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The Number 1 Qualification for the Next President
2006-09-20 21:13
by Scott Long
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

It's been a long time since I've stirred up some shinola around here, but I need to vent. After watching Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speak today, it became abundantly clear to me. The United States cannot ever again elect a President who is not a good public speaker. Chavez, who is a close, personal friend of another often misguided, but entertaining speaker, Ozzie Guillen, railed against President Bush referring to the "sulfur(ous) smell" that Bush had left from his appearance at the UN the day before.

Now Chavez is loony on many levels, but just like another scary leader, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he has real charisma when speaking. Not to go Thomas Friedman here, but in the global economy that we've chosen to live in, we have to rely more than just on our muscle to market our products to other countries. The President is our biggest sales person and George W. Bush has made us a laughing stock to most of the world. I know that Bush has been successful to many of our nation's brain dead playing the "I'm your big daddy and I will protect you from the baddy-bads who want to hurt you", but the real truth is he has even failed on the terrorism front and on most other issues, he is an outright failure.

Now, don't take this for a rant against the Republican party. While I think the party that has been in total power the past 6 years has done a miserable job of governing, as they've spent money like a 14 year-old girl with her first credit card, I do believe there are capable Republican's who fill the bill for what we need to help to begin getting us out of the diplomatic mess we are in with the rest of the planet. John McCain and Chuck Hagel are 2 men who possess the type of personality and rugged individulism that this country is desperate for. While I don't agree with their views on some major issues, they at least would bring some intelligence and wit back to the oval office.

The Democratic Party has been a bad joke ever since Bill Clinton left office. Al Gore and John Kerry not only didn't have the guts to speak from their hearts (instead blindly following what pollsters told them to say), but they also had so little charisma that they allowed the worst Presidential candidate of my lifetime to squeak out victories against them. (I say squeak because both elections would have produced a tainted winner, no matter who was victorious.) Not only have the Democratic presidential candidates lacked personality, but the current leaders of the senate and the house are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Not exactly Lyndon Johnson or Tip O'Neill in the force of nature departments.

Just like the Republicans, though, the Democrats do have some candidates with the type of verve and intelligence to begin to steer us back from the abyss that this current administration has led us. Joesph Biden, Bill Richardson, and John Edwards are men who have the mix of intelligence and charisma that the United States needs from its leader.

John Kerry seems to be talking about wanting to run again. Dude, no one wants you back. Kerry reminds me of the guy who goes into a bar and asks a woman if "I can buy you a drink." She replies "No", to which he says, "Well then how about us hitting the dance floor." "Sorry, I'm not interested" is her second brush off. Kerry would be the guy then who would take these first 2 rejections as the perfect opportunity for him to say, "Oh, I get it. You want to go back to my place so we can get it on!"

Dude, even though our ex-boyfriend (Bush) was an idiot and treated us badly, half us still went back with him because you were such a boring first date. You had your chance and you were unable to make us laugh and at the end of the date the warmest thing you could manage was a firm handshake. Sorry, but there are better prospects, so John Kerry, quit calling us!

Finally, you know I have made no mention of Hillary. I'm not a big fan of the former first lady and don't believe she has the type of charisma that the next occupant needs. She is such a devisive figure, which after 8 years of this type of split among the nation under Bush, I don't think would be healthy to continue. The one thing that does make her more attractive than the others is that Bill Clinton would come as part of the package.

I was in my very suburban neighborhood tonight, when one of the neighbor kids tripped over a box sitting on the driveway. He started crying and began to blame one of his friends who was right there for "not warning him." The crying boy's Dad said that his son never takes the blame for anything. I offered that it's this trait that might make him President of the United States. The neighborhood men who were there laughed and a couple of them simultaneouly both went into a "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" impression.

I replied that I long for the days when a hummer was the worst thing that we had to worry about. You know, when the stock market was booming, the deficit was non-existent, and we had the respect of most of the world. Before thejuiceblog was even around and we were writing at a different site than the Toaster, politics was discussed pretty regularly. Over the past couple of years it has disappeared because quite frankly, it's seems kind of pointless to debate many of the poor decisions that the Bush administration has made. Even most thoughtful Republicans know that the direction the country is going is not healthy. Kind of like being a Cubs fan. You love your team, but it still doesn't mean you don't want to fire the manager.

I know I've been pretty simplistic in my thoughts about what quality is the most important in our next President, but we have reached a point where we need a President who is both dynamic and intelligent. Fortunately for our country, the politicians who fit this category are not ruthless dictators like Chavez and Ahmadinejad. Our best choice would be to strike down the 22nd amendment and re-elect Bill Clinton, but since that won't happen; I will take my chances with the people I've mentioned. I just wish the election was tomorrow because another 15 months of the Skipper (Cheney) and Gilligan (Dubya) are only going to create a bigger hole for the next occupant.

Comments
2006-09-20 23:30:45
1.   das411
Oh boy...I know many many people that would love to debate you word for word here Scott, but let me just say for now that you sound like a Rudy Giuliani man to me...
2006-09-20 23:40:48
2.   Scott Long
I like Giuliani in a lot of ways, but how could the Republicans select a man in their primaries, who lived with his mistress in the mayor's mansion? I mean how Republicans focused on this one issue with Clinton, I don't see how Rudy's personal life could enable him to win. Sadly, many in this country would rather have an incompetent, dry drunk running things into the ground, versus a flawed guy who is the smartest, most seductive guy in the room.

I do love me a moderate, though, be it democratic or republican.

