September 17, 2004

Worst. Candidate. Ever.

I join the pile-on on John Kerry in my latest AmSpec column.

(Incidentally, as much as I enjoy a good Simpsons reference, I'm not sure if I'd go as far as Hugh Hewitt and call Kerry "simply the worst major party candidate of my lifetime, period"-- there's some stiff competition.)

Posted by John Tabin at September 17, 2004 02:27 AM
Comments

John Kerry has always been a regional figure, and has never had any real National prominence. There is a good reason for that; only Massachusetts would elect such a leftist bore and peacenik. Kerry has nothing to appeal to the heartland of America. His candidacy is clearly about fooling the electorate until after the election. That the race has been as close as it has been is merely a reflection of the fascination with novelty on the part of the undecided voters, coupled with the hatred of Bush by the yellow dog dems. I have predicted all along a comfortable Bush win; people tend to poll well for a guy like Kerry but when push comes to shove vote with some sense. Look at Ronald Reagan-his numbers were not great early on but he won in landslides in both elections. I don`t think, given the times, Bush will annihilate Kerry, but I see a comfortable victory.

Posted by: Tim Birdnow at September 18, 2004 11:14 AM

It's interesting, because I think Kerry calculated ways to avoid being worse than other Dem candidates, and is suffering for them nonetheless. He didn't promise, like Walter Mondale, to raise taxes. He doesn't have a goopy feel-good message like Carter. He doesn't wear his liberalism on his sleeve like Dukakis. He opted to build up a moderate record in 2000-2004 - voting for the Patriot Act but against Ashcroft, voting for Iraq war authority and then arguing about how to fund it.

But the way Bush/Cheney have lined the battlefield, it hasn't mattered. They've made the key issue "steady leadership." I'm sure if Dean was the nominee the key issue would have been experience and conservative values, and Bush'd still be winning strong.

Kerry isn't a great candidate, but he's probably the best the Dems had to offer against Bush. And Bush, come on, isn't that great a candidate. He doesn't have Reagan's charisma or his leads on the major issues.

Posted by: Dave Weigel at September 18, 2004 03:01 PM

Dave Weigel makes some good points, but I am forced to disagree with some of what he says. First off, Kerry has always voted the way his party has wanted him to vote, and his ``moderate`` voting record made him acceptable to the Democrats, but gets him very little traction with anyone else. His famous flip-flops result from a clear lack of core principle, and this was bound to come back to haunt him. I don`t believe for a minute that Kerry has been outmanuevered by Bush (and Karl Rove) on this; this is the fault OF THE CANDIDATE himself.

I would like to point out that several of the candidates in the primaries who fared poorly would have made much better candidates in the general elections. Lieberman, Gephardt, and Edwards would all have been easier to sell to the public than Kerry. The primaries are about winning your base. Unfortunately, the base of the Democratic Party is so far outside the mainstream of America that only a leftist would be acceptable. It was either crazie Howie or ``whats his name`` that fellow Kelly, or Kerry or whatever. They decided to go with Kerry because of his Silver Star. Now, I suspect, they know that star is a falling star.

Posted by: Tim Birdnow at September 19, 2004 07:55 PM

I think in my lifetime the very worst candidate was McGovern. He picked initially a disaster as VP and had to switch. He had a convention that looked almost like woodstock and scared many base democrats. He sounded absurd even though he was against an unpopular war.

Oddly enough his isolationist, pacifistic, anti-American power sentiment has persisted at the heart of the Democrat party to this day.

Had Vietnam been led sensibly by Johnson, or had there been no Vietnam, there may very well have never been an attack on the United States by Muslim terrorists. Even Carter may very well not have permitted the Iranians to hold us hostage for 444 days.

Like Kerry the mainstream media urgently wanted McGovern to win. Hopefully, they will not be able to pull it off this time either.

Dad

Posted by: leetabin at September 20, 2004 03:23 AM

This 'blog' has simply turned into one of the most arduous echo chambers I've seen. I used to come here to learn new things and see what the conservative viewpoint was doing, but the author has unfortunately sunk to the level of slinging mud and name calling, at the expense of examining issues and fomenting some kind of discussion. I don't have time for reading this kind of 'journalism' anymore, so I won't be coming back. I'm sure you won't shed any tears over this, but your site will suffer from tunnel vision that much more. Enjoy the echo.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 22, 2004 07:12 PM