mercredi, octobre 27, 2004

Who Is That Man Over There Covered in Mud?

Kerry Is Hard to Know Because the Bush has Muddied the Water

After surviving a rigorous Democratic primary, one of Senator John Kerry’s biggest challenges was defining himself before President Bush could do it for him. Bush (or is it Rove?) - who I must admit is a masterful campaigner, in part because he is completely willing to win ugly - was bound and determined to help the American people get to know John Kerry, and he set about spending historic amounts of money to buy slingable mud. Then he started slinging. I was amazed when the first Bush commercial I saw, many, many months ago, was not a glossy and personal “morning in America” type of commercial, but was, instead, images or terrorism and mud thrown at Kerry. Mud, mud and more mud.

Kerry was branded as a false war hero, a flip-flopper, a tax and spend Democrat, a threat to national security, a sham Catholic, a gold digger, and worst of all, the most liberal Senator in the United States Senate. It is only fair to acknowledge that Kerry started slinging mud too. This campaign has been very muddy. My whole point with all this mud is that it has served to make Kerry hard to define – hard to know.

Kerry is Hard to Know Because Many Support Him as Most Likely to Defeat Bush (Again)

Kerry can stand on his feet. He can form a sentence. He seems Presidential, that’s good enough for me…

Undoubtedly, you will recall that Howard Dean was the heir apparent to the Democratic nomination before the Iowa surprise and before the emergence of an unspoken consensus that Dean might not play well in Peoria (“Yeehaaaaaw!”). Yes, he is a bright and charismatic man, but he probably couldn’t defeat Bush. Folks were convinced (and I think folks were right) that an American electorate would not embrace a candidate who opposed the war.

The strategy all along has been to beat Bush, and the strategy (Anyone but Bush), coupled with an aggressive campaign on the part of the Republicans, has combined to make it difficult to know who John Kerry is.

I hear it all the time “I don’t like Bush, but I don’t know who Kerry is.” Who is John Kerry?

Senate Candidates Historically Have a Tough Time in Presidential Campaigns – The Senate is an Insular and Collaborative Body

On top of it all, Kerry is now an individual after years as one of 100. Many of his accomplishments are collaborative, but if he did not author enough legislation, then he’s lazy. If he voted against a bill that was loaded with pork, but contained a missile system, then he’s anti-defense. If he voted to increase taxes on (let’s say) gasoline, as part of an omnibus budget bill, then he voted to increase taxes 65,427 times. If two supplemental funding bills for the war against Iraq came through the Senate, and he voted against one (the one that wanted to fund it with deficit spending) and for the other (the one that wanted to fund the war by repealing the excessive tax cuts to the top 1%), then he is a flip-flopper, then he is uncertain, then he is unfit to govern. Who is this guy?

What’s on Deck…

Tomorrow, when the entire editorial staff here at iliveinminnesota unanimously endorses John Kerry for President, we will set out to answer the question: Who is John Kerry?

What’s in the hole…

On Friday, we will end this magical week with an A to Z listing of why George Bush should not be granted a second term.