Monday, April 10, 2006

John Kerry talks with Tim Russert

This Sunday, April 9, "Meet the Press" dispensed with the reporter roundtable at the end of the hour and Tim Russert spoke only to newsmakers. Well, there's always "The McLaughlin Group" afterward to watch some true pundit fisticuffs, though it does seem that the longer Pat Buchanan stays in the panel, the more irrelevant he gets. That makes me very happy.

Tim talked with John Kerry and I must say it was haunting to watch him. It also brought back painful memories of the '04 campaign. Specifically how, next to the message control and public image machine that was the Bush campaign, Kerry's was in damage control mode on a daily basis. In Sunday's interview, Kerry was forthright, intelligent and articulate laying out some common sense ideas about the problems in Iraq. The one that really caught my ear, was his charge of the complete failure of diplomacy by the Bush administration, even saying that it borders on "negligence". See it yourself here.

I was reminded of something that I told a few people in the heat of the '04 campaign, including someone politically connected. My thought was the perfect thing Kerry could've done was to go to Iraq himself to talk to soldiers and Iraqis. Obviouly, of the two candidates, he was far and away the only one with the real war veteran chops to pull it off. Done in the right way, with minimal press coverage, it would've really made a statement. I'm sure he must've considered it, but decided against it. The logistics, especially planning it through a Pentagon in the tight grip of Don Rumsfeld, could be a reason. Maybe he didn't want to use our soldiers as nothing more than a political backdrop like Bush was doing every chance he could. Maybe instead of not doing what the other guy was doing, he should've done it - but better.

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