T Nation

Why Kerry Thinks He Lost

Just saw this on MSNBC… Kerry told Geraldo Rivera (while at the Clinton Library opening) that the Osama tape is why he lost. He thinks that it scared people into not wanting to “change horses midstream.” I guess you could call that the October surprise.

Castro speculated the same thing, only added that he knows sleazy politics when he sees it (I wonder where he has gotten so much experience witnessing that?), and the Bush administration was somehow behind it.

If he had a consistent, plausible, and realistic plan for combating terrorism, that tape would have helped him.

It helped Bush.

He lost because he is a Massachusets liberal with a pretty-boy/trial lawayer trying to masquerade as a plausible team.

Try again.

JeffR

[quote]Roy Batty wrote:
Castro speculated the same thing, only added that he knows sleazy politics when he sees it (I wonder where he has gotten so much experience witnessing that?), and the Bush administration was somehow behind it.[/quote]

Good stuff:)

Mind giving a link to that article? If he really said that, my respect for him will go down a fair amount.

Not that that matters anymore…

I meant to type “lawyer.”

Sorry.

JeffR

Roy,

Did I actually catch you using Castro as some sort of sage in American politics?!?

Try again.

JeffR

Relax guys… Don’t kill the messenger. I didn’t think I injected any of my personal opinion in that. I only said what I heard. I certainly wouldn’t elevate Castro. Like Arafat’s, his death will be a good thing for his country, and there will be no sleep lost over it.

Well, that certainly gives Kerry an easy out. It wasn’t that he ran a bad campaign, was an unlikeable candidate, didn’t fashion a good message, focused on Viet Nam and opened himself up to the SwiftBoat ads, etc., etc.

The Osama explanation allows Kerry to do two things: 1) Ignore the fact that the Democratic message was out of step with the average middle-America voter on basic values questions and 2) Ignore the various personal and campaign mistakes that were made.

Kerry tried hard, and ran about as well as he could given who he was, the party platform and the fragile coalition of voters he needed to keep together. But it’s interesting he’s glommed on to the one explanation that allows him to avoid any examination of anything lacking in the party, the campaign, or the candidate.

I hope Kerry believes he has a chance and spends his $45 million in the Democratic primaries in 2008, sucking off a lot of Hilary’s war chest.

I had stated earlier that I thought OBL’s video with Michael Moore talking points would actually benefit Bush more than Kerry. And I still think it did.

To dovetail on BB’s point, John Kerry and the Democrats would do well to stop trying to pin their woes on everything but themselves. It doesn’t always have to be someone else’s fault.

The brand of liberalism that the Democratic Party represents right now is losing elections - and not just the Presidential election. More importantly, Congressional seats and governorships are being lost. Until they right the ship - moderate and get a vision other than ‘whatever Republicans come up with, we stand against it’ - I suspect the trend will continue.

The GOP has become, for all intensive purposes, the party of the ‘regular guy’, because the Democrats have manically embraced the avant-garde values of the urban centers as their politics.

BB is correct. There was quite a lot wrong with the Kerry campaign. Not the least of which were the Clinton advisors who came in “late.” Could those guys really be trusted?

I’m not saying that they deliberatly harpooned Kerry’s campaign, but did they really want Kerry to succeed, with Hillary on the bench? Maybe…just don’t know.

Doogie,

I had the worst mental image ever when you mentioned Kerry sucking off Hilary’s (war) chest…

[quote]vroom wrote:
Doogie,

I had the worst mental image ever when you mentioned Kerry sucking off Hilary’s (war) chest… [/quote]

lmao…sexy

Man, I really liked Kerry’s plans for fixing this country. The bright side is after Bush leaves, we have a chance to elect a man wit REAL moral values, R or D.

Vietnam took up too much election time. Kerry was long winded. If you are an intellectual, you need to understand that most of America is not.

Bush ran the most effective campaign in the history of man. Here it goes:

  1. Take a confident, dumb jock from a powerful family.
  2. Take a power hungry, super genius (Rove) who wishes he were the confident jock (Bush)
  3. Mix them together.
  4. Add money.
  5. Filter out reality.
  6. Tell the people what they want to hear. If the presidents says so, it must be true.
  7. Pay the corporations big bucks.
  8. Bye bye Mr. Kerry.

How about not offering any real difference between his opponent. You essentially had the same candidate shilling for a slightly different corporate party. BIG DEAL!

