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pudge's Journal: Sunday Thoughts 53

Journal by pudge

Super Bowl

I am quite glad that kept the political ads off the Super Bowl. I wish they'd have kept other ads off too, as well as the halftime show, but as Howard Fineman said, the Super Bowl has become an American secular holiday, and most people don't want to watch political ads.

Chris Matthews added, if the anti-Bush went on, you'd see an arms race, which would just ruin the Super Bowl. Can you imagine? Instead of waiting until Iowa, or New Hampshire, or South Carolina, we'd wait until the Super Bowl before candidates would drop out. They'd have a special Super Bowl fund. It'd be ridiculous.

Matthews' two guests who don't care about football thought the ads should air; no surprise there, I suppose. Norah O'Donnell said something inane, though: she said if they have the money, they should be allowed to have an ad. That's not how real life works. People have the right to refuse your money, and when the money is that big, that right is often exercised. There is no right for these ads to be accepted, nor any right of the viewers to have them shown.

Not that any of this really matters: the Patriots won! All else is just irrelevant.

Democrats for President

It's over; Kerry's won. He may not sweep this week, but he's won. Dean won't win a single state. Edwards and Clark might win one apiece, but Clark probably won't.

Kerry certainly isn't invulnerable as a candidate against Bush, but he has the best mix of experience and respectability and ideas. I'm sure we'll see mostly lame attacks on Kerry's post-Vietnam-war record and his first marriage. I'm also sure we'll see less lame attacks on his voting record in the Senate, and his ties to special interests. (I am hoping we also see real debate about his views, and how they differ from Bush's; it could happen!)

Kerry is far less vulnerable than the other three candidates left (sorry Joe, I can't include you). I suppose Edwards' lack of experience makes him less vulnerable to the attacks Kerry will be open to, but I think it's a net loss to him.

Dean, One More Time

Speaking of vulnerability, I love how it's now been shown that Dean favored unilateral action in Bosnia even though NATO and the UN wouldn't act, despite now saying such a thing is anathema. And he wanted to do it for reasons unrelated to any American interests! So he goes around using the word "ideological" as an epithet, and it is telling: he has no ideology, no principles, no guiding philosophies. He changes with the tides.

Let's be clear: there's not a damned thing wrong with ideology. Kennedy was very ideological. All of our leading Founding Fathers were ideological, except for maybe Benjamin Franklin. The question is not whether you are ideological, it is what your ideology is. Frankly, a man in power without ideology scares me, which is why I have been so adamant in my opposition to Dean these many months, and why -- despite the fact that I want Bush to win, and that Dean would be an easy candidate to beat -- I am glad he is finished.

He was on Meet the Press for a final interview this weekend. He was better than his previous attempts: more confident, quicker and more certain answers. But he still flunked in some serious ways.

The best part -- and that which sinks him as the party favorite -- was his hiring of Roy Neal as his new campaign manager. This guy was the assistant chief of staff to Clinton and chief of staff to Gore in the White House, and went from there to the head of the U.S. Telecom Association, a DC lobbyist group. This is precisely what Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) is attempting to do, but for a medical industry PAC instead, and the Democrats are ready to use that against the Republicans this fall.

There's no way to sugar-coat it so that Neal's deal is acceptable and Tauzin's is not. His answers to this were horrible: when Russert asked him about going to be a lobbyist directly from being a top White House staffer, Dean replied that he's been a college professor the last few years, as if that made it OK. Russert noted that he lobbied Congress, giving money to Gingrich and DeLay; Dean replied, "What's that got to do with being a college professor or working for several years under Clinton and Gore?" Nothing, Howard, nothing at all.

And then Dean was asked about his charge that Cheney "berated" CIA agents "because he didn't like their intelligence reports." Russert asked him for evidence, and Dean refused. The fact is, there is more evidence of WMD in Iraq than there is that this incident ever occurred, but that won't stop Dean from impugning Cheney!

Despite looking more confident and certain, he also exuded a strong stench of desperation. And desperation is never attractive, whether in a singles' bar or a voting booth. It's a sad end to an entertaining campaign.

Speaking of the DNC ...

Terry McAuliffe really needs to stop going on TV. He makes the Democrats look bad. Not that I am a big fan of RNC head Ed Gillespie, but Ed went out the other day and attacked Kerry's Senate record for votes on national security. McAuliffe said Kerry's patriotism was questioned. No, it wasn't: Gillespie was questioning his suitability to be commander in chief. There's a difference. Kerry's patriotism was not questioned by Gillespie. It didn't happen.

