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July 29, 2004

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» POLITICS: Kerry Speech Blog Roundup from Baseball Crank
*Tom Maguire agrees with me that Kerry failed to address the critical questions in the war on terror - who we are fighting and whether he would have gone to war in Iraq. (Maguire also notes, of Kerry's "the United... [Read More]

Comments

Leslie

"His makeup man needs to be shot - Kerry looked better in the bunny suit. Kerry is trying to be kennedy, but he's sweating like Nixon."

Guess those new claims about Botox are about as full of s**t as Kerry is.

Pat Curley

Only good parts of the speech were the line about "The future doesn't belong to fear, it belongs to freedom" and the mention of Flight 93. Bad parts--let's not go negative (of course, Kerry is going dark on advertising next month, and Move-On will pick up the slack with negative ads), and almost no outreach to minorities. I was shocked he didn't say a word in Spanish; probably a bit mistake. No mention of support for Israel (might have been worrying about boos from the audience).

Jeff

I may regret this prediction (I'm batting about .013), but I think Kerry just won the election. I caught PBS, CBS, and NBC's reaction: they were all effusive. Even David Brooks confessed he couldn't see any faults and predicted the GOP convention would be far, far tougher now.

Forbes

"I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war."
He protested that war, is he protesting now? Because this war, that he voted for, not justified? Will you tell us what you think. And what you believe. And how you will act. To protect this country from people that declared war on us because we are infidels.

Senator, you should really attend a few more Committee meetings.

"I know what we have to do in Iraq…bring our troops home."

OK, this is a Dowdification, but isn’t that what he’s really saying. He never states what we should be accomplishing in Iraq. He never speaks to the noble cause to change despotism, the autocracies in the Middle East, to bring freedom and liberty to those that desperately need it, because it’s in our interest—and for our security. Bosnia, Kosovo, why are they different from Iraq—they are Muslims, too. He just thinks it’s about reducing our cost, and reducing our soldiers’ risks, but if you make no effort, there are no costs or risks. Except that the jihadists want to kill us, still.
"Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself."

Because Democracy has been lost? President Lincoln had some thoughts along this line—for there was no middle ground, saving the Country was all, not merely the North. Because that wouldn’t be the country he swore to protect.

John Kerry thinks Islamofacist terroism is a law enforcement problem.

Talk about being out of touch.

TM

I caught PBS, CBS, and NBC's reaction: they were all effusive.

No kidding!

As to no mention of Isarael, I wondered, too. However, Al Gore did not mention it in 2000 (Clinton did, in his '96 speech), so I figure he gets a pass for that.

Now, one might argue that this is not 2000.

Also, does he mention Iran and North Korea, or is our only fo-po problem in Iraq?

This line was a near classic -

And what can I say about Teresa? She has the strongest moral compass of anyone I know.

She cannot be bought!

TM

The bettors at Tradesports are not budging after this speech - still roughly 51% chance of a Bush victory.

Which would only mean the speech met expectations, of course, if we take this stuff seriously.

TM

The NY Times editors don't exactly fall out of their chairs:

Speakers at the Democratic convention were told to stay positive, but when John Kerry delivered his acceptance speech last night, his best moments came on the attack. His depiction of a Bush administration that misled the public into war did a fine job of rousing the faithful.

Modern presidential campaigns are all about expectations, and in many ways, Mr. Kerry had the advantage of a fairly low bar when he entered Boston's FleetCenter last night. America was already pretty well aware that it is not going to fall in love with him.

...The story of Mr. Kerry's performance in combat is a powerful one. But Republicans are going to accuse him of overselling a rather brief episode in his career, and he is going to have to be careful to devote time to the rest of his résumé as well. Last night the public got to hear a little about Mr. Kerry's childhood - the son of a diplomat, he was once grounded for riding his bike into Communist East Berlin - and his years in the Senate got at least a mention. Mr. Kerry's voting record has already been misinterpreted by his opponents in some ads, and he needs to discuss it. Biographies that make his few months in service overseas sound longer than his 19 years in the Senate will never be convincing.

Mr. Kerry has been criticized for a lack of specifics, but he did a good job of explaining how he'd fight the war on terror: [insert feel-good blah blah]

He did not, however, provide a clear vision on Iraq. Voters needed to hear him say that he understands, in retrospect, that his vote to give President Bush Congressional support to invade was a mistake. It's clear now that Mr. Kerry isn't going to go there, and it's a shame.