[quote]Zeppelin795 wrote:
How about not offering any real difference between his opponent. You essentially had the same candidate shilling for a slightly different corporate party. BIG DEAL![/quote]

I love this oft-repeated comment.
You are wrong, sir.

Kerry had a different plan for America and it was spelled out in detail on his website and in the debates.

The only thing he agreed with Bush was gay “marriage”, but Kerry wanted to adopt civil unions for gay couples to allow for hospital visits and other such things.

A view from across the pond on why Kerry lost:

The fear myth
Nov 18th 2004
From The Economist print edition

Actually, George Bush’s victory had more to do with hope and growth

IN THE past fortnight, the Democrats have come up with lots of comfort-food explanations of George Bush’s victory?from the idea that the rascal stole the election for a second time (there were a mere 3.3m votes in it, after all) to the notion that he rode into Washington, DC, at the head of an army of hooded fundamentalists. But perhaps the most dangerous of all these myths is the idea that Mr Bush terrified the voters into re-electing him. He divided the country along ?fault lines of fear?, according to Maureen Dowd in the New York Times; he relied on ?fear of and hatred for modernity?, added Garry Wills, polymath and devout Catholic. Sooner or later every Democrat starts saying that the president used terrorism to partisan advantage.

This explanation is dangerous because it contains a measure of truth. The election certainly took place against a background of fear (Islamic fanatics are, after all, bent on killing as many Americans as they can). And the Republicans certainly played the fear card with gusto (as indeed did the Democrats: remember all the talk about reintroducing conscription). But if they are going to extract any useful lessons from their humiliation, the Democrats need to realise that the Republicans didn’t just beat them on fear. They clobbered them on hope.

For the moment, the American right is better at talking about the future than the left. It is better at exuding optimism. And it is better at addressing the aspirations of an aspirational people.

Arguably the only optimistic thing about the Kerry campaign was its slogan: ?Help is on the way?. In general, the Democrats focused on America’s intractable problems. By contrast, Mr Bush not only sounded upbeat, but also came up with solutions, of sorts. At home, John Kerry was happy to cast himself as the blind defender of a 70-year-old Social Security system that is headed for bankruptcy; Mr Bush talked about using privatisation to shore up the ?ownership society?. Abroad, the president even managed to sound optimistic about terrorism, promising to drain the swamp of terrorism by spreading democracy.

Mr Bush’s optimistic message gave him a commanding advantage in pro-growth America. Joel Kotkin, a Los Angeles-based writer who knows as much about the grassroots economy as anyone, points to the close relationship between growth, both demographic and economic, and a propensity to vote Republican. Most of Mr Kerry’s base was in stagnant America. Democratic strongholds such as Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Mr Kerry’s Boston have been losing people and jobs.

Mr Bush’s America, for the most part, is booming. This is not just because the red states that voted for Mr Bush are growing faster than the blue states that voted for Mr Kerry. It is also because Mr Bush did well in the fast-growing suburbs and ?exurbs? in both red and blue states. Mr Bush’s triumph in greater Phoenix, greater Houston and greater Atlanta was perhaps predictable. But Mr Kotkin points out that he also triumphed in what he calls the ?third California?: the vast inland region that is producing the bulk of the state’s growth at the moment.

How have the Republicans succeeded in turning themselves into the party of the future? One answer is that they have been better at reinventing themselves. Over the past quarter of a century, both parties have made concerted attempts to adjust to a period of radical social change?the Republicans under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and the Democrats under Bill Clinton in the 1990s. But the Republicans have more or less stuck with the Reaganite revolution. The Democrats, on the other hand, have all but forgotten the lessons of Clintonism.

Back in 2000, Al Gore tried to revive southern populism with his talk of fighting for ?the people against the powerful?. (?There aren’t many Tom Joads in the exurbs,? says Marshall Wittmann of the Democratic Leadership Council. ?If you’re fighting for anything, it’s probably a parking space.?) Mr Kerry lambasted ?Benedict Arnold corporations?. Having built a bridge to the 21st century under Mr Clinton, the Democrats have since been busy building another one back to the 19th century.

There are plenty of short-term excuses for this. The Lewinsky affair persuaded Mr Gore that he needed to rebrand his party. The Howard Dean insurgency made Mr Kerry focus on Bush-bashing. But what is worrying for the Democrats is that there may be two bigger forces turning them into a party of the past.

