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


Live Blogging--The Kerry Speech

Live Blogging

2000 Peter Jennings bloviating—YAWN; time to switch channels

2003 Cleland “pressed a Bible into his hand” give me a break—was that a King James or a Catholic Bible?

2006 very ineffective introduction—wonder if he’s going to run up and kiss his introductor the way Al Gore did four years ago

2007 looks like they gave him the youngest Secret Service detail in history—not that they’re not lethal, just young

2009 yep, fix that teleprompter; wouldn’t want to get muddled now

2010 “and I’m reporting for duty!!!!” Laugh out loud silly. I hope that makes the front page of every major newspaper in the country.

2012 sounds like a refrain from Simon and Garfunkle "Home, where I learned to speak French. . .

2013 “I was born in the West Wing” Oh. So this is like, what, a birthright?

2014 complete the march to full equality???? Huh? Are they not equal?

2016 Berlin story: sad that he was on the wrong side of how to spread that freedom. I wonder how he looks to the people who want freedom now—he did little for the people of Iraq

2018 he wants to examine the record? Okay. See other post.

2019 here we go: Bush lied, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft. That is the main theme, isn’t it?

2021 Ah. . .live in the 90’s—those were the good old days, weren’t they?

2026 Four years ago I listened to the speech of Al Gore with an open mind—not so much this time. Nonetheless, This speech is, so far, quite pointless. This odd attempt to embrace the results of 9-11 doesn’t have much resonance; it might have stayed that way if, oh I don’t know, your side hadn’t blocked the administration on moving against our enemies.

2029 Will you also wage this war with the lessons you learned about appeasement and miscalculation?

2031 This should have read “I defended this country as a young man, I did not defend it as Senator, but I will defend it as President”

2035 twenty six minutes in, and so far all it’s been is military, foreign policy, and patriotism—he’s chosen to fight the war on the President’s field. I like our chances.

2044 okay, I’m back—had to put the littlest one to bed

2045 So his education plan is based on the idea that the government can do a better job of early childhood education than people and churches

2046 health care without any mention of tort reform—dead on arrival

2047 what’s with that tie? Is the Target logo the new power tie?

2050 want a discussion of big ideas? Bring it on—let’s have that discussion.

2052 that’s good rhetoric about values and faith—unfortunately, you don’t have a record of championing big ideas

2054 I will admit that the big idea rhetoric is strong; it’s powerful, it’s what Americans want from a leader, and it is effective.

2056 Well, it’s over.

There are some very effective sound bites in that speech which will get great play on the morning news shows. There are also a couple of silly moments.

Objectively, John Kerry looks Presidential, he articulates a grand vision for the country and he delivers a pretty good big speech. I don’t get the sense that he connects with people in any great way, though the “great thinkers” never have to. Unfortunately, a grand vision goes nowhere without a plan of action, and his is not one that would lead the country to anything approaching his vision. His assumption that the allies will jump on board because it’s him calling and not George W. is ludicrous. And his domestic agenda is uninspiring.

An aside—I wish he wouldn’t use this song by Van Hagar. I kind of like this song, and it will now be forever linked in my mind to this event.

Which leads me to something else: even the music of this event is from the past. The record ended in 1969 when he returned from Vietnam, the music is from a decade ago, and the rhetoric is basically stolen from 1960. Not exactly a forward looking impression.

I would imagine that he will get a bump out of this--perhaps as much as five points. It will not be very solid, and it will not be lasting. He can claim strength, but he can’t run from the record of trying to weaken; he can claim patriotism, but he can’t avoid a record of denying trust of America; he can claim faith, but he can’t deny breaking faith with his own faith.

Now, I would imagine, the day in the sunshine for John Kerry will fade. The President’s campaign has a pretty narrow window now to pull down the shades, and reclaim the high ground of the debate. Since the Senator has chosen to fight on the battlefield of national security, the President had better hit it out of the park. I like the odds—give Karl Rove four weeks to frame a debate and shape a vision, and I think it won’t be that hard.

But, just for good measure, they should call in Peggy Noonan to write a few paragraphs.

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