Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large at The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org

Recent Articles

Crony Capitalist

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- John Kerry and John Edwards will be duking it out for a little while yet, which means there will be populist rhetoric aplenty on the campaign trail. "At the heart of this campaign," Kerry said at his Seattle victory rally on Tuesday night, "is a commitment to fairness for all, not privilege for the few." Speaking earlier that evening in South Carolina, Edwards decried, as he always does, the division of the nation into "two Americas," one that receives tax breaks and has access to doctors, the other that sees its wages stagnating and has to wait in emergency rooms to get medical care. For some, this means that Democrats are again hearing ancestral voices prophesying class war. Joe Lieberman spoke for the populist-phobes when, campaigning last Sunday, he voiced his fear that "some of the other candidates . . . are drifting toward outdated class-warfare arguments." It was Lieberman, of course, whose arguments Democratic voters judged to be outdated or worse, but the...

Riled Up

ST. LOUIS -- I've been channel surfing out here and haven't seen a political ad yet. It's not just my myopia, according to Sunday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch . The fact is that this state tilts so heavily toward John Kerry that nobody's buying much airtime in Missouri. According to the Post-Dispatch , the Kerry and John Edwards campaigns have each dropped a paltry $40,000 on St. Louis TV stations -- an amount that Saint Louis University political scientist Ken Warren termed "incredible peanuts." Indeed, both Kerry and Edwards have been outspent in the St. Louis media market by Lyndon LaRouche, who paid $51,000 for a half-hour spot on the local CBS affiliate. The Post-Dispatch reports that the LaRouche extravaganza had higher ratings than Seinfeld and The Simpsons on rival stations, which suggests that people here really are as bored as they look. The Kerry campaign says it will spend about $120,000 for Missouri media; the Edwards campaign is in for $80,000. Wesley Clark's campaign says...

Kerry Country

ST. LOUIS -- I've been channel surfing out here and haven't seen a political ad yet. It's not just my myopia, according to Sunday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch . The fact is that this state tilts so heavily toward John Kerry that nobody's buying much airtime in Missouri. According to the Post-Dispatch , the Kerry and John Edwards campaigns have each dropped a paltry $40,000 on St. Louis TV stations -- an amount that Saint Louis University political scientist Ken Warren termed "incredible peanuts." Indeed, both Kerry and Edwards have been outspent in the St. Louis media market by Lyndon LaRouche, who paid $51,000 for a half-hour spot on the local CBS affiliate. The Post-Dispatch reports that the LaRouche extravaganza had higher ratings than Seinfeld and The Simpsons on rival stations, which suggests that people here really are as bored as they look. The Kerry campaign says it will spend about $120,000 for Missouri media; the Edwards campaign is in for $80,000. Wesley Clark's campaign says...

Show Me

ST. LOUIS -- Over at Pat's Bar and Grill on Thursday night, the Kerry campaign reached the limits of its momentum. One day earlier, it had been able to turn out roughly 1,000 people to a hastily called rally at the community college just down the street, for which the candidate flew in straight from Boston. The night before that, the campaign's managers had gotten 200 people to attend a New Hampshire watch-election party. But now they'd called a debate-watch party, too, during the evening commute time, with the temperature at 12 degrees and with snow starting to fall. In New Hampshire, that would have deterred nobody, but New Hampshirites spend four years training for primary week. Here in Missouri, to say that nobody was even thinking about a contested presidential primary is to understate. Until nine days ago, this was all Gephardt country. Now it's all last-minute shopping -- a vast, unanticipated political Christmas Eve. And so, for the first half-hour of the debate, a total of 11...

Iron John

NASHUA, N.H. -- If Karl Rove thinks he can take down John Kerry the way his mentor, Lee Atwater, took down Michael Dukakis, he's got another thing coming. The Kerry who delivered that victory speech in Manchester on Tuesday night was the most effective Democratic politico since the fall of Bill Clinton. Within his first two minutes at the microphone, Kerry had delivered a stinging populist attack on the president and managed to identify himself with his Vietnam vet comrades who surrounded him onstage. "I depended on the same band of brothers I depended on some 30 years ago," said Kerry, thanking Max Cleland and a bunch of guys wearing the insignias of their old units for delivering in New Hampshire as they had in Iowa. "We're a little older, a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for our country!" Almost instantaneously, Kerry deployed both his offense and defense. On the stump, he is seldom so succinct: Digressions abound, adverbs pop up to take the punch from his punch...

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