2006-09-21 05:54:00
3.   Dimelo
Scott, this was an absolutely great read. We need a f'ing leader, not some puppet that is guided by special interest groups and lobbyists. I'm huge reader of BxBanter, but I love mixing it up with politics too. I think many people are afraid to confront politics and discuss it constructively. This "President" has been a joke, he's alienated us from the rest of the world and he has done nothing but made this country about "Red" and "Blue" states - thus alienating the Americans that he represents too. The moderates, the people that I feel can make rational and intelligent decisions, are left w/o any representation. That's what bugs me most. I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, it's like that Chris Rock bit where he goes off on a people that align themselves with one group and agree with everything and find nothing wrong with that line of thinking. We are definitely regressing as a society; the rest of the world is evolving (kind of like evolution...hmmmmm) and we are going back to the stone age. Pretty soon some Americans will start to believe the Earth is really flat and that God only recognizes one planet and the Sun revolves around the Earth. Everything we have concluded to this point will be reversed if we are guided by the American Taliban.

I voted for Kerry because there was no better option, it's a sad state of affairs when the Democratic party leaves us with the ugliest person to take to the prom.

2006-09-21 07:01:08
4.   vockins
This reads like a Willy Loman flashback.

Charisma is the absolute last thing I will consider the next time I enter the voting booth.

2006-09-21 07:52:37
5.   Scott Long
Fortunately, the people with the most charisma that are running for president this time around, also happen to be intelligent, as well. While Clinton was generally the smartest guy in the room, you don't have to be that way to be a good president. Someone who is a leader who surrounds himself with quality people and isn't afraid to hear negative news (see another weakness of our current occupant) will succeed just as well. Clinton relied heavily on Robert Rubin and Greenspan to shape our economic program and it thrived under their leadership.
2006-09-21 07:59:03
6.   chris in illinois
Two words:

Barack Obama.

The guy is a dynamite speaker plus he's bright. As an Illinois State Senator he was the one politico who would ever come into my bookstore and look for serious works on current affairs, military history, economics, etc.

Former governor/soon to be jailbird George Ryan bought books about puppies.

2006-09-21 09:02:40
7.   Todd S
#3 Since you brought it up, I see nothing constructive in your post.
2006-09-21 09:27:48
8.   Bluebleeder87
John McCain or John Edwards are pretty good picks if you ask me, i've seen & heard Obama speak & he sounds like an inteligent fellow as well.
2006-09-21 09:34:44
9.   Scott Long
I think Obama is 4 to 8 years away from running, as he hasn't been in office long enough. Not saying he isn't really talented and attractive as a candidate, just think a VP slot might be a better place for him in 2008. By the way, Chris, the Ryan line about him buying books about puppies really made me laugh. Maybe he should have used that as part of his character defense at his trial.
2006-09-21 09:54:06
10.   Voxter
I think that Obama has to be the great hope to revive the Democratic party sometime down the line, but he isn't even making noise about running next time. The problem he's going to run into is that, if he waits till 2012 he will have been a senator for 10 years, which is a dangerous proposition for a person running for President: He'll have a long record wide-open for people to bust him on. The last Senator to be elected President was, if I'm remembering correctly, Lyndon B. Johnson, and he was an incumbent president before he ever had to run under his own steam.

On the subject of Hillary Clinton, the real issue is that there's no way she'll get elected in the general runoff. She might get nominated because she appeals to hardcore Democrats who vote in primaries, but there are too many people -- guys, mostly -- who wouldn't be able to bring themselves to vote for her, especially if she was running against someone like John McCain, who seems reasonable, whether he is or not. The only way she'd have a chance is if the Republicans were dumb enough to actually nominate Condi Rice or someone else who had too much of an odor of the current administration -- which is never going to happen. With their track record of picking the worst possible candidate (as I SAID THEY WERE DOING BEFORE THEY EVEN DID IT, GOD DAMN IT), I imagine Democratic voters probably will pick Clinton, and thereby hand the White House to the Republicans for the third straight time.

2006-09-21 10:41:22
11.   AnneP
Scott,
I don't know you but, as a woman, I can say your analogy fails on both levels. On the less important level, it seems that John Kerry, as both a teen ager and an adult was likely far better at attracting and keeping the interest of very intelligent, caring, beautiful woman than you imagine. Could it be jealousy?

On the more important level, it was John Kerry, who the Democratic electorate took home to marry in 2004. By November, 2004, in spite of many people lying about his past and hiding the flaws of his competitor, it is likely that more people woke up that day wanting to choose him. If a biased media had given him the coverage of any previous major party candidate, he would have convinced far more.

Since then, many things he said that were called lies or stupid have been proven to be true.
- Bush did outsource the effort to capture OBL to the Afghan warlords who only weeks before were on the side of the Taliban. In 2005, a CIA person involved in the effort said this was true.
- Bush did fail to secure the ammo dumps - whose contents were used in the IEDs that now kill our kids.
- Even George Will says that Kerry was right on the way to fight terrorism with international cooperation, intelligence and law enforcement as was doen to thwart the London plot that was palnned by Al Qaeda in the lawless area of Afghanistan and Pakistan - where Bush allowed OBL and Al Qaeda to escape to. (Even the Taliban largely escaped to regroup in Quetta, a capital of one of the Pakistani provinces - per testimony before the SFRC tody)

What I would want from a President is a person, who has been willing to stand and tell the truth - even when no one wanted to hear it, who has a sane foreign policy and a fair domestic agenda. Of the candidates, the only one I have seen who has these qualities is John Kerry.

http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2006_09_09.html

The ficticious woman didn't come close to accepting John Edwards offer in 2004, when John Kerry was around. He is charming, but he has very little experience in foreign policy. He was an outstanding trial lawyer.

