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

>When folks are questioning your candidacy hours
>after your acceptance speech it flopped.

It's still not over until the ballots are counted on Election Day and all the post-Election lawsuits (a la Florida 2000) shake out.

Kerry has one advantage: The Media (which manipuates the sheeple) and C*E*L*E*B*R*I*T*I*E*S (who can say "2 + 2 = 5" and have it hailed as a New Gospel) hate Bush more than Hitler ever hated Jews, and will support him as True Believers (where The Cause is so Righteous as to justify any evil whatsoever to bring it about).

Posted by: Ken at July 30, 2004 5:01 PM

Many polls are indicating that no more than 30% of the nation believes anything the media has to say. If might not even be that high. Plus the popularity of talk radio. Plus, like it or not, Fox News. It's not looking good for Kerry.

Posted by: BJW at July 30, 2004 5:49 PM

The bid/ask on W's re-election jumped over a since the end of Cabana Boy's speech and when I checked it in the early afternoon.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 30, 2004 6:09 PM

The "sheeple", eh ?

Believe it or not, even those who have IQs of less than 160 can make up their own minds.
Having contempt for hoi polloi is easy enough to do, for the rabble often do act foolishly, but such contempt does nothing to advance a wiser agenda.
Further, legitimate differences of opinion can exist between people of good will, and neither side need be under a Svengali's influence.

For instance, Kerry is right about the Bush administration's diplomatic failures; he's just mistaken about his own ability to do better.

Posted by: Michael "Proletarian" Herdegen at July 30, 2004 6:29 PM

Either I missed it, or Kerry's long speach did not contain the word "God" at any point, despite his using the absurb circumlocation "the grace of a higher power" in taped remarks just previous.

Anybody want to lay odds of "God" appearing in Bush's acceptance speach at least once?

Posted by: mike earl at July 30, 2004 8:33 PM