July 19, 2004

KERRY INSPIRES PERSON

The Guardianís Paul Harris joins the Kerry circus for a day, "and finds that the Democrats' strategy of inspiring their core supporters is driving a powerful campaign":

For a moment the grey curtain parted. From behind stepped John Kerry, smiling and startling the posse of journalists at the back of his plush campaign plane.

Aieeee! Itís alive!

'How is everybody?' Kerry grinned, walking forward and prompting a quick scramble for ...

Parachutes? Wooden stakes? Nuance repellent?

Kerry was clearly feeling on top of the world. 'How are you, senator?', one journalist asked. 'Fabulous,' Kerry said, and then repeated: 'Fabulous.'

Kerryís limited word skills are compensated by Harrisís PR talents:

His campaign is growing and evolving, seeking to turn itself into a winning machine. It is flush with cash, overflowing with volunteers and scoring regular hits on President George Bush. Kerry leads in the polls and basks in the afterglow of naming charismatic Southerner John Edwards as running mate. After a lifetime devoted to politics, this is Kerry's moment.

He knows it, too. With one foot on the arm of a chair, Kerry stood like a cowboy leaning on a gate. 'I am doing great. I have never been better. I am energised, back in shape, good and strong,' he enthused.

So now cowboy is good. But how does one adopt a cowboy lean when your only prop is an aircraft chair? And does the reverse also apply; has anybody ever mentioned that a fence-leaning cowboy resembles a bike-riding junior Senator from Boston posing on a jet?

Last week Kerry was keen to talk ... But he avoided anything with the merest hint of controversy. He was asked to name his favourite sporting fantasy. Would he rather win the Superbowl or the World Series? Kerry glanced at an aide and shook his head. 'Too many. I can't really list one,' he said.

Kerry canít give a direct answer to a simple question about sport. Shades of Al Gore. Later, Harris is entranced as Kerry works the room -- or, more accurately, the porch -- during a stopover in Pennsylvania:

He cannot afford to be seen as an elitist or taking himself too seriously. It is working, too. Pressured by aides to keep on schedule, he wrapped up with an anti-Washington tirade. 'I am frustrated and tired of a Washington that throws words around like they don't mean anything and plays with your lives. Let's reclaim our own democracy.'

That line -- so broad, so vague, so arrogant; it implicitly defines the only legitimate democracy as one which Kerry leads -- is the chant of the doomed. Meanwhile, InstaPundit writes:

The "anybody but Bush" constituency will evaporate as soon as he's sworn in, leaving him weak and subject to attacks from within his own party ... note this comment on Kerry from Garry Trudeau: "Like most Americans, I've been forced to unambiguously take sides, and I'm not particularly happy about it."

Not exactly a strong base of support, but it's what happens when you nominate a weak candidate, and unify your party around hatred for the incumbent.

To Trudeau and the rest of the Kerry-by-default brigade, add actor Stanley Tucci:

Yesterday at the Film & Music Global Fest on the Italian island of Ischia, Tucci was talking about his ambitions to make a movie about sculptor Alberto Giacometti when he confided to the news media: "I do hope the administration changes in November, and I don't care who is in office as long as it's not this one."

Maybe thatís what Harris meant by Kerry "inspiring core supporters".

Posted by Tim Blair at July 19, 2004 04:41 AM
Comments

scoring regular hits on President George Bush.

The Kerry Misery Index, Joe Wilson, "no bounce" John Edwards, mingling with pottymouth Whoopi Goldberg...

Kerry leads in the polls

Well within the margin of error in all national polls I've seen lately, but who's quibbling.

Posted by: PW at July 19, 2004 at 04:55 AM

Kerry glanced at an aide--to check whether choosing the Superbowl or the Series was the right answer? And then chose neither?

What? He thinks the voters would disdain him if he came out in favor of football OR baseball?

Hell, that ain't why I disdain him.