Then -- and this was one literally made me laugh out loud -- McAuliffe accused Bush of going negative against Kerry first, implying that now the gloves are off, and Kerry is free to attack Bush. He must not have heard any Kerry speech over the last half year, where he's consistently launched very nasty atttacks at Bush, calling his administration inept and the like. Anyone who believes Bush went negative against Kerry first -- where negative is saying bad things about the other's positions and policies -- either hasn't been paying attention, or is intentionally blind to the facts.

I've always disliked McAuliffe, but I have to think this sort of thing doesn't help Kerry at all.

Iraq's Threat

A lot of people have questioned what Kay meant last week when he talked about Iraq being a greater threat than previously thought. Kay was on Fox News Sunday and discussed it; I quote him here, without comment.

I think Iraq was a dangerous place, becoming more dangerous, because in fact what we observed was that the regime itself was coming apart, it was descending at the worst part of moral depravity and corruption. Saddam Hussein was isolated in fantasy land, capable of wreaking tremendous harm and terrorists on his individual citizens, but corruption and money gain was the root cause. At the same time that we know there were terrorist groups and states still seeking WMD capability. Iraq -- although I found no weapons -- had tremendous capabilities in this area. A marketplace phenomena was about to occur -- if it did not occur -- sellers meeting buyers. And I think that would have been very dangerous, if the war had not intervened.

Chris Wallace: But what could the sellers had sold, if they didn't have actual weapons?

Kay: The knowledge of how to make them, the knowledge of how to make small amounts, which is, after all, mostly what the terrorists want; they don't want battlefield amounts of weapons. Iraq remained a very dangerous place in terms of WMD capabilities, even though we found no large stockpiles of weapons.

Investigations

I am not smart enough to know how feasible an independent investigation of the intelligence failures is. One thing I am smart enough to know is that we do need to have an investigation, independent or not.

But what troubles me is that so many Bush-haters (you know who you are! I SEE YOU!) are willing to pass judgment without facts. Al Hunt, a big-time liberal, said this week that everyone he knows, including sources from both the Bush and Clinton administrations, told him that they were sure Hussein currently had WMD (only Scott Ritter and Bob Novak believed otherwise, he said). He isn't going to jump on Bush for the failures of intelligence until actual information justifies it.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey and former UN weapons inspector Richard Holbrooke were on This Week, and both agreed we need an investigation of the WMD intelligence, as pretty much everyone does (Bush will supposedly make an announcement about this soon, if he hasn't already). Both asserted we should seek to find out what went wrong, not whom to point fingers at. Imagine that. It sounds positively archaic!

Holbrooke wants an investigation immediately; Woolsey wants to wait a few months, as there are several active investigations in both the executive and legislative branch, that he'd like to see wrapped up. I doubt that will happen; the public wants a response immediately, with answers as soon as possible, and for good reason.

But we don't have answers yet. It's pretty ridiculous how Bush-haters jump from "the information was wrong" to "Bush deceived us." What's wrong with waiting to find out for sure?

And so too with the Joe Wilson matter. In this, we actually have an ongoing investigation. Would it hurt so much to just wait for its results?

In other words: chill. Have some patience. I know the upcoming election brings with it a sense of urgency to "get Bush," but your hatred combined with the political urgency is driving you to madness, and you need to let it go.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sunday Thoughts

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  • Here are some excerpts which show the need for an investigation which will conclude before the election, many of which directly address David Kay's assertion that Saddam might have shared weapons with terrorists (which is also very unlikely because the only terrorists in the region were seeking to destabilise his own regeme.)

    First, there is this: [bradenton.com]

    The pressure on the intelligence community to document the administration's claims that the Iraqi regime had ties to al-Qaida and was pursuing a nuclear weapons

    • It seems you are arguing that we should have an investigation that concludes before the election as though I've argued something different. Am I misunderstanding your intent? I was merely saying it is far too soon to come to conclusions, if you care about being open-minded and fair.

      which is also very unlikely because the only terrorists in the region were seeking to destabilise his own regeme

      No: Hussein's government supported anti-Israeli, anti-Iranian, and anti-Turkish terrorists. And even if it wer
      • So long as the investigation is fair and thorough, and if any wrong-doing is found it's actually prosecuted(unlike say Poindexter). I could not care less when it ends.

        I'd also like to see the 9/11 investigation finally be cooperated with. They can move that report to after the election as well(although that's a bit silly, it's been long enough we should've had a lot more done by now).

