Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tonight's the Night

Tonight's the night,
tonight's the ni-i-i-ight
Tonight's the night,
tonight's the ni-i-i-ight.

Bruce Berry was a working man
He used to load that Econoline van.
A sparkle was in his eye
But his life was in his hands.

Well, late at night
when the people were gone
He used to pick up my guitar
And sing a song in a shaky voice
That was real as the day was long.

--Neil Young

Kerry's gonna rock the world tonight. I just know it. Lifted from AMERICAblog, who's cribbin' the National Journal:
[I]t is becoming increasingly difficult for the collective conventional wisdom to do anything other than declare Kerry the winner of the first debate -- everything about it just screams "Kerry" to us....

First, let's look at the momentum. It's simple physics: What goes up must come down. Bush is at or near his highs for the year in many of the most influential media polls (including the erratic and increasingly suspect Gallup poll)....

As for the media's desire for a horse race, one can already sense the early start of the search for a Kerry comeback story. It's not going to take much and the snowball of coverage will go from there. The press already assumes Kerry can't connect with voters and believes these voters don't have a clear sense of his vision for the country. Well, a debate is one place where voters tune in and admit they have finally learned something about a candidate. In this case, the bar is set low enough that it's difficult to imagine Kerry failing to clear it.

And finally, Bush's debate negotiating team may have actually done more to help Kerry than they realized. Take, for instance, the campaign's insistence that the first debate focus on foreign affairs rather than domestic issues. The war on terrorism is Bush's greatest strength; the war in Iraq is potentially his greatest weakness (though it's his best weapon against Kerry). Bush has more tough questions to answer on Iraq than his challenger. The campaign has already established the Massachusetts senator as a flip-flopper but Bush is going to have to answer, for his largest audience to date, what "mission" was "accomplished" last May. He will also have to respond questions about whether his campaign surrogates are crossing the line on the fear front.

It remains unclear why the Bush camp insisted on going with foreign policy first. If the campaign truly believes foreign affairs is the ace in the hole, then why not save it? Why risk having the most watched debate center on a topic that was supposed to be Bush's strength, just to have Kerry do better than expected? If Bush ever starts losing support on terrorism or Iraq, he's in big trouble. If the president doesn't win the first debate decisively, and Kerry grabs the momentum, then Bush is going to have to make a comeback in two debates that are in less comfortable environments -- the town hall in St. Louis and the domestic policy event in Phoenix.

Also, what if the Bush camp’s decision to allow the TV audience to see the flashing light when a candidate's time expires actually focuses Kerry and keeps him on message? Wouldn't the Bush campaign have been better off to spin post-debate about the number of times Kerry went over his allotted time? Now, the entire audience will know.

Tonight's the night, yes it is. Tonight's the ni-i-i-ight.

10 Comments:

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Poor_Statue said...

Kerry won by leaps and bounds. You must be good luck.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Capitola said...

Now, if I could only predict the lotto numbers :-)

Kerry gave a great performance. Bush showed his ass. Three cheers for our side!

Here's hoping Bush implodes at the town hall debate so we can wrap up this election already.

Take care.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger rorschach said...

Bush was just pathetic. The number of times he just froze up, even though he only has, what, three phrases that he kept repeating, was an utter embarrassment.

I'm not so sure all those glasses contained water...

 
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