Elections are stressful, and today is especially stressful because my candidate -- Howard Dean -- will be made or broken by the results. A win here would be a tremendous victory, and a close second place will keep the campaign alive. Anything less will mean the end of the Dean movement -- which too Democratic activists by storm last summer and promises great change in the party if Dean gets the nomination. We’ve been under attack by the Democratic National Committee since fall, and today could be the blow that finally kills us.

Although I think Dean can still win, odds are that John Kerry will be the victor. Kerry, I’ve said before, is a terrible candidate -- he has an inconsistent voting record, and was an unexceptional Senator, having never introduced a single piece of legislation during his two decades in the Senate. Mark my words, if Kerry is our nominee, Bush will beat him to death on several issues: 1) Kerry is an elitist patrician, but unlike the President, he doesn’t make an effort to sound like a normal person; 2) John Kerry is a liar and an exaggerator who flip-flops on the issues; 3) Kerry is without any convictions, essentially a political opportunist.

No amount of military service will change this -- this is the same strategy the Republicans took to bash Al Gore, and it will work just as effectively with John Kerry.

But a Kerry win is just what the Dem establishment wants -- at least, it’s what the people in power want. Word from some professional campaign workers I know here in Washington is that the DNC is willing to give up this election to Bush so as to ensure a Hillary run in 2008. That beating Bush in 2004 was never their goal, and the fact that Dean has so effectively provided an outlet for the party’s general discontent with the President is a mere inconvenience in their overall strategy. They want Bush to win, and they don’t care that he’s doing his best to cripple the Federal government -- power is their only concern, and now is not the right time for their candidate to ascend to the throne.

The jury’s out on whether or not I believe this conspiracy theory -- given my level of cynicism and disillusionment with the Democratic Party, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was true. I’m not sure they’re organized enough to cripple their own chances for a White House win, but they’re probably cunning enough to do it.