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<<One other factor is the blandness and decrepitude of their leaders. Daschle and Gephardt are pathetic. McAuliffe is a nightmare. When the Dems needed new blood, they found Mondale and Lautenberg...>>--

Exactly. And look what is waiting in the wings (or the revolving door)--Algore, Hillary, Fiendstein. Aaargh. Even John Breaux, a decent, capable guy, lives in a charisma-free zone. But, then, the Dems were into charisma up to their ears with Bill Clinton and the consensus was that they needed to roll it back. So there they are.

The last truly great Dem leader was John B. Connally. Connally could have had the Presidency for the asking, as a Dem, in 1976. But he had switched to the GOP, at Nixon's urging, and found himself under prosecution for alleged influence peddling, by Democrat prosecutors in D.C., a rotten, trumped-up charge for which he was acquitted.

It is no disparagement of G.H.W. Bush to note that, in the early '70s, he hardly could have thumbed a ride across Houston in the same limo with Connally. Now Connally is dead and look at the Bush family. "The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on . . ."

And I, S.T., have nominated Jimmy Carter as the Dem to run for the White House in '04.

/s/ S.T.
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