It’s the Albatross

The Albatross is a gorgeous bird when it is flying. Majestic, magnificent, strong, and graceful. But when it attemps to land, or is on land, wow, just pathetic, which is really how it earned the nickname “Goony bird.” The Albatross was considered to be a harbinger of good luck to sailors, since they felt that land must be near. Woops, wrong! Goony birds can fly vast distances, and often stay out at sea for years.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young! 140
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, stanza 140)

Kerry is wearing many Albatross’ around his neck. His constant references to Vietnam. His considerable position changes. His inability to discuss his almost 20 years in the Senate. His lack of anything substantive while in the Senate. Being on the wrong side of almost every vote regarding weapon systems, Intelligence, and taxation. But, as Powerline notes:

“As a stump speaker, [Kerry] is pathetic. He is incapable of rousing even a friendly audience. He lacks a common touch of any kind. The incoherence of his positions on the campaign’s major issues has reached comic proportions. As of this moment, his campaign faithfully reflects his political weaknesses.”

There are really dozens of ways to attack Kerry, besides those that have been mentioned above. But, when it comes down to it, I believe that his speaking issues are primary. A good speaker might have been able to overcome any of the other deficiencies. Consider the debates between Reagan and Mondale.

In their first debate, Mondale destroyed Reagan.

Reagan was 73 when he faced Mondale in Louisville, and he came across as even older than his years. In his book Presidential Debates: Forty Years of High-Risk TV, Alan Schroeder writes, “Ronald Reagan would turn in the worst performance of his long career, appearing disengaged, disjointed, and discombobulated against Walter Mondale. . . . Not since Richard Nixon had a presidential debater stepped off the stage so battered.”

Even his opponent was shocked. “I remember wondering about Reagan as I came off the platform after that first debate,” Mondale told U.S. News recently. “I told my people that I was worried about him, and I really was. If you look at that debate closely, you’ll see that I even started letting up on him the last 15 or 20 minutes.” (which BTW, shows, no matter what one may say about Mondale, that he was a decent man)

What happened? For the first one, Reagan’s prep team had tried to stuff his head with the facts and figures that incumbent presidents were expected to have at hand. For the next debate Reagan heeded the advice of media guru Roger Ailes, who told him, “You didn’t get elected on details. You got elected on themes.” And Reagan gave a solid performance as a likable father figure whom the nation could trust.

Kerry does not come across as likeable, nor trustworthy. He comes across as “anyone but Bush.” In person, he isn’t as bad as on TV or the radio. I caught his act when Kedwards came to Raleigh in July. He comes across horribly on TV and the radio, with little voice inflection or emotion, and, on TV, he doesn’t look well. Reference the debates between Nixon and JFK, where Nixon was better on the issues, but was sick, and came across poorly. When I see Kerry, and it is sunny out, you cannot see his eyes. They are in shadows of his forehead. He just doesn’t look well. This does not inspire the voters to trust him. Many will stick with him because he is “not Bush.”

Ad to this that his typical speeches are more reminicent of one that would be given on the Senate floor. That may play well in the Senate, but it doesn’t play well with the voters, who will miss the message as they loose focus while attempting to decipher what he is saying. We have seen that Kerry does better in the polls when he says little to nothing. That is a precarious position with 3 debates coming up. Is GWB a great speaker? Hardly. But he speaks plainly, and with people. Kerry speaks at, and down to, the People. We do not need an Imperial President.

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One Response to “It’s the Albatross”

  1. Showcase says:

    Entry: It’s the Albatross

    Pirates Cove has It’s the Albatross:The Albatross is a gorgeous bird when it is flying. Majestic, magnificent, strong, and graceful. But when it attemps to land, or is on land, wow, just pathetic, which is really how it earned the…

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