MA-Sen: Kerry to run for re-election, not President

CNN is reporting that John Kerry will not run for President in 2008. Assuming for a moment this is correct--which it may not be, as I have been previously burned by my desire to see the 2008 set ASAP--it is not a huge surprise. He had made some moves of late that would suggest another run. However, in the end, he probably saw far too difficult a path, and he was dawdling too long making his decision to indicate strong interest.

Anyway, I am looking for a confirmation story on this. If true, it would leave Clark and, to a lesser extent, Gore, as the only potential candidates who have not made their intentions clear one way or another.

Update: From the comments, the Boston Globe confirms: Senator John F. Kerry plans to announce today that he will not run in the 2008 presidential race, and will instead remain in Congress and seek reelection to his Senate seat next year, according to senior Democratic officials. Cool--he is running for Senate again in 2008. Now, let's see all of those ultra-safe House Democrats in Massachusetts justify their huge warchests in 2008. With Lautenberg also probably running again in 2008, I can feel a new round of Use It Or Lose It coming on.

Wednesday Thread

Here are some items that caught my eye:This is an open thread. Discuss these and other topics.

James Carville's Consultant Con

There are two main reasons why James Carville does not like Howard Dean. The first is that Howard Dean does not trash other Democrats, and Carville prefers Democrats who throw their own party under the bus. The second is that he is a political consultant, and as such many of his friends have gotten rich off of commissions from television advertisements. As far as he is concerned, all donations to all Democratic committees exist so that he and his friends can get richer. Since Howard Dean is spending money on field organizers and grants to state parties, his friends tend to not get rich from the money the DNC raised. This is abhorrent to Carville, since Democratic Party committees exist to make him and his friends rich.

However, there is a serious problem with many of the television advertisements that Democrats run. That is why on MyDD we set up Adwatch in order to monitor if the money we raised for campaigns was being spent effectively. Looking at the final results from the fifteen House races where the DCCC spent its money, one has to wonder if we did spend our money as effectively as we could have:
  • 1. PA-06: Lost
  • 2. NM-01: Losing
  • 3. CT-05: win, but credited the netroots
  • 4. OH-15: Losing
  • 5. IL-06: Lost
  • 6. IN-08: Win
  • 7. CA-50: Lost
  • 8. PA-07: Win, but raised $1M online
  • 9. AZ-05: Win
  • 10. KY-04: Lost
  • 11. WA-08: Lost
  • 12. PA-08: Win, but credited the netroots
  • 13. OH-18: Win, but defeated DCCC candidate in primary
  • 14. FL-22: Win
  • 15. CT-04: Loss
The numbers I used for this ranking come from when there was still one week to go in the election, but they still tell a disturbing tale (see source information here). Why did the DCCC lose, or is in the process of losing, eight of its top fifteen targets? Why have only six of the fifteen candidates the DCCC originally backed in these races win? Over 85% of the DCCC's independent expenditures in these races came in the form of television ads. Will the consultants in charge of thee ads be held accountable for their sub-500 record? Will other consulting firms be tested out in the future in order to see if they can produce better results? Keep in mind that I am not criticizing the DCCC for choosing these districts, because this is not a bad top fifteen-target list at all. Also, in the seats we did win, it was usually by a very narrow margin, and so this amount of money may have been necessary. However, we should have done better in this list than we did, and I do not think it takes much to argue that the main reason for our failure rests with ineffective television advertising.

Yet still, after producing a sub-.500 record int eh top fifteen House targets, Carville has the gall to tell the press that he and his other consultant buddies deserved even more money so that they could have run even more ineffective advertisements. I write this not as someone looking to attack the DCCC, but instead as someone looking to get my money's worth. The Use It Or Lose It campaign helped direct more than $2.3M into DCCC coffers for the final election push. The MyDD / Dailykos / Swing state Project Act Blue page directed more than $1.5M into Democratic coffers since February. I want to make sure that the money I donated, my community donated, and that we all helped transfer to the DCCC was spent wisely. Looking at our performance in the top fifteen targets, I have some serious doubts that it was.

Carville can try and continue his consulting con that more money to the DCCC would have automatically translated into more victories for Democrats in the House, but looking at our performance in the top fifteen targets, I have to say that is hardly a guarantee. What is a guarantee is that it would have made his rich consulting buddies a lot more money. We practically swept every close race in the Senate, so I have no beef with their consultants. However, when it comes to the House, I want answers. Did we use the right consultants? What other options to we have? What commissions are they taking from these ads? How can we work to reduce the size of those commissions if they are being done on a percentage basis? To what extent are other forms of independent expenditures besides advertising on broadcast advertising more or less effective? How much money does James Carville personally stand to gain from the extra money he wanted channeled to close House races?

These are questions that many people, including the media and the DCCC, need to start asking James Carville. We need answers to these questions. Just because we won does not mean we can't do better in the future. Figuring out what happened to DCCC advertising in our most heavily targeted races is a big area where we can start improving.

Feel the Love

DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued the following statement on recent "Use It or Lose It" efforts by Democratic House Members and grassroots activists to support the DCCC and Democratic candidates:

"Throughout the cycle, the remarkable grassroots movement for change has buoyed Democratic efforts to expand the playing field, support our candidates, and ultimately win a Democratic majority that can take our country in a new direction," said Rahm Emanuel. "The recent unity shown between grassroots activists and Democratic Members to ensure that we can compete in dozens of newly competitive districts is heartening to the DCCC and all of our Democratic challengers."

There's more...

Use It Or Lose It: Last Call

As Matt and David have noted in their fundraising calls this morning, today is the last, best day to give to netroots candidates this cycle. We are asking you to give until it hurts on the netroots page. And so, we are also going to ask ultra-safe Democrats to give until it hurts today. Take part in the Use It Or Lose It Program, one last time.

This week, the people you have called have given at least $2.25M to the Democratic cause in the House. Absolutely amazing--your calls are being heard by ultra-safe Democrats around the country. For this final day, I put together a special Use It Or Lose It resource page, which shows how much has been raised, who you can thank for their donations, media coverage of the program, and statements of support from House Democrats. You can also go directly to the main Use It Or Lose It action page, and start making calls to ultra-safe Democrats in your home state.

So far today, you have giving $60,000 directly to candidates on the netroots page. Our ultra-safe Democrats need to give until it hurts too. This is the last day of the Use It Or Lose It action campaign, so make it happen now. At this point, just ask Democrats to give whatever they can, and give it today.

Oh, and Marty Meehan, with over $4,000,000 cash on hand, has endorsed an editorial in the Lowell Sun that referred to the Use It Or Lose It campaign as "a nasty shakedown by rotten political scoundrels." Nice. I know someone who will never become a Senator in Massachusetts.

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