Why Kerry Will Lose, Chapter XXIV…
A while back on this very blog, Tim Cavanaugh declared that "Bush is a lock." Even in a coutry renowned (and reviled) for its short attention span, such a bold, unqualified prediction is pretty gutsy, especially when most polls have Dubya down by several points.
I don't share my colleague's certitude, but a feature on today's Salon (subscription or sitting through tedious commercial required) makes me think that Kerry's supporters are deluded enough that the Boston Brahmin is going to tank faster than Kitty Dukakis at a Sterno trade show.
Titled "How Should Kerry Talk About Values?" and featuring contributions from the likes of liberal and leftoid playaz ranging from Thomas Frank to Andrew Greeley to Barney Frank, all the advisers harp on the need to stress old-time notions of equal opportunites and fairness. Well, sure, but they also seem to think that Kerry--a bazillioniare blowhard who works crowds like the Frankenstein monster terrorizing villagers--is a great messenger to the plebes.
Bill Clinton could pull that off, if only because he embodied the upward striving of the mythic American Dream; if he wasn't born in a log cabin, he came close enough for most people. Indeed, his mother and brother, often considered embarrassments by the press, were fantastic campaign props that helped make Clinton more likable, rather than less. For reasons that aren't fully clear, some of that shtick has rubbed off on George W. Bush. Though of the manor born, Dubya, by identifying with West Texas, downplaying his Ivy League pedigree, appearing comfortable jostling and joshing with voters, and even choosing golf as his most visible form of recreation--pace Michael Moore, golf in the South is no longer a game of the elite but one of the masses--has managed to come close to seeming jes' plain folks.
In contrast, Kerry, the windsurfing ski bum who married the mint, has zero common touch. If Dems are expecting Kerry's love of the common man to help carry the day, they better start working on the Hillary in '08 campaign now.