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July 29, 2004

OKAY, THE OTHER THREAD'S CLOSED. Please post your sum-up comments here. And sorry about the delays and double-posts -- between traffic, comment, and Internet backups, they're kind of slow. Please give 'em a while to register.

My take: A not-bad speech, badly delivered. It was short on substance, and long on cliches, but nomination acceptance speeches often are. It was too long, and his delivery was rushed. The sweating and bizarre gestures didn't help. I don't think it will swing the momentum in his favor, which is what he needed. It may turn some people off.

UPDATE: No, I don't know what happened to the other post. It just vanished when I saved this one. Dang. I'm going to see if I can get it back.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here.

And Ed Morrissey and Stephen Green were liveblogging.

MORE: Still trying to get the old thread back. (This is all that's left of it). But reader David Schneider-Joseph saved some of it in his RSS reader. There were something like twice this many comments last I noticed, but at least some of it's saved. I'm posting them separately later, if the thread can't be saved.

And reader Richard Whitten comments: "McCain-Lieberman 2004!"

STILL MORE: David Hogberg comments here. And there's this observation: "He was talking to Middle America tonight…in an attempt to identify himself as one of them." More liveblogging here, and here. And here.

More thoughts on Kerry's resume here. And there's this: "The homeless are back! Did they de-camp from Lafayette Park during the Clinton years?"

MORE STILL: Here are some comments, posted below, that are worth repeating:

Kerry is not a horrible person, and neither is Bush. Neither is a particualrly wonderful candidate, and we have to settle for the least harmful instead of the best.

Kerry needed to convince me that he was honestly going to protect us. He dd everything he could, and I now realize that it was always too late, my mind was made up. Kerry has cared about the direction of the wind far too many times for me to ever trust him.

That's tragic. He seems to really understand what the right answer is, but I imagine some number of people just don't know if he would trade that for votes or poll numbers.

Yeah, that seems about right to me, too.

Meanwhile Patrick Belton -- blogging from the convention center -- has a more positive take than a lot of the people linked above. I wonder if Kerry looks better live than on TV. Even Belton has his issues, though: "weak attempt to sex up the fact his staff told him to plug his website: 'So now I'm going to say something that Franklin Roosevelt could never have said in his acceptance speech: go to johnkerry.com.' Umm, that's because they have different names...."

Andrew Sullivan: "I really don't know what the impact of this speech will be. I doubt it will help him much. I definitely liked Kerry less at the end of it than at the beginning. . . . I think this convention has been a huge success, tempered by a bad candidate."

Jeff Jarvis: "It was, oddly, a military speech aimed at not using the military. . . . There was nothing to hate in the speech, nothing to love. It was competent."

Jonah Goldberg: " It sounds like it was written by a committee. The funny irony is that Kerry is a committee of one."

Nick Gillespie was liveblogging. And Jesse Walker reflects that he's not the target audience for these things. Me neither.

James Lileks comments:

"I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as President."

This really intrigues me. I agree that Vietnam was a defense of the United States, inasmuch as we were trying to blunt the advance of Communism. So: only Nixon can go to China. (Only Kirk can go to Chronos, for you Star Trek geeks.) Only Kerry can confirm that Vietnam was a just war. This completely upends conventional wisdom about the Vietnamese war, and requires a certain amount of historical amnesia.

Mickey Kaus: "Good enough! . . . I predict a measurable bounce, if anybody was watching."

Closed comments on this post now; I'm going to bed. Sorry Jay!

NEXT MORNING UPDATE: Tom Maguire liveblogged it. Excerpt:

"And as President, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to."

Why we had to go to war in Kosovo remains a mystery, but this has been a Kerry line for over a year. [Mini-update - Watching Frank Luntz and his panel of voters on MSNBC, this line is reprised, and the first panelist to comment mentions Yugoslavia, and thinks Kerry is kidding on this. The rebuttal goes national!]

Daniel Drezner: "Given the emphasis on a positive message emanating from this convention, Kerry took harder shots than I expected at Bush -- but I thought his foreign policy critique hit home."

Hugh Hewitt: "[H]e didn't bore people, which was a real concern. His timing was often off, but not fatally so. So he gets a B. Not a home run, but a solid single. He needed a home run."

And finally, I'm guessing that this is a typo in Howard Kurtz's column this morning -- or maybe an anonymous typesetter's comment on what Kurtz notes as the remarkably unanimous praise for the speech from mainstream media:

For USA Today, it's a series of stirring images:

"The Democrats have gone to a war footing.

"John Kerry accepted the nomination of his party Thursday night with a speech more muscular than any Democratic presidential nominee has given at a convention in four decades.

"{bull} Consider the images in the biographical video that introduced him: snapshots of a young Kerry squinting into the sun with the crew of the swift boat he captained in Vietnam, and of him standing ramrod-straight in a crisp white uniform as a Bronze Star was pinned on his chest.

"{bull} Consider the friend he chose to introduce him: former Georgia senator Max Cleland, a veteran who returned from Vietnam in a wheelchair, both legs and one arm blown off by a grenade.

"{bull} Consider the words he used in his speech: Strength. Tough. Fight. Defend. Force. Attack. Security."

Heh.

Comments

Not only is the thread closed... It's gone!!!

Posted by: Shawn Levasseur at July 29, 2004 10:57 PM


This was for sure my favorite part:

"We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations" -- John Kerry

Posted by: Phil at July 29, 2004 10:58 PM


If Kerry ends the "backdoor draft" of Reservists and the National Guard, how will he replenish the 40,000 active duty troops that he will add?

And why are there so many referring to these soldiers as children? Some are young, certainly, but young men and women. Not children.

bee

Posted by: Bee at July 29, 2004 10:58 PM


Ehhh... as expected.

Posted by: Durrett at July 29, 2004 10:58 PM


Speech was okay, but he picks good music. U2 and Springstein are solid.

Clinton gave the best speech of the convention.

Posted by: Mulder at July 29, 2004 10:58 PM


I noticed at least four cases of mangled words.

He couldn't avoid the anti-Bush stuff.

"I'm not Bush. I'm better."

Posted by: David at July 29, 2004 10:58 PM


And I still don't know what he believes...

On outsourcing--that sound you hear is Dan Drezner falling off the fence.

Posted by: Bill N at July 29, 2004 10:58 PM


I'm convinced Kerry is suffering from 'Nam flashbacks.

Posted by: Christian at July 29, 2004 10:59 PM


Sorry about the triple posting - I never was able to get a confirmation -

Yur right ithe theme is "Help is on the way..." - And he comes off as Underdog saying it... "Here come to save the day!"

