Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Kerry's debate challenge

With the first debate, on foreign policy, upon us, there is widespread speculation on what will happen.

For a challenger trailing in the polls and Electoral Vote count to debate a sitting President in time of war is a daunting task. Kerry has already set himself up for serious questions on his treatment of our allies, and claims he could attract help when all potential donors have announced publicly they will refuse. Never mind his constantly shifting positions on Iraq . . . Bush leads him by a wide margin when polls ask "Who is better suited to fight the War on Terror?" and "Who is a stronger leader?"

As if he didn't have enough problems, he seems to have received a bad orange spray-on tan in recent days. Unless he's angling for the Finding Nemo vote, he better get that fixed before Thursday night.

But the real obstacle for John Kerry is that he will have to come down on one side or the other of the Iraq situation. Attempts at "nuance" will fall flat in this type of forum. But Kerry's elusiveness on Iraq isn't born of indecisiveness, but of political reality. His party is divided on the subject; taking a strong stand either way will cost him substantial support.

How he resolves this dilemma will impact not only the perception of the debate, but the election itself. I think he will try to further refine his "yes, but done better" position {Iraq position #36.a.2 in your Kerry program}, because the swing voters he must win over will not buy a "cut and run" strategy. But will his antiwar leftist followers be there for his GOTV efforts if he does?

Kerry's quagmire reminds me of one of my favorite Dilbert cartoons:

Dilbert: I'm having trouble with this proposal for new equipment . . .
Dogbert: How about this: "Give us $5 million for new technology so we can pump up our resumes and get out of this hellhole you call a company."
Dilbert: Well . . . I feel obligated to say something about our customers.
Dogbert: How about: "I'm glad I'm not one of them!"


Post a Comment

<< Home