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It’s Called Charisma….

And I think Bush has oodles more. Take a look at this Bush quote from the article linked:

“[Kerry] voted for the use of force in Iraq and then didn’t vote to fund the troops,” Bush said. “He complained that we’re not spending enough money to help in reconstruction in Iraq and now he’s saying we’re spending too much. He said it was the right decision to go into Iraq and now he calls it the wrong war.

“He could probably spend 90 minutes debating himself,” Bush added to hoots of laughter from his supporters.

Even if you’re a Kerry supporter, you must admit that the line is funny and personable. Sure, it might be fairly predictable given that much of Bush’s strategy is painting Kerry as a waffler, but it still works pretty well. Now, check out Kerry’s response:

“When U.S. soldiers are in harm’s way, the American people don’t want jokes and fantasy spin from their president, they want to hear the truth,” he said in a statement issued from Spring Green, Wisconsin where he is preparing for the debate.

The Kerry quote is pretty lame by comparison and not at all engaging. It’s the same sort of dry, humorless crap that his campaign has been pumping out since day one. Better Kerry responses:

At least then we’d have two intelligent sides at the event.

Sure, but at least I know how to speak.

Hey, leggo my eggo!

I only need an hour, and I’ll come up with three better plans than Bush has.

That last one is a little weak, maybe. For Christ’s sake John, have a goddamn sense of humor about yourself, maybe if you didn’t take yourself so seriously all the time you’d come up with some better ideas AND actually be able to sell them to the American public. As is, you come across as a boring, stiff, self-important buffoon. Now, I want you to lose, so I’m okay with that, but still. A laugh every now and again never hurt anybody.

  1. Keith (Bwana Troutfur) says:

    I wanted to add to the discussion early-on, but you folks were so entertaining that I just want to thank you all. OC staff, you rock. Melissa, you intrigue. You could possibly exeplode my very heart.

    Blessed is the Oregon Commentator,
    Long Live the OC, hurrah.


  2. Timothy says:

    Not only didn’t rescue but also was responsible for putting there.

  3. Sho says:

    If Ted Kennedy were running for president, we’d be talking about how he didn’t rescue the hamster from the water, buh-dum-chink!

  4. Melissa says:

    Olly: right. the hamster version of the butterfly effect… somewhere in the sea off Martha’s Vineyard a hamster is pulled from the water, and on the other coast my job is gone and I’m suddenly forced to join the military. Sadly, the impossible nature of this scenario scares me in regards to reality.

  5. Timothy says:

    Mollusks to the North East of me, pulpits to the right…

  6. Danimal says:

    We never hear of “Southern Clam Chowder” either. Not that anyone asked me.

  7. Timothy says:

    That southern charm really shined after a good hummer.

    Problem is that we never hear talk of “New England Charm”…I wonder why that is.

  8. Jan says:

    Let’s face it: Kerry just needs an old-fashioned blowjob from some hapless intern. It worked for Clinton. That southern charm really shined after a good hummer. Oh, and maybe Bush speechwriter/spindoctor Karen Hughes would help, too, so Kerry doesn’t keep making an ass of himself in front of the cameras.

    Personally, I think Kerry has the charisma of a dead parrot. But on the other hand, I think the whole “flip-flop” issue is pretty much bitter character assassination. After all, what politician hasn’t changed his or her vote on a bill following negotiations and/or changes to its content? It’s just the way HE explains his vote that makes him sound like a complete idiot.

  9. Olly says:

    Gaffe? I think it was the most comforting thing I’ve ever heard the guy say. How exactly can the “war on terrorism” be won? Or lost, come to that? It’s completely open-ended.

    I suppose the term “policy on terrorism” would sound less exciting, but at least if that were the locution people wouldn’t keep going on about winning it.

  10. Timothy says:

    I value not taking oneself over serious, and I think Kerry’s, “How dare you question me? I’m John Kerry” attitude is not a good quality in a leader.

    BLOG: I’ll give you the “we can’t win” thing as a bad gaffe. As for the assualt weapons ban, Bush said he’d sign it if it ever came across his desk: it didn’t. Blame congress if you were dead-set on seeing that remain law.

  11. Olly says:

    Don’t tempt fate, Melissa. Particularly as regards the hamster-saving.

  12. Melissa says:

    My point exactly. Does snowboarding/hamster saving/handshaking/choking on pretzels/ etc have anything to do with anything remotely relevant to my immediate life? No.

  13. Sho says:

    One may not need to be charismatic to be a good president, but it sure would help in the elections. From his awkward snowboarding stunt to his weird smile, Kerry’s personality is not particularly magnetic. I value intelligence and wisdom over charisma, but the ability to earn someone’s trust, make friends and charm others is undoubtedly important in diplomatic relations (not that Bush has done a remarkable job with that).

  14. Melissa says:

    My bad, but what is personality?
    For politicians, it is something they play to the camera like bad sitcom actors.
    You never really know someone until you spend a lot of time with them in every imaginable situation. “Personality” in the terms being spoken of here really means “what this man is putting forth to the media that his assistants think the majority of American voters will gravitate to.” I find that to be quite condescending to me as an intelligent human being.
    Furthermore, the values of groups of people who nominate these men are projected onto a selected poster-boy face. Kerry and Bush are the selected faces of complex systems of values that need not be complex or represented by one person i.e. I may like Kerry as a man, but I don’t like what his party stands for. Or, I may like what his party stands for but not like the candidate. It is vastly important to separate the two. Don’t be fooled by either side.

  15. Blog says:

    OK, time to take a walk into the lions’ den.

    I’m a Kerry supporter but I’m willing to admit he has all the charm of a high school physics teacher. Regardless, do you we really need a charismatic president? Perhaps this is a weak analogy: is it better to have an accountant that can crack wise or one that’s capable of nailing a W2?

    Me, I prefer a boring, humorless president over a reckless one overloaded with personality.

    As for waffling, let’s talk about Bush’s “we can/can’t win the war on terrorism” barbs from a few weeks back and, yes, the roll-back on the assault weapons ban. And, overlooking tax cuts, has he kept a single promise from the 2000 campaign? There isn’t a politician alive that doesn’t constantly contradict themselves, Bush included.

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