Oh and the What if thing? What if John Kerry voted for the 87 mil? What if we have government funded latch-key kids?
Lots of red meat to the faithful...

and big wide open targets for the loyal opposition to exploit...

Not a great speech and it reminded me of Star Wars Episode One - People were anxious and excited and then... it arrived. Some will like it (or convince themselves they liked it) and a lot of people will be disappointed.

Posted by: Joe D! at July 29, 2004 10:59 PM


"to George Bush...lets respect one another..."

I guess this means, "dont bring up my senate voting record because its a personal attack"

But it also means, "I can imply you are:
lying about Iraq and terrorism
exporting jobs
burning the US Constitution"

Posted by: Ivan in Cambridge at July 29, 2004 10:59 PM


Plugging your website? That's so 1999.

Posted by: BTD Greg at July 29, 2004 10:59 PM


Was this the speech to sway the undecideds? Didn't seem like it.

Posted by: JB at July 29, 2004 10:59 PM


When W sweats like that, you think "hard worker."
With Kerry, it comes across as Gil the Salesman.

Posted by: Jeffro at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


French. Toast.

Posted by: ajf at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


Ok not a bad speech badly delivered...I think it was a hack speech horribly delivered...but maybe I'm too optimistic? He seemed like he was on speed...maybe it's just me

Posted by: Rebecca Brown at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


What Glenn said. It was a so-so speech that was:

A. Too long
B. Delivered poorly. It was rushed and he didn't know when to pause and when not to pause so at times he seemed to make a point and there was almost no response.
C. Lacked structure. It was all over the place.

Here's the problem: The only line I can really remember is "Help is on the way" which is a ripoff from Bush/Cheney 2000!

Posted by: Jay C. at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


U2 was fitting:

On the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

Posted by: Michael Ubaldi at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


He looked very sweaty.

Posted by: dbett at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


I kinda stopped paying attention when I started daydreaming about how cool it would be to be a Menitor of Congress...

Maybe I'd sponsor a bill to end hair pollution.

In this election, Kerry's the articulate one - right?

Posted by: Howard at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


Disappointing. At best. And then the crowd just seems pretty subdued. ABB syndrome at work, I guess...

And I WANTED to vote Democratic this year...but they just blew it, absolutely blew it.

Posted by: Jared P at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


Ugh, he should have just stopped after accepting the nomination.
I was trying to listen and my mind just kept going numb.

I got the feeling that the last 30 min was a shotgun approach that tried to list every issue in the hope he woul dtouch on the one you liked.

Posted by: Lumberjack at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


Big disconnect between the target audience and the delegates, as evidenced by the responses in the convention hall.

Posted by: Chris Peterson at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


I agree that it was long on cliche.

I was surprised that it wasn't as dull as I expected. Other than Al 'Sharp' Sharpton's speech, it was one of the better ones at the convention (I didn't see Clinton's).

I hope the Republicans get some good music like the DNC did. U2, Van Halen, I love it.

cr

Posted by: cremes at July 29, 2004 11:00 PM


The final song -- Beautiful Day -- seems a good pick, but it sounded to me like they started it at the beginning of the second stanza. Why would they do that?

"You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In a maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you"

That's not the message they want to send, is it?

Posted by: Josh at July 29, 2004 11:01 PM


Thanks, Professor, for these threads.

Speech was pure boilerplate. The film was better than I'd expected; the speech was worse and poorly presented. Flop. Sweat. I don't think this did what Kerry needed it to do.

Posted by: Deaconess at July 29, 2004 11:01 PM


He did a good job of attacking Bush without actually attacking him. I found the comments about divisiveness after 9/11 interesting. If you want middle America to vote for you, maybe you shouldn't remind people of the very divisive nature of this election, if only because I think most people associate divisiveness over 9/11 with angry left protestors.

Posted by: Michael Kent at July 29, 2004 11:01 PM


Also, that plea to refrain from attacking each other--it made me suspicious that Kerry's got something to hide.

Granted, I may not be the most unbiased observer.

Posted by: BTD Greg at July 29, 2004 11:01 PM


you can't argue with his domestic ideas, and as far as war goes ... he knows war. He values human life but is not afraid to kill someone. He is a learned and diverse man, Bush is barely a decent Texan (as he doesn't drink anymore).

Posted by: mike at July 29, 2004 11:01 PM


The worst moment: I know more about my father's 6 foot 4 inch body than anyone (EEWWWWWW) 6 foot 6 (EWWWWWW) with his hair, so we joke (mildly less gross)

Posted by: Durrett at July 29, 2004 11:01 PM


I've been blogging it over at my site... a surprising number of digs at Bush, combined with hammering the "lied and misled" myth. I'm underwhelmed.

Posted by: BillB at July 29, 2004 11:02 PM


Waiting on the pundits...well other than ourselves. Can't say I was impressed or swayed. Thought Edwards did a much better job. That must be why they picked him. Does anyone wonder how many more speachs Kerry will give before the election. I'm 1 for every 4 by Edwards.

Posted by: Willy at July 29, 2004 11:02 PM


Heh heh - on CNN some staffer is heard calling for balloons and confetti.

"Go balloons! Go balloons! No Confetti!"

"what happened to the balloons? I want more balloons? What the fuck are you guys doing up there?!"

/me chuckles

Posted by: Christian at July 29, 2004 11:02 PM


I am in iraq and they just keep yelling no Balloons! on CNN international

Posted by: chris missick at July 29, 2004 11:02 PM


He DID say "hair pollution" - I thought I was hearing things! Thanks for the validation, Howard.

Posted by: Rudy at July 29, 2004 11:02 PM


I hope Kerry puts the funny suit on again and repeat my favorite line: "We're the can do people."

Posted by: halfvast conspirator at July 29, 2004 11:02 PM


Do the American people know how shallow (tricksy) and false he is

Posted by: Rebecca Brown at July 29, 2004 11:03 PM


Hmm. If someone tuned in halfway through, I think it might be more convincing than if one had heard the entire thing.

Posted by: John Wilson at July 29, 2004 11:03 PM


Not a bad speech for Kerry, but the straw men were lined up as far as the eye could see. He was preaching to the choir here. Very little if any of his speech was an attempt to reach across party lines or convince moderates.

You have to be down on America for the speech to fire you up...not a good thing.

Posted by: Mike M at July 29, 2004 11:03 PM


Short on subtance, long on what's wrong, short on what he'd do about it. A speech to the faithful, but not one to sway a single vote.

