August 26, 2004


Media-Ready Crib Sheet: Twenty questions for John Kerry. (Peter Kirsanow, 8/26/04, National Review)

Senator Kerry has been pretty successfully avoiding the media, but sometime between now and November 2 he'll have to sit down for a far-ranging interview on a program other than The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Thus far, most Kerry interviews have been less-than-penetrating (one recent poll even indicates that nearly a third of the electorate knows very little about John Kerry) and certainly not hostile (in comparison, see, among other things, President Bush's press conference of last spring). Bill Clinton was subjected to far-greater scrutiny by this time in the 1992 election cycle. Kerry's legendary policy flip-flops as well as his campaign's shifting stories related to the current controversy compel questioning at least as tough as that directed at Kerry's critics.

Here are only a few of the questions Kerry hasn't adequately addressed. They don't even have anything to do with swift boats. There are no "gotcha" questions. They're posed in a respectful manner. In fact, many are softballs. After all, few interviewers would wish to alienate Kerry and foreclose the possibility of follow-up interviews. With that in mind, here goes:

1. The Bush campaign maintains that you spent 20 years in the Senate with no signature legislative achievements. What do you consider to be the five most important pieces of legislation that you've authored?

It just gets uglier from there and each question is a reminder of how badly the Democratic Party blundered by having uncontested primaries. Whatever else you may think of George W. Bush, so far in his political careeer he's knocked off a popular incumbent governor, a popular war hero in the GOP primaries in '00, and a popular incumbent vice president in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. That is an unrivalled track record of success and, for all the gallons of ink that have been spilled about his stupidity, indicates he's a pretty formidable candidate. John Kerry built his career in a yellow dog Democrat state and had the presidential nomination handed to him by a party that was terrified of Howard Dean's passionate advocacy of its core principles. Mr. Kerry's only serious rival, John Edwards, ran as if there were a category for "Mr. Congeniality." Now a battle-tested (political battle anyway) Mr. Bush squares off against the anointed Senator Kerry and it should be no surprise that the fight is lopsided. These unanswered questions suggest that the following rounds will be even bloodier. If there a ref he'd be thinking about when to stop the fight.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 26, 2004 3:32 PM

20. You told George Stephanopoulos that you had a plan to get out of Iraq but refused to provide details. Would you consent to having your secret plan privately evaluated by an independent, bi-partisan panel of military experts who could report the plan's merits to the electorate without divulging the details?

That has to be the funniest one, since, of course, Senator Kerry has no such plan.
It's "vaporware".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 28, 2004 12:54 AM