Sunday, July 25, 2004

5 Things Kerry Needs to Take a Solid Lead

5 Things Kerry Needs to Take a Solid Lead

With a presidential race that's so close you couldn't fit a razor blade between the poll numbers to cut through the frozen picture of polarization, John Kerry really needs to work at being more than simply the "Anyone But Bush" already supported by nearly half the nation's voters. He'll need to convince swing voters of a few things. Five things, according to Bill Scher (of Liberal Oasis) at today's Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Kerry will need to be:

1-Reassuring us that a President Kerry will be tough on terror. No matter how some may deny it, the political truth is that the mainstream needs to feel safe and they vote based on their own security. They also vote based on their pocketbooks (and wallets, to be gender-fair). That said...

2-Saying precisely what he'll do with and about the economy. (Note-Have you seen Billmon's essay on the economy at Whiskey Bar? It's mighty good blogfare).

3-Telling his life story in a positive and inspirational way. He may seem to be one of the 'elite', but as the JibJab boys have pointed out, he's "got three purple hearts."

4-Keeping the acceptance speech reasonably short while leaving his audience amazed (as in not snoozing).

5-Kerry will need to make some contrasts between himself and Bush to give his candidacy a rationale..but he shouldn't spend more time criticizing Bush than the time he spends on selling himself.

It's your moment, Senator Kerry. Rack up the supporters. Cha-ching!

Note: I think it would help if the media was to show the rest of the nation that folks from Massachusetts (Boston, particularly) are just as gritty and religious and down-to-earth as anyone from any little town in America. (Speaking of Any Little Town, for some real Boston flavor, there's a song by that name sung by a great Boston-based band called the Push Stars). The Push Stars are Boston Red Sox sportscaster Peter Gammons' favorite band. Which leads me back to John Kerry.

Photo credit: Reuters

I turned on the game (Sox vs Yanks at Fenway) tonight and who do I see? None other than John Kerry throwing the first pitch and cheering from the stands. Asked by Mr. Gammons (during the game) if he'd make the troubling issue of steroid use in sports part of his platform, Kerry replied his major focus would be the war on terror, but commented that steroids defeat what sports are all about. Mr. Kerry also waxed nostalgic (already) about Grady Little (who was fired from the Sox organization following last season).


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