There Is No Cat

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Monday, January 19, 2004

Finally, some answers

So today we finally start to get some answers. I don't know anything about the caucus procedure than I read in the funny papers, but it's clear that organization is absolutely key to winning in this system. I was reading on Daily Kos about rumors that some huge percentage of people planning to attend the caucuses with Howard Dean as their first choice are first time caucus attendees. The implication here is that these people are off the radar of the other candidates and of the press and that their polls are therefore inaccurate, enabling Dean to spring a surprise on the field by getting more votes than anyone expects. If that's true, then it means that Dean's unusual field organization actually works, and the so-called Internet campaign has legs in real life. But if Gephardt comes on stronger than expected and defeats Dean, that's a win for the traditional activists, since Gephardt's field organization is made up largely of experienced union activists. And that would call into question whether the Joe Trippi model of an insurgent net-based campaign can work.

The polls are showing Dean's support slipping. But if the post on Kos is right, the polls are going to be misleading. I'm really rooting for Howard Dean to win, because I love the idea of a campaign that goes to such lengths to bring people into the process winning. Either way, we'll have a better idea of whether a citizen-driven campaign or one run by "grown-ups" works better.

Posted at 6:37 PM

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Then, of course, there's the possibility that neither Dean nor Gephardt win, in which case the only thing you can tell is that you just can't tell.

Well, maybe that and that the net-based campaign isn't the panacea some thought it might be....

Posted by ralph at 10:50 PM, January 19, 2004 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

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