On Thursday night America got its first chance to witness a head-to-head battle between President Bush and Princess Kerry. Even with a lack of substance to support himself, Kerry appeared to come away with a narrow victory.
He was confident and well-spoken every time he stepped up to the microphone, while Bush looked dazed. This will have an impact on swing voters who do not have a clear grip on the issues. The polls will likely show this as well.
Maybe Bush was tired from having met with victims of Florida’s hurricane devastation earlier. Maybe Kerry was relaxed from the manicure that he suffered through earlier in the day. Either way, Kerry came in with a plan to get Bush off his game: contradict yourself so much your candidate is left speechless.
For a while, Kerry had Bush on a heavy defensive about the war in Iraq. Bush was clearly agitated. But as Kerry’s negativity started to run thin, we were able to witness first-hand his notorious flip-flopping, second only to the luchadores of Mexican professional wrestling.
He started out by criticizing Bush for bringing us into war with Iraq and claimed that he would have made a “better decision.” “Wrong war, wrong time,” was the message. He hit Bush with a low blow by citing quotes from Bush Sr.‘s book that claimed moving into Baghdad during the first Gulf War would not have had an easy exit strategy. He compared this to what our troops are encountering today.
Bush defended himself by explaining how a good leader has to make tough decisions that not everyone will agree with and how tough it has been in Iraq. He continued by asking what kind of leader he would be if he did not support his decision and did not support the troops that have brought us so far.
A bewildered and desperate Kerry left us equally as astonished by turning around to make us believe he supported the war and the troops. It is hard to deny this, considering the well-known fact that he originally voted for and publicly supported the war, all the while condemning Saddam and calling ‘threat to freedom’ just as Bush had done. In the debate, he claimed the difference was that he would lead us in a better way. Of course he didn’t really say how or what he would have done, but on top of everything else it would have just confused us more.
With some of Kerry’s hypocritical comments regarding foreign diplomacy, I would be interested to see how some of AU’s ultra-liberal SIS students reacted. Kerry stated that Bush “pushed our allies aside.” He also spoke as though the allies that we do have are weak and are not even necessary. Bush seized upon this to point out how disrespectful this was to our current coalition and how a leader could not gain alliances in this way.
It astonishes me that someone making so many promises to create more friends out of other nations can belittle the ones we currently have. Whether the troops allies send are 4000, 1000 or one, the numbers add up, and if you want to keep them the least you can do is NOT speak poorly of them.
Fortunately for Kerry, his comments will go likely unnoticed. This is due to the fact that many get informed by watching George Bush video clips on the Daily Show. These clips are typically followed up by Jon Stewart staring off into space, which has somehow managed to stay hilarious for almost a decade.
Looking past some of Kerry’s other far-fetched plans, the point is that he can not even make sense of his own thoughts. If you are going to run for president of the United States and say you have a better plan, you don’t even need a platform, just some sort of thought you believe in. You have another week to change your mind again John. We’ll be waiting.