Posted by: Matt at July 29, 2004 11:03 PM


Did he convince undecided voters? I walk away with the feeling he defined himself by telling you what he wasn't....i.e. my attourney general will follow the constitution, I wont privatize Social Security, etc.

This seems like more Bush bashing.

Biggest blunder: focusing so much on national security--this would be like a Republican candidate focusing their campaign on reparations for slavery.

Posted by: Ivan in Cambridge at July 29, 2004 11:04 PM


I just heard a feed on CNN of some guy saying "Where the F*ck are the balloons?!?!?"

Did anyone else hear this feed?

Posted by: EcoDude at July 29, 2004 11:04 PM


Funniest part to me: a man with a trial lawyer as a running mate complaining about the cost of health insurance.

Posted by: Josh at July 29, 2004 11:05 PM


I have to wonder if the compressed network TV schedule was partly to blame for the rushed delivery. The same thing happened with Clinton Monday. That said, Kerry rambled way too much.

Dole plugged his website in the '96 debates.

Posted by: aces at July 29, 2004 11:05 PM


The Dems can play "It's A Beautiful Day" and be pretend-positive all they want but that doesn't change their lunatic hatred of the President and their complete lack of solutions. Hell, nevermind solutions, they don't even understand what the challenges are.

Like most on the left, Kerry lives 100% in the past.

Posted by: NR at July 29, 2004 11:05 PM


Can they not think of anything more original than "help is on the way" - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, don't they know. A few points that annoyed me:

If I hear one more lib complain about dependence on foreign oil when the Dems continue to block domestic drilling, I will scream;

At least he's honest about telling America he's going to redistribute the wealth;

The "reporting for duty" really made me ill - puh-leeze;

Um, where exactly are you going to find these 40,000 magical troops and the extra Special Forces?;

Overall - boring, predictable.

Posted by: DRE at July 29, 2004 11:05 PM


Since the Dems have abandoned "Happy Days Are Here Again," I wish the RNC would pick it up. After all, it came out during the Coolidge administration!

Posted by: Chris Peterson at July 29, 2004 11:05 PM


The man's no JFK.

Posted by: John at July 29, 2004 11:06 PM


The 'I'll fight a smarter war' line bothered me (HOW, exactly will it be smarter?) as did the 'bakesales for body armour' line. Not only was it a lie, but Kerry voted against funding. And the flag stuff made me gag, considering his book had the flag backwards.

Posted by: Deaconess at July 29, 2004 11:06 PM


I liked Kerry's daughter's dress at Cannes much better

Posted by: Macroll at July 29, 2004 11:06 PM


For reasons that I am sure are clear only to Sen. Kerry's handlers, he chose to wind up his speech with U2's Beautiful day

The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground
But there's no room, no space to rent in this town
You're out of luck and the reason that you had to care,
The traffic is stuck and you're not moving anywhere.
You thought you'd found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace.
It's a beautiful day, the skyfalls
And you feel like it's a beautiful day
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
You're on the road but you've got no destination
You're in the mud, in the maze of her imagination
You love this town even if it doesn't ring true
You've been all over and it's been all over you
It's a beautiful day, the skyfalls
And you feel like it's a beautiful day
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Touch me, take me to that other place
Teach me, I know I'm not a hopeless case
See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the bedouin fires at night
See the old fields at first light
See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colours came out
It was a beautiful day
A beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Touch me, take me to that other place
Reach me, I know I'm not a hopeless case
What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
You don't need it now, you don't need it now
Beautiful day Not exactly a high energy positive, hopeful message for a campaign, especially that part at the end, "What you don't have you don't need it now," which reminds me a bit of another high profile Democrat.The more I think about the more it seems Kerry is casting himself a bit as a saviour for the failed and miserable in society. Yeah, that's who I want to run the country, the best man as chosen by the inmates of the asylum.

Posted by: The Comedian at July 29, 2004 11:06 PM


If the Drudge version is accurate (I didn't listen to the thing itself)...

It took Kerry just four lines to use one of second-rate speechwriting's most hackneyed cliches--quoting Thomas Wolfe to refute him. And the usage was pedestrian to boot: "A great American novelist wrote that you can't go home again. He could not have imagined this evening.

Unvelievable.

Posted by: Richard at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


Credit to Kerry. He showed up and did what he had to do. The speech was energetic, positive.

BUT..............

Lots of what he said in the spech was total crap. And he's gonna get crucified on the specifics. That line about "fighting the war on the cheap"- but he voted against the $87 million? Oh no no no. He's gonna get hammered on that.

He'll get a bounce. But not a big one. And that's the end of Kerry.

Posted by: shark at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


A flop-sweat waterfall and cliched babbling. Not at all compelling or convincing.

Posted by: NR at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


Is Rather nuts? He's singing praises for Kerry's delivery.

Posted by: David at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


I didn't realize I, as a middle-income American, was being squeezed so tightly. I DO agree that healthcare is TOO expensive - couldn't have anything to do with unnecessary lawsuits, could it? Nah. And even though I'm a Jersey girl - I didn't appreciate his dig about HAIR POLLUTION! I laughed so many times - my face hurts. Especially about NOT going to war because we WANT to, but because we HAVE to. Hey Chris Missick - aren't we AT WAR?

Posted by: Kathleen at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


"What does it mean for our economy and our national security when we only have three percent of the world's oil reserves, yet we rely on foreign countries for fifty-three percent of what we consume?"

What does it mean for the Japanese economy and Japanese national security when they only have zero percent of the world's oil reserves, yet they rely on foreign countries for one-hundred percent of what they consume?

And isn't it a little heavy on the pronouns? Shouldn't it be a bit more concise?

Posted by: Chuck Tulk at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


Best convention quote:

"Where the F*ck are the balloons?!?!?"

Best convention tag line:

"Dukakis: Reloaded."

(Great line, whoever said it first)

Posted by: Bill Peschel at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


I can seriously argue with his domestic ideas, which sounded too protectionist for my taste.

He did sound a bit better towards the end when he got good and sweaty and was saying he wanted an American that wasn't red or blue but red, white and blue. And while I think he's in for big disappintment when it comes to getting the French and whoever else to like us, he at was at least making a sales pitch.

Posted by: Mike at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


Personally, I've never cared for John Kerry, but this speech was a knockout. I will happily and enthusiastically give him my vote in November.

Posted by: Pete at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


A push overall I would say. Probably does not gain much but did not hurt them either. I say that Kerry Edwards go up 7-9 points in the polls next week.

Posted by: Colorado Kid at July 29, 2004 11:07 PM


Come on now. Not ONE good thing to say about Kerry? Not from ANY of you?

