Man Without Qualities

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XXI: Grease Analysis

Some look at John Kerry's fall in the polls and see his personal failings, and some see the Bush ads at work. Yes, the Senator from the ASPS is becoming a veritable political Rorschach test.

Still, doesn't the New York Times jump the gun in its analysis of what transformed John Kerry from ink blot to grease spot?

"The Bush people have seized the vacuum," said Carter Eskew, a senior adviser to Al Gore in the 2000 presidential campaign, nostalgically exhibiting that peculiar mastery of political realities and the English language that so characterized that Gore 2000 effort. Referring to the Kerry campaign, Mr. Eskew said, "It's a fair criticism to say they've been a little slow to do the same."

Ah, now we know what the Kerry problem, is. It's the old "failure to seize the vacuum" mistake!

Mr. Kerry's aides said they were not worried, arguing that now is opportune to raise money and devise a strategy.

Hey now there's an idea! Yes, yes, a strategy might be nice. Hey, guys, how about we get a strategy? My dad's got a barn, and all the kids could come, and we could put on an all-night strategy session while the candidate's doped up and in traction!

These Kerry campaign guys are the best! While everyone else is running around recounting how George Bush may be pummelling Kerry into free-fall in the polls with an unrelenting barrage of campaign ads, the Kerry campaign guys say it's no problem, they're confident because nobody is paying attention to the campaign anyway:

[The Kerry campaign operatives] argued that voters were more likely to focus on the hearings into Mr. Bush's handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and testimony of his former counterterrorism chief, Richard A. Clarke, than on an election in November.

So it comes to this: Many other observers have fretted over whether it's the Bush ads or the Senator's inherent failings that are causing the Senator's drop in the polls. But the Kerry campaign guys say they are confident that it's not the ads. The Kerry guys are also confident that everyone is paying attention to the 9-11 Commission hearings and the Clarke fuss, which, of course, is happening at a time when the President's poll numbers have risen. I wonder if all that confidence will make the Senator feel better when he comes out of his opiate fog?

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