My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Kerry's Speech--Epilogue

I had a lot of time to think over John Kerry's speech last night--painting affords much opportunity for reflection. And, on further evaluation, I think it may have actually been a bit weaker speech than I thought it was at the time. First off, look at these two critiques from opposite sides of the spectrum--the Washington Post and the New York Post (courtesy RCP), both of which are quite critical of the speech (the NYPost in particular).

Then I got to thinking how easy the Senator's speech would that be to counter. And, if you will indulge, I came up with a few lines for the President that might make a few points.

My opponent said he was reporting for duty; this from a man who, on return from real duty lied about his service and the service of other brave soldiers, and who has missed more than 60% of his "duties" as a Senator this year.

My opponent said he would respond to any attack with a swift and decisive response. That's good--I'm glad to hear that. Of course, I would prefer to act before the attack hits our shores, and that is why we are pursuing the War on Terror around the globe. I don't think you can sit back and be a counterpuncher when your enemy wants to destroy you; so I will continue to act first to deter and eliminate threats to the United States before they have a chance to reveal themselves in all their horrors.

My opponent has said he will reach out and bring more of our allies in, but simply saying it doesn't make it so. We made an aggressive effort to bring more countries alongside in our great effort to liberate the people of Iraq, and in the end 40 countries recognized that it was in their best interest to remove Saddam Hussein from power. While I regret that some prominent countries declined to take part in our efforts, I am proud and grateful to have Prime Minister Blair, Prime Minister Howard, Prime Minister Burlusconi, Prime Minister Aznar, and many others as partners and allies.

My opponent gave a speech designed to portray himself as a wartime leader. Nonetheless, his first major personnel decision was to put in place one heartbeat from the Presidency a man with no foreign policy experience, no military background, no national security background, and who has only served one undistinguished term in the U.S. Senate.

Now, I know Dick Cheney may have some faults, some shortcomings. For instance, I can't tell you how many times Colin Powell has complained about the Vice President smeaking a whoopie cushion onto his chair in cabinet meetings. Or who can forget the time Cheney and Condi Rice did 'who's on first' for the Prime Minister of Australia?

But even with his silly side, time served as White House Chief of Staff, time in the House of Representatives on the Armed Services Committee, time served as Secretary of Defense, and four years as a central advisor in the War on Terror have prepared Dick Cheney to serve as Vice President in a time of War like no man in history, and I am proud to have him as my friend and counselor.

Or something like that. There is much grist for the mill here, and the President's speech today demonstrates what a target-rich environment this season will be.

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