Mr. Kerry challenged Mr. Bush to join him in running a positive, optimistic campaign, but given the vigor with which he went on the offense, it's likely that we'll be hearing more about Mr. Bush's failures than Mr. Kerry's optimistic vision in the weeks ahead. The Kerry-Edwards team has a lot of interesting, detailed plans for a domestic agenda, particularly on health care. The promise to cut middle-class taxes, however, is pure pandering, given his new spending proposals and commitment to balanced budgets.

As an introduction to the candidates, the Democratic convention, on the whole, did its job. Now Mr. Kerry and John Edwards, who are still almost strangers to most voters, will need to reinforce their message before a team the public knows well arrives in New York to defend its record.

Pretty lukewarm, and my Dowdifier could go wild.

Crank

Was it just me, or did he prononuce "Air pollution" as "hair pollution"?

I still can't believe neither he nor any of the other speeched mentioned the threat of radical Islam or tyranny in the Middle East. You'd think "terrorists" just pop out of the ground or something.

Cecil Turner

Kerry is still trying to have it both ways on Iraq, and that strategy can't work indefinitely. Even the easy crowd at the WaPo called him on it (in an editorial entitled "Missed Opportunity"):

Mr. Kerry was right to chide Mr. Bush for alienating allies unnecessarily. But what is "the job" in Iraq? He didn't say. Mr. Kerry could have spoken the difficult truth that U.S. troops will be needed in Iraq for a long time. He could have reaffirmed his commitment to completing the task of helping build democracy. Instead, he chose words that seemed designed to give the impression that he could engineer a quick and painless exit.
And their punch line sums it up nicely:
". . . while he may have been politically effective, he fell short of demonstrating the kind of leadership the nation needs."

Randy Bushee

Fitzsimmons Army Hospital??? So what! Why is this important? My daughter was also born there in 1974. But it doesn't seem to convey anything heroic in it. I won't go into it; but they didn't do a real great job...just ask my wife!

Randy Bushee

Fitzsimmons Army Hospital??? So what! Why is this important? My daughter was also born there in 1974. But it doesn't seem to convey anything heroic in it. I won't go into it; but they didn't do a real great job...just ask my wife!

TM

Ah ha, the WaPo makes my argument - a speech focussed on national security that fails to define the mission in Iraq and fails to define the enemy in the war on terror is probably going to be viewed as having fallen a bit short.

Mike

What I took out of the Kerry speech is...
... if you believe that we shouldn't attack someone until after we're attacked
... if you believe that government should guarantee services (like health care) to all
... if you believe that government should redistribute wealth to pay for those services
... if you believe that the Bush tax cuts didn't turn the economy around
... if you believe that ONLY finding WMD (in greater qtys than we have!) justifies the war
... if you believe that appeasing our *allies* is more important than protecting ourselves
... if you believe that a fetus isn't a person
... if you believe that 'wearing your faith on your sleeve' is a bad thing
... if you believe that you can be one person in church and another on the job
... if you believe that a party so fractured a year ago is all pulling together for you now
... if you believe that Moore, Sharpton, Whoopie and the Clintons are speaking your mind

Then you've found your man.

There were two questions that I personally wanted to ask the Senator after his speech, and I didn't hear anyone else come up with them:

1) Senator, if the threat from Iraq did not rise to the standard you've set for military response, pray tell, what on earth ever will meet that standard?

2) Senator, if you believe as you say you do that you can separate the tenets of your faith from the responsibilities of your job then shouldn't we ignore any profession of faith that you might make as immaterial in assessing you as our potential leader?

TM

The AP pounced on the asthma claim:

He rhetorically asked, "What does it mean when 25 percent of the children in Harlem have asthma because of air pollution? America can do better. And help is on the way."

A study by Harlem Hospital Center last year found 25 percent of the children in a 24-block area of Harlem had the disease. But blaming all of that on air pollution as part of a case against the Bush administration is not supported by the study.

Apart from genetic factors, the study found that the asthmatic children were about 50 percent more likely to live with a smoker. Pollen, dust, animal dander, cockroaches and cold air were thought to be among the contributing causes, along with urban air pollution.

Max Flores

Come on. Bush hides in Alabama and risks driving drunk into a tree and you compare that to a guy who puts his ass on the line in a boat on the Mekong?

You can attack Kerry on any number of things, but that is one dog that don't hunt.

And if you ask the Bush people, they don't want to go NEAR anything military, because Bush is going to LOSE that battle.

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