        I would also like to see Plame resolved and the leaker(traitor) punished.

        I have lots of questions and no one seems to be
      • you are arguing that we should have an investigation that concludes before the election as though I've argued something different

        Yes I am; and it's not you, it's Bush: [whitehouse.gov]

        Q: Yes, Mr. President. I'd like to ask you about this intelligence investigation that you're going to order. Do you think that the country is owed an explanation about the Iraq intelligence failures before the election, so that voters have this information when they elect a new President?

        THE PRESIDENT: Well, the -- first of all, I wan

        • So, it seems clear that the commission won't begin until the survey group ends, and Bush has the final say on when that happens.

          I don't think that's clear at all. I interpreted that odd sentence as him recognizing the fact that what we thought is not what the survey group has found, when I heard him give it on News Hour this evening.

          "al-Qaida wants Bush to win next November's presidential election and continue his interventionist policies in the Middle East for another four years, and will act to save
          • So I suppose if you think Bush is helping terrorists, it becomes easy to think Bin Laden wants Bush to remain President. Is that really interesting?

            I don't think Bush has ever directly helped terrorists. I am ambivalent on the 9/11 "Let It Happen On Purpose" conspiracy-of-neglect theories. I had never considered the possibility that U.S. interventionism has so significantlty increased al-Qaida's recruitment rate until I read Dyer's column two days ago.

            As to al Qaeda in Iraq: good! It makes it easie

            • Dyer posits that all al-Qaida terrorism anywhere has only been a subgoal of step 1, often made to look like a desperate try for step 3. Dyer says that's pure subterfuge, and I can't poke any holes in the reasons he states.

              His reasons are speculation and assumption. It's hard to poke holes in that, and hard to believe, too.

              As to being a "well-respected global strategy journalist," I don't know how anyone who asserts that "al-Qaeda wants George W. Bush to win next November's presidential election ... and
              • His reasons are speculation and assumption.

                Not exactly:

                The Islamist radicals have always been completely open about their goals. They want to take power in the Muslim countries (phase one of the project), and then unite the entire Muslim world in a final struggle to overthrow the power of the West (phase two). They are still stuck in phase one, with little to show for it despite thirty years of trying, so in the early 1990s Osama bin Laden and his colleagues switched from head-on assaults on the regi

                • His reasons are speculation and assumption.

                  Not exactly

                  Yes, exactly. He may have a reasonably accurate description of their motives, but then assumes and speculates the ways in which they will manifest themselves in specific desires and actions. There is not one shred of evidence that they want Bush in the White House, there is not one shred of evidence they would act to "help" keep him there. None. And this guy treats it like a fact that everyone should agree upon. That alone makes him not well-re
                  • There is not one shred of evidence that they want Bush in the White House, there is not one shred of evidence they would act to "help" keep him there.

                    Is there any evidence that they do not or would not?

                    • Is there any evidence that I am not Superman? He is asserting these things as truths. He needs to provide the evidence, especially when he flatly states that other journalists should be saying the same thing he does. He is not a journalist, because a real journalist would never be so irresponsible.
                    • Is there any evidence that they do not or would not?
                      I've encountered several logical fallacies from you before. But his one is just blatant. [fallacyfiles.org] Then again... I shouldn't be surprised.

                      Hey! Let's arrest John Smith! There's not ONE shred of evidence he wasn't behind the grassy knoll with a rifle!
                    • It is an established fact that al-Qaida has had greater recruitment under Bush (at least within Iraq) than before.

                      Pudge's original assertion that there is "not a shred" of evidence they want Bush in office or would work to achieve that is the greater fallacy, because the fact of their larger recruitment under occupation is in fact such evidence.

                    • by js7a (579872)
                      1. Al-Qaida have proven they have the ablility to organize and perform terrible and spactacular feats of terrorism, not even approaching what was ever seen before. Therefore, it stands to reason that they also have the intelligence to understand that such acts alone will not be suffcient to destroy Western civilization.
                      2. Al-Qaida have recently attacked in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. All of these are Islamic states with governments unfavorable to them. Therefore, as has been widely recognized by most
                    • Pudge's original assertion that there is "not a shred" of evidence they want Bush in office or would work to achieve that is the greater fallacy, because the fact of their larger recruitment under occupation is in fact such evidence.

