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Open Letter To John Kerry

Election 2004 John Kerry 2004

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#1 Kevin Street

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 05:42 AM

(Via The Agonist again. In fact, they're probably the only source for this letter.)

This is so well written, I had to post a link:

Dear John Kerry

Quote

New Analysis

John Kerry yesterday launched a 25 Million dollar advertising campaign in 18 states. He hopes to regain momentum in the election, but he still hasn't answered the most important question: What do you want to do?

Here's a translation of an open letter to John Kerry written by journalist Poul Hi seen in the Danish Newspaper Berlingke Tidende

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By Poul Hi - Berlingske Tidende - Denmark

Dear John Kerry:

I read that you fell off your bike over the weekend. I'm glad you weren't hurt.

Forgive me - but maybe there's a deeper metaphor in your tumble.

You had donned all your smart equipment, your helmet, your shoes, and your bike was the proper, manly brand... and you looked sharp, as the Americans say. And then you took a nosedive.

I had the privilege of meeting you during the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries earlier in the year, and like the other listeners, I too thought that you then looked and sounded sharp. You had a message, a simple but captivating message, and you had a background and a biography that backed you up.

Then you fell down.

Because now three months later I'm skeptical: What do you want to do? What is your vision?

In 1996, when President Clinton sought re-election, he had four themes and he couldn't say good morning, good afternoon or good night without repeating them, healthcare, medical insurance, environment and education. Healthcare, medical insurance, environment and education.

You have had a new theme every week. One week it's the economy, another week it's the environment, and a third it's your big healthcare plan, and the fourth week National security, and you have had six different major slogans. The latest was "Together we will build a Stronger America."

..and so on. It sounds like good advice.
Per aspera ad astra

#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 09:22 AM

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You have had a new theme every week.

That part isn't true. Kerry's unifying theme is, "I served in a war in Vietnam, which is where the Vietnam War took place, which I served in... and did I mention I served in the Vietnam War?".

It's a mind-bogglingly stupid theme to base a modern presidential campaign around, mind you, but it is a theme. He's used it for everything from healthcare to national defense.

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"I voted against it, before I voted for it.", you said.

Hrm. You know, it would behoove the writer to do some actual research. The actual quote is along the lines of: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

What's more, it doesn't make any sense that way: If he had voted against iti n conference but for it on the floor, there probably wouldn't be much of a complaint. Geez.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 06 May 2004 - 09:23 AM.

St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#3 Kevin Street

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:09 PM

Javert Rovinski, on May 6 2004, 07:20 AM, said:

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"I voted against it, before I voted for it.", you said.

Hrm. You know, it would behoove the writer to do some actual research. The actual quote is along the lines of: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
That's a good point.

Quote

What's more, it doesn't make any sense that way: If he had voted against it in conference but for it on the floor, there probably wouldn't be much of a complaint. Geez.

I don't quite follow. As I understand it, Kerry voted for an amendment that would have eliminated Bush's tax cuts in order to pay for the eighty-seven billion dollar provision, but that amendment failed. So he later voted against the provision because there was no way to pay for it included with the bill. In other words, he trying to force the government to be a little fiscally responsible.

But I only found that out after doing some research. Kerry's problem is that he's letting his political opponents define the issues in this campaign. Kerry has to address each new GOP attack, or he will look like he's trying to evade the issues, so he ends up spending most of his time putting out fires, which makes him look worse than he actually is. A better strategy would be to "take the fight to the enemy," so to speak, and define for voters just how his presidency would be different from Bush's. For instance, he needs to come up with a clear strategy for dealing with the mess in Iraq, and then let Bush take the heat for not having a realistic plan. And then so on for other issues.

#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:20 PM

Kevin Street, on May 7 2004, 01:07 PM, said:

Kerry's problem is that he's letting his political opponents define the issues in this campaign.
That's exactly it.

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Kerry has to address each new GOP attack, or he will look like he's trying to evade the issues, so he ends up spending most of his time putting out fires, which makes him look worse than he actually is.

The problem is that he DOES spend all his time putting out fires.  He  *doesn't* need to address each new GOP attack.  By doing so he is playing right into their hands.  Every time these attacks happen he should basically ignore and be proactive instead.

