pühapäev, juuli 25, 2004


I don't complain much about the Kerry campaign. Relative to the 2000 Gore campaign, they're political geniuses. But I'm looking at the way Kerry is covered and the way Bush is covered and it becomes clear very quickly that they're letting far too many pitches go by. I realize Kerry's trying to avoid going negative too much and there certainly are benefits to that. But he's dealing with an opponent who has no regard whatsoever for facts or reality. And we live in a media environment where both sides are given equal weight by the press despite that.

In any given story about Kerry, there's a quote from a Bush spokesman desperately trying to distort whatever Kerry's saying to make him seem like a flip-flopper. In articles about Bush, though, there's often no Kerry campaign response or what there is isn't very convincing. And I'm afraid it's just because Kerry's people aren't willing to stoop to Bush's level of complete make-shit-up-ery.

Two recent examples of how the Bush campaign works:

1) No Child Left Behind. Kerry gives a speech expressing his support for NCLB and he promises to fully fund it. The Bush campaign responds that Kerry has flip-flopped and opposes NCLB. This is a direct contradiction of what Kerry said. The media runs the Bush campaign quote and doesn't make its inaccuracy clear.

2) Kerry gives a detailed speech on the many initiatives he is planning to deal with gang violence. There's like ten different specific things he talks about. The Bush campaign responds that Kerry has no plan to deal with gangs.

So what I'm perplexed by is where is the Kerry campaign response to Bush? When he says he's the war president one month and the peace president two months later, there should be a Kerry quote in every single article pointing out the ridiculous contradiction. When a comedian appears at a Bush rally and makes offensive jokes, the Kerry campaign should respond exactly like Bush's responded to the Kerry fundraiser. They need to be all over the media. They need to be swarming over every mistake Bush makes. Otherwise, they're going to be outmatched and they can't afford that. Kerry's got to fight back more. Especially going into August when Bush is theoretically going to start presenting an agenda and Kerry is going to be at a big money disadvantage. He needs to be using the free media to get a message out and launch his attacks. He needs to learn from how Bush uses his surrogates. He hasn't done that effectively and I think that's hurting him.


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