Hey, don't look at me!

Posted by: One More at July 29, 2004 11:08 PM


Enough snarking on the traffic for me...

The speech, was okay. Kerry seemed to be trying to speak like the "great orator" which plays well to the audience in front of him, but he needed to connect better with the audience beyond the cameras. He needed to be a bit more personal to the audience. (see Clinton, Bill)

He spent a lot of the speech trying to allay fears that he was weak on defense, trying too hard. Especially since he was shackled by the anti-Bush mood of the crowd in front of him.

The ABC commentators seem to be gushing about Kerry's performance. Stephanopolis however was relaying some Republican rebuttals, that he had phoned into him during the speech, so not an entire smooch-fest.

Posted by: Shawn Levasseur at July 29, 2004 11:08 PM


It was actually a Dem hippy from the 60's asking for someone to pass the whippets balloon..."Don't bogart that dude..."

Posted by: Ivan in Cambridge at July 29, 2004 11:09 PM


Now, on the Star Wars thing - I must say that comparing the reaction to Kerry to the reaction to Episode One is a stretch BUT a LOT of people bought tickets to that film even though they knew it sucked because it was STAR WARS. I suspect a lot of Dems will do that for Kerry BUT not enough...
to put him over..

Edwards should be on the top of this ticket. Period. They could win then.

Posted by: Joe D! at July 29, 2004 11:09 PM


Rather is saying the democrats haven't been this united and enthusiastic in 50 years. I'm sure Clinton won't like hearing that.

Posted by: Deaconess at July 29, 2004 11:09 PM


My wife who's a democrat said, "They always promise a lot" and remains unconvinced, me who re-registered and becdame a Republican this year enjoyed the sentiment of the speech but feel that there is more to be done than can be promised or even dealt with.

Posted by: -keith at July 29, 2004 11:09 PM


I've been trying to tell my Democrat friends that, based on aout 15 years of being in DC 6-8 times a year for what is essentially lobbying, Kerry has always had a reputation as an empty suit. I didn't really expect to see that proven tonight. In 2000, GWB, who is as about as natural an orator as Harpo Marx, took a great speeech from Michael Gerstner, a super writer, and practicd the hell out of it. Like the substance or not, the worst anyone could say the next day is that he more or less rose to the occasion. The media may try to spin this, but that won't last but a few days until the comedy shows take over and get the real truth across. Here is a guy so arrogant who thought, without any evidence that he had ever done so, that he could write a great speech out by himself, not practice it, and hit a home run. What a flop. Mediocre text, awful delivery.

Posted by: Dan at July 29, 2004 11:10 PM


I posted something like this at LGF but I think Kerry seems way way more likely to nuke away at the Islamic world than W should we get WMD'd. I think it's just one more snowboarding/(insert other yuppie sport here) trophy to put on his wall. This is a man of vacuous trophies.

Take this peaceniks:

Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response.


P.S.
The music was simply dreadful. AWFUL. I love great R&B but these people crapped over the genre. Could things get more white and boring?

Posted by: Durrett at July 29, 2004 11:10 PM


Jobs, blah, blah, blah. Healthcare, blah, blah, blah. Military, blah, blah, blah. Education, blah, blah, blah. Evil Corporations, blah, blah, blah.

That was a straight out of the box speech. Just add water. No assembly required. Not that I was expecting anything else.

Posted by: Matt at July 29, 2004 11:11 PM


My favorite part has to be the open mic at the DNC booth searing at the failed baloon drop on CNN

"go balloons....go balloons"
"what the f&%k is happening with the balloons"

Posted by: John Nowicki at July 29, 2004 11:11 PM


Okay, all shots of any person dancing at a convention should be banned.

Posted by: Bee at July 29, 2004 11:11 PM


I liked, "we are the party of the future. Remember in 1999"

Posted by: robow8 at July 29, 2004 11:11 PM


I thought it was unremarkable.

He did okay, but there were no sparks flying.

We shouldn't misplace the hype of the crowd as our own, as that's easy to do sometimes.

Posted by: Athena at July 29, 2004 11:11 PM


Personally, I hate John Kerry with a passion that burns in my stomach and leaves a taste of bile in my mouth, but this speech was a knockout. I will happily and enthusiastically give him my vote in November.

Posted by: Ivan in Cambridge at July 29, 2004 11:11 PM


It was like a State of the Union Address, only without the...substance. Disjointed, meandering and with only the most threadbare of themes connecting it. SotU's are never known for their oratory, so why Kerry went for that style is an intriguing question.

That being said, a Clinton, an Obama, even an Edwards at his best could've made it work. With Kerry it just seemed like he was grasping at straws. Seriously, who flubs Convention Speeches anymore? Even *Bob Dole* managed to give a good one.

The people who heard the speech are going to remember the flubbed lines, as he sounded more Dubya than Dubya at parts, and the people who saw it are going to remember the obvious sweat on his brow.

While I doubt Kerry lost any votes tonight, he certainly didn't gain any. Note the Kerry commenters aren't defending the speech, they're defending Kerry despite the speech (and that's fair, no one in politics should be judged by the most important speech they'll ever give). That could very well be fatal, as you can be damn sure Bush is going to get momemtum from his convention.

But who knows, The Times will tell us it was a strong powerful speech, and other voices will follow. This elections not over by a long shot, but I've never seen, before this week, a convention where I thought the candidate's campaign looked weeker at the end of the week then before.

Posted by: Andre Green at July 29, 2004 11:12 PM


I listened to the last fifteen minutes.

I don't like a democrat 'splainin' to me how to properly place God and politics in context. Of all the things he doesn't have any standing to comment on, that subject is pretty high on the list.

And, no, Mr. Kerry, Bush isn't a Luddite. And the Wright Brothers and JFK didn't ASK "what if".

They said WE WILL...

Poor John. First he muffed the pitch, and he ends by blowing the bunt.

Posted by: TmjUtah at July 29, 2004 11:12 PM


Again, he needed to talk less about Vietnam - alright, already, you were there for 16 weeks and you won't release the medical records - and more about what he has done as a Senator. When he started talking about the flag and even THAT had to be linked to his swift boat...argh! I still say there was Vietnam psychosis tonight.

Posted by: Deaconess at July 29, 2004 11:13 PM


Throughout the convention: many references to God (surprising) and hope (Obama: AUDACIOUS hope). I guess the DNC is pretty much a hope and a prayer operation from here on out.
Most of the speeches were so much hot air.
I guess conventions are all platitudes with attitude.
- h

Posted by: halfvast conspirator at July 29, 2004 11:13 PM


Long on cliches, short on substance;
Distorted GOP positions, diluted DEM extremism;
A woosie is wolf's clothing...
Sadly, I couldn't get Nixon's sweaty lip off my mind.