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A better strategy would be to "take the fight to the enemy," so to speak, and define for voters just how his presidency would be different from Bush's. For instance, he needs to come up with a clear strategy for dealing with the mess in Iraq, and then let Bush take the heat for not having a realistic plan. And then so on for other issues.


Yes.
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#5 Delvo

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:27 PM

Compared to Republicans, Kerry's getting attacked so amazingly little that he can afford not to address it. If he did so, that might make him look defensive and/or make a big deal out of stuff that most people wouldn't even notice otherwise. Republicans, meanwhile, follow a different behavior because they're in a different position: each day the attacks on them get more numerous, louder, and more extreme. The volume is too much to ignore, so they talk about the stuff they're being attacked about because they have no opportunity to do anything else. They're not very good at it, but there it is. Each side is following a tactic that's indicative, not of their inherent nature, but of the circumstances they find themselves in.

#6 MuseZack

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:48 PM

Can I visit Delvo's alternate universe where Kerry hasn't been attacked and nitpicked to death over inconsequential b.s. for the past six months?
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#7 Kevin Street

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:51 PM

Delvo, I would agree with you that the Bush Administration is coming under heavy attack, and that these attacks are increasing in number. But the amazing thing is that Bush is holding fairly steady in popularity (or is at least declining very slowly) despite the firestorms that have enveloped his major policy initiatives. Imo, Kerry should be doing quite a bit better in the polls than he currently is. And the reason for that is because he hasn't taken the time to describe his own platform in a manner that can be clearly understood and contrasted with the incumbent's. Moderate voters don't see any real difference between the candidates, because Kerry hasn't taken the time to delineate the differences.

Lil is right when she says that Kerry shouldn't be addressing every attack and swipe that comes from the GOP smear machine. When he does this he is losing opportunities to define the campaign on his own terms, and is appearing extremely tentative on all the major issues. This should be a campaign based on issues and platforms, not petty "scandals" over medals and war records.

Edited by Kevin Street, 07 May 2004 - 05:51 PM.


#8 Kevin Street

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 05:25 AM

Here's an interesting piece from MotherJones.com:

Quote

Get Me Rewrite!
Stories make the world go around. So how come liberals can’t tell one?

By Joshua Wolf Shenk
May 14, 2004

George W. Bush has stationed 135,000 troops in harm’s way for a cause that seems increasingly hopeless and he’s presided over one of the worst economies of the century. He ran promising to be a centrist, lost the popular vote, and went on to govern from the radical right. He used a terrorist attack he might have stopped to justify a war that he already wanted to start.

So how come Kerry is running no better than even with Bush--this after a month of battering news from Iraq, from the 9/11 comission, and from Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack? Why is it that even the sickening revelations of abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison, while certainly hurting Bush’s numbers, have not translated into a decisive gain for Kerry?

The answer is that Bush and his party know how to tell a good story and their opponents do not.


#9 Drew

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 08:53 AM

Kevin Street, on May 19 2004, 05:23 AM, said:

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hes presided over one of the worst economies of the century.
Well, that's pretty easy to say when the century isn't even five years old.  :p
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#10 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 01:15 PM

Drew, on May 19 2004, 08:51 AM, said:

Kevin Street, on May 19 2004, 05:23 AM, said:

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hes presided over one of the worst economies of the century.
Well, that's pretty easy to say when the century isn't even five years old.  :p
And he is the only President during that century who has been in office any amount of time.  :p

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 19 May 2004 - 01:15 PM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
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#11 Rov Judicata

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 02:45 PM

Quote

He ran promising to be a centrist, lost the popular vote, and went on to govern from the radical right.

I think the author loses credibility there. Lots of it. Quickly. Saying he's governing from the radical right simply ignores his near-constant attempts to move to the center, which I believe are motivated by politics. Go no farther than Rush Limbaugh or the Weekly Standard to find out that Bush is very much out of favour with conservatives. Yeesh. I swear, if Bush proposed Canada-style socialist medicine, his critics would assert that it was radically conservative SOMEHOW.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.



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