I'm only doing this because I have to be consistent.
I watched W last night. I thought he was off kilter for about the first half of the speech. He was stuttering a bit and seemed to have problems with the teleprompter. Frankly, I am amazed that more politicians don't have that problem. I've seen the teleprompters they use and it seems it would be very difficult to read a speech off of one.
The last half of the speech was better. I'll say this for W, he knows who he is speaking to. When he started to slam Kerry and I saw him smirk, I knew he had found his rhythm. He was relaxed for the rest of the speech. I even liked his "I have this swagger, in Texas they call it walking" comment.
So the Republican love-fest is over. It repulsed me, of course, but it was exactly what I expected. And you realize, of course, that this was the first ever RNC held in NYC. If terrorists had attacked Anchorage, Alaska on 9/11 instead of New York, this year's convention would have been in the land of the midnight sun. I don't think I will ever be able to look past my disgust at the GOP and it's blatant use of 9/11 during this convention.
Do you realize that there was no focus on the future of this country not involving terrorism or war until W's speech yesterday? I was happy to hear him at least address some economic and social issues, but he presented them in a State of the Union manner, all ideas, but with no explanation on how to pay for anything. And I am sorry, really, but this President cannot attack his opponent over spending. No President in my lifetime has spent like W has. War or no war, he's gone nuts, and this country will be footing the bill for his sprees for a long time.
The thing about this convention is how negative it was. I watched all the big speeches at both; the Democrats spent most of their time presenting their ideas for the future and telling us how they think things should change. I'd estimate 20% of their comments could be construed as negative towards the current administration. The Republicans were nothing but negative attacks, at least until last night, and even W took the gloves off. I am wondering if an incumbent president running for re-election has ever been more negative towards his opponent than Bush was last night. If I had a full understanding of American politics and hadwoken from a coma last week, I'd swear Kerry was the incumbent and Bush was trying to defeat him.
Compare the lineups: 1st night Clinton vs. Giuliani/McCain; Keynote speakers: Barrack Obama vs. Zell Miller; VP candidates and finally presidential nominees. If you watched both conventions as I did, you know the Republicans were much more negative.
(Speaking of Clinton, do you think he watched W last night and that's why he needs bypass surgery? I can picture him watching and saying "I can't believe this is the guy who followed me." Next thing you know, he's dialing 911. Kudos, though, to W for mentioning him at the beginning of his first campaign speech today. That was a class act.)
Republicans know going negative works. It got Bush 41 elected in '88, and they have been using it ever since. The first poll I have seen today now shows Bush leading Kerry 52% to 41%. My first instinct is to stand up and scream WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??? but that passes, amd I want to know what was said this week that could make such a difference in the polls? Are people just that stupid that they believe all this stuff? Do people really believe that Kerry wants to send our troops into battle with insufficient weaponry? That he is going to ask Al-Qaida to sit down at the bargainning table?
I think it boils down to this: the GOP said BOO! loudly enough this past week and now people who thought about voting on the economy and other social issues are instead scared again, thinking that if Bush isn't in the Oval Office, we're all going to die. The people who will decide this election, the 10-15% who have not made up their minds yet, are spooked right now, and if they don't calm down, then Bush will win. And nothing will matter these next four years because at least we will be safe!!! At least until all the lemmings fall off a cliff or something.
I am planning on declaring a political moratorium of at least a week after I finish this entry. So bear with me for a few more paragraphs.
Of course, the election is not over. There is still two more months left. If Kerry wants to win, he has to start getting nasty. He has to ignore every red state and every deep blue state, and spend all his time in states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has to fight dirty. It has been proven that it works, unfortunately, and if Kerry doesn't jump into the mud, it's over. And if he chooses not to, he deserves not to win. I despise negative campaigning, but then my vote isn't in the balance.
This is going to be the nastiest end to a presidential campaign ever. A small part of me is salivating in anticipation, but the majority of me wants to go to sleep until November 2.
If W wins, I will only be able to deal with it if by some stroke of luck the Senate and/or the House of Representatives goes back to the Democrats. The thought of Bush in the White House for 4 more years with control of the Congress makes me ill.
OK, I'm done until September 15, I doth declare!