Joe Biden has none of Kerry's class or his credentials to be a leader who could convince the world we want to be a respectable country again. Most disturbing is his CFR speech in 2005, where he praised Bush's "spreading democracy" ideas as JFK with a Southern accent. His Iraq plan puts the US in the role of Britain drawing the lines to break up the "colony".

Bill Richardson, no thank you.

2006-09-21 11:43:51
12.   chris in illinois
Scott,

I'm glad you that my Ryan crack was funny---it was meant to be; sadly it is also 100% true (not that an Illinois governor really needs to be a foreign affairs expert).

I don't really think that Obama is ready for the presidency in 2008, but in the spirit of your post, I think he can speak to the sorts of issues that Clinton did---with the same sort of eloquence...therefore, he probably has the best chance of getting elected.

11. I liked John Kerry, I thought he was an hororable man who wasn't quite as charismatic as he needed to be. Sad as it may be, charisma counts for a lot.

Charisma is probably the single most important thing that a president needs to win an election and to be effective after the election. Let's face it, American Presidents are not idea men. They can't be, it's the nature of the job (ideally, of course, the president might have at least one or two ideas floating around) that they rely upon others to provide them the substance that they in turn try to sell to the American People. Charisma as a president can be very useful in attracting driven, competant people to your administration.

Personality is the key, it's not like the President can or does do the intellectual heavy lifting once in office anyway.

Obama in 2008!!!

2006-09-21 12:00:51
13.   Scott Long
Anne. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

I don't disagree with many of your points, just that our next president needs to be able to connect with all of the country, something Kerry has no idea on how to do. The guy has never shown an ability to connect with the average Joe, which even his senior senator from Mass, Ted Kennedy has managed to do in the past.

I could go on more about charisma being vital, but I think Chris does a great job of explaining my view. I have met few women who were excited about Kerry's candidacy. The women that are friends of mine are very intelligent broads (they are also the kind that can realize the humor in that statement.) They were voting against Bush more than voting for Kerry, when I spoke to them about it. Now when it came to Bill Clinton, they were huge fans, as he was the type of candidate that connected with them. I'm glad Kerry did the same for you, but unfortunately, you were in the minority.

I would be curious to know where you are from, as I just didn't run into many big fans of Kerry who weren't from the Northeast. Since I travel all over the country, I feel like I have a decent feel for this subject, especially since I'm one of the few comics who actually discuss politics in their act.

2006-09-21 13:01:35
14.   Bluebleeder87
Bill Richardson, no thank you.

exactly, i really wonder how McCain would have handled the war in Afghanistan & Iraq.

2006-09-21 13:03:02
15.   Bluebleeder87
The women that are friends of mine are very intelligent broads

oh man!! LOL'ed!!

2006-09-21 13:06:37
16.   Bluebleeder87
Now when it came to Bill Clinton, they were huge fans, as he was the type of candidate that connected with them.

my noughty mind is thinking noughty thoughts. :o)

2006-09-21 13:41:00
17.   das411
Ok, I now have a sneaking suspicion that Scott would actively campaign for a Gingrich/Lieberman ticket.
2006-09-21 14:31:55
18.   TFD
I think I just died and went to heaven. I especially like that penultimate paragraph - - plus posts from Todd S and chris in illinois...makes an old blogger nearly weep.

sniff

Carry on my brothers....O/U!

2006-09-21 15:35:38
19.   chuie
I'm kinda hoping Huckabee will switch parties (though maybe it would be better for him to work from inside to change the GOP).
2006-09-21 16:40:15
20.   scareduck
Huckabee? The Reverend Governor?

That would be a mistake about as bad as Bush, if not worse. Think of a man not only reliant on southern evangelicals to win office, but who is one of them... Bush can at least claim not to be a Rev.

2006-09-21 17:10:45
21.   George Y
Scott--

I think you wrote the first sentence that's contained the words "Joe Biden" and "charisma," if we don't count the email at MBNA around the time of the bankruptcy bill.

2006-09-21 17:22:47
22.   Catherine
Sorry, Scott. I must disagree.

Do you really believe the country is desperate for John McCain's personality? If that's the case, desperate is the operative word.

Remember this McCain knee-slapper?
"Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father." - John McCain
That was hysterical! Making fun of a little girl! Witty!

And this, addressed to freshman Senator Barak Obama:
"I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics, the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us." -John McCain
How classy is that? If I were a junior senator, I think I'd put him right at the top of my mentor list.

But here's my favorite:
"The President's leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror" -John McCain
No commentary required.

After members of his own party trashed McCain's military service, called him the Manchurian Candidate, claimed his wife was a drug addict, said he fathered a black child out of wedlock, accused him of commiting treason and started a whispering campaign that he was a homosexual, what was his response?
I will paraphrase: "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"

On top of all that, he's old and pasty. Now, that's a real turn on.

Let's vote for him, gals!

I don't know about the broads you hang out with, but most of the chicks I know would vote for Kerry over McCain in a heartbeat.

As for the rest of your faves, none has the experience, integrity or charisma of John Kerry. I'm guessing you've never met him, because in the vernacular of your blog, you're way off base.

-A Mid-Atlantic babe for Kerry

2006-09-21 19:42:03
23.   Scott Long
Catherine, my Kerry lovin' babycakes. It was John Kerry who was desperate for John McCain's approval, actually pitching a ticket with the 2 of them on it in 2004.

I don't excuse his comments about Chelsea, which he apologized for. It was an awful thing to say, as a child should never be the butt of a joke, unless they are some annoying brat on a sitcom. I do like in general, though that he's not so afraid to say something a bit politically incorrect, if it makes him laugh. Kerry was so timid about speaking his mind, but then he hasn't been free with any public statements since he came back from Vietnam and went in front of the Senate to unload. That was the only John Kerry who ever moved me.

Guess what, I voted for Kerry. It wasn't a question, as he was up against the worst president in my lifetime. Still, he couldn't get enough people to join him, as he left too many undecideds saying I will just stay home. Gay marriage or not, the guy just couldn't move people. I'm glad he did you and Anne, but not enough women agreed, especially considering the exit polls showed women believing in most of his policy positions. They just didn't like him.

Do you really think that he could win this time around? Old and Pasty McCain (he's pasty because he survived skin cancer and probably thinks it's not a good move to baste in the sun anymore) would wipe the floor with the guy. McCain is wrong on the war and I'm not saying I would even vote for him, but he has leadership skills that Kerry and Bush don't.

Besides the war the thing that most bothers me about McCain is the whole deal in South Carolina. I hate that he has laid down on this subject, but he knows that he needs Bush's rolodex to raise enough money to defeat a Democratic candidate. All politicians sell their souls to a certain degree, but I would think even you would agree that McCain has done less of that than most candidates. Actually, I like Hagel more, but he won't run as long as McCain is doing it.

I like Edwards, as I think he has an amazing backstory and is a dynamic speaker when performing in front of a live audience. He has some of the ability that Clinton does of being able to connect with all races and economic groups. We need that after the last 6 years of governing with a financial stake set up for the elites and a social set-up to get bible thumpers on their side.

Thanks for taking so much time to put up your comments. I try to be polite to anyone who posts here, but I have to mention one thing you wrote. John Kerry has the more charisma than the people I listed? You have got to be out of your mind. The guy has all the personality of Clarke/Kubrick's Hal the computer. Most Democrats cringe when he is shown on TV, as they know that he doesn't connect with the average Joe, as he's too stuck in the Brahmin/Yale/forever in DC as a Senator-speak.

I will give Kerry one thing on the charisma point. He dated Morgan Fairchild. I mean, she dated Alan Cranston for awhile, so I guess she's not focused on looks, but he must have some game to score on her. Yeah, I know, a classy breakdown. Well, I find this type of analysis more interesting than Robert Novak or Walter Shapiro breaking it down.

2006-09-21 19:57:15
24.   chris in illinois
While we're at it, anyone care to guess who the GOP candidate in 2008 might be???

Another Bush?? You know, stay the course---after all it really takes a Bush to tend to the business of the House of Saud, so I'm guessing that it'll be Jeb or Jenna, or Barb jr. or hell maybe Bush I runs again....

Aside to TFD:

Congrats on a nice season rescued from the brink. Since my Braves are kaput! I'll be rootin' for you----I've always felt a certain connection with the Twins since 1991 (that and the pretty scandinavian concession workers at the Metrodome...).

2006-09-21 21:07:50
25.   Catherine
Scott
Have you met John Kerry?
Have you listened to any of his recent speeches? Have you attended any?
Do you get C-Span II?
Just curious.
I've had the great pleasure of talking with Sen Kerry, and have been at speeches where he's been met by cheering crowds. I've seen large groups of people literally follow him down the street after hearing him speak.
I think, Scott, that you're watching too much mainstream news between games.
If you get a chance, listen to what Sen Kerry says, not what the media says he says.
By the way, you're not correct regarding Kerry and McCain. The rumors of a McCain VP offer came from McCain, not Kerry, and were fueled by a comment Joe Biden made. As for who supported whom, in McCain's words during the very difficult Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA affairs hearings, it was McCain who relied on Kerry for support.
Kerry, McCain said, would "put a restraining hand on my arm" in a silent show of support. "I became very grateful that he did,".
McCain, despite the media puffing him up, is not a leader. He's just another Bush enabler who takes a seemingly strong position from time to time, only to back down from it when his buddy Bush yanks his leash.
Sorry, he's the worst possible candidate I can imagine. And we haven't even discussed his connection with the Keating five.
John Kerry got more votes in 2004 than any Democratic candidate ever. More than Clinton, more than Gore. I think he had a bit of support.
But thanks for playing, hon.
2006-09-21 21:36:31
26.   Illinois Liberal
Scott,

Have you ever met John Kerry? For that matter, have you met every Democrat in America? You seem to be keen on saying "most Democrats weren't inspired by Kerry" and similar sweeping garbage generalizations, so I'm just wondering if you actually have met most Democrats, or if you're just projecting your feelings onto everyone else. My guess is B. Why do I say that? Because this Democrat - and nearly every Democrat I know - really likes John Kerry. PS - I know many, many scores of Democrats. So there goes your anecdotal evidence, Scott.

It's obvious you think you're really cool and clever, what with all your little jokes about Kerry's alleged lack of charisma. I wonder if you'd actually have the nerve to say those things to Senator Kerry's face? Anyone - literally anyone - can be snarky and jaded over the internet. It is not unique or particularly clever. I wonder if you'd be quite so "witty" to John Kerry's face. Your comments are incredibly tasteless and betray a lack of knowledge about anything deeper than the latest Chris Matthews talking points, and believe you me, I'm not the only Democrat who finds such lazy faux-clever armchair analysis tiring and banal.

For the record, I have met John Kerry. Despite your bend-over-backwards attempts to be clever in your personal insults of him, he is nothing like the media caricature you eagerly parrot. He is warm, sincere, and funny. I find it sad that you don't appear inclined to look any deeper than what Wolf Blitzer, Candy Crowley, etc tell you to think about John Kerry. You're going to believe the same media corps who sold us the lies about Iraq's WMDs are going to suddenly start telling the truth about Democratic candidates? Are you really that naive?

