Tuesday, September 07, 2004

From a porch in West Virginia 

Some golden reporting from the campaign, from "The Daily Telegraph":

"Amid mounting concern in party circles over the state of his campaign, the Democratic candidate played the 'man of the people' card, appearing on a porch in sleepy, rural Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and challenging President George W Bush's record on health, education and finance...

"The setting - amid the clipped lawns and painted fences of middle America - should have been perfect for his rebranded message. Mr Kerry must have made thousands of such stops in his long political career, yet even his supporters conceded that for all their hopes of a new dawn, he still lacked the passion that is the hallmark of Mr Bush's campaigning.

"When he stepped on to the porch and greeted the family of the owner, a local trade unionist, he crossed his hands in front of him, looking distinctly awkward in his blazer and dark shirt.

"Mr Bush's campaign staff will have loved his opening comments, praising the limited menu of a local cafe. Mr Kerry said it was perfect 'for confused people like me who can't make up our minds about what we're going to eat' - words which would fit perfectly into a pro-Bush attack ad."
John Kerry: he can't make up his mind what to eat - how can he make up his mind how to lead?

Anne Pillion, a 38-year-old mother of four and a Canonsburg local, had this advice for Kerry: "He doesn't need to be more charismatic. He needs to find a way to get the message across. It's the packaging. It's not that he should reduce his message to a soundbite but people who are on the fence still don't know what he stands for." And who can blame them? Off the porch and speaking at a rally, Kerry
called the invasion of Iraq "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." This, only a month after he admitted he stood by his October 2002 vote to authorise the President to use force. Which seems either pretty stupid or pretty devious.

Kerry also indulged in some
word-play with George Bush's middle initial: "W stands for wrong — wrong choices, wrong judgment, wrong priorities, wrong direction for our country." Kerry should be careful - I can think of a few words which start with "F".


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