And the Kerry campaign strategy against Edwards and Dean at this point seems to ignore the fact that they are still in the race. In his victory speech on the campus of George Mason University, Kerry positioned himself as President Bush's challenger, stating, "Our opponents say they want to campaign on national security," using an inclusive pronoun while neglecting Dean and Edwards entirely.
The Senator, who has hardly mentioned a Democratic opponent by name since New Hampshire, will take two down days in Washington to strategize, organize, and fundraise, while his rivals campaign in Wisconsin.
Kerry, who leads by double digits in what few polls are available in the Badger State, continues to rotate two ads there — one focused on his service in Vietnam, the other on "special interests," will make his first trip to Wisconsin since this summer on Friday.
The campaign will also make a one-day trip to Nevada prior to the state's Valentine's Day primary, keeping in line with Kerry's pledge to "fight for every vote" in each primary and caucus state.
In Virginia, even as eection day polls showed a wide lead, the Senator left nothing for granted, appearing before 200 supporters at the Robinson Secondary School polling site in Fairfax Station.
At this late event, Amy Conrick moved through the throng with her 8-year-old son, Eoinc, to say, "This is a young fellow Irishman."
Kerry, whose roots were described by one senior aide as "little bits of lots and lots of things European all mixed up" replied, "Well, I only have a tiny piece of that, I'm afraid, you know, very little."
Thank goodness young Eoinc did not observe, as one colleague did on Kerry's Miami Air charter, the Senator conversing in fluent, if rusty, off-camera French with an international correspondent and crew.
Heritage aside, Kerry's sense of identity, with one-quarter of the delegate march toward the nomination complete, was not in question.
On the eve of Kerry's Southern sweep, a local Virginia television reporter queried, "Do you prefer the comparisons to Kennedy or Dukakis?"
Kerry replied without hesitation, "I prefer being John Kerry."
Yes, Virginia, It's an Unusual Southern Strategy …
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 9 — Senator Kerry spent the last three days in pursuit of the one prize that has eluded him thus far in this lopsided Democratic nomination contest: a win in the South.
Kerry sandwiched his two-state, six-city effort with trips to Nashville and Memphis, touching down in more familiar Virginia cities in between.
On Monday, Kerry arrived 23 minutes late to Fire Station One in Roanoke, Va. Four hundred and fifty supporters nestled between the Corporate Look Barbershop and the eldest fire station in Old Dominion to hear Kerry's "Real Deal" spiel.
In an interview with local television stations, Kerry was asked if he viewed Virginia as a way to "wrap up the nomination," and he replied, "That is way beyond my pay grade. I just keep campaigning and someday somebody will, you know, hopefully will take a count of the delegates and we've won the nomination … "
For the record, ABC News' count currently shows Kerry with an amassed 430 delegates going into Tuesday's 151-proof contests. The total leaves Kerry closer than his rivals but oh so far from the 2,161 delegates needed to arrive at the Fleet Center triumphant in July.