Kerry Needs Gravitas

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Howard Roark

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Vanity | 9/16/04 | Lee Roggenburg

Kerry Needs Gravitas

It was a staple of the 2000 election that the selection of **** Cheney as Vice-Presidential candidate by then Governor Bush was seen as an attempt to bring gravitas to his candidacy. Governor Bush’s performance in the debates put that issue to rest, and his performance, as President no longer requires any time be spent on the issue. In retrospect, it was an intellectually lazy label placed by journalists unable to grasp the record generated by the President’s Texas Governorship. As we approach election day, it is becoming very apparent that the journalists should have held the current Democratic candidate to the same standard.

In my 28 years of voting for presidential candidates, I cannot remember either party nominating as much of an empty suit as John Kerry. His main claims to fame come down to two, that he is a war veteran, and that he is arguably America’s most successful gigolo. The fact that we struggle to come up with any achievements from his twenty year Senate career should have been a warning sign to Democrats anywhere. If the roles were reversed, and the Republicans nominated him, would we not have been hearing the same cries from 2000? Compounding the problem, whom does he nominate as Vice President but a one-term senator whose own claim to fame is to sue pediatricians.

What has happened to the Democrats? Even though I am a conservative, I would have trusted many Democrats with the presidency, such as Daniel Moynihan, Henry Jackson and Sam Nunn. Where are the heavyweights today? Even **** Gephardt would have been an improvement on Edwards. Is it possible the real reason this ticket is floundering is that it has no gravitas? Does anyone doubt that if Cheney were running against either Kerry or Edwards in this race as a presidential nominee that he would win easily? Does anyone living in the Midwest think that Edwards or Kerry would defeat Evan Bayh in a national campaign?

Ironically, this ticket has fallen to the charge leveled against Governor Bush in 2000. The choice of Edwards clearly shows that the self-anointed designation of the Kerry supporters of the candidate’s sophisticated intellectual nuance was an issue of self-delusion. A rushed decision, with little regard for the strategic implications of what the American public looks for in a Vice President (namely can they step into the job if necessary, as so eloquently put by the President two months ago), has helped to ruin a candidacy. Post-mortems will be fun to watch. Lets see if any of the nuanced class of journalist-thinkers gets it
 
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