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Monday, October 25, 2004

Daily Dose of Perspicuous Pundits
Iraq: Does Kerry Have A Plan?, by Sebastian Mallaby
Danger man John Kerry, by Steven Morris
Bubba to the Rescue, by Former Bubba Aide Dick Morris
Kerry, what have you done for me lately?, by Bill Bennett, former secretary of education in the Reagan administration.

And of course, Real Clear Politics should be your only source for poll coverage, especially The Battleground States (that link is especially for you Mom)

Finally, the most damning column today? Of course VDH at National Review with his piece, "Kerry’s DilemmaOr, how to lose an election". The excerpts:

"His oratory, for all his undeniable mastery of facts and classical rhetorical tropes, is too often humorless, condescending, and pedantic. His photo opportunities that showcase hunting vests or windsurfing look forced, and they lack the natural ease of George Bush on the stump, twanging with his sleeves rolled up. Thus while Kerry does well in debates, he in some sense does not do well, since Americans feel he is either their smug professor or cranky grandfather, peeved that he had to descend from Olympus to impart knowledge to the less gifted. Somehow most would rather be wrong with Bush than right with Kerry."

"Fourth, Kerry's hypocrisy is finally catching up to him. He talks of raising taxes on those who make over $200,000, but he should start with Teresa, who paid a rate far lower than most blue-collar families. A "man of the people" — and Kerry has cultivated such an unlikely image — simply doesn't windsurf off Nantucket during a war, or snarl at federal bodyguards while skiing at Sun Valley, or peddle around on fancy racing bikes clad in Spandex. Few believe his calls for sacrifice and frugality when he owns a $500,000 powerboat, and could have saved thousands of gallons of precious fuel by symbolically shutting down one of his many estates or parking the Gulf Stream in the hangar and flying first-class. The suspicions about the new Democratic party of multimillionaires such as Terry McAuliffe, George Soros, and Ted Kennedy are only enhanced when it nominates a billionaire to head the ticket."

"So there you have it. Despite uncertain news here and abroad, the perception that Kerry won the debates, a skilled — and extremely vicious — campaign team, and the hefty subsidies of time and money from the arts, universities, media, and Hollywood, Kerry still cannot quite close the stubborn remaining gap of two to three points. How can he, when it was a mistake to nominate him in the first place, and a further mistake to add Edwards to the ticket? A Gephardt/Lieberman combination, or something reflecting such middle-of-the-road practicality and seriousness — scolding the president from the responsible right on tactical lapses in postwar Iraq — would never have gotten though the extremist primary and embarrassing Deanomania, but it might well have won the general election.

When this is all over, and George Bush is reelected — Republicans then controlling all branches of federal government, and most of the state legislatures and governorships — then, and only then, will Democrats grasp the march of folly in 2004, and either return to their roots or perish from increasing irrelevance. Meanwhile, George Bush, oblivious to the hysteria, will finish and win this war."

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