Skip to comments.Watching the Debate Through Someone Else’s Eyes (An Extremely Enlightening Article)
Posted on 10/09/2004 8:02:36 AM PDT by crushkerry
My wife is the best political analyst I know. Why? Because shes almost totally apolitical. She comes from an extremely liberal Democrat family (her folks were Clinton county chairs in New Hampshire), but inherited none of her progenitors passions. She was also raised as a traditional Catholic, and has only become more so as she has grown. Shes a licensed social worker and child therapist. She served in the Peace Corps. This is not some naïve dimwit were talking about here. But still, political matters only carry her attention for so long before she rolls her eyes and changes the channel.
The result of her eclectic influences is a strange brew of economic liberalism and hardcore social conservatism. Think of a libertarian. Then think of his exact opposite on just about every issue and youve got my wife. (But no, my wife is not a fascist!)
Okay, so last night I found her yelling back at the television during the debate (heretofore only something fetishists and junkies like I did, or my father when he was visiting oh boy, does the TV get a tongue-lashing when my father is in town.) We already know what you think, she snapped. Im getting sick of this guys repetition. This guy looks really tired. ugh!
She was, thank God, talking about Americas Most Liberal Senator, John Kerry. Hers was a helpful analysis because, as a political professional, I think in talking points. With every comment John Kerry made, I was jotting down a mental rebuttal, what I would say if I were president? All wrapped up in the moment, I sometimes forget these dog-and-pony shows are about perceptions. Who appears strong? Who appears weak? Whos stupid? Whos tired? Whos aloof?
SHE BROUGHT ME to and helpfully reminded me that President Bush looked aggressive and strong while John Kerry looked tired and condescending. (She was also creeped out, by the way, when John Kerrys mouth ran dry and he repeatedly licked his lips with a white, chafed tongue. She pointed out President Bushs weird side-to-side jaw thingy, too. But she wasnt bothered by it.)
My wife also got a genuine kick out of watching President Bush when John Kerry was talking. (Its always bad if voters are watching the other guy just sit there while you have center stage.) President Bush, famously fraternal, was winking at folks, occasionally having little side conversations with people, shooting them with his finger. Bush was more comfortable just sittin and BSn with the folks than exchanging bullet points with Captain Blab-Blab. My wife noticed and though it was cute.
BEAR IN MIND, my wife is not the typical, off-the-shelf swing voter. This is a woman who thinks abortion is murder. Prayer in school? Absolutely. Ten Commandment posted on every street corner? Thatll probably help curb crime. But at the same time, she wants more money for every government program under the sun. And recoils when told President Bush isnt funding things like No Child Left Behind and AIDS relief in Africa (a horror she has witnessed firsthand.) Moreover, she lives in Maryland, which will very likely go for John Kerry in a walk.
But her insight is nonetheless invaluable, because she didnt score the debate with a notepad and a checklist, the way we hobbyists do. She gets a feeling about the candidates. And she felt President Bush did great. And she was annoyed by John Kerry.
This has started to become a trend for her. She watched both the Bushes and the Kerrys respective visits with Dr. Phil, the pop-head shrinker (who seems a bit touched himself, if you ask me.) And she came away with a tremendously warm feeling toward the Bushes whom she said shared a genuine friendship, not just a wedded tolerance. The Kerrys? Or rather, the Heinz Kerrys? Not so lovey dovey, she tells me. Almost as though an invisible glass partition was erected between them.
WHEN GUYS LIKE SEAN HANNITY and Rush Limbaugh do their impressions of John Kerry, they exaggerate his pompous bass (or is it baritone? I dont know), always beginning each sentence with I I I. So when my wife did her own impression of Kerry in much the same fashion, intentionally deepening her voice and using stiff movements to mock him, I couldnt help but laugh out loud with glee.
I get sick of hearing him say I have a plan, she said. Then she goes into full John Kerry mode, I have a plan for this
I have a plan for that
Thats so empty. It doesnt mean anything. What is your plan and why didnt you do any of this stuff in the US Senate over the last twenty years? John Kerry is lucky he didnt debate my wife.
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. My own mini-focus group of one. Bush cleaned his clock, at least according to one undecided, female, Catholic, social worker in Maryland who happens to be married to a professional Republican political hack. Mr. President, you have that demo locked up, my friend.
(She was also creeped out, by the way, when John Kerrys mouth ran dry and he repeatedly licked his lips with a white, chafed tongue.
Can someone run a graphic on this...it creeped me out too but there has to be a good side-by-side photo op here.
Was there some kind of door prize for the candidate who said "I've got a plan..." the most times? If there was, Kerry surely won it.
Flip-flops and swiftvets aside, the thing that really sticks in my craw when I watch this guy is the smirky-ass way that he looks whenever someone (i.e., Bush) mentions how one of his many positions conflicts with what he's just said.
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..."
Bravo on your wife, young man!
What can I say? She is right.
I agree with your wife. I'm no professional politico either, but it was plain to see that Bush came out with a mission, and he accomplished it masterfully by rebuking Kerry's attacks and then shredding him with the facts. Bush seemed smart, sharp and genuine. Kerry appeared as phoney as his wrinkle-free face.
Great report. Enjoyed it. As a Republican conservative myself, I think it is so important to get the women vote in America. They definitely have a big impact in the Presidential election.
Recall kerry was not sure of the year of the first WTC bombing?
Bush's comment should have been something like:
Mr. Senator, Feb, 26, 1993. That was the date that the terrorists brought the war to the USA. I am surprised you do not know the date. Well, actually not. (to the audience) This is a Senator who missed 27 of 36 meetings of the intelligence committee. This is a Senator who was absent for a year, not fulfilling his duties. This is a Senator who does not know when the war on terrorism really started............And he wants to be President?
Slam dunk, home run and touchdown, BUSH!!!
My wife said the same thing about the lizard-tongue lip licking that Kerry always does......
Imagine having to watch that for four years....
When John Kerry was on Comedy Central Jon Stewart show a couple weeks ago, a liberal professor acquaintance, who happens to be a democrat, expressed the same feeling about Kerry. Said he could never vote for the guy because he was "hollow."
Interesting analysis. My liberal-democrat mom turned the debate off because Kerry's constant attacks were annoying to her. If a woman who wouldn't dream of voting for Bush wasn't impressed by Kerry's performance, well I can imagine he didn't do so hot with the undecideds.
I've also noticed that jaw thing with Bush, I don't remember him ever having it before the last couple of weeks or so. I hope everything is ok with him.
I think the jaw thing might be a way to keep the face from contorting. The handlers might make him do that when he wants to scowl. But you are right, i haven't seen that until the first debate and aagain last night.
Hollow, what agreat description.
If Kerry has such a great plan for Iraq, why not share it with us RIGHT NOW... maybe we could win the war sooner and save some lives??!!
Excellent analysis. Tell Fox News to bring your wife and to get rid of Mort Kondrake! Better yet, your wife should debate that witch Susan (Ostrich) Estrich who sees everything that Kerry says as "wonderful" and everything that Bush does as "angry". Congratulations; does your wife have any single sisters?
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