Wednesday, August 25, 2004

John Kerry on The Daily Show

Did anyone see John Kerry last night with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show?
Knowing Kerry's a little on the stiff side, at first I was worried he'd seem a little too serious beside the razor sharp Jon Stewart.
Fortunately for his supporters, Kerry seemed relaxed, polite, affable and charming.
The best part for me was in noticing he lacks the sarcastic, often mean spirited arrogance of his opponent.
When caught off script, too many times Bush has made comments that are beneath the dignity of the office to which the Supreme Court appointed him.

For example, during the 1988 Republican Convention, Bush was asked by a Hartford Courant reporter about what he and his father talked about when they weren't talking about politics.
"Pussy," Bush replied.

During a 2000 Labor Day weekend rally in Illinois, the then-Republican presidential nominee (and Texas governor) spotted a veteran political reporter in the crowd and pointed him out to Dick Cheney, as the two stood at the podium waving to the assembled crowd. Bush said, "There's Adam Clymer, major-league asshole from The New York Times."

Addressing a crowd of formally dressed people in what appeared to be a sumptuous ballroom, Bush said, "What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base."

Columnist Molly Ivins further described Bush in a November 2003 article: "Well, the Big Picture is that after September 11, we had the sympathy of every nation on Earth. They all signed up, all our old allies volunteered, everybody was with us, and Bush just booted all of that away. Sneering, jeering, bad manners, hideous diplomacy, threats, demands, arrogance, bluster."

John Kerry's appearance on The Daily Show last night reminded us that it's not just a political race going on right now. It's a choice between two men of similar backgrounds, education and privilege running for one office.
One is dignified, one is not.
One is diplomatic, one is not.
One exhibits tact and humility, one does not.
We won't see Bush on The Daily Show. Unless his handlers can control every facet of Bush making remarks in public, he's not safe when left to speak extemporaneously.
Remember when he attended a White House dinner for Queen Elizabeth when his father was the president?
Bush said the Queen asked him why his mother had seated them so far apart. Bush said he told the queen it was probably because he was the "black sheep of the family." Then he asked the queen if she had any black sheep in her family. The queen was not amused.
We need to restore dignity to the White House. We need a leader who knows when to be serious and when it's appropriate to be goofy.
Bush has had four years to sort himself out and learn how do conduct himself appropriately as the leader of the greatest, most powerful nation on earth.
He has failed.
It's time we elect a presidential president.

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