Skip to comments.Kerry's Backward Bounce
Posted on 08/02/2004 11:08:54 PM PDT by kattracks
For very good reason, the rule of thumb is that a presidential candidate gains ground following his partys convention: It almost always happens.
It happened four years ago, despite Al Gores nearly incoherent rant. It happened in 1984, after Walter Mondale reaffirmed his pledge to raise taxes. It even happened for Jimmy Carter in 1980 after a brutal civil war with Ted Kennedy.
But it didnt happen for John Kerry.
According to the USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, conducted Friday and Saturday, Kerry lost a total swing of 5 points from the week before, head-to-head against Bush. Kerry declined 1 point, from 47% to 46%, and Bush bumped up 4 points, from 46% to 50%.
Heading into the convention, fully one-third of voters told pollsters that they didnt know enough about Kerry. After a week of exposure to him and the Democratic Party, voters clearly didnt like what they saw.
Despite the glittering pronouncements of greatness from the chattering class while the auditorium was still packed (Howard Kurtz covers this well), the poll results should hardly be surprising.
The speech stunk.
Any number of Democrats I chatted with Thursday night in Boston roughly held the same view: The speech was garbage, yet the delivery was decentfor Kerry. Not even the party faithful were revved by Kerrys address.
Who could blame them, though? What it lacked in subtlety and organization, it made up for with pomposity and bloviating.
Before the audience had even had time to sit down, Kerry had already reminded us how literate he is, never mind that he bastardized the very meaning of Thomas Wolfes classic. There was also the pearl of wisdom where he reminded folks, That flag up there. We call her Old Glory. Thank you, John Kerry.
Without any thematic structure to tie together many disparate points, Kerrys meandering 55-minute address felt impossibly longer. It veered from autobiography to targeted digs at Bush to a detailed recitation of policy prescriptions.
Weirdest was his at attempt at humanizing himself. Never has someone recounting personal details felt so impersonal. The entire section was overtly mechanical, an offensively obvious ploy to portray himself as just another American. He was a Cub Scout, his mother a Girl Scout, and his father a State Department diplomat. Yep, John Kerry, average Joe.
His mother, he told us, [W]as the rock of our family, as so many mothers are. His father, as it happens, did the things that a boy remembers. And for good measure, the young diplomats son, like all children, found the world full of wonders and mysteries.
That normal kid, we soon learned, grew up to become a young prosecutor who made prosecuting violence against women a priority. And as a Senator, he fought to put 100,000 police officers on the streets of America.
And lest we forget he served in Vietnam. Then again, how could we with well over a dozen references to it?
Toward the end of his marathon speech, Kerry mixed Clinton-style biographies of suffering Americans with an insufferable laundry list of specific policy priorities.
Recalling McGovern and LBJ, rather than Clinton or JFK, Kerrys policy agenda consisted of making America respected in the world, curtailing free trade, nationalizing health care, raising taxes, building fewer prisons, spending more on Head Start, and two separate calls for shelling out more for after-school programs.
Somehow absent was any reference to the liberation of Iraqis or Afghans, the prospect of freedom in the Arab world, or even a coherent vision for executing the war on terror.
It was all too much to bear. Im not speaking of ordinary people or curious voters. Im talking about Democrats at the Fleet Center who were kept out of the auditorium for crowd control reasons.
Sitting in radio row during Kerrys speechI was doing running commentary on WABC during the long applauses, which got fewer and fewer as the speech wore onI witnessed a group crowded around a television about thirty feet away.
At the speechs start, the group of 20 or so party activists were hooping and hollering. They were ecstatic. Thirty minutes in, at least one-third of them had wandered off and the excitement level had waned to the occasional smattering of applause. Moments before the pundits were instantly hailing Kerrys supposedly brilliant speech, more than half of the hard-core Democrats had vanished.
That Kerry thinks he can keep a non-captive audience at attention for 55 dreary minutes is indicative of his incredible self-worth and provides more than a glimpse of his immense unlikeability.
One wonders if his dreadful post-convention poll numbers will be enough to pierce Kerrys arrogance. If the numbers alone dont, maybe he should consider this: the last Democrat to get no bounce from a convention was George McGovern in 1972.
©2004 Joel Mowbray
Contact Joel Mowbray | Read Mowbray's biography
Oh yeah, the media just adored the Kerry rant!
Looks like Terayza's checks to the polling companies bounced and John's numbers didn't.
I just love these scathing reviews. Whether they're prophetic or not, the predictions of Kerry's November doom make me smile.
OOOH! OUCH! Now that was an ugly election result for the Demon Rats. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - W will win 60% of the electoral votes, a virtual electoral landslide.
What no one is mentioning is his idiotic call to visit his web site for the "details" of all of his secret plans. I went there and his plans are still secret.
If you sell a bad product at a high price, the market will go away.
You know what's really funny here. If kerry were to be just himself, he'd turn people off. If kerry tries to reinvent himself as he tried to do this week, he still turns people off. Sort of matches his whichever way the wind blows over his finger before he does anything, coupled with his constant flip-flopping. I think as time goes on, more and more people will come to realise his phoniness and leave him in the dust, just like they did in Orlando.
It just cements the fact what the pundits have been saying for months. John Kerry is George McGovern redux.
Sloowly, I'm sinking,,,,,,,,,glub,,,glub
Yeah, I think the accent for those discussing Kerry as I do (with liberals, regularly) is that at least you can TRUST Nader. It's not like Kerry will ever have an opinion he didn't get paid to have by the highest Skull-and-Bones bidder. At least Nader's an honest liberal and somewhat of a reformer, if quite a liberal nonetheless. I think Kerry would be a faux-conservative if he'd grown up in Mississippi.
#12. That also does make sense. FReegards, D2
STRONG MILITARY KERRY
LAW 'N ORDER KERRY
and finally, most desperately...
TAX CHOPPIN' KERRY
Rather than a bounce, it looks like the Al-Quada - Taliban Public Relations Convention started a DIVE!
They have-- Kerry's transformation to 'Boston Bull Terrier' yesterday was a panic reaction to the reaction to the Limp&Wimp Convention...
I still can't believe someone thought that salute was a good idea....
"Moments before the pundits were instantly hailing Kerrys supposedly brilliant speech, more than half of the hard-core Democrats had vanished."
Don't mean to be Captain Obvious, but won't these same voters still vote for Kerry, despite the fact that they left during his speech? All that matters to them is Bush getting kicked out.
I'm not so sure. I liken this election to 1996 when I could have sworn conservatives were mad enough to kick Clinton out, regardless of lackluster Dole.
When election day comes and it's raining, snowing or threre are errands to run, are they REALLY going to be motivated to vote for this dweeb? I don't think so. We will see.
I so hope that you are right!
Cause Terreza canns this:
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