Friday, July 30, 2004

Hack Down!
From CNN's post acceptance-speech coverage, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield questioning Kerry Senior Strategist Tad Devine.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What about (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Tad Devine, though, that, once again, John Kerry did not talk about the last 29 years that he has spent in the United States Senate? Even some Democrats acknowledge that he has (UNINTELLIGIBLE) had a career that has been at times less than outstanding, that he's been one with a mediocre Senate career. You know, you heard Ed Gillespie say it again. He devoted almost no time in the speech to what he's done with his life for the last three decades.
Now, nevermind that Woodruff's "even some Democrats acknowledge" line of questioning is quite similar to the "some people say" method used by Fox News; after Devine answers the question, anchor Jeff Greenfield comes right back to the complaint that Kerry "devoted almost no time in the speech to what he's done with his life for the last three decades."
JEFF GREENFIELD: But, Ted, I wanted to see that. It's Jeff Greenfield. I really have never really heard an acceptance speech where 20 years of a guy's life in the U.S. Senate is kissed off in three sentences. In fact, the Bush campaign points out in this particular document that he forgot in the biography to mention that he'd been Lieutenant Governor to Michael Dukakis.I'm being inundated by balloons here as well. I just found that very striking, that there was nothing in 20 years that's worth more than a two-and-a-half lines in an almost-one- hour acceptance speech, and I can't figure that out. Explain it to me.
This isn't exactly an explanation Jeff, but here's where you and Judy might have seen 20 years worth of man's life glossed over in less than two-and-a-half lines.
This, in rather generous terms, is the portion of George W. Bush's 2000 acceptance speech devoted to explaining the 20 years of his life (spanning three decades) spent between receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975 and becoming Governor of Texas in 1996.
I've been where the buck stops in business and in government. I've been a chief executive who sets an agenda, sets big goals, and rallies people to believe and achieve them.
Two lines.
Twenty years worth of energy companies, catering businesses, drinking problems, SEC investigations and Major League Baseball teams in two lines.  
To be more clear -- whether or not Kerry chooses to discuss his career in the Senate, there is a record of where he has been and what he has done over the past thirty years. On the other hand, there is a twenty year stretch of George Bush's life of which we know little to nothing about, and which he has no desire to speak of. Yet strangely, it is the lack of focus on Kerry's past that Greenfield finds "very striking."