I'll tell you the truth about John Kerry. The truth is, he's uncovered more terrorism than any Republican could ever claim to - his investigations into the Bank of Credit and Commerce International busted a global terror money laundering ring, and it was John Kerry who uncovered the Iran Contra drug money for arms scandal. Here's a link to the actual facts for your reading pleasure: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0409.sirota.html

Scott, it's east to parrot the media's spin, but it requires a little more thought to find out the real story. The next time you're going to presume to offer Democrats your advice, the least you could do is do your homework instead of cracking lame jokes that could have been ripped from the Tucker Carlson show. Thanks.

2006-09-21 22:01:04
27.   Scott Long
CSPAN-2 you call it. Hmm, nope, never heard of it. Unless it's a sports channel, I never really watch anything else. You know, I'm just some guy who writes a sports blog.

Yes, I've seen Kerry speak. The guy makes Al Gore speeches sound like Jesse Jackson.
Clinton wiped the floor with Dole in 1996 and in 1992, it was a 3 man race. Actually, you could mention that Nader in 2000 cost Gore a lot of votes, as well.

In 2004, it was sitting there for Kerry, but he couldn't translate to enough people. Obvioulsy, he connected with you. Good enough. I don't know where you get your info on the McCain/Kerry offer, because I've never heard from any media source your version of it. Please send me a link that doesn't come from the John Kerry myspace page that I'm guessing you got this info from.

Live in your land of delusion, but John Kerry will never win one more Presidential primary state again in his career. I'm just talking one state. I doubt he could win a Presidential Primary in his own home state. Take that to the bank or your favorite Keating 5 savings and loan.

Actually, he might be only the 3rd most popular politician in his own home state, as Ted and my guess Romney have higher favorables.

Now I'm going to go downstairs and watch my "on the road to the white house" CSPAN reruns, while reading my copy of Brian Lamb's "Booknotes: Stories from American History". You will have to send me your address, as I'm having an Washington Journal party this weekend at my house. My friends all get together and we drink bloody mary's and call-in questions on the Democrat's line. We do shots everytime Steve Scully has an uncomfortable pause after a caller goes apeshit.

2006-09-21 22:17:14
28.   Scott Long
Now on to Illinois Liberal. Thanks for calling me out for not saying these things to John Kerry's face. I really respect your view, when you use the moniker, Illinois Liberal. Nice attack. I'm a public figure, who has had my name on every post I've written here for the past 4 years. I tour the country doing stand-up, where anyone can call me on anything I say.

I don't recall saying anything bad about Kerry as a person, just that he was a poor political candidate. I read Charles Pierce's great feature on Kerry in GQ, before the election and really liked Kerry from it. Unfortunately, he either didn't choose to show this side in the election or he just can't do it in a public setting.

I'm not a liberal, I'm a moderate. I have never voted for any Republican candidate for President, but I have voted for a couple Republicans in other races. It really amuses me that I write that George W. Bush is the worst president of my lifetime and that he is wrecking this country and get no shots by Republicans. (if only the Dixie Chicks were so lucky) Instead I get it from Kerry apologists. OK. I like the debate. Maybe we can learn something here from this.

I will say it one more time. I like McCain as a man. By the way, so does Kerry and Edwards and Feingold and even Ted Kennedy. Doesn't mean I like a lot of his policies. Doesn't mean I would vote for him over any of the Democrats I listed. But if it's versus John Kerry, I would go with McCain, as I feel he is a leader that Kerry hasn't shown to be since he came back from Viet Nam.

By the way, I don't watch CNN, except for the occasional Lou Dobbs frivolity. Usually I'm in bed with Catherine, watching C-Span. It's like foreplay for that sex kitten. Of course, I know she fantasizing about John Kerry when we're doing it, but then I'm thinking about Katarina vanden Huevel. We all have to make trade-offs.

2006-09-21 22:54:35
29.   Bluebleeder87
Guess what, I voted for Kerry.

for the record i voted for him as well.

2006-09-21 23:14:35
30.   das411
Scott, you haven't gotten any response to "George W. Bush is the worst president of my lifetime" because all of us who disagree realize how useless it is trying to discuss him with people who are still stuck in December 2000.

And you seriously expect us to believe it's not Jenn Granholm you are thinking about?

2006-09-21 23:59:28
31.   Scott Long
Granholm was second. And by the way, many of us are stuck in November 2004.
2006-09-22 05:14:05
32.   AnneP
!3.

Thanks for your polite response. Sorry, I didn't respond earlier, life interferes with posting at times. I am from the very red state of Indiana.

I think more people, men and women,would have been enthusiatic, if the media had shown more of John Kerry. I remember in 1992, that the evening news and the cable shows showed big enthusiastic groups of people following former President Clinton. The TV had him saying some of his more inspired lines, "Hope is on the way". This built up a sense of excitement. Meanwhile, they spoke of exPresident Bush throwing up on the Prime Minister of Japan.

In 2004, that didn't happen. I went to a Kerry rally while visiting relatives in a swing state. The crowd was incredibly excited and he was a wonderful speaker. He absolutely connected with the crowd. I saw the coverage on national news - they didn't show the crowd hardly at all - you could think he was speaking to a few hundred rather than the tens of thousands of people. More importantly, they showed him saying about 10 words. If I wouldn't have been there, I would have thought his campaign was having trouble getting people to came out.

I remember comments during the Democratic convention. As a woman, I loved his dark haired daughter's story of him saving her sister's hamster. Though I would prefer to vote for a nice guy, a more important qualification is his competance and what he says he would do. But, that story and the comments of several other people, convinced me that he was a person who cared deeply for others. I also saw in an interview of the other daughter that she had the same values her dad claimed.

I read what I could and watched what I could on television. I liked the Frontline (?) double biography of Senator Kerry and President Bush. What was clear is the editors had to strech to fill in any accomplishments in the President's first 40 year!

