Thursday, April 8, 2004

McAuliffe's early selection may be Kerry's early exit

The DNC Grand Poohba has credited himself with a brilliant move in establishing a primary/caucus system that selected the dem presidential nominee early in the cycle. (I wrote some time ago about how an early selection makes more sense without an incumbent; see March 13 postings.) In Kerry's case - a nominee who happened to be the next guy to walk past the office door after demented Dean imploded - the early selection is killing him.

His message is being found on the general election - not primary - road. A dangerous place to find such a thing. Susan Jones writes of his inability to articulate a proactive message.

Kerry complains about W's Iraq policy, but cannot answer what he would do instead.

According to a CNN transcript, anchor Judy Woodruff asked Kerry, "What exactly -- right now -- would you do differently?"

Kerry: "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made. The president needs to step up and acknowledge that there are difficulties and that the world needs to be involved and they need to reverse their policy that countries that were not involved in supporting us are not going to be part of the reconstruction."

So, I guess, he would include other nations in the reconstruction. To what end? Purely a profit motive? How does that make things better?

Would he seek to share authority over US troops? Would they be asked to commit troops to protect their workers? What if they do then pull-out? What if the UN would rather do nothing?

Kerry seems completely unable to just answer the question as posed. "What exactly -- right now -- would you do differently?" Paraphrasing Kerry - W has made a mistake, other countries need to get involved, W needs to reverse the policy of excluding countries.

Excluding countries? Three things are happening: 1. Military management; 2. Military operations; and 3. Civil reconstruction. Kerry doesn't mention military issues at all.

Even if he did, would France or Germany commit troops? No.

Should we subject our military to the management of the Franco-Bismarck alliance? Surely not.

That leaves civil reconstruction. Including the Franco-Bismarck-Soviet trio in reconstruction activities would take American taxpayer money and distribute it to the former arms suppliers of Saddam. How quaint.

I still fail to see how this changes anything over there.

Another quote from Susan's article. NPR's Edwards asked Kerry, "President Bush says Sadr's defiance can't stand. What should the U.S. do?"

Kerry: "Well, ah, it's interesting to hear that when they shut a newspaper that belongs to a legitimate voice in Iraq and, well -- let me, let me, let me change the term 'legitimate.' When they shut a newspaper that belongs a voice, because he has clearly taken on a far more radical tone in recent days and aligned himself with both Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a sort of terrorist alignment. So he has his own set of needs in order to deal with the possible, you know, future spread of terrorism."

What? I can't even parse that answer to make any sense. First, of course, he stammers his way out of calling a supporter of terrorism "legitimate." Then he concludes by saying, "So he has his own set of needs ..." The question was what should the president do. "He has his own set of needs ..." Oh.

Kerry is so bad at executive politics. His legislative politics lacked as well, but his executive politics are incredibly lacking.

Rush noted today a recent proclivity by the press to use the adjective "presumptive" when describing Kerry's status as the dem nominee. I noticed it myself to the point where yesterday I read something that did not include it and I noticed its absence.

Will the party rise against Kerry? Who will be his Howard Baker (who told Nixon the time to leave had come)? Can Hillary pull together a campaign in late July?

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