Posted by: ushie at July 19, 2004 at 05:37 AM
"I do hope the administration changes in November, and I don't care who is in office as long as it's not this one."
So a Jewish actor has just publicly stated he will be happy if the next administration is run by islamonazis. Do these clowns ever listen to themselves, or do they just talk?

(No, I'm not saying Kerry is an islamonazi, just pointing out that Tucci isn't endorsing Kerry here; he said he doesn't care who is running the country as long as it's not Bush. Yeesh. Wotta maroon.)

Posted by: Barbara Skolaut at July 19, 2004 at 05:47 AM

> 'I am frustrated and tired of a Washington that throws words around like they don't mean anything and plays with your lives. Let's reclaim our own democracy.'

It's _Elegant Variation_! Unfortunately, what it is a variation of, ``sick and tired,'' is hendiadys, for sick to tiredness, or tired to sickness, and frustrated doesn't work as well. Frustrated doesn't make you tired, and tiredness doesn't make you frustrated. Then there's the matter of the ``frustrated of.'' Oh well, it's just a line.

John & Ken comment that Kerry speaks as if his remarks were being recorded for history, ponderously, like the recorded voices of the Fathers of Our Country in Philadelphia's museum of something or other. Possibly this patriorism theme park was an early influence.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at July 19, 2004 at 06:13 AM

"Cowboy" is a good thing now? Did I miss a meeting?

Posted by: nofixedabode at July 19, 2004 at 06:24 AM

This is probably why Kerry prefers to dodge sports questions.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at July 19, 2004 at 06:48 AM

As a US citizen living in a "blue," Midwestern state, I can assure the Guardian's readers Kerry is not basking in anything except the adulations of the press corps and a skimpy band of campaign workers bused-in to make his events look fuller. BTW, Kerry has dropped four points since picking Edwards.

Posted by: Fresh Air at July 19, 2004 at 06:55 AM

Stanley Tucci is Jewish? I thought he was Italian. Guess he could be both, of course.

If he doesn't care who is President as long as it's not Bush, that means we could nominate Dick Cheney? Or Donald Rumsfeld? Or Condi Rice? Or... wait... that's not what he meant, is it?

Actors should just say the lines that are given them to say and otherwise shut up.

Posted by: Rebecca at July 19, 2004 at 07:49 AM

With one foot on the arm of a chair, Kerry stood like a cowboy leaning on a gate.

Real cowboys were taught by their mommas not to put their feet on the goddamn furniture.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 19, 2004 at 08:22 AM

Rebecca - I always thought he was Jewish, but I could be wrong.

As you point out, it's still an incredibly stupid thing to say.

Andrea: You go, girl!

Posted by: Barbara Skolaut at July 19, 2004 at 08:35 AM

Media figures basking in Kerry's optomistic glory? It's like the boys at Newsweek could see the future.

Posted by: Sortelli at July 19, 2004 at 09:42 AM

I doubt that John Kerry has ever done anything so plebian as watch the Super Series or the World Bowl.

Posted by: David Crawford at July 19, 2004 at 12:02 PM

I'm still waiting for Kerry to come out with "you raaaang?"

Posted by: Habib at July 19, 2004 at 12:02 PM

I liked the comment on putting your feet on the
furniture! He is always posing, even when no ictures are not being taken.
No brains here, folks, he is a empty vessel, although his wife thinks he is "beautiful" bless her heart, but will someone tell her to get glasses, please.
I really do not like this man, he is a liar of
huge dimensions and is so stupid he does not realize that the people of the world do not have
the intelligence to see the lies. Yup, we are
a bunch of dumbells.
My grandaughter just came home to Canada after
touring six months in Australia. We thought she
might not come home as she loved your country,
but we need her around us, she brings great joy
with her wherever she goes.

Posted by: cj at July 19, 2004 at 02:15 PM

Fresh air: Just wonderin' which state is that? I'm in Michigan and don't see any Edwards bounce to speak of. Pretty much a tie here, right now.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at July 19, 2004 at 04:51 PM