinks that Gore owed Lieberman a phone call. And
    Lieberman Says Gore Call 'Too Late'
  • He plans to take on junk food. There's a bold policy initiative!

    Kucinich: Crumbs at the bottom of the toaster (banana-berry bread)

  • ABC has decided to stop covering his campaign.
  • He did finally get a date, though.

    Sharpton: Crumbs at the bottom of the toaster (a nice kiwi-pecan bread)

  • Al's SNL stint wasn't seen in Iowa (equal time and all that...). (Hat tip: The Hedgehog Report)
  • Rev. Al, in fact, declared that his appearance on SNL showed "The real Al Sharpton."
  • ABC has decided to stop covering his campaign.

    Braun: Crumbs at the bottom of the toaster (plain day-old bread)

  • ABC has decided to stop covering her campaign.
  • However, today, she is the top "Braun" in a Google News Search (although she wasn't easrlier in the week--I checked).
  • Of course, the top story is that her triumph of the week was her ability to cite South Park during a speech to teenagers. No doubt that will propel her to a Veep bid.


    Hillary Clinton

  • She made the rounds to three of the four Sunday Shows. On MTP she stated (regarding the noination): I've ruled it out. I'm going to continue to rule it out.
  • Although I am sure she will be thrilled to know that Clark says he's not ruled out Hillary Clinton as possible veep
  • On that topic, says the Boston Herald: Hillary coy on concept of run for vice prez
  • She did, however, declare this past week, that Bush wants to "undo the New Deal" and that he wants to destroy "central pillars of progress in our country during the 20th century."


  • Has become a topping on Howard Dean's Wonder Bread.

    Update: This post is in BELTWAY TRAFFIC JAM

    Posted by Steven Taylor at December 12, 2003 11:58 AM | TrackBack
  • Comments

    Agreed. Dean's words won't come back to haunt him until the general election.

    Posted by: Kevin Aylward at December 12, 2003 01:44 PM

    In terms of the nomination, I'll go along with this assessment -- but in terms of any actual presidential hopes on Dean's part, I have this to say:

    Imagine all the wheat in the wheat field -- not yet harvested, nor ground into flour, nor baked into bread -- but it's already toast.

    If Karl Rove knows his business, that's Howard Dean.

    Posted by: McGehee at December 12, 2003 02:16 PM
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