Posted by: RLKorn at July 29, 2004 11:14 PM


Say, was Kerry in the Senate? Would you know it from that speech?

Posted by: Karl at July 29, 2004 11:14 PM


Cool. Comments.

Oh, the speech: a hack job, full of 9/10 politics. Yawn.

Posted by: Dave at July 29, 2004 11:14 PM


John Kerry called Bush a liar, a thief, a needless killer of young Americans, and an abuser of the U.S. Constitution, and then asks whether we can't elevate the level of discourse and stop the attacks.

Instead of stronger at home and respected abroad, how about stronger abroad and respected at home?

Posted by: charles austin at July 29, 2004 11:14 PM


Well, I think he proved he doesn't use Botox. If he did, he wouldn't have been so sweaty looking.

Posted by: JeremyR at July 29, 2004 11:15 PM


It was precisely what I expected which is neither particularly good nor bad. Just a lot of empty promises from the guy and a lot of finger pointing.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 29, 2004 11:15 PM


All in all the speech was good, not great. For Kerry it is probably as good a performance as he is capable of, so in that sense it's a smashing success (by not being a failure). He played often to the delegates Bush hatred. He hammered Vietnam service over and over and over again which seemed to have been his play to moderates. His Senate career ranks below Vietnam, and his Asst. Prosecutor days in number of speech references.

I think my wife might have summed it up best - It was a prime time version of a Dr. Phil speech, long on sloganish speech that leaves you scratching your head later.

Posted by: Kevin Aylward at July 29, 2004 11:15 PM


Personally, I hate John Kerry with a passion that burns in my stomach and leaves a taste of bile in my mouth, but this speech was a knockout. I will happily and enthusiastically give him my vote in November.

--------------

I call 100% BS. Laughing though.
Worst.... epiosde.... ever.
(OK... best.... Kerryspeech....ever. Which says about nothing.)

Posted by: Durrett at July 29, 2004 11:15 PM


Does anybody else here really, really want to see the John Kerry we saw tonite debate George Bush three or four times? *evil grin*

Posted by: richard mcenroe at July 29, 2004 11:16 PM


"Personally, I've never cared for John Kerry, but this speech was a knockout. I will happily and enthusiastically give him my vote in November."

Suuuure....

Posted by: steve at July 29, 2004 11:16 PM


Sad to hear him say that he'll wait for us to be attacked before taking action, though. Edwards said, 'we'll hunt you down.' Kerry said, 'we will respond immediately'.

Better if we don't have to 'respond' at all because the threat is gone, don't you think?

Posted by: Deaconess at July 29, 2004 11:16 PM


The first 1/4 of the speech devoted nearly entirely to Bush-Hatred. The missed cues for audience participation after that, the lack of a unifying theme, the pre-speech Dukakis moment, all adds up to one thing.

Glenn, are you John Kerry's secret campaign advisor?

Posted by: John Bono at July 29, 2004 11:17 PM


Hey, he was smoother-skinned and less lugubrious than usual. Apparently he served in Vietnam?

Posted by: DaveC at July 29, 2004 11:17 PM



Zzz.... Is the Kerry speech over yet?..

Oh, yes....

Kerry needed a out-of-the-ballpark homerun...
He didn't even make it a base run.

Is this the best the Dems can muster? Pathetic..

Posted by: JohnD at July 29, 2004 11:18 PM


Was there something wrong with my television? By the end of the speech, John Kerry began to look like a tee topped with a ball.

Posted by: Michael Ubaldi at July 29, 2004 11:18 PM


You'll notice that he asked Bush to raise the level of discourse, but not his own supporters.

Michael Moore? moveon.org?

Posted by: Matt at July 29, 2004 11:18 PM


Glenn,

I emailed a copy of the old post and comment thread to you. :)

Posted by: David Schneider-Joseph at July 29, 2004 11:18 PM


yeah - hack hack hack - and also yeah to some guys question...Dan Rather IS nuts

Posted by: Rebecca Brown at July 29, 2004 11:19 PM


Stock market rallys because Kerry gets NO BUMP from this speech. He finished better than he started but was too hurried and missed good opportunities to get crowd behind him.

Posted by: siberiavol at July 29, 2004 11:19 PM


First, I want to say I am so happy that I finally get to make a comment on InstPundit. WOW! I did not know this was possible.

Second, I want to thank John Kerry for making a speech that just solidified the re-election of President George W. Bush for a 2nd term as the President of the United State of America.

Posted by: Keith D. Milby at July 29, 2004 11:19 PM


Hmmm we kept hearing about protecting the enviroment. I guess all the solid waste from the massive balloon drop which went on for what 15-20 minutes(?) will lead to less landfill pollution thus protecting the environment.

Posted by: cannon at July 29, 2004 11:20 PM


He saved he freakin' drowning hamster.... respect boys!

Oh wait... here we go... a Reverend not an Imam...

Posted by: Durrett at July 29, 2004 11:20 PM


My favorite line,
"We will fight with our principles, not just our firepower."

Load Democracy Bay 1!
Load Industry Bay 2!
Load liberalism Bay 3!

Posted by: Dan Lovejoy at July 29, 2004 11:22 PM


Sounded to me like a nationalistic republican speech given by a narcassistic democrat. I am not convinced that he will lead a more aggressive fight against islamic terrorists and I am not convinced that his supporters are convinced either. In fact, I think they are counting on him to ease up. Did he borrow lines from Bush and Cheney? ....to the military "Help is on the way." and paraphrasing Bush's Axis of Evil speech ...."The future of the world will be determined by free people." I'm happy to forgive mangled language, but I can't let go of the pleasurable chortle I got from increased rates of asthma caused by "hair pollution." It's certainly worth mention but overall, too much Viet Nam mixed in. And yeah, it's insulting for the dems to keep referring to our soldiers and sailors as "kids" or "children". Let's see what the republicans have in store for us next month.

Posted by: Prospector at July 29, 2004 11:23 PM


Robert Kennedy Jr. on Fox just said "he blocked drilling in Anwar" about Kerry... I guess in Kerry's attempt of relieving our dependance on foriegn oil, like he said tonight...

The contradictions are hard to miss - Fish. Barrel. Gun.

Posted by: Joe D! at July 29, 2004 11:23 PM


OK so the Reverend just said "so we may never declare an unjust war...."

