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If I read one more suggestion for the Kerry campaign, I'm going to vomit. The campaign is tied. I'm not one of these folks living in a state of denial, however. I'm very worried about the results of this election.

That said, instead of suggesting what Kerry should do, since I'm pretty irrelevant in all of this--I think people do care about health care and jobs, but not to the exclusin of terrorism (and he now has a chance to lead on crime, but, whatever)--I would just like to point out that there is not likely to be much movement in the polls because most people have decided. This has been said all along.

The next real chance for a change in direction is the first debate. If Kerry can show up Bush doing whatever he needs to do to do that, then he'll have the election under control. So, we'll see what happens then.

Update [2004-10-11 14:51:17 by Attorney at Arms]: Did I call it or what?

Originally posted to Attorney at Arms on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:29 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and how... (4.00)
    And how do you think the modern American love of
    anti-intellectualism will play in the calculus of
    who wins the debates?

    I doubt Kerry can "win" (in the SCLM & average
    voter's minds) the debates by winning an
    intellectual battle over policy.  I'm more
    convinced than ever that american people are
    enamoured (sp??) with anti-intellectualism.

    Therefore I don't think Kerry will win the
    debates (again, from a joe sic-pack perspective)
    unless he body-slams Bush.  In my own cynical
    world, speaking more intelligently about issues
    that matter to voters makes no difference.

    Here's hoping I'm wrong.

    Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

    by JoelK in AZ on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:30:22 AM PDT

    •  But who said he has to win an intellectual battle? (4.00)
      I didn't read that in this diary.

      The bar has been placed very low for Kerry. He has no spine, he's a liberal and a weakling.

      Kerry doesn't have to use his intellect, he doesn't even have to say anything that makes sense. He needs to be a tough guy. He needs to be resolute. He needs to stand up over Bush (8 inches) and punch the guy in the face. No logic or logos needed.

      It's all a matter of acting. Can Kerry play the tough guy? I'm of the opinion that he can, having seen him do it before. Kerry should do a Bob Dole 1996. It didn't work for Dole, but that was pre-9/11. I'm not saying Kerry will do this, but he has a pretty decent chance of turning all the conventional wisdom on its head.

      "Can we do something for the Middle Class this time?" GWB, at a cabinet meeting discussing more tax cuts for the rich, as reported by Paul O'Neill.

      by upstate NY on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:25:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, you ARE wrong (none)
      Look, Gore won all three debates hands down except for some silly behavior problems. First debate he sighed and rolled his eyes, second debate he looked like he was on meds, third debate he was energetic and engaged but he physically confronted Bush at one point which looked bad.

      Kerry is not going to make these mistakes. The criticism of Gore was that a "different Gore" showed up for each debate. Kerry is definitely not going to make that mistake. In addition, this year is a lot different from 2000. Bush now has a record, a very bad record, that he has to somehow justify. Bush is not as coherent as he was in 2000 (which isn't saying much), and this time competency rather than character will be the number one issue.

      Kerry's main hurdle is Iraq. The media is beating him up for not having a concise position on Iraq. This is kind of silly since Iraq is so complicated there aren't any concise answers, but Kerry has to develop one for the debates. If he doesn't have a good Iraq answer, he's in trouble. If he does, he will win big.

      •  okay (none)
        i agree with everything you said.

        i also think a majority of the voting public
        likes the idea of a non-intellectual CIC.

        additionally you can't say i am wrong because
        the debates haven't happened yet.  my money is
        on the following scenario:

        1. Kerry easily beats Bush on the issues
        2. CNN immediately says Kerry looked aloof and
           academic and "how will this register with
           the average voter?" and then "do you think
           kerry has a problem relating to the average
           voter?" et cetera.
        3) CNN follows this by saying "Bush did stumble
           in some of his answers but he has clearly
           put forth a vision for this country's war
           on terror...and aw schucks (sp? lol) he's
           just so damn likeable."

        If this doesn't happen then I'll be sooo happy,
        but i really think it will.

        Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

        by JoelK in AZ on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:37:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Winning the debates is worthless (none)
        if we can't win the post-debate.  Gore lost the overall effect because he didn't have folks pounding the airwaves afterwards saying how Presidential and articulate he was, and attacking Bush.

        Bush had folks ready.

        We better be fully ready this time.

        Can we expect security from the insecure?

        by PSoTD on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:33:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  well (none)
    I was hoping my stunning political commentary and outside the lines investigative reporting would throw the victory to Kerry. Oh well.

    "I voted for what I thought was best for the country...Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did," John Kerry

    by kilgoretrout on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:35:06 AM PDT

  •  Make a Difference (none)
    "I would just like to point out that there is not likely to be much movement in the polls because most people have decided."

    I think about 20% of the electorate is still up for grabs.

    "I'm very worried about the results of this election ... I'm pretty irrelevant in all of this."

    Don't be irrelevant.  Do something to make a difference.

    If you've got extra time on your hands, find a place to go volunteer.

    Otherwise, donate some spare change.

    I think the efforts of Texans for Truth can really help soften Bush up heading into the debates.  And since the official campaign has to keep their distance from this, it's up to us to help make it happen.

    If you buy Rove's concept that few voters are up for grabs, send some spare change to ACT to help turn out the Democratic vote on election day.

    •  yeah (none)
      i once thought opinions were too fixed to really
      see much movement.  the republican hate-fest
      changed my mind.  we can argue about the
      magnitude of any bounce but i think their
      no-holds-barred attack on kerry obviously
      helped move the polls in their favor.

      Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

      by JoelK in AZ on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:05:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember (none)
    I seem to remember that the convention was where Kerry's real campaign would start, it was afterwards that Kerry would take off the gloves and get to work.  

    Now it's that he's a closer, and only campaigns with his back against the wall.

    My opinion?  Iowa picked a chump--he's a Seven Foot Dukakis.  He can still win, but a good candidate would have disposed of Dubya by now.

    "One god, one market, one truth, one consumer. Just a quiet peaceful dance, for things we will never have." --Zack De La Rocha, "Down Rodeo"

    by Subterranean on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:56:05 AM PDT

    •  good candidate (none)
      Any 'good candidate' would've also been subject to the same kind of unethical smears that we see being leveled against Kerry.  I tend to agree with this diary.  It seems to me that Kerry is saving some real ammo for the debates, and surely to God, given that big patrician brain of his, he'll do well .  (Om mane padme hum).

      Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored. - Aldous Huxley

      •  Right on (none)
        Any candidate would have been subject to these smears. John Edwards is the only one that might have had too clean of a record, but even he would be hit with the "voted for the war, voted against the troops" line.

        Wes Clark was already being smeared as a flip-flopper with mental problems. Howard Dean was angry, unhinged, untrustworthy, dodged Vietnam and then went skiing.

        Kerry is a great candidate, don't buy into what the Republican machine is telling you. Every time we became worried about Kerry this year, he has pulled through for us.

        Right now he has to make sure Bush shows up for all three debates. If he has to publicly ridicule Bush to make him show up, so be it. He could even make a joke about how Bush didn't show up in Alabama, now he's not showing up in Missouri for the debate.

        The "No-Show" President.

    •  In case you haven't noticed... (none)
      the media is arrayed against the Democrats. It doesn't matter if kerry came out with a plan to solve the world's problems through the invention of clean recyclable fuel that he developed himself in his basement. The news wouldn't get out. You can blame the candidate for striking out with the corporate media, but then you'd be doing the same thing the media is doing. Flaying the candidate for not getting through the corporate media. Don't succumb to that tautology.

      Kerry will have his debates, and if he can't turn it around then, that's when he'll be deserving of some criticism.

      "Can we do something for the Middle Class this time?" GWB, at a cabinet meeting discussing more tax cuts for the rich, as reported by Paul O'Neill.

      by upstate NY on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:31:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clinton (none)
        Clinton kicked ass, and he had to deal with the same Atwater-Rovian smears as Kerry!  Anyone would agree that if Clinton were running against Bush, he would have kneecapped the motherfucker by now.  Yes, it's true that any democratic candidate has to fight two fronts, one against his opponent, one against the media, but that doesn't totally exonerate the democratic from fault for every nasty twist in the race.  

        Kerry should have fought back against the smears.  He should have attacked Bush at the convention instead of taking the high road.  Thanks to Master Dukakis, we already know that fighting like a gentleman in American politics means losing like a chump.   For whatever reason, Kerry didn't learn from history and now we've got to pray that he's got a steep enough learning curve to pull through this election.

        Sorry if I'm not optimistic enough for you--if it gets you down, just run my posts through the Photoshop Rosy Bullshit Filter prior to reading.  Thanks alot!

        "One god, one market, one truth, one consumer. Just a quiet peaceful dance, for things we will never have." --Zack De La Rocha, "Down Rodeo"

        by Subterranean on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 07:59:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Debates (none)
    Most of the pundits said that Bush would hold a lead for a while after the convention and it would fade but they agreeds that the debates will be the next poll surges we will see.I just hope Kerry will keep his answers on point with key sound bites that can be repeated by the media. This is no time for vague pontification.
  •  Close for now (none)
    I don't think any other Democrat would be doing a lot better than Kerry is doing now.  I think the divisions of 2000 have, so far, carried forward.  I think by the time of the first debate in a couple of weeks the polls will show a tie.  Something like 46-47% will be behind each guy; the number of undecided is failry small compared to past elections.

    I think this debate might be like the debates of 1980; people want to see if the challanger looks like a guy who could be president.  I think Kerry will help himself if he looks confident and does not let Bush throw/bait him.  
    As I've written before I don't think it would be good for Kerry to make a mad dog attack on Bush.  He should go after Bush, but his tone should be "isn't it shame George is such a horrible president."  If possible he should also use humor to slip the knife in- for example steal Bill Maher's bit about Bush not reading newspapers and use the debate to "read" him some headlines.

  •  Kerry can win the debates (none)
     He needs to be absolute in his answers. I believe most of the undecideds are people who believe Bush is a failure, but don't want to vote for Kerry. Why? Because he speaks like a moral relativist. And these voters are absolutist. They want black and white answers. So, Kerry should give them. No nuance, no explanations. As soon as he ends a sentence, we know where he stands on an issue. That is how you beat Bush, because Bush is an absolutist, but he is also absolutely wrong.

    A healthy society respects the individual, and a healthy individual respects society.

    by exotrip on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:23:29 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (none)
      The good thing is that the Republican attack have actually lowered expectations for Kerry. They've created this imaginary Kerry who can't make up his mind, doesn't want to defend the country, isn't aggressive about terrorism. When the real Kerry shows up for the debates, Americans will be impressed and reassured that he can take over and do a better job than Bush.

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