Focus Point - Dem PollsCommentary by Pete du Pont
August 20, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I was intrigued -- though not surprised -- by the recent poll which reported that half of Americans surveyed couldn't come up with a single name when asked who the leader of the Democratic Party was.
Nine percent named house minority leader Dick Gephardt, six percent picked Al Gore. To show how bare the cupboard is, five percent said it was still Bill Clinton.
I wasn't surprised because, let's face it, what would anyone lead with? The National Democrats are flailing away without a program, left to complain about President Bush's policies -- most of which he seems to be putting over -- with little of their own to run on. Bush is setting the agenda on foreign policy, tax reform, education, social security reform. Democrats simply carp and snipe, and the two leading whiners, Gephardt and Tom Daschle, sound increasingly desperate and nitpicking. I know 2004 is a long way off, but the party had better have somebody before then if they hope to rally the troops -- a job Bush's successes could make tougher.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, "fixing" the tax code.