I’m not sure what to make of “JacketGate”, the latest Kerry scandal that’s making the rounds. At first glance, it seems like a tempest in a teapot. But (to borrow JFK Jr. Jr.’s favorite nuancing conjunction) the rules seem pretty darn obvious:
(c) No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by either candidate.
If Kerry did cheat —if he did in fact use notes when the rules prohibited notes– he’s toast in all of the red states and many of the blues. It is the sort of accusation that a wrongfully accused man would immediately appear to refute by answering all questions of the press corps assembled.
But I think there’s far more hay to be made of what Kerry said at the debate than what came out his Saville Row suit jacket. On the other (nuanced) hand, there’s no reason why one controversy precludes the blogsphere discussing the other. Especially since the legacy media won’t discuss either.
Update: Jim Geraghty is more skeptical than Hugh about JacketGate altering Kerry’s public perception.
InstaUpdate: One of Glenn’s readers speculates on the top ten things that Kerry could have produced from his pocket.
PowerUpdate: John H. Hinderaker of Power Line writes, “I agree that there seems to be something in his hand, but I can’t imagine what it could be that would be of any significance. If I’m missing something here, I’m sure our readers will fill us in. But I’m afraid we’re getting dangerously close to Democratic tinfoil-land here.”
Update (10/4): A close-up shows that apparently, Kerry pulled a pen out of his pocket. As Charles Johnson writes: