Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The vision thing

I'm going to go ahead and say it: I think Bush will win. Not based on any sophisticated analysis of battleground polls; it's just my intuition.


I watched snippets of two speeches yesterday: Bush in New Jersey and Gore in Washington. Bush was feisty, confident, energetic, resolved and optimistic - even as he ripped into Kerry's record and positions. Gore was bitter, angry, disdainful and paternalistic. Granted, Kerry on the campaign trail is not quite as negative as Gore was yesterday, but negativity remains his main theme.

A challenger needs to accomplish two things to unseat an incumbent politician: Discredit the incumbent's record, and offer instead a safe pair of hands with a positive vision for the future.

On the first count, Bush's record is clearly mixed on both foreign and domestic affairs. On many points, Kerry's critique hits the mark, and only about half the electorate rate Bush favorably. But attacking Bush's record isn't enough.

Americans look for vision in their presidents, not bitterness. Reagan in 1980 and Clinton in 1992 offered that optimism, along with their harsh critiques of the incumbents. In this respect, Kerry-Edwards resembles Dole-Kemp. Grumpiness and anger don't win the presidency.

Unless the mainstream electorate is far angrier than I think - or the Angry Left turnout far higher than usual - I don't see the country choosing Kerry over Bush.

See you in two weeks.


Skeptic said...

Gore is not running for president this time around, you dope.

And anyway, you listen to Rush, so there's no question that your view is unreliable.

Zman Biur said...


The namecalling and stereotyping does not help advance your argument. Are you also defined by the radio you listen to? Maybe you think I'm a redneck since I like bluegrass?

You really think Kerry is a better candidate than Gore? Gore had eight years in the White House, the Clinton halo, and a far more impressive Senate record behind him.

Kerry and Gore are actually quite similar in their campaign styles, if you ask me.

BTW: the last Democratic candidate to win a majority of the popular vote was Jimmy Carter. (The last Republican was George Bush Sr.).

I was hoping for more intelligent dialogue...