50 State Sweeps

Remember when?

I took note of the New York Post article, saved at archive.org, from May of 2003, for one scurrilous prediction:


May 8, 2003 — ANYONE who watched the dreary first 2004 Democratic debate Saturday can see why some Republicans are dreaming and plotting how President Bush can do what even Ronald Reagan couldn’t do: win all 50 states in 2004.
After all, polls now show Bush could win California, beat Sen. Hillary Clinton in New York, and whip 2004 wannabes Joe Lieberman (Conn.), John Edwards (N.C.) and Bob Graham (Fla.) in their home states.


The District of Columbia is probably safe for the Democrats, but
a 50-state sweep for Mr. Bush wouldn’t be out of the question.


A 50-state sweep for Bush is not impossible, said Stephen Hess, a scholar of presidential politics at the Brookings Institution. “I think one thing Rove will do is make a thrust at 50 states because he’s got the money to do it, and the tactic pins down the other side,” Hess said.

At this early stage, the “other side” does not look particularly threatening.

In June 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine in its “movers and shakers” column profiled Nelson, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa. Asked about his immediate goals, Nelson said, “To expand the majority in the House, take back the Senate and a 50-state sweep for President Bush in 2004.”


Some pundits are now even predicting that Bush may sweep all 50 states in the next election. And, unless the Democrats start facing reality and acting like grown-ups, they’re unlikely to be holding on to many states in 2004. And, at the rate they’re going, the most they’ll be holding on to are the thumbs in their mouths.


Things move fast in politics. What you had there was this weird trajectory where, freedom is ushered into Iraq, Iraqis continue to greet our soldiers with flowers — even now a year into the future, and a bombardment of oil raises the American economy to new heights heretofore unseen in world history. And, the Democratic Party becomes shrill and vulgar to appease their anti-American (by definition, they’re anti-Bush) base.

I’d like to see if Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity made great hay out of that New York Post article back in 2003… or if they had more sense. This was never in the realm of possibilities. If it were to be a landslide for Bush, it’d be, at most, a landslide of Bush vs. Dukakis proportions. But, the NY Post editorialist envisioned something that would put Bush II in the same realm of George Washington (he had two dissent-less electoral victories).

And right above Ronald Reagan. And Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And Richard Nixon. But never mind him.

I wonder if anyone ever predicted that George Bush I would carry all 50 states… you know, back when Saturday Night Live was doing skits about Democratic Debates where the candidates argued that they would lose bigger than the other candidates…

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