I subjected myself to three complete campaign speeches on Sunday. MPR carried a speech by Kerry, a speech by Bush, and a speech by Nader. They were all terrifyingly predictable, though better than I had expected.
Bush has a good line. Strategically, it’s about the best he can do. “We’re number one, we’re stronger and safer than we were three years ago. We’ve deposed a terrorist regime in Afghanistan, we’ve got Saddam in prison. We’re returning Iraq to its people. The economy is coming back. God bless us every one.”
The key to understanding Kerry’s current position is to remember that he’s the Democratic nominee because he failed to screw up in the primaries. He plans to continue to fail to screw up. His platform is therefore very vanilla and (like Bush) about the best he can do: “We’re number one, but we need to do better. We need to go to war when we are forced to, not when we choose to. We need to provide better services for whoever he’s talking to (in this case, veterans). We need to bring our soldiers home. The economy is important to all of us. God bless us, every one.”
Nader had a really fine presentation. Sadly, it’s the same one he’s demonstrated as a losing platform in the past: “Who are these people who actually oppose a decent standard of health coverage for every american? Who are they? They are the HMOs, protecting their business. They donate a lot of money to the political parties. Who are these people who oppose letting you vote for whoever wants to run? Does anyone really oppose more candidates for political office? Yes! In fact, in Alaska you have to register with a party before you can be on the ballot. (insert about six more “who are these people?” lines). This is why our country is being run into the ground. Vote for me, I’ll be back in four.” He’s still right. He’s still going to lose. I’m glad that he’s focusing on his alienation from the democrats a bit more this time.
Barring any totally unexpected mix-ups in the news between now and then (and I fully expect voting scandals, terrorist attacks, further expansion of the prisoner abuse debacle, Powell retiring to spend time with his family, and the pope openly endorsing Nader because he thinks Bush is the antichrist and wants Kerry excommunicated) I still predict a landslide victory for Bush in November.
In other news, here’s a review of “Versus,” the monstrously great kung-fu zombie flick I watched on Sunday.