Thursday, July 29, 2004
Kerry speech thoughts:
  • Oh, Lord... "reporting for duty" with a salute... subtle as a slap in the face...
  • "Stronger at home, respected in the world" ...check.
  • Heh... "I was born in the West Wing." Cute. But prophecy, or just assumed entitlement?
  • The anti-Communist rhetoric is interesting, and a bit unexpected. (Cute aside about being grounded... I laughed.) Interesting point about the gratitude of West Berliners to Americans, and a fitting follow-up of restoring that positive view of the U.S. (Immediate cynical thought: does that mean we'll have to let Islamism take over Europe first?)
  • "50 years of peace..." umm, really? So what was that thing with you on the boats? And wasn't there something about Kennedy, and Kruschev, and some misunderstanding over missiles in Cuba?
  • Nasty barbs into the Bush cabinet. Not sure how well this will go over. Well, it's playing to the base.
  • Nice riff on "reinstating trust in the White House."
  • I can just see the RNC ads about Edwards: "John Edwards' American dream: suing your way to millions..."
  • OK, laying it on for Teresa is a little thick. "Down to earth?" Come on...
  • Fourth, then fifth iteration of "band of brothers." With all due respect -- stop. Please.
  • "The United States never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to." So the Iraq war was elective? We should have left it alone, even though everyone thought it had a WMD program? Thank you, drive through...
  • "Credibility to bring our allies to our side." Umm... did Australia take a coffee break? Or is Kerry promising that France will join us in Iraq? That seems like an awfully tall order. (Never mind the implication that France is an "ally.")
  • Wow, a Democrat promising to expand the military! This is something new! (But "not in Iraq." So where? Is this man really going to put new divisions into Germany? Are they really "stretched thin"?)
  • For a party whose supporters mocked Bush's use of "freedom," the Democrats sure use it a lot themselves, specifically in contrast to what terrorists allegedly want...
  • Oh brother, the whining about "questioning patriotism." What-ever. "That flag. . . belongs to all the American people." Chants of "USA! USA!" I wonder what the ultra-lephtoids will be saying about this "jingoistic display" tomorrow.
  • "It's time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families." The Democrats are in full Republican-slogan-recycling mode tonight. After-school programs, drugs for seniors, and class conflict. "Help is on the way." I guess "the powerful vs. the people" didn't play well with test audiences.
  • Kerry is really hitting the anti-outsourcing resentment hard. This will play well.
  • "We will make government live by the rule that every family has to live by: Pay as you go." They really are stressing Republican slogans. Guess we know who won that war of ideas. How ironic that Bush should be vulnerable to such attacks.
  • Drug re-importation and prices negotiated by Medicare. This is silly.
  • A vague plan on health care. Something about cutting out on inefficiency and "greed." Uhh, ok.
  • Cutting dependence on Middle East oil. Right. Good luck.
  • Haha! The Roosevelt/JohnKerry.com quip was cute.
  • "Let's never misuse for political purposes... the Constitution of the United States." Huh?
  • Something about stopping the divisions of race from race, etc. Well, good thing Al Sharpton didn't get a speaking role.
  • "I don't want to say God is on our side... I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side." Good rhetoric, though not particularly inspiring. Gee, I hope we're not evil or anything.
  • Stem-cell research part was very effective. (Another Bush vulnerability.) The after-school bit was not. Not everything needs to be set up from Washington.
A very good speech overall. Reaganesque in its optimism and attempts to inspire, to say nothing of the Reagan slogans borrowed outright. Kerry is still no Reagan in terms of delivery, but the wooden patrician was not on the podium tonight.

Not much on specifics, though. Just the usual slogans ("Stronger at home" -- oh, you know the rest), and a litany of issues that could just as easily have been listed in 2000. Nothing at all on the war on Islamism -- just the vague references to "freedom" winning that are annoying enough coming from Bush.

Overall: good form, little substance -- which wasn't much of a surprise.

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