                      No, it certainly is not. Most big businesses did better under Clinton than under Bush, yet they still favor Republicans. Big deal. You haven't tied the threads together. You haven't shown anything that says al Qaeda distinguishes between different American Presidents, let
                    • As per my other post, none of this shows al Qaeda distinguishes between different American Presidents. You are showing that, in your opinion, Bush helps al Qaeda. You do NOT show, in any way, that al Qaeda sees it that way. You dig?
                    • It is an established fact that al-Qaida has had greater recruitment under Bush (at least within Iraq) than before.

                      Yet another blatent fallacy. [fallacyfiles.org]

                      But lets go back to your statement. You were asking for proof of a negative. That's just plain bad logic.

                      Now, on to your current claim. Unless I'm wrong, you are making an assurtions that:

                      al-qaida has had greater recruitment under Bush (at least within Iraq). (which I question the validity of such a claim).

                      You further suggest that this supports your claim t

                    • none of this shows al Qaeda distinguishes between different American Presidents

                      Osama bin Ladin, or whoever is issuing statements for him [aljazeera.net], does draw a distinction:

                      [Bush] is carrying out the demands of the Zionist lobby that helped him to enter the White House. These demands are to destroy the military strength of Iraq because it is too close to the Jews in occupied Palestine, regardless of the harm that will happen to your people and your economy.

                      Presumably if "the Zionist lobby" helped Bush into the

                    • Presumably if "the Zionist lobby" helped Bush into the White House, then Clinton was not subject to their demands.

                      According to whom? The Big Book Of Making Stuff Up? Please stop wasting my time.
                    • Presumably if "the Zionist lobby" helped Bush into the White House, then Clinton was not subject to their demands.
                      According to whom?
                      Bin Laden probably considers conservative Christians in favor of Israel as the political base of, and Perle and Wolfowitz the point operatives of "the Zionist lobby." Attack-Saddam-now neoconservatives were absent from the Clinton administration, and his stance on abortion alienated the conservative base.
                    • Bin Laden probably considers

                      We can stop right there. This is my point. We do not know what Bin Laden thinks about all this guy says he knows. It's one thing to say, "I think there's a good chance Bin Laden wants Bush to remain in power, and if that is the case, there's also a good chance he might try to act out to help him win re-election."

                      But that is not what was said. He stated as fact the "obvious point" that "al-Qaeda wants George W. Bush to win next November's presidential election and continue
                    • Osama bin Laden calls U.S. forces "crusaders" at the same time asserting that Bush is following orders from "the Zionist lobby." If I'm not allowed to draw inferences from those rather plain and outright expressions of his worldview, then I have no business listening to any politician.
                    • Osama bin Laden calls U.S. forces "crusaders" at the same time asserting that Bush is following orders from "the Zionist lobby."

                      He used similar language of American forces long before Bush took office. So what?

                      If I'm not allowed to draw inferences from those rather plain and outright expressions of his worldview

                      The problem is that your inferences are highly selective, drawn to support only what you want to believe.
                    • Let's look at your premises:

                      (A) Osama calls U.S. forces "Crusaders".
                      (B) Osama asserts Bush follows order for "Zionist lobby".

                      Your conclusion:

                      (C) Osama wants Bush to stay in office.

                      If this were Logic 101, I'd say you were using the principle of WT (wishfull thinking). You, frankly, are making stuff up when clearly your premises do not support your conclusion.
                      then I have no business listening to any politician.
                      Amen, brother.
                    • I've been floatng the detailed hypothesis on a handful of political blogs, e.g. Calpundit [calpundit.com], and as yet the detractors haven't been able to poke any holes. Tacitus suggested that opium production is primarily in the secular North of Afghanistan, but I was easily able to show that it has reemerged in the Sourthern al-Qaida-controlled areas.

                      Bin Laden got exactly what he wanted from 9/11.

                    • I would strongly suggest you study critical thinking and logical fallacies. I would further suggest that you take commentary and opinions provided by extremists with a rather large grain of salt.

                      I'm not going to try and navagate that site -- i've got much better things to do with my time, but it appears that after several hours of you posting that blog comment, no one seems to have bothered to comment on it. Perhaps i'm missing something.

                      If nobody has bothered commenting on it, it is yet again fallacous
                    • Calpundit is the only MT block with permalinks for comments. The only reply I have got was on Tacitus.org, a right-to-centrist blog, from the host Tecitus himself, and I completely described his only critique and why it was invalit. My degree is in applied math, and am able to recognize falacious arguments, such as the ad hominem (e.g., "... tinfoil hat ....")
                    • And sometimes, the are justified (e.g. "...tinfoil hat") and hardly fallacious. The fact that you suggest my arguments are fallacious because of the use of the term "tinfoil hat" demonstrates you've no idea what an ad hominem fallacy is.