The no-need-to-change-things party

First, the party is increasingly dominated by people who have no yearning for growth: public-sector workers; academics and trustafarians who both live off inherited endowments; environmentalists who want to regulate SUVs and urban sprawl; and billionaires who are too rich to aspire to anything. (One of the best statistics of the campaign is that people worth $1m-10m supported Mr Bush by a 63-37% margin, whereas those worth more than $10m favoured Mr Kerry 59-41%.)

Second, the Democratic Party is ceasing to be a mom-and-pop party. Phillip Longman of the New America Foundation points out that the fertility rate in the Kerry states is 12% lower than in the Bush states. Vermont, the home of Howard Dean and perhaps the most left-wing state in the country, produces an annual average of 49 children for every 1,000 women of child-bearing age; in Utah, where 71% of the population voted for Mr Bush, the figure is 91. In deep-blue cities such as San Francisco and Seattle you find more dogs than children.

The Democrats are not beyond redemption. Mr Clinton showed they can triumph in the suburbs by preaching economic growth and social responsibility. But they must abandon all this comforting claptrap about fear being Mr Bush’s friend?and start to focus on the much more devastating truth. In America, self-styled progressives look ever more the party of the past, and confessed conservatives are the ones focusing on the future.

Ha! Yea Ohio did great, from Jan 2001 to Aug 2004 they lost 237,400 jobs.

I completely disagree with the author. Was it not the Republican party which concocted the while Swift Boat bullshit? And if I’m not mistaken, Vietname occured 30 years ago, which would was in the PAST.

All of Kerry’s plans were about a better tomorrow for America and Bush wanted more of the same drudgery. I watched Kerry speak. I do not need to read how he spoke and what he said. Kerry had a plan for the future.

Oh by the way, I’m still unconvinced America voted for this clown:

http://www.blackboxvoting.org

Sorry, but “we’re from the government and we’re here to help” isn’t exactly a great message to most people – and this is the basis of the “help is on the way” message Kerry was peddling.

Kerry lost for several reasons, but one of the major reasons was the voters didn’t trust him on national security issues. This is a problem for a party whose leadership is scarred from Viet Nam. And don’t kid yourself about who wanted to focus on Viet Nam service – Kerry introduced that stuff in the primaries. He thought he could use it to bludgeon Bush about his National Guard service, but it backfired on him, politically speaking.

If the Democrats want to have a serious chance in an election in which the public thinks national security is a major issue, they have to stop being reflexively anti-American-power.

As for the conspiracy theories, they’ve been dealt with on previous threads.

Augh! Stop quoting that evil foreign media, it has no sway over here in Jesusland!!!

Oh sorry, was still off in cartoon land… :wink:

[quote]oboffill wrote:
Zeppelin795 wrote:
How about not offering any real difference between his opponent. You essentially had the same candidate shilling for a slightly different corporate party. BIG DEAL!

I love this oft-repeated comment.
You are wrong, sir.

Kerry had a different plan for America and it was spelled out in detail on his website and in the debates.

The only thing he agreed with Bush was gay “marriage”, but Kerry wanted to adopt civil unions for gay couples to allow for hospital visits and other such things.[/quote]

As of this writing I didn’t look at Kerry’s website. However, I surely think one could come up with a better example of significant policy differences between the presidential candidates other than gay marriage. Of course that assumes there are major differences.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Sorry, but “we’re from the government and we’re here to help” isn’t exactly a great message to most people – and this is the basis of the “help is on the way” message Kerry was peddling.

Kerry lost for several reasons, but one of the major reasons was the voters didn’t trust him on national security issues. This is a problem for a party whose leadership is scarred from Viet Nam. And don’t kid yourself about who wanted to focus on Viet Nam service – Kerry introduced that stuff in the primaries. He thought he could use it to bludgeon Bush about his National Guard service, but it backfired on him, politically speaking.

If the Democrats want to have a serious chance in an election in which the public thinks national security is a major issue, they have to stop being reflexively anti-American-power.

As for the conspiracy theories, they’ve been dealt with on previous threads.[/quote]

Bush should’ve been a sitting duck with his military service record.

Kerry was “out of touch” on a personal level with the public and unfortunately that is more important than the issues.

HAHA, conspiracy theories!? I love it. You’ll be eating your words man. If you don’t see a problem with votes not being counted, votes being added, votes being subtracted and NO PAPER TRAIL, you must be dumber than a rock. Period.