Sunday, November 28, 2004

Updated November 28 at 12:55 am /Kerry/ Edwards/ Bush/ Gore/ Giangreco/ Barnes/ Kondracke/ Carole King.
When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right…

You just call out my name…
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend

Carole King, “You’ve Got a Friend,” 1971 [The same year, coincidentally, that John Kerry testified to Congress about U. S. soldiers in Vietnam being "more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions... [and engaging in] the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam." John Kerry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement, April 23, 1971.]
John Kerry could justifiably be “down and troubled,” but he is not. Instead, he is “Up” and “He’s got a friend.” And, oddly enough, it is conservative pundit Fred Barnes and not Democratic campaign consultant and Kerry-Edwards stalwart Pete Giangreco. The initial discussion, below, from Fox’s Beltway Boys, is followed by Giangreco, who is featured in this week' City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” airing this coming Monday night [Nov. 29] at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 and a partial transcript of that show is included, below.
Fred Barnes [Weekly Standard Executive Editor and Fox Contributor, discussing those who are up and those who are down]: Up, John Kerry, he returned to work in the Senate this week and unlike other Presidential also-rans, Kerry is taking his election day loss like a man- rolling up his sleeves and not looking back. Watch.

Video Clip of John Kerry saying, “This race was a solid effort and no one’s ever beaten a President in time of war. So, the fact that I came 50,000 votes short of that, I don’t find, you know- am I disappointed? Yeah, [I] would have rather won. But, do I find that somehow- some mark of failure or distress? The answer is no.”

Barnes: You know, losing a Presidential race has to be traumatic. And, you know he hasn’t grown a beard, he hasn’t gone off and sulked [as did Al Gore after he was declared the loser in 2000, although that declaration did require an agonizing 35 days that no doubt was fairly traumatic for the principals. Remember, after learning he lost-- Gore went off for two years, like a lost hippie, to find himself and came back, apparently, with some kind of new wisdom that directed him to be and speak like a wild eyed radical—who seemed at home with policy positions almost to the left of Fidel Castro]. He [Kerry] has come back to the Senate for the lame duck session, he is there. He was at the Clinton Library event, even. I am sorry to say, though [Barnes laughter] that he [Kerry] sent an email to his supporters- partly blaming Fox News for his defeat, that’s a little pathetic—but, all in all, I am impressed by his response.

Morton Kondracke [Roll Call and Fox Contributor]: Well, he told Geraldo Rivera he thought a big factor in that was Osama Bin Laden’s tape at the very end--that it scared people into voting for [President] Bush. In fact, I think it reminded people that they preferred Bush as somebody to take on terrorism.
Fox News Channel’s “Beltway Boys,” November 20, 2004 [airing every Saturday at 5:00 pm on FNC]
Jeff Berkowitz: …Why did the Democrats lose the Presidency again?

Pete Giangreco: Well, I think we continue to nominate candidates of limited appeal. I mean, I think John Kerry had a very elite quality about him. You know, sort of boarding school, Yale, Northeast Massachusetts Senator. We ran into the same kind of cultural problems with Al Gore, who came from a very similar background- although he was born in the south. He was essentially raised in Washington, D.C., again boarding schools [the elite St. Albans prep school in D.C., which also counts Cong. Jesse Jackson, Jr. among its alums] and Ivy League. When we nominate people who culturally can’t connect in places like the South, we lose. And when we do, we win—Bill Clinton [92, 96], Jimmy Carter [76, but lost his re-election bid in ’80 to Ronald Reagan] and Lyndon Johnson [Helped John F. Kennedy win the Presidency (by stealing Texas ?) in 1960; became President in 1963 after the Kennedy Assassination and was elected in 64, but, of course, due to the Vietnam War and Senator Gene McCarthy's near victory in the New Hampshire Primary over LBJ, became shell shocked and was scared away from seeking re-election in ‘68]- all candidates who won southern states and won the Presidency. Gore, Kerry, Dukakis: none of them carried a southern state. And, it is not just candidates who live in the South because there are people who culturally have the same affinity as people in the South- they live in southern Ohio, they live in upstate Michigan, they live in downstate Illinois.
Giangreco: You can’t fake it. I mean, voters are smart. You can’t fake it just by going hunting and bringing some cameras along [as did Kerry shortly before the election]…

Berkowitz: So, your view is that had your candidate…had he won the nomination, then your view is that the Democrats would have the presidency this time because John Edwards has a cultural fit more in tune [with the voters than Kerry], am I getting that right?

Giangreco: That would be my general assertion. Now, I have to say, honestly, that the security and terrorism issues—Edwards still would have to deal with those—Bush probably still would have had an advantage on that despite the fact that Edwards spent almost six years on the Senate Intelligence committee—you would probably still give Bush the advantage.
Pete Giangreco, Democratic campaign consultant, in a program that was recorded on November 14, 2004, and that is airing this coming Monday night on the City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs.” [Nov. 29, 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21]. For more on the show with Giangreco and additional portions of the show transcript, see the blog entry, below, dated Nov. 22 at 12:30 am.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at