                      Example of a "ad hominem" fallacy:

                      Js7a is a tin-foilhat wearing nut job who see's Bush conspiracies coming out of his ears and therefore anything he says is pointless drivel.

                      (i.e. js7a can't be believed because he is a tinfoil hat wearing nut job).

                      Needless to say, I'v
                    • I've been floatng the detailed hypothesis [that Bin Laden wants Bush to remain in office] ... Bin Laden got exactly what he wanted from 9/11.

                      Yes, but the problem with your hyopthesis is that 9/11 was planned long before Bush was elected President. Your last statement there only helps prove my rebuttal to your hyopthesis -- which you've done nothing significant to argue against -- that Bin Laden probably doesn't distinguish between different U.S. Presidents.
                    • My degree is in applied math, and am able to recognize falacious arguments, such as the ad hominem (e.g., "... tinfoil hat ....")

                      You recognized incorrectly. An ad hominem is when you argue the man to win the argument, to make your point. E.g., "I'm right because you're stupid." But I wasn't doing that. I first argued against your nutty proposition, and then I gave up and noted that you were being foolish. At that point I was not attempting to make an argument, I was just "attacking you" for the heck
                    • By the way, I'd like this subthread to end. js7a is talking about something he's got valid thoughts about, which is fine, but we're just going around in circles, waiting for him to provide the missing links to thread it all together: namely, that Bin Laden would prefer Bush over another President, and that he would be willing to act to help him get reelected. These two premises are only alluded to by the facts, and unless that changes, I don't think continued discussion will be useful.

                      And Jhon -- I'm gui
                    • By the way, I'd like this subthread to end.

                      As you wish. It's your Journal/watering hole, and I'll not foul it.

                      And Jhon -- I'm guilty of this too -- I don't think continued discussion of debating tactics is on-topic.

                      Agreed. I basically gave up on pointing out erroneous information provided by js7a, or better sourced material with conflicting information as he refused to accept it. I figured pointing out flawed reasoning would would turn him around. My bad. While I believe js7a isn't stupid (actually

        • That is subject to debate. I'd like to know what you think of this column by Gwynne Dyer which appeared late last month in the Salt Lake Tribune. He argues that "al-Qaida wants Bush to win next November's presidential election and continue his interventionist policies in the Middle East for another four years, and will act to save Bush from defeat if necessary."

          I think this might make sense, assuming that Bin Laden doesn't see a different potential president as being likely to be even more unilateralist

          • I think this might make sense, assuming that Bin Laden doesn't see ...

            Exactly. Assuming. We don't know.

            The question here is would that help, and would OBL be convinced it would help?

            Well, not would it help, but would Bin Laden think it would help (perception is all that matters). And we do not know.
  • Your summary seems more even handed than usual. Good job.

    BTW, check CNN (I assume it's there, I'm watching the DC news); seems Risin (sp?) has turned up on Capitol Hill. Who will be the first politician to ask about the point of DHS if it can't protect Congress (I suspect a Democratic presidential candidate), and who will be the first politician to use this to argue for Patriot III or something similar.

    Of course, I heard a bit of absurdity on the news. Seems the president's proposed budget was delivered
    • I'm always even-handed, it's my readers who are biased. :-)

      As to the budget, yeah, it'd be nice if more people would use digital forms, but it's always been done this way, and frankly, I would much rather read paper than a computer screen. OTOH, I'd much rather do research in a document that's digital.
      • OTOH, I'd much rather do research in a document that's digital.

        At this stage, I suspect that's about 99% what's done. Without any experience or qualified report, I assume the following:

        1. 'real' budget IS submitted electronically.
        2. Congressional staffers split relevant section to topic chiefs. IOW, the pages on Social Security are given to the part of your staff in charge of Social Security.
        3. That person works on an electronic copy, and provides congresscritter with talking points.
        etc.

        IOW, is anyone a
  • Since I doubt you read my Journal.

    Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Media Coverage Critique Blog [campaigndesk.org].

    Pretty good stuff.
  • I'm watching the Democratic candidates with a cautious eye. I can't say they're pristine, because all of the front-runners accept Soft Money. Not only that, America has a history of electing former Governers to the Presidency. Take the current and previous president for example. And I'm not too . . . erm . . . enthusiastic about Dean. Although he did balance the Vermont budget several years in a row - no easy task.
    • The last eight Presidential elections went to governors or current White House occupants (i.e., the incumbent President or his Vice President); that includes Nixon's second election.
    • And I'm not too . . . erm . . . enthusiastic about Dean. Although he did balance the Vermont budget several years in a row - no easy task.

