October 02, 2004

AMERICA, UNITED STATES JOINED AS ONE

Who says George W. Bush canít build a coalition? As John Kerry mentioned during the debate:

"It was principally the United States, the America and Great Britain and one or two others. That's it."

Itís not every President who can convince the US and the America to fight alongside each other, reaching across centuries of division to find common cause. Kerryís continued efforts to rebuild international respect -- describing Australia and Poland as "one or two others" -- are also noted, and appreciated.

UPDATE. The New York Times (republished in the Sydney Morning Herald) provides unique debate insights:

When George Bush leaned over his podium and talked directly into the camera, he had the same firm, squared off look he brings to a presidential address from the Oval Office.

When the networks cut to Mr Bush while Senator John Kerry was speaking, he had the hunched shoulders and the peevish, defensive look of an incumbent under heavy attack.

The New York Times should provide online footage of its writers: peevish, defensive incumbents under attack.

UPDATE II. Also from the New York Times, which earlier lauded Kerry as being "like a caged hamster":

Mr. Kerry moved his hands almost continuously, at one point folding them over his heart like a French mime ...

Bet he can perform a really awesome "hamster in a glass cage walking into the wind" routine. Strange thing is, the NYT probably thinks these descriptions are positive ...

Posted by Tim Blair at October 2, 2004 03:50 AM
Comments

you just don't appreciate nuance

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 2, 2004 at 03:52 AM

You're like the Professor and MaryAnn back when they were "and the rest".

I fault Bush for not mentioning Australia, BTW.

Posted by: Brian O'Connell at October 2, 2004 at 03:53 AM


Hurrah for "one or two others", especially that "one other" who has fought along the United States in every single war in the 20th century. Fortunately, I'm going to teach my boy that certain countries -- the United States, the UK, and "one or two others" -- are worth fighting for.

Posted by: Andrew at October 2, 2004 at 04:00 AM

Australia doesn't matter because y'all speak English, donchaknow?

And Poland doesn't matter because, well, ...hey, I fought in Viet Nam. Who the hell are you to question my patriotism?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 2, 2004 at 04:18 AM

Kerry's faulted Bush for going into Iraq with too few troops, and is pledging to try and get most of our troops out within 6 months. He's snubbed and insulted the Iraqi interim government and those allies who are with us in Iraq.

You want to know what Kerry's policy toward Iraq is? He's going to cut and run, and blame Bush.

Andrew Sullivan, of course, will be shocked, shocked!

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at October 2, 2004 at 04:31 AM

Maybe Kerry meant the US and "Amerika", the Cheney-Wolfowitz cabal and shadow puppet government of the Israelis, Saudis and Halliburton that is Nazi fascist, Christian sicko and determined to steal oil to starve Iraqi babies and spill the blood of GIs for Mammon and kicks. I think he meant the Amerika where most Democrats reside.

Posted by: c at October 2, 2004 at 04:32 AM

"Yeah, screw you Australia. I remember back when, by the way, I was in Vietnam and those Australian Marines just kept getting in the way. The dang near lost the war for us."

That's just about what he thinks, I'm sure.

Posted by: Editor at October 2, 2004 at 04:55 AM

Special thanks also due to his sister.
They love and respect their allies, these Kerrys.

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at October 2, 2004 at 05:00 AM

Kerry spoke well, but he still didn't really say anything other than: "I'm not Bush, and I'll do it better!" He still has yet to give us a clear plan.
Boy, I'm hungry for waffles......

Posted by: Crusader at October 2, 2004 at 05:17 AM

Kerry's a buffoon, and his dismissive attitude toward Australia isn't shared by most Americans. Most of us recognize what a great ally Australia has been and is. Thanks, Australia!

Posted by: Mike at October 2, 2004 at 05:40 AM

One or two others?Have you Aussies been taking over eastern European Countries again? Could the other country be HollPolItaly?

Posted by: David at October 2, 2004 at 05:51 AM

from the New York Times -"like a French mime ... "

Looks like Karl Rove has activated a sleeper cell at the NYT. More french mime comparisons please.

Posted by: Arty at October 2, 2004 at 06:48 AM

For some reason, every time I read about Kerry's platform I keep getting that old song that goes "Anything you can do I can do better" stuck in my head.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at October 2, 2004 at 06:50 AM

"French mime"?

Man-of-the-world Kerry is a Swiss finishing schooler, Boston Brahmin, Cambodian tripper, Cong negotiator, Sandinista supporter, Soviet apologist, American penitent, inveterate Internationalist, Kyoto afficionado, NoKo blindman, Persian patsy, polyglot Europhile, and now a French mime.

What were they thinking? The Dems should have nominated Kerry for Secretary-General of the UN, instead.

Posted by: wrong man for the wrong post at the wrong time at October 2, 2004 at 07:13 AM

"The Dems should have nominated Kerry for Secretary-General of the UN, instead."

Naw. After Rwanda, Kofi was a sure bet.

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at October 2, 2004 at 07:33 AM

I don't know where people get this "Bush looked angry" stuff. I thought he looked mildly disgusted at Kerry's lies, but not particularly angry.

Spin spin spin spin spin......

Posted by: Yehudit at October 2, 2004 at 09:24 AM

Did I miss something?
Were there two debates?
All US commentators have kerry winning hands down,even looking "presidential".
Obviously Tim's gang were watching another debate.
Reminds me of 1960(before wet behind the ears Tim was born),presidential kennedy wapping a sweating,rodent like nixon.

Posted by: marklatham at October 2, 2004 at 09:57 AM

Actually, marklatham, those who listened to the Kennedy-Nixon debate on the radio agreed Nixon won that debate.

Kennedy won the debate on TV because he looked better.

But of course you knew that, didn't you?

Posted by: Quentin George at October 2, 2004 at 10:25 AM

...Reminds me of 1960(before wet behind the ears Tim was born),

...Mark William Latham (born 28 February 1961)...

Tee hee.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 2, 2004 at 10:29 AM

All US commentators have kerry winning hands down, even looking "presidential".

Does the marklatham minion believe post 9/11 electorates care about having manufactured gravitas, self-importance, irresponsible and defeatist rhetoric, and expensive suits in Prime Ministers, Chief Executives and CinCs?

Please, please, please be so grossly wrong as to actually have to re-evaluate your politics and taste in pols come this month's election in AUS and next month's in the US.

Please.

Posted by: c at October 2, 2004 at 10:47 AM

I'd agree with those who view Kerry as having "won" the debate by a small margin. That he would come off better in a verbal exchange is hardly surprising. So Bush is inarticulate -- this is news?

However, it's important to keep in mind these "debates" aren't about the exchange of competing ideas; they're about the exchange of competing appearances. "Winning" one of these debates doesn't really mean much if it's on points, and everyone agrees no knockouts were scored.

It's interesting that Gallup's post-debate poll clearly seems to support the idea that "winning" the debate hasn't raised Kerry's stature much. While respondents felt Kerry "expressed himself more clearly" by a 2-1 margin, they still gave Bush the edge for believability, likeability, and "toughness". It's hard to imagine Kerry winning the presidency while being perceived as inferior to Bush in all these areas.

Posted by: Mike at October 2, 2004 at 12:08 PM

Like a "French mime"? OK, if that's so, why is Kerry talking? I hear his voice. That's not a mime in action. Perhaps Kerry is a forged mime?

And how do you tell the difference between a French and non-French mime? By their nuance?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 2, 2004 at 12:16 PM

It's interesting that Gallup's post-debate poll clearly seems to support the idea that "winning" the debate hasn't raised Kerry's stature much.

Well, of course it did. Kerry had embarrassed himself so much in the preceeding months that he only had to stand behind the podium with pants on and he would have impressed people.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 2, 2004 at 12:22 PM

...with pants on...

I don't think even that was a necessity, given the new and creative ways his campaign had found to repeatedly hit rock bottom.

Posted by: PW at October 2, 2004 at 12:28 PM

Anyone remember who won the Californian recall election debate? (Being partly rhetorial, but partly for real - I can't remember the columnist's name)

Posted by: Andjam at October 2, 2004 at 01:09 PM

The debates won't change anything. When it comes to who to vote for most Americans have already made up their mimes.

Posted by: Arty at October 2, 2004 at 01:13 PM

"It was principally the United States, the America..."

Heh heh... I guess Kerry really *does* think there are "two Americas." At least he seems to think they were both on the same side in the war to overthrow Saddam.

Posted by: Flakbait at October 2, 2004 at 01:59 PM

I did not get to see the debate, however did read whole transcript and taking out Kerry's 'Great oratory' more like a French Whore,sorry courtesan-or as his great Ozzie admirer would term any other- a'skanky ho; The debate was clearly in Bushes court.
Kerry flys round the country in his wifes executive jet pamperered and rested like a french pouff whilst Bush is trying to run a war and country- must be hard to keep patience and have go thru all this debating crap -and to have to be in such close proximity to Kerry for 90 minutes- well dang it I'd be hunched and cranky too

Posted by: Rose at October 2, 2004 at 02:14 PM

"It was principally the United States, the America and Great Britain and one or two others. That's it."

Given that it was a spoken debate, it's only the transcript punctuation that makes that sentence seem strange. It makes perfect sense if that comma is a colon, a hyphen or an ellipse -

"It was principally the United States: America and Great Britain and one or two others. That's it."

If that's the best attack of Kerry you can make, Blair, it just proves that he slaughtered Bush in the debate.

Posted by: Jeremy at October 2, 2004 at 08:22 PM

I, for one, wish to apologize on America's behalf for Massahusetts' junior Senator. He's embarrassing.

Oh, and can you forward this to the Poles?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Birkel at October 2, 2004 at 09:18 PM

Jeremy,

Nice removal of the word "the" to make your point. What the heck is "the America" supposed to mean? There's "the Americas" which would refer to the Western hemisphere. There's "the United States of America."

BTW, I like the way the spacing of the lines you typed doesn't match. One of your lines ends with 'one' while the other ends with 'or'! I'll bet Rather wishes the same were true about his fake documents!! Bwahahahaha!!

Posted by: Birkel at October 2, 2004 at 09:34 PM

It's the United States of the Americas! Kerry has a secret plan for colonizing all of Latin America and making it a part of the U.S., obviously.

Posted by: PW at October 3, 2004 at 06:48 AM

According to the transcript, he said "United States of America". Consider getting your hearing aid checked.

Posted by: Greg at October 5, 2004 at 01:08 PM