HAMMERNEWS.com by Michael Hammerschlag Oct 2-16, 2004Washington Dispatch DEBATE REVIEWS below
John Kerry leaped back into the race with a bravura performance against the President, but failed to deliver a fatal blow with his greatest weapon: Bush's pathological dishonesty. Bush has been so successful in defining Kerry as weak, waffling, cowardly, and untrustworthy that his entire 10 point rise since the Repub. Convention was based on it. These were intimate, vicious, dishonest attacks on Kerry's character; and required a powerful personal response- a roundhouse that would knock Bush out of the ring.
And Jim Lehrer, bless his heart, gave him the fat softball, right down the middle of the plate. But Kerry stepped out of the box.
have repeatedly accused President Bush of ...lying ... about
That was it. Nothing about the WMD's that didn't exist, "the smoking gun of a mushroom cloud", the humble foreign policy, the balanced budget, the uniter not a divider, the dozens of monstrous blatant screaming lies. JFK was solid, macho, scholarly, concise, Presidential, polite; but what the public needed and wanted was toughness. Bush needed to be punished for his cheapjack slanders. He should have INTERRUPTED Bush when he lied about Saddam-Osama links: "I know Osama attacked us! I know that."
"Then why did you LIE about their connections again and again. Why did you INVADE another country and kill 40,000 people based on baloney? How can we believe anything you say?"
It is quite likely Bush would have completely cracked, regressing to some fatal childish phrase.
Kerry has to focus on a single theme (like
Bush did with inconsistency)- that Bush lies- every Administration
statement can be successfully mined for evidence of this. It also would
inoculate Kerry from the outrageous slanders that Bush concocts (including the Swift
Boat Bushies). Chuckle them off: "See, there
he goes again.", rather than whine about unfair attacks. Once one overcame
the media barrier to that word, the press would finally start to analyze Bush's
serial lies- they would be in play. Why did Kerry vote for the resolution
The second theme should be corruption - the
$10 bil Veep/Halliburton
contracts and sleazy overcharging (running empty trucks through the desert),
The one big lesson of my political experience is that you have to respond to an unfair attack within 5 days. I watched Hart be disemboweled by the idiot "Where's the Beef" ads in 2 weeks. One third of people will believe any negative attack UNLESS it's immediately refuted, but Kerry ignored the flip-flop charges for many weeks.
It was agonizing to see the missteps the
campaign was making, from the prohibition against attacking Bush at the Vietnam-fest
Convention. Kerry just got a black woman national
security advisor spokesperson named RICE- another bizarre
imitation of Bush, like speaking at hostile venues right after Bush. John Kerry
has been tied in knots over
Kerry was masterful against a vapid repetitive distracted Bush, who didn't seem to realize he was on camera. But much of electorate are now uninformed dopes who've ingested many helpings of propaganda, and Kerry may not have stomped Bush enough to convince them.
NOTE: This was mostly written before the first debate and transmitted to a top Kerry advisor.
Stylewise the Edwards-Cheney debate was a tie; Edwards
seemed nervous, blinking like a semaphore (maybe didn't practice under hot TV
lights), and relatively tentative. The consummate lawyer who had slayed innumerable corporate dragons for millions of
dollars, seemed to defer to the most extreme corporate villain. Edwards tried
to bring Cheney to justice for his many deceptions, but Cheney hammered back,
drawing blood with Edwards apparent horrible Senate
attendance record. In a harbinger of fatal danger, the ice may be cracking
under the weight of Bush's
2nd KERRY debate was another near knockout by JFK, he categorically shredded and dissected every Bush claim and position, but since Bush did better than his disastrous first outing (which resulted in a 5-8 point poll shift), spinners tended to see the contest as even. But Bush was angry, defensive, sputtering, incoherent at points (several sentences were complete gibberish), and kept flashing that unpleasant pained smug smirk like a facial tick. Bush's awesome vacuity was evident as he returned to his simple flip-flop attack theme at every question, "You can't be a leader and change your mind."- but had little else to say. He pluralized "the INTERNETS" in a display of how out of touch this clown is- he not only doesn't read any newspaper or magazine; he probably has never spent any real time on the Internet.
3nd KERRY debatewas a relative tie, although of course Kerry had the far better arguments. JFK takes definative cheap shot in bringing up Mary Cheney out of blue, stupid when there are a thousand points of dark to blacken Bush with. <"#nov1">
Nov 1 NEWS - Have been beset by sporadic depression over last week- Bush message is simply and brutal- Kerry is a weakling, whereas Kerry ridicules the President for multiple failures without beating him down for the personal slanders and personal cowardice. Kerry seems to have brought a knife to a gun fight, and it does beg the question "If he can't handle a junkyard dog like Bush, how can he handle OBL?" It was dueling commercial animals: wolves vs eagles, but where was the LIAR ad showing the snickering Bush looking under a lecture table for the WMD's, "are they under here?". With Bush's disasterous decisions, Kerry should be 5-8 points ahead at this point. The great evildoer himself weighed in with a suprisingly diplomatic message that had everyone scratching their heads. 'We don't attack America because we hate your freedom', he said, 'but because you attack us'. He seemed to offer almost a truce if we would desist, very different from his earlier stark ultimatums. Unclear was his Presidential preference, but his lack of election day threat argues against Bush. Think his appearance was a wash in effect- "keep the same horse" balances "punish the incompetent Pres who didn't catch him".
POLLS: While most polls have Bush ahead 1 to 4 points, they don't take into account the huge volume
of new voters or young cellular users who don't appear on the pollsters lists. Also last time, when Gore won,
Bush had a greater lead. Zogby- the only accurate one last time- has Kerry dead tied or 1 point ahead.
OHIO Challengers: If Ohio Bushmen get some federal judge to overturn the decision banning voter challengers in the polling places, Dems need to respond with Teamster challenger challengers at every site, willing to physically convince vote intimidators of the error of their ways. Otherwise it could be the DeLay staffer riot that stopped the Miami vote count. Goons beat lawyers (and sometime need to). The last minute technique comes from Repubs sending mail to all new voters and getting some back undeliverable, but truth be told many people arenít registered in their current address. Voter rolls tend to be the most stable address people have, not changed while they move around the country for school or jobs, itís where people think of themselves as being from. Understood and acknowledged, this isnít fraud or improper- itís the way the voting system has always worked- people have a right to vote where they consider home is. The Repubs then cherry pick only Dems to challenge in their sleazy desperate ploy to disenfranchise voters.
FLORIDA FOLLIES: In talking to Ft Lauderdale voters who waited 3 hours in line Monday to vote early, before giving up, it was obvious Florida election officials screwed up again- they only opened a few polling places rather than the full roster for Election Day. Hopefully this won't convince give-ups to not try again today, when things should be easier than 2000. The dangerous electronic voting machines and optical machines should be faster, and massive absentee and early voting will remove millions of bodies from the Election Day booths. The 60,000 lost absentee ballots probably won't be replaced or counted, though they can do provisional ballots. I suspect this was either some Repub weasels in the Post Office, or simply guys who tried to reduce their work load. If they wanted to trash votes, they should have done it when they were returned and loss undetectable (but of course then they wouldn't be in a convenient bundle). Still, it stinks when this just coincidentally happens in about the most Dem county in America. Relax, Jake. It's only Florida. Anything can happen in this election, but probably whoever wins OHIO, wins the ball of wax.
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