Allahu Akhbar!!!!!!!

Posted by: Durrett at July 29, 2004 11:23 PM


Dang that Kerry! I can't get the Thomas Dolby classic, "She Blinded Me With Science," out of my head.

Looking forward to November when we will have a president that does believe in science, reading newspapers, etc.

Posted by: Roxanne at July 29, 2004 11:23 PM


The best part, I thought, was after the speech, when the balloons were supposed to drop. Watching CNN, they were broadcasting audio, apperently from the director of events.

"Go balloons. Go balloons. ... I don't see any balloons....I want some goddamn balloons..... Where the f**k are the balloons?...."

Posted by: Piper at July 29, 2004 11:23 PM


Charles Austin: John Kerry called Bush a liar, a thief, a needless killer of young Americans, and an abuser of the U.S. Constitution, and then asks whether we can't elevate the level of discourse and stop the attacks.

As in: BRING...IT...ON....
(Bush commercial airs)
WAIT...STOP...BRINGING...IT...ON...

Posted by: Bleeding heart conservative at July 29, 2004 11:24 PM


RFK, Jr. just forecast that FOX News would try to paint Kerry as a liberal.

What's he been smoking?

Posted by: Tim at July 29, 2004 11:24 PM


Data consistent with the 9:58pm post:

I've had to be in Harvard Square at 7pm on M, W, and today this week, and have been taking the Red Line subway in from the end of the line at Alewife. It was harder to find a space in the Alewife garage tonight, and the trains were much busier tonight than they were on Monday and Wednesday.

Posted by: Bill at July 29, 2004 11:25 PM


He has only said things that any American might cheer for. It's kind of like yelling out "WHO WANTS CANDY?!". Solicit response, get people happy, and thinking about candy. But don't tell them you have no idea how to give them candy. Just keep promising it to them, and as long as you promise it, the longer they hang on, like a child who has the hope of a bag of m&m's.

Posted by: Natala at July 29, 2004 11:25 PM


It was typical Kerry...pompous, blatantly hypocritical, accusatory.

So he actually succeeded in showing his true colors to the undecideds -- not sure he really wanted to.

Posted by: JB at July 29, 2004 11:26 PM


Oh my, this guy just can't get in. A "right" to healthcare! AHH! How does a right exist that requires other people to produce it? What about the right of a doctor to charge for his service (which is derived from the doctors right to his own life and owning his own productive ability).

Nothing but pure class warfare throughout the speech, and more blanket prescriptions for much more complex problems.

Posted by: WestaMastaFlash at July 29, 2004 11:26 PM


He sweated more than Nixon in '60. He truly spoke like a man who knew he shouldn't be there. Say goodnight, John.

PS - Quick - name the memorable line.

Posted by: Rick Ballard at July 29, 2004 11:26 PM


Dukakis Version 2.0

Throw one liberal senator from Massechusetts and turn states red.

In 92 and 96 you could see the momentum Clinton built up - you could watch it fade in 2000. In 2004, you saw the Swan Song of a party that desparately needs reinvented.

Hopefully, guys like Ford from TN and Bayh from IN can make the DNC a party worth considering again.

And Kerry's botox is an absolute joke. It sums up everything else about him: fake, and not what it appears to be.

War on the cheap? $87 billion ain't chump-change, assbag. That alone will doom Kerry.

Posted by: Cowboy Bob at July 29, 2004 11:26 PM


His "we're the optimists" proclamation is psychotic.

Priceless comment: "Kerry is casting himself a bit as a saviour of the failed and miserable in society. Yeah, that's who I want to run the country, the 'best man' as chosen by the inmates of the asylum"

Kerry sounds a bit like Carter to me. I never, ever want to return to those depressing days again.

Posted by: syn at July 29, 2004 11:27 PM


Drudge has a .WAV file of the "WTF" balloon drop bit from CNN.

(Incidentally, the background music is "Dreams" from the Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen. Isn't Sammy one of the few Republicans in rock?)

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at July 29, 2004 11:27 PM


He lost me (not that he ever really had me) at "America doesn't go to war because we want to. America goes to was because we have to." Or words to that effect...as if Afganistan and Iraq were strictly bloodlust, revenge, Rambo-type missions. That right there tells me he doesn't get it, and probably never will.

Posted by: TomCarr at July 29, 2004 11:28 PM


John Kerry came out tonight as a 'Not Ready for Prime-Time Naysayer.' (without a prayer.)
P.S. Thanks Glenn!

Posted by: halfvast conspirator at July 29, 2004 11:29 PM


That was long, wonkish, and sweaty.

And sure was one hamster in need of some CPR

Posted by: Wind Rider at July 29, 2004 11:30 PM


On this lyrics thing, it only gets better. Here's the lyrics to Van Halen's Dreams:

Run, run, run away

Like a train runnin' off the track

Got the truth bein' left behind

Falls between the cracks

Standin' on broken dreams

Never losin' sight, ah

Well just spread your wings

Seems like a perfect representation of the "Hate Bush" movement to me. Awesome song, but I never even realized those lyrics were in there.

Posted by: Fraydog at July 29, 2004 11:32 PM


I only heard the speech, didn't see it. It sounded passable. I'll give him a C. Short on substance, no surprises. He really played it pretty safe. Which is how he got here, right? So why would he change now? If Kerry gets a big bounce, I think it says more about voters' perceptions of Bush than Kerry.

The commenters on television are over-selling the performance, however. They're partly influence by the audience reaction and Kerry's previous performances. I'd expect Kerry to poll over 50% until the GOP convention but I don't see him getting a big bounce from tonight.

If the requirement was to hit one out of the park, Kerry didn't come close. He may have reached second, though.

Thanks the thread Professor. It was fun!

Posted by: Mikey in Texas at July 29, 2004 11:32 PM


I have never been so dissapointed in crowd reaction as when I witnessed Lieberman getting the very cold shoulder when he talked about the threat of Islamists. That was very sobering seeing how down the crowd seemed to be on him.

Posted by: metalwallet at July 29, 2004 11:32 PM


Ed,

Ted Nugent and Johnny Ramone (retired) as well.

Posted by: JB at July 29, 2004 11:32 PM


It was a great speech, before it wasn't one.

*sigh*

Waffles are like that though. Start out warm, only to go cold, flavorless and unappealing.

Except that this one started out cold, flavorless and unappealing, and went downhill from there.


Jim
Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim at July 29, 2004 11:33 PM


I gave this speech a very fair look at, even though I will admit that I'm voting for Bush.

