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> What is Kerry's best strategy, after SBV for Spite and Zell Miller?
Paladin Elspeth
post Sep 5 2004, 04:29 AM
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Recent ads and a book put out by the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the keynote address at the RNC by Zell Miller have served to sully our candidate's reputation.

What should Kerry do to regain the lead? Should he take precious time to explain his voting record (Would people listen?), respond in kind to these Republican tools, or should he forge ahead to explain his (and John Edwards') plan for America?

What do Americans need to hear in order to choose him for President?
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BoF
post Sep 5 2004, 06:09 AM
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The question may be how do you out rogue Karl Rove.

Originally we had nine candidates for the Democratic nominatuon. Then Florida Senator Bob Graham dropped out leaving eight. Enter the general bringing it back up to nine. I personally thought Al Sharpton was right when he said any of the Democratic hopefuls would be a better president than George W. Bush.

I don’t think it would have mattered who got the nomination, Rove and company would probably have found a way to bring it to this point. They have besmirched Kerry’s character using “swifties” headed by former Nixon crony John O’Neill and Democratic pawn Zell Miller. They did the same thing to McCain in South Carolina in 2000 and Max Cleland in Georgia in 2002. Why would anyone expect anything different?

Then there’s the media. Kerry can’t seem to get a break. Last Tuesday I watched Convention After Hours with Joe Scarborough and Ron Reagan. The night, however, belonged to Scarborough and Pat Buchanan. Unfortunately, the Convention After Hour’s transcript for Tuesday was never posted.*

Scarborough and Buchanan worked Kerry over. They criticized him for not responding immediately to Bush statement about not being able to “win” the war on terror. They showed pictures of Kerry windsurfing Monday. They made fun of him. They compared Kerry's day to the Dukakis tank ad. Buchanan said he wasn’t even moving and Scarborough made some remark about Kerry’s butt. Kerry windsurfs on Monday and gets criticized for it. He speaks to the American Legion on Wednesday and gets criticized for that. Meanwhile, Bush campaigns in eight key states in the three days leading up to his acceptance speech—big deal. Bush can do no wrong; Kerry can do no write. What I saw on MSNBC’s Convention After Hours was nothing less than the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of professional journalism.

Wednesday nigh, Scarborough started the show claiming that Dick Cheney had delivered “body blows” to John Kerry. In my opinion, this wasn’t the most objective way to start a show.

QUOTE
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  And welcome to MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the Republican National Convention, AFTER HOURS.  Day three for the Republican National Convention.  I‘ll tell you what.  What a night it was.  It brought Bush‘s number two man to the stage, accepting the party‘s nomination and delivering a few body blows to John Kerry and giving the Republican party‘s keynote speech to a Democrat!


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5899505/

Magnify this by countless conservative media shows, like Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. and it’s tough. Why, just last week Bush called Limbaugh’s show and Cheney called Hannity.

The Pew organization did a survey and found that in 2000 Bush benefited more from the “liberal” media than Gore.

http://www.journalism.org/resources/resear...ap/bushgore.asp

Now with toys like Air Force 1 at his disposal and the ability of an incumbent president to manufacture and manipulate news, it will be interesting to see where the media lines up on Bush vs. Kerry. I don’t look for much improvement over 2000.

I have two suggestions.

1. The Kerry campaign as well as grassroots supporters must keep on the media and demand fairness.

2. The statement at the beginning about how to out rogue Karl Rove was tongue-in cheek. I really don’t want to see my party sink to that level. That said, Kerry’s campaign must become more aggressive. I know Kerry is getting advice from every corner. Mine would be to appoint James Carville to head the remainder of the campaign. Oddly, I have a conservative friend I see frequently at my favorite coffee shop. He agrees that Carville is the person for the job.

*NOTE: I’ve noticed that other Scarborough transcripts have not appeared when those from all the other shows have. A few months ago Scarborough’s guest was Mericopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. After Arpaio bragged about feeding prisoners two 15 cent a day meals while spending $1.15 to feed his police dogs. Scarborough, of course, lauded Arpaio, saying that here was a sheriff that’s “doing it right—the real deal.” Forget humaneness. Although every other transcript--Hardball, Countdown appeared that week, this one didn’t. I can only guess that there was such public uproar that MSNBC withheld the Scarborough Country transcript.

This post has been edited by BoF: Sep 5 2004, 09:13 AM
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Eeyore
post Sep 5 2004, 12:40 PM
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Kerry needs to take some cues from the GOP and stay on message and try to drive the tone of the election instead of responding to it. Reacting strongly to things like the Swift Boat Veterans and Zell Miller's speech makes the country dwell on the things Kerry doesn't want it too.

