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George W. is the right man for the job


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G-d save Crawford! The town would be bankrupt in no time at all!

 

On his own merits (i.e., had he not been the son of a President and scion of a Republican political dynasty) Dubya might, just might, have risen in life to be the manager of a McDonald's or a Payless Shoe Source outlet. Running a town is far above and beyond his abilities. After all, you can be sure he wouldn't have the likes of Dick Cheney and Condi Rice to do all the real work for him as mayor! Left to his own devices, I'm not sure Dubya would be a success even as dog catcher! He might have a future in cowpie removal, though (if he can avoid stepping in them).

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This kind of mindless ad hominem Bush bashing is exactly why he is probably going to win in November. The Democrats have unwisely adopted personal hatred as their central campaign energy source, thinking that all they have to do is put a face on their opposition and the nation will flock to their cause. It is becoming increasingly evident that this won´t work.

 

Kerry´s spectacularly inept, perhaps even incompetent, campaign, which has managed to keep his strengths (a significantly more rational domestic policy on almost every front) from public sight, has continued to focus on Kerry´s character as a war leader, and on Bush and Cheney as undeserving of public support. His disastrous midnight speech in Springfield, Ohio, last night, putting those two points (and almost nothing else) forward will simply amplify this mistake.

 

And why is it a mistake? Because, despite the universal disdain for Bush of the Michael Moore-inebriated media of the left, Bush is really smart. He knows how to draw his opposition out into the open for clear shots. Maybe his hunting days taught him something. Kerry is now in open sight. People will be paying close attention for the next two months. Far more than any specific policies, they will be choosing a person. Circumstances change policy agendas, and a leader must be able to adjust. They will be interested in which candidate can dominate the agenda. Right now, Kerry is reactive, which means he is a weaker bet to represent us all when the chips are down. He hasn´t yet found the way to control events, and that, after all, is what we really want a leader for.

 

I mourn that the Democrats chose Kerry. He is brittle, self-absorbed, and has a hard time turning the events of the day to his advantage. And he seems to lack that indefinable something that deep down all human societies look for in their leaders: luck. He doesn´t seem to have the knack of coming out on top.

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>He doesn´t seem to have the knack of coming

>out on top.

 

He doesn't? He managed to do well at Yale, survived being shot at in Vietnam (and came out of the experience dripping with medals), became a successful and respected politician, and won his party's presidential nomination. If this is your idea of failure, I'd hate to know how you define success! x(

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I grant your points, and am waiting for his past luck to catch up with him in the present. It was with him in Iowa (but only in the last few days), and maybe it will reappear in the last week or so of this campaign. But this time he isn't running against a Republican in a Democratic state, or against an untested small state governor with a messiah complex in Iowa. Bush has been hunting in the presidential election territory a lot longer than Kerry has, hence my depression at his prospects. But I appreciate your optimism.

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Well, I admit that my optimism is guarded and I'm keeping that suitcase packed and under the bed. I think it's going to be a tight election that will be decided in the swing states, and by narrow margins. But I think there's a chance of Kerry winning in some of the states Bush narrowly carried in 2000, including Florida. That would be enough to tip the election to Kerry.

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I expect Bush to receive a significant bounce from this convention. Time has already come out with a poll that puts Bush ahead by 11 points -- 52 to 41. Others are still to come in the next few days. If the story becomes -- Bush Gets Bounce, Kerry Got None or some variety of it, it is going to hurt Kerry a lot. Kerry has got to drop the tone and matter he displayed in his midnight speech last night.

 

Susan Estrich (campaign manager for Dukakis in ´88) has a column today which advocates an all-out smear campaign on Bush and Cheney, centering on alcoholism. What a huge mistake that would be! For Kerry to take the advice of the woman who helped Dukakis lose his double digit lead almost overnight would be disaster. She (and she probably represents a significant segment of the Democratic political operatives right now) is doing nothing but blaming the Bushies. That might get some headlines, but you better believe they´re ready for it, in spades, especially since the Gore smear of Bush on early-age drunk driving in fact lost Bush a lot of last-weekend support. If you think the Bush people aren´t ready with a counter-counter attact if Kerry goes the Estrich route, I have a bridge I´d like to sell you. So don´t go down that road!

 

What to do? Get out of the expensive vacation spots and back to work. Have a major domestic policy speech in a serious venue every day for 60 days, and get the bloggers and new media types to listen. Kerry started out with and still basically has the whole academic world, most of the press, the whole Democratic party, every union ever conceived by the mind of man, most of the ethnic organizations, and the vast majority of moderate-to-liberal religious folk behind him. He has awesome resources, and he´s whining about a bunch of veterans who don´t like him and stepping on his own lines when he should be doing the Reagan thing: Give us your version of the City on the Hill. Do that and more and more will support you. Keep looking tired and angry and petulant ("I won´t have my record questioned" forgodssake) and you´re a goner before October.

 

But I don´t think he can or will raise his sights to an electable vision. On the most important issue, the war on Iraq and the terrorist threat, he lacks clarity. He needs to get to dry ground on these and then hammer away on Bush with his superior domestic vision. But unfortunately, I think he will waffle more and more on the war, and will lose the hard-left vote to Nader (today it was announced Nader would in fact be on the ballot in Michigan) or they just won´t vote for him, with no corresponding trade-off gain from the middle and right. And the Great Middle will just shake their heads and wonder what the Democrats were smoking this spring, to get us another guy who just can't hunt.

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Guest zipperzone

>>He doesn´t seem to have the knack of coming

>>out on top.

>

>He doesn't? He managed to do well at Yale, survived being

>shot at in Vietnam (and came out of the experience dripping

>with medals), became a successful and respected politician,

>and won his party's presidential nomination. If this is your

>idea of failure, I'd hate to know how you define success!

 

And let us not forget - me managed to snare himself a billionaire, which is no mean feat!

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