Thursday, August 26, 2004

Scary Kerry (or Bad August Part 1)

John Kerry has had one of the worst months of campaigning in American big league history.The Democrat's convention, you'll remember was exactly one month ago. The convention was not bad. I thought they did a decent job of putting their moderate face forward (during primetime which is the only time anyone but junkies saw any of it).Die hard dems were probably disappointed to not get the much ballyhooed "red meat", but die hard dems are not voting for Kerry anyway. They are voting against Bush. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, I think, but it does free Kerry up to not have to pander too hard. Send the right signals, wink and nod, keep your wing quiet; that is the plan. That is why the line about not messing with the constitution was so perfect: moderate Middle America Joe at home hears it as a call to protect the constitution while an important group in you coalition, gays, hears it as a condemnation of an amendment against gay marriage. That line was Kerry's sweet spot.Kerry shows a video with clips of him in Vietnam, brings out some vets, and hits the theme hard with his "reporting for duty" speech.Then, it all goes south. Item 1: The salute. I don't know anyone who saw it and was impressed. Some laugh, some shrug, some are mildly embarrassed for him, but this was not a winner moment. For me this was the equivalent of the excessive affection Al gave Tipper on stage 4 years ago.

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