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Meet the Press 4.18.04 John Kerry

John Kerry was on Meet the Press today. I'm decidedly bad at reviewing politicians on shows like this because no matter the party, I always think they did poorly.

If it is a republican I think "What an idiot, he should hit that question out the park. Why can't any of our guys do well in an interview?" If it is a Democrat I think, "What an idiot, that is horrible answer to that question, you are only repeating a talking point. (which is usually not true anyway) Not only is it a bad answer BUT you didn't make your point well."

So today, I'm going to take a slightly different take. I'm going to snip a few things and mostly let both the questions and the answers speak for themselves.

The topic and the wording of Russert's first questions speaks volumes:

MR. RUSSERT: As you well know, this is a 50-50 race between Bush and Kerry, but there is one area where the president has opened up in a significant lead. And in the interest of candor and clarity, I want to give you a chance to answer a question right up top, and I promise we'll talk about the nuance later on. But the American people, I think, would like a yes or no answer: Do you believe the war in Iraq was a mistake?

SEN. KERRY: I think the way the president went to war is a mistake.

That answer was a horrible way to open the show. If you can't say if Iraq was the right thing to do or not, why do I want to make you my leader?

After another question that was not answered but was just used as a way to bash Bush, Russert asked a simple question:

MR. RUSSERT: But do you have a plan to deal with Iraq? This is what you...

SEN. KERRY: Yes.

MR. RUSSERT: This is what you wrote in The Washington Post last Tuesday: "Our country has committed to help the Iraqis build a stable, peaceful and pluralistic society. No matter who is elected president in November, we will persevere in that mission."

SEN. KERRY: Yes, we will.

MR. RUSSERT: That sounds exactly like George Bush.

SEN. KERRY: It's different. Let me explain the difference. You know, last night I got a phone call, Tim, from a great friend of mine from Vietnam, and he was agonized...

It was at this very moment that I hit the pause on my TiVo in sheer exasperation. For the record, it was 4 minutes into the show and the third question before he mentioned Vietnam.

But then when I hit play, Kerry made the case to reelect George Bush:

...Vietnam, and he was agonized, as I think a lot of veterans are, as they see our young men and women over there trying to distinguish between friend and foe, being ambushed in convoys, not even safe on the airport road, from the airport to Baghdad. I mean, this is extraordinary where we find ourselves. This administration misled America. Nothing is more important than how a president takes a nation to war, how a president decides to put young men and women at risk for our nation. I believe this president broke faith with the rules of how a president does that. He even broke faith with his own promises to the country. He...

MR. RUSSERT: But what can you do now, Senator?

SEN. KERRY: I'll tell you exactly, but it's important to understand why so many countries are unwilling to come to the table now. It may well be that we need a new president, a breath of fresh air, to re-establish credibility with the rest of the world so that we can have a believable administration as to how we proceed. But here is the bottom line: Number one, you cannot bring other nations to the table through the back door. You cannot have America run the occupation, make all the reconstruction decisions, make the decisions of the kind of government that will emerge, and pretend to bring other nations to the table. [But what will you DO? -ed]

Now, finally, George Bush is doing what I and others have recommended for some period of time. Ambassador Brahimi is there. George Bush, astonishingly, said at his press conference the other day, "Brahimi will tell us who we'll turn the government over to." So, in effect, he's transferred to the U.N. now just the decision about what government we'll turn it over to, but he won't transfer to the U.N. the real authority for determining how the government emerges, how we will do the reconstruction of Iraq. I think that's a prerequisite to bringing other countries to the table. That simple. It's that simple.

So after identifying all the problems he then says Bush did what he would have done to fix them.

Why exactly am I going to vote for him again?

This was only the first 4 questions but I think you get the idea. People (rightfully) knock Bush for his communications ability. Compared to Kerry he is Ronald Reagan or Winston Churchill. Kerry only has one answer no matter what the question:

"Bush is bad. Except of course when he is good."

He's going to have a long campaign if he only has one answer no matter the question and it sometimes contradicts itself.


Comments (5)

You know, the more voters s... (Below threshold)
Conservanatrix:

You know, the more voters see of John F'in Kerry, the less they're going to like him. I know the polls today indicate that the electorate is split, but as we approach November I think the President will open a wider and wider lead. Kerry is too much of a dick to be Prez.

Is it just me, or does it seem that Russert is mocking kerry with the line: "I promise we'll talk about the nuance later on."

Also, Kerry the Vietnam reference early of cracks me up.

Go Bush!!!

I think Kerry thinks that i... (Below threshold)
jen:

I think Kerry thinks that if he uses a lot of words that people will think that he's actually saying something. Instead, the electorate tunes out when he invokes Vietnam, which he doesn't seem to understand isn't very relevant or desired.

you know what i think? for ... (Below threshold)
deni:

you know what i think? for a so called independent, you're coming off as nothing more than a neo-con who doesn't consider anything 'cept what falls directly under his own nose. i listened to all the candidates, and kerry's had a hell of a lot more to say on the subject than that. maybe you suffer from the same indifference most bush voters do, your bank balance is ok, or you make your living from equally disaffected, spoiled people so being blind to bush is in your financial interest. whatever the case may be, your bias is obvious.. a single issue guy, and that single issue is you.

Kerry can't give a straight... (Below threshold)
Another Thought:

Kerry can't give a straight answer because the only way to do that is to tell the truth. Kerry cannot tell the truth because the truth exposes him as a very weak candidate and Bush as the real hero.

It's always people who lie and deceive that have to give all sorts of circuitous, ambiguous responses.

Kerry is really quite disgusting. I find it to be particularly galling that Kerry actually defended the slanderous claims he made against Vietnam soldiers in the 1970's.

Kerry should never be president...he would be the most divisive commander in chief ever.

Kerry's sole strategy is to... (Below threshold)
Ron:

Kerry's sole strategy is to identify every action so far taken as "wrong," usually by linking a current situation to an emotionally charged vision. His approach is to obfuscate issues rather than offer "solutions" or new directions; in fact, I don't think he has any. (Are they any?)

I can only hope and pray the voting public will see through his rhetoric and make an informed decision at the next election.

It would seem to me someone running for President of the United States of America would have more than his party's interest uppermost in his mind.




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