"This is a quick one... Just caught Tom Oliphant on Scarborough's show on MSNBC, and he had some fascinating insights into Kerry and Vietnam and the Swift Boat Scum that far outshone most of the crap usually on that channel/program. I know he's been a friend of Kerry's for over 30 years, but he seems remarkably objective about the man, the candidate, and his campaigns. A couple of his points:
Kerry, in every campaign he's ever run, has always invited (almost dared) his opponents to attack his Vietnam record. He "leads with his chin," but he does so on purpose. He relishes this fight, and it's a fight he's had over and over again. In this context, the words "Bring It On" take on an entirely new (and in this case, entirely earnest) meaning.
Kerry seems to have planned a very thought-out counterattack to the Swift Boat charges, "phase 2" of which is to begin tomorrow (he's speaking at Cooper Union, which The Note touched on briefly today). To Kerry, the counterattack is always what matters, not the attack itself. In this light, waiting a week or two before responding to the Swift Boat Scum was also a very planned decision.
Oliphant points out how much of this strategy (or obsession) has to do with Kerry's personal convictions and emotions. He has done this repeatedly, and has won every time. He really does turn his boat into enemy fire. Every time.
It was a very reassuring assessment of the man and his campaign. He doesn't fear attacks. He wants them. He invites them. That toughness is one of the most reassuring qualities I can imagine in a candidate. Hopefully, it will shine through to the electorate at large."
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
This is one of kos's diaries that Matt Gunn drew attention to: