July 30, 2004
A Challenge to the GOP on Values, Security (Dan Balz, July 30, 2004, Washington Post)
There were notable omissions in Kerry's speech...that raise questions about the course he and his party have chosen for the campaign. Like other speakers during the four nights of the convention, Kerry only briefly touched on Iraq, the issue that has shaped and dominated this presidential campaign, divided the Democratic Party and at times bedeviled his own candidacy. At a time when many Americans are looking for an exit strategy and may wonder whether Kerry has a plan for Iraq that is different from Bush's, he offered only the assurance that he knows how to get it right.
Nor did Kerry or running mate John Edwards use their speeches this week to confront their opponents directly or persuasively argue the case for turning out the administration. His advisers believe the public already is looking to replace Bush and needs only to find a level of comfort with Kerry to change presidents. They may be correct, but that too is a gamble, for there will be no better opportunity to make that case before the fall debates.
Rarely has an acceptance speech at a political convention come with so much hype and drama -- as well as nervousness within a candidate's own party about his capacity to rise to the moment. Even Kerry's closest allies recognized that after 18 months on the campaign trail, he remains an incomplete portrait to many voters.
For all his attributes, Kerry has never been known as a charismatic politician and rarely has he demonstrated a great gift for political oratory. His acceptance speech is not likely to change that reputation. He tried to make himself more human and more appealing, with memories of his parents, stories of his childhood and references to his wife and children. Ultimately, however, he appeared willing to cede the battle over personality and likeability to Bush...
When folks are questioning your candidacy hours after your acceptance speech it flopped. Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2004 2:52 PM