      Simply balancing the budget is easy: increase taxes until they match or exceed that year's spending, or just cut spending to match tax revenues. The tricky part is balancing it without taxes reaching the point of driving people and businesses out to other jurisdictions, while also avoiding cutting spending enough to be damaging (roads going unrepaired, crime becoming ex

      • Last time I looked, Dean was quite a way behind Kerry, and quite a way in front of everyone else.

        You've not looked very closely. :-) Dean was well BEHIND Edwards in Iowa, and is well behind Edwards in South Carolina, and is well behind Clark in Oklahoma. Edwards is clearly the second-place guy right now, and Clark is sliding into the third place finish.
        • You've not looked very closely. :-) Dean was well BEHIND Edwards in Iowa, and is well behind Edwards in South Carolina, and is well behind Clark in Oklahoma. Edwards is clearly the second-place guy right now, and Clark is sliding into the third place finish.

          I was surprised, too, but those results were national polls, during the NH primary - probably before "I have a scream" really kicked in, as well as before Edwards' boost from Iowa. Losing Iowa and NH certainly doesn't rule him out (way back in 1992, so

          • Losing Iowa and NH certainly doesn't rule him out

            Right, but he also doesn't appear able to win any of the primaries this week. He may not be able to win any until Feb. 17, two weeks from now, and that means he is done. But he spent all his money already: he had more than $40m, and now he is down to about $3m. Oops.

            • But he spent all his money already: he had more than $40m, and now he is down to about $3m. Oops.

              Yeah, too bad he couldn't have handled his campaign finances like he claimed he handled Vermont's.

    • Although he did balance the Vermont budget several years in a row - no easy task.

      I think there are two problems with this.

      First, Vermont is sparsely populated compaired to the nation as a whole. I don't think balancing Vermonts budget scales up nationally.

      Second, Vermont has historically not had the large numbers living in poverty as either the nation as a whole or compaired to other individual states. See HERE [kff.org] and HERE [kff.org]. You'll notice that Vermont has about 1% the number of people in poverty compaire

  • I absolutely look forward to reading your summary of the Sunday morning news shows and the week in politics. You seem to have a knack for being fairly objective and neutral in your reporting without being stale.

    I do disagree on Kerry being a strong candidate. I do think the election will be close, but I think people are really underestimating the "liberalness" of Kerry. Honestly, looking at both records, I would say Dean is more of a moderate politically than Kerry. Yes, Dean has run a more liberal c

    • I agree; I don't think Kerry is a strong candidate, only that he is the strongest of those available. Gephardt would have been stronger IMO, and Edwards is stronger in many areas, except for experience (again, which helps him in some ways) and national security/defense. Edwards may have a better record on these things, but Kerry talks a much better game.

      And yeah, Kerry's gonna get hit hard, but he has shown remarkable resiliency/teflonness thus far. He handles criticism very well. It's the kind of poli
      • Gephardt would have been stronger IMO

        I agree, he would have done a great job raking in senior and labor votes. It's the opposite of Dean's appeal to mostly young voters.

        and Edwards is stronger in many areas, except for experience

        Don't forget the charisma and good looks. I hate to say it, but it does an excellent job raking in the female votes (JFK is a great example of that, and Clinton is sorta a good example as far as charisma is concerned).

        I think Kerry's biggest problem is that he has a
        • My pick for Kerry's biggest problem is that whenever he gets in front of a microphone or tv camera, he says whatever he feels like, without any thought to how much it contradicts the facts or flip flops what he may have said earlier.

          I don't recall flip-flops. He does have a penchant for using dumb and annoying rhetoric, though, like you gave an example of.
  • ...but still ahead of disapproval [pollingreport.com], FWIW.

    Gallup has Kerry/Bush at 53-to-46 [pollingreport.com] with likely voters nationwide.

    • Yes, he has dipped under 50 before, but not by much, and not for long. And I think the reason he is under 50, and the reason he is losing to Kerry in the polls, is the same: he is not campaigning (much), and Kerry (and the rest of the Democrats) are, and saying a ton of bad things about Bush. This is normal, and until they are both campaigning, those numbers won't mean a lot (unless they get a lot worse, like under 40 approval rating or something).

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