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August 01, 2004

So, I finally got a chance to watch the tape of Kerry's acceptance speech.

He didn't hesitate to woo disaffected conservatives, right there in the middle of the Democratic convention, did he?

Speaking to a crowd who wanted to hear peace, he promised war. Speaking to people who want to believe the world can live in harmony, he promised a massive enlargement of our standing army. Speaking to believers in government social p0rograms, he promised to balance the budget and avoid deficit spending.

"Go to johnkerry.com," he said. So, I did. Picking a random link from the list on the left, I read the same old rhetoric about logging for "healthy forests" and "economic growth." Either no one has explained to him that we can stop cutting down forests and start recycling to fill most of our paper needs or he has a big campaign donor to pacify.. (For the record, most of the wood we use for things like home-building comes from Canada, not US forests.)

He's not exactly the Progressive President of my dreams, that's all.

(I keep saying I'm a moderate and then proving myself a liar, don't I? Possibly, instead of saying, "I'm moderate" it would be more accurate to say, "I'm not radical.")

And yet...all of what I heard about the speech was true. It was his moment to deliver and he did. Passion, commitment, and honesty - all without hyperbole.

Jobs, healthcare, equality, and education. He was there on all of them. Impressively so. You can see this man leading. He gets "the vision thing" and he understands the value of bipartisan cooperation.

John Edwards had the spark for me, the charisma. I could have been passionate about following him, but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to trust my future to John Kerry. Rational, sensible, and pragmatically liberal isn't the worst thing we could get, right?

This may sound like damning with faint praise, but it's not meant to be. I think Kerry is intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced. I think his background makes him a far-fitter Presidential candidate than Bush's history of business failures and family bail-outs. I admire Kerry's courage in talking about nuance to a country accustomed to little more than bumper-sticker philosophy. I do believe he'll conduct a more transparent Presidency than Bush, but then it would be difficult not to.

And I was impressed with Kerry's call for a clean campaign. As I've said again and again, I'm not essentially about being against Bush* I'm about being for something better.

I'd really like to see what Kerry/Edwards could do with a clear majority vote in November and a co-operative Congress.

* Which is not to say I'm not incredibly anxious to see the Left turn out and vote in November.

We need enough people to turn out and fail to vote for Bush (again) that the margin of victory is clear as far away as the Supreme Court.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:37 PM