Frankly, this speech pissed me off royally. Simply put, the constant talking about himself, referencing himself in Vietnam, the constant I, I, I, just couldn't stand it period. He's self-absorbed and very dangerous.

Posted by: JPA at July 29, 2004 11:33 PM


My favorite part was: " "

That sums it up---I think.

Posted by: Dr. Rusty Shackleford at July 29, 2004 11:33 PM


What the f*ck are you guys doing up there?? Thanks Ed for the link to Drudge - but are you sure he wasn't saying:

No more baffoons? What the f*ck are you guys doing up there?

Cause you know, Kerry WAS on the stage...

Posted by: Kathleen A at July 29, 2004 11:33 PM


Not good for Kerry.

One would have to be down on America to be picked up by his speech.

He also ensured the true anti-war voters will definitely vote for Nader now. Too strong on defense for his true base.

He didn't talk about anything he has done except Vietnam.

No Sale.

Posted by: Denis at July 29, 2004 11:34 PM


A memorable line? How about:

"The future doesn't belong to fear. It belongs to freedom."

Tugs at the heart, doesn't it.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at July 29, 2004 11:35 PM


* insert stock speech-was-a-failure comment *
* insert stock george-bush-just-won-the-election comment *
* insert stock botox comment *
* insert stock did-ya-hear-the-balloon-guy-on-cnn comment *

just wanted to provide a template for all you "original thinkers" and freepers out there.

Posted by: wallace winfrey at July 29, 2004 11:36 PM


The republican convention is going to kick this one to the curb.

Posted by: John at July 29, 2004 11:36 PM


"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in Saddam's hands is a real and grave threat to our security."

John Kerry
Addressing the US Senate
October 9, 2002
 

Posted by: John Kerry at July 29, 2004 11:37 PM


"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. He miscalculated an eight-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America's response to that act of naked aggression. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending scuds into Israel and trying to assassinate an American President. He miscalculated his own military strength. He miscalculated the Arab world's response to his misconduct. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm.

So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War.

In U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, the United Nations has now affirmed that Saddam Hussein must disarm or face the most serious consequences. Let me make it clear that the burden is resoundingly on Saddam Hussein to live up to the ceasefire agreement he signed and make clear to the world how he disposed of weapons he previously admitted to possessing."

John Kerry
Speech at Georgetown University
January 23, 2003
 

Posted by: John Kerry at July 29, 2004 11:37 PM


I remembered the memorable line, before I forgot it.

Posted by: TomCarr at July 29, 2004 11:38 PM


My previous comment seems to have been lost...

Essentially, Kerry seems to have said he'd out-Bush Bush. While I don't necessarily agree with the Democrats, this speech seems to undermine what they espouse -- at least, as far as the war is concerned. If I were a Democrat, I'd be confused. Or angry. Or both.

In any event, it gives me - Undecided - no reason to vote Democratic.

And as far as the economy is concerned: does anyone else agree with me that there is something inherently absurd about a multimillionaire railing against financial injustice? Does it not seem like pandering? If Kerry's so concerned, why doesn't he distribute a potion of his many millions to the ordinary people who so much need the help?. (In truth, the same could be said of Bush - but still.)

Grade: lousey.

Obama's speech undermined Kerry in the sense that it showed quite clearly the difference between sincerity and insincerity.

Posted by: aglaia at July 29, 2004 11:39 PM


Hey, thanks, Wally! Here's one for you:

Bush lied!
People died!
Bush is Hitler!
Defeat Bush -er, I mean, elect Kerry!

No war on the cheap! I voted for an expensive war before I voted for a cheap war!

This guy makes it easy - just like the Kennedy camp calling Theresa Heinz-Kerry's comments "water under the bridge". The jokes write themselves.

The DNC is in trouble, and it bothers me greatly. They have become a disjointed pack of special-interest niches and uber-liberal causes. Why was Lieberman treated so badly? Says something.

Posted by: Cowboy Bob at July 29, 2004 11:40 PM


I'm sure the speech was better in it's original French.

Posted by: MikeL at July 29, 2004 11:41 PM


SNIP - * insert stock george-bush-just-won-the-election comment *
* insert stock botox comment *
* insert stock did-ya-hear-the-balloon-guy-on-cnn comment *
SNIP

Thanks for the template Wesley I would be lost without it! OH, and what did you think of JFK's speech? What, of the 479 things he offered the government to provide to us poor Americans did you like best? I like the free hamster resurrections!


Oh, and I did have an original thought - comparing Kerry to Star Wars Episode One - an overhyped movie that most were disappointed in once they go good look at it!!

Posted by: Joe D! at July 29, 2004 11:41 PM


Hey terrorists - once we gain all this confidence THEN we'll tell you that you will lose and we will win!!!!!!

Wait - I think GWB said that already - for like the past 3 years? Well he didn't mean it!!! JOHN KERRY means it. Because what he just told our enemies is - we're not REALLY gonna win with GWB up there - so please, attack us - because I will become President and THEN we will win. Right now - the 130,000 brave men and women are just window dressing. Nevermind he never mentioned AFGHANISTAN once.

Posted by: Kathleen at July 29, 2004 11:42 PM


It was a very nice effort, dear. Now take Pugsley out for a walk.

heh
Indeed

Posted by: halfvast conspirator at July 29, 2004 11:43 PM


Hey Glenn, I don't have much to add, but thanks for providing the forum at the expense of your server's health.

Kerry is not a horrible person, and neither is Bush. Neither is a particualrly wonderful candidate, and we have to settle for the least harmful instead of the best.

Kerry needed to convince me that he was honestly going to protect us. He dd everything he could, and I now realize that it was always too late, my mind was made up. Kerry has cared about the direction of the wind far too many times for me to ever trust him.

That's tragic. He seems to really understand what the right answer is, but I imagine some number of people just don't know if he would trade that for votes or poll numbers.

Posted by: Dustin at July 29, 2004 11:49 PM


The network talking heads remind me of the Iraqi Information Minister right now.

They're falling all over themselves trying to convince us that up is down and black is white, that Kerry's bag of bromides (sloppily stumbled over) were actually Shakespearian verse delivered with Churchillian grandeur.

Can you imagine if Bush flubbed a line as badly as "We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations." That would have been all they talked about--the night's big story.

Posted by: David at July 29, 2004 11:49 PM


Points about the speech:

Energy independence: becoming independent of Middle East oil is a chimera. Mr. Kerry is unlikely to allow drilling in ANWR, nor will he permit windmills in Nantucket. A growing economy is going to use more, not less, energy. We have four sources: oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear; all the rest won't make 1% of what we need. I don't see John Kerry willing to acknowledge the hard reality of our energy needs.

