Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004  

I had planned to continue my unconventional posting (and that bad pun) this week, leaving the analysis to the insiders.  But whooeee, that was a rip-snorter last night!  I can't resist thumbing through the papers today to see how it went over with the mainstream press.  After all, they'll be the principal crafters of what the voters understand about the convention (presumably, the swing 10% didn't listen to last night's several hours of speeches).

Middle and Left-leaning
Mr. Clinton's prime-time speech instantly dominated a convention that featured two ex-presidents and an almost-president. And for all of Mr. Kerry's expressed desires that the convention downplay attacks on Mr. Bush, delegates by the end of the night had in the three speeches heard a full-throated case against Mr. Bush's policies - though one often leavened by unthreatening language and expressions of respect for a sitting president.  (NYT)

Eager to convey a positive tone, the speakers barely mentioned President Bush by name. But all of them drew sharp policy and personality distinctions, warning of growing security and economic dangers if Bush is reelected this fall, and portraying Kerry as the wiser -- and, they argued repeatedly, ''stronger" -- steward of American interests.  (Boston Globe)

If anyone had a right to be aggrieved over the last presidential election, it was former Vice President Al Gore. He won the popular vote nationwide, but a 5-4 Supreme Court decision stopped the counting of Florida's disputed ballots and effectively handed Bush the White House. But appearing Monday night to an affectionate ovation, Gore urged Democrats to channel their anger over the 2000 election into support for Kerry and Edwards. Without ever saying I-told-you-so or mentioning Bush by name, Gore made clear his sense of vindication in a speech laced with humor.  (LA Times)

While Gore leavened his remarks with humor, another voice from the Democratic past made no effort to soften his criticism of Bush. Former president Jimmy Carter, who on other occasions has made clear his contemptuous feelings for Bush, said that the president's policies represent an abrupt break from historical tradition. He recalled serving as a naval officer under Democrat Harry S. Truman and Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, when Americans were sure that the country's leaders "would not put our soldiers and sailors in harm's way by initiating wars of choice unless America's vital interests were in danger."  (Washington Post)

Right and Far Right

Selections from the National Review
Is Al Gore bitter? Yikes! ... His face and body looked grim and angry. They must have wished they could have omitted him entirely.... What a nasty piece of work Jimmy Carter is. ... Things have come to a pretty pass when Hillary Clinton is the first sober, sensible voice of the evening. ...  OK, I’ll admit it. That was a good speech [by Clinton].   (Frum)    

If Al Gore had matched his pitch to the moment as perfectly in 2000 as he did tonight, he would be running for reelection today.  (Ponnuru)

The speech itself was harsh, unreasonable, and pure Jimmy Carter. His themes were a) that Bush was a quasi-deserter, b) that he is an "extremist," c) that he is a warmonger, and d) that he is a liar. Mayor Koch wrote a book about Mayor Giuliani called "Nasty Man." I think of that phrase when studying Jimmy Carter.  (Nordlinger)

But when Carter wasn't being unintentionally self-satirical, he was being his old squalid self.  (Hayward)

Washington Times
Bill Clinton accused President Bush of wasting the advances of his eight years as president in a rousing opening-night speech to the Democratic National Convention yesterday, urging the election of Sen. John Kerry to restore his legacy....  The Kerry campaign said the theme was the "Kerry-Edwards plan for America's future," but yesterday's lineup was heavy on the party's elder statesmen, including former President Jimmy Carter and former Vice President Al Gore, who focused on the past.  (link)

posted by Jeff | 7:00 AM |
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