Volume 73, Number 39 | January 28 - February 03, 2004



McCain and Kerrey handicap presidential horse race

By Lincoln Anderson

Villager photos by Elisabeth Robert

New School President Bob Kerrey, left, and Senator John McCain.

Using giant maps with “red states” and “blue states” as a visual aid, New School President Bob Kerrey engaged Senator John McCain in a discussion of scenarios involving the Democratic presidential campaign and the general election last Thursday.

The former Nebraska senator and governor Kerrey and McCain were colleagues in the Senate. And both ran for president unsuccessfully.

“You have two losers up here,” quipped Kerrey to laughs from the capacity crowd at New School’s W. 12th St. auditorium.

“We didn’t expect the primary to be quite this interesting,” Kerrey said, by way of introduction, just three days after John Kerry’s and John Edwards’ stunning upset of former frontrunner Howard Dean in the Iowa caucuses.

A PIIM map showing how Howard Dean would fare in a hypothetical race against George W. Bush if the issue was the war on Iraq. Bush would win, the Parsons group that operates the PIIM division, concluded from their polling.

Showing on a screen behind them were maps generated by Parsons Institute for Information Mapping, a new division at New School that compiles information and puts it in map format. For the Democratic primaries and general election scenarios, PIIM polled 4,800 people in 12 battleground states, without regarding to party affiliation.

At one point, Kerrey flicked to a map showing a hypothetical race between Kerry and President Bush, but Kerrey didn’t agree with some of PIIM’s findings, so, with a red laser pointer, flipped Arkansas to Kerry, noting former President Clinton would give him a boost there, and flipped New Hampshire, noting Clinton might also put Kerry over the top there.

Said McCain of the Democratic field, “It’s good for democracy. You’re going to see a lot higher voter turnout. It would be a mistake to count out any of the top five contenders.”

McCain also predicted Social Security will run into a major problem in 2006, noting, “It’s the greatest Ponzi scheme in history. There is not one person working in this room who will receive the benefits that people are receiving now.”

Former Mayor Ed Koch came in late and as Kerrey acknowledged him, Koch stood up and took a bow to applause.


By Lincoln Anderson


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