September 2 2004
ZELL GIVES 'EM HELL: You'll have to pardon my French,
but I had no idea they made cans of whoop ass that big.
Last night Zell
Miller opened one up on John Kerry, eviscerating Kerry's
thirty-year record on national defense in about 15 minutes.
It was the toughest political speech I've ever heard, delivered
with a passion that was as deep as it was obvious.
therein may lie a problem. Let's be blunt: Zell wasn't just
angry last night, he was mad as hell. And he didn't waste
any time taking out the brickbat and swinging away. But
as I watched from the floor I kept wondering, "is this
speech too much, is Zell being too angry and too tough?"
can be an effective tool in politics, if used selectively.
One thing you don't want to do, however, is to let anger
become a central and consistent part of the campaign, which
is something the Kerry folks have been struggling with for
a long time now.
there is also a big difference between being seen as angry
and being seen as mean. Politicians walk that line at their
own peril, and the question is whether Miller crossed it
I don't think he did. Miller's anger was directed at his
party in general and at John Kerry's abysmal voting record
on national security in particular. Miller didn't attack
Kerry as a person, only the votes he's cast and the statements
he's made as a publicly elected official. All fair game.
are certainly going to play the anger angle against Zell
as best they can - which in addition to being the smart
thing to do may be the ONLY thing they can do to try and
fend off Miller's devastating assault last night. Jay Carson,
a Democratic spokesman, is quoted in today's NY
Times saying of Miller, "This angry old man
is scaring the children.''
Dems will get an assist from some members of the mainstream
media, many of whom I'm sure were shocked - shocked! -and
appalled by what they saw and heard from Miller last night.
(Incidentally, Ann Curry from the Today show just reported
in her news wrap that Miller suggested John Kerry wanted
to arm US soldiers with spit balls and Campbell Brown said
Miller called Kerry "unpatriotic." Is that really
what he did, ladies?)
Street Journal interviewed the bloggers attending the
RNC a couple of weeks back and asked us which speech
we were most interested in hearing, I was the only one who
said Zell Miller. The reason I chose Miller is because there
are few things in campaigns that can be as potentially explosive
and devastating as having a member of the opposite party
endorse your candidacy. The fact that Miller was so angry
and so animated on the stage last night only added power
to what was already a remarkable event in this race: a Democrat,
albeit one in the Scoop Jackson/Harry Truman tradition,
publicly repudiating his party's nominee for President of
the United States and endorsing George W. Bush. - T.
Bevan 8:15 am Link |
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