In reading both these articles, from a conservative and a liberal (Stephen Hayes and Eleanor Clift) you cannot help but think that whatever happens on December 7th, it is very clear that Landrieu is hurting. She is desparate and on the defense. (And she will lose.) Also note the great disadvantage she is running with: No Democratic national "leader" can come to her aid for if he should, it would be to her disadvantage; she would likely lose votes. Isnt it extraordinary that no Al Gore or any other Democrat interested in running for president can go down there and campaign on her behalf? How long can the Democratic Party place their former presidents (and former presidential candidates) on the shelf for fear that they will actually hurt Demos in an election? This happened to Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, et al. It is arguably the case that it hasnt happened to Clinton, yet, even Clinton is not as useful as folks thought he would be, say, a year ago. And we already have confirmed cases of Gore going into Maryland and campaigning for Kennedy-Townsend and then watching her drop by a couple of points the next day. Jesse Jackson goes down and endorses Ladrieu, and she virtually disowns the endorsement (despite her problem with black support). These are signs of a deep seated problem within that party. I dont think there is enough attention being paid to the fact that the Democratic Party as a national entity is on the verge of collapse, or, if you like, has been falling apart for three decades. Only things outside of itself has saved it from such a collapse (Carter comes in as an outsider and is succesful in part because of watergate, Clinton as a new Demo reacting almost solely to GOP initiatives and policies, etc.); and the glue that holds it together is reflected in the over-emphasis on getting the so-called base to come out. It is based on group interest and fear; it is in an utterly reactive mode. Not only does it stand for nothing, it has no authoritative leaders to carry that non-message. It looks bleak. You cant create a political party by attacking a radio talk-show host.