You say none of the "broads" you know were excited about Kerry. Maybe it's being from where I'm from or my age, but I don't think I've ever been called that. What I saw in Senator Kerry was a good, principled man, who seemed incredibly smart (like President Clinton) - he was brilliant in the debates. I always had mixed feelings on Clinton, as a person. I sensed that I couldn't trust him because I could see he could stretch the truth, but he was very charming.

I think If Senator Kerry had become President and people got to know him better, he would have won more people over.
As a mother of early adult kids, I am impressed by the very obvious respect, admiration and love his daughters have for him.

This is rambling, so I win end

2006-09-22 05:55:20
33.   Catherine
Scott-
So sorry I missed the latest. I headed to bed early with the John Kerry edition of Rolling Stone and a copy of "Tour of Duty".
I'm late for work, sweetums, but here's your link:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4542473
Please post one for me that quotes either John Kerry or John McCain indicating Kerry offered McCain the VP spot. I wouldn't spend too much time googling, sugar-buns. It doesn't exist.
By the way, do you really do stand-up? Because 'most people' I've spoken with think you're not all that funny. I keep insisting that you are, but they said they heard you weren't, so there you go. Sorry, I tried.
I get off work at 6. I'll wear that black number if you promise to read me transcripts from the latest Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
XXOOXOXOX
2006-09-22 09:44:03
34.   Illinois Liberal
Wow Scott, I can see why you do stand-up. You're hilarious! Maybe you can make another stale and inane comparison between Kerry and (insert stereotypical boring character here) because God knows you haven't done that enough in this thread! It is really hilarious, though, so I can see why you're wearing it out.

By the way, I'd sure like to know where you pulled your "Masssachusetts popularity poll" figure from. Having lived in Massachusetts and knowing many people there, I can unequivocally state that Kerry is far more popular than Mitt Romney (no one can touch Teddy. He's a god in Massachusetts). I had the pleasure of attending one of his speeches at Fanuiel Hall this summer. For a guy no one likes, he sure did pack the place, and was mobbed by people for about 30 minutes after the speech. So, thanks for trying, but please don't try to pretend you can just make up things out of the blue.

I wonder if you can name one real thing John McCain has actually done for this country?
Here are some things he's done, but they don't exactly demonstrate leadership: http://www.senatemajority.com/john_mccain_weasel_watch_on_detainees

Sorry, I have to go now. I'm the moderator of Kerry's Myspace page and I need to add some more floaty heart graphics to the picture shrine. Feel free to stop on by if you want to actually interact with real Democratic women, instead of pretending you know how we all "really feel." By the way, did you read my link? You might learn something!

Maybe I'll forward your blog onto Senator Kerry (via supersecret Myspace messaging, of course, GIGGLE) so that he can stop by your HILARIOUS stand up gig the next time you're in Boston, and then you can have a grand old time making tedious and unclever jokes about his charisma! He might crack a smile, but I'm not sure he could actually manage a real laugh, being so bereft of charm, and all.

2006-09-22 11:21:26
35.   Scott Long
Since I am trying to be interactive here we go on my latest responses.

Intelligent Broads is a joke. I've always been outfront on equal rights and the only women that have ever appealed to me are feisty, intelligent women. This is probably why I like the respondents here, despite your verbal abuse towards me. I do like to give it out though to groups who are too precious with what words are wrong to their ears. This is why I would use the word broad, as long as I had the word intelligent in front of it.

I hate POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. This is one of the few things that the O'Reilly's and Limbaugh's are right about when disparaging Liberals. By being so precious about what can be said and what can't, it takes a lot of the freedom and fun that speaking off the cuff can be about. I'm not saying you 3 are that way, as I don't know you, but it is the case in a lot of situations for most Liberals. I also think the measured way that Kerry responded to things made him difficult to love for a lot of people.

I loved all the sarcasm that the 3 of you dished out at me. Kudos to you. In regards to my standup career, the whole I haven't heard of you so you can't be good line is pretty shallow. I would think you would know as intellectual individuals that what makes someone popular often rides directly against what is truly smart. See TV sitcoms and the music chart and the Top 10 movies and ...... I think you get my point.

I'm not saying I'm some kind of Carlin, Hicks, or Bruce, but I will say that I think I'm one of the few comics out there that consistently do well with audiences and still have some challenging social commentary. I would like to see any of you perform at an Air Force base in Alabama like I did in 2004 and have material disparaging the President and exalting Bill Clinton. This is one problem I have with too many Liberals. They stay in their Liberal communities, hanging with their Liberal friends, spouting off their Liberal views, but not going out into the rest of the country to learn why others may feel differently. I'm not saying you 3 are these people, as I don't know you and since Anne lives in Indiana (so do I part of the year), unless you live in Bloomington or NW Indiana, I know you must have to spar with other viewpoints.

I will respond to the Kerry/McCain ticket in a seperate post.

I realize that you are strong supporters of Kerry. I can remember in college at the University of Iowa, I went to all the major candidates speeches and idealistically, I was most impressed with a guy from Arizona named Bruce Babbitt. I went to the caucus and pitched him, as I thought he was the best candidate. Problem was he didn't have the personality to connect with a lot of people and his voice wasn't one you liked to listen to, even if what he said did resonate.

Let's get past 2004 for a minute and look at 2008. Do you actually think that Kerry is someone the Democratic party would put on the ticket again? I just haven't seen anyone high up in the party who is endorsing this idea. You have to be able to raise money and I just don't know how he would be able to do it again. This isn't the days where we have backrooms at the convention and the party will put up Adlai Stevenson again and again. Tell me how I'm wrong on this view.