Health care: there will never be enough health care to meet our needs, and so it will be constrained, rationed if you will, either by the market or by government. Pointing to France, where the elderly are allowed to die of heat stroke, and to Canada, whose citizens come to the U.S. for specialty medical care, isn't encouraging. I see John Kerry dusting off Hillary's health care plan, and that's bad news.

Military: for all the references to Vietnam, he's going to have a hard time explaining why he would now want to rebuild a military when he voted 'no' on most of the defense bills of the 1980's and 1990's. It sounds like a good sound bite -- 40,000 troops, doubling special forces -- but it will be seen as a "me-too" response. It's encouraging to see a Democrat talk tough on defense, but the record behind Mr. Kerry makes this a hard sell.

Speech: I wonder if the rushed delivery was part of an effort to wrap this up by 11 PM (EDT) so as to ensure that the local TV stations on the east coast and midwest could lead with the speech. I thought his cadence was rocky at points, and would someone please teach the Democrats when and how to cheer lustily? And John, when they cheer, LET THEM -- don't appeal for calm during your acceptance speech!

Thanks, Glenn, for opening a comments thread -- see, people can be civilized in comments! :-)

Posted by: Steve White at July 29, 2004 11:49 PM


What was with that bit about getting lost on his bicycle in East Berlin? GAAAHHHHH! Kerry's the Manchurian Candidate!!!

Posted by: MB at July 29, 2004 11:49 PM


Obama! Obama! Obama!

Posted by: Blackfive at July 29, 2004 11:50 PM


The only important thing about the speech is that he had the audacity to talk about how he wouldn't "mislead us into war." In other words, despite the Butler report, the Senate Intelligence Committee report, Vladimir Putin's remarks and all other evidence to the contrary, Kerry's basic pitch is "Bush Lied. People died." Only, expressed in a more weaselly manner so he has plausible deniability.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at July 29, 2004 11:50 PM


Eric,

Which couldn't have appealed to the undecideds. Remember the recent Mass. poll (47-43 didn't intentionally mislead)?

How pathetic.

Posted by: JB at July 29, 2004 11:55 PM


Anyone catch the balloon fiasco? Or CNN's live feed of show producer, I think it was Finneran, yelled "what the hell are you guys doing up there? where are the F*'ing balloons!" as a few dozen trickled down and thousands stayed in the rafters. Bad omen for a doomed campaign.

Posted by: Jeff at July 29, 2004 11:56 PM


weak. typical. sweaty. long. monotone.

Kerry may have been in his top form, but there was so much was b.s. and fluff it was boring!!!!

Posted by: Matt at July 29, 2004 11:57 PM


How come a candidate has to find something to "run" on? Can't a candidate just run for what they think and believe?

I keep hearing that Kerry is running as an American patriot. Retaking patriotism for the Democratic party. Doesn't those kinds of things happen gradually based on actions?

Ole Nader gonna make him "run" on who he really is.

Posted by: Denis at July 29, 2004 11:58 PM


This was supposed to be a sign of resolve: "Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. " So Jimmy Carter.
Given any thought to making folks afraid to attack us, big guy ?

Posted by: Reynolds Williams at July 29, 2004 11:59 PM


Kerry coul walk up to a podium in his dorky NASA bunny-suit, salute and say "We are the can-do people," and the major news anchors would fall all over themselves explaining what a brilliant stroke that was, how high Kerry has now raised the bar for Bush. What an absurdist comedy this election has become.

Posted by: David at July 30, 2004 12:00 AM


I've nothing of substance to add. I just wanted to post something on instapundit! And now I have!!

Posted by: Larry at July 30, 2004 12:02 AM


Tonight was the beginning of the end for the Kerry campaign.

Posted by: Mike H. at July 30, 2004 12:02 AM


Doubling Special Forces???....if making Special Forces were that easy...our whole military would be "special forces"...you can't just churn out the unique abilities of the navy SEALS, Rangers, Berets, and Deltas....thats why only a fraction of those who try-out for those forces make the cut....whats Kerry gonna do??...lower the standards so we can have a diluted form of special forces....what an idiot

Posted by: Kenny at July 30, 2004 12:04 AM


"I've nothing of substance to add. I just wanted to post something on instapundit! And now I have!!
Posted by Larry at July 30, 2004 12:02 AM"

How funny, me too! :)

Seriously though, maybe I'm just cynical, but I thought the delivery of this speech was terrible.

I went to Atrios' site and was amazed to see the opposite reaction to what we're saying here.

Which leaves the ultimate question, did this reach the undecided voters and sway them?

Ii find it hard to believe it did, given my wife is one of them. She fell asleep half way through.

Posted by: Ben Noah at July 30, 2004 12:05 AM


Get free Herbal V1gr@ in your mailbox!!!

Sorry, Glenn. Just kidding. Thanks for the comments... a brief experiment, I'm sure!

But along those lines (I'll keep in clean), I think having the DNC convention so much earlier than the GOP convention may result in premature ejaculation for the Democrats. They've given their best shot, but I get the feeling even the party faithful remain rather unsatisfied.

I looked for two things:

1. A connection between Kerry and Americans on a personal basis - they've got to *like* the guy as much as they *hate* his opponent. The extraordinary hatred of the DNC party faithful has actually made this harder for Kerry to achieve

2. A clear demonstration that Kerry could prosecute the war on terror. All Kerry can do is claim that "nuance" can get France to agree. He did nothing to justify his own voting record on defense in the last 2 years or 20 years.

I think he failed at both. His bounce will be small and brief.

And Karl Rove still has a few weeks to prepare...

The moveon / Michael Moore / George Soros attempts at bashing Bush are likely to backfire, IMHO. I could be wrong about this, it's the real deciding factor after the GOP convention.

And yeah, the botox makes you think you're looking at Joan Rivers. That one was for Wallace.

Posted by: Cowboy Bob at July 30, 2004 12:10 AM


My question is - if Kerry looked better live than on TV - DID HIS SPEECH MAKE MORE SENSE LIVE too? Something must be wrong with my TV cause I didn't hear anything I remotely understood. I miss Rev. Al - at least he was funny! And I wonder how the U.K., Australia and Japan (and the other 30 countries) feel about us "NEVER GOING IT ALONE AGAIN" - hell of a way to UNITE our allies.

Posted by: Kathleen at July 30, 2004 12:15 AM


What's with the hand motions? Was he simultaneously delivering the speech in semaphore?

Posted by: Truly Stupid at July 30, 2004 12:15 AM


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