Friday, August 06, 2004

I was reading Time magazine and in the midst of this article I found something really strange.... BONKERS actually. See, the Time story was about Bush's new election strategy blah blah blah, but it also had parts about how his advisers and campaign strategists were watching Kerry's convention speech. Like, they were all watching it closely and conference calling one another and exchanging notes about how to respond to it and so forth, which was all quite normal, I felt. But then there was this bit of information [below], which struck me as totally odd. See if you agree, but I found it quite confounding and bizarre. It went;

'On Air Force One the day after Kerry spoke in Boston, aides described for the President, who hadn't watched the address, the Democrat's line of attack, including his claim that he would always fund U.S troops. Afterward, Bush asked to pump up the portion of his stump speech that lampooned Kerry's explanation of his vote against the $87 billion to fund the U.S. occupation of Iraq. "There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat," Bush said at stops in Missouri and Michigan.'

Whaaaa? Bush didn't even watch the speech? Um, let me repeat, with added incredulity: Bush didn't even watch the speech?! What the hell is that about? I'm sorry, but I think that's really really weird, even for him. It's just incomprehensible and singularly inattentive in the extreme. Like, this was the speech in which Kerry accepted his party's nomination to be Bush's opponent. That's not a small fry thing. It's a game on big time thing. It's action stations, people. So seriously, isn't it totally weird not to watch something that so directly relates to you, the content of which you will be dealing with for the next few months as you campaign against this one guy for the same job? My dad says it's not weird, it's just Bush putting distance between himself and Kerry, not 'dignifying' his opponent with any undue attention, or whatever. But, if that is Bush's reasoning, I think it's transparently ridiculous, especially considering that a) he immediately reacted to Kerry's speech [once made aware of its content] by making an alteration to his own, b) his staff were watching it really intently, and c) he was no doubt aware that he will be referring back to statements made by Kerry during this convention speech as the election campaign continues. I mean, Bush is clearly not going to ignore this speech. He's gonna be using Kerry's stuff in the debates and ads and all that, so why not watch the damn thing himself? Why not trust his own perspective, bring his own ideas and instincts and initial reactions to bear upon the buzzing mix of talk about how to deal with, respond to, or spin the thing? I'm just baffled. I mean, in the end, this race comes down to him and this one other guy. He's gonna have to take him on, spar with him, interact with him. So like, shouldn't he take a personal interest? Aren't there at least some things that come down to him and him alone, like sizing up his opponent's performance at a major moment? Instead of having his aides describe it to him! Seriously dude. That's just BONKERS!

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