Kerry must find a way to live up to his initials (JFK) and find an optimistic, patriotic tone eplaining why he vision for the future will keep America true to the good old American dream. Perhaps a land of opportunity theme, I think a populist message of responsiveness to voters and not donors would help. Focusing on the middle class as the source our our national strengths would help.

He needs to show that nuanced leadership is effective leadership and ont a dirty word. He needs to stay out of Vietnam and show how his Senate record is one filled with accomplishments. He needs to project his vision of foreign policy and the war on terror as visions that go somewhere that Americans identify with.

He needs to find the Kerry that was all but out of the race for the democratic nation and show that he is able to go out and win over people and lay it on the line.
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BoF
post Sep 5 2004, 05:08 PM
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I don't disagree with you Eeyore, yet I'm concerned about what vehicle Kerry will have available to get his message out.

Just this weekend, the second big hurricane of the season and the possible flooding in Florida have dominated cable news. Even this has somewhat blunted Kerry's ability to get his message out in immediate post RNC days.

Hopefully, he will start getting better coverage. The mainstream media is far from the biased beastb as Rush and others of his ilk would have us believe.

On a positive note, I was at Tarrant County Democratic headquarters yesterday afternoon. Walkers canvass neighborhoods on Saturday. There were about 100 yesterday and the ones I talked to seemed to think they were well received--even here in Texas.

This post has been edited by BoF: Sep 5 2004, 05:11 PM
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nighttimer
post Sep 6 2004, 03:04 AM
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I would like to suggest that my fellow supporters of John Kerry take this one word of advice:

CHILL

It's been a lousy two weeks for Kerry. Point taken. But it's September 5th. Not November 2nd.

If Kerry can't take the pressure and the heat coming down on him from the GOP and their surrogates then he doesn't deserve to be elected. The next President is going to face huge challenges, no matter what his political affiliation. If Kerry can't stand in the fire for the next 60 days or so, he can't handle the next four years.

The second thing is I believe Kerry has some smart and experienced people around him. If at the first sign of pressure they fold up then they aren't very smart or experienced, wouldn't you agree? This is how a George Bush fights. He hits hard, he hits where it hurts and every now and then he hits low.

Remember: John Kerry always had the tougher job in this campaign. He had to introduce himself and convince people to choose him over Bush. Now, like it or not, after four years we know what we get from a George W. Bush. Even the most rabid Kerry supporter isn't 100 percent certain of where Kerry stands. That's not because he's constantly "flip-flopping" as the GOP strategists have tried to condense Kerry's entire career into a two word catchphrase. That is because Kerry has only had since March when the primaries ended to pull his own party together and mount a national campaign. It's not easy.

Beating any incumbent President is a tough job. Unless they are hopelessly incompetent, horrendously corrupt or totally out of their mind, they are wily, smart, tough and experienced politicians. How Bush got the job is irrelevant. He has the job now and he ain't givin' it up without a fight.

I don't think you can beat Karl Rove at his own game. What Kerry has to remind voters of is what Bush has done wrong and how he can do it right.

Kerry has to get his base excited and motivated. It's fine to try to appeal to the fickle few whom remain undecided, but at some point you have to give up on the possibles and keep the probables engaged. That is where I am most concerned Kerry is coming up short. Labor, liberals, environmentalists, women, minority groups and others who have grown dissatisfied with the direction of the country under Bush all want to be wooed too. Has anyone seen Howard Dean, Jesse Jackson and other prominent Democratic activists out there really whipping up support for Kerry? With the time left in the race, Kerry has to get the Democratic Party fully engaged if they want to take back the White House.

Kerry can win this election. Bush is not unbeatable, but he won't beat himself either. In the first debate he's not going to tell Kerry to do what Cheney told Pat Leahy. He might think it, but he won't say it. Kerry has to stay on message, not get entangled in fights with surrogates, respond quickly to attacks and hit Bush hard on where he is weakest---the last four years.

It's okay to feel a bit knocked back in your seat from the last few weeks. Now you know how our Republican friends felt when Fahrenheit 9/11 came out. But don't give up the fight before it's barely begun. Everyone was thinking it was Kerry who was imitating Muhammad Ali's "Rope-A-Dope" style. Surprise! Turns out it was Bush all along and he's come off the rope swinging hard.

Time to swing back. thumbsup.gif

This post has been edited by nighttimer: Sep 6 2004, 03:10 AM
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