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The Media Weighs In On Kerry Speech

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Posted and enhanced content compiled by the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign site. Excellent roundup with media comments that echo much of what I’ve seen in the blogosphere:

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: On John Kerry’s Acceptance Speech

New York Post: John Kerry “Doesn’t Get It” When it Comes to the War on Terror. “Give John Forbes Kerry credit for being honest as he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president last night. Because in his 55 minutes at the mike, he was truthful about how he’d fight the War on Terror. He won’t. ‘The United States never goes to war because we want to,’ Kerry said. ‘We only go to war because we have to.’ At best, this is a gross calumny: President Bush never ‘wanted’ war — and it is repugnant even to hint otherwise. At worst, it is telling evidence of a profound misunderstanding of America’s proper place in a fractious world. . . . There is no greater concern that Americans have today than the War on Terror. Kerry showed last night that he doesn’t understand this.” (Editorial, “Kerry’s Strategic Myopia,” New York Post, 7/30/04)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Kerry Offered No Explanation Of “His Own Role In Sending U.S. Servicemen To War.” “But Kerry did nothing in this speech to explain his own role in sending U.S. servicemen to war in Iraq. Both he and his vice presidential nominee, John Edwards, voted for the war resolution that allowed the president to commit to war.” (Editorial, “Passion At Last For Kerry,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/30/04)

Rocky Mountain News: Kerry Gave Few Answers. “What we had hoped to hear Thursday, however, was how Kerry’s admirable record of valor and public service would make a difference in leading this nation in the struggle against terrorists that target the United States and the regimes that aid them. Unfortunately, we came away still unsure of the answer.” (Editorial, “Kerry’s Tough Talk Leaves Many Questions,” Rocky Mountain News, 7/30/04)

The Washington Post: Kerry’s Speech “A Disappointment.” “In accepting the Democratic nomination last night, John F. Kerry spoke to a far more anxious America, one that has weathered a recession and, more important, entered what the nominee called ‘a global war on terror against an enemy unlike we’ve ever known before.’ Mr. Kerry therefore sought above all to make the case that he could be trusted to lead a nation at war, and rightly so; he and Mr. Bush must be judged first and foremost on those grounds. But on that basis, though Mr. Kerry spoke confidently and eloquently, his speech was in many respects a disappointment.” (Editorial, “Missed Opportunity,” The Washington Post, 7/30/04)

Balz: Kerry’s Speech Only “Briefly Touched On Iraq.” “There were notable omissions in Kerry’s speech, however, that raise questions about the course he and his party have chosen for the campaign. Like other speakers during the four nights of the convention, Kerry only briefly touched on Iraq, the issue that has shaped and dominated this presidential campaign, divided the Democratic Party and at times bedeviled his own candidacy. At a time when many Americans are looking for an exit strategy and may wonder whether Kerry has a plan for Iraq that is different from Bush’s, he offered only the assurance that he knows how to get it right.” (Dan Balz, “A Challenge To The GOP On Values, Security,” The Washington Post, 7/30/04)

Balz: Kerry “Appeared Willing To Cede The Battle Over Personality And Likeability To Bush.” “Ultimately, however, he appeared willing to cede the battle over personality and likeability to Bush, believing those may be less significant in the minds of voters than they were four years ago.” (Dan Balz, “A Challenge To The GOP On Values, Security,” The Washington Post, 7/30/04)

The New York Times: Kerry Failed To “Provide A Clear Vision On Iraq.” “He did not, however, provide a clear vision on Iraq. Voters needed to hear him say that he understands, in retrospect, that his vote to give President Bush Congressional support to invade was a mistake. It’s clear now that Mr. Kerry isn’t going to go there, and it’s a shame.” (Editorial, “John Kerry Speaks,” The New York Times, 7/30/04)

USA Today: “Kerry Leaves Boston Still Not Having Formed In Voters’ Minds An Image Of Where He’d Take The Nation On Its Most Urgent Issues.” “Trouble is, Kerry leaves Boston still not having formed in voters’ minds an image of where he’d take the nation on its most urgent issues: the war on terrorism and resolving the mess that is the U.S. situation in Iraq. So far, his policies sound a lot like those of President Bush.” (Editorial, “Kerry’s Challenge: Set His Own War-Time Course,” USA Today, 7/30/04)