2006-09-22 11:37:29
36.   Scott Long
And now back to 2004. Here are 3 links discussing varying degrees of courtship by Kerry of McCain. Not saying that McCain didn't initially invite the offer, but it was Kerry who kept floating the concept, even after McCain said it wasn't going to happen.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/elect/vp11.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,124970,00.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/12/politics/main611483.shtml

2006-09-22 16:42:20
37.   Ruben F Pineda
Bill Clinton is one of the top 10 presidents of all time. If Thomas Jefferson can have babies with his slaves and be considered top 5, I see no reason The sax playin pimp can't get a little fellatio and be in the top 10.

John Kerry is not a viable presidential candidate. While at UCLA (a very left leaning institution), it was amazing how disappointed we all were when he started running away with the Democratic primaries. The Democrats had a chance with John Edwards, maybe even Howard Dean if he had managed his campaign WAAAY better, John Kerry was every person in my poli sci class's 4th candidate.

And I would hope that the previous years presidential candidate can pack an auditorium in his own state. Im not saying he is not a funny, charming guy, but that isn't evidence of it.

I think the most important characteristic for our next president has to have is "displayable intelligance". (S)He has to be smart, and sound like it. Pretty much what you said Scott, but I guess with a little more substance.

And you are funny, at least most of the time :-)

McCain v. Edwards in 2008 seems like best case for everyone...

2006-09-22 20:17:09
38.   Illinois Liberal
OK, Scott, time for me to be completely serious. I had fun with the snark and I'm glad you did too, but there are some serious factual errors I have to point out before I bid you adieu.

First, there is absolutely no proof in any of the links you provided that Kerry wanted McCain to be his VP. In the first article, a quote:

"Senator McCain categorically states that he has not been offered the vice presidency by any one," said McCain's chief of staff, Mark Salter, who would not confirm the officials' account.

So, it would appear that the "Democratic consultants" who offered their anonymous two cents are lying, or else McCain is. Both versions cannot simultaneously be true.

Perhaps Kerry was asking McCain for an endorsement, since they were supposedly old friends (McCain betrayed that illusion in 2004, which is one reason not to support the backstabbing son of a bitch. How could he endorse Bush after Bush slandered his military service and mocked his family in 2000?). The point is, Scott, we don't know, but the media - who, surprise surprise, promoted a lot of other false rumors in 2004 - seemed highly invested in pimping and distorting these so-called rumors. The third article you linked was called "Democrats dream ticket dies" - yet there is no quote, anywhere in the article, of Kerry actually approaching McCain or of any Democrat saying that Kerry/McCain was their "dream ticket." The title was, of course, more sensationalistic made-up bullshit from our storied media.

The media has a lot invested in the "McCain as maverick" mirage, mainly because they've been pimping it so long and so hard that if it came out now that he's actually a craven rightwinger, their entire carefully constructed storyline would be demolished. McCain votes for the hard-right Republican agenda more than 95% of the time - is that what you call a "maverick"? He's also a sellout - he was against torture before he was for it, apparently.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/21/AR2006092101647.html

The "torture compromise" essentially allows Bush to continue current interrogation techniques - which DO violate international human rights laws - and prevents torturers from ever being held legally responsible. So in other words, nine months after he sponsored a torture ban in the Senate, McCain is now trying to PASS a bill authorizing the president to torture detainees. What principles!

Okay, enough on how McCain sucks. Suffice to say, I - and many, many, many other people - heartily disagree with your assessment of Senator Kerry's personality. Those who have met him find him warm, charming, and funny, and those who don't - well, maybe they shouldn't let Jay Leno tell them what to think.

Furthermore, in regards to your question about fundraising and 2008 viability, you may be interested to know that Kerry has actually raised MORE money for Democratic candidates in 2006 than any other Democrat, including Hillary Clinton. He's raised $14 million - clearly, his fundraising skills aren't so lackluster as you might imagine. He also has a 3 million strong email list - no one is forcing those people to continue receiving the emails or to donate. Guess that means quite a few Dems around the country still like boring ol' Kerry after all.

Link for fundraising article: http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2006/07/warner_staffs_u.html

And, last but not least, I am an Illinois Liberal, but I'm not from Chicago. I'm from a rural area and I know what it's like to be surrounded by conservatives. So I'm hardly an ivory-tower limosine liberal supporting Kerry for whatever ultra-lefty purist reasons you might imagine. I support him because I was truly inspired by his 2004 campaign, and upon meeting him, I discovered that he really is as sincere, humble, and warm in person as I imagined him to be. All joking aside, I hope you get the chance to meet him someday, because I think you'll walk away impressed.

Well, it was fun, Scott, but it's time for me to go. It's been at least an hour since I've added a new HOTT PIC to Kerry's Myspace profile, and the clamoring legions of fans await. (Couldn't resist one more dig.)

Adieu, Illinois Liberal

2006-09-22 21:14:59
39.   Scott Long
Kerry spoke to McCain about the VP gig. I'm not saying he offered it to him, but he did continue to be evasive about the subject for awhile before he chose someone, as he knew it would be good press for him. Not blaming Kerry for this, as it was good strategy. To go as far as say that I made factual errors is a factual error, as neither Kerry or McCain ever discussed publicly what they talked about in this meeting.

As for McCain supporting Bush, I was not a fan of this and it definitely made me lose respect for him. I know why he did it though, as he already is hated by the Republican power brokers, if he wouldn't have stumped for Bush, his chances for 2008 would have been dead. Deal with the Devil. Yes.

