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September 20, 2004
Imagine John Kerry As Mr. Smith, If He Bothered To Show Up

I missed this piece from Carlos Watson at CNN about the possibility of a resurgence by John Kerry in September. Originally posted on Friday, Watson tries to pump some air back in the flagging Kerry campaign with this Inside Edge entry, mostly by giving readers a series of laughable assertions and drawing conclusions so wide of the mark that you wonder what election Watson has been following:

Two weeks ago, Kerry appeared to be politically moribund and any kind of resurgence was beginning to seem unlikely. But the media loves a good fight and has begun to shine a more critical light on the new campaign frontrunner: President Bush.

Oh, yes, the media has completely left George Bush alone for the past nine months. No one has shone a "critical light" on the GOP incumbent, except for all of that screaming at him about his National Guard service, the economy, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and forestfuls of newsprint about neocon conspiracies. That's the problem with the American media -- they're entirely too sunny in handling Republican administrations.

Unless by "critical", Watson means "forging documents in order to create a smear campaign on a pointless topic". If that's the case, he has a point.

It is also common to see Labor Day leads shrink dramatically in presidential races or even disappear. That has happened four times in the last 60 years including in 1948 (Thomas Dewey), 1968 (Richard Nixon), 1976 (Jimmy Carter) and 1980 (Jimmy Carter).

Wow -- it happened four times in 15 elections? That's a 30% chance that a Labor Day lead will shrink or disappear by the election. Not exactly betting with house money on that proposition. And, you'll note, that in two of the four cases the person leading on Labor Day wound up winning anyway (1968 and 1976). That means Kerry faces 13-2 odds on Watson's point alone.

Stop cheering them up, Carlos, before someone hurts themselves!

But the most laughable of all his suggestions comes last, and it's one that makes me suspect that Watson intended this as parody. If so, it's certainly one of the best I've read this year -- and if not, Watson may have jumped the shark and revealed himself as one of the least insightful and knowledgeable big-media analysts working at the moment:

Though he is part of the minority party, a shrewd John Kerry also could use Congress as a helpful political ground. Imagine if he went to the floor (in Jimmy Stewart or Spencer Tracy fashion) to offer a powerfully symbolic piece of legislation -- for example, a balanced budget amendment to highlight the deficit issue or sweeping homeland security and veterans benefit legislation.

Imagine if John Kerry introduced any meaningful legislation, either this year or at any time during his twenty-year Senate career! If he had a legislative track record, he would have run on it, instead of ignoring the last 30 years of his life to run on his four months in Viet Nam. Hell, just imagine if John Kerry showed up for his Senate obligations -- that would be noteworthy in itself for the past two years. Imagine John Kerry attended public hearings for his Senate Intelligence Committee meetings (or even the private ones, where rumor has it that his attendance closely matched his 73% absentee rate for public hearings).

Imagine the Democratic candidate was a completely different man or woman. Democrats may be wishing that already.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 20, 2004 5:47 AM

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» What do the polls really show? from Secure Liberty
We have had so many new polls lately, and all but the Harris poll show the Presidnet with a decent or even sizeable lead. Experts on both sides agree that it is between 4-8 points. Capytain Ed runs this post linking to a CNN story on a possible resur... [Read More]

Tracked on September 20, 2004 8:38 AM

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