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October 14, 2004

Curious Anecdote By Kerry « Politics As Usual »

One other thing that Kerry said in the last 5 minutes of the debate that struck me as worthy of comment:

When asked about the strong woman he married, he almost immediately launched into an anecdote about his mother. The most interesting aspect of that was that he mentioned her passing away two years ago, just before he was deciding to run. And let's not forget that Al Gore and Howard Dean started running before Kerry did. These people have been campaigning for nearly three years!

Yeah, I knew that, and noticed and noted it at the time, but we could all use a reminder. There are some important ramifications of that when you consider campaign platforms/promises that I will leave up to you do consider.

The other interesting part is that the anecdote seemed too crafted to be "off the cuff." Particularly since it culminated in his "Integrity. Integrity. Integrity." mantra. So you tell me: did he have this "Integrity" anecdote prepared and was just waiting for a half-way appropriate question to trot it out? ...or did he have advanced warning of what the questions might be?* You be the judge.

*Yeah, that's a paranoid question. So was the idea that CBS might push obvious forgeries on an unsuspecting public to shore up a major line of attack by the Kerry campaign.

Posted by Nathan at 02:08 PM | Comments (6)

Ummm...yes, Al Gore indeed began running before Kerry. He was the Democratic nominee four years ago. I don't get what you're trying to say (?) help.

Posted by: Jo at October 15, 2004 07:03 AM

I don't understand what you're trying to say in your response. It is quite clear I'm not talking about the last election.
The point is that Democrats have been campaigning entirely too long. That starting earlier than one year out from the election is not only not good, if it means you don't do the job you are elected to do because you are campaigning so early, you are demonstrating a lack of honor and integrity. That by starting so early, the Democrats were tacitly abandoning the idea of a campaign on issues, since all they had to campaign against when they started was Bush's first year, a year operating under Clinton's last budget, a year in which implentation of Bush's plans were delayed by Gore's legal maneuvering to overturn the election results, a year in which the implementation of Bush's plans were delayed because Democrats filibustered his nominees.
In short, the Democrat candidates were campaigning on the basis of failures which were more directly attributable to Democrat actions than George Bush's.
Thus, the inception of the Democrats' campaigns were based strictly on the opposition to Bush the man rather than Bush the Chief Executive. And their campaign only went downhil from there.

Posted by: Nathan at October 15, 2004 09:56 AM

Yes...but...Gore was VP. Isn't it somewhat reasonable to assume a VP will run for President? I'm just asking, not trying to irritate.

Deciding to run for office is a big decision. Certainly not to be taken lightly. If any Democrat or Republican makes the decision to run for the presidency 2-3 years in advance, I wouldn't hold it against them.

Posted by: Jo at October 15, 2004 11:26 AM

Making the decision early is okay. Actually running a campaign criticizing the sitting President before he has a chance to enact the bulk of his policy seems to me to be the height of hubris.
Kerry and Gore and Dean were telling us we failed in Iraq before we even invaded. The basis of the campaign was that Bush didn't handle the economy right...before the effect of the tax cuts even kicked in. They insisted there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaida, even to go so far as to say there was no connection between Iraq and terrorism, before the investigation was even begun. Either they had demonstrable knowledge (and thus withholding such knowledge would be dishonest at best), or they were falsely insisting for political gain. It is possible they were merely expressing a conviction (most likely true in the case of Howard Dean)...but it still meant they were campaigning on hollow assertions. Most of them have been proven to be empty, which is why John Kerry is reduced to saying he would do everything George Bush is doing/has done, only better.
I'm not so much saying that this disqualified any of them for the Presidency, as much as I'm saying it was a tactical mistake that essentially ruined the Presidential campaign for any substantive discussion of the issues. The Democrat campaign was merely: "I'm not Bush." and George Bush's has been: "Well, I am, and that's a good enough thing that we need four more years of me being George Bush."
It would have been more indicative of a truly principled opposition to not actually start campaigning until the primary season kicked off, like they do in most years. Never in my experience have I ever seen a campaign kicked off so early.
And that's fine for Al Gore and Howard Dean...but the members of Congress who were running virtually abandoned their posts, took money for a job they did not do...and did so for nearly three years in the cases of Sen's. "Gone" (Kerry *and* Edwards).
It is a disservice to the electorate.
The fact that Democrats generally aren't bothered by such a disservice really concerns me.

Posted by: Nathan at October 15, 2004 11:53 AM

well, not that this explanation will clarify anything, but in the case of Howard Dean, he was our (meaning those who were anti-iraq invasion) cheerleader. He made us believe that we weren't alone, that there were some politicians who saw things our way, that it was okay to expect more out of our elected officials, or atleast make them hear us.

To Dean, the war was wrong in principle. It could never become anything but a failure, because in Dean's eyes it was unjust from the get-go. Now of course, you can freely disagree with Dean's stance, which was a strong deviation from the party as a whole. But, it was his. And it was ours.

Howard Dean really never wanted to be President. He wanted to shake up the DNC, and that he did. In his departure as a Presidential candidate, he has left angry yet motivated Democrats in his wake who are willing to fight to take back the party. Will they succeed? Well, much like a swing with a wrecking ball, it won't clear everything out, but it'll break downa lot of walls.

Posted by: Jo at October 15, 2004 02:24 PM

Hi, guys. At the public library here (I wash my hands for at least five full minutes afterwards and avoid touching my eyes, nose, or mouth while using the computer....this is just grossing me out- I have got to get my computer fixed!)

Anyway, I thought that all Bob did was pander to Kerry. That "Flu shot" question? An obvious pointed pathway for Kerry to go right into his national health insurance blah, blah, blah.

I also personally thought that George Bush did a better job of answering the specific question of how the strong women around them have influenced them. Maybe Kerry feels uncomfortable discussing Teresa with the public, but a few specific words might have cast her in a more positive light for many people. And how about his daughters? Everything I have read says they have worked tirelessly on his campaign. Interesting...

Posted by: Rae at October 16, 2004 09:58 AM
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