The people have spoken. Damn their eyes!

Another good result for Kerry. Not only did he win convincingly, but Dean, Clark, and Edwards are all damaged, without any of them being so damaged as to have to drop out now. Even Joe Lieberman, who, having said he needed to finish third finished fifth, and therefore ought, in all decency, to put his campaign out of its misery, has announced that a “virtual tie for third” is really good enough and will stay in the race.

If a single “anti-Kerry” gets established soon enough, I think Kerry could be beatable. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t have much passionate support, and won Iowa and then New Hampshire primarily as the “anti-Dean.”

But as things stand, it looks as if he’s likely to roll. If he does, I’ll cheerfully work my butt off for him in November. And I hope Clark and Edwards keep behaving themselves rather than trying to match Kerry slam for slam. He’d make a much stronger candidate against Bush, and probably a significantly better President, than Dean.

However, I also hope that they figure out a way to tacitly cooperate to give Kerry a very bad day this coming Tuesday. If Clark spends this week mostly in South Carolina, I’ll be even more convinced than I am now that Kerry has been making the right sacrifices to the elections god.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: