Wednesday, October 06, 2004

That Bleepin' Veep

So how 'bout them pictures of Cheney at a banquet with John Edwards, huh? Liar, liar, pants on fire!

I don't think the vice presidential debate accomplishes anything other than keeping the political junkies and party hacks frothing through the week. (Guilty as charged.) While I think the debate probably amounts to a tie, I do hope that Edwards' debate last night does not signal a shift in tactics by the campaign.

In the first presidential debate, Kerry was effective because he was prosecuting Bush. This election is still about approval/disapproval of the incumbent. Edwards spent the first half of the debate yesterday seemingly defending Kerry.

The underlying message shouldn't be "Senator Kerry was very clear about what he meant by "global test," and let me repeat what he said...."

The message must be "Sadly, we're so used to this administration deceiving the American people that we're not surprised that they ignored what Senator Kerry said and played stupid about the meaning of a two word phrase. The president, the vice president, and an army of administration officials have been busy trying to make people afraid that a Kerry-Edwards administration would let other world leaders control our foreign policy. Keeping Americans afraid is what this crowd does best...in fact it's all they can do, because they've failed us on every important matter." And then rip them a new one without getting shrill or grumpy.

Show you'll be tough by being tough.

Kerry isn't going to win the undecideds by insisting that he's a great guy. They're suspcious of him, and they're not going to adopt his agenda wholesale. He just needs to convince the independents that he'd be better than what they've got now. Prosecute and reassure. Lather, rinse, repeat.

(Confession time: this post is really just a rehash of a comment I made on Michael Bérubé's fine blog. So sue me.)


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