Los Angeles Times: Kerry Needs To Further Explain His Position On Iraq. “By putting Iraq near the top of the speech, before jobs and the economy and healthcare, Kerry made it official that he is going to make opposition to the war his big issue. Possibly the best of many great lines in the speech was: ‘I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war.’ Kerry voted for the war. Is he now prepared to say he was misled? If Iraq is going to be Topic A, he will need a smarter strategy of evasion, or more brutal frankness, than he has managed so far.” (Editorial, “Kerry’s Craft,” Los Angeles Times, 7/30/04)

CNN Senior Analyst Jeff Greenfield: “In Terms Of Iraq – ‘I Know What To Do With Iraq,’ He Said — Two-And-A-Half Sentences On What To Do.” (CNN’s “Newsnight With Aaron Brown,” 7/29/04)

Jeff Jacoby Of The Boston Globe: Kerry “Didn’t Close The Sale Last Night.” “All in all, it was a pedestrian address, uninspiring, cliched, and humorless. It made sure to work in all the poll-tested buzzwords — I counted 17 mentions of ‘strong’ and ‘strength,’ 28 of ‘value’ or ‘values.’ But buzzwords don’t decide elections, and they aren’t the key to a swing voter’s heart. Kerry may yet prevail over George W. Bush, but he didn’t close the sale last night.” (Jeff Jacoby, Op-ed, “Buzzwords And Cheap Shots,” The Boston Globe, 7/30/04)

St. Petersburg Times: “Thursday’s Speech Did Not Entirely Clear Up Kerry’s Frustrating Vagueness On Iraq.” “But Thursday’s speech did not entirely clear up Kerry’s frustrating vagueness on Iraq. Kerry says the United States should go to war only when it has to, not when it wants to. He also promises to rebuild the international alliances the Bush administration has fractured. That’s reassuring to hear, as far as it goes. But until voters have a surer understanding of Kerry’s specific views on Iraq, they may not be satisfied with his broader promise that he ‘will never hesitate to use force when it is required.'” (Editorial, “Strong Words,” St. Petersburg Times, 7/30/04)

I’m sure there will be plenty of praise for this speech, but I’ll leave that up to other bloggers.

David Flanagan
Viewpointjournal.com

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  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    so much for the “liberal” media.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    I think it goes to show that even liberals are walking away with questions regarding the speech.

    David

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    well, i think it shows that media pundits are walking away with questions.

    that’s about it.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Well, if pundits have such questions, the American public is likely to have them as well. The purpose of this speech, at least according to Democratic strategists, is to win over the increasingly smaller number of swing voters. But it was such a partisan speech, will it REALLY do that?

    That of course is the most important question. Initially, some swing voters may be swayed, but as the campaign moves on and as Bush and Kerry begin their debates, I think Kerry is going to have to offer more than “tough words.”

    Thanks,

    David

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    as a resident of The Northern Ireland, i don’t get to indulge much in international affairs such as this right here. Is there anywhere a man could read this speech?

  • Distorted Angel

    Duke, the NY Times has the full text of Kerry’s speech, and I think they have full text of other major convention speeches as well.

    So David, are you expecting the Republican convention to be full of non-partisan speeches?

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    nice one angel. thanks

  • http://www.jackejett.com jack e. jet

    these are the very same papers that should be kicking themselves in the ass for being such wimps and pansies in being fearful of cheney and poony bush. they should have questioned this war. they should have questioned the wmd’s. however, they were shaking in their press credintials for fear on not getting that “one on one” with laura.

    the press sucks
    bush sucks
    cheney is satan.
    i suck

    peace,

    jack e. jett

  • JR

    So David, are you expecting the Republican convention to be full of non-partisan speeches?

    Well, I’m expecting David to find the Republican convention full of non-partisan speeches. :-)

  • Shark

    Jack Jett is right: The “press” should hang their heads in shame for the job they’ve done the last few years. They no longer have any legitimacy; everything they say and do is suspect.

    *All “news” is marketing, all “marketing” is news.

    Journalism is dead.

    Long live ignorance, polls, and pundits.

    *Shark’s Universal Law #2