Nowhere in John Kerry senatorial career has he led a major bill through like campaign finance. While it hasn't been a solution, it was an honest effort by McCain and Feingold* to try to reshape the broken system we work under. McCain has been involved in a lot of other major issues (some like gambling and steroids I think were bad decisions), something Senator Kerry has not. Kerry has never been considered a leader in the Senate, so I don't why you think he would be such a great one in the White House, but you've met and talked with him, I haven't.

I didn't know this about Kerry raising so much for Dems. I'm glad to hear that. I had heard that a lot of Dems didn't want him to campaign for them, as he had negative poll numbers in their states or districts. There are only 4 politicians that I can think of that can go pretty much anywhere in this country and do well with their party's audience. McCain and Guiliani for Republicans and Bill Clinton and Obama for Dems. I think these are the 4 superstars in politics who are able to translate in all parts of the country.

While I don't see myself voting for the guy in 2008, unless the Dems pick someone I can't stomach, I don't see why you 3 are bashing McCain so hard. One of you said he was the worst the Republicans could offer up. While he's to the right of moderate, McCain has consistently shown over his career that he is willing to go up against the Republican establishment on many issues. Are you saying that George Allen or Sam Brownback are who you would rather see? I think that statement might not be the most thought-out.

*By the way, I really like Feingold a lot, as I think he's a bright, interesting guy. This ought to give me some points with the liberals, considering Feingold rates as the far left choice in the primaries. I just worry that like Dean he will be painted into a leftist corner that will make it hard to win and especially raise money. If he won the nomination, I would be very enthusiastic about supporting him, though. Next to Edwards, he would be my favorite of those that are running this time around.

2006-09-22 22:23:12
40.   das411
Pence/Bolton in '08 Scott!!!
2006-09-23 10:14:42
41.   Catherine
Scott, look beyond the headlines.

Scott says:
"McCain has consistently shown over his career that he is willing to go up against the Republican establishment on many issues."

Oh, has he?

JOHN MCCAIN ON HOW TO BE A 'MAVERICK'

1. Find an issue that will resonate with the American people.

2. Introduce legislation and have the Republican majority pass it.

3.Stand by and smile as Bush emasculates it.

4.Take credit for being a 'maverick'.

McCain stood behind Bush at end of last year as he took the 'Torture Bill' and added a signing statement that effectually provided him legal cover. The McCain amendment was rendered not only impotent, but the signing statement validated the President's authority to torture.

He should have stood in front of Bush, the traditional position.

More recently, three Republican senators (McCain was one) proposed a 'compromise' to the Torturer in Chief's proposed abandonment of Common Article III of the Geneva Conventions. Well, on it's face, you would think compromise is a good thing, wouldn't you?

What was actually 'compromised' was the moral authority of the United States and the safety of our troops. Where previously a captured American might hope to be protected by the provisions of the Conventions, your maverick Senator has provided an excuse for other countries to torture Americans.

Hey, if the US can reinterpret the Conventions ...

There is a reason the Geneva Conventions are recognized by 194 countries. Torture is immoral, it's unreliable and until now, it's been something that most governments could agree to condemn.

I stand by my statement. McCain is dangerous, as is his 'maverick' legislation. He's not moderate, he's an enabler. Like Arlen Specter, he talks a good game, but in the end is still a rubber stamp for the Bush administration.

Check this out.

http://voteview.com/

Notice that although 'Massachusetts liberal' Kerry is ranked the 25th most liberal, 'Maverick' McCain has the 4th most conservative (I don't agree that the label 'conservative' fits current Republican legislators.) voting record in the 109th.

Your pal puts the 'R' in Rubber stamp.

Scott, I really do believe you are a bright and witty man, which is why I don't understand why you continue to parrot the mainstream misperception of John McCain. I keep waiting for the punchline.

Pick a couple of Senators (McCain and Kerry, perhaps). Read the legislation they've proposed, and compare.

http://thomas.loc.gov/

2006-09-23 21:14:03
42.   AnneP
Scott,

You are correct on where in Indiana I've lived, both NW Indiana (da region - if you have any doubts) and college in Bloomington.

I noticed on other posts, you mention McCain/Feingold. In 2004, I think the first time it was used, it was a disaster.

- The provision that general election money was the only money that could be used after a party's convention resulted in Senator Kerry having 13 weeks over which to spend his $ 75 million, while President Bush had the same amount of money to spend over the last 8 weeks. During the 5 weeks in between, Bush could spend as much money as he could raise.
- It allowed the 527 groups, who could not support a candidate - but who could attack one and they allowed unlimited contributions. (Most of the SBVT money came from a few very wealthy Texans.)

A much better bill was authored By Senator Kerry and co-sponsored with Senator Welstone. It was called Clean Elections. Variations of it were implemented in Maine and Arizona.

From the Senate speech:
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, [b] I want to speak before you today about a critical challenge before this Senate--the challenge of reforming the way in which elections are conducted in the United States; the challenge of ending the ``moneyocracy'' that has turned our elections into auctions where public office is sold to the highest bidder. [/b] I want to implore the Congress to take meaningful steps this year to ban soft money, strengthen the Federal Election Commission, provide candidates the opportunity to pay for their campaigns with clean money, end the growing trend of dangerous sham issue ads, and meet the ultimate goal of restoring the rights of average Americans to have a stake in their democracy. Today I am proud to join with my colleague from Minnesota, PAUL WELLSTONE, to introduce the ``Clean Money'' bill which I believe will help all of us entrusted to shape public policy to arrive at a point where we can truly say we are rebuilding Americans' faith in our democracy.

Kerry is a well-respected Senator for his investigations and excellent committee work - as one of the best in questioning witnesses.

2006-09-23 22:12:42
43.   das411
Aww, can't end this thread with 42 posts! Having 43 would just be too good...

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