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Why are you so 'angry' about Kerry's speech?

I think that he had the chance to inspire America with a plan with a goal and he blew it by offering instead a standard speech that could have been given by any politician in 2004. I whine in more detail here and here.

OK, I know how you feel, but you weren't the target audience. I think he did what he had to do--explode the myth that he's boring and wishy-washy. Swing voters are a remarkably dull, remarkably stubborn, remarkably superficial bunch as a whole, who tend to decide things on what they call their 'gut instinct' when they go into the voting booth. Thought processes play a role in that but a minor one compared to appearance and mythology.

Karl Rove got Bush where he is because he understands swing voters: he knows how to appeal to them, how to trick them, and how to pander to them. Kerry's speech was intended to undercut the Pubs primary Kerry-memes: 1) he's a wooden stick a la Al Gore; 2) he's a flip-flopping, indecisive, weak, namby-pamby liberal elite poster boy. I think Kerry basically struck both of those out.

Karl's next move, I think, will be to target Kerry's promises: they're too expensive, he can't possibly do all that, it's just political posturing, etc etc etc. But that's much weaker. Kerry severely limited Rove's flexibility, and that's what the speech was about. They've been beating the 'elitist liberal' thing over the head with a stick and it's not working; they've tried to drag Kerry's medals, military service, and even the stories of why he got those medals through the meat-grinder, and that's not working, in fact it's on the edge of backfiring on them; they're struggling to find a new line of attack and Kerry just eliminated the most promising ones. In that sense, I think we have to say it was a success even though it didn't do what we wanted it to.

You're right about the target audience - I have to remind myself of that practically every day. But what I wanted to see would have been aimed directly at the middle, who may not have the inclination to study policy positions, but will respond to a US-led technology revolution that frees us from foreign oil, cuts funds to terrorists and rogue states, focuses our education policy as well as our foreign policy and joins us together in a fight with a goal. That's middle America stuff, not crazy liberal stuff. Although I like the crazy liberal stuff, like the ERA, too ;)

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